It was 37 years ago when I had the good fortune to be the original home shopping host at the beginning of a whole new industry called the TV home shopping industry! In the years since, I’ve logged more than 25,000 hours of live selling on television and made at least 75,000 separate product presentations.
People often asm me, what makes a product successfully sell on a TV shopping channel and could my product be marketed this way? I have developed eight questions entrepreneurs need to answer to determine if TV is right for their product. If you answer “yes” to three or more, you have something with potential to be sold this way.
1. Is your product demonstrable? Remember, TV is a visual medium. You must keep your product visually appealing. One of the great advantages of presenting your product on TV shopping is you can bring your story alive! Remember playing “show and tell” in grade school – this is “show and sell!”
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2. Does your product give instant gratification? In live selling on television, you have very little time to tell a story before you need a response to come in. Everything on TV shopping is indexed by time. Believe it or not, the goal is not to sell out but to sell the most product in the least amount of time. Years ago, I labeled this: Dollars Per Minute (DPM).
3. Does your product appeal to an impulse? TV shopping channels are “destination stations.” People tune in to watch and buy. Watching is a given but you still have to “create the need” for them to buy. A sense of urgency spurs a viewer's desire for your product right now.
4. Does your product solve a problem? This question is of paramount importance. Your role in selling on a TV shopping channel is that of a “problem solver.” You must constantly talk about and show the problem that you are solving. You must constantly show how what you have can help the viewer.
This question is also very important to those who just have an idea. Whenever someone brings me an “idea” for a product, my first question is “What is the problem that your idea will solve?” The answer will add clarity to what needs to be done.
5. Does your product create an emotional need? Features tell but benefits sell. The viewer needs to know the “facts” about your product but the all-important “benefits” make the phones ring! The viewer needs to make an emotional connection to the need the product fulfills.
Spend less time communicating what your product does (though that is still important) and more time on what our product will do for others.
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6. Is your product easy to use and understand? This question speaks to the importance of developing your marketing message. Too many people have a general message about their product that spills “all over the map.” Remember, it’s all about time. Your message must be communicated clearly, succinctly and quickly!
7. Does your product make one’s life easier? If you offer your product but its way outside the viewer’s comfort zone, it’s a factor you will have to consider. An ideal offering has a proposition the viewer can imagine working to makes their lives more convenient, not more complex.
8. Does your product appeal to the masses? Selling programs are inherently designed, in most cases, to appeal to the consumer market at large. Mass appeal is a virtue in the products offered. Your message has to appeal to the masses. If your product does not, then it’s a “niche” product. There’s nothing wrong with a niche product, as long as you identify your niche accurately and are able to clearly communicate what your product will do, but the major TV shopping channels are distributed into millions of homes and have the potential to create massive sales. Your product needs to have mass appeal.
So, how did you do? If your product fit this profile, I hope you will pursue this proven and powerful marketing channel of distribution.