Sell Your Products to Retailers

Lesson 28 of 31

Collecting Leads & Following Up

 

Sell Your Products to Retailers

Lesson 28 of 31

Collecting Leads & Following Up

 

Lesson Info

Collecting Leads & Following Up

And I want to talk about starting to collect leads at a trade show because part of the show is writing orders and we're going to get to writing orders don't worry, but part of the show was also collecting leads, so just because someone doesn't order now doesn't mean they won't order in the future. So again, this is part of a relationship building and really trying to build our list have people that we're gonna work with. We want to come out of the show at the very least, if we don't have a lot of orders, we want to come out with a solid stack of stores and names and people who are interested. So the first thing that you're going to dio is you're going to take a business card from anyone who requests a line sheet. This is super standard practice, they ask you for a line sheet you're going to say, may I have your business card and they're gonna be exactly like tiffany? Yep, here you go every so often you're going to say someone's going to say, I'm totally out it happens. I know how buyer...

s always run a business card thingy, like always underestimate, um and so what I always do in that scenario. Because I always keep a little notebook with me, usually smaller than this because it tucks in there a little better, so I keep a notebook, so if someone says, you know what, I don't have any business cards left, you know, can you write down your name, your name, your store name, email address city and state that's? Usually all I asked for because I can get the rest if I have that and they're always happy to do that if they're not happy to do that, don't give him a line sheet because they're they're not serious about buying. If they're serious, they're going to give you information because they want you to follow up. I also like to make notes of conversations and how interested people were, so I'm either going to write on the business card or now just to kind of make things easier. What I do is I keep that note book and I'll stable business cards write in the notebook so stable and in time, I have a store written here, and then I'll staple it in, they will walk away and I'll just make a few notes, like we talked about how their daughter went to the same college that I did or she was wearing a really great, you know, really great par. Worse and we talked about that or more importantly, you know they said they were gonna send me an order next week, right? So I can mark that on there so I know that if there are people that I'm prioritizing my follow up with it's someone who said I'm going to write an order next week right? The other thing that ideo I mentioned a couple times that I am a badge stalker so all buyers at a show are wearing badges so coming up here again hear me our briar like standing I know I keep picking on me oh, so you're coming through you've got a badge so I might say hi and then I'll back off and let you look, but I'm also I've been reading your badge before you came in, so sometimes I look for the badge as an opportunity to open up a conversation oh, your stores in san francisco. What part? Uh, in the tenderloin oh, you know what? I don't know if I know that area can you tell me a little more about it? But there's a lot of cabinets up and coming there's a lot of galleries there think you're hillary would be perfect if it you know, it it's still up and coming, yeah, okay, so you might look for those in so sometimes, you know, like if you're gonna ask about a park of a city it's a city you want to be familiar with, you know who I mean so clearly took me sprung it on me, but hopefully we can get that well, that's way we've got that happening also look for things that are related, so, you know, I'm based in pennsylvania, so if I see a story's based in pennsylvania, but I don't recognise where the town is and I'd say, oh, what part of pennsylvania are you in? And then they'll say, I'm near this because you do sometimes want to play that local connection a little bit, right? So we might do that, but sometimes what'll happen is tiffany will come by she's looking at stuff I'll say hi, you know, I mean, like, all this is, you know, one of my best sellers it sells really well, or this is on me and she'll say thanks and she'll walk away, you want great, but maybe she so she didn't seem like so engaged that she asked me for a line sheet, but she looked maybe she asked a question she's a little interested while all that's going on, I'm reading her store name and her city and state, and as soon as she walks away, what was that rated down really fast, right? Because we didn't get to really that stage where business card exchange made sense in the natural flow of the conversation, but if I have her store name in our city and state, I'm gonna go home I'm going to google her and I'm gonna put her back on my prospect list so great, maybe the first time you just stopped you pause you were interested, but just what if for whatever reason, I didn't quite catch you that day, but I'm gonna start sending you postcards so hopefully in the future it really catches your eye so yeah passes by your booth, but their badge is turned the other way. Yes, so so luckily, that does not happen very often. Typically, badge flippers are going to be that's literally what we called on badge