How to Sell to Retailers – Getting your product, or service, to market #selltoretail

Many of my clients are in fact suppliers to retail, they come to me so that together we can develop a go-to-market strategy and action plan that will enable them to successfully sell to retailers. Products or services / solutions suppliers alike need to be aware of the way in which big companies buy, and, if you’ve never worked in one you’ll not have the expertise or skill to be able to make an effective approach. James Dyson and the guys behind Innocent all started somewhere… What I wanted to introduce were the secrets of successfully selling to retailers to help more creative startups, designers, producers, inventors and innovators get their products to market.

How to make it BIG – The secrets of successfully selling to retailers!

Recently my focus / attention has been on my core retail clients – this is in part to do with the fact that my book, “The Retail Champion: 10-steps to retail success“, came out on 3rd July and in part to do with the focus I’ve had on Independent Retailer Month 2012 and Celebrate an Independent Christmas. The fact is at least 50% of my clients aren’t retailers – they may have some ecommerce presence, but their heart and soul and core business mission is grounded in selling to retailers.

As my own mission is all about robust and repeatable  processes, and I teach businesses to achieve a consistent standard of service delivery, it would be impossible for me to NOT have a standard approach for my supplier to retail clients! Of course, I do. It’s based on a methodology I’ve developed that I’ve called “Secrets to successfully selling to retailers” and that breaks down into a 12-point plan!

What are the  secrets to successfully selling to retailers?

The secrets break down into the 12 point plan and this includes:

  1. Look BIG: Identity, presence, people
  2. Plan BIG: Customer, competition, scalability
  3. Pitch BIG: Preparation, selling, negotiation
  4. Get BIG, Stay BIG: Expansion, replication, paranoia!

I will introduce a but more about each of those topics over the coming weeks… the approach is applicable to all garage inventors and bedroom entrepreneurs who dream of one day being the next James Dyson! It will be relevant business owners, start-ups, pre-start-up and ANYONE with a BIG idea who wants to develop and sell products or services to BIG retailers.

What I’ve learned through working with clients on this approach is that each element is as important as the others, together making a list of “Ingredients” for success – miss one out and rather like forgetting the baking power in a cake, you’re business will not rise as well as it might have done!

Do you have a BIG idea that you want to sell to retailers?

If you can’t wait for me to share each of the parts of the process over the coming weeks and months but would rather work on in it, 1-2-1, then feel free to contact me – you can find all my details via I have a FREE 52 weekly tips offering as well, see

PS: In case you wondered HOW I know this stuff… Well I’ve been on both sides of the fence! Buying side for retailers like M&S, Safeway (well, Morrisons now!), BHS, Dixons, Argos, Habitat and of both product and services AND on the selling side for organisations with both products and services offered to retailers – Novar (MK electric), SAP, Accenture… feel free to drop me a line to find out more!


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
This entry was posted in how to sell, robust repeatable processes, selling to retailers, The Retail Champion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to How to Sell to Retailers – Getting your product, or service, to market #selltoretail

  1. Pingback: How to Sell to Retail – Overview of Section 1 – LOOK BIG #selltoretail | Clare Rayner: The Retail Champion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s