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Best practices for contacting boutiques/retailers in beauty industry?

This is a follow up to a previous post of mine about wholesale packaging ideas for a beauty line (mainly makeup brushes and similar items).

Anyway, we've figured out our packages and are creating the content to use to sell them. I'm curious as to the best ways to not only find retailers who would be interested in partnering with us, but also the best ways to approach once finding them.

We're currently going after small to mid sized stores/boutiques.

Any thoughts/advice?


9 Replies

Robert Gordon
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Robert Gordon Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co Founder at OurRecovery "Because No One Can Do it Alone"
Hi Darren,

I grew up in the clothing biz and there are successful reps who already go to those shops; warring, you will be new and untried in terms of repeat biz; reps respond to he who yelled loudest LAST.

It's the easiest way to get started. Check references, ask why they would be willing to add another line, how are they going to market / sell the products
They have to have a reason to want it vs just one more thnig to sell...

also, it might not be fun, but on the 1st go around i suggest you travel with them so you hear first had what the retailers are saying and what they want... then get the reps opinion to see f the reasons the retailers gave was the real case or not.
best of luck,
r
Tanya Wright
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Tanya Wright Entrepreneur
Crystal Burset on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and creator of HAIRiette of HARLEM hairiette.com
I'd suggest simply starting where you are, doing it yourself first before hiring a rep. What about the boutiques in your area? I literally just went into 1 WHOLE FOODS, spoke to the buyer (and gave her samples of my products) and now we're in 6 locations. It's important that YOU know how to articulate and sell your products first--hard to teach a rep how to sell your brand if you haven't had the invaluable experience of doing it yourself.
Kyle Bailey
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Kyle Bailey Advisor
Managing Director at Frontburner Marketing, Speaker, Author
I agree with Tanya. In the early stages, I think you're going to learn so much more by going and talking to the buyers or owners in person, reading their body language and learning what their pain points are. Training a rep after learning all this will be much easier.
Darren Naylor
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Darren Naylor Entrepreneur
Business Development at Luxie, Inc
Thanks Robert!

Your bring up some great points about making sure they are actually going to sell opposed to just having the product sit.

I appreciate your input.
Darren Naylor
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Darren Naylor Entrepreneur
Business Development at Luxie, Inc
Tanya: Oh I'm definitely going to be doing so on my own for a good amount of time. I agree that knowing how to sell your product and the value behind it is the most important objective initially.

Kyle: A little trial and error before creating a definitive plan is step one, so I look forward to doing so at my meetings this week.

I think my question for you all is what you encountered while doing this. Were you able to have successful sales calls with any potentials who are out of the area? Email inquiries? etc.

Obviously going to as many in person will be the start, but it will get to a point where a more efficient plan of expansion will be necessary, so I'm curious as to how you were able to do so if you were?


Michael Forney
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Michael Forney Advisor
Strategic Management, Business Intel and Marketing Expert & Consultant
Try talking to a few stores and ask if you can place your product on a kiosk or display on their floor, in exchange for rent or a percentage of sales, then work with them to identify high traffic days and work there yourself. Alternatively, go to a local mall and rent a cart or kiosk for a short period and sell your product. In either case you can interact with customers and learn from their comments.
Kyle Bailey
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Kyle Bailey Advisor
Managing Director at Frontburner Marketing, Speaker, Author
I have advised on a couple of product campaigns, but nothing serious. I have not seen anything but committed door-to-door mentality (not necessarily physically going door to door, but that mentality of always pursuing and consistently pushing out messaging) work. I'd love to track with you on this, I'm always looking to learn.

Let me know if I can ever help.

Kyle
Tanya Wright
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Tanya Wright Entrepreneur
Crystal Burset on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and creator of HAIRiette of HARLEM hairiette.com
The door to to door mentality cannot be underestimated. I am a HUGe believer in this, yes, in this digital-age-go-faster-do-smarter-and better world. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is extremely effective. I met people who were helpful to my in ways beyond the initial sale of the product. For example, I was in a Whole Foods store and a PR lady (who purchased my product) was intrigued by the the title of the book I was giving away for free--she has since become a staunch supporter and has helped connect me with others; I met my current financial advisor on one of these same calls, plus a generous lawyer who does pro-bono work. I'd suggest these three things to start: 1. Offer to do a live demo at the store/boutique who gives you a break. 2. Set up shop (nice signage/flyers), pitch your tent and chat everyone up. 2. while there, GET EMAIL addresses. This is HUGE. And follow up. Even huge(er).

Good luck!

:)
Darren Naylor
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Darren Naylor Entrepreneur
Business Development at Luxie, Inc
Kyle: I'll definitely let you how things are going.

Tanya: Couldn't agree more and you've got me even more excited than I already was to get moving on this. I also added you on linkedin because FD wouldn't let me without being an advisor. I have more in common with you than I originally thought. Looking forward to chatting!
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