flippers uh, so badge flippers are typically either going to be big stores, and you can tell that they're big store because they're buying and mass and in that case, there's not a lot that you khun d'oh unless they actually stopping engaged in a conversation if they're interested if a big stories interested and they really want think they're going to tell you where they're from, right? Most of your small stores were really good, but sometimes you just can't so that's a case where if the badge really is flipped or you can't see it then I'm gonna go ahead and hopefully engage them long enough that I get a business card they take a line sheet so that I can get that information so that's a case where you know and then if they don't have a badge or the bad just flipped I'll look for another opening in the conversation right? So the conversations they always start with the badge because the names there's no commonality obviously we can use a hi how are you so tiffany's my buyer stand up again you could die if you don't walk from this why this time so you're walking by really fast and you're looking at your cellphone hi how are you? I'm good start you off but we're doing a little less abruptly usually I have a little more space to work back conversation we've got here right uh but typically it's ah hi how are you and then they look up and if they look up and there really is it's not for them they're just gonna keep moving but she might look up and then realized like oh my gosh, I really love this okay? Oh wow right, right so you would have missed this but now you're here so sometimes I'm really just going to start with that hi how are you? But if they've kind of paused and they've come up then I might think about the like oh your ring is really great and then I know it's your ring but thank you I got a mobile have your buyer you might say like oh, I carry this designer in my store and then I can say okay, why don't you tell me a little bit more about your store so it's nice to talk to buyers don't feel like you have to ask every beiring what's done thanks, tiffany uh don't feel like you have to ask every buyer about their store because not everyone is gonna want to be super expansive again they're in a hurry they got a lot going on, but I ask one or two quick questions kind of helps establish that relationship. Plus you could say something like oh, you know, if you had said, oh like where's your store and he said it's in the tender line I'd say since I've never heard of it, I would say I don't have any stores there, so that's that's good, I know it on any sort of all right? No, I don't know where that is, right? So I don't know where that is is actually not the best answer and then the case, you know, I don't have any stores there probably a better response in that one, so because that tells the buyer let's continue this conversation, this isn't someone that's carried in that area yeah, really, that engaging, though, are they kind of like I'm on a mission? I don't want to make small talk, you know what? It's really funny because I have seen people zoom into my booth like they're on a mission and suddenly they're there for twenty minutes, so if you can engage them it's like they're in a hurry until they're not because that makes sense like they're in a hurry, but if you could draw them in and they're interested in your product, they're going to take all the time they need ultimately. So I know this is a case where, you know, people are like, oh, the cushy floor is nice because they're going to stay a little longer because the floors cushy, I don't necessarily know that that's the case if you don't love your product, having them standing there because you have a cushy floor isn't helping anybody, right but that's not even though I am my nice hard cement floor, I'm still looking for ways to make a buyer more comfortable, so particularly I do this with my regulars, but, you know, the regulars come in she's got like her two bags, she wants just looking, place the order like you want to set those down back here for a minute. My gosh, I would love teo so we took them away there in the secret storage place or just kind of back in the corner at you know back in the corner behind here out of the traffic flow she said the down now she's not holding all that heavy stuff free and unencumbered let's work on writing that order so that's something that works at the last show in new york gift I had these two buyers came up they were a store a new store you know, I had never met them before they start looking eventually you know they decide they love the pillows you write this order they're getting ready to leave and they're like oh, now that we're like best friends forever her name was also megan's so we had that little megan connection going so they're like, you know and I was literally the first row so they hadn't been in the show for very long they're like do you mind if we put our coats back in your little space there because we didn't pay to check? I'm totally fine let's put him back there so they come in they come back maybe an hour later with the owner of the stores there's two buyers in the owner she comes back there like can she put her coat? Absolutely then she's like wait, you make the owners like you made jewellery to show to the buyers did you order the jewelry there like no just like put that on there so they added like another four hundred dollars to their order because I let them put