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I just might kill this woman


daniedb
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Okay, so I posted the other day about a boutique in town that I *really* want my products in. When I called, I found out that the owner is out of town for a week, and I just called again today to talk to her and it turns out that she turned around and went out of town again until Sept. 6th. So, no biggie - but HERE'S the lowdown on my source of aggravation:

When I first went in just to shop right after we moved back to town, I asked the woman who was working at the time what Ann's (the owner) policy is for her items she carries. I asked her if Ann buys wholesale or if she just rents counter space in the shop. The woman was all horrified at the idea that The Store might actually *rent* shelf space and just about clutched her heart and passed out. Suffice it to say, Ann buys wholesale from Market and retails. She's asking why, and I told her that I have a line that I want to yadda yadda.

So, I call today and get the same woman. I mention to her that it's me, and she goes, "Oh yeah! I spoke to Ann about you, and she did say that she doesn't do that. She doesn't do products like that."

I said, "Do products like what?"

She mentioned some other person in town who has some items in her shop that are artwork, nothing like my B&B and candles. I was confused, so I said, "I don't quite understand what you mean, about 'doing' products 'like that'. What is it exactly that she 'doesn't do'?"

Lady goes, "Oh, I told her you wanted to put your stuff in The Store on a consignment basis, like rent shelf space from her."

:angry2: :angry2: :angry2: :angry2:

I was all, "That's NOT what I meant. Oh no...I don't want to rent shelf space from her <insert some heart clutching here>...I am creating wholesale accounts with a few high-end boutiques and I wanted to find out if Ann was interested in being one of them." (I can be all snooty too, you know, Lady at The Store)

She was all, "Oh! Whoops! *Now* I see."

Yeah, now she sees, after she screwed up my initial impression on my behalf. 'Preciate it, lady. Lady mentions then that I might drop by some samples while Ann is gone, and that way, she can get it when she gets back.

So...where do I go from here? Obviously, Ann has some impression of my intent that's not true, and now I have to undo some screw up on someone else's part.

I'm thinking drop off the gift basket I already had in mind, and include a note that specifically addresses this, in a just-clearing-the-air kind of way, like, oh, isn't that odd that Lady and I had a misunderstanding, I am a wholesaler.

Opinions, thoughts?

Can I just mention that I'm livid for some reason? I know this isn't a huge deal in the whole scheme of things, but I'm still so irritated!

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Sorry to hear she misunderstood you and represented you to the owner in the wrong manner. I personally would wait until the owner is back in town to take the basket in. This way you can make a real first impression and explain things to her personally. It's always better to show what a good person you are and click on something with the owner then they feel more apt to help you out and put your stuff in their store. When they don't know you it's easier to say no. KWIM

HTH

HUGS

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I personally would try to set up an appointment to see Ann. This way you can get the other woman out of the middle. And when you get the chance explain to her that it was a mis-understanding and tell her what you told the other woman.

But the point I want to make is you really need to talk to Ann..She is the one that will make the final decision..

I also wouldn't drop off any samples until Ann is back in town this way you know that they get to her.

That is just my two cents.

Lorrie

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Guest EMercier

I agree, I would've waited until the owner was back in town. I would've gotten a card and went on my way. Sometimes the people they hire in these stores are sooo incompetent.

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Ditto what everyone else said, you definitely don't want to be dropping off your awesome samples to the ditsy worker bee. LOL Who knows if Ann would ever get them, that lady just might take them home and use them on herself. LOL

Just wait another week and straighten everything out with the Ann the owner. :)

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Whew! Deep breath, and now I feel much better.

I'm definitely going to wait until Ann is back in town to go in - I'm just going to call her, give her my brief little intro to my product line and make an appointment to go in.

It's my fault for approaching that woman anyway, and while she didn't do anything horrific, I did learn my lesson that I just need to shut my mouth until I get to talk to the person I want to talk to.

Thanks for the encouragement, and for the advice to wait on taking in my samples - I'll just perfect my catalog and my sample basket as I wait eagerly for the 6th!

Thanks again - you guys are awesome when it comes to encouragement!

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I gave my input in the last post about this, and still believe what I said to be true.

I would like to add now that you have called AGAIN...to QUIT calling....her staff OR her!

Most business owners really do not have the time for, nor do they welcome solicitation calls any more than you like to receive them in your home from "telemarket" people that assume they have the right to interrupt your day just because they have your number and because they want to sell you something.

