3 reasons why you are not winning more new business

Over the past four years of listening to our retail members, we want to share with you the 3 top reasons why you may not be winning more new business.

These reasons are not rocket science, however it is stunning to see so many manufacturers continuing to fail in simple execution. So here they are:

1. Meet retailers on their terms

Next time you are getting your morning coffee, just observe what is going on here. Chances are everyone behind the counter is busy and naturally focused on serving their customers. Now try and find the business owner in the team, and then work out the appropriate time when you think you would be able to pull them away for 15 minutes to tell them about your amazing new product.

The first step to winning more new business is to meet the retailer on their terms, not yours. Attention is the asset, and no matter how good you believe your product to be, it is not going to fly if you are considered an interruption by the very person you are trying to impress.

Only 2% of retailers will buy from you on first contact and generally it is because they have called you, not the other way around, while the other 98% will only buy once a certain level of trust has been established. It is the very reason why our program gains between 10–40% of respondents as leads, because we have established a trusted service with our retailers over an extended period of time.

So maybe the best bet here is to leave some samples behind for them to try and test in their time, and then see if you can book a time to come back or call to discuss what they thought.

2. Show the F up!

“I requested contact about this product, and no one has bothered to call”

This is a constant complaint we get from our program members when we present products, and they request contact. You have a product that is your baby, you go to great lengths and cost to get it in the hands of retailers and then you don’t show up!

Research shows, amazingly, that only 20% of sales leads are ever followed up. In other words, 80% of potential opportunities are lost without trace simply due to lack of follow-up.

People and companies who don’t follow-up, who do nothing to build up that trust and relationship, cannot succeed, especially in today’s tough economic climate. People need to be sure they’re making the right decision before they commit to a purchase.

Research shows that it takes at least five continuous follow up efforts after the initial sales contact, before a customer says yes. FIVE!

44% of sales people give up after one “no”
22% give up after two “nos”
14% give up after three “nos”
12% give up after four “nos”

That tells you that 92% of sales people give up after four “no’s”, and only 8% cent of sales people ask for the order a fifth time.

3. Care less and they will care more

Nobody cares about your product! If you can understand this thought process, it will change your whole approach forever.

I get it, your products are your babies, and to you they are game changes and the silver bullet that every retailer has been looking for. But please understand that nobody cares…. trust me.

Retailers care only about how this product is going to bring value to them, their customers and their business. So if you can focus less on your product, and more on understanding the retailers needs, you may just be able to win them over.

No product is a silver bullet to these businesses, and no one product is going to save these businesses. Just drive down the street and look at the closed corner store, and I guarantee they will have Coca-Cola or Streets plastered all over their shop face.

If these big brands didn’t save these businesses, in an era when brands had huge equity and the luxury of time to establish brand loyalty with consumers, what chance do you think you have in todays fast changing, connected society?

Be empathetic, and bring the retailer value and you may just surprise yourself.

So you adopt all these points and you still don’t get your product ranged, what do you do now. Well for most manufacturers it is a one time shot, never to be visited again, and this is where most fail in the pursuit of new business.

We often get feedback from retailers that they like the product but will consider it after their re-fit or re-location etc. You never truely know what is going on in a retailers business, and most of the time a no is not always a NO, it is just a no for now.

Statistics show that 63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months.

This is why it is always important to be consistent. Contacting your prospective and existing customers every three months or sooner builds trust and professionalism and keeps you ‘top of mind’.

Adopt some or all of these strategies, and see if new business starts to come your way.

All the best :)