If a buyer is lukewarm about taking on your product, be sure to find out “why”. LISTEN. If you can understand the “why”, you are far more likely to be able to overcome their objections. I realize this sounds obvious, but some people when they hear a “no” just roll over. Don’t roll over. Ask the buyer, “Will you kindly share your reservations with me?” The question then begs the answer and you get a dialogue going. If the buyer is more invested in you/your product, you are going to get so much farther. The end result may be that the buyer does not change his/her mind, but at least you tried and know where they are coming from. Later down the road, something may change and you may be able to overcome their objections. But, if you never know what they were to begin with, you are shooting in the dark.
If your buyer is on the fence, here are some bones to throw (and you will likely need to throw a combination):
- Offer them a unique assortment – something that is only available to them.
- Offer them a guaranteed sale (meaning you are willing to take back the product at your expense if it doesn’t sell. At larger retailers, this is often a given).
- Invest in their internal marketing programs. Offer up a pre-determined spend.
- Let the buyer know that you will be investing advertising dollars in the markets where this retailer is located and that the retailer’s name will be “tagged” in the ad(s).
- Give them your best payment terms (i.e. instead of your usual net 30, make it net 60). Fyi: The larger retailers are most likely going to set these terms for you. But they will happily take better terms.
All of the above incentives require an investment on your part. You are basically telling the buyer that you are confident that your product will sell and here’s how you will support your sales. The more you stand behind your product, the more likely the retailer will be willing to take a chance on it. Be sure to offer only what you can afford to offer. Give yourself permission to walk away. When one door closes, another opens.