How To Pitch Your Product to Big Retailers

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This April up your Sales & Marketing efforts! Follow along here for winning strategies.

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Do you have a product that you think would be a perfect fit for Pick n Pay, Massmart, or any other large retailers

The secret to successfully pitching your product to a retailer is making sure your offering is up to scratch, says business strategist and entrepreneur, Anton Ressel.

Ressel is the founder and director of ARC Consulting. He is also director of the Fetola Foundation, an enterprise development firm.

“Don’t assume that because your product is in demand – or you personally believe it to be a good product – that this is enough to ensure success,” says Ressel.

Ressel gives 4 ways to prepare for that all-important meeting.

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Anton Ressel.

1. Pitch to the right person within the retailer

“It all starts with talking to “the man”. Find out who “the man” is or “the woman”. This is the person who has the authority to buy – or to decline to buy – the product you wish to sell. This can be established by calling the retailers in question and requesting to speak to the relevant buyer or category manager, based on the nature of your product. Don’t waste your time engaging with the wrong person.”

2. Build a relationship with the retailer

“Firstly, long-term success depends on building a relationship with the buyer/s. Chat to them about their needs. Find out what price points work for them. Take the time to find out whether the product you have to offer is likely to be of interest before going to see them. This entails doing research. Do they stock similar products? Have they stocked something similar in the past but no longer do so?”

3. Prepare to answer tough questions

“Be prepared to leave samples behind and be able to answer any questions they may have around price, capacity, lead times, distribution channels and delivery related queries. In other words, be prepared as per the Boy Scouts motto. Know your price points, particularly around quantity discounts, how low you are prepared to go, and what payment terms you can absorb. 30, 60, 90 days?”

4. Pitch the whole business, not only the product

“Establish delivery expectations and other criteria such as after-sales service expectations, warranty requirements and so on. Ensure that you’re in a position to efficiently manage the full 360-degree spectrum of the sale process. In other words, having a good product to offer is only a small element of the total expectation of  retailers.


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Michelle Strydom
Michelle Strydom
I'm a journalist for online publication, SME South Africa. I'm a BA journalism graduate from the University of Johannesburg. My areas of focus when it comes to writing are entrepreneurs, startups, marketing and funding. I also enjoy creative writing and proofreading.