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How to approach Retail Stores to sell your products

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How to approach a retail store with a view to them stocking your products very much depends on the retailer and the nature of your products, but I’ve listed a few general pointers based on my own experiences.
 
How to make first contact?
There is no right or wrong way here, and it will vary by buyer and retailer.
 
Email is a favoured way of getting product details in front of buyers. It’s fast, efficient and pretty much free. But it can be difficult to sell your product on an email alone, even with a well-crafted presentation attached. And of course, you will likely be one of tens or hundreds of emails introducing products that the buyer will receive that week.
 
Calling a buyer allows for that personal contact and connection, but because of the workloads mentioned above, don’t expect to be greeted with open arms.
 
Sending samples is a favoured way of introducing your products to a target buyer for obvious reasons. If you get the samples to the right person at the right time, this can be a great way of getting them to consider your line. The challenge here is getting them into the right hands at the right time. Samples can be costly to send as well; not a problem if you are targeting ten national retailers, but if you want to get your products in front of hundreds of independent retailers the cost will quickly mount up.
 
Product Guru is an entirely new way of getting your products in front of your target retailers. Buyers use powerful filtering tools to ensure that they find products meeting their exact requirements. That means your products are reviewed by buyers actively looking for products like yours, significantly improving the chances of a successful listing.
 
And functions such as seeing which retailers are viewing or liking your products or access to buyers category review dates ensure that you have all the information you require to focus your sales efforts.
 
What are they looking for?
Whichever route you go down to get your products in front of the buyers, and whether you are targeting independents, small chains or national retailers, there are a few things that you should make sure of:
 
·     Know your products: Sounds obvious, but I’ve been on a few calls with sales team members who, when pushed for details of the product beyond the basics, fall down. If you don’t know every detail of your products it won’t instil confidence in the retailer.
·     Know your commercials: Know your numbers. Costs, margins and any extras. Know what discounts (if any) you are willing to provide. This can be used to close a deal on the spot, rather than having to ‘come back to them later’ when your chances of winning are reduced.
·     Know why your products are best: The retailer you are speaking to isn’t likely to have empty shelf space, so make sure you can tell them why they should add your products to their range.
 
The bigger the retailer the more detailed and technical the information you have at hand is likely to need to be, but whoever you are pitching to the key is picking your moment and your method and making it count.
 
If you found this useful you might enjoy our blog about the top 5 things to consider before contacting a retail buyer

Learn more about how Product Guru allows you to put your products in front of retail buyers for free.