C STORE DISTRIBUTORS BLOG
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The Convenience Store Distributors Directory has been collaborated over the past 15 years through top key professionals. If you are looking for convenience store distributors, you have come to the right place.
We help anyone with a product get into convenience stores. We know from experience how hard it is to find convenience store distributors and that is why we put together our directory.
Individual experience alone separates us from any competition including cost. There is no other company that provides a list of convenience store distributors like ours!
I wish I were to find a database like this from the beginning.
I bought lists in the past and nothing compares to this directory.
I got my product into three Distributors in the first two weeks.
Tips on How to get your product into Convenience Store Distributors and Convenience Store Chains
I want to get my product into convenience stores and wanted to know what margins do convenience stores and c store distributors want on new products?
Convenience stores usually work off 35-50% gross profit and c store distributors 20-25%, depending on your type of product. Novelties items are on the higher side. The best way to find out what your margins should be is to find a similar product and talk to some convenience stores to get a better feel of what you need to sell your item for.
What is the best way to get a product into convenience stores?
The best way to get your product into convenience stores is getting a hold of convenience store distributors, which we provide in our c store distributors directory. Our directory has over 1,200 convenience store wholesalers. We recommend contacting the buyer by phone or email and make sure you have a great sales pitch ready. I always express to clients when speaking to these buyer’s, you need to build a relationship. Be sincere and get them to understand what your product is and do not take “NO” for an answer. Our partners over at cstoredirectory.com provide a directory of convenience store chains that you may want to look at as well. Getting the convenience store chain buyer to want your product and getting a hold of their distributor is a guaranteed way to get your product into convenience stores.
Is there a quicker way to get my product into convenience stores other than doing the sales myself?
Our partners offer a service called the “Checkstand Program”, which guarantees placement in anywhere from 200 to 5,0000 convenience stores that you may want to take a look at. They charge $10.00 per store and free product on the initial launch. After a successful launch, they will manage the account at a 5% brokerage. You can learn more about Checkstand Program over at checkstandprogram.com. You can also look into contacting convenience store brokers, which we also provide in our directory. These c store brokers usually work off 5-10% brokerage and usually represent a certain territory. So, if they like your product and want represent it, you can test them out to see if they provide you any sales.
More in depth information from our blog on what you need to know about selling to c store distributors.
When you start testing the marketplace with your newly developed product, a great place to look is distributors and wholesalers, which you can purchase on our site. If your product fits the market niche of convenience stores then you should definitely target convenience store distributors. For this post we wanted to give you the best pointers to using our information in order to get you a big push of purchase orders coming your way when you attack this market using our list. The Must Do List of Selling to Convenience Store Distributors, Convenience Store Jobbers, Convenience Store Wholesalers, Distribution Catalogs, Large Chain Accounts, Smoke Shops, Tobacco Distributors, Independent Convenience Stores, and Convenience Store Brokers.
Now Let’s Look At The Bullet Points Needed with Emphasis
First and foremost. Pricing, Inventory, Spec Sheets, Sales Sheets, and a “deck” power-point or PDF. You can see samples of these by googling the terms. Pricing is a Major Tricky Equation when you are pricing your product. You also need to have your pricing broken down. Internally you need to know your cost. You also need to know exactly what your competition is selling it for. Convenience Store Distributors do not care if you are a start-up, or cost more. They just want to make a profit and see that your product can compete with the existing competition, if you have any. So, you know your cost and your competitions selling price. Now you need to run some numbers. What to include in pricing? I will post more on this subject to explain further, but for the purposes of this post… we will just give the information.
You will need to have the following: Distributor Pricing
• Volume discounts
• Pricing on minimums, pallets, multiple pallets, truckload
• Shipping Rates and FOB (best to break this out into zone pricing)
• Brokers compensation – normally I would include up to 15% in case needed (this isn’t on the sheet, but build it into your pricing, so you can pay it.)
• Wholesaler Pricing
• Price to Store
You need to know pricing per unit, display, master case, and (how many master cases are on a pallet) pallet pricing. Keep this matrix close to you at all times, because I guarantee your biggest calls are not going to happen when you are ready. So, always be ready.
On the inventory portion of this matrix.
You need to know what you have in inventory, what the lead times are for each and every order size, minimum order quantity, and pricing tiers based on volume.
This brings us into the Sales Sheets. Sales Sheets show the Top 4-6 reasons why someone would want your product. You need to describe what problem it solves, why yours is the best, other key features, how much it has sold, and or any key accounts or celebrities that endorse your product. Make sure and have the UPC, display measurements, and all available colors or flavors. Also, on this Sale Sheet you need to have great images of the product. These images are of a single unit, display and the item in use or in a special bigger display. You should also have MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) and any other specials you are running such as buy three and get fourth free. The Sales Sheet is to show them why they need to buy the product and give them all the information. MAKE SURE AND PUT THE M.O.Q. (minimum order quantity) on your sales sheets. When I first sold my product to these distributors, I would have a M.O.Q and I would have a qty where I would cover shipping. 90% of the time, they would always buy the qty where I covered shipping. The term is called “Pre-Paid, FYI.
Spec Ops… C Store Distributors need the Spec Sheet
Here is where you break down all measurements of unit, display, case, and a pallet. You also tell how much a truck load is. This is mainly for warehouse purposes. This also shows a distributor how many displays will come in one case and how many cases are on a pallet of your items. You also can use this sheet to show off some other cool displays that may work. You should have your end cap display and how many units it holds, if you have one. If you get in a Convenience Store Chain you may get a power wing, so have that configuration on there as well.
A Deck Page comes as a Power Point or PDF
The Deck Page is six to ten pages of who you are, who your company is, why the product exists (problem it solves), and the biggest part any and why there is a need for your product. You can also include how many accounts and what key accounts you are in currently. Showing the fact that people are reordering is a major plus.
Now we are ready to make some calls.
Now that you have your sales package ready with killer images and videos and all the other great things you built for your presentations. Now we are ready to start making some calls. If you call Convenience Store Distributors or Convenience Store Suppliers then you better be ready to sell them on the vision. You have to get them on your team. This is more important than all that data that you just put together. You have to realize this. When that Jobber or Distributor places the item in the store, it is normally from a sales rep. That sales rep doesn’t know your story and has no skin into that product being a success. That operation you are calling on runs like this. The owner or buyer takes the product and sets it into inventory and tells his reps to get it out to their stores. They leave and go get it into some stores. Now here lies the problem, you don’t have a brand ambassador. This is your key. You need to convince how wonderful supporting and building up your brand is going to be and that you are going to put a lot into those sales guys. A term we use for this is called a “spiff”. A spiff is cash incentive that you will pay to the sales reps for them placing and reordering your product. It works wonders, trust me. You have to look at like this. If you or I were sales reps for distributor x and we are pushing hundreds of products a day, which brands would we focus on? The brands that are giving us some sort of cash incentive, right?
Here is How to Get the Push Behind Your Brand
You need to get the sales reps and the buyer’s of these Convenience Store Distributors behind you. You can use a c-store broker to do this if this doesn’t fit your cup of tea. Convenience store brokers will go out and sell your product to key accounts if you can get them to represent your line. The other thing is that we offer this service for every Check Stand Program product. You can also run a sales contest with these sales reps. You also need to give them a lot of support. The story behind you and your company and about how much you believe in what you are doing. This passion is contagious and that is what they need to catch, so that those stores catch it as well. This will get you premium placements, nice in store promotion, and a mini sales force pushing your product at each store.
Now you have everything lined up. Time to Bring the Sell on the Shelves. You now need to perform. You need those units to move and sell through. You need to back up these stores placements with marketing, promotions, and advertising if possible. There are a lot of ways to do this, but by syncing up all these factors you can get your product moving with these Convenience Store Distributors or Convenience Store Suppliers.
Get the directory and start syncing up immediately. If you have a tough time and want the fast track to get your product(s) into convenience stores, ask us about our Check Stand Program.