Every day at least three new Makers sign up on LibDib. Not all of them “go live” right away (due to compliance, waiting for other markets, or just poking around) but most have the same question: Tell me how to be successful using LibDib.
LibDib is a different way of looking at distribution. Sometimes it’s hard for Makers to wrap their minds around it. Our margins are half of traditional wholesalers. And Makers know up front that they are in charge of their own destiny when it comes to sales and fulfillment (with LibDib guiding you on how to be compliant).
Something most Makers know, especially those who have worked with distributors before: You need to have your own relationships with buyers. You need to be out there selling. There are multiple ways to do this and LibDib can provide the tools and and the access. You can even read my blog post on working the market. But ultimately, selling and fulfillment is up to you.
Here are a few tips on how to be a LibDib success:
- Share Your Story: LibDib provides every Maker with a (free!) place to post their story. Research shows that consumers (and therefore buyers supplying those consumers) are seeking products with authenticity. They want stories, experiences, a way to relate. A picture is a thousand words, a video...10,000. Even a quick phone video with an introduction, a quick shot of your still or vineyard, a pat of the winery dog. Be yourself, your authentic self. Don’t be the guy with a blank logo, pictures or labels. We actually built an algorithm to show “no image” products last in a search….we want our storefront to look good! Tasting notes, recipies, history of the brand….it all helps. Spend some time and have a great looking storefront on LibDib.
- Price it Right: Make sure you are pricing for wholesale sales, not retail. Give your buyers the opportunity to make margin. That is one of the first things an account with look at. Here are some good tips on pricing. And remember, buyers can see your retail prices on your website. Unless you are Williams Selyem, make sure to build in good margin for the final account. On LibDib, there is complete transparency on what we are making as the distributor.
- Link Up!: Do you have a trade section on your website where accounts can go to find out who your distributors are? You should! Do you have a “Where to Buy?”page on your website that shows a map of your accounts? You absolutely should. Another great thing about LibDib is our Makers know every account (always live, updated depletion reports!) that is purchasing, so you can add to your website in real time.
- Have a Plan: What is your plan to touch accounts? Are you going to do it yourself? (I highly recommend this; the best salespeople are always the Makers themselves!) Ok, maybe you can’t clone yourself….I totally get it. A salesperson or broker arrangement might work for you then. Let us know, we have a number of recommendations based on your needs. Or perhaps carve out some time to research 5 accounts you’d like to target in the marketplace. Then try another 5. Email them and schedule a call. Offer to send a sample. If you can, visit the marketplace (and let us know...we can help).
- Follow Up (IRL and on the platform): Did you get a sample request from an account? Did you make a pitch and was told to touch base in two weeks for the order? Make sure you follow up! Leave no stone unturned. Once you make a sale or invite an account to the platform, a notification sequence is activated for reorders. This gives you the time to focus on new business.
- Invite Accounts: Inviting accounts to the platform (or inviting someone that is already on the platform) gives buyers a view of your products right when they log in. It also puts them into a marketing sequence that reminds them of who you are and what you do.
- Sell Through: Offer to do tastings to promote sell through of your products. Ask the buyer if they need POS (should be downloadable from LibDib) or if there are any other opportunities to push for that second, third and fourth order. Sell through is key to building distribution. Do you have social media accounts that you can push your users to stores (there are some TTB rules about this….be aware) carrying your products? Can you do a wine/distiller/brewery dinner?
- Sell via the platform=data=leads: A new LibDib feature! The more you sell via the LibDib platform, the more leads we can provide. We are super excited to start beta testing our new “Prospects: feature. We use data (sales, customer, supplier and product segmentation) to find the right buyer matches for Makers. We provide contact information, a “hook” and the preferred way to reach out. The more data we have, the more prospects we can push your way. Also, as we grow, buyers that log in and curate will have a “recommended for you” window, which is based on other points of data. The more you use the platform, the better likelihood of expanding your distribution and account contacts.
Stay tuned for LibDib webinars and future user conferences/events that will continue to educate and help everyone become the superstar Maker you all deserve to be.