Inventing a product and selling it to customers and retail stores is a dream for many people. Creating the product can be challenging itself, but after you have succeeded with this, what should you do to get retail stores to sell it? Here are some tips.

Starting Small
By starting small and selling to smaller online and offline retailers first, you can create legitimacy for your brand and this will help you to approach larger retailers later. These retailers need to feel confident that you will be able to keep up with demand. Approaching smaller retailers first also gives you practice with how to present your product and with fulfilling orders.

Reaching Out to Decision Makers
Research the decision makers needed for selling your product at retail stores you are interested in. Sometimes you can even find them on LinkedIn. By reaching out, you can find out times that the company reviews new products, what they look for, and any special programs they may have.

Finding a Distributor
Using a distributor can make it easier to place your products into retail stores because distributors already have relationships with retailers. Large retailers like to use distributors because they are knowledgeable about products and about the system for distribution. The distributor you choose to work with should have relationships with retailers that serve the market you want to sell your product to.

Approaching the Buying Department
Many retailers, especially the large ones, have buying/ procurement departments that choose what products to buy, who to buy from, and at what prices. Their individual stores usually don’t have input on these decisions. Therefore, rather than approaching the individual stores, build a relationship with the buying department. It is also a good idea to research which stores already carry products that are similar to yours.

Create Success Stories
To start out with selling your product, you might go into smaller retail stores and demo your product until they sell out.  With this method, there is no risk to the retailer and you have a chance to show that your product can sell successfully. Then you can repeat the process in other stores and tell them that you already had success with selling the product before. You can start with one small store and gradually approach larger and larger stores.

Pitching Your Product
When pitching your product to buyers you have limited time, so create
a concise presentation that quickly addresses what the buyers care about such as price points, your manufacturing abilities, warranties, and consumer demand.

Do you have a product that you would like to get into retail stores? A coach can help you develop a plan.


Ralph White
Business Coach, Author, Artist & CEO
310.372.8538 | | Contact

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