A Gift For You

Try, Try Again

All too often, entrepreneurs trying to push a new product are so enamored of what they're selling, they don't listen to others' opinions about it. But keeping your eyes and ears open to constructive criticism--and adjusting your product accordingly--can make all the difference in closing a sale.

Just ask Jonathan Milchman. The owner of Miami-based Owner Outfitters Inc. was excited about his do-it-yourself house-selling kit, Broker in a Box--but retailers weren't. "A lot of them were leery of a one-line company," says Milchman, who targeted major retailers and tried marketing his product on the Internet but got few results.

Then a buyer for Sears suggested Milchman develop a garage sale kit. The entrepreneur had already planned to do that once the original Broker product took off, but after hearing the buyer's suggestion, he decided to do it then and there.

The result? The Garage Sale Kit is a hit--even among buyers who had turned down Broker in a Box. The Garage Sale Kit is sold at Sears, Home Depot and Ace Hardware, as well as at smaller retailers.

Tweaking his product idea proved so successful for Owner Outfitters, Milchman has since hired independent sales representatives to promote both products. See what a little flexibility can do? Says Milchman, "The response so far has been phenomenal."

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This article was originally published in the April 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: A Gift For You.

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