The following is a Q&A email exchange between our reader, who runs an accessories company, and Vanessa, our resident buying expert. Have you encountered this scenario before? If so, this blog post is for you!
Question (Reader): I was recently referred to a men’s accessories buyer at [a well-known national mall clothing retailer] (!!) by another category buyer, and after speaking with her, her response was basically “I’ll review with my boss” and a week thereafter, “I need more time”. I’m just getting nervous because these sound like elementary objections, but could they be genuine? What are your thoughts?
Answer (Vanessa): It could be one or two things: 1) They don’t have a sense of urgency or 2) their timelines are such that they don’t need to make a decision right now. Let me explain further:
1) No sense of urgency: Create a deadline. If you have a marketing campaign/promotion coming up or a limited time offer (e.g. wholesale promotion), etc communicate the deadline for when they need to act by to take advantage of that marketing promotion. Nothing creates urgency like knowing a marketing campaign is going to hit and that retailer may lose out on the sales lift if they don’t act fast.
2) Set times. [Store name] has certain dates for when the rotate merchandise in/out. Sometimes the timing for when you connect with those buyers don’t align with their buying timelines. Just remain persistent (but not annoying), follow-up with consistent emails *with newsworthy updates* and you will stay on their radar. While the right cadence for when to send email updates varies, generally every 4-6 weeks is appropriate but ONLY if you have news to share (announcing new retailers who have picked you up, announcing upcoming marketing activity, announcing new line extensions, announcing wholesale ordering promotions, etc.)
We received this testimonial the other day and just had to share. Hey, if we don’t toot our own horn, who will!
“Hi Vanessa! I wanted to say thanks for being so generous with your experience on your blog, Both Sides of the Retail Table. I run a fashion accessories brand and owe you great deal in helping me land my first account with Karmaloop, a large retailer in my space.” -Brian R.
We love knowing that we have been helpful to emerging brands. It’s what fuels us. So, thank you, Brian R!