Last Wednesday I went to a seminar held at Inc Creative in Keighley. It was run by Neil Campbell from Business Specs and it was a very interesting evening. The first point he made was about your actual product - where does it sit in the market? What is your price point? And most importantly, what is your USP (unique selling point) If you don't have a USP then price has to be your key selling point.
|My USP is that the large majority of my stuff is unique - once it's gone, it's gone!|
Then Neil said something which I think is very difficult for for the small scale designer/maker to comprehend - we should make the retailers think that they are lucky to have our work in their shop. Now I don't know about you but when I get a retailer who wants to stock my things I jump for joy (often literally!) and often feel very grateful. Neil thinks that we should actually choose the retailers who stock our work very carefully which is a strange concept for me - in the past I have grabbed any opportunity that comes along. But thinking about it, it makes much more sense - target your products to the right people and places and avoid making mistakes.
|He is just here to add some colour to this post!|
So how do you pitch to potential retailers? Research the shop first - will your products fit? Are they at the right price point for that particular shop? A phone call to verify the best time to go in is a good idea and then make sure you stick to that! Introduce yourself and your company. A great opening line is 'I've chosen to call you and I'd like to work with you because........' Another good line is 'I believe my products are complimentary but I would like to know more about your business' Next is when you show off your product ask about comparable product lines and how many they sell. What do they expect from you in terms of lead times? And always repeat back what they have said to you to make sure you both understand where you are coming from.
The last little bit is rushed as I have been writing this blog post for the last two hours and it's bedtime but I would love to know what you think. Are these things you stick to? Do you have any other advice? What works for you in terms of approaching retailers?