Misconceptions About Selling to Retail Buyers

If you are new to wholesaling, you may be confused or have misconceptions about the ins and outs of selling to retail buyers.

I know when I first started my sales rep business, I assumed many things that simply were not true.  It took some time and experience before I realized that my misconceptions were causing me to lose sales!

Misconception #1: Retailer buyers hate to be sold to.

This is just not true.  If it were, the buyers would not be buyers!  That is what they do for a living.  Actually, most buyers were anxious to see the products I offered them for their stores.  Seldom was a buyer not at least curious to see the products in my line up.

Misconception #2:  Retail buyers hate sales reps.

Well, there is always one or two that get tired of seeing sales reps — especially if your rep is the tenth rep that showed up unannounced.  Many of the lines I took on during my road rep days hired me because buyers told them to hire a sales rep and then they would look at the line.  Now, I am not saying this is the rule — just an observation I made after talking with producers and buyers.

Misconception #3:  If buyers don’t buy the first time, they will probably never buy.

Believe it or not, sometimes it takes 5, 6 or more contacts before a buyer will buy.  There are lots of reasons for this, but I found that persistence went a long way to selling buyers.  And when you contact them again, they realize you are serious about selling your line.

Misconception #4:  If I contact the buyer too many times, I will discourage them from buying my products.

This misconception goes hand-in-hand with #3.  There are lots of reasons why the buyer didn’t buy.  Here are a few of the reasons:

  • Too busy to talk to you or read your email the first time
  • Not looking for what you have, but may be interested later
  • Had a bad experience with the last producer, one of the employees or customers, or last person who emailed them!
  • Just not in the buying mood or not during ‘open to buy’ season
  • And on and on …

Misconception #5:  Spending money is painful for retailers.

Similar to Misconception #2, buyers love to spend money stocking their stores.  Typically, they have a plan and a budget to buy and look forward to the buying season.  Personally, I enjoy the fall season when we stock up for our Tastes of Idaho holiday sales.  We don’t worry about the money we are spending, as much as we are thinking about the sales we will make with your products!

Just a few of the misconceptions.  Can you think of others that are in the back of your mind?







3 comments for “Misconceptions About Selling to Retail Buyers

  1. May 29, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Would you suggest contacting a retailer a 2nd time if they didn’t answer at all the first time?

  2. May 29, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Yes! Definitely, but make sure you don’t send them the same email. Try rewording it, asking questions, offering more information …. But keep contacting them. If you are using email and they are not responding, try calling.

  3. May 29, 2018 at 12:45 pm


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