Why Sell Products to Retailers?
We're gonna get started talking about selling your products to retailers and I know everyone comes here from kind of a different point and so I want to talk about some of maybe kind of the scenarios that you're all coming from so we can see where everyone is so I think ultimately everybody is here because you want to spend more time making designing and you don't want to spend so much time selling and marketing right everyone wants to just make the stuff that they love, but they wanted to sell you want people to buy your products so hopefully you're looking for this greater consistency so you want to sell more products you want to sell them on a more regular basis you don't want your revenue to be so unpredictable right? Like everyone's tired of that sort of like rise and fall like here's but here's a chunk of money and then nothing happens for awhile right? That's super frustrating and also you want to think about taking control of your sales so those of you who are selling online, yo...
u probably feel like you're kind of sitting at your computer waiting for customers to find you like you. Maybe today is the day somebody gonna find me right? So when we're selling to stores we have this really awesome opportunity where we can go and reach out to stores so suddenly instead of sitting back and we waiting for customers to find you, you're going to dive in, and you are going to take control of the sales process, so suddenly you control your income. So I want to know if this sounds like you and I want you guys online to chime in as well. So maybe you've been struggling to sell your products online. I know some of you are selling on etsy, or maybe you have your own shop, the sale's, not quite where you want him to be, so maybe you're struggling to sell online, and you know what? That does not mean that you don't have great products, so I can tell you from my own experience, you know, I started my business back in two thousand seven I started, I had an etsy shop, I was also doing retail craft shows, and I never had that kind of online success, but as soon as I started selling two stores immediate, I think the first year that I did, it was, like four times as much money selling two stores. So if you've been struggling to sell online, this is going to give you another outlet to sell your products that might present them in such a stronger way, or maybe you're just sick of doing outdoor retail craft shows every weekend, so I don't know if anyone's experience this before esso before I really got into selling to store seriously, this was my life every other weekend or so I would go, teo, you know, I go to craft show I'm pretty sure brained every weekend to the summer of I think it was two thousand seventy, two thousand eight every weekend this's, renegade craft fair in brooklyn, awesome people, but there was a lightning storm and they didn't even abandoned pool that would be really cool, right? What happens when it rains is the pool fills with water, so I'm standing there and, like three inches of water holding onto my metal tent in a lightning storm thinking there has got to be a better way to make a living. Turns out there is there is absolutely a better way to make a living then doing this every weekend, so maybe that's you maybe, or maybe you just want to avoid this altogether. Like maybe this is not even an option in your life. You have kids, you have other commitments, you don't want to be out there every weekend. Piven your stuff, hoping it's going to sell so this selling to sort is going to give you an opportunity to kind of moved beyond this life. So I think everyone's here because they want to make a consistent income from your business and for everyone your goal everyone schools are gonna be different so some of you it's you know, just kind of starting some of you may be you have big dreams of having a spouse quit their jobs supporting your family whatever it is no you want that more consistent income and that's something that selling two stores can absolutely dio you might also want your friends and family to take what you d'oh seriously so I know for a lot of people you started home, you may products and your friends and family think like oh that's a nice hobby that's really fun I know I experienced this so I have two degrees and metal smith and I have a bachelor's and master's in metal smith thing and still when I was starting my business it seemed like my husband, my family they didn't take what I was doing seriously because I was just home all day doing whatever not a big deal. So when I started selling two stores when people started to see me in stores, that really helps to legitimize my business in the eyes of everyone else and you know how hard it is to run your own business when everyone around you thinks that you're not really running a business right? You're like, I've worked so hard my husband's like did you really like, why are the dishes done? So I should be clear I love my husband, but, you know, it's important, uh, you know, this helps legitimize you because something people are seeing your products and stores they're saying, hey, this is something that you're really committed to doing, and the other thing is that you might want this business to support your life and not the other way around. So this goes back to that kind of, like, retail craft show, you know, you want to be in charge of your schedule on for me, that was a big thing about shifting to selling two stores I felt like suddenly I had way more control of my time in my life because I wasn't the only one responsible for selling my products anymore and that's, what we're going to do with you guys too, is when selling two stores, we're going to take some of the stress off of you because it's not your job to sell toe every individual customer anymore and that's really powerful in your business. So is this class right for you? So let's talk about who should be here, who this class is for, and I think you're gonna find it's actually gonna fit ah lot of different needs. So you might have an existing product line already maybe you sell online or you sell it craft shows and you want to sell the stores so you're