Buyers and suppliers are on the same side, but it’s still natural to have a little trepidation about a meeting with your buyer. His or her decisions can have a big effect on your business — and your life.
So what’s the best way to prepare?
30 minutes before the meeting, sit down with your Supplier Scorecard and get familiar with your numbers. Check Retail link so you are completely knowledgeable about your business performance since your last meeting.
The first 10 or 15 minutes of your meeting will be about your performance. If you’ve seen a drop in numbers or you haven’t met your goals, you should have an explanation — not an excuse, but the reason. Your regular use of Retail Link should help with this, but you have to go further to connect the data with the real world events.
Was your product moved off an end cap? Was there something in the news that affected sales? Was there a promotion, or a holiday, or some amazing bad weather that made the year-over-year or week-over-week numbers fall rather than rise?
Don’t skip the spikes in sales, either? If the latest hot TV chef shared a recipe and shook in some of your special sauce, causing a jump in sales last weekend, you shouldn’t just let that make your week look great and not mention it — remember, you have to anniversary that next year, and it could make next week look pallid by comparison.
Explain what happened, and how you plan to leverage the good news or cope with the bad.
Even if things are business as usual and you’re right on track, making it clear to your buyer that you have a handle on that information shows that you’re a good partner… and can lead to more involvement and development for your business.
That’s 30 minutes well spent.