If you are looking to secure a contract with a retail buyer, there are a few musts everyone should follow. One of these key rules is to only contact a buyer if you are prepared. Buyers can’t stand when vendors have not prepared before a sales presentation – it wastes the time of the buyer and the vendor misses out on an opportunity.
In order to avoid the nasty scenario above, and ensure that you are ready to meet with a potential buyer, be ready to answer any and every question about your product. Because potential buyers will answer to senior management, they will want to be as informed as possible about your product before making a purchasing decision. A few typical questions you can expect are:

  • Who is the target customer for this product?
  • Are you priced competitively?
  • Who is your competition?
  • Has your product been tested?
  • Do you hold patents for your product (can it be knocked off)?
  • What is the average defect rate for your product, and what is the warranty?
  • What are the minimum order requirements to purchase your product?
  • How is your product packaged to sell (box, clip-strip, clam-shell)?

You should be prepared to answer these questions, and many more, before meeting with a potential new buyer. Being fluent in your product and policies will be necessary to having a productive conversation.
A second key element to being prepared for a meeting with a retail buyer is assembling a presentation and buyer’s packet. Some fundamentals that should be included in your packet and presentation are:

  1. Letter of Introduction – Who are you? What are you selling? Who are you selling it to? What is so great about your product and why do people want it? This letter should not be very long, and should serve to inform the potential buyer, as well as peak their interest.
  2. Business History – An overview of the company is part of your story and your branding. This should be a short and sweet story of your history.
  3. Overview of the Product – Why are you selling this product? What demand does it meet? What does the product do? Be specific enough to answer questions before they arise, and persuasive enough to entice the potential buyers into learning more.
  4. Line Sheet – This is a document that includes pictures and descriptions of your product, prices, delivery dates, minimum order requirements, contact information, and other necessary relevant information. This document is intended to be an outline of the product, so keep as organized and easy to read as possible.
  5. Order Form – Include an actual order form if available, or else a guide to ordering if not. This document should include all possible information necessary to correctly order your product, including payment options, quantities, different styles (if applicable), etc. Again, this should be organized and easy to read.
  6. Product Samples – If you are able, include a sample of your product or at least a brochure with detailed descriptions and professional pictures. Samples should be a replica of the actual product and a quality that is realistic for the potential buyers to expect in the future.

One final suggestion for being as prepared as possible before meeting with a buyer is identifying who would be most effective at selling this product. While you want someone who is very knowledgeable about the company and the product, at the end of the day this is a sales pitch and some companies choose to hire sales representatives. These representatives may be manufacture reps or brokers paid on commission, or you may choose to handle the meetings with in-house staff, all depending on your company’s circumstances. Either way, following these brief guidelines will help you be prepared when meeting with a potential new buyer.
To learn more how to prepare for your meeting with a retail buyer, visit www.retailbound.com