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Contacting the "big guys"

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by BaniB, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. BaniB

    BaniB Registered Member

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    Hi!

    I have a new business idea, and it requires collaboration and partnering with the "big guys". More specifically, brands in fashion.

    I don't know anyone who might have a connection into those businesses -- which means letters and emails.

    The companies wont lose anything by working with me - so that's a good thing!

    What could you recommend me?
    As I said; sending brands and companies letters and emails. To whom should I send letters if I want to collaborate?

    Getting a sales team?
    Looking forward to ANY advise!
    :)
     
  2. flexpaydude

    flexpaydude Regular Member

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    Give use some more background. What are you trying to sell to the "big guys"?

    If you're selling clothing, you'll likely want a contact list of Buyers (the employee w/in the company that is responsible for buying clothes directly from the manufacturer for resale) for the company. I would imagine there are data companies that sell this info.
     
  3. BaniB

    BaniB Registered Member

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    It has something to do with retail-partnership. I don't want to get too specific.

    I know, in order to sell clothes in a store you would have to contact a local "agent" - and order a certain amount shirts/pants/etc.

    So, I probably need to contact an agent?
    But as far as I'm aware of, the agent doesn't actually work for the company but with the company.
     
  4. flexpaydude

    flexpaydude Regular Member

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    Sorry bro, I'm just very unclear about what you're trying to accomplish. Maybe someone else can see the trees through the forest and help out.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. BaniB

    BaniB Registered Member

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    I need to contact the design / brand firms to have a collaboration.

    Let's just say overstocked items and exclusive clothes.

    Don't know if I can say more without totally revealing my plan.

    But basically;

    I need to contact the companies - give them a partnership proposal in regards to retail.


    Did that help out?
     
  6. flexpaydude

    flexpaydude Regular Member

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    One pretty good source for info is Sales Genie. They are pricey, but the information is good. They'll provide names/titles and contact info of officers w/in a particular company (as well as a lot of other information). You can log in and search by company name, or by SIC code/industry, etc.

    I believe you can even get a free trial and download 100 records to test it out.

    Hope that helps a little.
     
  7. Simplex

    Simplex Registered Member

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    I think your best bet would be to first find something that would benefit THEM.

    It's insensitive (and too commonly done) to go into Mr. Big Guy's office and say "I wanna sell you something". Every one tries, and the gatekeeper makes sure none of them get through.

    But I can almost guarantee is that no one calls them and says :

    "Hi Mr. So and So, I'm Joe Shmoe from XYZ... but that's not the reason I'm calling today. I'm calling because I know (someone who needs something you sell)... you wouldn't find it presumptuous if I recommended they call and you with an order, would you?"

    Are they going to say "No, I don't think I want any extra business"? Hell no, they're going to say "Where have you been all my life!?"

    You simply finish up the call by saying you want to meet in person to go over the finer details about what they offer...

    Done.

    Meeting set and you're not going to get any run around from Mr. Big Guy at all. He WANTS to meet you.

    Once you go to the meeting, you set him up with the other business who wants what he sells AND YOU NEVER MENTION YOUR PRODUCT (OR SERVICE) AT ALL. That part is key. I can't stress it at enough.

    After you make Mr. Big Guy some money he is going to be so over joyed with you that his natural thought pattern will be "What can I do to help you" - That's when you bring up your proposal. When he asks - when you're invited.

    He's going to be so in your debt that unless your proposal is completely ridiculous it's going to get what you want.
     
  8. Simplex

    Simplex Registered Member

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    I'll follow this up right away because I think I know what some people are going to say...

    "But I don't know other companies who'd want to buy what they sell"

    And to you I say - You don't have a phone book?

    Find an industry who needs what they sell and call them. When you get that business on the phone just say "Hi there, my name is Joe Shmoe from XYZ. I'm calling today to find out you are in need of a quality supplier of (whatever Mr. Big Guy sells)."

    If they say no, fine. Hang up and go to the next listing in the phone book.

    If they say yes, tell them you're going to be meeting with Mr. Big Guy soon and ask if it'd be ok to get the two of them together for lunch.

    (Companies are going to be open to this if they do infact need Mr. Big Guy's product (or service) - many companies aren't happy with their current suppliers but don't know of a better solution. So this really is win - win.

    Now you've got your foot in the door and you're on your way.

    Hope it helps.
     
  9. flexpaydude

    flexpaydude Regular Member

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    Of course this entire thread assumes you have a product/service to sell that offers value, and you have a good sales method to deliver it.

    My understanding was you were looking for a resource of contact information for your target market.
     
  10. frasierman

    frasierman Newbie

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    Hire someone (off of Craislist) that is local to each specific office. Tell them that if they make the sale, they get $___, if not, they get $___ (WAY less).

    I've done this multiple times before and it has always worked great.
     
  11. Simplex

    Simplex Registered Member

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    If this is the case, and you're just looking for contact info - that's even easier. Just find a list broker. I have a couple I personally like, if you send me a PM I'll let you know who they are.
     
  12. flexpaydude

    flexpaydude Regular Member

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    No offense to the OP at all, but I think it's difficult for us to assist w/ the pretty vague details. Not at all trying to get you to uncover any trade secrets (frankly, I'm more than busy w/ my own financing business and I have no interest in retail/fashion).

    Nonetheless, wish you the best in your endeavor!
     
  13. BaniB

    BaniB Registered Member

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    Wow! Thanks guys! You gave me a lot to work with!

    I guess I can't do everything alone. I need to find a venture partner!

    Frankly, It's not the most unique idea ever - it's all about how you market your product.

    Let's say; groupon meets zappos meets gilt group. So discount and shopping with branded items with a few nifty features.


    --
    It's pretty hard finding a sales team up here that'll work on commission. It's especially hard finding good ones that won't work for a "real" salary! :(
     
  14. Ransackedout

    Ransackedout Junior Member

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    Have you looked at Start Up Nation? Young Entrepreneur and there are a few others. Also another idea is to maybe go directly to that person, get on the phone. Whatever it takes to get your message across.

    Email is kinda shoddy as most mail hits junk.
     
  15. BaniB

    BaniB Registered Member

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    I have indeed checked out those sites.

    I'm planning on, in the future, to pitch to a couple of VCs. But I don't want to come emtpy handed. I want to show them that I do have a couple of businesses on board with me to get some financing.

    --

    I know my weaknesses and I know my strengths.

    I probably just need to practice pitching over the phone! :p
     
  16. flexpaydude

    flexpaydude Regular Member

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    Yep, for VC funding, you'll definitely need a track record, a complete formal business plan, etc.
     
  17. BaniB

    BaniB Registered Member

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    I currently own a business in commerce. But I buy whole sale and mostly non-branded (about 400% compared to the 10-20% with branded.)

    I also have some other plans for online media. I will hopefully have a "good" portfolio before I meet a VC.

    The scandinavian market is a bit different compared to the US. Not as many people which means you'd have to penetrate a higher percentage of the population in order to make a decent living.
    --
    You guys are awesome -- again, thanks for the help!