A student of mine called me the other day because she was frustrated about selling products to retailers. She had the right product and all of the resources at hand to make things happen, but still nothing! So she called me to figure out why. And as I asked her a series of questions, I realized that it wasn’t what she was doing; it was her expectation of how long it should take to get her product into chain stores! At that point, I knew I should probably write an article about this explaining the process a little further.
Getting a product into a chain store can be a slow and frustrating process. It takes time, persistence and the right product. However, the good news is that if you get a test order from just one chain store, and that test order goes well, the return on investment can be huge!
So you will have to put in extra hours initially to get that first purchase order from a chain store and to ensure that your product sells well during that test. In the meantime, be prepared to be rejected by buyers. It’s just the way that it goes with chain stores. But the good news is that all you need is one chain store success story to catapult your business!
So going back to the original question…how long does it take to get your products into chain stores? It’s not an easy question to answer. Sometimes it takes months and months and even a year to get products into chain stores, sometimes it takes no time at all. The real questions you should be asking yourself are:
1) How committed am I to getting a chain store buyer to buy?
2) Am I willing to continue to reach out to chain stores until I get one of them to buy my product?
3) Am I willing to expand my reach and find other potential retail buyers to work with?
4) Am I willing to get support from an industry expert if I feel stuck along the way?
5) Am I willing to make adjustments to my product or packaging if this is the way a buyer will be willing to buy my product?
It’s just like everything else in life. If you are committed and believe in something, then things happen in your favor. If you do nothing, you get nothing. Therefore, if you say to yourself I will do whatever it takes to win, then you will! So go out and approach those chain store buyers! And quit worrying about time frames…all you should be focusing on is that you will do whatever it takes to win!
To Your Success,
P.S. Was this video helpful? I’d love any feedback or comments :).
P.S.S. If you’d like to learn exactly how to approach, pitch and sell to retail buyers, check our our Retail MBA Training Program! This is the most comprehensive course available today on the subject of selling to retailers!