It’s so important to trust the people you do business with. As a consumer, we aren’t motivated to spend money if we walk into a store that's a mess. We’re much more likely to open our wallets in a store that is well kept, organized and has friendly salespeople behind the counter. Simply think of your buyers as consumers with a much bigger budget. If your business appears to be a bit of a mess, they aren't going to be as confident in your ability to deliver and may opt to spend their dollars elsewhere.
If you’re lucky enough to break through and score a phone chat or in person appointment, you want to take steps to develop the relationship and gain their trust immediately because when they feel you’d be a good partner chances are you will walk away with an order. Today, I'm sharing 5 ways you can cultivate that buyer-wholesale relationship by taking steps to earn their trust.
Start with a smile:
You’d be surprised how many unenthusiastic sales people there are out there. Energy is contagious and your passion will project onto your conversation. Even if you’re on the phone (especially if you are on the phone!) your energy and tone is critical to earning a buyer's trust.
Know your product line:
Buyers expect you to be the expert so be prepared to answer specifics about your line. If your product is stationery you should know how many pages are in that notepad. If you’re selling jewelry, you may be asked about metal content. If you work in textiles, be able to speak to the fiber content of your products. If you can’t answer these types of questions chances are they will be very underwhelmed by the experience of working with you.
Do your homework:
Before you hop on that call or walk into the selling appointment do as much research as possible about the store. (social media is great for this, but an in-person visit is always beneficial!) When you can speak to specifics that you noticed during your visit/internet search you are showing your buyer that you’ve taken extra time to learn about their business. They’ll appreciate it, and chances are it will open up a new dialogue about the business where you’ll learn something that can help in your sales efforts.
Be On Time:
When you schedule an appointment with a retailer or buyer you want to make sure you arrive at your meeting on time. The quickest way to fall to the bottom of their list is to arrive late. Not only is it rude, but you probably won’t get any additional time for your appointment (since buyers have already scheduled you into their day) so you’ll have less time to impress them. Obviously, things happen (like flat tires or accidents on the Thruway) so whenever possible give yourself extra time to travel to the appointment. When you realize that you’re going to run late give your buyers the courtesy of a phone call and email as soon as it becomes apparent that you won’t be able to arrive on time and offer to reschedule. In most situations, buyers are very understanding and will be ok with accommodating the delay BUT it should never be expected. They appreciate the heads up and professionalism that comes with you acknowledging the delay and appreciation of their time.
Tell them what not to buy:
One of my favorite ways to develop a rapport with buyers and prove you’re in it for the long haul is telling them what NOT to buy. If they’re eyeing a product in your line and you know for a fact over the counter sales have been poor tell them, and point them in a different direction. They may order the item anyway for their own reasons (like that type of print ALWAYS sells) but if it doesn’t perform they won’t hold it against you. (and listen to your suggestions next time!)