10 Steps to Follow to Get Your Products Into Stores | Sandra Hess | Skillshare

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10 Steps to Follow to Get Your Products Into Stores

teacher avatar Sandra Hess, Sandra Rose Designs, Graphic Designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (13m)
    • 1. 1) Get Products into Stores Intro

    • 2. 2) Steps 1 & 2, Identify and Contact Target Shops

    • 3. 3) Step 3, 4, 5 - Meeting Face to Face

    • 4. 4) Step 6 What To Bring to Meeting

    • 5. 5) Steps 7 10 Meeting Expectations, Follow Up, Follow Through

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About This Class


Are you a crafter or designer? Do you make jewelry, leather goods, soap, greeting cards or other product?  This is a must watch video to learn the 10 Steps to Follow to Get Your Product Into Stores. Many people do not know where to begin and are full of questions. There is a lot of information out there - with some contradicting advice. I have been selling greeting cards in stores across the country as a solo entrepreneur. I am now sharing my secrets with you for getting your products into stores! It isn't as hard as you think. Just follow these 10 steps and you will be confidently on your way! 

Here is the class on Flexi-Planner system that I mentioned in the class. It is a 15 minute video on how to set up and use your Flexi-Planner for getting an staying organized. This system is what I use to stay on top of things, focused and organized in my greeting card business!  http://skl.sh/2uLIenW

Meet Your Teacher

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Sandra Hess

Sandra Rose Designs, Graphic Designer


"Your 20 year old daughter MADE that card?" I asked my best friend. The card images and text were stamped and embellished with a well-placed rhinestone. A 3-D feel was created by layered focal points and a beautiful ribbon completed the look. She showed me several more cards that she received for her birthday and her recent wedding anniversary. I was in awe and felt so inspired as I saw card after card, each with its own unique charm! I couldn't wait to learn to hand craft my own cards!

And so began my love affair with designing and creating greeting cards. That day was 16 years ago and my passion continues. I love good design. I love greeting cards. I love connecting with people and teaching what I have learned.

