The other day I did a Webinar about how to talk to a retail buyer – including the script you can use (want them? check it out below). I got a bunch of great responses (thanks, guys) and also a very interesting follow-up question.
“Jane, what’s the WORST thing you can say to a retail buyer?”
Well, it depends on who you talk to. I owned my boutique for many years and I heard some real doozies. I’d have to say the one line that’s universally hated by retailers (you hear chatter about it in the lunch line at Coterie, for instance) is this.
“I just know this would be perfect for your store.”
Ugh. Just typing it puts me in a bad place. I know what designers are trying to say, what you mean is this:
“I think my line would be a great fit for your store.”
What a retailer hears is a different thing entirely. Their inside-the-head-gut-reaction response is this:
“Don’t tell me what’s right for my store. You have NO idea what it takes and what my customer is like…”
As a former retailer I can guarantee this will bother them. This seemingly benign statement gets taken the wrong way – and it really puts them on the defensive. Even if you really believe your product would do great in their store, be careful how you say it. Put the focus on, “I think it hangs well with the other lines you carry.” Make sense?
If you want ALL the scripts to use when you contact a buyer, you can get them as a BONUS with the “How to Sell to Boutiques” online course.
Here’s a sample of one of the scripts you will get:
Scenario #1 – You walk into a shop
Amy is shop owner
Jane walks in the store. “Hi! Are you the buyer?”
Amy: “May I ask why you’re asking? Do you have an appointment?” — buyer’s already on the defensive, thinking “maybe I am the owner, maybe I’m not”.
Jane: “Uhmmm no, I was just wondering…”
Amy; “Because if you don’t have an appointment…”
Ooops — this will get you off on the wrong foot. Let’s do it another way.
Scenario #2 Let’s try it again. JH walks into the store
Amy drinking coffee, 50 pieces of mail on desk, looks busy…
JH – I walk in and just start to look around. I am looking around to see if the store’s a good fit for my product and to not be aggressive in my approach.
Amy: Hi, barely looks up
JH takes a look around still
Amy: “May I help you find something?
JH ”Thanks, Actually I’m…
So what do you think? What’s worked for you when you call a retailer? Let me know in the comments below.