Distribution is the key to increasing sales, but finding a retailer who is willing to talk to you and give your product a chance is not as easy as it may seem. Besides cold calling retailers and working with experienced wholesale distributors, how can you catch buyers’ attention? Try one of these ways:
Hold off on the sales pitch.
Instead of constantly calling or emailing a buyer to pitch your product, approach it from a new angle. Contact the buyer and introduce yourself as someone who has a small business and is hoping to learn more information about the buying process as a whole. Arrange a lunch or quick phone call to discuss how the retailer finds new suppliers, how many times a year they accept new suppliers, and what their current needs are. Although you will be talking about sales-related items, it won’t seem as aggressive as a straightforward sales pitch, so you’ll be able to build a unique relationship with the buyer.
Create a YouTube video.
Direct and star in your own YouTube video directed at the buyer you have your eye on. In the video, discuss why the buyer should take a chance on your product-similar to what you would say in a sales pitch-but add a bit of humor to it as well. Make sure you address the buyer by name in the video so he knows you made it just for him and no other buyer is receiving it. This is such a unique way to pitch your product, you will definitely stand out from other companies pitching to the same buyer.
Build up a following.
Some products are so appealing, brands don’t need to pitch themselves to retailers because buyers are already knocking down their door. How do they do it? One way to pull this off is by building a strong and loyal fan base through social media. Get the word out about your product while it’s only being sold online or in limited retailers. When fans start to ask where they can find your product, encourage them to ask their local retailer to consider carrying it. If a lot of people are coming in with the same request for a product, retailers will have a hard time turning them down.
Send samples with customized notes.
Although most brands know to send product samples to retailers, go one step further by attaching a note to the package explaining where your sample would go in the store, and how it would complement the other products around it. Of course, this requires that you do some research by visiting the retailer’s store and collecting this information. Not only will the buyer appreciate that you put so much thought into the package, but your note will also help him envision how your product will fit in the store.
Have you ever managed to get your product in front of buyers in a unique way? Share your story in the comments below!