Getting a retailer to sell your product involves convincing him that you are a reliable vendor and that you are offering something that his customers want to buy. Your sales strategy should demonstrate that you are professional and respectful, and it should also emphasize the merits of your product and its selling points. Protocols may be different for approaching large retailers with corporate headquarters as opposed to independent owner-operated shops but, regardless of the product or the size of the retailer, you can improve your odds of success if you research the target market and avoid wasting a buyer’s time.

Prepare promotional materials to bring to a retailer along with your product. These written materials should include written information about how your company sells and distributes your product; include prices, volume discounts, delivery schedules, requested payment terms and return policies. In addition, your promotional materials should provide the retailer with selling points. You may use the same literature that you plan to make available to customers, such as product information brochures. Having these written materials designed, printed and ready when you approach a retailer to carry your product shows him that you understand the marketing process and are willing to invest the necessary resources to attract customers.

Contact the retailer and ask about company policy for reviewing and accepting a new product. If you are approaching a retail chain with many locations, protocol may require you to bring your products to a corporate office for consideration by a buyer who makes purchasing decisions for multiple stores. If you are bringing your product to a small, independent retailer, the process may be as simple as walking in the door with samples. Inquiring in advance can save you the embarrassment and frustration of showing up at a time that is inconvenient for the retailer and possibly making him unfavorably disposed towards your product.

Prepare a concise and informative sales pitch. Use enough information to show you are passionate about your product and you understand its value and its niche, but avoid going into so much detail that you bore the retailer or take too much of his time. Bring samples and promotional materials and leave product with him for him to examine and try after you leave. If you develop a rapport with the retailer, ask if he is interested in placing an initial order, but avoid being pushy if he does not indicate a willingness to quickly commit. Ask when you can call to hear his decision.