Wholesaling is not for everyone. Some producers don’t have the capacity, one way or another, to scale up their business or charge the amount they need to wholesale their products. And that is perfectly fine.
For those who do want to wholesale, there is a right way to sell to retailers.
One of the best articles I have read on the subject is posted on The Aeolidia website: 7 Surprising Wholesale Tips from a Memphis Store Owner + Maker.
Over the years, I have been fortunate to manage and/or own my own shop, produce my own line of products as well as sales rep for many new and seasoned producers. Being on ‘the other side of the counter’ gives a unique perspective on wholesaling.
Here are some of the points that store owner, Mary Claire, shares in the Aeolidia website:
Email works great to pitch your line — but do it thoughtfully.
The tone of the email is really important. … Most of the letters I get are obviously form letters. A perfect pitch is really warm and references a couple of specific things in my store. That way I can tell that you really do think you’d be a good fit, you’re not just saying that.
Also, I love it when there are a couple of thumbnails in the email that keep me from having to go to the line sheet without knowing what the line is going to be like. …
Make it easy for me to order — and to reorder.
… I sometimes find it confusing ordering through a line sheet because I write down the item numbers and put it in the email — and when I look back it is just item numbers that don’t match to the products.
Or, some people would say print out this order form and fax it back. And I hate doing that because my printer is not that great, etc.
… my favorite is shopping online through a wholesale store. Whether it’s a separate store, or a code that you get at checkout that gives you 50% off everything — both just make it easier to order and to reorder….
Follow up and don’t be afraid of silence at first.
I don’t mean to ignore people but it happens. For instance, I’ll be in the car and mean to come back to it and I just forget. We don’t mean to be rude. So if you’re ignored – don’t worry about that. If you get one that says they’re not interested then that’s pretty definitive. That’s a pretty square rejection and move on from there.
But reach out again in 2-3 weeks and touch base — that’s good and reaching back out with a reminder is totally fine. Even if you’ve been in contact with someone before and it didn’t lead to a sale, I’d say to reach out again if it’s a new season because things change…
I highly recommend you read the entire article for all seven of her tips: 7 Surprising Wholesale Tips from a Memphis Store Owner + Maker.