One of the most important things we do for our clients is helping prepare them to pitch a new item during annual line reviews. As you can imagine, buyers receive hundreds of requests to meet with vendors to review new item proposals. Retail stores have minimal space (especially in the dollar channel), so vendors are required to make the most compelling presentation possible for their item to be seriously considered by the buyer. Today I want to provide a quick list of recommendations for anyone preparing a sales presentation with a buyer. Let’s get started!
- Who is her most relevant competitor in the retail space? Shop that competitor and learn as much as you can about her competition’s planogram.
- Now do the same at her store. Walk multiple stores and get to know her planogram like the back of your hand.
- Does the buyer’s competition carry your product? If so, be sure to communicate that loud and clear in your presentation.
- Provide a retail audit of the competition’s like items. Take plenty of pictures and make a note of any promotions you may see. Have photos on hand, just in case the buyer has questions.
- Include any market and POS data if you are currently selling your product anywhere else in the market.
- Take pictures of her set and tell her exactly where you would recommend the placement of your product. Make it easy for her to understand how it would fit into her assortment.
- Make recommendations on which competitor you should replace and why.
- Prove how your product will provide incremental sales and why it is better than what she is currently carrying.
- Have a plan in place on how you will help promote your product. TPR’s, on-shelf signage, IRC’s and online coupons/marketing strategy
- Are you promoting your product online through social media? Do you have a community of followers you can direct toward her store?
- Always be sure to cover the four most important P’s in retail: product, placement promotion, and price.
- Keep the presentation short and concise. Leave time for her to ask questions and engage in conversation. Be sure to ask the buyer questions and ask for feedback!
- Be prepared to give your price. Know the cost of doing business with that retailer beforehand, and be sure you have accounted for those costs and are ready to discuss confidently.
- Don’t try to sell the farm in your first meeting. It is very difficult to get new placement, so we always recommend our clients to crawl before they walk and walk before they run. You do want to be perceived as being greedy or over the top. The goal is to get your foot in the door, build trust, and grow steadily with the buyer.
- Most importantly, ALWAYS look at your presentation through the lenses of your buyer. DO what is right for her. If you do this every time, you will never go wrong. AND they will see it during your presentation. It may not mean overnight success, but it will deliver long term sustainable success. And that is what truly matters.
I hope that this quick list of recommendations helps you prepare to present your new and exciting item to the buyer. However, we understand this can be an overwhelming process because so much is on the line. Plus, the sales cycle is so long! You get one shot per year to make a sale. That is why we are here to help. If you would like to schedule a consultation to learn more about our services, shoot us a message. We would love to speak to you and determine if we could partner together. Good luck!