When you start to actively approach new potential stockists and are trying to sell your product ranges you will come up against lots and lots of objections of why your range is not quite right for their shop. Some of these are just excuses but it is always good to get more in-depth feedback when possible as some of them might be something you can work on or help with to turn a negative into a positive.
As a small independent company, you are often able to be more flexible, and gathering feedback from your stockists is important for your product development and for building a relationship with your stockists.
It won’t be easy, no-one likes to be rejected, not even the most experienced sales professional and even if we always try to not take it personally sometimes it can be frustrating, it can make you feel self-conscious, intimidated, and like you want to crawl under the duvet and hide in a cocoon. If you don’t have a whole team of people around, it can be difficult to continue to approach new retailers if you’re having one of those days but just remember the next call can be to someone who absolutely loves your products and gives you a ton of positive feedback. Running your own business is always going to be a roller-coaster!
There’s nothing like being prepared, having an idea of the types of excuses you might get so that you can have a think of your answer will make you come across more confident and more reliable, this is important as shop owners need to get a feeling that you know what you’re doing to buy from you. For them taking on a new supplier is a big investment and they will have had their fair share of bad and unreliable suppliers, so they will need to be confident in both you and your products to buy into your brand.
The most important thing is to really listen to their feedback, don’t be defensive, be thankful that someone is taking the time to tell you why your products are not quite right for them. The easiest for a shop owner would just be to ignore your emails or calls so be appreciative of their time.