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Preparation To Approach Retailers & Wholesalers

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tiagosoares17.22

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[Some Context]
We are in the wine business for the last 10 years. We have been selling wine locally with some success but we are now looking for foreign markets.

Our goal is to sell our wine in a specific country, far away from where I am from.

[The Challanges]
I am travelling to that country to approach wine distributors and vinotekas. Unfortunately taking samples there is out of the question for many reasons (at least for now). So I will have to sell the product in its potential profit for the wine distributor.

One thing I want to do is to build a brand in that country. I am willing to help the wine distributors to market the wine and even help them with sales.

[My Questions To You]
1) What tips do you have for people who have a product and are approaching retailers?
2) What questions can they possibly make me, so I can prepare for them?
3) Which objections might I face?
3a) Any tips on how to go through them?
4) Tips on how to set a partnership?

Those are the first questions I have. Feel free to also make me some because there are many things I am not saying here in order to not make this very long and complicated to start with.
 

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Eskil

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1) What tips do you have for people who have a product and are approaching retailers?
2) What questions can they possibly make me, so I can prepare for them?
3) Which objections might I face?
3a) Any tips on how to go through them?
4) Tips on how to set a partnership?
I can't speak for the wine business, but some general answers would be;
1) Try to put yourself in their frame of mind. If you were the one reaching out, they will always think "what is in it for me?" so you should make a good pitch and have your numbers and facts straight for why this would be good for them.

2) Obviously they will want to know your wholesale pricing, and in many cases whether or not you offer any sorts of discounts for larger volume purchases. For instance, if the regular wholesale price is $20 at 1,000 units - if they order 5,000 what discount can you give them? (Volume discount tiers are often used for this). They will also want to know freight costs and who will pay for what. For example, you might agree that you as the product owner can pay for the freight from your distillery to a warehouse or point of transfer, but they will cover the cost from that point to their distribution center or store.

Other important things they will bring up will be:
  • What will be the return policy, if any?
  • What warranties are offered?
  • Will they have exclusive rights to their region, or will you also be taking on other resellers in the same area (who might compete with them). If exclusive, you could negotiate better terms in your favor.
  • Where can they resell the product? Not relevant to wine maybe but for physical goods, should they be allowed to resell the goods in online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay?
  • What will your shipping and lead times be like? They will want to know what to expect for the sake of planning their purchasing and inventory
  • What payment terms will you offer them? Net 30? More, less? A percentage upfront?

3) Objections could come from one or more of the above, if you are unwilling to budge on some terms or if the deal seems too unbalanced in your favor. Again, try to think what they are after but also look after yourself so you don't get screwed. In many cases it might be good to start out a 'trial' relationship where you both agree to do one or two test orders. They will try out some sales in a few of their stores, and you can then together review how things went before you start scaling up things.

4) Draft out a good wholesale agreement that fits your needs. You can find some decent templates online to use as a starting point. Make sure it is dated and signed by both parties, and defines how long your trial period will be, and whether there will be a time or money commitment involved.
 

Scot

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Great advice @Eskil This is something I'll need to think about when I hit up retailers later this year.
 

MoreVolume

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1) Make sure that you can provide data. The more in depth the better (sales per month, sales during promo periods, repeat customer stats, etc.)

The 2 stores that I have my product in didn't really take me serious, until I was able to provide statistics that backed up my claims.
 

AgainstAllOdds

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1. Make a website for a fake wine distribution company.
2. Make an email for that company.
3. Make business cards.
4. Go to a wine tradeshow.
5. Approach top suppliers and present yourself as a distributor. Ask all the questions you'd want.
6. Get answers, price quotes, etc.
7. Replicate what the top guy do.
8. Go to tradeshows with your own product.


Also - which country are you planning to sell in? Maybe someone here has knowledge on that specific market.
 

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