Top Seven Tips for Selling to Retailers

Selling to local boutiques, independent businesses, or well-known retail merchandisers may seem like a cumbersome task.  Often a wholesaler may not even know where to begin.  Here we explore the top seven tips a wholesaler can implement in order to catch the attention and dollar of retailers.

Tip 1: Stick to It!

As a wholesaler, you have to go into the game with no fear.  You need to have persistence, and even if you get a “no” from one retailer, move right on to the next.    Wholesalers should approach any retailer that seems like a good fit for the product the wholesaler is selling.  The bottom line is if the seller likes what you are selling, chances are they will make an investment.  Make appointments with bigger retailers well in advance, as there may be a waiting period.  Then, as you wait on your next appointment, deal with addressing smaller operations like independent shops and boutiques.  Keep in constant contact with the retailers you are trying to sell to as well.  Whether using the telephone, email, direct mail, or all of the above, the wholesaler needs to continue to maintain ongoing contact with potential buyers.

Tip 2: Go to That Trade Show

If there are local trade shows or you can afford to travel, it is well worth your while to participate in industry trade shows.  A visit to a trade show has myriad benefits.  You get to see what your competition is selling, and it may even strike up an idea of how you can improve your own products.  Additionally, a trade show visit allows you to present your wares to potential buyers, all while you network.  While you are making sales to retailers from trade shows however, do not forget to pick up the phone and call local retailers as well.  You do not want to miss out on an opportunity to get your product out there.

Tip 3: Know Your Retailer and their Customers

It pays to know your audience – the retailer’s wants, expectations, but you also need to know who will benefit from your product when the retailer sells it to them.  You need to define whom you are selling to, on a retail level, and a direct customer level.  What retailers sell the type of products that are similar to yours?  What retailers sell the type of products your target audience uses?  The answer to the latter questions reveal the right retailer to sell your wares to, and you will also know how to pitch the product with greater efficiency.

Tip 4: Make Direct Contact

When looking to sell to retailers, every effort to make direct contact with a buyer is a worthwhile endeavor.  When talking with retailers face to face, you have an opportunity to talk up your product and to offer samples.  In doing so, you are making the most of sensory marketing techniques and creating a prime opportunity for landing that all-important sale. What’s more, face-to-face contact with retailers gives you a chance to network and establish business relationships.  If you only sell your items online, a good way to reach out to potential buyers is through blogging.  A blog lets you tell others about your products or services through writing, and it can provide buyers with the information they want to know about your products.

Tip 5: Networking – Do it!

Missing out on an opportunity to network is never a good idea.  Using social media outlets and websites like LinkedIn can help you meet up with retailers that might be interested in your product.  Networking can also open you up to the possibility of referrals.  What’s more, through networking, you can establish appointments with retailers where you can meet the retailers directly and market your product via demos and product demonstrations. Direct outreach and networking is key to every wholesaler business.

Tip 6: Streamline the Sale

Make it easy for retailers to buy your products.  Create an easy to access catalog, or make it simple for retailers to place an order through direct phone contact or electronic order submission form.  Make your pricing competitive (do your homework in this regard), and offer retailers the best price for your product.  Ensure a quality turnaround time and offer an easy to use online application for the purposes of ordering.  Automation of the sale and ease of getting the product will increase the likelihood of the sale because you will come off as class act with serious organizational skills.

Tip 7: Use Tried and True Techniques – Cold Calling

Tried and true techniques like cold calling still work in today’s wholesale industry.  What’s more, cold calling is completely free marketing.  You do not have to spend thousands of advertising dollars to get in touch with retailers who might be interested in your product.  Cold calls can and do work if you are ready with a good elevator pitch, you know your product, you know your target audience, and you have great prices and ease of product ordering.

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