Karen Waksman, Founder of Retail MBA, is a Manufacturer’s Rep turned Author, Speaker and Consultant. She has sold millions of consumer products to the world’s largest retailers and now dedicates her time to teaching Entrepreneurs how to market and sell their products to Major Retailers, Online Retailers, Catalogs and Small Retailers, too!
Karen Waksman has taught over 10,000+ product entrepreneurs and companies across the globe on the subject of selling to retailers. Her goal is to empower and inspire companies to transform their businesses by providing them all of the necessary information they need in order to become chain store vendors.
Most importantly, Karen’s clients have utilized the Retail MBA time-tested sales formula to get their products into retailers such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, Kroger Grocery Stores, Bed Bath and Beyond, BuyBuyBaby, Groupon and much, much more!
New Training on Becoming a GNC Vendor – How to Sell to GNC and Become an GNC Vendor!
GNC Vendor – How to Sell to GNC and Become a GNC Vendor
Transcript for this video is listed below…
Hey, everyone. This is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA and today I want to talk about a retailer that comes up all of the time in my workshops and classes. People are always asking me about GNC. Now, GNC is a mass retailer that sells health products and so forth, supplements. They have over 7,000 stores that they’re responsible for currently. They’re doing phenomenally well, so I completely understand why you would want to sell your product to GNC, if you have a supplement or a health product and so forth. The tricky part to GNC, and that’s what this training is all about just to give you some tips and suggestions about selling to them, is that because they have 7,000 stores, tremendous buying power, everybody wants to sell to them, which means everybody’s reaching out to them.
All your competitors are calling them. They’re constantly getting bombarded with people who want to sell to them because they’re the money companies. The issue, though, is that they have very small stores. The format to those stores are fairly small, which means that they tend to have to be really selective in the products that they put in stores. The problem with that is if you have a new invention or whatever, they’re going to be looking at your numbers, your sales and so forth because they only have a certain amount of space allotted for any physical product. Number one, if you have any interest in selling to GNC, come up with a great story, either you’re selling this product really well somewhere or it, new interesting innovative, the next level of something that’s going on in the health industry.
Whatever it is, you definitely want to consider that. Now, I sell and I work with a lot of Amazon sellers and a lot of them are doing phenomenally well right now with supplements, and so I get calls all the time from you guys who sell a really common supplement and you will now want to sell to GNC because you’re making millions of dollars online and now you want to sell it there. The problem with that is that online doesn’t necessarily convert to retail, especially in this type of industry. Because if they’re already well the supplement, why would they need your product? If you are successful online and you are successful with an Amazon supplement or whatever, the recommendation is to go to their stores and see what’s missing from their assortment and then approach them with a product that they aren’t currently selling anymore.
That is more interesting to a buyer than you giving them a product that they’re already selling. It’s really hard to do that in those small format stores. That’s a quick tip and suggestion. Honestly, go there, see there whether or not that there’s one product that you have that would fit in there, that they’re not selling anywhere else. That’s a really nice angle for people to get their products into those stores. Anyways, I hope that helped. If you want to know actually what to say to these buyers to get them to buy how find the buyer’s contact information and so forth, definitely want to learn a little bit more before you approach them, there’s some cool finessing you have to do in order to reach out to buyers and so forth.
If you want to learn more, you can check out my Retail MBA website, retailmba.com. I actually have a free training series that you can just sign up to via email on my site and it’s very powerful. That will walk you through how to sell to big chain stores. Also, I have a full Retail MBA training program that in a weekend you’ll learn everything there is to know about selling to big chain stores and if you’re serious about this industry, you might want to take a look at that as well. Anyways, I’d love your feedback, commentary below. Otherwise, please be on the lookout for the next video I create on selling to retail chains. Thank you.
New Training on Fred’s Store Vendor – How to Sell to Fred’s and Become a Fred’s Vendor!
Fred’s Vendor – How to Sell to Fred’s Stores and Become a Fred’s Vendor!
Transcript for this video is listed below…
Hey everyone, this is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA. Today I’d like to talk about a retailer called Fred’s and how to become a Fred’s vendor. Now the reason I decided to create this particular training is because I create all sorts of videos on retailers because when you’re thinking about who to go after, a lot of times you guys miss all of these major opportunities, right? I mean, there’s so many retailers you don’t even know about because you live in certain areas of the world or you’re not in my business or whatever, and so I like to support you and giving you ideas of ways to make more money with your product. So let’s talk about Fred’s.
First of all, Fred’s has over 650 locations as of today. I mean, that’s tremendous. This is a massive retailer that a lot of you guys don’t know about. And they sell all sorts of products. I mean, they sell anything from snacks, toys, books, food, houseware products, videos, music, I mean you name it, tell sell everything. So again, another reason to explore that retailer, to see if your product would make sense for their stores. They’re a discount store, so they compete against retailers, national retailers like Dollar General, Family Dollar, and so forth. And so that’s something to consider, so it’s not for high end products or whatever, but you might want to take a look at their site or go to their stores and see whether or not your product makes sense for their stores, because a lot of people miss Fred’s as an opportunity for you to make money.
