Relationships are key in any business, and working with wholesale buyers is no exception. You need to do your homework to ensure that you’re targeting the right people in the right organizations before ever reaching out to anyone.
Retailers are looking for vendors who communicate openly and deliver on their promises. You’re looking to establish a relationship that will buy from you consistently—because finding the right partners takes time, which can cost you money.
Here are some tips to finding the right wholesale partners the first time, with the homework you need to get there:
- Focus on quality over quantity. It is much more cost-effective to have a few good, quality partners than many so-so partners. Look at potential partners’ store aesthetic and whether they sell complementary brands. When you partner with the right store, you’ll find the return is much higher. And you’ll spend less time and effort marketing to partners that aren’t ideal.
- Go beyond the website. The internet is a good place to start researching potential wholesale partners, but there’s so much more to a business than just its website. Are leaders attending trade shows? How are they showing up on social media? Is there a brick-and-mortar location? What’s the clientele? What types of products and which brands do they carry? The more you know about the potential partner, the more effective that first point of contact will be.
- Hunt down hashtags. The stationery business is all over Instagram. Are you following the leaders? Find out what they’re posting and hashtaging on social media and start following those that resonate with you and your product, then join the conversation.
- Above all, relationships. The retail stores you work with are your customers. Focus on customer experience and do everything you can to build up your relationship and lift up the customers you work with. Find out what their customers are looking for, answer their questions quickly and completely, be flexible (but have written terms and conditions) and use every contact point as an opportunity to grow your relationship with them.
When you have the right partners in your pocket, you’ll be set up for long-lasting relationships with stores that will help you build your business—just as you’re helping them grow theirs.
Having trouble finding the right group of partners? Our printable checklist will help you figure out what to look for in a partner, where to find them and how to maintain contact.