Is having your products in the spotlight on the shelves of a shop one of your dreams? Make it come true by preparing a presentation document to meet shop owners and introduce your business.
There are a couple simple steps to follow to sell your products in shops. First, you have to prepare a presentation document including a short biography, a presentation of your products, a price list, a contract and your contact information.
A presentation document is a very important tool to prepare. It is like a business card or a resume. Retailers want to know everything about your business and who they are doing business with.
• Its style has to be coherent and it has to reflect your actual brand; the same type of design, colours, fonts, etc.
• It has to be short, about 1 to 3 pages maximum.
• The layout has to be easy to read, with short texts in point form.
• It has to be printer-friendly, so think about the environment.
• A pdf version is ready to be sent, and you may also have an online version (Some retailers will not want to open an attachment coming from an unknown sender.)
Advantages to selling in shops or in superstores are many:
• You will be viewed by a large number of potential clients.
• Your credibility and the confidence in your business will grow.
• Your peers, competitors, and potential clients will see you as a professional.
• You will have a more steady income.
Your biography has to be short, efficient and in point format because retailers don’t want to waste their time reading a novel! Here is what it should ideally include:
• Your story (in brief!)
• Reasons why your business exists
• Number of years in business
• Your location (do you work from home or do you rent space)
• Your team (if appropriate)
• Your financial results: number of sales/clients (if appropriate)
• References made to your business in media, magazines or blogs – it’s time to shine! (if appropriate)
• Awards/fellowship (if appropriate)
• Social involvement – charities you have been associated with or volunteering you made (if appropriate)
• The exact way to pronounce the name of your business or products (if necessary)
In brief, you have to be able to answer a simple question like: “Tell me about your business.” Be prepared!
It’s time to brag about your products and make them known!
• Have high-resolution photos of your products in context (connected to your brand), but also on a transparent/white background so they can be used more easily in any situation (on a retailer’s website or to print).
• Describe your products as if you could not see or touch them (use materials, odour, size, appearance, etc.).
• Give some examples of their use.
• Tell them who are you targeting with your products (use my editable questionnaire to find your ideal customer).
• Explain why your products are unique.
• Show how your products fill an existing need.
• Explain how the retailer will benefit from selling your products.
• Explain how your products are coherent with, or appropriate to be associated with the shop’s brand – show their relevance.
• Show how the product will be shown in their shop (packaging and labelling).
It is important to establish a correct selling price to retailers to make sure you make a profit (consider your materials, your time and your packaging). Of course, you will not make as much profit as if you were to sell them yourself, but keep in mind that the retailer has to pay the rent, its employees, advertising, etc.
Usually, you can expect a 60/40 ratio (60% for you and 40% for the retailer). Of course, it’s up to the retailer to decide and you may have to negotiate!
As for the payment, if you sell in shops, retailers will usually only pay when they sell your products. On the other hand, if you are selling to a superstore, you will be paid up front – a 30 to 90-day term – but you will probably have to provide a larger quantity of products.
Also, think about a minimum order and whether you wish to grant a rebate when selling a certain number of products or amount of money.
Make sure that the terms of the deal are clear and legal. Read the contract carefully and if the retailer does not have one, bring one with you. Here is what should be in it:
• The amount of the consignment (selling ratio)
• Terms of a minimum order (minimum number of products or amount of money)
• Terms of payment (payment method and deadlines)
• What’s included and excluded (wrapping, labelling, presentation support, etc.)
In brief, make sure that there is no ambiguity. Also, ask the retailer if he/she has insurance against theft, fire or damage, and add that into the contract. If he/she already has a contract, don’t hesitate to bring the contract home to read it calmly.
Proposal for a partnership
Usually, a proposal for a partnership with a retailer is done by email or you can call the retailer to make an appointment, but don’t show up directly in shops if you’re not expected. This could annoy the retailer and maybe he/she will not have time for you.
Firstly, you have to carefully choose shops where you would like to sell your products. Make sure that they are coherent with your values and with what you sell. Search the web by retail type and make a list. Don’t choose shops that are too close to each other: they may not appreciate it. Study shops by visiting their websites or even by going there to make a discreet visit. Learn as much as you can about them.
Communicate with retailers by email to make a proposal for a partnership. Here are some ways to establish the first contact:
• In the email text:
• Write a couple of descriptive lines (4-5) to introduce yourself (who you are, what you do, why you are contacting them, why you chose them, etc.).
• Include a couple of attractive clear images of your products (2-3).
• Include your contact info and any other relevant information.
• Provide a pdf and/or a web link to show your presentation document.
• If they don’t answer within 3 to 4 days, you can follow up by asking them if they have any questions or if they would like to meet with you.
• If you still don’t have an answer, you can call them (if you are courageous enough!) or repeat the above steps 4 to 6 weeks later!
A retailer wants to meet you? Yes!! Here’s how to prepare for the meeting:
• Be at your best, look professional
• Bring a paper copy of your presentation document
• Have an order form in hand, which will show:
• A sell sheet (a list of your products with images, descriptions, and prices)
• Products ordered
• A contract
• A sample or sample
• An example of the packaging
As you can see, it’s not so difficult! You only have to be well prepared – and be confident!
So, are your products now on sale in a shop? Don’t hesitate to tell your clients on your website and on social media about your partnership with a store! If you have not signed a partnership agreement, don’t be discouraged! Try again later or with another store. Your will come out stronger from the experience!
Do you have tips about selling in a shop or superstore? I’d like to know about your experience!
See you soon!