Podcast #7: What Retail Buyers are Thinking But Won’t Tell You

What retail buyers are looking for in a clothing line

Podcast episode #7 gets down and dirty with the truth – what’s inside the buyer’s brain that they’ll never tell you.

podcast for clothing and accessories designers

Click here to get inside a buyer’s mind >>>


Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Why you need to hear the truth but buyers won’t tell you
  • What keeps a buyer from writing an order for your line
  • 3 pet peeves about working with emerging designers
  • The #1 reason I didn’t write an order with a new designer when I owned my boutique
  • Why retailers are not completely honest with you
  • Ways to overcome buyers’ objections

Here’s the thing…

Most people want to be nice. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. Which often means they don’t tell you what they really think. 
This works well in polite society because no one really wants confirmation that their hair is frizzy today, or that my butt looks fat in these jeans, or that I talk too much, or… you get the idea.
But a lack of honest feedback can hurt you when it comes to selling your line to boutiques. 
You NEED to hear the truth. 
So you can tweak your line.
So you can learn what (if anything) you’re doing wrong.
So you can get the order.
So listen in to today’s podcast as I spill the beans about what buyers are thinking but NOT saying. 
Brutal truth and all.

And if you want to learn the entire process of selling to boutiques, I recommend my online course, “How to Sell Your Line to Boutiques”.  It goes through the process of approaching a boutique (my proven postcard method), how often to follow up, and what to say.

Did you like this podcast? If so, will you please click the LIKE button and share the love? I would very much appreciate it!


P.S.  Now it’s YOUR turn (and my favorite part of doing a podcast).

Will you PLEASE tell me in the comments below? 

A: Has a retail buyer ever turned you down but you have no idea why?
B: What will you do differently if that happens again?
C: Do you have ONE great tip to share with others so we can learn from you? 

P.P.S. Here’s the direct podcast link if you have any trouble listening in: http://bit.ly/fbapodcast7



9 Responses

  1. Hi Jane, great podcast. I sell accessories, so the 2nd point isn’t as relevant, but the other two very much so and good food for thought. Especially, the 3rd in terms of customer service. I am wondering, though, how does one even get a meeting with a buyer? I recently sent personalized emails to over 60 buyers for boutiques in LA and got only 2 responses back, both polite rejections. I am wondering if buyers are even opening the emails! I’ve been told just showing up at the store isn’t a good idea. So, what next? How do I get in front of these people?

    1. Michelle, You tell them just that when you show the line. “by the way, we have excellent customer service and if …. you can contact me directly and I’ll handle it right away…”

  2. Before I found your website, I was calling different companies for the product I was showing and got some ,”let me give my email, ” to get me off the phone. By watching and learning, I realized in this industry one needs help; a mentor. I learned that the hard way. I can not wait to be a member in some way in order that I may get some mentorship. Wonderful podcast as usual. Thank you so much.

  3. Thank you Jane. This is such valuable information. The problem we’re having is the manufacturer takes a really long time to get the products with our designs on them back to us. They say it takes 2 to 5 weeks, and it does. That’s a really long time. Not sure what can be done about this long length of time. Then if something’s wrong the product it will take just as long to fix it. We need a faster manufacturer.

    1. Hi Kathy, thanks for commenting. Yes, a faster manufacturer or a longer lead time. One idea could be to keep the one you have for certain styles and find another factory to spread the risk – and the timing.

  4. I love this podcast!!!! The simple steps..so manageable. I get so nervous about the “unknown” of talking to a retail buyer-it’s so nice to make the concerns known AHEAD of walking in the door.
    Thank you Jane!!!!!

    1. Hi Elaine! Thanks for commenting. We ALL get nervous about approaching buyers. The better prepared you are for their concerns, the better it will go. Wishing you a GREAT new year!

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