How to Get Retail Clients for Your Wholesale Business

The success of a wholesale business depends on getting reliable and successful retail clients. Wholesalers rely on retail stores to sell the products they source from manufacturers. Building the right business relationships with retail clients is the key to a profitable wholesale business.

Getting new retail clients and maintaining business relationships with existing retailers are both requirements for a wholesale business. But how can a wholesaler get the right retail clients to begin with?

Here are some tips to help a wholesaler find new retail clients.

The right research will always lead to new retail clients. Correction – the right research will lead to the right retail clients. You want the right retails clients for you and not just clients for the sake of it.

Use the internet as the first step for your research. Make a list of all the retail stores that interest you and visit their websites. Look at their inventory and make note. If a retail store is already selling three types of oatmeal cookies then will they buy a fourth brand that you are selling? They might, which depends on factors such as the amount of business the oatmeal cookies are bringing to the store, the demand for more from regular clients and the unique selling point (USP) of your cookies.

If the store is selling three types of oatmeal cookies, then chances are they might be selling well. The cookies might also be in the store as existing stock that didn’t sell and the store might just be stocking them till their expiration date. If your oatmeal cookies are different than what the store already has then mark this store as a potential client. Do similar assessment with all the retail stores in your sight. Visit the stores to check up on their stock if you feel the need for it.

The right presentation is essential to get new retail clients. When approaching retail stores, plan ahead and do everything right. Schedule your appointments with the right people. Use their website to find all relevant information about your potential clients. Call the stores and ask them to connect with their buyers. Or at least ask the name of the buyers. Or ask if they can give you an appointment. E-mail the stores with queries and information and you are likely to get a response.


Once your appointments are scheduled, prepare your materials. Would you be able to describe your products in a few lines without any hiccups? Practice it before your meeting with clients as this is something you are always going to need for any future meetings.

Present your products with confidence. Your promotional leaflet or brochure must have the USP of your product listed in clear terms. Don’t be shy. Be ready to advocate your products but don’t oversell it. Let your product quality speak for itself. Carry samples to support your presentation. Leave the samples with the retail stores even if they have tasted the product. Make smaller sample boxes to save costs.

Ask them a time when you can expect to hear back from them. Either way, don’t forget or neglect to follow up on your meeting to confirm a response. Don’t assume that ‘no response’ might mean ‘no interest.’ It could be a slip up. The wholesale business is not for the timid. Chances are your potential clients will appreciate your communication 

Use referrals. Don’t hesitate when it comes to using your connections to meet up with potential clients or have your referrals put in a good word for you to the buyers. You will get your chance to pay it back to the referrals by doing the same for them when the time comes. So use the power of your connections to reach out to potential clients.

-Negotiation is important for any wholesaler to get the right retail client at the best terms. Don’t agree to any deals without considering it from every angle. Give the discounts you can give and don’t agree to any number just to get in the good graces of the retail buyer and set yourself for losses. Begin right to get a strong foothold in the wholesale business and to get the deals that work in your favor. If you short sell yourself once, chances are your new retail client will always try to get you to lower your prices.

Also, be mindful of the discounts you offer to retail clients. Don’t offer more discounts than you can afford to earn a decent profit. Discuss any point in the agreement that you might not be comfortable with and get those to change if you can. Your clients are going to respect you for putting your foot down and taking actions to protect your business. Remember that all potential clients will initially try to work things in their favor. But know that there is always a middle ground, which benefits all concerned parties.

Build relationships. Fight for your products and business but in a polite manner. All business deals carry negotiations from all parties. Lay out your terms in clear way and agree to only what you can or want to. Even if things don’t work out with a potential client the first time around, maybe you will have a new product for them the next time or may be a better deal. Or you might bring this client a new product once you have established a relationship with them through your initial product.

Network and promote. In the wholesale business, you can’t stop networking. You can’t stop promoting your business. You need to keep meeting new people who might be potential clients or who can lead to new clients. Become an active member of your trade association. Participate in seminars and online forums. Build a social media presence for your business. Launch a fantastic website. Remember to write thank you notes to clients. Make your clients and potential clients feel special. Keep innovating your products and business practices. Keep tweaking and changing your marketing tactics to keep up with the competition.