So what quick tip and strategy can I give you in regards to Fred’s? Well, they’re owned by Kroger. Kroger grocery store, so they are under the same umbrella. So why does that matter? Well, if for some reason you want to go after Kroger grocery store or some of the other brands under Kroger, and you actually get your product in there, meaning you get a vendor number, what that means is that if you actually do work with any retail chain, they’ll give you a vendor number. So it’s like your kind of like your code that they give you if you are a vendor they’ll give you your own specific vendor number and that’s yours and so that’s how they know who you are and all information about you is under this vendor number. Right? So the reason that matters is when a major chain owns several types of brands, they usually share the same vendor number.
So, if you are currently selling to Kroger or you want to sell to Kroger and you’ve got your product in there, and then you want to sell your product to Fred’s, you can actually reach out to Fred’s and let them know that you have a vendor number already because you already got one from the other chain. And again, they share vendor numbers across all their brands. And that’s really, really common for retail chains. That’s a major tip right there, right? Because again, these chain store buyers are busy, they’re looking at new products every day, sometimes they don’t take on products simply because of the fact that they have to fill out paperwork or they have to be added as a vendor and it takes time and they don’t feel like doing it. But if you reach out to a retailer and you already have a vendor number for their company, you can basically tell them that they get to bypass all of that paperwork and you are much more interesting to them and they might be willing to test out your product a lot faster than if they did if you didn’t have a vendor number already. So, same goes for if you went to Fred’s, you got a vendor number and you started becoming a vendor and so forth, you can go to Kroger and do the same thing and let the Kroger buyers know that you have a vendor number already.
So, if you want to know actually how to get a vendor number and how to pitch these buyers and how to get them to buy and so forth, that’s another training. You can take a look at my website retailmba.com, I actually have a free training series that’s a six-part training series. It’s really powerful and it’s free, all you have to do is opt-in with your email address. Definitely recommend learning more about retail before you reach out to them, because some people watch these short videos and then they go after stores and … I’m not doing you a service by you going out blind. I want you to learn how to get into stores so that you actually get in the first time, and so there are ways to make that happen. So definitely take a look at my free training program at retailmba.com, the link for that is listed below. Also, I have a full Retail MBA training program that in a weekend will actually walk you through all the ways of getting your products into stores and it’s so powerful and helps so many people get into retail chains. All of that is listed at retailmba.com and please share your comments below. We’d love to hear from you. Also, be on the lookout for the videos that I create. Thanks so much. Karen Waksman, Retail MBA.
Becoming a Disney Store Supplier – How to Sell to Disney Store and Become a Disney Store Supplier!
Disney Store Supplier – How to Sell to Disney Store and Become a Disney Supplier
Transcript for this video is listed below…
Hey, everyone, this is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA. Today I’m going to talk about the Disney Store and becoming a Disney Store Vendor. Now the reason I decided to create this particular training is because people always ask me about the Disney Store, how do I get products in there and so forth. So Disney is kind of a unique thing in that obviously they have Disney’s products all over, all sorts of different things, and so you definitely need to learn about licensing and putting licensed images of Disney and stuff on your products a lot of the time, ’cause clearly that’s important to Disney, right?
So that’s one topic and so forth, but today I want to talk about an example of something that worked for somebody that I know. So they had playing cards that they created, actually, like literally playing cards, and what they did was they converted these cards and they put stuff like Alice in Wonderland on these cards and so forth, so they got the license to be able to put that on these playing cards. So they created these really cool cards and so they licensed these imagery from, you know, Disney and so forth, and then they put them on the cards and they’ve been selling these cards, right?
My point in sharing that with you is that it’s a smaller company and so, you know, they’d been selling to local stores and so forth, and sometimes I like to share stories ’cause it helps people think through what to do. So with them, I live in San Francisco, and, with them, they actually went to their local Disney store in San Francisco. They have a popular one here. So they actually went to the store manager and they let the store manager know that they had this, you know, cool new product, playing card product, and they kept in touch with that store manager. Eventually they actually got their product in a Disney Store, in one store, and actually got moving that direction.
Now they didn’t buy right away. It has to match up to certain themes that they’re doing. The movie was coming out, so in their case it made sense that they were gonna do a whole section. The buyer remembered them and so they put their product in stores and so forth. So something to consider is you can actually sell to Disney kind of on a local or regional level as well, so that’s kind of fun. So you can put it in one store and say that you got your product into Disney and so forth.
Now I will tell you that he learned what buyers are looking for and how to express himself with his product and so forth through training and education. So, if you want to learn what to actually say to Disney and so forth, you don’t want to just show up. You want to learn a little bit more. You know, obviously you know now that they can buy on a local level, but I’d like to support you a little further. You know, please take a look at my website, RetailMBA.com. I actually have a free training series you can just opt into with your email address. I talk about how to actually reach out to retailers appropriately and so forth, ’cause there is some finessing and learning about retail before you just go after them, ’cause it makes the difference between you getting an order or not.
Also, you know, there’s other information on my website, like I have a full Retail MBA training program that’ll walk you through exactly in a weekend how to pitch buyers and all the things that you need in order to start making money right away. All that stuff’s on my RetailMBA.com. I would love your comment, feedback, and so forth, below this video. The links are listed below as well, and please be on the lookout for additional videos I create.
I hope this helped. Disney’s Store’s awesome opportunity. Thanks so much, Karen Waksman, Retail MBA.
Best Buy Vendor – How to Sell a Product to Best Buy and Become a Best Buy Vendor
Best Buy Vendor – How to Sell a Product to Best Buy and Become a Best Buy Vendor
Transcript for this video is listed below…
Hey, everyone. My name is Karen Waksman, and I’m the founder of a company called Retail MBA. Today I want to talk about getting your products sold at Best Buy stores and Becoming a Best Buy Vendor. Now, the reason I decided to create this particular segment is because I teach thousands of product companies across the country on the subject of selling to retails, and Best Buy comes up all of the time. If you have consumer electronics product, you typically wanna sell your product to Best Buy.
So today I want to give you some suggestions, make you think about things that you’re going to need to deal with in regards to working with Best Buy. So I hope this helps.
Anyways, let’s talk about selling to Best Buy. Well the big thing that I know about Best Buy is that, you know, everybody with a consumer electronics product who’s ever created one, probably wants to approach Best Buy or has already done so. And the problem with that, for people like you who are just getting started or are trying to get products into that store is that you’re dealing with a retailer that is competitive. It’s tremendously competitive for consumer electronics products because again, everybody is reaching out to Best Buy about their products.
So how do you differentiate yourself? Well one way to do that if you’re kind of just getting started and maybe you’ve reached out to Best Buy or you’re kind of about to, my recommendation is always to start reaching out to Best Buy to let them know about your product. But if they say no to you, please don’t take that personally. It really doesn’t mean anything other than you’ve picked probably one of the most competitive retailers out there in regards to that product type. So my recommendation to you is to reach out to other retailers who sell consumer electronics products.
You know, Sears sells consumer electronics products, Walmart sells consumer electronics products. Every major retailer now sells consumer electronics products, so why not reach out to other retailers who don’t only focus on consumer electronics, get your products into those stores, start building up your business, and then going back to Best Buy and showing them proof of sales of your product.
You see, Best Buy really ultimately since they see so many products in a given day of the same type of thing constantly, what they really care about is money. Because at the end of the day they wanna make sure that they’re generating revenue with their products. If you have every product on the planet coming to you, you wanna make sure that the one that you’re picking is gonna make you the most amount of money. It’s just the way it goes in retail.
So again, my suggestion is to go elsewhere, sell your consumer electronics products in other retailers and then refocus your efforts on Best Buy and let them know about your successes and the things that you’re doing. And that’ll help you kind of grow your business with Best Buy or at least get started.
Now one other thing I wanna suggest to you is that bestbuy.com which is their online store, is probably, it’s actually the top 10 websites on the web today. It is one of the largest websites on the web. It’s a top 10 site. Which means they get over, I think it was like a billion visitors to their site. That’s insane. That’s tremendous. So one suggestion I have for you is to potentially reach out to bestbuy.com and for most of you, you probably think that Best Buy stores and bestbuy.com is the same thing.
Actually in that space, bestbuy.com has its own buyers and buys products specifically for bestbuy.com. And Best Buy stores has buyers for Best Buy stores. So they’re actually another set of buyers for bestbuy.com. So if you’re having trouble getting into Best Buy stores, the other suggestion is to reach out to bestbuy.com because again, there’s another set of buyers and so forth. So you could potentially get your products into bestbuy.com which could be tremendously advantageous to you because they have a billion people who come to that site and that could be great for your business.
Anyways, I hope that provided value for you. If you wanna learn more on the exact steps from start to finish on how to get your products into Best Buy, you will probably love my Retail MBA program. The link to the site is listed below, so please take a look at that. Otherwise, I hope this helped you and please be on the lookout for the additional videos that I create. Thanks so much, it’s Karen Waksman with Retail MBA.
New Training on Becoming a Big Lots Vendor – How to Sell to Big Lots Stores and Become a Big Lots Vendor
Big Lots Vendor – How to Sell to Big Lots Stores and Become a Big Lots Vendor
Transcript for this video listed below…
Hi Everyone, this is Karen Waksman, Founder of Retail MBA, and today I want to talk about a becoming a Big Lots Vendor. Now, the reason I decided to create this particular training is because I help tens of thousands of product companies across the globe on getting their products in retail chains. I love what I do, and people ask me about certain retailers, so I just like to support and give you answers and quick tips and strategies, and that’s what this video is all about. Let’s talk about Big Lots. Well, first of all, they have over 1,800 stores that they’re responsible for, which makes it a very massive retail chain, and they actually sell a lot of different products. The reason I like that is because it’s a mass appeal audience. They’re looking for products in every category and so forth, and because I work with so many of you, it does support in the … I deal with products, all sorts of products, and so forth.
Anyways, the thing about Big Lots is that people always think that they only sell overstocked items. What that basically means is deeply discounted products, excess inventory, and that type of thing, and they do. They sell a lot of those. Actually, it’s very, very common that you go into a Big Lots, and there’ll be some amazing deal for that particular store that literally won’t … Like the product will sell out in one day, so it’s really, really common for people to go into Big Lots and literally buy all of their products for that one particular day, because it’s just this one product, it’s a closeout item and so forth. They make a lot of money bringing in other national brands and so forth into their stores, excess inventory and so forth, dumping it in their stores, and then people buying that product because it’s a great deal.
