I always say there are 3 factors buyers care most about when evaluating new vendors. These are:
- Where is your product line selling and how is it selling in those stores (i.e., Performance)?
- How are you supporting your sales (i.e., Marketing)?
- Are you a good vendor partner (i.e. Execution)?
So does your personality and experience factor in to my decision? Absolutely. #3 above is important. It gives me insight into whether I can trust you and your company to deliver on your promises. If you have experience in delivering on promises, most notably if you have experience working with other retailers of similar size and logistics, then I’ll be more likely to award you business.
But if you don’t have a long history of shipping to retailers, your personality will factor in more heavily. And I will be checking off these items in my mental checklist as you talk….
- Have you done your homework on my store? Check.
- Do you seem problem-solution oriented? Good.
- Do you understand how selling to retail works? Thank goodness.
- Are you a strong communicator? Awesome.
- Are you a “Yes” man? Not good.
- Do you understand the retailers’ objectives? Great.
- Are you buttoned up and polished? Fantastic.
- Are you defensive when I give suggestions? Uh oh, danger.
- Do you take the approach of “how can we all benefit from this partnership”? Great, I like you already.
This isn’t to say that a trustworthy personality will overcome a brief history of selling to retailers… it is not enough. But you’ll be surprised how much control you have over your own destiny by showing up with the right mindset and personality… and how often this is ignored.
Were you guys up this morning to catch my guest interview on MSNBC’s Your Business with JJ Ramberg? If not, here it is. Enjoy!