Successful wholesaling to retailers is really not as difficult as it may sound when you are new at it.
Often, it is just a matter of following a successful procedure to help you along.
Although, I have shared several tips over the years, I really like the ones outlined by Wholesale in a Box:
1.They are hugely consistent in their email outreach.
Our most successful makers are like clockwork when it comes to sending emails… Any way you work it, the ones who are getting stores are getting emails out regularly (which includes followups).
2. Quality of product: they show stores what stores want to see.
Store owners are, by necessity, practical….Successful makers help store owners out by putting their minds at ease in relation to these dynamics. They can do that in photos, in narrative, in their line sheet, or in their outreach email — but they address these things both implicitly and explicitly.
3.They reach out to stores that make sense for them.
…take things into account like what a store owner is buying in a particular season, geography, style, offerings, and other makers’ experience selling to the store… it is essential to make sure that the stores you are reaching out to would be a good fit for you.
4.They are open minded about stores and don’t sweat the small stuff.
… successful (producers) don’t worry too much about “nos” or mis-steps. They are discerning but not picky when it comes to which stores to reach out to. They respond thoughtfully to stores, but don’t stress about every weird response. It is simply too hard to be consistent if you’re getting caught on the daily bumps in the road — and consistency is where growth comes from.
5.They have great quality outreach materials and packaging.
It’s hugely helpful to stores if your line looks great on the shelf. It doesn’t have to be fancy or have expensive packaging, but it is very important to be far away from ziploc bags and labels printed on flimsy paper. We also see this concept more generally — pro makers focus on making great products, but also on all the “packaging” around them: their website, their photos, their line sheet, and working to improve those as time goes on.
6.They don’t get in their own way.
“Getting in your own way” could mean taking 2 months to draft an email template because you’re scared to get that first “no” from a store. It could mean quitting after a store owner says she doesn’t like your work…. It can be hard to pin down, but you can probably sense when you’re getting in your own way.
7.They have endurance and take the long view.
There’s always a balance in business, between being persistent and ruthlessly cutting out whatever doesn’t work. … most successful (producers) are those who have good months, and bad months and forge on throughout. They’re the ones who say, “My focus is on growing my business over the next 12-24 months, so it doesn’t matter that much whether I get a new store account this month or don’t, as long as I’m making progress towards that goal over the span of several months.”
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