The Secret To A Successful Wholesale Pitch

Posted on May 05, 2022 by

The secret to landing on more retail shelves and crafting a sales pitch that stands out to wholesale buyers can be summarized in one word: EASE.

As we enter year three of selling in the time of Covid, we ALL want more ease in our lives - including those wholesale buyers that you’re pitching to.

Buyers Care About Improving Their Sales

I want you to bring that perspective to your sales pitches, and ask you to think, “what is going to make it EASY for the buyer to say yes to my product line? What is going to make it easy for me to land this new account?”


Alli Ball Wholesale Food Buyer

Make it easy for a buyer to imagine your product on their shelf. And then flying off it.


As we think about this, it’s crucial that we recognize the real reason why buyers bring in new products:

Buyers purchase product to enhance sales or finances in their store. Their decisions are based on whether or not adding the new product will increase overall sales, increase their margin, decrease spoilage, or whatever other financial goal they have for your category. Buyers' performance is measured on their sales results and financial health of your category.

If your product doesn’t increase total sales in your category - or whatever that financial goal is for that buyer - it’s not worth it for them to spend all that time bringing in your product.

The Difference Between Buyers and End Customers

Now, here’s where many producers say to me, “but my product is delicious!” or “my product is a recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation in my family. Doesn’t that buyer care about THAT? Can’t THAT be the way to woo that wholesale buyer?”

SURE, we care about taste - that’s what brings shoppers back again and again - and SURE - we love a great brand story - but those are the key points that you’ll highlight when you sell your products to the end consumer. They’re NOT the selling points when you’re trying to pitch to new wholesale accounts.

Show the Buyer You’ll Improve Sales Through Data

In short: If your product doesn’t help the buyer meet their goals - it’s not worth it for them to take the time to bring in your product.

Again, how does EASE play into this? Well, I want you to craft a pitch that makes it EASY for the buyer to recognize the value that you’re bringing to the category. Like I said, we’re all tired. We all want things to be a little bit easier - if you can make it super clear how you’ll help that buyer meet their goals - that’s a win for you and the buyer.

How can you easily convey this?

The Data That Shows Your Value To a Buyer

It starts with the very first conversation, and shifting your pitch away from how delicious you are, and what a great brand story you have, and towards a data-driven narrative on how you’ll be a win for the buyer. Prove your value to the buyer.

That data can be:

  • Velocity rates - that is, how well you’re selling at other wholesale accounts, through DTC, or other channels.
  • Press mentions
  • Brag worthy stats on your brand

If you’re just starting out, that data can be:

  • Information on trends in your category
  • Ingredients that you’re using
  • Problems your particular product is solving and how big of a need you can fill

Present This Story in a Call and Email

You present this narrative to the potential new wholesale account through a first phone call, and a follow up, bullet pointed email that is EASY to digest.

You attach an EASY to understand sell-sheet with all the information that buyer needs in order to know how to order & receive your product - whether you’re selling direct, through a broker, or through a distributor.

You attach a clear price list, making it easy for the buyer to understand the landed price on their shelves.

You outline your promotional plan, making it EASY for the buyer to see that you’re going to support your products on their shelves once they stock you.

Follow Up and Deliver on Your Promises

You show up - through your phone calls, your follow up emails, and your in-person connections - as a trustworthy vendor who is going to help that buyer hit their goals. As a vendor who is going to deliver upon the promises that you’ve outlined in your sales pitch, and who is going to be stress-free.

Remember - that buyer already has a ton on their plate: with staffing shortages, supply chain issues, distributors & vendors being out of stock - so if you don’t come across as “worth it” and EASY to work with - they’re going to pass.

I want you to take one thing away from this blog post: that you and the buyer have the same goal in mind as we navigate this next phase of covid: we all want to sell more product. We should be behaving like we’re on the same team.

Think about how you can position yourself as a trustworthy ally and partner, with whom they can develop an EASY relationship, and you’ll be one step closer to getting that YES.

100 Reasons a Buyer Might Say No

Want a free workbook with 100 potential reasons why a Wholesale Buyer says “No” to your product line? And how to turn their response into a “HECK YES!” instead? So you can land on MORE shelves in less time? Check out the free 100 Buyer Nos Workbook.

About the Author

Alli Ball Retail Ready Headshot

Alli Ball is the founder & CEO of Food Biz Wiz, Inc. and the creator of Retail Ready®, an online course, community, and coaching space for producers of packaged products in the food industry.

As a former grocery buyer-turned-wholesale consultant, Alli has helped thousands of emerging brands understand what it takes to get their products on the retail shelf - and keep them there - by sharing the behind-the-scenes secrets and thought process of Wholesale Buyers as they assess new products for their stores or online marketplace.

Find her on her website here or weekly on Food Biz Wiz®, her podcast about wholesale strategy.


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