That’s one way to sell to Big Lots. Definitely, if you have any overstocked items in the excess inventory, anything in large volume that you want to get rid of, Big Lots definitely wants to know about you, and they do have buyers and so forth who would be interested in learning more about your product. But a lot of people don’t know that they actually sell common, consistent products in their stores as well, so they don’t just sell overstocked products. If you have a product that you want to sell the retail chains, a lot of people don’t even think about getting their products into Big Lots. Again, they are looking for deals. Generally, they like the national brands and so forth, but they buy new stuff too, whatever their audience will be interested in, so definitely go take a look at a Big Lots, see what’s in store, see if your product can fit and so forth.
It could be a great opportunity for you, again, because they don’t … A misconception is that they only sell overstocked items, but they actually don’t. They sell consistent products as well. Again, the purpose of this video is just to get you to think about other retailers that you might not, never have thought of before. That’s why I create all these different videos. Again, Big Lots is great if you have a lot of volume, you want your products in stores and so forth, and you have a great price on this product, it’s a common mass appeal item, Big Lots would be definitely a retailer to consider, and/or obviously if you have some sell-out item, close out any excess inventory and stuff. I mean, you can go into the stores and dump product on them, and a lot of times they’ll take that product if it’s a great idea, it’s a great product and so forth. They buy on a national level. They tend to also buy regionally and so forth because of the fact that they do deal with closeouts in certain areas and so forth.
Anyways, if you want to know exactly how to pitch them, exactly what to say to them to get them to buy, take a look at my Retail MBA website, retailmba.com. I either have a free training program, which is really powerful. It’s a six-part training series on how to get into retail chains. All you got to do is add your email address there, or I have a full Retail MBA Training Program, 20 hours of content. In one weekend you can know exactly how to pitch a buyer, how to get them to buy, all the strategies you’ll ever know about retail, and you can start next week getting your products in retail stores. Either way, just take a look at the links below. It’s retailmba.com, and be on the lookout for the additional free videos that I create. Thanks so much. Hope this helped.
BJ’s Wholesale Vendor – How to Sell to BJ’s Wholesale and Be a BJ’s Wholesale Vendor!
Transcript for this video is listed below…
Hi everyone! This is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA. Today, I want to talk about becoming a BJ’s Wholesale vendor. The reason I decided to create a video on this particular retailer is because some of you guys love the concept of warehouse stores, like Costco and so forth, and some of you might not have heard of BJ’s. So, I want to talk to you about that because there’s so many opportunities with retail to get your products into stores beyond the basic top retail chains and so forth.
BJ’s is a wholesale retailer. They’re kind of those warehouse type retail stores. It’s a membership only retailer, so you actually have to pay a membership to be part of this organization. People pay a membership, they can go to those stores, they’re a massive warehouse, and ultimately, they get great deals, right? ‘Cause they buy product in bulk and so forth. It’s a great thing, very similar to Costco and so forth. They have over 200 stores that they’re responsible for, so they can buy massive product. If you can think about a warehouse store, usually what you’ll see, is that they actually carry products in a pallet form. A pallet is a lot of products on one singular pallet. A lot of these warehouse retailers actually buy by the pallet, so can you imagine you get BJ’s interested in your product. All of a sudden they buy one pallet for one store, but they have over 200 stores they’re responsible for. If you can add the numbers up, that’s pretty substantial revenue for you. That’s why a lot of people like warehouse stores.
Some of the things to consider though, you definitely need packaging. That’s different for the warehouse stores versus other types of retailers. If you sell to just about any other retailer, you can create your own packaging, on a hanging card or whatever, however it is for that particular store. But, for a warehouse store, they actually require you to create really, really, really heavy packaging ’cause it’s on a pallet, there’s lots of products on there, it could get smooshed, and travel and so forth. They have a lot of different requirements. It does require you to change your packaging to ensure that you can handle, number one the volume, but also the fact that they’re gonna need you to create special packaging. It’s usually called “blister packaging”. It costs more to make, it adds to your bottom line. It’s like that stuff that it’s impossible to break through and so forth. You’re gonna need to create something like that in order to work with a warehouse.
Some people don’t like to do that because it requires them to create all new packaging and it’s a lot of work and so forth. Some people don’t care. They want that packaging, they want to get into that warehouse retailer. And so in your case, you’re gonna have to think about that if you want to go after a BJ’s or a Costco or something like that.
The other thing to think about is that BJ’s actually really talks a lot about the fact that they are very into private label. They buy a lot of private label goods. Basically, what that means, is they have their own brand names and then they buy products from manufacturers like you, and then, when they buy products from you they actually make you put it under their brand name. The packaging will be under your brand name and so forth, so people will not know that it’s coming from you. They’re actually purchasing your product, it’s called “private label”. Essentially, if you go into BJ’s and you see their BJ packaging, that doesn’t necessarily mean that BJ’s is creating it. It’s actually a company like yours that has created it, they just work with you to put their packaging on their product and so forth. If you’re okay with possible selling to BJ’s under their brand name, you don’t care about your name and your packaging all to be on that product, BJ’s can be a great resource for you, as well.
