How to Sell to Retail – Overview of Section 1 – LOOK BIG #selltoretail

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:

  1. Business identity – including mission, values, positioning and brand identity
  2. Business presence – your online and offline representation, your findability, your impact
  3. 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 or you can pre-order my book, “How to Sell to Retail: Secrets of Getting your Product to Market” via which will be published and available from 3rd February 2013.


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
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4 Responses to How to Sell to Retail – Overview of Section 1 – LOOK BIG #selltoretail

  1. Pingback: How to Sell to Retail: Section 1: LOOK BIG, Part 1, Identity #selltoretail | Clare Rayner: The Retail Champion

  2. Pingback: How to Sell to Retail: Section 1: LOOK BIG, Part 1, Identity #selltoretail | CTS Blog

  3. Pingback: How to Sell to Retail: Section 1: LOOK BIG, Part 2, Presence #selltoretail | Clare Rayner: The Retail Champion

  4. Pingback: How to Sell to Retail: Section 1: LOOK BIG, Part 2, Presence #selltoretail | CTS Blog

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