Getting an appointment with a buyer that you’ve spent significant time pitching and following up with can be an exciting moment as a sales executive. But hearing the words “I’ll think about it” after your meeting can be very frustrating.
What did you do wrong? Were you too pushy or sales-y? Probably not.
Here are the four main reasons why buyers aren’t placing orders:
#1 You’re not presenting relevant merchandise
As a sales rep, you may think your job is to present the entire collection or line to each buyer. However, the buyer is always going to be short on time, and moreover, short on patience.
By presenting merchandise that would not do well for that particular store, it becomes clear to the buyer that you didn’t spend time curating a personalized set of merchandise that would drive the best sell through for them.
Selecting specific styles ahead of time based on that buyer’s target customer not only shows the buyer that you’ve done your research, but also demonstrates how you can be a good partner to that retailer and support them in every order they place (which essentially is what a good buyer/brand relationship is).
Pro Tip: Always create separate linesheets that have “Good, Better, Best” options based on price range, your buyer’s budget, and your top styles. Show your buyers what their goal budget can include, and what it would look like if they expanded to a few more of your best styles.
#2 You’re not fully prepared
Similar to presenting irrelevant merchandise, being unprepared can come across as unprofessional, inconsiderate, and ultimately can harm your relationship with your retailer.
There are a handful of standard things to prepare, such as having plenty of linesheets tailored to their tastes and budget, a charged iPad, and ensuring your collection is properly organized for easy access and presentation.
However, there are also more specific tasks to complete prior to the meeting that will show the buyer that you’ve done your research and are ready help them build a the perfect order.
- Spend time looking at what they purchased last year and analyze what sold, what didn’t, and why that may be.
- Know the hottest styles for their segments so you can show your industry expertise. This is also helpful to have on-hand when the opportunities to cross-sell and upsell arise.
- Understand who their target customer is, and what kinds of items they are more inclined to purchase.
#3 You don’t ask for the order
Some reps get so caught up with selling and overtalking that they actually forget to close the sale by simply asking for the order.
Most likely the buyer already knows they are going to write an order — they wouldn’t be wasting your time, or more importantly, their time — but it’s up to you to ensure that the order actually goes from drafted to placed, and is as large as it can be.
The main takeaway is to get an idea of what styles they like the most and put together a written order.
Pro Tip: Comment with statements such as, “Let’s start putting together a list of all of your must-haves” to tie up any loose ends and close the meeting with an order ready to be placed.
#4 You don’t follow up
If you are unable to write the order at the time of the meeting, you need to make sure you put a follow up plan into place.
Detailed notes and highlighted styles that they were interested in at the meeting can be used to create a custom sales order of what their potential buy could look like. Send this information in your follow up email along with suggested sizes and quantities.
Remember, until you hear an actual “NO”, you should be continuing to follow up until you receive the order.
Being a good sales representative is more than being able to showcase your brand, it’s about showing your buyer you’ve taken the time to carefully select items that you know will work best for them. The most valuable buyer-retailer relationships stem from trust and understanding that if the buyer succeeds, your brand succeeds as well. Do your due diligence ahead of time to ensure you walk into your meetings prepared, confident in your choices, and excited to help them offer the best products they can for their customers. From there, the orders will flow.
To learn how NuORDER can help you increase sales with your retailers, request a demo or reach out to your account manager today.