The five things you must prepare before pitching to a retail buyer

The five things you must prepare before pitching to a retail buyer
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation

Posted: Mon 8th Aug 2016

Want to get your business' products on the shelves of the retail giants? Rekha Mehr, retail buyer turned pitch professional, explains what you need to do to prepare for pitching products to buyers at major chains.

1. Approach: Timing, format and follow up

If you're struggling to find the name of a particular buyer, try looking through trade press as buyers are often asked to write about or comment on category trends.

Avoid making contact on Mondays (certainly the mornings) which are typically spent preparing for internal trading meetings.

If you're struggling to get a response from the buyer, try other members of the team like the assistant buyer or a buyer's admin assistant who can advise you on a better time or way to get in touch or move things forward themselves.

2. Presentation: Style, format and length

Send a brief email which takes no longer than 60 seconds to read and communicates what problem your product is solving and why it's right for their customers.

Include any awards, high profile endorsements or press coverage that you have received, as testimonials speak volumes.

Follow up with a phone call two or three days later to ask how the buyer would like to take things forward, i.e. would they like you to email over more information, schedule a call or book in a meeting?

3. Competitors: What you should and (crucially) should not present

Understanding your market place, acknowledging your competitors and highlighting your unique position against them is imperative to success.

A unique selling point (USP) is the key reason customers buy so be sure to highlight it to your buyer whether it's cheaper, better value or the first of its kind.

Don't be tempted to bad mouth competitor products as it will weaken your argument. Instead focus on the things that your product does best and let the facts speak for themselves.

4. Pricing: What you need to share

It's not essential to mention cost price in the first communication but you could mention the suggested selling price to help set the scene.

Negotiation must be a win-win for both yourself and the buyer, so ensure you know how low you're prepared to go.

Ensure you factor all costs into your own margin like the cost of delivery (buyers will not like to see this as an additional cost), a marketing allowance (to partake in their activities), payment terms (often a discount is offered for prompter payment so factor this in upfront).

5. Add-ons: Additional things the buyers might expect

Buyers will expect you to be conducting your own marketing activity to promote your brand so be prepared to share your plans around that.

It's important to build a marketing budget in to your own margin to cover additional activity like sampling or demonstrations of features in their publications.

Exclusivity isn't always a bad thing! Choose your first customer wisely and perhaps agree to a time limit which gives you some breathing space to focus on your next customer.

Thinking about starting your own business? Learn everything you need to know over seven days in this free email start-up course.

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

You might also like…

Start your business journey today

Take the first step to successfully starting and growing your business.