Jane, I have a
full time job and have just started a handbag biz on the side.
I have 2 basic shapes but each bag is a one-of-a-kind
creation. I have sold only to friends and co-workers. I was in
a shop and the owner asked me about the bag I was wearing. To
make a long story short she wants to sell them in her
boutique. I'm excited to meet with her but need some pointers
before my presentation. What advice can you give me?
Congratulations, what a wonderful opportunity for you! This
is a great question because it's your first entry into the
wholesale market. And even though you would love to have the
recognition and the sale there are several things you need to
pull together and work on before you go to the meeting and
before you decide to sell to this store. You need to be
prepared and professional before you walk in the door, so here
are my suggestions:
Make sure your samples are perfect
and representative of what you will
deliver after you receive the order. Samples must be
representative of the final items to be delivered.
Carry your samples
into the meeting location in a nice bag or travelling case.
Be on time. I
know is a basic one but, nothing will hurt your chances more
of losing a sale then being late. Most buyers and owners are
busy and want to get down to business. They may have
scheduled back to back appointments so be respectful of
their time. If you're not early, you're late!
Mark each item with a style number
even if you have not devised a system for doing this. It
will make it easier to refer to different items that you are
showing if they have a style number.
Create a "line sheet"
- this is a pre-printed sheet showing the
item, color and design along with the style number. Do not
put prices on the line sheet.
Take a price sheet
- with prices for all items by style number. This is a
separate sheet - and could include an order form. Some
stores have their own order form, if they do make sure you
read the fine print.
Have a business card
with all your information on it - including your name,
company name, phone contact, email address & website.
Be sure to leave copies
of the line sheet, price sheet and business
Explain the benefits and features
of your product - what sets it apart from other similar
products? See my previous newsletter about watching QVC or
HSN to get pointers.
Set a delivery date,
allowing yourself enough of a lead time for ordering
materials and manufacturing the bags.
Perform due diligence on the store before you
sell or ship. Don't get
caught up in the excitement and then never get paid. I can
tell you horror stories about this.
Decide on the payment terms you can offer.
Can you do a credit check of the store? You may be able to
be pre-paid before you ship. Do not offer COD.
Your buyer may ask for consignment.
With very few exceptions, this is NOT a good idea.
What will you say if the buyer wants you to
customize your product? It
happens often and you need to be prepared with an answer.
Learn to close the sale and walk away with an
order. An "I'll think about
it and call you" or "I don't like the color" is often a
polite way of saying no.
Good luck with
your meeting. I'd love to hear what happens, so keep me
reading my response to Christine did a few questions pop into
you head? Like...How do I price my product? How do I create a
line sheet? How do I run credit check on company so I can set
them up on terms? How do I establish a realistic delivery
date? Don't worry! I'll have all of these answers and more in
my updated 2009 version of "Consultant in A Box: Best
Kept Secrets & Hands-On How-To-Guide for Operating, Building &
Creating Your Own Sewn or Knit Product, Design, Gift or Craft
Business". I'll be sending out information on
how to pre-order this brand new updated home study
course very soon. So keep watching your in box!
you have questions you'd like to see answered, please send
them to me and you may have your question answered in this
ezine. Address your questions to