Bhupesh Shah is a sales, marketing and web strategy consultant with over 20 years of experience in the retail and industrial markets. He has been a buyer, a seller and a marketer for companies ranging in size from $7 million to $7 billion. He is also a Professor at Seneca College, where he teaches marketing and other business-related courses. An award winning Professor and co-author of a marketing textbook, Bhupesh has been recognized as one of the top Professors using Twitter (Social Media Magazine) and also one of top 50 Business Professors to follow on Twitter (onlinemba) He holds an MBA from York University, and can be reached through his consulting company ethnicomm inc.
As a former buyer, I would not suggest sending an email and being so direct. Buyers are busy but if you`re proposal is compelling, they will think about it. The reason is that they do not want to miss an opportunity to differentiate or risk being embarassed that a hot product is carried at their competitor. When the boss asks "did you know about this product" the buyer does not want to say "yes but I was too busy to check it out".
I would suggest a voice mail - it`s harder to ignore than an email. The key is capturing their interest so they DO return the call.
Normally business is slow during the summer months but this year was different. I attribute it to having more contacts, sales pitches and referrals. I spent a lot of time pre-summer trying to fill the sales funnel so to speak. Things were slow and then in mid-July I was swamped with opportunities.
I don`t think you need to have a warehouse, rent, employees etc and you certainly don`t need to sell online.The large retailers will do an DI program with you - let then commit to a container and pass on the savings to them. You get an LC first, produce to order as per their pickup date and minimize the risk.There are many examples of 20 year old companies getting clipped by innovative and aggressive companies that know how to make it work using current technology and know-how!How do you know that KB`s business strategy is the best? What if another mfgr from China decides to do exactly what you are doing but goes direct? Then you have TWO issues - phasing out the middleman while combating a new entrant into the marketplace.
My experience with TSC (Canada) and QVC is consistent with tgroup. If the product is available elsewhere, they want to offer the best value to the customer - whether that is through bonus packs or additional accessories. Read the posts on QVC here to get a sense of what you can expect. I would not recommend trying to supply all three channels with the same product. As I`ve stated earlier, if you have a range of sku`s, you should be okay with "channel managing" as long as you understand the unique requirements of each channel.