Meeting with a buyer one on one is, in my opinion, one of the BEST parts of establishing wholesale relationships. Nothing compares to the feeling of walking into a meeting, pulling out your samples, seeing your buyer’s eyes light up and walking away with an order. BUT, before you can make this dream your new reality you need to get that appointment first. In this digital age, it can be so much easier to do everything via email. While email is absolutely acceptable, whenever an opportunity to meet with a buyer in person is an option you should do everything in your power to snag a few minutes of their time. No matter how great your email correspondence is, it will never really compare to what can happen when you’re sitting across the table from them. There’s a different kind of energy in the air, you can get a read on how they’re feeling about your products and are able to address any hesitations in the moment. Plus, nothing beats seeing your gorgeous products in person!
In this 4 part Selling Wholesale series I’m going to walk you through not only landing your first in-person meeting with your dream buyer but how to prepare for your meeting, what to say during your meeting and what happens after your appointment. Ready to get this party started?!
Step 1: Make sure your line is ready to be shown
Before you start reaching out to set in person buyer meetings you want to have all your ducks in a row. Getting an appointment and being told the only option to meet is tomorrow/next week etc. might mean you’re suddenly scrambling to put things in place which is super stressful and overwhelming. If you don’t have any physical samples, you are probably going to want to hold off on reaching out until you have more pieces on hand to show them. One of the main reasons you’re asking for an in-person appointment is to showcase your products in person so showing up to a meeting with a handful of samples may not give them the best representation of your products and brand. While it can be done, I’ll tell you from experience that it is SO. MUCH. HARDER this way. If planning a meeting tops your list, work on getting a nice assortment of samples on hand to present, and don’t forget to include any new releases that haven’t been introduced to the public yet, buyers love being the first to see what is coming down the pike for next season!
Step 2: Check all the other important boxes
Making sure your wholesale pricing is in check, your terms + conditions are in place, and knowing things like your inventory levels, how quickly you can ship an order and how your products are packaged for retail will help you put your best foot forward. Even if you’ve never had a buyer meeting before knowing the answers to these common questions and having these key elements in place beforehand will help you present yourself like a pro.
Step 3: Decide how feasible it is to meet with your dream buyer in person.
Before you start offering to visit their store or meet your buyer at their office make sure you can make the trip. The last thing you want is to get the green light for a visit and realize it’s crazy expensive to visit your buyer. For instance, If you’re pitching to a national retail chain and their corporate office is on the other side of the country, look at travel options before reaching out. While a trip may put a bit of strain on your budget it’s better to know what the options are upfront versus scrambling after you get their yes!
Step 4: Ask for a Meeting!
Now that you’ve set the foundation for a strong appointment you need to reach out and get it! In many instances, if you want to meet with a buyer in person, you’re going to have to ask them for a few minutes of their time. My favorite way to do this is in your intro email. After you’ve introduced yourself and shown them why you think your products would be a great fit for their store ask them if you could visit them to share your line in person. When you’re asking for a meeting, it’s really important to convey why you want to meet in person. Buyers are busy and they need to know that spending a few minutes with you is worth their time. Something as simple as “If you have a few minutes, I’d love to stop by the store and show you my new Valentine's Day collection!” By specifying what you’re showing them and also stating that you won’t take up their entire day you are better positioning yourself for a yes.
Step 5: Following Up
Now, very similar to reaching out via email, it can take a few tries to land your in-person appointment. This is very normal, and I don’t want you to be discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away. If you don’t hear back from them try again, but in doing so be sure to reiterate why you want to meet with them in person. In some cases, your buyer may pass if they prefer to work via email only, but you have to ask them before you’ll know for sure!
Next Monday I'll be posting part 2 in the Selling Wholesale Series: How to Prepare for your Buyer Meeting
Are you struggling with knowing what steps to take to grow your own wholesale business? Check out the Maker Marketplace for affordable tools to help you scale your business or schedule a free Discovery Call with me to learn how I can support you and your big product based business goals!