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From the Entrepreneur’s Perspective: Does your personality and experience play into the buyer’s decision making process?

You bet. We are all human beings and if we like someone, we are far more likely to want to do business with them. Buyers are bombarded with product pitches. You want to stand out as someone they want to do business with – because you have a great product, you are someone who is personable, and you understand and positively drive their business.

More than ever retailers are focusing on vendor rationalization (i.e. cutting back on the # of vendors they do business with) and sku rationalization (cutting back on the # of skus they take in). Couple these trends with an inexperienced entrepreneur and it’s going to be a challenge to land the new account. But, we are entrepreneurs, so we are up to the challenge.

To build buyer confidence, consider the following strategies:

  1. Consider hiring a sales rep. Whether to hire a sales rep can be a difficult choice, and you can make it account specific without feeling like you need one sales rep or one sales rep firm for all your accounts. At Psi Bands we have several sales reps with several companies for specific accounts. Our eggs are not in one basket.
  2. Reinforce the sales channels where you are already successful. See tip #2. The buyer must feel that you have a solid infrastructure in place. Having a proven track record at other retailers, online included, minimize the buyer’s risk.
  3. Propose a solid marketing plan that will drive store sales. Present the buyer with a marketing calendar for the upcoming 12 months. It’s a great tool that shows the buyer that you have a well-thought-out plan for driving store sales to THEIR store(s). And, be sure to include past marketing/PR highlights to show them past success as this, too, builds credibility.
  4. Propose a solid and customized business plan that will drive store sales. It’s important to understand the buyer’s goals and objectives – so that you can become a part of their success. Familiarize yourself with the buyer’s current product selection by walking the store shelves. Review the company’s annual report so you use their specific language and understand their priorities. Ask the buyer for his/her list of current goals/objectives (each department within a company may have unique ones).

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