Sales

How Can Wholesalers Find and Contact New Leads: Business Intelligence to the Rescue

by Nicolae Buldumac
How Can Wholesalers Find and Contact New Leads: Business Intelligence to the Rescue

Building new trade relationships for either manufacturers or wholesalers has long become more of a protracted process, with complex steps towards mutual trust. No matter what you are looking forward to - expand your current distribution chain or launch on a new market, chances are high that it will not be too easy to accomplish. Therefore, every single step you make should be thoroughly planned and done the right way.

Aspects of wholesale marketing 2019

Similarly to other B2B distribution chain levels, the ways to get in touch with new and potential business partners are the good old ones (cold calling, cold emailing and sometimes cold mailing). To these, new ways such as tradeshows and meetups to attend, online orders’ tracking, company databases, other directories, Linkedin, influencer possibilities and several more add up. No matter which ones you consider using, either separate or combined, the process in most cases will cost you a load of resources.

Taking into account that, according to HubSpot, 86% of professionals currently use email for business purposes communication as their preferred channel, cold emailing still proves to be one of the most popular and efficient.

If you are planning to expand to a new market, you will probably get in touch with regional wholesalers in the first place rather than contact the local retailers right away. This may be an insightful move as local wholesalers would be better aware of the ways and locations where your kind of product would be more appropriate to be sold, and thus will make a better choice of local retailers than you would’ve done remotely or even locally from an outsider’s point of view.

Retail stores oftentimes have a long established audience. Hence, when contacting one of these, regardless of their size, you should be sure that you are on the same page and that you are speaking the same language. Veteran B2B salespeople easily understand who of their counterparts is less experienced and will immediately figure out whether you do or do not have a good sense of the local market. So, unless you are totally sure that you have a thorough understanding of the field, you might consider assigning the choice for the very first deliveries to local intermediaries. On the other hand, there may be their understanding of superiority, which can result in harsher negotiations. Therefore, don’t forget about confidence.

There are two more extremely important perspectives to consider showing a lack of experience. One of these would be avoiding you by the potential business partners right away for the sake of saving their time. When you are new on the market, you may be always looking for advice, or even worse - you’d need one but not be looking for it. Hence, to escape the hustle of babysitting your business development locally, the intermediary will be reluctant to start a business relationship with you. The second perspective, although more common in the case of new businesses and start-ups rather than that of expansions to new markets, retailers and intermediaries might hesitate to close a deal with you, while not being sure that your business will handle new capacities and requirements.

B2B Wholesale Cold Emailing

Regardless of the trade relationship details, there is a set of basic steps you can consider when cold emailing, as described below, to help you end up compiling a sales pitch both attractive and confident.

1. Be brief when introducing yourself

Time is a very expensive resource today. Respect the people you are willing to see as business partners and make your message as brief as possible from the very beginning. Mention your and the company’s name, and share some details about the product in a few words. Although a more detailed introduction would be informative (and oftentimes we do feel that describing our whole history is truly important), it is actually redundant for the first email. This is the part that the reader should be able to scan within a blink, and that would lead him or her straight to the point of your email.

2. Make an upfront requirement

Aside of telling who you are and what your product is, mention the reasons why you are reaching out, and/or state a specific requirement. For example, you can set up an appointment to meet in person, notify about your presence at an upcoming event where the addressee could meet you and see your products, ask for permission to send free samples of your product and other goals you may be willing to contact them for.

The main idea behind making the first two points as short as possible aims at the quickening of the transition to the part of the email where you put the emphasis on the addressee.

3. Build credibility

Although it’s yet another short section of your email, this one should comprise the ‘hook’ of it. After reading this part, your addressee should start to care about your product and even your company. Here, you tell about the successes you’ve achieved together with the companies you are working with.

But do not forget to be brief, and remember that every success you have can be expressed in a single sentence or less. Besides, you should not start taking out all you have up your sleeves. Instead, name just one or two things you are really proud of, especially if it’s something about your business partners’ achievements emerging from the business relationship with your company.

4. Show the advantages you bring to both parties

This is the part where you can really surprise the person you are contacting. No more shocking news about your company, no more bragging about some unique press releases or number of representatives around the country, and so on. Here you address your potential partners’ needs, show them how your product and the collaboration with you will help them achieve 5-7 figure turnovers, or how great of an asset your product can be for their businesses.

One of the best moves would be to provide case studies or success stories of the contribution your product brought to other partners’ sales and how it led to higher margins. Keep in mind here, that what you provide does not mandatory have to replace a product that the business partners are already selling, as in such a way you won’t add much to their sale due to replacement. You should show that you will really add to their revenues by offering a new or different product, instead of being one that aims to take over their shelves. Show that you are willing to bolster their sales, not cannibalize their current products.

