Don’t blow your chance to get your products into retail stores

The anticipation is killing you as you make your way towards your door.

It’s your brand new catalogue being delivered.bicycle

After blood, sweat, and tears, and a lot of monies invested in designers, copywriters, photographers and the lot, it’s finally here.

This is going to change things for you.

It has to, because up until now it really hasn’t been that easy.

Getting your new products into retail stores has proven to be as difficult as nailing jelly to a tree. You’ve tried it all and yet, so far the results of that first approach are nothing but discouraging.

However, this very sassy new catalogue is going to turn things around for you. It’s glossy, it looks professional, and it’s bound to make retailers stop everything they’re doing and say: “I want this on my shelves and I want it now”.

The catalogue and a courteous reminder email are going to blow them away.

Or are they?

Empathy goes a long way

Just a question.

Through this, this long and tedious process, did you ever take a moment to put yourself in your retailers’ shoes?

And by that I mean whether you actually pretended to be in their shop, sip teir cuppa and stare at their overladen shop shelves?

Did you?

Did you imagine just for a second what their inbox looked like? The endless flow of emails from suppliers just like you, wanting to catch their attention at all cost? Did you realise how quickly they skimmed through all of them?

Did you at any point imagine what a sales meeting will be like for them? The frustration experienced as a result of a stagnant market where stock seems to move like molasses? The problems they face by having to hold onto stock that is going nowhere?

If you did, you are on the right track.
Because if you did, you know that a few pretty pictures and another reminder email are not going to get the results you want.

Understanding your Competition in Context

Let’s go one step further.

Prior to finalising that costly new catalogue, did you take the time to walk through the retailer/s store/s, studying which of your competitors have earned a position in their shelves?

What gave them that right? How are they positioned in the shelves? Do they have a common trait you could capitalise on as well? Are your prices lower? A lot higher? Would your line fit in with what’s currently in store? No? What do you need to do to make it fit in? Is the quality of your products comparable to similar products displayed there?

These are just some of the questions you should have asked yourself before firing off that first email, or making that first phone call, or dropping in unannounced.

Understanding the Needs of each of the Retailers

In other words – research, research, research!

The common one-size-fits-all approach blast marketing approach is obviously flawed and will not land you the gig you are after.

At any given point in time, your retailer A is in a completely different position in the market and buying cycle than your retailers B, C or D. So, a successful approach will require not putting them all in a single basket and assuming that what works for one will work for the next.

Ask yourself the kind of questions that will help you determine what each of the retailers might want in a product and what will be the catalyst to have you coming in and replace a similar line or sit along its side in each case.

The learnings made and the conclusions reached during that walk along retailer A’s aisles will probably not apply to any others.

Effective research is the keyword here and in this day and age it is a lot easier than it used to be. Start with their online assets – their websites and social media platforms will provide extremely useful insights into their own and their customers’ habits, preferences and expectations. Then move onto their physical store, if it is geographically close to you.

Your email – a key piece in the puzzle

A very important part of your communication process is email. Emails will get lost in inboxes if not highly personalised and attractive to the retailer.

Don’t make the rookie’s mistake by sending the first email out and attaching your new catalogue.

Your email should woo them with a highly personalised headline and body and whet their appetite for more. It should leave the right amount of curiosity in their mind so that when you follow it up with a phone call, they will take the phone call.

“How on earth am I supposed to do that?” did I hear you ask?

An extremely good question, the answer to which you will find here.

To be an effective wholesaler, you need to have a great sales catalogue. For a swipe file full of FREE wholesale catalogues, go to the Line Sheet Swipe File.



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