How to Sell in Retail – What to Do If You Have Zero Sales History When Trying to Sell to Big Box Retail Chains

How to Sell in Retail – What to Do If You Have Zero Sales History

How to Sell in Retail – What to Do If You Have Zero Sales History When Trying to Sell to Big Box Retail Chains?

Do you have a product perfect for chain stores such as Walmart, Home Depot, CVS, Nordstrom, Kroger Grocery Store…? 

If so, you will love our new quick training on “How to Sell in Retail – What to Do If You Have Zero Sales History When Trying to Sell to Big Box Retail Chains!

In this training we give you some quick tips and strategies on what to do if you have a product ideally suited for retail chains but you have zero sales history on your product. 

If you’re interested in learning more, then I suggest  click on the video 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! 

Transcript – How to Sell in Retail – What to Do If You Have Zero Sales History When Trying to Sell to Big Box Retail Chains

Hey everyone, this is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA. And today I want to talk about a question that comes up all the time in my workshops and classes. People always ask me, “Karen, can I sell at chain store if I have zero sales history? I have a brand new product and I haven’t sold it online or I have very minimal sales or it’s brand new to the market. Do I go after the chain stores first? Do I start small? Do I grow? What’s the situation here with chain stores, especially now with just so many products out there, just any advice would be great.” So I just want to walk you through some things to think about, as to what you should consider if you have a brand new product and should you go after chain stores first. A little background about me before we get started.

My name is Karen Waksman. I’m the founder of a company called Retail MBA. Taught tens of thousands of business owners across the globe on how to sell products to chain stores. And this question comes up all the time in my workshops and classes. You can take a look at what we’re up to at retailmba.com. Anyway, let’s talk about this question. So people really are concerned about this brand new product. So here’s the deal. Some people think that they have to sell on Amazon and they have to do certain things before they can go after stores. And I’m here to tell you that we have clients who just want to get into Walmart and they just get into Walmart. They haven’t sold their product anywhere before, and they actually get into major chain stores. And then I have other clients who started slow and built up their business and eventually went after the chain stores.

And honestly, the difference is who are you as a human being? Some people are like, “I am going after Walmart or whatever chain store it is. And I just want that account. And I want to sell it to that particular retailer. And I don’t care about anything else. I don’t need to test the market out and all these things. I just want what I want.” That person needs to go after a chain store like Walmart. Other people are nervous Nellies. they like to go a little bit slower and they’re a little bit more concerned about whether or not it’s going to impact them longterm, whatever it is. If there’s a lot of heaviness for you in regards to going up to the big stores first, start reaching out to the small to midsize stores because you can start building out your business and it doesn’t have to be any one way.

So the short answer is yes, you can go after chain stores on day one, you don’t need sales. People will always tell you, “Oh, that’s impossible. These retailers are looking for sell throughs and all these things and proof,” and stuff like that. Yes, there are some retailers that are more complicated than others to start brand new with. For instance, Costco, right? So they buy by the pallets and they don’t want to take you under. And so they want to make sure that you can handle manufacturing and there’s all sorts of other reasons why they want this. So they might not work with a person who hasn’t sold their products anywhere before. Most likely not. There are other retailers like that. But some retailers have an entire division set up for testing new products out and making sure that whatever it is that they’re putting in stores will be interesting to their clientele and so forth. And so they’re looking for new, interesting innovation and so forth.

So we’ve done live events with big chain stores like Walmart and Whole Foods and all these different retailers, where we match make and help people out, getting in front of retailers and so forth. And one of the things that came up was that these buyers were looking for people with tons of sales and stuff like that. Sure, why not? Why wouldn’t they? However, they didn’t pass up on the products that had not sold anywhere before. And the reason, again, is because they are dealing with a lot of competition, a lot of stuff’s going out in the world, and so sometimes they can’t get what they want. They see a new product, they know it’s going to convert. They’re willing to test the product out and it didn’t have to have sold anywhere else before now.

Now, a lot of Amazon sellers can’t imagine not selling on Amazon first and then transferring over to retailers. But I’ll be honest with you, if I was bringing a new product to market and I knew it was great for chain stores, I’d go after the chain stores because I know that through our methodologies and so forth, that if I really believe in this product or whatever, I would conceivably go straight to the big leagues and try and make as much money as possible. And that’s my personality and that’s why I always went after chain stores. I’m not the type to go opening up accounts, door to door to door, and small retailers locally, and boutiques and stuff like that. I know how to do it and so forth, but it doesn’t mean that that would be my go to move.

So again, it’s a lot about personality, who you are, what inspires you. Again, we have so many clients who get into the big chain stores who have never sold their product anywhere before. The trick is that some may reject you a little bit more often than others. And it might take a little bit longer to get that first, “Yes,” but it happens. And it’s not the only reason that a retailer buys how much units you’ve sold and so forth.

So I hope that gives you an idea of what to think about. If you want to learn exactly how to approach, pitch, and sell to retailers, how to get them to buy, take a look at the link below. We have a webinar coming up that is a 90 minute free training that you can sign up for, and it walks you through how to sell to stores. It’s really powerful and it’s free. And there’s one coming up and there’s also replays and so forth. We do them often. So please join us. If you liked this information, please like, subscribe. If you enjoy this, comment below, we really appreciate your support. And be on the lookout for additional content that we create. Karen Waksman, Retail MBA. I appreciate your time. Thanks so much.

Pitching Retail Buyers – How to Get Your Product in Stores

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Pitching Retail BuyersAbout 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.

BI-LO Supplier – How to Sell to BI-LO Stores and Become a BI-LO Supplier

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.

How to become a Bi-Lo supplier and vendor

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.

How to Get Your Product in Stores – FREE Webinar

Title: How to Get Your Product in Stores
Date: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDT

This event has expired!  If you still want a free training on how to get your products in stores…

 

CLICK HERE – FREE RETAIL WEBINAR

 

Description:

Discover how ANYONE can sell their product or invention to the world’s largest retailers without any previous sales experience and without any existing buyer relationships.

This webcast, moderated by Karen Waksman, will enable all participants to learn and ask questions about how to get products sold at retail. Karen Waksman (www.retailmba.com) is a Manufacturer’s Rep turned Author, Consultant and Speaker. She has sold millions of units to the world’s largest retailers and now dedicates her time to providing valuable information to anyone interested in learning what it takes to get their products on the shelves of Major Retailers, Online Retailers, Catalogs and Small Retailers, too!

Participants will:

This unique roundtable webcast workshop will provide invaluable training on what you need to know about selling your products to major retailers, including how buying decisions are made, what buyer’s care about and what makes them more inclined to buy.

Included in the discussion is how to get a meeting with a major retail buyer and what you need to know once you get an order from these retailers!


Who should attend:

Anyone who is hoping to turn their product into profit through retail.