There’s so many things I can share with you about going after a warehouse retailer, like BJ’s. If you want to learn more, I actually have an extensive free training series at my website, retailmba.com. You just put in your email address and I have a six part free retail training series. Very, very powerful. I highly recommend exploring that. You don’t want to just go after these retailers unless you know more about how to actually approach them. There is some finessing that you have to do when you go after these stores. Sometimes I create these videos and I get nervous that you guys are just gonna go after them without knowing what else to do. There’s some things you gotta learn about retail, so take a look at my website, retailmba.com, for the free training. Very, very powerful. I’m not into fluff.
Also, I have a full Retail MBA training program that you can do in a weekend. And that thing, well, you’ll know everything there is to know about going after retail. Next week, you can go after retail chains and so forth. Both of those programs are on my website, retailmba.com.
Anyways, it’s Karen Waksman, Retail MBA. I hope this information provided value. Just a quick tip and strategy. Thanks so much!
Auto Zone Supplier – In this quick training we will be discussing how to sell to Auto Zone and become an Auto Zone supplier!
Auto Zone Supplier – How to Sell to Auto Zone and Become an Auto Zone Supplier!
Transcript for this video below on….
Hi everyone, it’s Karen Waksman, Founder of Retail MBA. Today I want to talk about becoming an Auto Zone Supplier. Some of you have products that are perfect for the auto aftermarket industry, and you want to get your products into those types of stores, obviously, so you want to know about becoming an Auto Zone Supplier. What can I tell you about Auto Zone?
First of all, I’d like you to know that this particular retail chain is massive. They have like 5,800 stores or more. That’s massive. That’s some serious buying power. Usually they have a corporate buyer amongst other things, but ultimately they can, if they are interested in your product, you can make a lot of money. The problem with these different auto retail chains is that they tend to be smaller, because they’re so massive, everybody wants to sell to them.
How do you differentiate yourself? What do you do? How do you get your products in front of them? One thing that most people don’t realize is that trade shows can be a magical way to get your products into retail chains. Now I teach all sorts of other ways to get into stores, but if you are interested in a retailer like AutoZone, and you are in a highly competitive market, you might want to check out a trade show called SEMA, S-E-M-A; SEMA Show. It’s, I think, in late October. I think it varies a little bit, but it’s in late October, I think. It’s called the SEMA Show. Basically if you have an auto product that’s, we call it the auto aftermarket industry, or there’s accessories, and all sorts of things for cars. This show is pretty amazing for that. They’re really, really well-known. They have a lot of amazing speakers.
Then, all of the retailers, who are interested in the space usually attend this show. I usually create videos with specific details about certain retailers and so forth, but in this case I felt really strongly to share that this trade show, if you’re in the auto industry, would be amazing for you to go. At least go just to walk through it, to get a feel for what the industry’s all about, because it’s only about accessories and so forth for the auto industry. Not everybody knows about that show, so at least definitely attend. Also, a lot of the retailers go there, so I highly recommend exploring that for this particular retailer.
Anyway, there’s so many other things I could share with you about getting your products into AutoZone. If you want to know exactly how to approach, pitch, and sell to AutoZone directly, not go to a show, not do anything like that, definitely check out my website RetailMBA.com. I have a free trading program that you can sign up to with just an email address. It’s a six part training program. It’s powerful, and that’s for free. You can take a look at that and I can spend some time with you. This is just a few minute video. Also, if you want to know how to get into retail chains today, and you’re ready to go, you can definitely check out my Retail MBA training program; the full program. That’s on that website, as well, RetailMBA.com. That program is 20 hours of powerful information. In a weekend you can go after retail chains and get your products in the stores.
Anyway, to take a look at those, there’s links listed below. Otherwise, I hope this provided value. Check out SEMA Show, and be on the lookout for the additional videos that I create on different retailers. I hope this helps. This is Karen Waksman, Retail MBA. Thanks so much.
Hey, everyone. This is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA. Today, we’re covering the five things to consider when pitching retail chain stores. If you have a great product
New Training Video – 5 Things to Think About Before Pitching Retail Buyers
Transcript for this Video on Pitching Retail Buyers
Hey, everyone. This is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA. Today, we’re covering the five things to consider when pitching retail chain stores. If you have a great product that you think would be perfect for Walmart or Macy’s, Home Depot, Kroger grocery store, or whatever it is for you, we’re covering the five things to think about when you’re pitching them and when you’re reaching out to them with your physical product. Let’s talk about those five things.
5 Things to Consider When Pitching Retail Buyer
They Can’t Hear you
The first thing I want you to consider is that most of the time, they can’t hear you. So what does that mean? Often, people are reaching out to retail chains themselves without guidance. Maybe they got a buyer’s list, and they paid for it, or maybe they submitted their product online to retailers. They’re just following their own strategies, but also trying to cut corners and save on cost by going after retailers themselves. The issue is that if you don’t know how to pitch the buyer correctly, the retail buyer is going to look at your information, kind of skim it and either not reply, or you’re just not going to get your products in the stores. Why? It’s because you’re not saying the words or things that matter to them correctly, and so they just kind of ignore you.
I’ve seen some of the most amazing products not get into retail chains simply because they are not being heard by the retailer because they just didn’t take the time to really consider finessing the verbiage, setting it up correctly, learning about how to do that and so forth before they pitch retailers. Hence, they just can’t hear you. That’s too bad because you deserve to get your products in the retail chain. Bottom line, focus on creating the best possible pitch for your retail product. It will make a huge difference for your business.
