FINDING POTENTIAL WHOLESALE ACCOUNTS By Darren Hendricks
Every retail store is a potential user of specialty merchandise or gift items. That's a pretty broad statement, but it's true. And where some Wholesalers might make a mistake is to approach only obvious choices; gift shops, novelty and collectible outlets, general merchandise dealers and like. But what about a locksmith? Or a bookstore? How about stationary stores? More and more of them are featuring gift displays. So, local phone directory is a ready-made list of potential clients. Add to that retail stores you regularly patronize, and you're ready to go. While nearly every retail store is a potential client, those stores will generally fall into three basic categories: Mom and Pop, Small Chain, and Franchise or Major Chain.
SELLING TO "MOM AND POP" STORES The local stationery shop, liquor store, truck stop, convenience market, gift shop, and all those -her privately owned retail stores that line streets and strip malls of virtually every city and town are prime prospects for your merchandise. Here's why they should buy from you:
1.You offer fast, personal service.
2.Your prices are outstanding.
3.Your product quality is excellent.
4.You offer a tremendous selection.
5.Your product line is constantly updated with new items.
7.You're dependable, professional, and easy to work with.
Of course, that last reason is up to you, and it's CRITICAL! You've probably heard saying: "People do business with people they like." It's true! These types of stores are usually family-owned and operated, so in all likelihood folks working in store are ones you'll want to talk to. Start ... with a letter, phone call, or best of all a personal visit. Introduce yourself as a local wholesaler of popular gift merchandise, and ask to speak to person who handles purchasing. Make an appointment to show your line. Don't worry if you get turned down first time. Call again. And a third time. Don't stop until you get that appointment! Next ... show up for appointment on time, with samples, business cards, catalogs, price lists, and your order book on hand. Conduct a friendly, brief, yet thorough presentation. Explain how these products can increase THEIR sales - remember; they're interested in what you can do for them, not other way around.
SELLING TO SMALL CHAIN STORES Occasionally you'll run across small chains, where there may be several,even a couple dozen stores operating under same name. Often a single owner, who oversees much of purchasing for all stores, runs these. Again, you offer all same reasons this person should buy from you, and you'll follow same steps in making contact, handling a sales appointment, and filling order.
Payment: Try for identical terms you'd propose to a "Mom and Pop" store. Again, if possible, don't fill an order without at least a deposit large enough to cover your costs. Otherwise, you'll have to cover difference until they pay you balance.
"MOM AND POP" STORES
1.Easy to meet person in charge of buying.
2.Can be a friendly, less formal relationship.
4.Often immediate payment