Your first job with your buyer is to build a relationship as a trusted advisor. Only then will your ideas and proposals be credible.
In a recent Advantage Survey of USA retail buyers in CPG, references to “objective information and advice” came only second to “good communication” in what behaviours make a best practice supplier.
So, what are the ingredients to this? Well, we’d suggest that you should demand one new piece of insights about the market, shoppers, or the category to pass over, every time you show up. Good quality information is key here. Robust, objective and validated information that helps your buyer be better informed and make better decisions. Not necessarily about your company or category. In fact, ideally outside your normal scope of discussion. So much better for building credibility because you don’t have an axe to grind.
We are all drowning in information, so your task is to “curate” information and give over only snippets that resonate and are relevant. Test information with the simple question: “will it help my buyer make better decisions as a result”. That’s what they care about.
It’s a simple role but how many of us take the time to do this? Or have a support function in our company helping that process; after all a nugget of information could apply to many different retailers. And you don’t have to be a big supplier with big budgets. Just the most thoughtful.