As mentioned in my introductory blog on this topic “How to Sell to Retailers – Getting your product, or service, to market” my approach is a 12-part-plan in 4 main sections. In this blog I will introduce section 1, LOOK BIG.
Big companies think that buying from other big companies reduces risk…
The whole purpose of the section on LOOK BIG is to ensure that larger retailers do not dismiss you and your business because they think you are small-time. Retailers are cautious about who they do business with. It’s natural that big companies feel safer buying from other big companies; they believe that with size comes security – financial security and a proven track record of delivering on customer promises. They believe that buying from a big company reduces risk, risk that they would associate with buying from a smaller, less financially robust company, with little or no proven track record. Retailers are not generally big risk takers. You need to consider how you can mitigate those risks that big companies consider to be inherent in smaller businesses.
Dress for the job you want!
We want to make your proposition so compelling to the buyer that the question of size never even enters their head! The fundamental reason for all of this is to ensure you can hit above your weight, ensure you look big, look credible and at least as low-risk as big business would be perceived. There is a saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you’ve got” – essentially this is the same sentiment but applied to your whole business!
Snap judgements are made based on appearance
Whilst we could get drawn into a debate about how shallow our society is to be swayed by appearances, and how in fact we should judge things on merit, it’s a simple fact of human nature that judgements ARE formed, and almost instantly, based on appearances, rightly or wrongly. As canny business people, eager for success, we need to operate most effectively within the social structure that exists. So, and for the foreseeable future, as this is unlikely to change, as business owners we need to put the best foot forward and focus on looking big.
3 part plan to looking big…
There are 3 parts to looking big that I’ll cover in 3 separate blogs that will focus on how you can ensure you look big, and therefore NOT small-time, so that you’ll be perceived by a retail buyer as a safer bet.
These 3 part plan includes:
- Business identity – including mission, values, positioning and brand identity
- Business presence – your online and offline representation, your findability, your impact
- People – the calibre, capability and reputation of the key individuals that enable the business to deliver it’s proposition to it’s customers.
Over the next weeks we’ll explore each of these 3 aspects in a little more detail and then will move on to the 2nd section, PLAN BIG.
In the meantime if you’d like to learn more around the topic you can sign up for 52 FREE weekly tips on selling to retailers via http://www.retailchampion.co.uk/selling-tips/ or you can pre-order my book, “How to Sell to Retail: Secrets of Getting your Product to Market” via http://www.retailchampion.co.uk/selling-to-retailers/ which will be published and available from 3rd February 2013.