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Don’t Know How To Have An Effective Importer Meeting? Here’s How


Here are some pointers and tips for making your first meeting with an importer productive, along with a list of everything you should discuss.

As they say, first impressions are extremely important. Whether you're going on a first date or making your first contact with a buyer, you want them to think you're fantastic immediately! Building good relationships is critical for both domestic and international buyers. It is critical to cultivate positive relationships.

First things first, do your homework before making an appointment or scheduling a meeting. Learn about the person you'll be meeting with, and be prepared to provide the information he or she requires!


Before meeting an importer, make sure to do your homework. Here’s what you can do.

- Visit stores or restaurants where you want to sell to see how you and your product fit in or can help the organization meet its goals.

- Attend industry events such as conferences, workshops, and tradeshows. Make connections with other members of the industry.

- Find out what employees, store managers, bar and restaurant owners, or customers require and want.

- Read and stay current on market drivers and trends at the store level in domestic and international markets.

- Examine your competition; remember, there is always competition! Prepare to explain how your product compares to competitors regarding product quality, availability, pricing, special offers, promotional allowances, etc.

Points you should cover in your meeting with the importer.

- Make sure to include all the information a buyer will need to contact you, as this will create a favorable impression of your company and you. Share all the contact information.

- Provide a brief description of your company, operations, products sold, and liquor channels of focus (i.e. retail, alcohol service, wholesale, etc.). (Keep it brief!)

- Know your product. You need to have a unique selling point. Yes, your product is high quality. But how does it differ from others? What issue does it address? What gap does it cover in the market today?

- As you join the market, you must be aware of your brand's principles and what you are and are not prepared to sacrifice. Are there any adjustments you won't be willing to make, such as those to ingredients or packaging? By being aware of this before beginning talks, you will be better equipped to explain to potential customers whether your brand will suit them.

- Is your product ready for the market? This is a short list of what you should have in place if you want to supply a retailer or distributor with a product. Before scheduling a buyer's meeting, ensure you can confidently answer these questions.

- Do not forget that you are selling more than simply the features of your product during the meeting. You're persuading buyers about why they should buy these products and what good they will bring to their businesses. What will make your goods appealing and fascinating to buyers and customers? Wherever feasible, give them information. The data is accurate. If numbers support your sales presentation, use them!

- Prepare to tell the buyer what category your product or products belong to. Each buyer is in charge of a specific category. You want to speak with the right person who has decision-making authority.

- Describe the specific products you want to discuss with a buyer during your meeting. (Again, be concise; emphasize how your product is better/different.)

- Bring a complete product pricing sheet. The general recommendation is to keep separate pricing sheets on hand. Still, we recommend that you do not include pricing on your sell sheets, as this will require you to redo your fancy sell sheets every time product pricing changes or new deals are offered.

- Make sure to discuss the buyer's desired slotting fee and anticipated profit margin throughout the meeting. Investing in displays, ad space, and trying to distribute samples may let people know how much you're willing to pay to promote your products.

- Most importantly, stay calm and patient. Give the importer some time to react and sink in the information you provided. You could wait for the buyer to do a category review or refreshment, or your discussion with them might include a protracted exchange before they finally agree. Always continue to follow up.

- Lastly, Listen to what they have to say. A "no" is frequently only a "not now," not a "no." Make the required adjustments to close a transaction the next time around using their remarks as constructive criticism. They will eventually say yes if you are persistent and have a truly excellent product.

Article by Aakriti Rawat, Beverage Trade Network