I'm starting a new business where I design and build unique custom wine corks. I want to have them through out the country in Gift stores, wine shops etc. There all 100% hand made in Tennessee but I don't know the first thing about shipping and record keeping and or closing deals wine corporate wine and gift stores.
I would keep my answer crisp with actionable steps
The best way you can start with is Social Media. What I mean is since you already design them, create an Instagram account and add realistic mockups.
Also start a YouTube channel that helps your customer see who you are and create a want in them to buy from you.
You can create your personal brand first and then selling won't be a problem.
Through your personal brand, try giving free samples to households first. Take their testimonails. Their pictures. Include them in your videos. Have a weekly vlog where you visit a new house and document their experience.
Then with this data, go to the shopkeeper and say how you have done a personal research on why your product is better.
Hope this helps
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I hope you are satisfied with my answer
Since you are just starting out, start small and local. Approach local wine shops in your area to see if that is something they would be willing to carry. You'll be able to get a good sense of what the market is like and current competition for shelf space for your product, and how your pricing compares to what's already out there. Once you are in a few different stores, and have gotten some systems in place in terms of selling, shipping and record keeping, you can expand your market. You can do this yourself, hire salespeople or work with a distributor. In my experience, distributors are more willing to work with you if they see you're already in stores and that there is a demand for your product. Another thing to consider is, will you be able to meet production demands if for instance you signed on with a corporate deal which would require x amount of units per order? Growing is great, but growing too fast can lead to other problems.
If you want to learn how to sell is, to sell. Get into it. I have listed a few which I practiced while I was in sales. Here are some points from which you learn the selling of products to distribution stores.
1. has a very good knowledge of the product you are selling
2. good sales plan
3. good knowledge of the market
4. being aware of all the competitor’s activities
5. sufficient stock availability
7. ability to spot opportunities,
8. expanding the network while not hesitating to remove nonperformers
9. above all, being honest about your commitments to the dealers will earn you a long term edge over the competitors
10. following up
11. very good after-sales service
12. building own reputation.
When these are followed, rejection becomes minimal and your own personal brand is created in the market.