You might have a bloody brilliant new product idea but you need to sell it properly if you want to win or increase your share of shelf-space.
Here are some tips, go forth and conquer…
Do understand the individual retailer and their strategy. Develop or market your new product idea to them with their strategy in mind. Remember we’re spending more time thinking about them than we are about ourselves.
Do put yourself in the shoes of the Category Manager. Understand their pain points. Identify how you can make them look good. Tell them how you can make them look good.
Do create professional 2D visuals or a physical 3D mock up of your new product and show how it will work within the context of their existing range. This will make your new product idea tangible and give you massively awesome competitive advantage.
Do take a category-wide approach. Understand your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses as well as you know your own. Develop products designed to drive over-all category growth.
Do be clear and to the point. Make your ideal outcome known. Ask for what you want. Be bold.
Don’t create a generic presentation for use across multiple retailers. Different retailers have different strategic objectives. Your presentation should speak to the retailer’s strategic aims.
Don’t try to create product visuals or a presentation in-house. In the same way you wouldn’t buy your suit from K-Mart, don’t let your unqualified in-house team design your product, brand or presentation. Don’t leave it to chance to make a good impression.
Don’t assume you know more / better than the Category Manager. You never know what opportunities might present themselves by listening.
Don’t walk out of the toilets with paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe. That’s just embarrassing.