Approaching retail buyers is a crucial step in getting your product into stores and expanding your business.Retail buyers are the gatekeepers of the retail industry. They are the ones that decide which products get on shelves and which ones don’t. To be successful in the retail world, it’s important to establish relationships with buyers so you can secure deals and get your product in stores. Here are some tips to effectively approach retail buyers, follow these strategies:
1. Make them want to read your email
Retail buyers receive numerous pitches every week, so it’s essential to make your email stand out. Start by conducting thorough research on the buyer and their company, and personalize your email accordingly. Keep your email concise, clearly stating what you’re selling and why it’s relevant to the buyer. It’s optional in this stage to attach a strong pitch, your pitch should be clear, concise, and highlight the unique selling proposition of your product. However, you may be better able to communicate your pitch during a meeting so instead you can simply include a few low-resolution product images to pique their interest. Be sure to explain why your product is different from others in the market and how it can benefit the retailer’s customers.
Make sure to also highlight any unique features or benefits of your product that set it apart from competitors. Use attention-grabbing language in your subject line and opening sentence to entice the buyer to continue reading. You could also consider offering a special promotion or discount exclusively for the buyer to further incentivize them. Remember, the goal is to make them want to learn more about your product and ultimately make a purchase.
Lastly, understand the buying cycle. Retailers have specific buying cycles, so it’s important to understand when they are most likely to be looking for new products and therefore, respond to your email and follow up for a meeting. For example, some retailers may only consider new products once a year, only during trade shows or at the beginning of a new season. It you don’t know, try doing some research to find out if the retailer currently has a supplier program, vendor sign up or wholesale portal by searching the retailers name and “vendors” or “suppliers.” You may simply just need to scroll to the footer of the website to see tabs for vendor or wholesale opportunities.
2. Create meaningful relationships
Building strong connections with retail buyers can significantly increase your chances of success. Start by identifying your target audience and using platforms like LinkedIn to find buyers who work at your desired retailers. Make note of their departments and ensure they’re the right contacts for your product. If possible, also search for the buyers’ assistants and CC them on your outreach emails.
Once you have identified your target audience and their respective departments, it’s important to tailor your outreach to each individual buyer. Show them that you’ve done your research by referencing their previous buying habits and explaining how your product fits into their store’s inventory. Be sure to highlight the unique selling points of your product and the benefits it can bring to their customers. Additionally, consider offering exclusive deals or promotions to incentivize them to work with you. Remember, building a strong relationship takes time and effort, so be patient and persistent in your outreach.
3. Be thoughtful about your samples
When sending samples to retail buyers, ensure they are relevant and successful products that represent your brand well. Package the samples safely to avoid any damage during transit. If you’re pitching your product in person, use this opportunity to demonstrate the product and let the buyer feel and use it. You should also include a brief but compelling description of your product along with the samples. This will give the buyer an idea of what your brand is all about and what makes your product unique. Make sure to highlight the key features and benefits of your product that set it apart from others in the market. Additionally, be prepared to answer any questions the buyer may have about your product, such as production methods or materials used. Remember, the goal is to make a positive impression and convince the buyer that your product is worth carrying in their store.
4. Invite them to your booth
If you’re participating in trade shows or industry events, invite retail buyers to visit your booth. This provides an excellent opportunity for them to see your products up close and ask questions about them. You can also offer them a free sample of your product or a brochure that highlights the key features and benefits. This will give them a tangible item to take back with them and remember your company by. Additionally, make sure to have knowledgeable staff members at your booth who can answer any questions they may have and provide further information about your products. By doing so, you will be able to build relationships with potential buyers and increase the chances of making a sale in the future.
5. Practice value-based selling
Focus on convincing retail buyers of the long-term benefits your product provides, even if its price goes slightly above their assumed budget. Emphasize the value your product brings to their customers and how it can enhance their store’s offerings. This approach can be particularly effective if you have a unique product that sets you apart from competitors. By highlighting the unique value your product provides, you can help retail buyers understand how it will differentiate their store from others in the market.
In addition to emphasizing the long-term benefits, consider offering incentives such as promotional pricing or exclusive deals for early adopters. Another strategy is to provide educational materials or demonstrations that showcase the features and benefits of your product, giving buyers a firsthand look at its potential impact on their business. Ultimately, the key is to demonstrate that your product is worth the investment, and that the value it delivers will more than justify its price point.
6. Follow up
After your initial contact, be sure to follow up with retail buyers to keep the conversation going. This demonstrates your persistence and commitment to working with them. One effective way to follow up with retail buyers is to send them a personalized email thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in working with them. In the email, you could also provide additional information about your product or service, such as customer reviews or testimonials, that may help convince them to choose your company.
Another option is to schedule a phone call or meeting to discuss any questions or concerns they may have and to further demonstrate your dedication to building a successful partnership. Whatever method you choose, it’s important to stay on top of communication and be proactive in addressing any issues that arise.
7. Be unique
Differentiate your product from competitors by highlighting its unique features and benefits. Provide analytics data to support your claims and showcase the potential success of your product in their stores. For instance, our product features a patented technology that no other competitor has, which allows it to perform twice as efficiently as similar products on the market. Our product also boasts an impressive 95% customer satisfaction rate, as reported by third-party surveys. This is due to the fact that our product is made with only the highest quality materials, ensuring its durability and longevity.
Additionally, we offer a lifetime warranty, which no other competitor provides. By choosing our product, retailers can be confident in offering their customers a superior product that is backed by data and guarantees their satisfaction. With these unique features and benefits, our product has the potential to significantly increase revenue and customer loyalty for retailers who carry it.
If you implement these strategies, you can effectively approach retail buyers and increase the chances of getting your product into retail stores. Remember, persistence and building strong relationships are key to securing partnerships with retailers.
Jeanel has 15 years of retail, marketing and brand management experience. She has started an ecommerce business in 2019, after working in corporate retail and real estate as a senior managing director and former consultant. She's traveled all over the world, speaks at world renowned trade shows and events, holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce (B.Comm) and a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate. You can connect with her on Linkedin.