thinking ok I think this is a good avenue for me you might be further along in that you might already sell the stores or maybe stores are approaching you and you're finding that you just don't know what to dio like I don't know what a line sheet is I don't know or maybe you're selling two stores but you're not happy with the volume of sales you've picked up a couple of counts but you're not sure how you should be selling your work how you should be talking about it you just want to be more confident in the way that you talk about your products we're gonna cover all of that and maybe you're just considering launching a product line so I think there's definitely some of you who are watching right now in the online audience you're in your cubicles you're thinking about that product line maybe you're starting to make some product and if you watch this and think about selling two stores right from the beginning it's gonna put you in a really good position you're goingto be set up so much better than someone who isn't thinking about this because I always tell people you know you might think oh maybe selling stores isn't for me like I don't want to do that you know I'll just say no, but if you get an email from anthropologie, do you really want to have to say no? You want to be able to do that? And so even if you're just starting out thinking about this now is going to set you up for success in the future and so you know, no matter where you are, I think we're going to find ways to help you in this class. The other thing is you might feel intimidated by the whole trade show thing you're thinking like yeah, I want to do like when he said I want to do a trade show but maybe you're not ready or you're thinking like I can't do a trade show that's ten million dollars, right? So we're gonna talk about all of that too. So the next question that you're probably having us does it matter what part of the world you're in? I love that creative live has this amazing global audience and so I want to say to everyone who's watching no matter where you are, this absolutely applies to you so as you'll see kind of in this class a lot more of my references are going to be us based its where I am it's where I run my business, but here's the beauty of selling two stores selling two stores means that you can target customers anywhere in the world we're guard lis of where you're located, so if you're running your business from australia but you know that a lot of your customer base is in the us, this is a perfect situation for you because you can reach those customers simply by selling two stores in the u s maybe you're in canada and you want it to happen more maybe you're in the u s and you're thinking, hey, I actually want to sell more two stores in europe all of this is applicable and so that's what's so beautiful about selling two stores is that it doesn't matter where you live or where your customers live, no matter what you can find them and hook them up. So if you're tuning in from anywhere else in the world definitely you know we're happy to have you and this is so relevant to you do we have some people from some international people in our group right now? We do have a few already we've got phil coe is joining us from the uk I mean got the netherlands joining us. So now I want to just give you guys a little bit more about my background and why I'm here and why I'm so passionate about teaching this tio eso lei li mentioned I am a designer and a metal smith I started out with the jewelry lines actually what I went to school for so I studied jewelry, I no idea what to do with the bf and metal smith thing, so I went to grad school, you don't know what to do with your degree, you go get more degrees, right? So I went got a degree, I got my masters left school and I still don't really know what to dio, so I started doing retail craft shows because that's, what everybody else did, so I started doing that, and this was two thousand six heading into two thousand seven, so I also started an etsy shop, and I was like, ok, cool, I'm going to sell online, and then I kind of don't know what to do, so I just sort of wandered into selling to stores, and that really took off for me. So since two thousand eight was when I started selling two stores, I have done twenty five trade shows in the lab, so I know my when we're talking about trade shows, I promise you, I know my stuff on, so I've done twenty five trade shows ranging from really great to really not so great. Um, and I have sold my products now, tio over one hundred stores, so all across the u s lots of different stores, but it hasn't been a really always straightforward, an easy journey for me and so that's, really why I'm here is because I want you guys to not have to suffer like I did. This is my first trade show booth. It is a big what not to dio sa when I did my first trade show, I did the new york international gift fair. I knew nothing, literally nothing when I did this show and there were fights with my husband, there were tears. He built all these displays for me, but there was a lot of arguing and stress, and I really didn't know what to expect, and I didn't know what to do. I don't want you guys to go through that you don't have to have this experience, because we're going to walk you through all of it see, you know exactly what to dio, but inspired by that and inspired by kind of working with makers and designers who are trying to launch their business. In two thousand nine, I launched a website called originally it was called crafting an mba, but now it's called designing an mba. Ah us confined it at designing an mba dot com s o I launched this website specifically to help people like you guys grow every aspect of their business, but one of the things that I've always been super passionate about is selling two stores, so that's something that I do in my wholesale academy class and that's why I'm here with you guys so that you can learn from my mistakes you could have ah much better experience and you could get out there and sell the stores and really grow your business is so we're going to talk about a little bit more now about what you're gonna learn in this workshop but I would love