HSBC features my advice on how to sell to high street retail buyers

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I am frequently asked for comments on how I got started in order to help other businesses and now that I have this blog I intend to put them all in one place.

Aren’t blogs great ;-) ?

The full article including my advice is here but here are the first 5 tips to get you started.

Pitch perfect – how to sell to high street retail buyers

Although you need to ensure the margins are healthy enough, selling your products through a leading high street brand can raise your profile and really transform your fortunes. But first comes the pitch, of course, so what’s the key to getting it right?

1. Prepare an ‘elevator pitch’. Your elevator pitch should last 30-60 seconds and clearly explain key facts about you, your business and its products. Once created, practise in front of others until you can deliver it with confidence and ease. You should also prepare a short pitch for the specific product you are trying to sell, focusing on key benefits. Crucially, you must be able to prove demand for your product. You must also be able to make a compelling argument as to why the buyer should stock your goods. Overwhelmingly, that’s about making profit from sales.

2. Know your product — inside out. You could be asked a wide range of questions about your product, including how and why it was developed, what market research you’ve carried out, how and where it is made, how many you sell, lead times on supply, volumes, etc. Seasoned buyers will expect to hear comprehensive answers, with any claims backed by solid evidence.

3. Research your buyer’s market. You will need sound knowledge of the buyer’s business and its market — particularly its customers. Make sure you can answer the question: “Why would our customers buy this product?”.

4. Get your packaging right. No matter how good your product, poor packaging will put off potential buyers. And when it comes to products such as foodstuff, your packaging must be legally compliant, of course. Buyers like to see attractive packaging as part of a strong wider brand.

5. Be special. Whether they like it or not, high street buyers have to see many potential suppliers in an average week. That’s why you, your business and your products must stand out from the crowd. What makes you so special?

The rest of the article can be found here.

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