I would NOT explain the drama created by her staff member and you....unless you REALLY think she WANTS to hear it all. ( which I doubt )

In my humble opinion, it is time to let go of the GOODS!

Give her a day or two to get back in from her trip and back in the swing of things before you send them,along with a well crafted note about your respect for the image she has created in her store and how you would like to form a lasting relationship with her by offering her quality products that she will be proud to carry in her boutique for a price that will generate revenue for her.

( Of course not in those words exactly)...than the ball is in her court. If you have not heard back from her in a reasonable amount of time, DO IT AGAIN...but bigger basket, more products with a SHORTER note about how you would love to do business with her...or better yet....just a note saying " ENJOY"

I will BET you, you WILL hear from her and she will be much more receptive to doing business with a class act who respects her time and is willing to put your product where your mouth is.

I know this sounds strange, but if you really want in there, it WORKS!

I HAVE been known to send flowers and/or cookie bouquets on Saturday where they take them home and have "me" in their face all weekend in their home or at least think of me every time they look at them in their shoppes.

She has so many options and available wholesalers. Some who have already established brand recognition. I am suggesting that you think outside the box and do something different than every one else would do.

Just a thought....thanks for letting me voice an opinion on your thread.

Michael

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I gave my input in the last post about this, and still believe what I said to be true.

I would like to add now that you have called AGAIN...to QUIT calling....her staff OR her!

Most business owners really do not have the time for, nor do they welcome solicitation calls any more than you like to receive them in your home from "telemarket" people that assume they have the right to interrupt your day just because they have your number and because they want to sell you something.

I would NOT explain the drama created by her staff member and you....unless you REALLY think she WANTS to hear it all. ( which I doubt )

In my humble opinion, it is time to let go of the GOODS!

Give her a day or two to get back in from her trip and back in the swing of things before you send them,along with a well crafted note about your respect for the image she has created in her store and how you would like to form a lasting relationship with her by offering her quality products that she will be proud to carry in her boutique for a price that will generate revenue for her.

( Of course not in those words exactly)...than the ball is in her court. If you have not heard back from her in a reasonable amount of time, DO IT AGAIN...but bigger basket, more products with a SHORTER note about how you would love to do business with her...or better yet....just a note saying " ENJOY"

I will BET you, you WILL hear from her and she will be much more receptive to doing business with a class act who respects her time and is willing to put your product where your mouth is.

I know this sounds strange, but if you really want in there, it WORKS!

I HAVE been known to send flowers and/or cookie bouquets on Saturday where they take them home and have "me" in their face all weekend in their home or at least think of me every time they look at them in their shoppes.

She has so many options and available wholesalers. Some who have already established brand recognition. I am suggesting that you think outside the box and do something different than every one else would do.

Just a thought....thanks for letting me voice an opinion on your thread.

Michael

I'm saving this in notepad for when I do start really selling! :)

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Michael,

I am so glad that you offered your help and advice in this situation. Let me bounce some ideas off of you that help me clarify my position and what you might do in this case.

First, my only intent for calling her is to set up an appointment to come in with my products. As a consumer, I'd much rather have someone respect my time and energy by making an appointment rather than cold calling me. My thinking was that by extending her the courtesy of planning for us to meet, I was actually being *less* rude than just showing up. I see that you actually have the opinion that the calling is ruder than showing up, so I guess my question is - do I understand that correctly? And are my attempts at trying to be courteous actually backfiring?

Second, and I truly am NOT tooting my own horn here, I really just want your opinion and I have to throw this out here: my family and friends all tell me that half the reason they love my products is because of how enthusiastic and "adorable" I am when I talk about them to them. The people I've told about this have just about had heart attacks when I say I'm going to send a gift basket in. I've mostly heard, "You don't dare send those products in without you...you are too cute to say no to, and the second you get your foot in the door, she's going to say yes." So, if my clients and family have told me that I have a fairly effective selling presence, wouldn't it be to my advantage if I am there in person when she looks at and tries my products?

Another factor with this is that I have no idea when the woman is in her store. She doesn't keep regular hours, and even her employees don't know when she's coming in. So, I would just drop in on her with a basket, but I just don't know when she'll be there.