their coats in my booth right? So you couldn't do those little things that encourage people to spend more time in your booth and again if they don't love the product that they're not gonna buy but they didn't think about the jewelry the first time because their boss hadn't told them to buy jewelry but suddenly the bosses there and now we're buying jewelry too right? So anything you could do to kind of extend that time and I'm not I'm not give nikki I'm not like a put candy out like I'm not those kinds of things like I think it's either you're having a real conversation with buyers and they're interested in there engaged in the product or you want them to move on I don't want you getting candy in my booth I don't want I don't want you like the husband that you dragged along while you're buying for a mom and pop store to sit in a chair in my booth we all know that's like a retail no no too right you know what? The chair there for someone else to sit in now if one of my regulars wants to come back and sit in my chair for a minute while I talk to her about what's new that is totally fine, but I'm not putting the chair out front. I'm not putting the garbage can out front like you're either in my booth because you're interested in my product and what I have to say about it or you're moving on and that's okay, where we going from online? Anything we're asking, do you recommend having seating in the booth should be something? So I recommend having seating for you and you wanted to be taller, so we've had these great tall stools we took him away because I don't actually typically sit, but I always keep a tall stool or two right behind my tables. Most of the day, I'm going to stand partly because I just really like to stand and I like to be able to move, but if I have a tall stool and I'm sitting, I'm still on fairly high level with my buyers, and I can slide off that stool and again do this little flow around the booth that I wouldn't be able to do if I was like back here in a chair like this is for the yogurt comes and I'm in my chair like the show to most recently will give you a chair, but it's always a low chair and I never take it, I might just take that away, I don't need it great question any other it's from from you guys we've had interesting questions that have been watching about actually handling your product amount see that this jewelry is probably quite robust but a very fine jewelry a lot of bio retailers sellers have it actually under the glass so that you can't actually handle it um is that something you recommend yeah so even in a trade show you don't want even if your products are more expensive you don't want a total glass front can't get in on lee from the back kind of scenario because you're just gonna need to let buyers touch things a little more so my recommendation be first off you know you can use something where you have there something called abstract it's like metal poles some shelving they come together so you can put glass on the top but you keep the front open what happens is most people will assume that the front is also glass but then you khun kind of hand things to them through that opening write the other thing that you should do in this case is no buyers are gonna wanna touch stuff so put maybe you're slightly more hard wearing pieces towards the front and the little dainty stuff you can you know if I have dainty jewelry I would certainly properties up and I would hang pieces like this so it's not the one that's going to get necessarily handled because it's not flat and right on front do muffins is asking? I have I've heard I'm I think, is what they mean. I've heard that buyers bring a list of booths they must see during a show, and if they have a little time left, they may visit new or random exhibitors. Is there a way to seek out these buyers during the show to attract them to your booth? That is a fantastic question, so I'm gonna there's two parts this, and I wanted to actually tackle them both because it's so good. So some shows buyers really come to seek out new product, and there seemed to be other shows where buyers really come with that walking list and you cannot, like sway them from that. So I remember being nexus, someone in a particular show, and she thought, oh, fantastic, I'm next to megan almond buyers know her. They're going to come there going like, see me, too, right? And she said she watched all day long. Those buyers here's her booth, they went, hey, meghan, I told him, look at her, and then they moved on to the next booth and they all had that walking list in their hand. So when you're thinking about doing shows, you know, you want to find out. And this is where you kind of you, you get in there and you ask your peers and you find out what people know about shows, you know, are these shows or people are going to look at new exhibitors now that said, we can solve that problem by sending the postcard first, so you're not going to get them at the show if they've already come with a walking list, but if they have gotten your postcard, you could be on their walking list and then they're stopping in your booth questions up anything in boots designed flow, anything that we've got so far, all right, let's talk about now, post show, follow up what we're going to do with those leads that were collecting. So in our next segment, we're going to talk about actually, that order process a little bit more, we're actually gonna go through the writing