What To Include When Sending Samples to Distributors
So you’ve spoken to a few distributors and they request to see your product before placing an initial order. This is very typical, especially when your Minimum Order Quantity MOQ is considerable. There are a few items that you should include when sending samples to a prospective buyer whether that be a distributor, wholesaler or retailer:
1. What’s your story?
Keep it Short: Stick to 5 sentences about how your company got it’s start.
2. What makes your product different from everything else on the shelf?
This is a great place to list your accolades: Awards, Non-GMO, Organic, Kosher etc…
3. What’s your goal?
Tell your future customer how you’re planning on supporting your product in the store with advertising, promotions, give aways etc. to allow them to sell more!
4. How do you distribute your product?
Know how you’re going to be getting your product to that customer. If it’s through a carrier like UPS or FedEx or through a trucking company on a pallet. These items should be spelled out up front.
5. Do you do store demos?
The customers always want to know how you’re going to be actively selling their items. Are you going to do a road show, are you paying for radio ads, how are you going to get the word out?
6. Where else do you sell your product?
Exclusivity is sometimes important when distributing through distributors. When a distributor wants to know who else is selling their product they are asking so there is no overlap when calling on retailers. Make sure you are clear when marking territories and have written contracts that make those boundaries known.
7. Do you have a sell sheet?
Make sure to include a sell sheet that clearly states what the distributor pricing is and what the wholesale cost to the retailer is going to be. Take your time and make sure it looks good as this will often be the first piece of paper that the distributors find.
8. What’s your promotional schedule?
What promotions do you have going? Are you doing a holiday give-a-way? Are you having a buy 3 get one free promotion? Do distributors receive free freight when they order the MOQ?
9. Do you do guaranteed sale?
If they are unable to sell your product line, will you give a refund on any product that has expired or spoiled during shipping. Who’s responsibility is the product when it lands in their hands?
10. How much does your product cost?
Know your costs and be sure to make room in there for margins. Understanding that costs add up and having healthy margins are important will save you a lot of time on the backend when dealing with wholesalers, distributors and brokers.
Going to retail through independent wagon jobbers and distributors is a great way to get into the market, however you should know this information and have it all written down when sending samples to customers. The more professional your presentation, the more confident others will feel working with you.