An important aspect of knowing how to sell your product face-to-face is your ability to pitch it to wholesale buyers or consignment stores. If you’ve signed up for a trade show or are walking into a store with product samples in-hand then you’ve probably already done some preparation. However, wholesale buyers also attend craft fairs and vendor markets so it’s important to have your pitch perfected and at the ready to avoid missing any great opportunities.
Most of the advice in our article on face-to-face customer interactions applies just as much to wholesale customers as to retail so make sure to check that out too.
- Be confident
You know your product is awesome, you’ve seen people buy it and they’ve told you why they love it. Don’t panic and forget all of that. Stand behind your product and make sure to express exactly why it would sell well in their store. (Without turning it into a standard sales pitch; the conversation should flow as naturally as possible!) If you’ve sold to other wholesale buyers before, be ready to discuss that in more detail as well.
- Be prepared
Even if you aren’t planning to sell wholesale yet, it doesn’t hurt to have thought about it. Right from the beginning it’s important to make sure at least a 50% wholesale cut is built into your pricing because it will be much harder to adjust it later. Ideally you should also work out policies such as what minimum order you would accept to make wholesale worthwhile to you. It’s also fine to admit that you haven’t considered such things yet and arrange to get back in touch with them after you’ve had time to think about it. If you’re the one reaching out, make sure you’ve done research on the store; you should know what they sell and why your product is a great fit for them, along with as much other information as you can gather.
- Have a handout
Make sure you can give potential wholesale buyers something to take away with them. Ideally you should have a linesheet prepared with all of your product information listed on it but, at the very least, have business cards to hand out so they know how to contact you.
- Get their information
If a potential wholesale buyer does take the time to talk to you, make sure you get their name and contact information. In the stress of the moment it’s easy to forget names, so write it down if it’s not mentioned on their company card. You’ll want to be sure you have a way to follow up with them if they don’t contact you, and it’s important to personalize that with their name and key details from your conversation, to jog their memory.
- Ask questions
Even if you’ve researched the buyer ahead of time, it’s still important to listen to them and ask questions, otherwise you’ll present yourself as desperate to sell. Remember that this is a business partnership you’re entering into, not just a quick sale, so it’s just as important to make sure this particular buyer is right for your business as it is for them to make sure your brand is a good fit for their store.
- Extra tips
If you have extra products not currently with you, make sure to have a website that you can direct buyers to, or a catalog you can give out or mail to them later on. You’re also more likely to get more business if you offer products at different price points to suit different markets.