Do Your Homework - The first, and at the top of our cold calling tips is... do your research. Don’t even think about approaching stores until you have established whether your product is in line with the store’s vibe. I have been witness to the occasional drop-in sales call while I’ve shopped in stores and you'd be surprised the type of items salespeople bring to store owners.
Sometimes the salespeople are downright pushy and don’t have an inkling about the store and why it’s a bad fit for their products. It’s completely hit or miss. You don’t want to be that person and certainly not in the handmade market. Your collection has value and it needs to be treated as such. Do that by selecting stores that are in line with your product style, price points and brand.
A store that sells all imported items most likely won't have the appreciation for local handmade. A store with minimalist designs also may not be ideal if you sell highly detailed statement jewelry. By the same token, an 1800's historical site gift shop won't be well suited to that groovy, retro 70’s collection.
When researching stores, put yourself in the perspective of the shop’s clientele and examine what drives those customers to purchase. This will include not only style, but price points. If your collection is high-ticket, you know what to look for, but by the same token if it’s priced a little lower, it could still appeal to a slightly more upscale market as it may allow store owners to use a higher markup. These are all things you need to consider before approaching stores.
Sometimes all you can do is test the waters. Making too many assumptions about whether a store is a good fit or not can also lead you to pass up opportunities. Do your best to get a realistic feel for how well-matched a store may be, but don’t let that stop you if you're on the fence when it comes to your assessment.
Leave a comment below if you have a tip to add to the cold calling tips list : )
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