As a wholesaler who sells to retailers, finding new stores is always a task to implement on a regular basis. But what about the wholesale accounts you already have?
The value of a repeat customer — especially a wholesale customer — cannot be overlooked:
For example, Wholesale-in-a-Box shared the following example:
If a store orders once from you, that order might bring in $150, just as an example…. That same account, if they are really selling the product, could place an order with you every 3-4 months, over the span of the next several years years. $150 x 4 orders-per-year x 5 years = $3,000. That’s called the “lifetime value” of that account. Your first order with them might only be worth $150, but the potential lifetime value of that store can be many multiples of that. This doesn’t even account for the ‘follow-on’ effects of being in a store that is a good fit for your brand, such as new stockists that come from the exposure of having that account, traffic, and direct sales through your website.
To maintain a good relationship with your current wholesale customers, Wholesale-in-a-Box suggests the following excellent tips:
How to Cultivate Your Current Accounts
One way to think about it is to treat every wholesale account like they are your first and that they live right down the road from you. Because 90% of the things you would do in that situation ARE things that you can do for every single store account that you have. Some things you might do if they were your first account and down the road:
- Set a reminder after you send your order to reach out and make sure everything looks ok and see how things how things are selling. Ask them what you can do better to help them with the display, how can you make it easier for them. Ask how you could have made the ordering process easier.
- Bring them a little gift or treat with their order.
- If there are certain things that are selling and others that aren’t, perhaps offer to replace the things that aren’t for free.
- Put them on a separate email list for when you announce a new product. They are your people: tell them first.
- Reach out at appropriate intervals (we recommend every 2-4 months) to see if they would like to reorder, just pinging them to check in.
- If they say no, that’s OK, move your energy to other accounts.
Not every order will turn into a 5 or 10 year relationship, but the best way to find out if they will, is by creating a system to cultivate those accounts instead of letting them fall off.
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