5 Pitch Tips From A Twit
Let's keep this mince out of your ears.
I just read a dreadful article on pitching your products to stores.
While I’m sure the writer means well…it’s obvious he has no experience of actually receiving thousands of the kind of pitch emails he recommends.
(Ask me how I know.)
He was saying things like:
- Include sales data to prove you’re the logical choice.
- Remember retailers only care about profit.
- Break your own terms and conditions (like your minimum order) to entice us to buy.
- We ❤️❤️❤️ press releases.
- Don’t sound desperate.
Lists like this make me so angry.
Most artists are already terrified of approaching stores about their work. And fear does not make for a scintillating pitch email that gets retailers scrambling for their credit card.
Quite the opposite, actually. It’s why we retailers open our inboxes with a very long stick in one hand and a stiff gin and tonic in the other.
Now this guy’s telling you to act like Alexa with a business degree or you’re doomed.
How does that help any of us?
Plus, much of it isn’t even true.
Retailers, like all buyers, make decisions based on how you make us feel. No amount of “sales data” can persuade a retailer to buy from a supplier they don’t trust.
Department stores and multiples may expect you to routinely break your own rules to close a deal. Independent retailers don’t.
A supplier who acts like their terms and conditions don’t matter is actually a red flag for us.
Number four on this list of “tips” is likely to get your pitch email deleted on sight.
Number five is so blandly useless I can’t say anything about it without uttering a stricken woffling sound and turning the angry hue of an heirloom tomato.
And the idea that retailers only care about profit margins is nonsense!
Making money from selling your work is vital, of course, but price can never be our sole consideration. If it were, we’d be laminated to the bedrock by our mass market rivals and out of business inside a month.
I hate advice like this because it’s one-size-fits-no-one and it’s a confidence-killer.
It makes creative people like you believe that being yourself in business is a weakness when actually it’s your greatest strength.
As an artist, you don’t need gigabytes of data and an armful of press releases to make retailers excited about giving you money.
You’re already a natural at making people feel things.
How about using that to write a pitch email that makes a retailer go “OOOOOH!” and whip out their Visa card?
You can make that happen even with stores who’ve never heard of you before.
You just need a little guidance.
And that’s where I can help.
Textile designer and friend of Indie Retail Academy Valentina Albæk (check out her beautiful work at fabgoose.com) uses my fill-in-the-blanks pitch template when approaching stores.
“Your pitch recipe does work. When I use it, I actually get replies starting with ‘Hi, this is a great pitch, by the way.'”
You can get retailers saying similar things to you, if you like, without agonising over it.
And it’s very good for your overall business, because you’ll finally understand not just what to say to retailers, but why it works.
That’s a skill you’ll be using for years to come.
Hello, I'm Clare Holliday. I'm a shopkeeper who's helped thousands of creative people sell their work to stores, galleries and regular customers all over the world. Now it's your turn.