Underline the unique features your product brings to intermediaries or retailers. Demonstrate how it can improve the overall image of the addressee’s assortments by bringing in new, fresh and innovative packaging (for example). Besides, the lack of changes on shelves may make them look bleak from the customers’ point of view. Show them that you don’t bring yet another routine product on the market and be ambitious about further development.

Other advantages that you can offer your business partners regard shipment terms and conditions. It is quite common for retailers to forget or for any other reason to not order in advance the products they need. If you position yourself from the very start as a reliable supplier of a product and that you can meet urgent or last-minute orders, you get higher chances for future collaboration.

Similarly, if you are ready to deliver smaller batches, you may get one more check. Usually, wholesalers agree on terms of delivering only large and very large quantities of a good to other intermediaries or retailers. However, the latters are not always able, willing or capable of taking the risk, especially in the case of new products. Thus, if you’d be ok with helping your business partners lower their risks at least for the first couple of orders or months, you’d definitely grow your chances for a sound long-term business relationship.

Although this part of the email may be the longest as compared to the other ones, it has to be rationally sized too. We’d recommend not more than two short, 2-3 sentence paragraphs. According to Hubspot, 64% of people prefer rich text emails. However, if you add up all the information that we’ve suggested as email copy and the upcoming conclusion, you’ll come up with a pretty solid letter. Having it sent too big increases the odds that it won’t be read.

5. Summarize with key points

Even if the whole email should be short, you better summarize the main ideas of your message in one last sentence right before you express your regards. It may sound just like “kindly let me know if you’d be willing to receive some free samples of our [company name - product name] and we’ll send them to you immediately. We are sure that it will perfectly complement your current portfolio.”

According to the Content Marketing Institute, almost 80% of B2B marketers consider email as their most powerful distribution channel for demand generation efforts. Having your message shaped right and in the most considerate way will position as a serious potential business partner thus increasing your chances to get a reply. However, there is one more important question to answer: how do you deliver this wonderfully crafted message to the right people?

Business Intelligence for wholesalers

One of the main types of data offered by business directories is comprehensive information about companies in certain industries, countries, or both. Usually, data provided by business intelligence platforms, like Global Database, can be filtered according to various criteria.

General Company information includes:

  1. Businesses’ status, so that you can filter out immediately only the companies that are active.

  2. Company size, which can be applied in case you are interested only in companies with a certain range of employee number.

  3. Trading activity, where companies may be divided into importing and exporting ones and that can be useful in the case you are willing to enter a new market in a country that is different from yours.

  4. Activity type (probably the most important for you as a wholesaler) is the opportunity to filter out who you would be willing to work with and choose to see distributors only when you apply for the final result of your research or query.

One more interesting category of filters for any wholesaler is Industry. Depending on the country of your interest, you may choose from general industry classifications as well as by SIC-codes, if applicable. Filtering by industry is of great help from several points of view. First of all, even at the phase of planning to expand to new markets, you can easily start your target market analysis and understand what kind of competition you’d have to face when entering it. This is all possible due to the fact that, besides general information about the company, you also get all the financials along with other insights. But the data you get does not mandatory have to be used during the research only.

Analysing competitors’ company data may give you hints of important changes. Moreover, in time, when you have a more thorough perception of the given market, you’ll be able to understand the ways different events affect your competitors, thusly helping you understand the weaknesses of other businesses that you might have to face yourself as well.

Consequently, you can take a look at the credit scores and credit risks assessments, provided ready with reports for each company in part. For you, as a wholesaler, this is a lifesaver, as you’d know right away before even contacting these companies which of them you could trust more, and hence offer better trade conditions, and to which of them you should only agree on harsher terms with, so that you do not risk your own business.

Solutions such as Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer help you feel secure after you check the companies of your interest one at a time against the strict anti-money laundering regulations. You’ll know which of those businesses are UK KYC provisions fully compliant. These two products are of great use for every wholesaler, and we at Global Database are glad to be able to bring our contribution and save your resources big time by offering these solutions to our clients and partners.

Last but not the least, with company information you get the Contacts of the key decision makers for each business on your selected list. Having emails and phone numbers allows you to get past gatekeepers (e.g. receptionists and personal assistants), saving you tons of stressful and frustrating hours and assuring that you’ll get to talk exactly to the person you intend to for the sake of a successful deal closing. With a well structured message and a high-quality product, you can raise the chances for a fruitful long-term collaboration on a new so much-desired market.

To sum up...

When bringing a really good product on the market, you’ll end up cultivating your customer base. People will start looking for it, retailers and other intermediaries will start looking for you. Very likely, that soon you will become the lead they will be hunting for. In such a way, a few well-selected leads and a professionally structured email can assure you some great sales figures. A business intelligence platform provides you with the possibility to thoroughly explore on your own the new market, competition and sales opportunities within minutes or hours, thusly saving you huge amounts of time and money.

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