You have caught a buyer’s attention. You have shared your dynamic PowerPoint presentation with the buyer. (See prior blogs.) Now, how do you secure that in-person meeting with the buyer?
1. You need to find out the buyer’s decision-making timeframe, which they refer to as their POG (planogram) review period(s). Many times the buyers will only make their buying decisions during this timeframe. Some may do reviews 1x/year, others 2x/year, and then there are some who will consider a “cut in” throughout the year.
2. Ask for the meeting. I know that sounds ridiculous, but don’t wait to be invited as you may be waiting forever. And, be willing to go to the meeting when they say they have a timeslot, which may only be for ½ hour ½ way across the country. Don’t be afraid to ask the buyer or buyer’s assistant for multiple possible meeting days/times as there may be some flexibility in the buyer’s schedule (don’t be difficult though either – you might have to hop a plane the following week to land the meeting).
3. Continue to communicate with the buyer leading up to a meeting or a potential meeting. Use a timely press appearance, accolade, product launch, or newsworthy information (i.e. trending) as it pertains to your product/category as a solid excuse to email the buyer (this reinforces why they should be meeting with you). Stay in touch (once a month is fine). If you don’t have anything meaningful to say, then don’t contact them until you do.
4. Do not give up. You may need to repeatedly go back to the buyer month after month. They might ignore you. They have not said no yet. It just might not be the right time.
Once you have landed the meeting, now what? Stay tuned for an upcoming blog that addresses this topic – including why you need to bring deodorant with you!
How have you secured a meeting? Please comment.