What is your strategy and techniques when it comes to free samples and converting buyers to placing follow-up orders?
My strategy so far has been pretty generous with samples as we’re really trying to grow our customer base, recently I have been slightly less generous as I’ve learned which leads are the easiest to convert to orders.
How many of the buyers do you contact before you approve and ship their sample order?
When we first started the Upstock free sample offer I would automatically approve every sample request but after a month or so I got a better gauge on which customers would be regular ongoing leads. Now I’d say I approve 80% of sample requests, anything smaller or random like a sports club or very small cafe might not get approved for example. Generally I’ll check out their website and social media and make a call from there
With those you contact, how do you do it: phone, email?
All Upstock sample enquiries get an email from me, I include our product presenter and price details along with how to order. Any really hot leads (e.g. larger grocery stores) will get a call from me right away. Most new customers will order directly by email but lately we’ve been getting orders directly via Upstock which is much more convenient
What info do you share with them about your business? Product catalogue? Price list? Do you send them any collateral — physical or digital?
Emailed sales presenter with full product overview, pricing and how to order. We generally don’t provide physical collateral unless someone specifically requests it
What do you ask them about their business?
Usually I can find out what I need about their business with a bit of online investigating, I think one or two times I have asked for specific info about a business if it was unclear how we could fit in with them
Do you follow up after the order is sent? How many times? What do you say/ask?
I generally follow up on emails after about a month with a gentle reminder/ ask them what they thought of the sample. I have found it can take a while for some leads to place a first wholesale order after they receive a sample as they may be experimenting with our product on menu items which takes time.
Do you put them on your mailing list?
Not as yet but I will be from now on!
Have you reached any new customer types through Upstock that you wouldn’t have reached through other channels? (e.g. fitness centres or gift box companies)
Yes, a couple of smaller boutique accounts that specialise in gift boxes, and a bread and breakfast which would have never been on our radar