Build a solid business case. Create a narrative that shows a prospective retailer what your product can do for their business. "Developing a business case with sales data, and aligning it with the retailer's goals and objectives is key to getting the attention of a buyer," she notes. "Without that, a Target or Wal-Mart buyer, for example, will not even give you the time of day."
Scale your business slowly. Gain a solid footing with small and midsize retailers before approaching the major players—they'll expect a track record of healthy sales for one or two years. "You are not going to go from having your product available at zero stores to having it on Target shelves overnight," she says.
Analyze how retailers merchandize your category. A buyer is unlikely to cut you short if your pitch is built around objective insights on growing sales for the entire category. "And, by the way," Ting adds, "those recommendations should include adding your brand."
The Po!nt: Getting your product onto the shelves of a major retailer isn't easy—but with the right product and the right strategy, it can be done.
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