You know the story: You contact a buyer who is all excited about your product, orders a nice selection of your widgets,…. and then, you never hear from them again! Why didn’t the buyer place a reorder?
First thing to do to find out why you did not get a reorder is to CALL THE BUYER and ask!
Buyers are very busy people and often don’t realize they are out or low on stock of a particular item or just have not gotten around to calling in a reorder.
IT IS THE PRODUCER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO CONTACT THE BUYER FOR REORDERS! Not the other way around!
So now that we have gotten the most obvious action in place, what about other reasons why you have not gotten a reorder.
Indie Retail Academy lists the following three reasons why shops stop buying:
1. You’ve left it too long to get back in touch….
The bad news: When you forget about us, we forget about you. If you haven’t checked in with a stockist for a long time, there’s a good chance they’ve found some other supplier to replace you. It’s not like we’re short of options.
The good news: If you weaseled your way into a shopkeeper’s heart once, you can probably do it again. You know they like you and that your work has sold well for them in the past. That’s a ready-made platform to build on.
The solution: Get back in touch with your stockists – preferably with something interesting to say. That might be a new collection, a new item, a special offer or an idea for an in-store event.
2. The buyer feels no connection to you…
The bad news: If buying from you is difficult, unreliable, annoying or lacking in basic human warmth, retailers won’t hesitate to cut you from their budget, no matter how great your product is. Clawing your way back into their good books might be nigh on impossible.
The good news: Consider this a wake-up call. If this is your problem, it’s a big sign that you need to overhaul the way you communicate with your customers. And if you do that diligently, you’re likely to see a big improvement in stockist retention almost straight away.
The solution: You need a crash-course in thinking like your wholesale customer. If you have any remaining stockists, find out how you can make their lives easier.
3. Your collection hasn’t moved on…
The bad news: Retailers are bombarded with pitches for new items every single day. The temptation to drop old reliables in favour of something new and fresh can be overwhelming. If your collection isn’t always moving forward, you risk becoming a nothing but distant memory.
The good news: You probably enjoy making new work. Thinking up new items is likely to be something you do naturally, all the time.
The solution: Keep your creative spark alive. Above all, you’re an artist. Give yourself time to play and experiment. Your retailers and their customers already love what you do – so shake things up a bit.
Next time you don’t hear from a buyer, don’t just let it go — be proactive, take action and get that reorder!