How to Get Your Product into Stores – 5 Tips for International Companies Trying to Sell to US Retail
New Training on How to Get Your Product into Stores – 5 Tips for International Companies Trying to Sell to U.S. Retail
Do you have a product perfect for U.S. Retailers such as Macys, Home Depot, Walmart, CVS, Kroger Stores, etc?
And are you an international company trying to sell to U.S. Retailers? Then you will absolutely love our new training video on the subject!
We discuss the top 5 things international companies do to harm their chances of selling into retail chains!
Click on the link to watch!
(For those of you who prefer to read this content, transcription is included as well below!)
Wishing you so much happiness and success.
Karen Waksman, Retail MBA
P.S. Want to Get Your Products into Chain Stores in a Fraction of the Time? Check out our Retail MBA System! We walk you through exactly how to approach, pitch and sell to chain stores. No sales experience, patents or buyer relationships required!
Transcription for How to Get Your Product into Stores – 5 Tips for International Companies Trying to Sell to U.S. Retail
Hey everyone. This is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA. And today I want to talk about the five tips to success for international companies trying to sell to US retail chains. So if you have a great product but you live overseas like the UK, Canada, India, wherever you are and you want to sell to Walmart or Home Depot, or Macy’s or whatever it is in the United States, and you’re really curious about it, you need some strategies and some thoughts about what to do with that. So I want to give you some support here on the five tips to success as international companies trying to sell to US retail chains.
So let’s talk about the five tips. Tip number one, make sure you understand the target market. So if you’re in another country and your packaging has certain things on the packaging that matters to your country, it might not matter to the US. It sounds so simple, but I’ve seen it happen all the time. It’s not translating well. So you’ve got to hire somebody, find somebody in the US who can review the information, make sure that it’s clean and clear for the US retail market. The buyers don’t play in the US. It’s got to be professional. It’s got to look good. They’re not messing around with anything other than what’s ideal like for their ideal audience.
Also, for the target market in the United States, if you’re selling to women, you want to put women on your packaging, certain types of things. You want to get additional support to make sure that you understand the US target market. It is different. And again, like in Canada, you have French on the box, it’s not going to be the same in the US. You might have to change your packaging out. There are some things you have to do and to hyper focus that intention there.
Another thing is that you need to understand that if you’re going to be interested in selling to US retailers, calling them directly from your home country usually is not an ideal thing for you to do. So let me explain. So say you’re calling from the UK, we’ll use the UK as an example. You want to sell to Home Depot, you’re calling, trying to do a deal with Home Depot, right? What happens is that the buyers typically don’t call you back if you are overseas, except for one particular division that generally works with the international market. Most of the time, the buyers are busy. They have a lot going on.
They’re not going to call you at the different time differences and so forth unless you reach out to a specific location, divisional within their organization that supports the international market. So there’s a couple of ways to sell to US retailers. One way is to be he based in the United States even though you live in the UK, meaning that you set up an LLC or whatever in the United States, and you basically run your business from your home country but somebody in the US is setting up, you have a business there where somebody can interact with the buyer and they think that you also have a division in the US. That’s okay. That’s very easy for the buyer to call back.
However, the other option is to reach out to them from your home country and only be placed in a group where you are combined with all sorts of other international suppliers. So basically the difference between you making millions of dollars or not is, are you willing to place somebody in the United States, one person, somebody who can interact with buyers, set up a little office there, super basic, and then have all the interaction back and forth to get the biggest return on investment, or are you only interested in selling directly from your home country but then all of a sudden you’re piled into the international market, which basically means that they’re looking for commodity-based products, products that are really great priced.
Otherwise, they can get most of the stuff from the US and so forth. Yes, people sell from other countries and so forth all the time, but all I’m saying is the opportunity is for you to possibly open up a tiny little office in the United States, have her interact with you and have a much better experience with that. So hope that makes sense. My suggestion is to consider getting a foot on the street in the United States to help you along. Otherwise, she tends to not call you back. Otherwise, you’re going to be pigeonholed into the international market, which tends to take a lot longer.
