There are times when I run across an article that there is just not one thing I could add to make it clearer or better or more precise.
The following article from Lela at Lucky Break Consulting is one of those article:
1. Offering your wholesale partners a pricing structure that’s less than 50% off your retail.
Wholesale partners expect preferential pricing on the order of 50% off your suggested retail prices. I’m keenly aware that those margins can be a bit tricky, but artisans and makers don’t enjoy a free pass from retailers when it comes to pricing. They think of every square foot of shelving as real estate, and the more money they can make on any single square foot, the better…
2. Choosing the wrong stores to approach.
Not every store is a good fit for your brand and there’s an art to knowing where to invest your time. Continually pursuing shops which aren’t a good fit drains energy and has the potential to reshape the story that you tell yourself about your business….
3. Creating obstacles to ordering.
Today’s retail buyers are truly spoiled for choice. The artisan marketplace is becoming increasingly dense and I’ve noticed that those who are ultimately successful have three things in common…
Long lead times: Retailers need a quick turn-around on orders, since empty shelf space equals missed opportunities and lower profitability.
Too-high minimums: Wholesale pricing is based on volume and minimums are a necessity when it comes to selling to stores… If the minimums you attach to your product range are too high, you’ll scare good buyers away.
Inconvenient ordering systems: Requiring that buyers call during business hours or complete a handwritten order form creates an unnecessary speed bump….. Creating a mechanism through which buyers can place online orders 24 hours a day should be a high priority if wholesale is a primary focus for your business.
4. Jumping into wholesale before you’re ready.
… Many of the brands that I see that have a strong desire to tackle wholesale aren’t yet ready for wholesale because their brand presentation is holding them back….
Selling into stores is somewhat of an advanced strategy. I recommend learning to crawl before you learn to run, and that often means focusing on direct-to-consumer retail efforts until pricing structures, production processes, and brand presentation are refined and ready to rock for wholesale.
5. Not following up with buyers after pitches and/or after you make the sale….
I recommend following up with retailers a week or so after their first order to ensure that everything arrived as expected. Sending a short + sweet email demonstrates that you care about this account beyond simply making that first sale, and it sows the seeds of relationship building.
Communicate at least once per quarter via a wholesale-specific newsletter that’s dispatched to all of your current stockists simultaneously… Check in to discover how sales are going, ask if you can help with anything, tell them that you’re cheering them on. These efforts show that you’re invested in the account while keeping your brand top-of-mind, too.
… think of wholesale pitching as sowing seeds. Very rarely will you see instant results….You’ll need to revisit that seed with an occasional sprinkling of water and lashings of sunshine in order to nurture it. Wholesale isn’t a one-hit-and-done sort of affair. You’re playing the long game and results sometimes take 6-12 months to see. Patience, grasshopper!
Could not have said it better myself!!