Your Retail Sales Presentation Outline

Retail appointments are so few and far between that every time you make a presentation it needs to be great. The buyer has limited time and wants to get to the point. Be ready for any kind of appointment - even one in the lobby of the account (it happens)! I've had an appointment at Petsmart that ened up in cafeteria and one at Wal-Mart that took pace in their staging area - which is an airplane hanger with a mock-up store inside. Both were successful calls. Here is a simple outline that will help you close the deal with any retailer...

Tip: If you can get a professional to design your branded Powerpoint template -- do it. It makes your presentation look so much more professional than a generic clip art job. These can be created inexpensively so look around.

1. Title slide - your company and the account logo. Include the date of the presentation/appointment. No need to include your name or the buyer's name.

2. Agenda - not really necessary. You will want to keep your slide deck to no more than 10 slides, so this one is up to you. Sometimes it helps to have it in there for you as a guide when you are setting. You can delete it later.

3. Company Overview - who are you and your company? How long have you been in business? Why did you create the product(s)? What is the purpose of the product. A few sentences is all you need here.

4-5. Product Overview - What is your product(s)? Show some packaging graphics, etc. What flavors do they come in? What sizes, shapes, colors? What type of Point-of-Purchase display options do you have?

6. Features/Benefits - describe the top 3 features and the benefits associated from them here.

7. Consumer Research - show any research you have saying people like and will buy the product. If you have scan data from another account you can speak about it generically. You don't need to say "Selling 4 units/week/store at Petsmart" if you are speaking to the Petco buyer - but he/she might ask if he knows you are there too.

8. Competition - who is your competition? Why are you better? Feature(s)? Price? Quality? Let the buyer know you recognize the competition, surely he/she does so get this right out of the way.

9. Pricing - you can simply state the MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) that you believe consumers are willing to pay for the product. If you know the buyer's margin for the category you can show a simple table...See example:

MSRP $9.99
Cost $4.99
GM (gross margin) $4.99
GM % 50

The above table us usually presented at the unit, not case level.

If you don't know the margin the buyer wants just state the price and have the discussion. Most accounts will also want 5% MDF (marketing development funds). The definition of MDF varies widely depending on the account. In grocery it usually means "slotting" or the price you pay the retailer for putting it on the shelf. In Pet retail it is usually a % of wholesale that will fund circular ads or other promotional activity. Again if you know it, list it, if not discuss it with the buyer.

10. Thank You/Next Steps - a place to write some notes and followups right in the presentation.

You could also include some specs such as how your product is casepacked, but you would typically have a 1 page sell sheet with this info that also includes your UPC codes, etc.

Good luck and Good Selling!

Top 5 Things You Need to Sell Retail Chains.

1. A Strong Brand Name and Packaging. You need to stand out on the shelf and have a benefit driven brand name vs. something obscure. Think "Bug-OFF" vs. "Zonic". Colors should "Pop" on shelf so people notice you.

2. Multiple Items (SKUs - Stock Keeping Unit). It is extremely rare for a single item to a) get sold in and on shelf (the buyer doesn't want to bother doing the new vendor paperwork for one SKU!), b) survive if it does get on shelf. The reason is the lack of a brand block. You simply won't be noticed. The big companies create multiple SKUs and use the 1/2 rule. Present 6, get 3 in, present 8, get 4. When I was at HJ Heinz on the Pounce Brand, we made up several flavors just to get more shelf presence. You can easily create more SKUs with more flavors, sizes or scents.

3. UPC Codes. Yes, the little code on the back of every product you buy is essential for the retailer to scan your item through their register. YOU CAN NOT BE SUCCESSFUL WITHOUT IT. They are somewhat expensive, but they are an essential cost of doing business. If you want to be taken serious by any major retail you must have a UPC code on your product. Here is the website to get you started on the road to having a UPC code. UC Council Link.

4. Product Liability Insurance. Yes, you need it and you need a minimum of $1 million for most retail chains. This is a policy you buy to protect the retailer from claims made against your product due to a defect, harm caused by your product, etc. You can find out more info about this type of insurance at this link. You can Google "Product Liability Insurance" and get a ton of sites that will give you quotes. There is no way around this requirement.

5. The Right Relationship. It is next to impossible to get your product in front of a major chain buyer without the right relationship. You can cold call and send samples to the buyer until you are blue in the face and get nowhere. You need a rep that goes to the buyer's barbecues on the weekends. This relationship will cost you, but it's typically 5 - 8% of wholesale sales into the chain. Yes this is an ongoing cost but worth its weight in gold and cheaper than hiring a dedicated salesperson.

