How to get Distribution with a new product into Convenience Stores? 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.
The biggest thing to understand is that every sale comes down to one thing… Emotions. Don’t lose me here as you have to have a lot more than emotions. We have somewhat skipped ahead of the sales process, but I wanted to tell you the most important thing first!
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. Here is what all that is meant to do. You can see samples of these by googling the terms. Pricing is a Major Tricky Equation when you are pricing your product. Take into count the “Kohl’s way” of pricing items. Notice how everything in their store is on sale. Everything… This is what I mean. If you would sell your item for eighty cents ($.80) all day then it would be great to say one dollar per unit and buy two cases get the third free. By doing this buy X and get one free it becomes attractive to get higher volume orders. Make the math work. 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 and cost more, they just want to make a profit and they can sell your competition and make more, well that makes it hard for them to get on your team. So you know your cost and your competitions selling price. Now you need to run some numbers. What to include in pricing? You must include the following in your 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: • Master Distributor Pricing • Distributor Pricing
• Volumes in order to be Master Distributor
• 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 all of those things run on the unit, the display, a 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, the 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 so that they can do that and understand the value in doing that. MAKE SURE AND PUT THE M.O.Q. (minimum order quantity) on your sales sheets.
Spec Ops… C Store Distributors need the Spec Sheet
A Spec Sheet shows the pallet configuration. So 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 purpose but also so they understand how many units come in a display. This shows a Convenience Store Broker or Convenience Store Suppliers 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 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 evoke emotions on the call.
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 evoke emotions on the call. 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 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.
Here is How to Get the Push Behind Your Brand
You need to get the owners of the stores, the sales reps of the distributor, and the owner of the Convenience Store Distributors behind you. You can use a 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 run a sales contest for the sales reps. You also need to give them a lot of support, show them the deck, and walk them through the story. 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 you 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. There are a lot of ways to do this but by syncing up all these factors you can get your product moving with that 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.