Talk About Your Success
The next thing to consider is they want more info about what you’ve done in the past, and so what does that mean? Pretty much every retailer would love to hear about your retail successes. If you’ve sold anywhere before, let’s say you’re trying to sell to Walmart, they’d love to hear about any other retail chains that you’ve sold into. Why? Because they love to hear that your product is not too risky. You see, if you’ve never sold your product anywhere before, they may get concerned if your product works for their store and would sell.
What do you do if you haven’t sold your product anywhere before? Well, there are ways to express that in such a way to get the buyer to believe that your product will sell, that your product will make them money even if you’ve never sold anywhere before. You might be thinking “How can I say that?” I’ve taught tens of thousands of people across the globe on how to get products in the retail chains. I have so many clients who got in the world’s largest retail chains without any sales. They haven’t gotten their products into stores anywhere. They went from selling nothing to getting into the majors, and so forth, so I know it’s possible. Pitching your product without ever having sold to a retail store takes some extra work, but generally speaking, they want to hear what’s been done with your product because they want to make sure the product’s going to sell once they put it in stores. Again, all this is learnable, but you just have to consider that.
Buyers Care About You
The next thing that most people don’t realize when they are thinking about things to consider before or when pitching retail chains is that these buyers can’t ignore you. What does that mean? Well, most people have the common misconception that the retail chains don’t care about you, and have so many products in stores that they’re not really going to pay attention to you. This is absolutely ridiculous to think such a thing. Today more than ever, these chain stores are hungry for the next new product. I have friends who are Walmart buyers. Trust me, I talk to all sorts of retailers all the time. I do large events and so forth, and we partner with buyers and everything, so I know that these buyers are scouring the web, going to trade shows, excited about when people approach them in very specific ways. Trust me, they are looking for that next new product.
The reason that’s important for you to know is because you should not pass up the opportunity to sell in retail because you believe retailers are not interested in looking for new products. It’s not true. The other thing to note is that they don’t mind if you’re a small company, if you’re startup or whatever. As long as you present your product appropriately, they would be very interested in the product. The reason for that is because their customers are looking for that next new product, and these retailers know that they will lose clients if they do not get new products in those stores. It’s a very different game today than when I first got started. Back in the day, it was not a big deal if the big manufacturers ran everything. Today, small companies have the opportunity to get in retail stores fairly easily, and that’s because these customers want that next new product. The retailers know that the small guys have that product, so definitely are hungry for new product.
Know Your Product Inside and Out
Next thing to consider is they want more insights today than ever about your systems and your processes. What does that mean? These retail chains are really curious about who you are as a business because they are really afraid that if they do business with you, that you might not deliver right. If you don’t deliver, they lose …. They have nothing on the shelves. Every square footage is accounted for, so what that means is that they’re going to look into what you’re up to, make sure that you’re going to deliver on time, they’re going to look at your shipping, your deliverability. Sometimes, they’ll explore your manufacturing and make sure that you got everything figured out. They’re going to explore you and your funding, and whether or not you’ll be able to pay for these orders because they just cannot afford for people to mess up when they’re working with them.
The good news is all the stuff is learnable. All this stuff can be cost-effective. It doesn’t have to cost a lot and so forth, but it is something that you have to think through before you reach out to these guys or when you’re pitching out to them because they actually are going to care about your systems and processes because they want to make sure again that they have a great partner, and it’s worth their effort to work with you.
Don’t Annoy Retail Buyers
The next thing is, and the last thing is that they wish you wouldn’t annoy them. That’s pretty funny to say but many people reach out to retail chains, and they reach out directly to the buyers and so forth, but they do it in a way that’s really infuriating to a buyer, and so the buyer is not interested in their product. Now, that doesn’t mean that the buyer doesn’t want to hear from you. If you approach them in a way that’s effective, that’s interesting to them, you’re saying the right words, trust me, they would be happy to know about your product and happy to know about you.
The problem is a lot of people are sending out information to the retailers, long-winded information, lots of detail, lots of words. These buyers don’t have the time to kind of decipher code because you may think that you have explained your product perfectly but for a retailer, they don’t have time to read through everything to figure stuff out or they don’t have time to open 3D graphics or whatever.
People get very creative when they’re very excited about their products. My point in sharing that with you is that they would love to know about you but a lot of times, you annoy them, so you definitely want to learn how to actually approach them correctly because one chain store order could be 10x or 100x tons your business. I mean, it can grow your business exponentially.
I hope that these five things to consider when pitching retail chains helps you when considering selling your products to retail. Again, this is Karen Waksman, Retail MBA. If you are interested in learning exactly how to approach, pitch, and sell to retailers, we actually do a live event almost quarterly. Our events are called Retail MBA live. You can take a look at the link below. The website for that event is retailmbalive.com, and basically, not only do we spend a full day with you walking you through exactly how to make money with your physical product, we help you create a pitch, your strategy, everything. We also help you partner and get your products reviewed by retailers and so forth.
You’ll definitely want to come to one of our events because they’re amazing and magical, and people love them. Anyways, I hope this helped. By the way, please be on the lookout for more trainings that I create because I’m here to support you in actualizing your dream of getting into retail chains. Thanks so much.
