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Question :
Hi ThereI and my business partner developed a product – electric hot water bottle, Brand name Cozee (patented), website cozee.co.nz. I believe our Cozee product is the only product of this kind hold RCM Certificate (electrical safety compliance for NZ & AUS) in NZ & AUS, and our Cozee product range is the only products that hold safety certificates from TUV Rheinland, TUV USA & TUV CAN (TUV is a world-leading company that specialised certify safety and quality of products worldwide). we would like to distribute our product into NZ’s local market through major details stores like Farmers, Briscoes, Mitre10, etc. But we have the trouble finding those company’s buyers direct contact details. I went to those retails stores and talked to people working here, but they all won’t give me much useful information, only told me to submit enquiry through their website. I have sent online enquiry through all their websites, but so far haven’t got any reply. I am really frustrated that we have such a good product but couldn’t put it in front of customers. Could anyone help me to get direct contacts of those company’s buyers or any distribution companies. Regards! Nick Wang

Question submitted 12/05/20 @ 12:57pm
Industry: Start-ups
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  • Hey Nick – super challenging getting through these organisations unless you now the structure and also the people in the various roles.

    The first question will be for me – how do you know that these retailers are interested or want to sell the Cozee brand of products? Can you get some data around traditional hot water bottles and/or any comparable electric versions, even the data on sales of electric blankets? Also, do you have some good evidence demand that you created in other retailers and/or online that can build the case for why ‘x’ retailer should take Cozee on – and can you prepared a presentation deck that shows what they can do with it how many units and ultimately how much margin they can make? Do you know other suppliers to these firms who could help you with the margin analysis and your pitch pack?

    The second, is just about using Linked In and their Web Site plus also maybe their existing suppliers to identify who the category buyers are in each company and/or division. There is no easy method here – you just need to hustle to find out the key people.

    What I would say is that referrals from existing suppliers are often the best as they can tell you about the buyer and also the approach the firm takes.

    No easy answers – but people around who can help you – just have to hunt them out.

    Further to Andy’s answer above, the key question he points out is what proof of concept have you got on the idea and approach to executing the sell? getting a small local independent retail store (hardware store for example) to take your product on and you support it with instore selling/sampling how to use etc is so powerful to help you prove that it can sell and also the best way to sell it too. Will help you create word of mouth while informing you from face to face feedback is an invaluable way to learn, fail and fix/improve your idea and execution which the bigger retailers will ask of you even before what level of marketing and sales support you are giving. lots of small steps first help build significant momentum over time. All the best!

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