Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

How Do I Get Boutique Owners to Sell My Retail Product?

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
I'm starting a swimwear company and although I have a target market and a list of bontiques I would like to carry my product, I don't know how to approach them. Is it best to make a phone call, visit the buyer in-person or just send an email with marketing and product details?
I would suggest a strategic mixture of all of the above.

Start by sending the owners on your target list some information about your company, such as your mission statement and any materials highlighting your swimwear if it has been recognized someplace. In your message, inform the owners that you'll be stopping by or calling in the next few days.

It's important to remember when introducing yourself to a market that you are meeting people who most likely have never heard about you before. If possible, it's beneficial if the owners you want to reach out to you have heard about you at least once or twice before, so that you they are at least remotely familiar with your business before you meet them.

One way to accomplish this is sending an announcement or press release about your business to your local paper. It could just be a few short sentences explaining what product or service you provide. This can help build awareness and interest about your business within your community.

Another way is to align your business with a non-profit. This can help show that your business is giving back to the community and not solely focused on making money. It doesn't have to be a big charity or some huge amount that you're donating, but something that will show that you're community-minded.

Make sure that your presentation is in order before you meet the owners on your list in-person. It should be clear, concise and show why your product is perfect for his or her establishment.

Also, you should have the right collateral (brochures, flyers, etc.) to leave behind. This way, the shop owners and buyers will have your information handy even if they don't buy from you right away. Plus, this gives them something to refer to when you follow up.

After that, work your list, and be prepared to expand it. While someone on your target list may not be a perfect fit, don't give up. There are probably better options out there that you didn't consider initially.

Related: Why Serve a Niche Market?
Related: Taking Your New Product to Market

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks