A little while ago we reached out to you, our Launch Grow Joy readers, and asked you to share with us your best tips on how to sell to retail stores. So many of you answered (THANK YOU!), so we decided to create a list of your best tips on how to sell to retail stores.
Whether you decide to sell to small independent or local boutiques or to large national retailers, you’ll find some great tips here. And if you have a tip that you’d like to share, make sure to leave a comment below to let us know.
How to Sell to Retail Stores – Your Best Tips
Don’t be afraid to go after the big retailers early in the game. This is a particularly good strategy if they have a supplier diversity program that you qualify for. Although a lot of variables come into play when it comes to a buyer making a decision about including your product in their assortment, at the end of the day, it really boils down to whether they like your product or not. The buyer that happens to love your product could work for Walmart, or a local mom and pop, so I recommend going after big and small retailers simultaneously. Usually it takes a bit longer to secure the buyer appointment with the larger retailers, so while you are waiting for that appointment, you build your sales history with the individually owned and operated retailers where you can get your product in a lot faster. – Thanks to Jennifer Zachery from The Bead Barrette
Niche marketing and doing PR via SEO, Facebook and all the avenues of social media is one of the most effective and cost effective ways to sell to retail stores. We took our product offering and tailored items to different kinds of people. We had things like The Wizard of Oz, Popeye, and Betty Boop which hit children, but was also retro to hit adults. We did a whole food themed line to interest people who love chocolate, people who love wine, BBQ, Cupcakes, Coffee, etc. We added KISS for the rocker group and even religious ones. Now we returned the rubber duck industry to America where it all began and are the only ones making them here again….once again…great niche and great PR opportunities! – Thanks to Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks
The most effective quality I have found to sell to retail stores is persistence. One must call on established and new accounts via direct mail, email and phone on a regular ongoing basis. Use the buddy system! I have a colleague in Los Angeles, she and I stage a “contest” to motivate one other to call on new accounts (cold calls). We are not really competing although we challenge each other to see how many accounts we can call in an hour by staging the so-called contest. – Thanks Joy Light of Joy Hand Painted Silk
Our wholesale business has grown the most by exhibiting at select trade shows that deliver high volume qualified traffic, and then engaging prospective wholesale customers with passionate enthusiasm for our product. – Thanks to Julie Buzby of Dr. Buzby’s Toe Grips for Dogs
Develop a distribution network for your products. Depending on your product and its use, your distribution network may be retail establishments and or retail service providers that may use your product in their business. By establishing a distribution network you will expand your products footprint and develop a sales force for your products without having to directly pay for the sales. Offering a multi-tiered distribution program that rewards a distributor with lower wholesales prices based on the amount of product sold, can help to create incentives for the distributors to use products. – Thanks to Brian Smith Omni Containment Systems
Think Outside of the Box! Because I have a very niche product, fashion accessories for medical walking boots, I can’t go any of the “traditional routes” of selling wholesale. Instead, I went to LinkedIn and found the companies who already sell the boots to the orthopedic offices and pharmacies. The products go hand-in-hand so it’s a win-win. It gets me directly to the people who sell the boots and it gets the sales reps into their existing accounts or potential new accounts with a new product.- Thanks to Christina Daves of CastMedic Designs