Today we're excited to feature Sandy Dell, Co Owner of Gourmet Innovations and we're happy to share her story with you today:
A Peek Into Sandy Dell's Business - Selling to Retailers (Visit her site today!)
Tell us about yourself and your business?
I am a semi-retired independent sales representative for the gift industry. Having operated my own business for over twelve years, I have gained valuable insights in working with gifts store buyers and producers. I am also co-owner of Gourmet Innovations which makes gourmet foods and gifts. Since I have worked as a retailer buyer and manager, a gourmet food and gift producer and a sales rep, I can relate to nearly every problem facing new producers trying to market their products to retail shops.
How did you get started in wholesale?
Not the same way most producers get involved in wholesale! I was distributing and selling ads for a small trivia type newsletter about the upcoming Lewis & Clark Commemoration (2000-02) when shop owners approached me about buying Lewis & Clark related souvenirs. My husband, Malcolm and I did a bit of research, came up with a few lines to wholesale to shops, and I was in business as a sales rep!
What are the new trends that are happening in wholesale that the audience should know about?
Over the last 12-13 years I have worked in the industry, I see more and more buyers looking online for products. Every producer who is serious about selling wholesale should have a website with capacity for buyers to access wholesale information either through a password protected section of their site, or through a form potential buyer submit for wholesale info, or through a completely separate wholesale only website.
What is the magic formula to attract retailers to work with you?
The only magic formula I would suggest is PERSISTENCE! It is not unusual to contact a store buyer 5-6 times before you make a sale. Store buyers are busy people who are often approached by dozens of inexperience sales people wanting to sell products. You need to stand out! If you give up early in the process, you will lose out to your competitors that are willing to be persistent!
Share a story around smart packaging.
The best advice I can give is to place your products on a store shelf and stand about 10 feet away. If you product stands out from the rest, you have a winning package. If it gets lost amongst the other items on the shelf, I suggest redesigning the packaging and/or labeling.
What kind of products and services you are offering to support small businesses?
My husband and I have co-authored three main eguides:
My Meylah store also features several resources and mini-eguides, in addition to the eguides listed above, to help producers in various stages of their business.
In addition, we offer one-on-two consulting services and group coaching:
What is your most important marketing tool you are using to generate sales online?
I stay in touch with my customers and potential customers via email and newsletters. I share articles, special offers and programs to help customers grow their business. Producers will want to fill their newsletter and emails with news such as: new product announcements, contests for free items, list of shows they are attending, and tips for using or cleaning their products
What is your favorite feature and/or service on your Meylah store?
I love the blog function. I don’t know of any similar platform that offers such a versatile way to stay in touch with potential customers.
Any insights to Meylah members that can help them attract new customers and new sales?
Be active with your customers. Make sure to email them weekly, if possible, answer questions, ask questions, and develop a relationship with them. Consumers generally buy from people they feel they know and can trust. Also, add your Meylah store URL to your email signatures, post them on social media, Facebook, Pinterest, and spread the news around everywhere you can.
We at Meylah are really excited to have her as a brand ambassador and also part of our community. Thanks so much for taking the time to know her more. Visit her site today!