We’ve covered a lot of ground so far in this publication. Maybe you’re starting to wonder how it all fits together, and where we’re going.

Let’s step back for a minute and take a bird’s-eye view of things.

If Shelf Life were a book, the following would be its Table of Contents. Please send me your suggestions for future posts, and as always, thanks for reading!

Hyperlinked articles are complete, unlinked articles are forthcoming.

Preliminary Musings

~ Wholesale: A Strange Beast
~ Small? Wholesale? Producer?
~ Weighing the Pros and Cons of Distributors
~ A Brief Summary and Dismissal of All the Sales Literature Ever Written, and Why Pipelines are Silly
~ Hunters vs. Farmers: The Different Sales Personas

Feature Articles

~ Channel Surfing: a brief history of my quest to find the best sales channels for Wm. Chocolate, by Will Marx
~ Interview with a Retail Buyer: Beth Lewand of Eastern District
~ Mast Brothers: An Insider’s Account of a Wholesale Debacle (Part One)
~ Mast Brothers: An Insider’s Account of a Wholesale Debacle (Part Two)

Product and Brand Positioning

~ Your Product Must Sell Itself
~ Defining Your Target Customer
~ Determining Your Unique Selling Proposition
~ Creating Your Branding


~ Anatomy of a Wholesale Price
~ Cost
~ Profit
~ Shelf Price

Sales Collateral

~ Sales Collateral
~ Line Sheet / Sell Sheet / Price Sheet
~ Catalog / Brand Book
~ Point of Purchase (POP)
~ Product Knowledge Sheet
~ Special Handling Instructions
~ Website
~ Samples Pack
~ Terms & Conditions

New Business Development (Hunter Tasks)

~ Prepping for a Successful Hunt
~ Loadin’ Up the Leads Hopper
~ How to Convert an Inbound Lead to a Long-Term Customer
~ Outbound Leads: Warming Up Those Cold Calls
~ Rejection and Dead Leads

Account Management (Farmer Tasks)

~ Existing Accounts: Your Bread and Butter
~ Relationship Building

Sales & Distribution Strategies

~ Distribution
~ Alternative Markets/Channels
~ Growing Outside of Your Home Region
~ CRM: Organizing Your Efforts
~ Anatomy of a Winning Sales Team
~ Marketing
~ Pricing Strategy
~ Analyzing Sales Data
~ Cost Control
~ Sales Projections and Demand Planning

Glossary & Further Reading

~ Glossary
~ Further Reading



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