There is nothing more frustrating for a buyer then learning that you’ve never shopped at their stores and haven’t reviewed what they are currently purchasing. This is one of the most critical expectations a chain store buyer has and is essential to your success. A buyer wants to know that you’ve been to their stores and they will ask you!!

This may sound elementary, but I assure you that it’s not. Taking on new a product is risky business for these buyers, therefore they want to know that you are serious. And when I say serious, I mean that you went to their store, looked at what products they have on their shelves today and are able to tell these buyers how your product can improve their bottom line.

You have no idea how many times I’ve had a meeting with a buyer and they’ve asked me what I what I think is missing from their assortment. In other words, they are asking me to tell them WHY my product can fulfill a need that they don’t currently fulfill for their customers today.

You see, a buyer has to get rid of one of your competitors in order to purchase something from you. They have limited shelf space and cannot test everything. So by going to their store and coming up with a good story as to why your product is better, faster, more efficient, etc. you set yourself up for success. Why? Because the more ammunition you have to convince the buyer that your product will make them more money, the better!

Buyers are in the business of generating revenue for their retailers and are much more inclined to buy products from companies that they consider to be strategic partners. In other words, make the buyer’s job easier and they will buy from you! Think strategically…come up with all of the reasons why customers will buy your products over your competitors. Help them make purchasing decisions based on your research. Show them that you are serious and that you went to their stores and reviewed their existing product base. This simple step is commonly overlooked and is essential to your success!

To Your Success,

Karen Waksman

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