in order, but you're gonna come home from a show and you're gonna have some leads regardless of whether you wrote orders, you're gonna have leads to follow up on. So when I'm in a show or when you're in a show, you're always going to keep track of the stores most likely to order and that's what I'm doing in my notebook, right? I'm stabling the business card I'm saying they said they were going to follow up next week. If that's a story that says they're gonna fall out next week and I don't hear from them in like ten days right I want to follow up with them I also just make note of people seem really excited right? So if I have a store and I just wrote down their store name because they looked and walked away I'm going to say like just looked a badge but if we talked for a long time if they were really engaged I'm going to write that down I also might write down what products they were looking at so in terms of my with now you know I have scars I've pillows I have jewelry so I have a couple days categories so I might make note of that but if they were really excited like about the bronze and leather stuff I made write that down or they loved big necklaces I'm going make note of that if they said you know what I mean lea shopping for earrings I'm going to write that down that way when I follow up with them I can start to think about you know oh yeah I know you love these earrings here's a reminder you hear some of the things you were looking at so you can think about what you can do to encourage orders after a show now I know that some people do show specials and this is something you might hear so I'm going to run a show special it's going encourage people to buy at the show, you know you spend more than five hundred dollars and you're a new account, you get free shipping actually don't always love doing that, especially if it's incentive just for a new account because I've had I've actually had buyer's complained to me about other sellers they're doing free shipping for new accounts, but they're not offering it to me like I buy from them all the time. That's not fair, right? So if you're going to do kind of incentive, don't just put it for new accounts because we don't want to make our existing retailers mad. I'm also not a fan of like here's something free that's just like shipping, but you can certainly incentivize orders by doing things like, you know, if you order twenty pairs of earrings, I'll send you a display stand right so you can do things like that you can give them display fixtures, pieces like that. The one thing that I will sometimes do was a show special. If I'm having a little bit of a cash flow crunch right and coming to show season, I've spent a lot of money I want to get some of that back right away is I might do something like free shipping for as ready orders paid up front with a credit card so as ready means that whenever you have the order ready you can ship it to the store so if they say as ready and they give me their credit card at the store at the show I'm song gonna swipe it right there I'm gonna write it down but if they do that, I didn't want to incentivize that if I need a little cash quickly, right? But I would do that for my existing accounts to now my existing accounts probably aren't going to give me their credit card because they're already on that thirty so it's not offensive to them because there's on a different system but it could help generate a little cash flow, but after a show you could also think about how do you encourage the orders? How do you stand out? So I have a friend who actually he said that what he used to dio I know we talked about no email attachments, but this is a case where it seems to kind of work for him at the show he always remembers to take a picture himself standing in the booth and then he sends that picture with the follow up e mail because buyers see a lot of people and I'm like if you're like, hey, I'm meghan omine I make jewelry and you met me at the show they're gonna be like jewelry meghan I don't remember, especially if my booth is to withstand for my friend megan reilly, who also makes jewelry and has well, now I have red hair, but a lot of times we both have brown hair and about the same high and it's really confusing to people we don't actually look alike at all, but it's, you know, by your see a lot of people, right? But suddenly it's like, oh, that girl with the cute hair and the and the grain white booth, I totally remember her, so that is a way and this is a case tiny image, yeah, tiny image or if you can actually like the other thing is if you're collecting leads from someone and you're saying, like, is it okay if I put you on my email list? Then you could put that image in an e mail that you're sending out to everyone? Did you miss us at the show or did you forget to place your order? Here's are both look like here it is, but of course we're instagramming those things too, so that stores were going oh, right, I forgot uh, I also sometimes we'll email my existing stores during a show I had buyers once I saw them from a distance, I was like, great, they're making their way up and then the day ended I'm like where did they go there like my best accountant I knew stuff and I really wanted to show them so the next morning I got up and I said that any mail hey, I missed you guys yesterday show open at nine a m no that's when I was in the back of the shoshone been at nine a m nine o to she was in my