How to Get Your Product into Small Stores to Increase Your Sales
When you prepare to launch a business, you have to put a lot of consideration into how you will sell your products. Do you want to create a brick-and-mortar storefront, where you control design and can build a loyal local audience? Will ecommerce be the right method for you, to expand geographic reach? Or will you rely on small third-party sellers with established brands and niche audiences to reach potential clients, a successful but less controllable option? Many businesses even use a combination of methods, all of which serve the purpose of getting your products in front of the people who will buy them. Here’s how to get your product into small stores, to leverage third-party selling:
- Launch a landing page
- Find potential buyers
- Prepare an emotional pitch
- Followup with a technical pitch
- Do the heavy lifting
- Remain engaged
- Stay determined
Launch a Landing Page
A huge part of placing products in the storefronts of third-party businesses is first making those businesses aware that you do wholesale. One way to accomplish this task is to add a website landing page with all of the important and relevant information a business may want to know about the wholesale program you run. The landing page you create can both help business owners find your program and reach out directly, and provide the leads you contact directly more information after you make contact.
How to Get Your Product into Small Stores: Find Potential Buyers
Sure, maybe a business owner will stumble across your website or product and absolutely have to reach out to ask if they can sell it in their own store. But that’s unlikely. Instead, the far more common scenario for business owners is to have to launch a dedicated search for retailers that might be interested in becoming a wholesale partner. The best partners are ones whose existing product lineup is cohesive with the product you intend to pitch, and whose values and mission line up with yours. That will help you to establish a long-lasting relationship that will benefit both parties for years to come. There are a few different ways to find potential buyers when figuring out how to get your product into small stores:
- Start Local: If you want to sell a product in Walmarts around the globe then, by all means, pitch to Walmart. But understand that your chances for success are much lower than if you’re pitching to small, local businesses. By establishing a connection through your similarities, a local company is more likely to want to build a network of support with your brand, which may involve becoming a product partner.
- Attend Trade Shows: Searching for local partners is a great technique but it’s very time consuming because you can only display your products to one business at a time. Trade shows, on the other hand, allow you to demonstrate products and establish connections with dozens of different companies within your industry at a time.
- Do a Google Search: When first learning how to get your product into small stores, you may need to try out a few different methods of reaching potential partners before you find the tactic that works best. An online search is another great method to add to your repertoire, especially if you want to expand your geographic range outside of the local area.
Prepare an Emotional Pitch
Once you’ve reached out to a business and successfully set up a time to meet with them, you need to plan the pitch that will hopefully hook them as a product partner. There are two crucial parts to your pitch, the first of which is emotion. By establishing an emotional connection to your brand and product, you increase the chances of a third-party business wanting to sell it on their shelves. You can develop emotion through a couple of methods:
- Craft a Story: A compelling story about your brand and product helps to differentiate it from competitors, while also helping to make you memorable.
- Share Your Mission: Many businesses work towards accomplishing a goal (other than making money). Some aim for being green and sustainable, others use some profits to support charities, and more. By sharing your mission and pitching that potential partners work towards that mission with you, you create another compelling reason for them to sell the products you pitch.
- Tailor Your Pitch: Another great way to increase the likelihood of a small business wanting to partner with you is to tailor the pitch specifically to the audience. This creates a better personal relationship that enhances the business relationship.
Followup With a Technical Pitch
We just mentioned that every pitch should have two elements. The first is an emotional aspect. The second is a technical element. Emotion will help you hook the audience, but the technical side will help seal the deal. A few key aspects you should include are:
- Sell Sheets: The sell sheet is a document, typically one page long, that acts as an informational brochure you can leave with the store owner. It allows them to look back at product information in order to help them decide whether or not to partner with you. Sell sheets include product pictures, product display examples, pricing information (which should be tailored to the needs of your audience), information on how to order/reorder, testimonials from other partners as well as customers, and your contact information.
- Partnership Terms: Establishing a sales partnership with a third-party can only work if it benefits both you and the business you want to partner with. That’s why your pitch needs to explain the terms of the partnership that you are seeking. Terms may include things like the minimum opening order or reorder, the methods of payment you accept, the turnaround time to provide the third-party with more product, your exchange/return policy, and more.
- Send Samples: In addition to having abstract knowledge about the product they may sell, businesses will want to see the product in person. Sending samples, or even small batches that the company can sell as a test, may be the last persuasive nudge they need.
Do the Heavy Lifting
If you’ve reached this point and successfully convinced a small business to partner with you and sell your products, your next goal should aim to maintain that relationship moving forward. Holding on to existing partners is much easier than doing the work to create new ones. One way to achieve a continued partnership is to make selling your product as easy as possible for the store owners. A few ways to accomplish this include:
- Prepare Packaging: When a business receives a shipment of products, they want to be able to unbox the shipment and put it right on their shelves. However, if they have to spend time packing or repacking the product to match their branding or sale processes (for example, adding a bar code), then the process of selling becomes a hassle and doesn’t encourage repeat orders. Instead, create simple packaging for your products that will look good on any shelf or work with your partner to reach a compromise.
- Ordering System: When a product runs out, the seller will need to order more. If the process of doing so is time consuming and difficult, they may cut the product from their roster altogether. Rather than risk this, carefully plan and streamline your ordering system so that all of your partners have a pleasant and efficient experience. In addition, a well-planned ordering system shows organization and thought in your business which helps to nurture trust.
- Help with Marketing: Marketing is a huge part of any business’ success, whether it belongs to you or to your partners. Help them with their marketing by promoting their store on your social media (which increases exposure to your product), and work with them to create any relevant promotional materials they may use in relation to your product, such as gift cards or coupons.
If you don’t have the means to provide your product partners with above-and-beyond assistance (perhaps you’re too far away, or have other time demands), at least continue to nurture the relationship by remaining engaged with partners. Periodically email them asking for feedback, promptly answer questions they may have, and otherwise support their business, in order to encourage them to maintain support of you.
Finally, getting your product on the shelves of third-party businesses is a time-consuming, difficult task. You’re more likely to receive rejections and non-responses than you are enthusiastic yeses. However, if you feel that third-party, in-store selling will be best for your business, maintain determination towards the task. Once you slowly start to build a network and get the hang of pitching to partners, the successes will keep on coming.
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