About the Author: Karen Waksman, Founder and CEO of Retail MBA, is an Entrepreneur Magazine, MSNBC and New York Times Company go to retail expert on the subject of selling to retailers! Karen has sold millions of units of products to the world’s largest retailers and has taught 1000’s of product companies across the country on the subject of selling to retailers at places such as CES (Consumer Electronics Show), US Patent Office, Stanford University, International Home and Housewares Show and so many other places. Her goal is to empower and inspire companies to transform their businesses by providing them all of the necessary information they need in order to become chain store vendors.
Do you have a product that you think would make you a perfect Bi-Lo vendor? Are you wondering how you can become a Bi-Lo supplier? The reason I decided to…
New Training Video – Tips and Strategies on How to Sell to Bi-Lo Stores and Become a Bi-Lo Vendor!
Transcript For This Video on How to Sell to BI-LO Stores
Do you have a product that you think would make you a perfect Bi-Lo vendor? Are you wondering how you can become a Bi-Lo supplier? The reason I decided to create this particular training is because I create a lot of trainings related to selling to retail. I like to talk about different retailers that are maybe more obscure, maybe most people don’t know about them, and so forth. My goal here is just to help you make money and tell you about opportunities with retailers.
Some of you may have a great food product, you want to get into retail chains, you want to go after groceries, but you’re only thinking about maybe the retailer in your local area. If you know about more retailers that are looking for new products, then you can expand your bottom line and start going after bigger stores, and more opportunities, and so forth. If you knew how many opportunities there were in the world to sell your product, you would never think twice, or worry about it at all.
Why Sell to Bi-Lo Stores
Let’s talk about Bi-Lo. Bi-Lo is a retail chain, grocery chain, and is responsible for 180 stores. They’re in the southeast region, so it’s a grocery chain in one region. Again, it’s likely some of you might not have heard of them. If you have a food product, one thing that I could tell you about Bi-Lo grocery stores is that generally they are always looking for new and interesting products.
For example, if you are going to go after grocery stores and you created, say, some barbecue sauce, or whatever it is that you’ve created, make sure that your product would pop off the shelves. This means your packaging is good and stands out. Packaging is really important for these grocery chains, because you’re dealing with so many similar products. You really want to make sure that your product stands out in stores, and that’s really, really important to think about.
The common way to sell your product in Bi-Lo Stores
With grocery chains they tend to buy on a national level, sometimes regional, and always local, because they’re dealing with perishable goods. If you have a food product, sometimes you could literally go and sell to the local store manager, and get your product into the stores verses other retailers where you only can go to the corporate buyer who buys for all of their stores. For example, the national buyer usually buys for all their stores. Regional or local buyers usually buy on a regional or local level.
With grocery, because they deal with a lot of perishable foods, they tend to have local buyers as well. That’s great for you because you could, again, you could conceivably get in your car, go to the store, and let the store manager know that you have this new product that you’d like to sell. That could be a possible way to get your product into one or more of their stores. Then you can grow store by store and so forth.
Want more ways to sell to Bi-Lo stores?
Now, there are very specific ways on how to approach retail stores like Bi-Lo and what to say to retailers to get them to buy, so this video is just a short video giving you some ideas about the fact that they do buy locally, and so forth. My recommendation is if you do want to learn more about how to get products into stores, please learn more.
My website, RetailMBA.com has a free video training series. It’s a six part training series, over an hour long, powerful content. It will explain to you about retail chains and how you can get your products into stores. Please enroll in the series to learn more before you go after Bi-Lo.
There is some finessing that you have to do when you go after these stores. My full Retail MBA Training Program teaches you exactly how to pitch buyers, and how to get them to buy, even if you have zero sales experience, or buyer relationships. You can learn all of this in a weekend. All of this is on my Retail MBA website.
Otherwise, please be on the lookout for the additional videos that I create! I love teaching on this topic of how to get products into retail chains. I truly wish you the best. Karen Waksman, Retail MBA, thanks so much.
About the Author: Karen Waksman, Founder and CEO of Retail MBA, is an Entrepreneur Magazine, MSNBC and New York Times Company go to retail expert on the subject of selling to retailers! Karen has sold millions of units of products to the world’s largest retailers and has taught 1000’s of product companies across the country on the subject of selling to retailers. She’s spoken at places such as CES (Consumer Electronics Show), US Patent Office, Stanford University, International Home and Housewares Show and so many other places. Her goal is to empower and inspire companies to transform their businesses by providing them all of the necessary information they need in order to become chain store vendors.
Hey everyone, this is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA! Today I want to talk about the number one thing buyers want you to know about selling to their stores
Transcripts for This Video on the #1 Thing Retail Buyers Want You to Know About Selling to Them
Hey everyone, this is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA! Today I want to talk about the number one thing buyers want you to know about selling to their stores. So, if you have a great product that you think would be perfect for Walmart or Macy’s, Home Depot, corporate grocery stores, Bed Bath and Beyond, or whatever it is for you, this information is about how to sell products to stores and what the number one thing that buyers care about will support you in thinking through the process of using retail chains as a distribution strategy. If you want to get your products in these stores, these are very important pieces of information that you need in order to ensure success.
