It can be really daunting to start to approach retailers and it can be tricky to know if you're doing it right.
Reaching out by email first to introduce your range is the most common way to pitch now days. It can be difficult to get the buyers on the phone and if you're an introvert like me, cold calling might have you come out with a rash to the point where you end up doing everything but selling your products. Be kind to yourself, I often prefer to reach out over email first and then follow up with a call but I think it's important to find a way to sell your products and promote your business in a way that suits your personality and that you can keep up and actually get some results from.
Below I give you a few key pointers for writing your pitch, create a template but make sure to amend your email each time to you contact a buyer to ensure that it is relevant to the buyer you're pitching to, this will really increase your chances of getting a reply.
I don't like overly cleaver subject lines, I find them a bit spamy and prefer relevant email subjects such as "Introducing x brand - 100% natural home fragrance", "Come and see (x brand) at Top Drawer ", "New product launches from (x brand)" etc. Keep it as relevant as possible but also descriptive.
Address the email to a person
If you look at the business website or social media you might be able to find an email address and a name of the business owner. If you're contacting a large retailer you might be able to find something on LinkedIn or phone the head office to ask for the correct contact details.
If you really can not find a name and phoning feels super uncomfortable to the point where you just would not do any out reach then don't worry. Address your email with a simple greeting, do not use, "Dear Sir/Madam", "To whom it may concern". Avoid being too formal.
Keep it simple
Don't write an essay, no-one has time to read a lengthy email, keep it to 3-4 paragraph.
Short introductions to what you sell and your business, why you're contacting the buyer, how you're relevant to them.
Tell the buyer what you're selling in the beginning of the email and make it really clear.
Include a few low res product images.
Explain why they need your products, what gap will you fill, why will their customers by your products. For example. if you have any best-sellers that you think might suit their customer chances are they would want to know. Make it easy for the buyer by including the Recommended retail price (RRP) and your wholesale price in the body of your email.
The point is to give the buyer enough to make them want to open your catalogue and have a look at your website.
Do your research
Before you get in touch, have a look at their website, visit the store, follow them on social media and show in your email that you have done your research and that you have taken the time to find out more about their business. This will really help you keep your email relevant to the buyer.
Link your catalogue
To avoid being sent to their junk email folder, try linking your catalogue, particularly if it's a large file. Include a price list/order form in word or excel format if you're pitching to an independent retailer. Something that they can easily fill in if they would like to place an order. Also, make it really clear how they can order and make sure that your catalogue includes your terms and conditions, you can read more about how to create your catalogue here.
Just as with social media asking questions increases your chances of getting a reply and encourage engagement. Try to ask 3 questions if you can. If you're a newsletter subscriber, then you can refer to your '50 questions to start a conversation' download for some ideas.
How I can help
I offer an email audit where you send me your email and we then spend 30-minutes on a video call discussing it and I will give you actionable advice on how to improve it. If you're interested in finding out more, please drop me an email (email@example.com)