Can you give me your feedback and viewpoint about these things? I find it very helpful. THanks for the time and energy you've spent helping me figure out this situation. :D

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I managed a store for many years (19) and yes sales reps are there to make money, but the retailer is the one that makes the most money from selling your products. I WANTED to talk to reps that had good products that could make ME money. I really have no clue what Michael is talking about in the first part of his post, any store owner/manager that is not willing to take a phone call to set up a meeting is not interested in making money. No one should be so high and mighty that they cant be bothered by a phone call or to talk to a rep in person. Its not like the marketers that call us at home at night and want us to switch long distance or get another credit card. Another thing, if I ran a store I WOULD want to know how my employees react with customers and vendors. That is one of the biggest problems in retail, no one wants to say, "hey, your not doing what you are getting paid to do". You don't have to get into it right now with her, but if you get products into the store, later down the road you could mention the problems you had and how you almost didn't set up the meeting with her. GOOD MANAGERS / OWNERS want to know!

Wait till she has been back for a week or so, call her OR just show up and give her the basket and ask if you can set up a meeting to discuss your products and your ideas on making her lots of money. You have to remember that sales reps are few and far between now days. The manager before me hated to talk to reps because of how many there were. Now days most buys are done at corporate offices and orders taken on the net or surveys sent to you by vendors, you don't see peeps anymore. Maybe its not the same in the big citys, but in small town usa, this is how it is today.

Bruce

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Hi Danielle :)

I agree with Michael on this one.

I'm a wedding planner in an affluent and semi-exclusive part of GA. I can't tell you how many calls and emails I get about being on my preferred vendors list. It does take up a lot of my time: time from meeting with other vendors who are on the list or are currently working on an event I'm doing, time away from clients, time away from my marketing etc. I wish I did have time to listen to someone's gimmick (not meant in a bad way), but I just don't. I do love however when the vendors are considerate of my time and send me a package. A nice photographer/videographer sent me a DVD with his work on it along with a full sheet of references, letters from brides, and pricing sheets. A band sent me their latest CD and an invitation to their jam at a local lounge. A caterer called and left a message (after hours) that we would be receiving lunch the next day on them. It was DELICIOUS. And now they are one of my vendors.

I can appreciate things like that because I know they thought enough of my time and theirs to capitalize on it. You never know the type of day another person is having. You don't know how you might come off to them or they to you-- but your work speaks for itself. Nevermind the crappy day I've had, I can always recognize great photojournalism, the perfect pitch of a tenor, etc.

What I'm saying is, and I mean no disrespect, sometimes, I just don't have time for "cute". I've got to get ready for a TV show, client meetings, vendor meetings, site scouts, plugs, press releases, etc. I really don't have time to listen to some vendor gush over themselves in a "I Love Me" monologue. That's not saying I don't want to, because I would love to do face-to-faces with my vendors initially. I would love to have an assistant to do just that, but even I hate the gatekeeper thing.

Just give it a go with Michael's suggestion with at least one vendor that you are trying to "woo". I would especially do it with this one-- only because of the mix up. You don't want to go in there falling over yourself apologizing for her staff's mistake-- it could come off wrong in so many ways: her help is incompetent, you're bitter, you're pushy, etc. A nice sample of your products with a nice handwritten note saying "Sorry for the mix-up. A complimentary gift from Pure Henry etc." might be a nice touch.

I see you're hungry and you've got heart! You are going to do awesome with getting your products in stores.

T

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T-

Brilliant! You make 100%, perfect, wonderful, clear sense. I think you may have just pushed me over the edge. I'll do the basket, take it by after she's had a few days to settle in after her trip. If she's there, great. If not, great.

You guys are so very patient with me. :grin2:

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T,

That was an awesome example!! Now I know what I need to do when my business starts. I heard you say that you were a wedding coordinator. I was looking into that. Can you contact me and give me some information on that? I would really appreciate it. That is if you're not too busy...LOL!! J/K

Take her advice on this. You will do a great job and it will work to let your products speak for themselves! Many Blessings for you on this!!

Veronica

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Another update, in case you care...

My mother's best friend is also Ann's very best customer, and I exaggerate by NONE...the woman seriously probably keeps Ann in business singlehandedly. Anyway, I told her about this whole thing, and she told me that she's going in to pay her account at Ann's on Tuesday, and she wants to take the basket in for me!

She'll be seeing Ann directly, and has ordered from me (about a $300 order in one shebang) and LOVES my stuff, so this should be a great solution. God is so good, He always opens a door!

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Hey!

I've been wondering wondering what became of your situation. I think having your friend come in with your products is an awesome idea! Your friend can rave about your products and say that it would be sooooooo convenient if she could find them in a retail shop!

I wish you all the best! Please come back and tell us what's going on!

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