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Top 10 Ways to Market Your Pet Product FOR FREE!

1. Submit your product description (30 - 50 words) and product picture to:

Simply email the editor.

If you have enough distribution and it makes sense, also submit to and if your product is dog or cat related.

2. Send a press release to the above publications announcing your business, why you started it and where you are headed. Everything is news. Get a new distributor? Add a new flavor? Send a release. Target sending these publications a release once a month. Yes a press release can be one simple paragraph.

3. Submit your press release to

4. Have your product reviewed by

5. Have your product reviewed by

6. Set up a Facebook fan page. Get your current customers to become fans, then ask them to recruit their friends as

7. Set up a Twitter account. and start following fellow pet product marketers. You can start by simply searching on terms like "Dog product" or "Pet product". Make sure you follow the major publications like Pet Business.

8. Contact pet manufacturers reps. They only get paid if they sell. If someone wants a retainer - run! These reps have access to hundreds of mom & pops, small chains and distributors who may be looking to carry your product.

9. Donate product to a local shelter and ask them to give out coupons for your brand. You can also donate to many pet related causes that hold events. This is called an "in-kind" donation. The recipient of your product donation will be happy to plug you at the event. You can Google "Pet Charity" to find a starting list or simply start with your local ASPCA. Technically this isn't free but it's pretty close.

10. Create a simple FLIP style video about your product and post it on

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Inspiration for Innovation in The Pet Category

Author: John Cullen
As seen in Pet Product News International

Why does there seem to be a lack of real innovation in the pet category? Innovation is the introduction of something new: a new idea, method or even device. What I have seen more times than not at Global Pet Expo are product tweaks such as new shapes, packaging and flavors, rather than real innovations. An industry worth $40 billion should have an abundance of great new products introduced every year.

The lack of originality and freshness in our industry, I believe, can be attributed to three factors. In an attempt to put an end to these obstacles, I offer solutions in hopes of making every Global Pet Expo full of creative and novel ideas.

“If all you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail.” Large manufacturing companies are slaves to their production capabilities. The only changes they can make are minor tweaks such as size, color or flavor, to their existing products. Anything more is cost prohibitive.

Solution: Find creativity elsewhere. Acquire smaller, nimble companies that have unique products in attractive market segments. This will allow for an influx of ideas while keeping capital equipment intact.

Products Derived from Competitors. Most “new” products come from altering a competitor’s product. Every treat manufacturer has their take on the successful Greenies product. Manufacturers can pick up share points, but this is not innovation. Any aisle of your local pet store will engulf you in a sea of me-too products hidden inside a different package.

Solution: Think outside the crate. If you make dog toys, visit a toy store and see what’s new in the baby or toddler category to get ideas. If you are in food, go to a grocery store to find emerging trends. Flea & Tick? Visit CVS or Walgreens. Think outward, not inward.

Entrepreneurs don’t know retail. Entrepreneurs are the source of most innovation. They are free from the shackles of large production facilities, and the word is their source of raw materials. The entrepreneur’s job does not end with ideas. Develop a great product is only the first step of thousands needed to make it a success. New products need marketing – a brand name, logo, packaging, positioning, etc. This list is exhausting. Without help, ideas will never get to the shelf.

Solution: Get help. Take an honest inventory of your skills. If you are an idea person who isn’t strong in marketing, hire someone who is. The most important things needed are sales appointments. Hire brokers or manufacturers reps on a commission basis rather than taking on additional staff. Consultants can point you in the right direction and save you lots of money.

John Cullen has worked in marketing and sales at Zoombak GPS Dog Tracker, HJ Heinz Pet, Dogmatic Products and Treats4Pets.

Is Your Ad Agency Ripping You Off? Here’s How They Do It!

Author: Glenn Tyler

It’s amazing they get away with it.

IF YOU ONLY KNEW what a lot of advertising agencies have hidden up their sleeves, you’d run.

Read on and you will.

Are they all this way? No. But when you know these tricks, you’ll never be fooled again.

2 + 2 = $400.00

Time is money at an advertising agency; boy, is time money! The typical small to mid-size agency may tell you they charge anywhere from $100 to $200 per hour.

