The owner of a wholesale distributorship buys goods to sell for a profit, traditionally within the business-to-business realm. This means you’ll be selling your goods to retailers and other wholesale firms. Developing a loyal and devoted customer network is one part building relationships and another part having good business acumen. Here are a few tips to turning your business into the preferred wholesale distributor among your clients.
1. Get to Know Your Retailers
Attention to detail is key in establishing good relationships in this line of work. Get to know your retailers. If you have a product that is perfect for their store or website, call them up directly to talk about it, or visit their store or their booth at a trade show in person. Learn the names of the managers at some of the stores you’re looking to sell to. Sending a letter, email or making a phone call with the person’s name goes a long way, much farther than sending blind letters or making phone calls without doing your research beforehand.
2. Make it Easy for Retailers to Work With You
Nothing deters a retailer from buying your product quicker than one negative experience. Remember, retailers are busy running their own businesses and so buying products from wholesalers is not their top priority.
Know what your competition is charging and adjust your price points accordingly. Give them a great wholesale price with minimum orders so they can test the market with comfort. Have a good turnaround time and a simple exchange service if necessary. Send out samples to retailers and allow them to see how an item sells before they commit. Make them trust you.
3. Persistent Niche Marketing
Cater your outreach and the products you market to very specific niches. Reach out with details about the product through email, social media or over the phone. Give them a small sample of your product and ask for their feedback. Tailor your item to several different retailers if you have to. Social media, email and direct mail outreach are great ways to reach out to potential customers without having to bombard them with just cold calls. Regardless of how you market yourself and your products to retailers, persistence is key.
4. Start local, then expand
Oftentimes, your best chance of getting your product looked at by a larger chain’s corporate headquarters is by starting with local stores. If you get a number of local stores that belong to a greater conglomerate to say they would be interested in carrying your product, you can take those comments to the regional buyer. This saves the potential buyer from a lot of work because you’ve already established support for your product within their company.
There are countless benefits to starting a wholesale distribution business, but without the proper skills to market yourself and get your products out there into the right hands, you’ll have a lot of trouble with your business taking off. Follow these four steps to increase visibility among retailers and grow your wholesale distribution business.