You’re kind of clumped in with all the other international companies. And you basically are being pressed for price and these types of things, because otherwise they could buy a lot of those products in the United States. So I hope that makes sense.
Another thing that a lot of international companies struggle with is that they rely on third parties that they don’t know very well. And they’re just agreeing to work with them because they don’t know very many people in the United States. And so that actually can be disastrous. So say you hired a sales rep who says that they can help you and they’re in the US, you don’t know them that well, but you’re rushing because you really want to work in the United States. And they say that they can help you. That actually backfires a lot.
What you want to do is since you’re so reliant on a third party to support you, you definitely want to take your time on picking who your partner is going to be because it could really, really harm your business. I’ve seen so many international clients not get anywhere because frankly, that person promised them the world and is not doing much and so forth. So definitely want to invest in learning about those people. You got to fly in, you got to talk to them, you got to do things. You don’t have to, but the more you take it seriously, the longer term opportunity. I’ve seen for people get to really invest in the time to make sure that third parties are going to do the best for you in your business.
Another thing that causes a lot of international companies pain and suffering in selling to the US is, and some strategies to think about is that you guys don’t always know all the different ways to make money with the US retail market. And that’s not your fault. You don’t live here. You don’t understand the retailers and so forth. Most people who live in the United States don’t know the money strategies. When I say money strategies, I mean, there’s probably 20 different ways that you could sell to Home Depot or whatever. There’s 20 different ways that you can contact them.
You can sell to the online division. You can sell to the store division. There’re so many different buyers within the retailers, a lot of different opportunities that people miss out on. So if you’re going to go out to the US retail market, I highly recommend getting a coach or somebody in the United States who focuses on the US retail market. You can always work with us or somebody else, but just make sure you got enough data to understand all your different options because that could save you so much time, money, headache.
Because a lot of international companies lose a lot of money because of the simple errors of not knowing the market very well and all the money strategies and all the ways to sell to US retailers. There’re so many different revenue opportunities. We’re going to be placing new videos talking about the different money strategies soon enough in our YouTube channel. So be in the lookout for that. But otherwise, just note that you definitely want to make sure that you understand all the different strategies and all the ways to make money before you launch into the US retail market, because it could be the difference between you making millions of dollars or not.
The final thing that people struggle with in the international market is that you don’t know how to communicate with buyers about your product effectively. It sounds pretty common, but the reality is that in the US retail market, they’re very particular about what you say to them about your particular product. I’m not talking about accents, I’m talking about the words you use to get the buyer to believe that your product will convert for instance in stores. They want to make money. They want to make sales. They have their own language. It’s very complicated to just assume that just because you’re a good salesperson, that things will convert really well for you nicely in the United States.
You definitely want to understand their language in the United States, again, through education, coaching and so forth, and some support. Because ultimately what will happen is the buyer will look at your product and say no to you. And we don’t want that. We want a yes. We want someone to make sure that that product succeeds in stores, and we want to make sure that buyer knows that this product is going to do well. And there are ways to express that to the US retail buyer. And they’re very particular about their words, more so than most industries I’ve ever worked in.
Anyways, those are the five tips to success with selling to chain stores if you live overseas. The big thing here is just to make sure that you understand that there’s so much money to be had in the US retail market. Just get a little education. You’ll be fine. If you want to learn more about how to sell to US retailers, we actually have a 90 minute webinar that’s absolutely free that you can sign up to below. The link is listed below. Just click on that link. You can also go to retailmba.com/free to get access to this as well. Basically, we just walk you through selling to US retailers, we take our time. You can ask questions and so forth. We also have a replay option as well.
Or if you like this information, like us, subscribe, comment below. We’re always adding new content. This is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA, and I hope this helped. Thanks so much.