The Art of Wholesale Pitching through Email – How to Get Your Dream Customer
You’ve got your wholesale prices figured out, your linesheet together, and you’re ready to step up to the next level of pitching your products to shops and other businesses. It’s time to learn the art of wholesale pitching and how to land that dream customer.
When I started my business, I wrote down a list of someday goals. This list included being carried in stores like Athropologie, Crate & Barrel, and others. I also wrote down a national gifting business that is headquartered in my city, and essentially was my number one dream customer. For reasons much more personal than just seeing my product in a huge corporate store like the previously mentioned.
After 3 months of being open for business, I landed this dream customer. And have since had an on-going partnership with them for over a year at this point.
How did I do it?
A Personal Pitch
For starters, I gave a personal pitch through email. This pitch went something along the lines of the following:
My name is Dianna and I’m the founder of TERRA. I’ve been following [business]’s journey for a few years now, as I instantly fell in love with it from the beginning. I’m from St. Louis and actually used to want to work for your company a few years back because I loved everything about the business.
I wanted to reach out today in regards to possibly being considered in your product offering. I create home fragrances and would love to send you some samples. I’ve also attached a short catalog of my products for you to browse.
If you’re interested in samples, just let me know a good address to send those to, and I can’t wait to hear back from you!
This pitch landed me an offer to bring samples by in-person at their office. And after reviewing the samples, not only did we form a partnership through wholesale, but they also requested a custom product be created for Mother’s Day that was soon approaching. I was on cloud 9, to say the least.
I’ve done email pitches like this a handful of times, and the outcome has always been positive. This doesn’t mean that they all turned into wholesale closes, but if anything, they’ve opened up the doors for opportunities later and network connections.
How to Perfect the Wholesale Pitch
I once read a tweet from Jaime Schmidt, founder of Schmidt’s Deodorant, and it said ‘My trick in landing wholesale accounts wasn’t the fancy PowerPoint or rehearsed presentation. It was me showing up to the meeting as the founder.’
And she’s damn right. I have an employee who, don’t get me wrong she’s great at all she does, often sends emails to potential wholesale customers. However, I’ve noticed the percentage of closing is smaller than compared to when I do it. It’s because you as the person who created this business is as personal as it gets! And trust me, people love it.
Not only is a great wholesale pitch personal, it also ties in a connection between your business and theirs. In my pitch example, I tied in how I personally wanted to work for that company so many years back (true story!) and that we’re located in the same city.
You can definitely center your pitch around being based in the same city, as local businesses do typically look out for each other. But if you’re pitching to a company elsewhere, perhaps bring out a fond memory of their business or what attracted you to them. Also mention exactly how your product fits in well with them.
For example, are you selling to a shop that supports only women-owned businesses? Mention that, of course, you are women-owned. Pitching to a business that encourages sustainability? Talk about how that’s your mission, too, and what you’re doing to follow through with it.
An email means nothing unless there’s some visuals to back it up. Your wholesale pitch should absolutely contain images of what you’re even talking about. Whether you have a PDF catalog to share or just a few images from social media, make sure to attach those and mention that they are there.
Two reasons why you should do this:
- A photo can make all the difference. You can describe what your product is endlessly, and some people still might not be able to grasp it. But when they see what it is, this could spark their interest immediately.
- This minimizes time wasted. People know what they want and what they don’t. And if all else, your photo will prevent you from running in circles if you receive a hard no. That your product simply doesn’t fit with what they are looking for.
Finally, the best way to end a pitch is by offering your product. As a business, you need to have confidence in your product. And there’s no better way of showing that than offering it to them for free – because they will love it, right?
People need to be convinced. And sending them a sample is an increible way to do this.
Sometimes I end the pitch with a straight-forward ‘I’ll send you samples, what’s your address?’ and other times, like the above, I’ll ask if they are interested in samples and wait for their response. I can’t tell you why or when I choose one approach over the other, but they both seem to have a good outcome.
That is how to pitch wholesale through email. And if done correctly with the right people and the right products, you will get your dream customer.
Smaller but effective tips to keep in mind:
- Email directly to who will be making the wholesale decision or the top person in the business. For shops, I always try and get the shop owner’s information or the retail purchaser.
- Use their name! Always use people’s names. Sometimes it can’t be found who they are, but at least do some due diligence.
- Don’t pitch blindly, pitch to businesses who you truly align with.
- No response? Follow up two weeks later. Sometimes things just get lost and forgotten.
- Does your product have multiple options? Send a few samples, not just one. Not everyone has the same preferences, and sometimes it’s 1 out of 3 that leaves them starstruck.