I started my career in the fine arts field of music as a reg... See full profile

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1. 1) Get Products into Stores Intro: Welcome to class. I am here to help you get your special products into stores. What do you make? I am a graphic designer specializing in designing greeting cards. I have sold well over 300,000 reading cards on it continues to grow and expand more each year. I saw my cards across the country in gift shops, bookstores, florists, card stores and specialty shops. Steps. They're all basically the same. Whether you make and sell beautiful jewelry. Handmade soaps Whether you make cute, handcrafted animals, clothing. No matter what you make, there will always be a store for you to sell your special handcrafted item. When you sign up for this class, you will learn the 10 shirt fire steps to get your unique items into stores. Let other people see them so they could buy them. Sign up for this class and be sure to give the thumbs up afterwards so that other people can see and get help in getting their products into stores as well. As you go through this and go through the process, you will have questions, unique questions that I will be happy to answer for. You just list the questions below and we can work together to get your questions answered. Let's get started 2. 2) Steps 1 & 2, Identify and Contact Target Shops: Step one. Identify your targeted shops. You will start small. By that, I mean, start with small shops, small, locally owned gift shops, floral shops, consignment shops, book shops or stores that sell handcrafted items. Get on your computer and Google those terms in your area and make a list of the store, name, phone number and location. Google the store name and go to their website. Read the reviews, etcetera. This information is useful to see how your products might fit in with their current merchandise. I use the Flex a planner system to write down the list of stores and keep notes. I have a video on the Flex, a plan or system of organization where I have the link below. Yes, this is a shameless plug, but I found it very, very helpful. To use my flex a planner system, look for stores that have similar styles as your product. If you sell little country bears, look for country stores. Don't go to a modern upscale store. Step number two. Prepare the phone introduction. It is very important to write out your script. That way you will be succinct and to the point they may have a customer they're involved with or feeling frazzle. Deck A. Your short introduction will enable you to state your intent right off the bat. When you call a shop, you may not be talking to the owner or buyer, so your first step is to identify the buyer. Hello, my name is I am a greeting card designer with my own line of greeting cards. Who might I speak with about showing my line? If it's a different person than the one you're speaking to and they're not available, you would need to ask when would be a good time to reach him or her. Make sure you get their names, so when you call back, you can now ask for them. Finding. Make sure you added to your bullet journal list of the people. When you do reach the buyer, say something like this. Hello, my name is Sandra Rose. I am a greeting card designer with my own line of greeting cards. They're handmade and feature a three D embellishment. They include all occasion and holiday cards. May I stop by and show them to you? I have this written down in front of you. When you begin making phone calls will make you feel more confident and you won't stumble 3. 3) Step 3, 4, 5 - Meeting Face to Face: step number three. Contact the shops by phone. Begin calling the shops you have identified. Write down any pertinent information. Name of the buyer who you spoke to best time to reach them, etcetera. It may take you a week or two to reach them, but don't let that discourage you. You need to leave a message for them. Relay your introduction message as if you were actually speaking with the message you leave with them is to introduce yourself, then let them know you will be calling back. Be bright, brief sounding and to the point. Be natural, unpleasant on the phone in the phone call. Use your friendly, bright, cheery voice. Don't act apologetic. Don't mumble. Don't try and act compass or uber professional. Just a nice, pleasant fried sounding tone is all that is needed after you have reached the buyer and they say, Yes, I'll look at your jewelry cards. Handle etcetera asked when a good time would be for you to stop in. Set your meeting time, then do the happy dance. If they say no, they will explain why they're not open. You are looking for stores that are a good fit, so don't worry and move on to the next door on your list. Getting the first showing with potential client is the hardest part. Learn from what they say. You may need to call 10 stores to get one appointment where you actually reach the person when they say Sure, let me look at your products. I'm open to adding something new in my store. 4. 4) Step 6 What To Bring to Meeting: many questions come up about this. People are very uncertain as to what they need to bring. It's different for smaller shops than larger ones. Since we're focusing on smaller shops. Now, this is what you will need. Number one bring samples. How many tend to 25 or fine? You need different products to represent the different items that you carry. What happens if you have one great style handbag? You might do it in three different colors. Just bring the one bag, bring the three colors or bring photos of the other colors. That'll be great. Number two is an order form. People go. Oh, no. I don't know what to do for an order form. I don't have a professional order form. Yes, you do. Just put your name at the top and the item list description. The quantity, the cost to the buyer, wholesale cost and the date. That's all. Number three, your business card and of her shore. If you have one, you can have one simply made up describing your product, describing the materials that are made from what the cost is to the store and what they might sell it for the suggested retail price a little bit about you, who you are, your background and what materials you use. What do you make? Why do you make what you make anything that might be of interest that someone might ask you questions about, or that when you're describing your business to someone, your your product of someone, tell him about it. I was in many stores before I actually had a brochure made up. I just had my business card, and that is perfectly fine. You can talk to the person and explain all those things. They will be asking you questions about yourself and your process of your craft so you can just talk about and that is fine. Now you're fulfillment process. This is very important. You need to answer the following types of questions. Will you deliver the three products in person, or do you have to ship them? Who pays for the shipping? What is the turnaround time? How long before when they order? Will you send the product? How long before you come back and check on them? What is your minimum order? Small stores want a very low minimum because they're just getting they don't know you yet they don't know what's going to self. If they don't sell, will you refund their money and take the items back? These are things that are good when you're a very small starting off. How does the pricing work? What is your wholesale price? What is your suggested retail price? These air loaded questions best saved for another video. Or if you have a specific question, please ask it in the comments below, and I will get back to you individually. Generally for a store, your wholesale price is 50% of the retail price. $20 bag that sells retail. Would you'd sell that to the store for $10? Let's move on to the next video and continue to learn. 5. 5) Steps 7 10 Meeting Expectations, Follow Up, Follow Through: step number seven. Don't be afraid to be a beginner. Many shop owners or buyers will empathize with you. Since you are just starting out, they'll be happy to answer questions and will help you feel comfortable. They may be rooting for you and want to give you a chance. It's exciting for them to work directly with the artist or creator. Crafter. This is a relationship, and they need to know that you are responsible and can take criticism or rejection in a professional manner. Number eight. What to expect in a meeting. Small shops may or may not cover back office room. You may be showing them your products at the counter or a small table. Have your products in an appropriate carrying case or nice box. I hand the buyer a few of my cards at a time in my card line. I have a lot of different occasions, specialty cards and Mitch market cards. I begin with the most common cards. I hand the buyer a few at a time and let them read the card themselves. Allow them time without talking, let them touch, feel and ask questions. They're set themselves. They will have their own system of choosing what they want to carry. Or, if you're Linus small, they may choose to carry them off. They will ask you questions, so answer them honestly. If you do not know the answer, then turn it around and ask them, How do you usually work, or what way do you prefer or you can answer with? I typically sell it this way, but I can do it your preferred way so you can see how the cards sell. Or since my card line is fairly new, number nine taking rejection. Isn't that the real concern, the real fear and selling your creative work? I don't want to be to Sales E. I'm afraid to talk to them. What if they don't like my work? What if I sound stupid? Because I don't really know what I'm talking about. Yet you have now entered into the world of business. When you meet with the store buyer, put on your business hat and put away your creative hat. Crafting your product is just the start. Listening and learning from the people who know what sells in the store is important if they say your product isn't what they're looking for or isn't a good match for their store ? Ask them how you can improve and what advice they have for you. You may be thinking it is your creative work that isn't good, but they may be thinking that the price is too high. So before you leave, make sure you know why they are saying no. They have a lot of experience and know what their customers will buy. They will be happy to give you advice. Number 10 Follow up and follow through. If they place an order, make sure you know your next stuff. Make it clear as to the price payment terms and when the order will be delivered. If you have shipped the products, give them a follow up call to make sure everything is as expected, especially if it is their first order with you. Then ask them if they know of other stores who may be interested in your line. You may just find your next lead. They may give you information about an organization that they're a part of and send you information about with other store names and phone numbers. They may say that they will pass on your information to other people, in which case you want to give them a few extra business cards or brochures. Be friendly, be organized beyond time and dress nicely. Your professionalism will go a long way in helping you build a business relationship with stores and grow successfully. Good luck. And please let me know if you have any questions. I would be most happy to answer them and discuss it with you and give you a lot of personal attention. A za result of this taking this class. Thank you. And please pass it on to others.