I recently spoke at a retail trade shows on the subject of ‘How to Get Your Product on Retail Shelves’ and I had a lovely experience. The inventors were pitching their products to buyers at HSN, QVC, SkyMall, etc. It was so much fun to watch these inventors actualize their dreams! I was inspired!

But while I was there I kept noticing that inventors were having a hard time pitching their products to buyers. They couldn’t clearly convey the message of why a buyer needed to purchase their product. And many walked away with extra money on the table that they couldn’t afford to lose! Now I’ve spoken at enough shows to know that this issue is very common amongst inventors. That is why I’ve decided to write this blog post on the subject of the best way to pitch your product at a trade show. I hope it helps!

The best way to pitch your product to a buyer at a trade show is to focus on how your product will make that buyer money. Yes, there are many things you can say to a buyer during your short interaction with them, like the features and benefits of your product, but money will most likely be the tipping point for a purchase order. Let me explain…

Buyers at shows are typically looking for products that will generate revenue for the company they are representing. So if they review your product, make sure you focus your conversation on what matters to them – generating revenue! This will intrigue them!

Here are some examples that you can include in your pitch:

  • Sharing the successes you’ve had so far with your product. For instance, how many units you’ve sold, etc.
  • What media attention you’ve received (if it’s relevant and/or interesting). Maybe you were on Shark Tank? Or the Today Show?
  • What major players have been interested or purchased your product so far. For instance, has a major retailer said they want your product? Have a few big licensing companies sent you contracts already? Share the excitement about your product!
  • Do you have proof that the buyer’s ideal customer demographic would love your product? For instance, if you are pitching QVC, can you show that women in a certain age group have been buying your product and are giving you amazing reviews?

As you can tell, I’m not just focused on a dollar amount when talking to buyers because most inventors don’t have proof of that. But buyers can’t ignore things like major media attention because they know it could convert into a dollar value. If people know about your product on a massive scale for instance, then this could entice a buyer to take a chance on your product. And if you’ve just received contracts from major licensing players, the buyer might want to know more because people obviously see the potential in your product and they should too!

My point is that there is always a way to convey that your product is worth purchasing. And if I had less than 5 minutes to talk to a buyer at a show, I would personally talk about features and benefits of my product for one to two minutes and then focus the rest of my conversation on how the product will make them money. And I would let my awesome marketing collateral do the rest of the work to fill in the details about my product that I didn’t have time to mention.

Obviously every product is different and every buyer’s needs are different. But I hope you will now consider focusing on the buyer’s needs when talking to them at a trade show! It could be the difference between you getting a purchase order or not.

To your success,

Karen Waksman

P.S. If you’d like to know exactly how to create the most compelling pitch for your particular product and/or how to create awesome marketing collateral, then check out my Retail MBA program!