How to Talk “Retail” To Gain Attention From Retailers
Did you ever imagine that the layers and politics of retail would be so complex when you dreamed of selling into retail stores? For that matter – as store owners – did you ever dream that the politics of choosing products for your assortment could be so tough?
So many people dive into retail without even understanding it all. And while everyday is a chance to learn something new, it’s important to dedicate time to truly understanding some key retail lingo before diving too deep into the retail world. By doing this, you can better support your business as well as better communicate with potential accounts, retailers, business partners and more.
See & Hear How Retailers See & Hear
Plain and simple – if you want a retailer’s attention, you need to think like a retailer and then communicate to them with these thoughts in mind. They have to worry about their Open To Buy dollars, their visual displays, their employees or lack of them, their old inventory, their new vendors, their Net 30 payments that are due and much, much more. Consider all these points when speaking with retailers so that you don’t lose sight of what their objectives are. Additionally, consider their product assortment. Is what you are trying to sell to them really a match for their store? A sale isn’t a worth wild sale if it ends up in the wrong shop.
Timing Is Everything
Buy seasons exist for a reason, and too often eager vendors and sales reps disregard this. Consider what buy season you are in the midst of, then pitch retailers accordingly. While each individual store may place orders at different times, their general thoughts are in sync with a certain buy season based on what time of year it is. For example, stores begin to think about Christmas purchases in June. By September most of their orders are placed. Last minute buys often take place, but dollars are typically spent or budgeted for 6 months in advance. Additionally, each specific industry varies so always make sure to identify your specific industry’s buying trends prior to reaching out to stores.
Bringing it Together
Retailers are busy, busy folks. Don’t waste their time. When you get their attention, make sure you keep it. Have what you need to support them in your communication. This includes marketing tools, a Buyers Packet, samples of your product, order forms ready, delivery details available and anything else to help sell your products. If you have a great display to showcase your products, bring it to your meeting. If you have a lot of press clips to help enhance your products, use them in your pitch. The worst thing you could do is not be fully prepared. And remember, retailers want results. Remind them why you can offer them this through sales of your product to their specific customer.
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Photo Credit: Store “SHE BANG”