Create a Mutually Beneficial Relationship with the Merchant to Drive Your Product Line Review

Aisle at big retailer - Sales Factory Merchant Relationship blog

In a Product Line Review (PLR), it’s important to remember that this is not just about what’s in it for you, nor is it solely about what’s in it for the retailer. You need to paint a clear picture of a mutually beneficial relationship. Ask yourself, “What’s in it for us?”, then build the connective links that bring both parties together. When the retailer sees that a partnership with your business will be just as fulfilling for them as it will be for you, everyone in the room will recognize the win-win potential of working with each other.

Ask the Merchant to Walk the Store with You
One of the toughest challenges of walking into a PLR is often the lack of any prior personal connection with the merchant. If the merchant will take the time to walk the store with you, you can get to know them on a personal level while still keeping things professional. Use your time on the store floor to find out what is working for them at that moment, and don’t be afraid to pepper your conversation with the research you’ve done to make it clear that you fully understand the retailer, the industry and the category.

Understand the Merchant’s Challenges and become Familiar with Their Previous Success Stories
Know your merchant’s history before walking into the PLR. Whether they’re a new player or a long-established institution, they have a backstory that you can use to promote a relationship. Look into the challenges they’ve faced over the years, and learn what it took for them to overcome them. Talk about some of their biggest successes throughout their tenure as a retailer— where does your product fit into this list of winners? By understanding everything that brought the retailer to where they are today, you can more easily position your business as a part of their future success.

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Familiarize Yourself with Programs and Tools that Work Well for Your Merchant’s Category Management
Every retailer is different, so uncover the key metrics that are most important to the merchant with whom you’re meeting. What factors are most pertinent to them? This is your moment to show the merchant that your product and business are perfectly positioned to succeed in their stores, so display that potential on their terms. If you can demonstrate to the retailer that a relationship with you will be mutually beneficial based on their key metrics, you’ve set the stage for a win-win partnership.

Be Proactive in Helping Your Merchant Feel Like the Hero for Their Category
There should be two heroes in every Product Line Review, and it’s on you to make that clear. The first hero is the merchant — use your market research to talk about the successes the retailer has had in the past to establish what makes them a category leader. Then, find out what category success looks like for them in the future, and show them that your business is the hero they’ve been waiting for. Make it clear that, together, you and the retailer can accomplish something great.

Sales Factory Has the PLR Experience to Help Inform What a Win-Win Relationship Looks Like
A Product Line Review is the moment for you to show that an investment in you is an investment in a meaningful partnership — and partners have a rapport built on trust and shared benefits. It’s up to you to make that happen.

Sales Factory has more than 35 years of experience delivering the kind of retail and market research needed to help businesses like yours establish a mutually beneficial relationship with merchants. We can help you understand what is most important to a retailer, and how your business or product relates. With Sales Factory on your side, you can put the win-win potential of a relationship with you front and center in your PLR.

Learn more about our PLRs, virtual PLRs, how to stay competitive, and how our formula has contributed to wins across multiple categories for more than 35 years. And be sure to explore the Sales Factory PLR Checklist to understand everything you need to do to prepare for a Product Line Review.

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