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“Every retailer has a buying team responsible for deciding what the store sells. And buying teams are getting ever smaller, as retailers, squeezed by online pricing, lay off staff to save costs. In 2018, buying teams will become even smaller; a major retailer that once had 20 buyers per category may now only have 10. But at the same time, there have never been more entrepreneurs pitching their products to these small teams. It’s an unbelievable mismatch.

“Facing that, the entrepreneurs who succeed will be the ones who are best prepared. The days of ‘Let’s have a casual intro meeting’ are gone. You have to be tight and ready to play — describing in detail how you can work with that retailer, what your value proposition is, what your product road map is and more. Explain how you fit into the industry, and into the retailer’s assortment. Go in having done the buyer’s homework for them, and you’ll make them feel like time with you is time well spent.”
 Rick Rommel, partner, Sprosty Network, and founder, RetailXelerator

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