Want to please your wholesale customers and attract more? Here’s your checklist.
Serving your wholesale buyers means that you know them pretty well, even before they place orders with you. Then, stay on top of communications to build relationships, and serve your customers well.
Know your market. When you have a good idea of your ultimate customer profile, find stores that cater to them. The best partnership you can make is to sell to stores where your collection fits in perfectly. Know your “sweet spot” where your work dovetails with other compatible lines of product. What stores carry those other lines? They may be prospects for you. Patti Dowse of Erda Leather did just that. Read her story here.
Research their needs. Understand each of your existing customers’ buying times and what they need. Are they a general gift store, or do they have a specific niche? If you are selling to a store in a ski resort town, their buying cycle will be very different, so that they can stock inventory for their high season. Are you reaching out to those customers at the right time to write orders with them?
Stay in touch. This is the area where many artists get stuck in soliciting customers and getting reorders. Using your marketing calendar to schedule regular “touches” with prospects and with your current accounts so that they remember you. Your buyers may be juggling 100 different artists with whom they do business. Don’t get lost in the crowd. Remind them with postcards, email newsletters, through social media that you have a wonderful line – and new designs, too!
Solve their problems. One of the ways that you can become really important to your wholesale buyers is by responding quickly and appropriately to resolve issues for them. Did a customer return to the store because a clasp broke on one of your handmade necklaces? Are there missing items in an order you shipped? Don’t put these problems off – make them a priority. Your wholesale customer needs to serve their customers, too and this is where you can make yourself invaluable. The more responsive you are, the more valuable you will be to them.
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