7 Ways to Increase Product Sales for Your Manufacturing or Wholesale Business

Sales is what drives growth for any business. If you’re already selling your products online or to independent specialty stores, chances are you’re either doing this on your own, you’re working with sales reps or you’re doing a combination of both. Find eBay accounts for sale

Some businesses are content selling their products online and that’s just fine. More often than not, selling online direct to customers offers the best profit margins anyway because you don’t have to share your profits with a sales rep or distributor.

But what if you’re not getting the results you want or you want more product sales in your business?

I work with clients who come to us because they’re at this stage in their business. Some are making good money selling their products online and some are at retail and they’re ready to really get out there in a bigger way so they can increase sales and make more money.

There are several sales strategies that you can use to expand your reach and get your products exposed to a larger audience.

1. Work with distributors. Since a distributor has a network of retailers that they already work with and they have sales reps that cover entire territories, even outside of the United States, you have a better chance of creating visibility for your products to a larger customer base. Another very important advantage while working with a distributor is you don’t necessarily have to worry about inventorying the product, which usually takes a big chunk of your overhead expense. The challenge though especially for new businesses is finding a distributor who is willing to represent a brand new product line with limited to no sales history. Retailers and distributors look at their bottom line so they have specific criteria that they take into consideration when working with a manufacturer. They obviously want to add products to their mix that will give them the best sales returns, so a great product with good sales history and a business that’s well-positioned is something that distributors want to see when considering product lines.

2. Expand your sales representation across the U.S. If you can find a sales rep firm with a number of sales reps that cover different territories who’s willing to represent your line, you’ve got a better head start. However, if you’re new and especially if your line is small, it may be a challenge for a more established rep firm to represent your line. A good strategy may be to personally work with as many accounts that you can in your surrounding area and if you can, hire sales reps that can cover other territories. A good way to find out what territories you should start with is to search for stores online that carry similar products. For example, if you find out that most stores are in the West Coast and East Coast, focus on these territories and find reps or rep firms that cover these territories, and then you can later work your way across the U.S.

3. Sell direct to department stores and national chain accounts. Another way to grow your business and increase sales is to work directly with the buyers of department store and national chain accounts. Some reps may cover these accounts and some sales reps actually specialize in working with major chain accounts so they have good relationships with the buyers. It’s a good idea to find out what accounts they cover when selecting a sales rep or sales rep firm.

4. Focus on specialty stores that have a chain of stores. Depending on your product, there may be specialty stores that have more than one location. I would suggest identifying these stores and focusing your sales efforts on these accounts because this may offer you a better chance of getting your products in more than one store and creating more visibility and sales for your brand.

5. Expand your e-commerce capabilities. Aside from having your own online store, get your products showcased on as many virtual storefronts and catalogs as you can such as Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Shopify, Big Commerce, Etsy, Groupon, Living Social, etc. Here’s a sales article that I found that lists the best e-commerce web stores for selling online.

6. Find catalogs that would be a good fit for your product. Catalogs are also a good way to showcase your products. There are thousands of catalogs out there, both in print and digital formats. Find the catalogs that you feel should carry your product and reach out to them just like you would to an independent boutique or department store. The more retail channels you can get your products into, the more chances you have of getting more sales and growing your business.

7. Expand your line. Finally, a good way to grow your business it to focus on product development. The more items you can add to your line or develop line extensions for your brand, the more likelihood you can increase sales and garner interest from sales reps, buyers, retailers and distributors. A wide product selection is key to growth when running a manufacturing or wholesale business.

These are just some ways that you can increase your chances of improving sales for your business.

Just remember… when considering working with reps or distributors, make sure that you have the right pricing structure. There’s nothing worse than getting into business and having your products out there that’s not making you money!

Bottom line… it’s better to assume that you’ll eventually work with a rep or distributor, so add their commissions into your pricing structure when setting your suggested retail price even if you plan to initially sell your products online.