You might be a small business, but you have big plans just like all companies, and part of your plans should be to sell your products and services to big retailers. Some big retailers make the process fairly straight forward; for instance, Walmart and Sam’s Club supply an online submission form. Target requests you call their vendor hotline. But how can you increase your odds of getting your product and/or service accepted? First, make sure you have all your facts straight. That means you should be able to answer any question thrown at you, including information about your competitors and the products the big retailer already has on their shelf. Second, make sure you’re clear on what makes your product or service different from the rest—what is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? Knowing your USP will help you to convince the retailer why your business should be represented on their shelves. Finally, make sure you can fulfill the orders. Don’t promise something and then not deliver. You won’t get a second chance. Remember, most large retailers want to contract with small businesses, so if you can argue your case effectively, you have a pretty good shot.
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