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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What Retailers Want When You Pitch

In October 2008, we had the pleasure of speaking with several retailers from across the US about what they like and don't like about being pitched. The majority of those interviewed are online retailers, with a handful of on-site retailers in the group.

In a nugget, here is what our retailers said about being pitched:

What they like:

  • A seller who is prepared to pitch their product: including having a completed line sheet, high quality product photos and pricing already in place
  • A seller who has researched the business they are pitching. What items does the store currently carry, what are their pitching requirements, etc?
  • A seller who knows his/her pricing terms inside and out, has set wholesale pricing and/or dropshipping terms, and is realistic about price points and retail margins!
  • A seller who is confident! Our interviewees said they were more inclined to take a chance on a seller who exuded confidence and passion, than timidness and discomfort.
  • A seller who follows-up after making their pitch, frequently if needed. (and you thought you were bugging them too much!)  Three retailers stated they are simply too busy to remember to follow-up with every seller-even those they are interested in.

What they DIDN'T like:

  • A seller who isn't confident.
  • Sellers who have unrealistic pricing, leaving unworkable margins for the retailer.  All of our interviewees stated that many "small" and "home-based" product manufacturers overprice their products right out of the retail market.
  • Sellers who are unorganized about product presentation, sending information or following up with retail inquiries. 
  • A seller who isn't in-tune with his/her competition.  Every seller must be prepared to tell why their product should be chosen over competing products.

A little insight as we head into the new year.  Watch for a full article to come out on this topic in January!

1 comment:

Heather Allard said...

Great article, Lisa. You have to always be prepared to explain why/how your product is better & different than products a retailer may already be carrying. I have an article on my blog that your readers may find helpful as well at

Great job!