What's the best way to sell your product to retailers? For Eric Poses, inventor of Loaded Questions, a board game that tests players on how well they know each other, it took a cross-country, in-your-face approach.
When Poses, 27, launched Loaded Questions in the summer of 1997, he initially tried using traditional marketing methods-with zero response. Frustrated, he packed up his car and hit the road. Over the next four months, he visited scores of mom-and-pop toy stores around the country and sold 1,000 games. The effort built a good distribution base-and much to his surprise, it also garnered plenty of media attention. Within months, Toys "R" Us had ordered 6,500 games.
Poses headed out from his Santa Monica, California, business, All Things Equal Inc., for a second grassroots campaign in March. He returned home in May, after meeting with such major merchants as Barnes and Noble, FAO Schwarz and Target as part of a "Meet the Inventor" program he's participating in.
"Instead of just trying to work with a buyer to get the game on the shelves, I'm supporting sales by meeting with customers who are looking for a good board game," says Poses. "Now, from the thousands of products on the shelves, mine stands out."