We were lucky to have Retail Growth Strategist Vanessa Ting share her tips for attracting major retailers for your startup project. Now with Buyerly.com and Retail Path, she helps product companies strengthen their appeal to major retail buyers nationwide. Below are our 10 big takeaways.
Always collect sales data. Make sure to note your sell-through numbers and not just what is being shipped out. You can get creative with how you illustrate this to retailers, noting any increases in orders over time or PR that led to a spike in sales.
It is important to make sure you have the marketing support to create a brand identity both in the store and out of it. Without this, your product will just collect dust on the shelf.
Can you get the right product to the right place at the right time in the right quantity? If not, retailers will not be able to trust you with their orders.
Many people make the mistake of spending their time talking to the people that aren’t in charge of making the decision. Know the industry and make an effort to meet the key players.
Cater your pitch to the people you are meeting with. Get to know them and pay attention to how they normally work with companies. Do they prefer to work with a sales rep? Hire one instead of just showing up at their door.
Set goals and determine what you can be doing now in order to reach them a few years down the line. Nothing is worse than securing a deal with a big company and not having the infrastructure to fulfill it.
Focus on how both you and the company will benefit from the partnership. If they can see a clear benefit to them, they are much more likely to work with you.
You may have thousands of followers, but that doesn’t mean those people will be buying your product in stores. Often times event marketing and published articles give you more credibility in the eyes of a buyer.
Buyers look at hundreds of pitches for great products every day. Come up with a unique argument that differentiates your product from all of the others.
Immerse yourself into a community that supports what you want to do, and learn everything you can. The people you meet in these situations will turn into your biggest advocates.