To get your brand on a retailer’s shelf you need to convince them that your product will help them make more money.  Sounds simple, right?  Not so fast.

First, you must have a compelling retailer sales story.

Retailers need and want brands willing and able to help them drive sustainable sales. Gain a competitive advantage by helping the retailer succeed.

Before you can have a productive conversation with retailers about why your product should be on their shelves, you need to successfully communicate the benefit of what’s it in for them.  When developing your go-to market strategy and determining your brand’s sales story, here are some specific questions you need to answer first:

  • Do you know what to include and not include) in your presentation?
  • Have you compared the sales of their current products against the retailer’s competition in your category?  How does your product perform in your competitors?
  • If your product is new with no sales history, what are your sales projections?
  • How does your product attract shoppers into the retailer’s store and what complimentary items do they purchase when they buy your product?

Some of these questions require a more detailed analysis that are covered in my courses.  For now, know that an effective selling story includes an in-depth understanding of how your customer shops the category and the retailer.

All retailers want to know the answer to one question. What’s in it for me?

Does your sales story adequately address this question?  Is it compelling enough to get your product on the shelf and more importantly, keep it there?

The competitive landscape is changing. Retailers need and want more from brands than canned topline reports and generic sales presentations. Whole Foods is adopting traditional category management. Independent retailers deserve the same commitment from brands.

Read the rest of the article on Whole Foods Magazine

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