booth thank you so much for sending that e mail I completely missed you yesterday and I wanted to see the new product here I am let's write the order so sometimes in addition to that postcard outreach sending those emails during the show everyone's got their smartphone now they wake up in the morning they check the e mail that can actually help buyers come back to you if they missed you the previous day but then thinking about how to encourage orders after you can give again some kind of incentive well, if you order by march first and doing free shipping, you know something little like that or you know, like I'm setting and I'm tossing a bonus pair of earrings or something like that so you can give little incentives if you want to encourage them to order I will admit that I am not always the best about post show fall up because sometimes you actually leave a show and you've got enough orders right and in that case, it's okay, if you don't follow up with most people, what I always do then is I add those stores to my master prospect list, so I sit down even if I've got orders, you know, I'll take them and at least add them to that list and everybody gets the postcard next time, and if they told me I could put them on the email list, I'll do that as well, but everybody goes at least on that master list so that I can follow up for next time and it does sometimes take time. I had a store come up to me, they were holding my postcard, they said, we've been getting your postcards for three years and we're finally ready to write an order. So when calleigh and I were talking about that it's almost like that it's not you it's me thing right? It's something it's, not us it's them they weren't ready or their customers weren't ready. I've had stores tell me I've been working my customers up to your price point, and now I'm ready to bring you in like stores might want you so bad and sometimes they just can't buy and that's where that patients there in comes in, you keep sending, you keep doing the outreach, you keep talking to them, it shows and I even like if their stores that I want but they haven't bought yet, I still leaves try to keep that relationship. You know, I showed you guys, um, instagram of debbie from till the that that's something that we kind of worked on that for a while, like she wanted I wanted her, she wanted to bring me in, and it just wasn't the right time, but eventually we made it happen. So you have tohave that patients and that's where post show follow up becomes so important because even if they didn't buy, you don't want them to forget that you're out there save some questions from online. There is a quick question that this is related to display do you ever or also bring a sample of your jewelry in packaging or with your hang tag? Oh, that's a fantastic question eso I don't bring jewelry and packaging because I don't package my jewelry is going to go into a display case, so they're going to do things themselves, and I don't actually put a hang tag on it because I actually my story's going put their own tag on it. I give my store's little care cards that are gonna go in there packaging, so for something like jewelry. Unless it's a low price point where it's gonna have a hang tank, I wouldn't. Now, if you're something that it's a lower price point, the necklaces on hang tag it's going to go on a little brack, then absolutely put that on there. If you got other products or packaging, is essential. Yes, bring the packaging. So, no, for monica, you guys yourself in the booth, you're gonna have stuff in packages so that people can see what's gonna look like in the store, and then you will have your product that you roll out and demonstrate. So you guys are obviously gonna have packaging these people see what's going to come in their store. But then you're gonna have all that great stuff open so people can smell it on you. The same thing with the coffee, you're gonna have coffee and packaging, and then you're going to give it out. Little samples that great french press coffee.

Class Description


Selling your products at local art shows and craft fairs is a great way to network in your community, but it’s not the easiest way to grow your business. Landing your products on the shelves at boutiques or other retailers is the key to success. Join designer, educator and wholesaler Megan Auman to learn how to navigate the complex wholesale market like a pro and get your goods into stores everywhere, by learning how to sell your products to retailers. .

Drawing on her own experiences selling her products, Megan will take you step-by-step through the terminology, policies, pricing strategies, product creation and even distribution methods that you need to successfully work with retailers. You’ll learn everything you need to know about the two parts of a wholesaler’s target market: the store buyer and the eventual retail customer. Megan will also help you navigate the tradeshow landscape. You’ll gain an understanding of buying cycles, finding the right shows, designing a booth, creating and promoting your tradeshow line, and preparing line sheets and catalogs.

Whether you’re an Etsy seller who’s ready to diversify their product line, or a long-time wholesaler ready to expand, this course on selling to retailers will give you concrete, easy-to-apply tools for using wholesaling to bring your products to a larger audience.

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