You know the excitement when you first sell a buyer on your line. You are excited, eager, and ready to please as you package and send the order. You may even call a week or two later to make sure the order arrived, everything was fine and that the products are displayed on the sales floor.
Now, you wait …. and wait …..
Not the best approach, but the approach most small producers use.
I agree with Clare Yuille from the Indie Retail Academy when she said the following:
Encouraging your stockists to come back, time after time, is one of the very best things you can do for you wholesale business.
Maybe you have heard it before: The money is in the re-orders!
So how do you get the buyer to re-order from you? Once again, I quote Clare from her article, Help! A Store is Blanking Me?, as to why a store may not be reordering from you:
1. The retailer isn’t willing to buy from you again.
…(A buyer) get distracted, one of your competitors turns our heads, .. decides to go in a different direction, or maybe .. just forgets about you.
2. The retailer is willing to buy from you again, but not right now.
… So maybe this shopkeeper doesn’t need more (of your product) right now, but she is planning to order from you again in the future…
3. The retailer is willing to buy from you now, if you show her it makes sense to do so.
The final possibility is that this retailer is more than happy to place a new order – if you persuade her that she’d be better off giving you money than not giving you money…
Sound simple? Well, actually, it is.
In most cases (despite the reason) one of the best ways to get a buyer to reorder is to call them and determine what the reason is why you are not hearing back from them.
As in Reason #1, maybe the buyer did not do well with your line. Good information to know. But this buyer may not have ordered the right products in your line for their store. Reviewing your line with her/him may be in order.
For Reason #2, I find that often buyers purchase only certain times of the year. Maybe they are not open-to-buy just yet. When you call them, this is one of the line of questioning you need to address. And asking them WHEN their open-to-buy is may be the best way to get around this issue and get the re-order.
And Reason #3 is probably the easier obstacle to overcome. Maybe she just got too busy, didn’t realize you products had sold out or ???. Calling will clear this up and you should be able to get her/him to place an order with little persuasion..
Best take-away from this post: Follow up, follow up, follow up!