Preparing for Your First Sales Presentations

Preparing the materials and systems needed for your first sales presentations is the most important task you need to accomplish before visiting your first potential buyer.Most people assume the hardest work goes into making the product.Although, a lot of hard work goes into making products that people will buy … if time is not spent developing and setting up the systems you need to wholesale BEFORE you visit your first buyer, you will find yourself in a confusing and overwhelming mess!And you will look very unprofessional to your potential buyers!

Some of the materials and system you need as you enter the wholesale business are as follows:

  1. Developing a retail/wholesale price structure
  2. Determining what payment terms you will accept
  3. Determining how you will get your products to the retail outlets
  4. Developing your sales and ordering materials
  5. Setting up a bookkeeping and database system
  6. Setting up a re-order and follow up system

Even though the list looks cumbersome, or even intimating, it is not difficult if you take one step at a time.

Over the next weeks, I will be addressing each step in more detailing – explaining what I have found to work as a sales rep/producer.

And the VERY FIRST step – even before you look at the list is to remember that EVERY system or decision you make about your wholesale business should help make it EASIER for the retailer to buy from you!Your decisions should not be based on what makes business easier for you (although, good systems makes your job easier too), but what works best for your buyers.I cannot stress this point enough … so you will hear it often over the next weeks and posts.

As always, if you have any additional comments or questions, don’t hesitate to comment.I am NOT the final authority on all subjects concerning wholesaling.I am sure many of you have experiences that will help others with their journey into the gift wholesale business.Please feel free to share them with all of us!

2 comments for “Preparing for Your First Sales Presentations

  1. June 17, 2009 at 7:23 am

    I run a non-profit organization in Calgary, Canada and we have a few products we sell as fundraisers. Due to their huge local popularity we are considering getting our items onto shelves at gift shops etc. (I have photos of our product if that helps)

    Do you have any suggestions we can use when marketing our product as a fundraiser for youth programs? (Proceeds go directly to youth programs in the city)

  2. June 27, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    There are several options I can think of to help you wholesale your fund raising products.

    First, if fund raising is your major focus, I would design a simple flyer or brochure telling your story. Include information such as what is your organization, what the funds are used for, maybe include some pictures … hopefully, you get the idea. If you organization has the funds to do a professional brochure, great! If not, someone with some talent with Microsoft Publisher or other similar program can probably design a good flyer for you. You may want to provide extra flyers for the gift stores to give to their customers with each purchase.

    Another good option, would be to develop ‘shelf talkers’. These are little signs posted on the shelving talking about your products. Once again, these could be designed on your computer.

    I have found that buyers take products more seriously if there are three or more ‘facing’ (or varieties) of an product. Have you thought about making your product int three different variations? This would give your products more exposure and make you look more serious to a potential gift shop. Single items are harder to sell — they tend to get lost on the shelf!

    Have you thought about hiring a sales rep to sell your products? Sales rep cover a wide variety of stores within a certain geographical area. All they need is a sample product, price sheets, pictures — and they do the selling for you. Once a sale is made and you are paid, you generally pay a sales rep 15% of the wholesale price. If you don’t have enough margin in your products to pay a sales rep, I suggest your raise your wholesale AND retail price. But do this BEFORE you hire the rep or it will look like the rep is charging more than you have been wholesaling to your wholesale customers. If you need help finding a rep, I suggest checking out UAMR (www.uamr.com) or do a search for gift rep organizations on the web near your location.

    One last tip, it is often easier to sell your new products to an independent gift store. Most of the time these stores have the owner or buyer on-site and can usually make a decision on the spot. Chain stores, on the other hand, often have off-site buyers and they are harder to sell to.

    I hope this is helpful to you. And good luck with your organization!

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