You are responsible for your product
So, what’s the number one thing that buyers care about or want you to know about when selling into their stores? It is that they are not responsible for your product — you are. So, what does that mean? Well, most people think that if they get a product into a retail chain like Bed Bath and Beyond or whatever, that they are good to go once they get a purchase order, and the buyers will manage everything and everybody will be happy. Well, that’s not really how it works with how to sell products to stores. What actually happens is the buyer will give you a shot and test out some of your products in their stores. At that point, they’ll see if the product sells. If it doesn’t, they’ll move on or if it does sell, they’re going to stay and they’re going to continue to work with you.
More specifically, they don’t want to deal with making sure that your product got there on time, that your packaging was correct, and that it didn’t get squished in delivery. Or if you put your product on a clip strip, which is one of those plastic strips that has a bunch of your products on it, that when it is delivered to stores that the product is placed in the correct way or not.
Buyers can get so busy that they’re not paying attention to your product and so forth. If you go to stores and you see that your product is placed in the wrong section of the store by accident, sometimes it does happen, the buyers are going to expect that you handle it. A lot of times they’re too busy or they don’t even respond or whatever. And it’s like you had that one shot to get that product in stores and so you just want to make sure that things are managed and so forth.
Keep Track of Your Product Sales
These retail chains have a lot of systems in place for you to review the products in real time to see whether or not the product sells or not. For that reason, they’re expecting that you’re looking at the systems, making sure that the product is selling. If it’s not selling, if something looks strange, they want you to be all over it, seeing what’s going on there. Ultimately if that product is not selling, you need to get into those stores to see what’s going on.
Now it might freak you out and some of you might say, “Oh, then I’m not going after retail chains.” I’m telling you this not to freak you out, but to help you think about the process of the buyer’s giving you a shot, and how this could be millions of dollars for you and your business. Keep this in the back of your mind, learn what you need to know in advance about how to sell products to stores so that when these things come up you’re not going to be freaked out. That’s just the point in sharing this stuff with you. It’s really just to support you and helping you and letting you know that all of this stuff is easy to learn and totally manageable. And it is a lot easier than you think, and you can avoid a lot of these headaches, a lot of these issues in advance before you even deal with retail chains.
Get Your Product in Retail Stores with My Help
If you want to learn exactly how to reach out to retail chains, what to say to them to get them to buy, how to ensure that this is taken care of, that your product will be managed correctly so the product sells and everything converts, then you definitely want to learn more! We do amazing events quarterly called Retail MBA Live. RetailMBALive.com is the website. And essentially it’s a one-day event, we power through exactly how to get your products in retail stores. We help you create your pitch, finesse the buyers to make sure that they’re interested in your product and ultimately buy from you.
We explain to you exactly what’s going to happen to you in stores, how to manage issues, expectations, how to make sure that you do all this stuff in a very affordable and cost-effective way. You can do this the hard way and get into the retail chains and go through all these nightmares or you can learn it in advance. Have somebody walk you through it and ultimately just zip through and how to sell products to stores and hopefully make as much money as physically possible. That’s why I do these things. By the way, when I host these live events I usually partner up with retail chains so that you can have product reviews and so forth. So, we’re really trying to help you in every way possible to make money with retail chains.
I hope this provided value for you. Please be on the lookout for the additional videos that we create on selling to retail chains. Thanks so much. Do you have questions for me? Get in contact.
About the Author: Karen Waksman, Founder and CEO of Retail MBA, is an Entrepreneur Magazine, MSNBC and New York Times Company go to retail expert on the subject of selling to retailers! Karen has sold millions of units of products to the world’s largest retailers and has taught 1000’s of product companies across the country on the subject of selling to retailers at places such as CES (Consumer Electronics Show), US Patent Office, Stanford University, International Home and Housewares Show and so many other places. Her goal is to empower and inspire companies to transform their businesses by providing them all of the necessary information they need in order to become chain store vendors. Learn more about Karen.
Karen Waksman is a Manufacturer’s Rep turned Author, Speaker and Consultant. Her goal is to empower and inspire companies to transform their businesses by providing them all of the necessary information they need in order to become chain store vendors.
If anyone sells BOOKS and wants to know how to get them on the shelves of retail chains – please join us at our upcoming live webinar training with co-host John Kremer! This will be so much fun! People always ask me how I would sell books to retail chains BEYOND just Barnes and Noble – so I thought I’d create a training segment around it. Click here to join us this Thursday at 5pm PST! And…tell your friends! :) Xo www.productsonshelves.com/books… See MoreSee Less
“Toys "R" Us isn’t Dead Yet…Toys “R” Us may have closed its U.S. stores this year, but fans of the iconic retailer’s brands — like Animal Zone and Imaginarium — won’t be completely out of luck this holiday season. Kroger is teaming up with the hedge fund that owns Toys “R” Us brands to offer 35 toys at nearly 600 locations. The toys will be priced from $19.99 to $49.99 and be featured in a section of the store known as Geoffrey’s Toy Box. Geoffrey, a cartoon giraffe, served as the longtime mascot of Toys “R” Us. The grocery giant joins Walmart, Target and other retailers vying for a bigger bite of the toy sales left behind by Toys “R” Us’s closure." Perspectives curated by LinkedIn Editors www.cnbc.com/2018/11/02/geoffreys-toy-box-is-coming-to-kroger-this-holiday-season.html… See MoreSee Less