Personally, when I was a traveling road rep, I found most of my perspective wholesale buyers by one of two methods:
- Cold calling stores while traveling through towns
- Receiving referrals from my vendors
Finding wholesale buyers was not difficult when I was right there in the community. Since traveling is not always feasible, we need to find more creative ways to find buyers.
Fortunately, the growth of the internet and social media has introduced a whole new way to find prospective store buyers. Between email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest ….. all I knew about prospecting eight years ago has all changed!
I am a follower of the Sales Gravy group and website, and read an article that explains some inventive ways for finding wholesale buyers and/or retail customers:
It’s time to change your prospecting strategy. Here are some ideas for you.
Start an email campaign. Afraid of the spam laws? Keep your list small and personalize your emails to participants’ needs so it feels as if you sat down to write them an individual message. Send a series of 3-4 emails three days apart to encourage a response.
Know your target market. (Know) where to look for (your) hottest opportunities. Keep your micro-segments small, 20-125 contacts at a time, so you can be more personal in your communications.
Hold an on-line event. Sound time consuming and expensive? You can run one practically for free so don’t let the price stop you. If content or participation is your concern, remember that you’re the expert.
Make your topic relevant to your target market’s top issues and they’ll want to hear what you have to say. Share recommendations based on work you’ve done with other clients. Offer something at the end that will separate hot prospects from warm leads.
Use social media, press releases and / or articles to get noticed. They’ll keep you in front of your target market where they get to know you as an expert. You’ll begin to create a relationship even before they require your assistance.
Create a mini-campaign by linking email, events, social media, and articles together to keep you in constant touch with your micro-segments. As a seller you don’t have time to run a complicated 6-month campaign, but you can run a simple one over 6 weeks that generates new leads all along the way.
For more great selling tips, check out Kendra Lee’s book: Selling Against the Goal: How Corporate Sales Professionals Generate the Leads They Need