for you guys to share online what's one thing you're really hoping to get out of this class you know we're here to talk about selling your products to retailers so what is it that you're hoping to learn and we're while our online audience times and we're actually gonna go to our studio audience first so we'll start here so since this is our first time talking everybody go ahead and just you know, tell us your name tell us just a little bit about what you d'oh real quick we'll keep it we'll keep it short on then what you're hoping to learn one thing that you really want to get out of this class my name's monica and I'm a cofounder sweet cheeks and we create a diaper changing clutch which is basically a diaper pad for parents to change child's diaper on in public and what I'm really looking forward teo getting out of this class is expanding beyond my social network now we're selling exclusively on e commerce and I would love to get into retail space because I know that that's when we really be ableto uh make a lot of movement with product fantastic hi, I'm shayla I am, um the vision behind chez la take coffee and um what was the question? What is one thing that you really want to learn in this world? So what a couple of things I want to learn is just the wholesale policies and getting into retail's butt actually keeping the volume keep it turning so I don't know that's a pr marketing so I'm just trying to figure that whole asked fantastic we're going definitely talk about all of that owner of the dirty business bath company and great name I am really looking forward to learning about how to speak with retailers because we've had a kind of a bad experience before with a retailer and so I just want to know what to do excellent and just to let you know, just because you've had one bad experience doesn't mean they're all like that. Most retailers are amazing to work with so super monica padilla and with sweet cheeks that's my daughter monica and um packaging presentation of a product it's really unique and I went first impression to be lasting how fantastic and I'm assuming that you guys brought products that later we can actually take a look at stuff and talk about it perfect lindsay on the designer and metal smith for infused jewelry I'm really looking toa learn how teo approach retailer specifically at wholesale trade show awesome tiffany um I am a jewelry designer tiffany and studios and I'm really looking at take a business to the next level I sell a lot online and I think that's sort of my other revenue stream that really needs to get kicked in the butt I'm anna have a clothing company for infants and children called an apple on dh we've been working with several boutiques now um, but I'm ready to both transition out of working with some consignment and back into wholesale as well as working with a like a higher caliber of of retail partners. So what? I'm looking for our strategies to help me run that part of my business more efficiently and also like just clean it up and you know, packaged everything better so that I can approach the higher end retailers fantastic. So do we have a great daydream? Prince says I'm really hoping to learn what the golden number is for pitching to retailers. How many products should you have within your collection before you're taken seriously? Uh, dealin eleven twenty four says I'm hoping to learn how to present my products to stores in a professional way and exactly had a wholesale and exactly how wholesale prices could be profitable who love it let's see there's oh, wow, there's so much happening in the children's robin man says, I'm hoping teo get backbone to sell confidently without being taken advantage of kelly j I'm selling high end handwoven silk in wolf's wool scarves, and I'd like to learn how to get into the right market, namely high end stores and there's more and more and more. There is a lot of engagements. Fantastic, I'm so, so glad you guys are all engaged in the chat rooms, I love it, and then we'll be turning back to you guys a lot throughout the class too. Um, so we're definitely gonna cover everything that you guys brought up so far, so we're gonna really break this down, so that becomes a great process for you guys. So we'll talk about what you need to sell two stores, whether that is your, you know, the number of products you need in your line. We're going to talk about getting that line sheet together, which I know can be a intimidating, especially for people who aren't married to a graphic designer, but it could be a little intimidating eso we'll talk about that, we'll talk about that whole wholesale pricing profitability piece why selling two stores doesn't mean giving away half your profits, it's certainly not what we're doing at all. We're going to talk about how to identify your ideal retail customer, and I know what you're thinking. I'm here to sell the stores, does my retail customer even matter? Absolutely. We're gonna learn how to identify who the retail customer is for your product, because that's going to help us find the stores that are the best of it for you, we're also then going to talk about how to talk about your product. So what it is you say how to pitch confidently and just how to talk to retailers in general. So hopefully by the end of this, you guys will see that buyers are people, too. They're not scary monsters, you guys are actually all in it together. Everybody has the same goal, so we'll talk about how to talk about your products and how to talk to retailers on, and then we're gonna actually go through the nuts and bolts of marketing. So how to reach out exactly how you should be making those pitches, how you should be approaching people. And finally, we are going to talk about that trade show piece because it's something that I'm super passionate about, I'll answer this question up front because I know what's going to come up? No, you do not need to do a trade show to grow your wholesale business, but from my experience, the fastest way to accelerate your wholesale business is to do a trade show so that's why we are going to be talking a lot about trade shows as well, and even if you're not doing a trade show it's really helpful