Pitching your product to a retail buyer can be intimidating. Buyers are the gate keepers to brick and mortar stores. Offering your handmade product up to them for rejection can be terrifying.
Most buyers love it when a potential vendor approaches them. It makes their life easier. A happy buyer is often a repeat buyer.
These 5 tips will help you woo a new buyer and get your product on their shelves.
- Make Sure Your Product Matches the Store. If the store you want to sell in only sells imports and your product is ultra-local, it might not be a good fit. If your product retails for $100 and the highest price point in the store you approach is $50, your product probably won’t do well there. Find a store where price and aesthetic match what you make.
- Call Ahead. At many small shops, the buyer is also the owner or manager, which means that buying is just one of their duties. Do yourself a favor and make an appointment. Don’t cold call and risk catching them while they’re doing taxes.
- Make it Easy. Bring samples to show off your quality. Prepare a line sheet with your products, wholesale price, and MSRP are clearly listed and easy to read. If you have any promotional materials–brochures, handbills, business cards—include those. Leave the buyer with a physical reminder of why their customers can’t live without your product and an easy way to place an order.
- Be Professional. Think of it like a job interview. Be on time. Wear nice clothes. Show confidence in yourself and your product. Tell the buyer why they need your product in their store.
- Follow Up. If the buyer was receptive but you haven’t heard from them after a couple of weeks, call or email. Politely remind them who you are and what a great fit you are for their store. Chances are they got busy, and needed a little nudge to place an order.
A little preparation can go a long way to growing your business, so get that line sheet together and make that call!