I came across this great article, and there is so much truth in it, so I decided to share it.

You have a product that you think would be perfect for chain stores but you are nervous about the chain store buyer meeting. Maybe you have a meeting scheduled soon and you want to ensure success or maybe you just want to figure out your story prior to scheduling one. Whatever it is for you, the following content will provide you some quick tips and strategies to help you get started today!

Tip #1: Go shopping!

Chain store buyers absolutely hate it when you don’t check out their stores prior to meeting with them. Not only does it show that you are not serious about doing business with them but buyers will almost always ask you the last time you checked out their stores! So it’s to your benefit to make this happen.

Now I’m not talking about the stores that you have checked out months ago. I’m talking about stores you checked out recently. Why?

Because buyers want you to provide them suggestions and feedback as to how they can improve their bottom line. And the best way to do this is to have you review their stores and figure out why your product is better, different, more interesting than what they have in their stores today.

Buyers love it when you tell them how your product will fulfill a need for their customer base that they are currently not addressing in their stores. So help them figure that out by going shopping!

Tip #2: Review Vendor Portals

Did you know that most chain stores have a vendor website that will tell you the requirements they are looking for in new vendors?

These websites can be invaluable to review prior to a chain store buyer meeting. Not only will it show the buyer that you are serious about doing business with them, but sometimes these vendor websites provide information that you didn’t expect to receive!

For instance, while digging around the vendor site for Walgreens, I found a list of their buyer’s names and contact information! Woohoo!

So check out those vendor websites and set yourself up for success prior to the buyer meeting!

Tip #3: Come Up With Your Money Story

One of the main reasons I believe that companies are not getting their products into stores is that they haven’t convinced the buyer that their product will make them money. It’s as simple as that.

Most product companies approach buyers with features and benefits of their product and to be honest that’s why most product are not succeeding with retail! Buyers are in the business of generating revenue for their stores, so it is imperative that you convince them that your product will sell. Otherwise they will be more inclined NOT to buy from you.

So make sure you mention how many units you’ve sold so far, what retailers are currently selling your product, etc. Buyers want to know this!

And for those of you who do not have that ‘money story’ yet, have no fear! There’s always a workaround if you have a new product with no proven sales.

Tip #4: Create Effective Marketing Collateral

There is nothing more annoying to a buyer then receiving inefficient marketing collateral about a new product. And when I say inefficient I mean marketing collateral that does not tell a buyer in 5 seconds or less what the product is and does. Less is more when it comes to marketing collateral when trying to pitch a chain store buyer.

Buyers prefer visuals over endless words to describe a product. That is why bullet points, pictures of your product and packaging and a ‘money story’ is ideal to have on your marketing material – preferably on one sheet of paper!

Bottom line is that buyers are too busy to try and decipher new product information. That is why you should focus your efforts on telling your story on your marketing collateral in a one page simple format!

Tip #5: Don’t Overwhelm

If you have a meeting with a buyer, do not overwhelm them by showing all of your products at the same time. Create a story by showing them one product at a time…starting with your best sellers first.

A buyer wants you to walk them through exactly which product they should buy first and why. This shows them that you are serious, organized and that you understand your product and category.

So don’t just ask the buyer to pick and choose which products they like best…tell the buyer which products they should buy first and then show them the other product options that you have available after they’ve reviewed. Buyers appreciate this because it creates an effective chain store buyer meeting!


HT: SPSCommerce