You believe you have a good product. You have sold quite a lot of it to your friends, officemates, neighbors, casual acquaintances, friends of friends, etc. They compliment you and ask you why your items are not available in a shop so you can have more customers. You begin to think that they may be right. How will you go about getting your product on the shelves of retails outlets? You have been doing good selling on your own and satisfied with the income you are currently getting.
These tips can help you get your product on those retail store shelves.
1. Do your research. You know your product. Now you have to provide answers to these questions:
- Who are your target consumers?
- What are their income ranges?
- What are their age ranges?
- Where are they located?
- Where do they usually shop?
- Why do they buy?
- How do they buy?
- When do they buy?
These will help you narrow down your list of target retailers to approach.
2. Survey your area and find out if products similar to yours are being sold anywhere. Check the product, the manufacturer, the selling price and their competition.
3. Know which product/s will be your direct competitor/s. You have to know your competition well. You can use this information to make a comparison with your own product and highlight your product’s best qualities.
4. Prepare samples of your product. Include a product description. It will be better if you can have a product brochure done professionally.
5. Know your target retail stores. Call their head offices. Get the name and contact details of the buyers and assistant buyers. Use all the tools at your disposal to make contact. Use their online forms, visit their websites to gain valuable information, send emails.
6. Once you have all the information that you need, call and ask for an appointment.
7. Prepare your sales proposition. Make it as precise and as detailed as you can. Aside from your product history, the description of your product and its benefits, include the following data:
- The number of units you expect to sell in a week
- Your product’s shelf life
- Your recommended selling price
- Your wholesale price
- Profit percentage the retailer will gain per unit sale
- Your production capacity
- Shipping and handling
- Product Packaging
- Delivery system
- Suggested product display
- Other pertinent research data that will help your sales proposition
Bring several products samples, company and product brochures during your presentation.
8. Do not prepare a single presentation to be used for all your target retailers. Make sure you tailor fit your sales pitch to a particular retailer. This shows your professionalism and knowledge of the business and the market.
9. There are retailers who can make the decision right after the presentation. At most, you have to wait at least a month before you hear from them. It will depend on who are the people involved in the decision-making process.
Though rare, other retailers may test-market your product for a set period to gauge consumer acceptance.
You have to be thoroughly prepared when you approach retailers. Their buyers are very busy people. Your preparedness and attention to detail, your product and its benefits, your market knowledge and hours you spend doing your research are factors that will greatly contribute to getting that sought-after approval. Do not fear rejection. Use this to modify your product and approach them again.