Retail appointments are so few and far between that every time you make a presentation it needs to be great.The buyer has limited time and wants to get to the point. Be ready for any kind of appointment – even one in the lobby of the account (it happens)! I’ve had an appointment at Petsmart that ened up in cafeteria and one at Wal-Mart that took pace in their staging area – which is an airplane hanger with a mock-up store inside. Both were successful calls. Here is a simple outline that will help you close the deal with any retailer…
Tip: If you can get a professional to design your branded Powerpoint template — do it. It makes your presentation look so much more professional than a generic clip art job. These can be created inexpensively so look around.
1. Title slide – your company and the account logo. Include the date of the presentation/appointment. No need to include your name or the buyer’s name.
2. Agenda – not really necessary. You will want to keep your slide deck to no more than 10 slides, so this one is up to you. Sometimes it helps to have it in there for you as a guide when you are setting. You can delete it later.
3. Company Overview – who are you and your company? How long have you been in business? Why did you create the product(s)? What is the purpose of the product. A few sentences is all you need here.
4-5. Product Overview – What is your product(s)? Show some packaging graphics, etc. What flavors do they come in? What sizes, shapes, colors? What type of Point-of-Purchase display options do you have?
6. Features/Benefits – describe the top 3 features and the benefits associated from them here.
7. Consumer Research – show any research you have saying people like and will buy the product. If you have scan data from another account you can speak about it generically. You don’t need to say “Selling 4 units/week/store at Petsmart” if you are speaking to the Petco buyer – but he/she might ask if he knows you are there too.
8. Competition – who is your competition? Why are you better? Feature(s)? Price? Quality? Let the buyer know you recognize the competition, surely he/she does so get this right out of the way.
9. Pricing – you can simply state the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) that you believe consumers are willing to pay for the product. If you know the buyer’s margin for the category you can show a simple table…See example:
GM (gross margin) $4.99
GM % 50
The above table us usually presented at the unit, not case level.
If you don’t know the margin the buyer wants just state the price and have the discussion. Most accounts will also want 5% MDF (marketing development funds). The definition of MDF varies widely depending on the account. In grocery it usually means “slotting” or the price you pay the retailer for putting it on the shelf. In Pet retail it is usually a % of wholesale that will fund circular ads or other promotional activity. Again if you know it, list it, if not discuss it with the buyer.
10. Thank You/Next Steps – a place to write some notes and followups right in the presentation.
You could also include some specs such as how your product is casepacked, but you would typically have a 1 page sell sheet with this info that also includes your UPC codes, etc.
Good luck and Good Selling!