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Meeting a retail buyer: How to make a great first impression

Meeting a retail buyer: How to make a great first impression

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Meeting a retail buyer: How to make a great first impression

One of the most common questions that Le’Spencer Walker, Director, Target Accelerators Activation & Growth Team gets from founders is, “How do I make a good first impression with a retail buyer?” There’s little doubt that the feelings associated with this question include a bit of stress – and understandably so, says Le’Spencer. “It’s very exciting to meet with the retail buyers,” he says, “but you want to make sure that you maximize the time you have and that your first impression leads to business.” 

One of the best ways to start with a good first impression is with a tight elevator pitch. Top aspects of your pitch should capture the attention of that buyer, investor or future partner. It should have feeling, be truthful and promote confidence with data that substantiates your business proposal. When building your elevator pitch, cap it at about 5-7 sentences, which includes a top-line description of your business’ purpose, core values and target customer. Make sure to wrap your pitch with a call to action for the buyer. This will encourage them to actively think how they can be a partner to you. An example of an effective call to action might be, “Would you like to capture 10% of the market share in the beauty industry with me?”  

Le’Spencer offers up some dos and don’ts when crafting your pitch:  

  • Do share valid and relevant sales, data and insight numbers. This gives you credibility.  
  • Don’t be uptight. Relax. Take a deep breath before starting your pitch.  
  • Do follow up. Make sure you establish next steps and keep the conversation moving.  
  • Don’t over communicate. Be clear and concise with your communication.  
  • Do ask for feedback. This can help you improve your product, pitch or inform how to engage with additional contacts in your network. 
  • Don’t email every day. A follow up email to your initial communication is welcome, but don’t overdo it, as this can lead to a negative impression. 

Finally, “Make sure your pitch is fresh,” says Le’Spencer. “If you already have a pitch, add to it. Add your growth, new milestones and information. Make sure to practice your pitch frequently. Most importantly, don’t forget to connect to the person that you’re talking to. You want your connection to consider your proposal, but emotional memory is just as important.”  

Now that you have these tips, go refresh your pitch and start practicing now.  

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Post topic(s): Pitching essentials

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