to understand that trade show market so we will be talking about all of that as well. So my goal for you guys is that by the end of this workshop, I want you to feel confident pitching your products to stores. I want you to feel like you've got the professional materials, you know what you want to talk about? You know what to say you're confident in your policies, you've got all of that together so that you can go out and pitch stores and feel really good about that, and I want to be able to do that because this means greater control of your businesses income and that is really what this is about it's about not waiting, not sitting back, not hoping that the customers are going to come it's about you taking action and generating those sales that are going to help you grow your business and that's really what this does selling two stores gives you an actionable strategy to help you achieve those bigger business goals, so before we get into the nuts and bolts of what all this means and what we're doing I want to talk for a minute about your business goals because I want to situate what we're doing within those broader things that you want and as you guys know, we've got this handy little workbook here so we can actually start diving into this now s o I want you to sit here and think about what are three goals that you have for your business and I want you guys online to go ahead and share to mean you don't give us three and you just give us one in the chat rooms but thinking about what are your main business schools, they don't have to be wholesale related at all just yet. I just wanna know what your major business schools so we'll go around the room again monica I'd love to become an established brand that people are aware of fantastic, I would love to get some pr marketing and partner with some non profit so that the business can actually grow and get some, uh his value behind great I think firstly would be to become profitable. Oh yes, always important on and then uh allow us to focus solely on the business rather than leading other lives as well, like the other four the jobs that we have so the quit your day job dream is a big one, I think probably gonna see that from the online audience as well too um I think I would like people to take me serious what I am doing like he said I'm not just sitting at home just making stuff I'm actually building a business fantastic you hit the nail on the head earlier for me when you talked about control and consistency I'm really looking to build predictability and my business fantastic I'm actually looking to get away from the computer a little bit more and grow my business and collaborate with other artists in the oakland area and knife and are you okay with collaborating even just beyond the oakland area or you think I like anywhere yeah, I would love to travel and go, huh? That makes trade shows so great. Um, I would love to get my business to a point where we can transition from being like just a cute baby products line to now using that as a platform to share a bigger message of like working with community and nonprofits that serve you fantastic well, lots of people in the chat room want to quit their day jobs that's for sure that seems that seems to be the main one pooch smooch quit my day job to design equipped my data have j I'd like to quit my part time job yeah, they all want to go on christmas the case saying basically I really want to understand what my own clients need help with great yeah so that quit your day job one this is definitely a place where you know selling to retailers can absolutely help you achieve that goal because it's going to give you that consistency it's going to help you build a business but it's you're gonna be able to do it in a way that's more efficient so you're going teo be able to sell it a greater volume you're not gonna have to spend quite a cz much time maybe marketing just to get that one little sale so hopefully in that time when you're not at your day job this is going to be a process that you can put into place to help to build that income so that you can quit that day job because I know that is so many peoples dream and I wanna help you guys get there for sure. All right? So we have definitely heard ah lot of these and I what I really want you to understand is that even if you weren't considering selling two stores before you jumped into this class this today maybe you were just thinking like uh let's see what's going on in creative live so you have the warrant thinking I want to sell the store's hopefully by now you're starting to think like that I want you to see that selling two stores can absolutely help you reach all of those business schools that you guys have so let's, talk about some of the benefits of selling two stores, and I want you guys to really pay attention to this and you can kind of come back to your work because I want you to figure out which ones of these really resonate with you. So which of these benefits make the most sense for your brand on and how you are? You know how that's going to work for you. So the first one, I think, is just increased exposure to a larger audience and a different audience. So one of the things that probably some of you have heard is bricks and mortar dead, nobody shops and stores anymore. Everybody shops online, right? That's all anyone does anymore in the us. As of a quarter one of twenty fourteen on lee, six percent of total retail sales happened online, onley six percent. I believe it's something like another ten percent is like mail order catalogues. Still, that number might have shifted a little bit, but on ly six percent is happening online. So if you're not thinking about selling two stores, you are missing a huge part of the market place. That is a huge, huge piece huge audience that you're missing out on so that's a really big advantage. There are also people who let's face it you can go online, you can try to do things like seo and social media and all that but there are people who are never going to find your product those ways but they might just by walking into a store and seeing it on the shelf so it's really gonna help you find different people and more people and it