They don’t. They charge way more. Here’s how:

Say an agency charges $100 an hour. The creative director, copywriter, art director, and account executive call a meeting about an ad they’re working on for you.

They talk about their weekend. Tell a few jokes. Chit chat and discuss your ad. This all might take an hour.

You get billed an hour at $100, right?

Wrong! You get billed $400. Why? Because the creative director bills an hour; the copywriter bills an hour, alas, everyone bills his or her time separately.

You never see this because it’s simply billed out of the bulk of your budget.

Which brings us to our next trick:

What’s Yours is Mine

An agency always wants to know, “What’s your budget?” That’s a fair question. After all, why design a $50,000 brochure when all you have is $20,000?

But when you tell the agency $20,000, this is what they do: They go back to the office and figure out how they can do it for $10,000.

To save you a buck? Hardly!

They might come back to you with an idea for a 24-page, full color, 8 1/2 x 11 brochure with a pocket folder for inserts. Plus, they will take care of the printing, getting you 7,500 of these puppies for your $20,000.

Gosh, you think, that’s only $2.67 each.

Just pay no attention to that man behind the curtain -- he’s got half of your money in his pocket. Because they’ve sold you a $10,000 brochure for $20,000. And good luck getting them to show you the bill from the printer.

Simply put: This kind of agency always strives to get half. They can’t always do it, but that’s what they want.

If they get caught, this is their explanation, “You’re paying for our expertise.”

Baloney. That’s what the separate agency fee is for.

Voice Mail? Cha-Ching!

It doesn’t take much expertise to return a client’s phone call, but the clock is still running.

The account executive calls your number, gets your voice mail, leaves a message at the tone, and hangs up.

Maybe this takes one minute.

But the account executive writes down on his or her timesheet “15 minutes.”

That’s the typical minimum agencies have their employees bill for any activity. And some places make it as much as an hour. Imagine! It’s the same if they send you a fax, forward an e-mail, or call to wish you Happy New Year.

If the employee is billing their time the way the agency tells them to, then you are being nickel and dimed for every little thing they do. You invoice may not reflect it, but they are finding that money by pulling it from your printing budget or media budget or whatever budget they can get their hands on.

I’m Here, but I’m Not There

An agency’s tricks don’t always revolve around money. Sometimes talent is the illusion.

That’s because the agency considers itself the author of everything it does. Which is why they hate it when you ask, “Who came up with that idea?” -- or -- “Who wrote that?”

Agencies can be revolving doors. You may love their reel, be impressed with their awards, moved to tears over the work they’ve done for other clients --


Agencies don’t write copy; copywriters do. Art directors direct art. Account executives manage clients. These people move on, get better jobs, are downsized, or strike out on their own.

But the agency still shows the best work it can to potential clients, even if all of the people who worked on those projects have left.

Don’t be deceived. When an agency you are considering hiring shows you work you like, ask them if the people who developed it are still there.

If they aren’t, ask where they are. If you truly admire the work, you should consider hiring that person no matter where he or she is.

Remember – the agency should be there to serve YOU. Get what you pay for.

Be in business to make YOU money; not to line the coffers of the ad agency’s president.

Consider yourself warned.

Article Source:

About the Author

Glenn Tyler is an entrepreneur with nearly 20 years experience in marketing. Through the years, he has served as a copywriter, creative director, and director of marketing communications for various ad agencies and for-profit companies. He is the founding director of The Copywriter’s Profit Center. He is editor of THE PERFECT COPYWRITER which is available free of charge to subscribers at a web site that also offers various other profit-making products for writers and business owners.

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Why You Need More than 1 SKU (item) to Succeed At Retail

Retail is an extremely difficult environment for a new product. There are literally hundreds of products vying for consumers’ attention. Every product category (except truly new categories which are rare) is crowded. Take the category of Dog Toys in an average Petco or Petsmart for example. There must be at least 50 different toys from Kong and Nylabone to Petmate and JW Pet (Cuz Ball) – not to mention the store brands. The big companies are smart. You will notice that they each have multiple items on the shelf creating a “brand block”. This is important. Without a brand block it will be extremely difficult for anyone to notice your product on the shelf. Multiple SKUs can be created by simply offering different sizes, flavors, colors or scents. A good rule of thumb is take your line and divide by 2. For example, if you have 12 dog toys you are presenting to Petco, shoot for them to authorize (carry) 6 or 3. The more you present the better chance you have of getting multiple facings. Multiple facings = a better chance of success.h