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5 Important Steps for the Retail Bound

August 3, 2016

Are you retail bound? If yes, then let me start with this: It’s not enough to have an amazing product. Buyers have seen amazing products, and although they’re always looking for the next big discovery, they’re also looking for a solid pitch to back it up when you score a meeting with them.

But there are ways to pitch and ways not to as Nancy Bleeke, president of Sales Pro Insider said, 

“If someone is pitching to you, what are your options? If you are pitched at, you either swing to bat it away or duck to avoid it. Neither of these works well in sales.”

 So if you’re looking to hit the sweet spot of retail buyers across America with a killer pitch, here are 5 things that I’ve noticed that when done well, make a huge difference in your meetings.  

1. Know the Retailer.

While this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised by the number of suppliers that don't do their research. Invest time in knowing the retailers you are meeting with – this is the quickest way to start a meeting off on the right foot. And the inverse of this is true, not doing your research will pretty much shut down the meeting from the start. Research the following:

  • Geographic region
  • Banners
  • Competitors
  • Market Strategy / Channel
  • Brokers they work with for your line
2. What does your fiscal / logistical fitness look like?

This is a topic that may come up especially if your company is in the startup phase or new to the channel of the retailer you are meeting with. So enter the meeting prepared to demonstrate that not only does your product/line fill a need, but also that your company is ready to do business with them. Talk about meeting lead times, sales support, and promotional allowances to name a few. 

3. Let’s talk about you.

When it comes to ultimately pitching your company and product, make sure to include the following information to show the retailer what makes your product stand out from the others.

  • Company: Provide a basic overview: Name, Website, Year started, Company Description, Categories and Market Position
  • Product Info: Description, Placement, What makes the product stand out, List of items, Estimated Sales Volume, Market Coverage
  • Product Position: Target Consumer, Consumer Research, Demographic differentiation if any
  • Product Support: Media, Trade Marketing, Promotional Calendar, Social Media Campaigns-Support
  • Product Specs: SRP, Cost, Margin, Annual Projections, Terms, Product Specs (UPC’s/Count/Case-Product Dimensions)  
4. The closing note.

Find a way to be memorable. Leave the retailer with product samples, sell sheets, and a business card. Gauge their reaction. Do they have interest? If yes, find out WHEN and WHOM you should follow-up with. Another great piece of information to find out is when do they review your category. Now to the final and often most important step…

5. Follow-up. Follow-up. Follow up.

I can’t say it enough. You’ve scored the initial meeting but next on the list is getting a follow-up meeting to seal the deal. Find out what the best way to contact them is, make sure they’re the right person to contact, and then do it.

That being said let me ask you again, are you retail bound? If yes, then look no further than GMDC, your general merchandise and health beauty wellness path to retail. Our two annual industry events and ongoing category events are guaranteed to get you face time with the buyers your business needs.  And on top of that we provide resources, services, and coaching to ensure your meetings are the most productive.