really helps you sell to areas of whether it's your country or different part of the world where you can't be present so my business is a really great example of this I live in a small town in pennsylvania because my husband really doesn't like cities so we live in the country in the middle of nowhere where I live is not the market from my products like if I was trying to sell locally I would have been dead in the water years ago but what wholesale has let me do what selling two stores is let me dio is it's let me find the places in the country where my customers live and where my customers shop and put my products they're in their hands and yes technically selling online lets you reach that you know global audience as well but you're trying to communicate through images and through all of those things at the end of the day everybody here makes a physical product you make something that people can touch and when people can touch and try your products, they are more likely to buy them, and the way to do that is to put those products into stores so that's a huge benefit of selling two stores, they're couple other ones, too, more predictable cash flow, and we'll talk a lot about kind of creating the cycle throughout these three sessions where we really look at like how to kind of even it out it's still never gonna be perfect, as we all know we're in a retail business, there are high and low seasons for sure, but we can balance that out so you might have a handful of stores who their best times they're gonna be valentine's day and heading into the christmas season. But then I balance that out with a handful of stores who are in tourist areas where there mostly selling in the summer months so it helps you kind of balance it out by targeting stores who have different sale cycles. It's also ah, higher dollar amount per order. So yes, when you're selling to a store you're selling at your wholesale price and not your retail price, but by the end of this session, you know, as we go through the next couple of segments, you are going to be making so much money off your wholesale price that that's not gonna matter and what we really want we want that higher dollar amount per order, so when you sell online retail you might have someone buying one product or two products and maybe it's depending on your price points thirty bucks fifty bucks sixty bucks no even for me my price points tend to be a little higher you know? My average retail sales somewhere online is something like eighty and a hundred but when I sell to a store my average dollars per sale is usually anywhere between five hundred and a thousand dollars consistently I would say it's in the five, eight hundred dollar range takes me almost the same amount of time of hacking ship that order and suddenly I'm standing out a lot higher dollar amount for the same amount of effort so that's a huge advantage of selling two stores and it's also more revenue per customer over time. So when you sell to a customer on line in a retail setting, you sell one thing hopefully they love it and they come back maybe they buy one or two maybe even three but if you sell to a store and your products work out for them that they might be placing that five hundred, eight hundred thousand dollars several thousand dollar order every couple of months or you know at least two or three times a year so suddenly the value of one customer because that's part of this game is that when you're dealing with a store, you're dealing with one person at the end of the day and that one customer instead of spending maybe a couple hundred dollars over the life span of your business is spending a couple thousand or a couple hundred thousand dollars over the life span of your business, so it makes thes customers that you're dealing with give you so much more revenue, it's also less wasted time. So this is particularly for those of you guys who are in that kind of retail craft show circuit you know you're getting ready, you're gearing up for the retail craft show you have to make a lot of inventory, right? You have no idea what's going to sell, so then you come back and you've got all this wasted inventory what's great about selling two stores is you make one of everything and then your store is going to come in there going toe order and you on ly make it after you've got the order, so we're not wasting time making inventory that people aren't going to sell and for those of you guys who arm or in the manufacturing setting like shayla and like monica, you know you'll be able to kind of predict into the future what your orders are going to be and you khun order smarter free for your products so it makes the whole thing more efficient and as I mentioned, I'm really going to kind of hammer this in you don't have to wait for customers to find you this to me is so critical. I feel like we sit back and we wait and it's so so, so frustrating, you don't have to wait anymore. You can research stores, it's really easy to figure out we'll go through the whole process, and then suddenly, bam! You couldn't go out and chase that money instead of waiting for it to come to you, and then it is going to give your business that credibility and legitimacy. So we've talked about that a couple times, and part of that iss is that the average person has no idea how products get into stores, right? They think it's like this really mystical process? I remember I was at, um uh, metal smith in conference, and we were at an exhibition at a performing arts gallery, and they had a little shop, and I'm hanging out in the lobby and all these people came up to me. They were like, did you know your products are in the store? That's so cool your products here in the store, it's like, how do you think they got their I know why products here in the store, but the average person has no idea, and so even if your products are in one store, two stores or three source, people are gonna be like, whoa, what you do is riel like that. It's. A serious business. So there are is. You can see lots of great reasons to sell the stores. I am super super passionate about this because I think it is a really great way to stabilize your business and bring in more revenue.