How To Approach Retail Stores To Sell Your Product
Sep 12, 2022 | Priyal Batheja
For a wholesaling company, sales is key. The only reason that wholesalers exist is because they can do this more efficiently than manufacturers. Wholesale is a game of buy-and-sell. Not literally. But buy-and-sell the right thing to the right retailer for the right price. This requires you to sniff out the next trendy item in or around your geographical area, buy it at the right time and sell it to the right retailers. This is what is called the right retail acquisition strategy.
Let’s go step by step.
Product is the showstopper when you make a pitch to a retailer. It is the one thing that is pre-determined. So, choose your stock wisely. To start with, stock yourself with the most relevant items.
How to identify relevant SKUs for your wholesale firm?
Let us first define relevance. Relevance of SKUs for the customer is what is meant here. Only when the product is relevant to the customer will the retailer want to keep it. To identify the trendiest product lines or the trendiest designs in your line, use Google Trends.
Say, you are a furniture wholesaler, then it would be wise to use Google trends to know the most searched items related to furniture in the area you want to service, say Denmark. This would give you an insight as to what is trending in furniture. For more, feel free to check out this blog on how to use Google trends.
After you are done stocking up, it is time to move on to the next crucial stage. Choose the right retailer. Let us see what that means. The right retailer for you is the right retail option in the right service area.
But to know which retail option is best for you in which area, you first need to develop a product sense, that is, a crystal clear understanding of your products and whom to target for it. Think wisely about what kind of demographic would be the perfect buyer for you and where you can find this kind of demographic.
Right Service Area
Now that you know what demographic to target, search for retailers in such areas with a similar socio-economic status.
Right Retail Option
Now that you have boiled down to a specific area, it is time to look for which retailer can serve you the best. Is it the departmental store, a specialty store, an online marketplace or is it a national retailer or a high street retailer?
To identify the right retailer, you need to develop a deep understanding about the retailer’s persona. That is their brand values, vision, the kind of clientele he is catering to. Only when your product sense matches with the retailer’s persona, your pitch would be perfect and undeniable for the retailer.
For example, an online retailer looks for variety and innovation. A high street retailer looks for quality and class. You have to know which one you identify with and then decide your prospects.
How to identify a retailer’s persona?
Researching about the prospective retailer helps a lot. Apart from seeing their product, their service area, reading up about the store using Google reviews really helps. Let’s see how!
For example, Galleria Postdam, a department store in Potsdam.
This review loudly speaks that prices in this store are not that competitive.
Variety in the store is appreciable. So if you a product line different from most in the market, then this store is your go-to.
How to pitch to high-street retailers?
Well, it’s not that difficult. Retailers on the high street just require certainty about your product’s quality, customer experience and dependability on your sourcing. If you can tick these boxes for them, then it is almost always a green signal. Next time you try and pitch, try to meet them in person preferably and give them a live product demo.
If you are dealing in fashion, then high street should be your go-to. This is because fashion requires PR. A lot of PR through branding, trust-building and marketing. If you are wholesaling in fashion through online marketplaces or independent retailers, then it is tough to break through people’s trust. That is the advantage of High Street. It gives you that trust automatically. If your product is placed on the High Street, then people have this inherent notion that “Yes, this product can be trusted with quality.” Going out there and pitching to high street retailers will surely give your sales a boost.
If you are still completely selling your goods to brick and mortar retailers, then it’s time you explored online retailing. Especially, if you are dealing in products with modern values like innovation, sustainability, variety, etc. If you identify with any of these values, then you should not hesitate to pitch to online retailers. Not only do you have a unique selling point that is going to earn you sales, but this will also reduce your costs.
How to draw retailers to your wholesale business?
You need to understand that if a retailer wants to find the right wholesaler, they have to look for the wholesalers, browse their catelogues, etc. So in case a retailer is trying, make it easy for them by marketing yourself and flashing your product lines on social media. Let the retailer now about you and come to you. For this, you have to be on your feet to get to know and participate in your local networking events, walk in stores and network in person to let them know about yourself until they come to you. You don't have to reach them always!
If you are trying to sell products or product categories that are relatively new in the market, then try organising some retailer’s events/ workshops to demonstrate your products. You can also build a loud social media presence on LinkedIn to create awareness.
Why and How to pitch Large and International Retailers?
Large retailers like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Carrefour, Metro, etc. are an important prospect for wholesalers across Europe. The reason is that large retailers in the European market are growing even faster than the CAGR of the retail sector as a whole! This makes it important for wholesalers to make their way into large retail stores because they are going to be the future.
This task, not denying, sounds daunting, but is actually pretty simple. Start pitching to independent retailers around large retail stores across the country. As you keep making your way into these small stores, the chances of you being noticed by large retailers keep on increasing. Simultaneously, you are also developing a customer base for your products in that area.
But no wholesaler ever made it to large retailers without standardizing their process. From taking orders from retailers to production to packaging to the final delivery of the product, standardize each step. Automate the way you take orders rather than doing it manually. Use live GPS to track your delivery. Outsource time consuming and trivial tasks. Once you standardize these processes, large retailers will feel confident of your business and your odds increase substantially.
Additionally, if you can try and obtain B corp certification for your wholesale business, it would be a cherry on the cake.
Now that you have certain retailers in mind, let’s talk about the right approach to pitching them your products.
1. Choose right
To make your pitch successful, you choose the SKUs that would be most relevant to the retailer’s persona depending upon it’s a high end store or a medium store. If you are pitching premium fashion products to a store that caters to middle class customers, that’s a dead end.
Don’t pitch a product. Sell a story. If your product is a wooden table, then tell the retailer how sustainability is important for customers these days.
3. Communicate well
No, there is no format of pitching! But few basics to remember. Align the theme of your catalogue with your brand. If you are using mail, then keep the matter short and more visual. Don’t attach PDF’s rather embed images in the mail body. If going for an in-person pitch, take product samples along.
The easier you make it for the retailer, the better your chances of success. While pitching, make sure you exemplify the use cases for your product, preferably with visuals. This will give the retailer an idea of how to sell.
One thing that you can not miss in your pitch is how other your products in other stores have performed. In case you are pitching a relatively new product, you would do well to offer some incentives like freebies, discounts, etc.
While finalising a deal, don’t offer payment terms as incentives. Retailers don't need that and it ultimately only creates cash flow problems for your business. Also, if retailers ask for exclusivity and it's too limiting, don't hesitate to deny even if that means losing the sale.
How to pitch during holiday seasons?
It is tough to pitch during holiday season. But you don’t need any extra expenditure for it. Just simple ideas would do. Like, offer incentives like early- order discount, free shipping or
offer different stories with current product lines. Stories that align with the festivals or the season.
All in all, the key is to do your homework about the retailer, their persona by following these tips and see if it fits with your product sense. If it does, then you are already halfway there! Good Luck.
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