Your hard work is paying off – you’ve scored a meeting with a buyer! The next steps, though, are about blowing them away to secure that all-important purchase order. Here are some tips to ensure you’re thoroughly prepared before you walk into that meeting:
– Ensure that you’re familiar with the store’s shopper demographic, the other brands they’re carrying and if they’re a natural fit with the existing aesthetic and price range.
– Take samples! They should be in perfect condition and exactly representative of what you’ll be sending to the store when fulfilling the purchase order.
– Take your catalog and/or line sheet. Each item should have a corresponding style number to make it seamless when you’re referring to the different items you’re showing.
– Have a price sheet. This will sit separately from your line sheet, and can include an order order form. However, some stores have their own order form, and if so, ensure that you read the fine print, which could include information on payment terms, chargebacks and so on.
– Be prepared for common questions, including:
- Which piece/s are the most popular, and which items sell the best?
- What are your minimum order quantities?
- What are your payment terms?
- How is the product packaged?
- Are these in stock? If not, when can I expect them?
- How soon can you deliver? If all goes well, how soon can you ship reorders?
- Can I customize your product to better fit our store?
- Are you willing to do a wholesale discount or promotion?
– Take business cards! They should have your name, your company name, phone number, email address and website.
– Have your account list ready. This should include the stores you currently supply, as well as their location, as some stores may want to be the exclusive stockists within a specific locale.
– Include a press list. This is essentially a portfolio of the press your brand has been receiving, and can help establish context for your brand if you don’t have an existing relationship with the buyer or store.
Do you have any other insights around buyer meeting preparation you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!
This post was inspired by an earlier Maker’s Row article.
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