I am so excited to introduce you to Annie White Brown. She is the CEO of Natural Annie Essentials.
I had the privilege of interviewing Annie on the Product Biz Made Easy Podcast. She was able to quit her 9-5 this year and start working full time in her business. We talk about the following on today's podcast:
How pop up shops helped her grow.
How she uses Instagram and Instagram Stories to grow her business.
Where most of her sales come from.
How she sells wholesale and finds new customers and so much more.
Annie's website: naturalannieessentials.com
The quickest way to scale your product-based business is to sell wholesale. Rather than try to increase the number of customers you sell an individual product to, you sell a large number of items to a handful of wholesale buyers. The best way to find new wholesale customers is through sales reps.
All about Sales Reps and they work.
Sales reps present merchandise for the lines they represent. They work out of a showroom, or they travel within the territory they cover. They will have exclusive sales rights in the area that you agree to in the contract. If sales reps are not successful with your products, they will not continue to sell them. The reps are paid strictly by commission so they tend to show the retailers lines that will sell well, so they get re-orders.
Sales reps take orders and then forward the orders to the manufacturer who then ships the order.
Sales reps require free samples and marketing materials to help them sell your...
This is a question I get asked a lot...How often can I contact a retail buyer without being too pushy? I get it; you're nervous. You're afraid of sounding sales-y or being a pain. You don't want to bother the buyer and reach out to her too much.
How often can I contact a buyer?
I say this: buyers get bothered a lot. They get a lot of emails. They get a lot of pitches, but a buyer's job is to find products for the store that will make the store money.
Sending emails to the buyers is okay. It's okay to send an email every month. The buyer may delete it if the answer is "no right now." You want to be able to remind the buyer regularly in hopes of catching them when the time is right.
If you're convinced that your product is a good fit for their store, if you're out of sight, you're out of mind. You want to remind the buyer that you're there. If you didn't hear back from them, a month or six weeks later, send them another email or call again.
I am frequently asked by clients if they should sell consignment to retail shops. This question typically comes from newer businesses as they're trying to expand their avenues of distribution or their sales channels.
What is consignment? Essentially you're lending your product to a retailer. You don't have to run the risk of rent, overhead, labor, and salaries with consignment.
If you want to sell consignment, there are some pros and cons. I want to review them with you, and some things that you want to watch out for.
Some of the pros of selling consignment:
You get new accounts.
You don't have to worry about overhead.
Some of the cons of selling consignment:
You run the risk of getting the product returned to you.
You run the risk of not getting paid.
I have a list of five things to watch out for if you're considering consignment.
The first thing I want you to think about before you decide to give your product to anybody without paying is this:
What is a wholesale trade show?
A wholesale trade show is a temporary marketplace that's anywhere from two to five days in length. It's a place where retail buyers and sellers come together.
Most trade shows are at convention centers in large cities, and the attendees (the non-exhibitors) are limited to members-of-the-trade or legitimate buyers. The show management works to protect the exhibitors from competitors who are not potential buyers.
Wholesale trade shows are not for amateurs.
Trade shows are expensive to do, but they are worth it if you're ready.
What do you need to do to get ready to exhibit at a trade show?
You need to have a product line large enough that it makes a statement so that the retailers want to buy from you. You also need packaging that looks professional and could be displayed in a retail environment.
Your marketing needs to be completely different than craft fairs and retail shows.
You need to set your booth and displays to cater to...
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