6 Ways to Bring Empathy Into Your Marketing Strategy (in 2021 and Beyond)

The events of 2020 have shown us just how important empathetic marketing is for businesses both large and small. The world has changed and businesses need to adapt to the new needs of their customers if they want to grow. The best way to do that is through empathy.

What is empathetic marketing?

Empathy is the ability to see events and situations from another’s perspective — to put yourself in their shoes. For brands, empathetic marketing is about seeing the world through the user’s point of view. It helps you place the customer at the center of your marketing strategy and work outwards.

But it’s important to remember that being empathetic also means being genuine — you can’t create emotional marketing campaigns for the sole purpose of manipulating customers.

Empathy is believable when it creates authentic connections between brands and users. You have to build trust and organic relationships throughout the customer journey.

Yes, increasing conversion rates is the ultimate goal of every marketing campaign, but brands need to change their mindset about how to achieve those conversions.

If your marketing strategy is focused on the hard-sell approach, it’s time to rethink your campaigns for 2021.

Why is empathy important in marketing?

We’ve outlined how empathy works in marketing, but there are numerous reasons why it’s important, especially in 2021 and beyond.

Emotion and connection are more necessary now than ever before. The way we live and work has changed in ways we couldn’t have imagined. “Business as usual” is a thing of the past, because a lot of emotion is being generated about the future — and these emotions impact how consumers react to marketing campaigns.

The range of human emotion is massive, from positive emotions like joy, interest, and amazement, to the more negative, such as fear, anger, or sadness (anger, especially, can be a powerful motivator for sharing content). Campaigns need to be geared towards evoking and connecting with these real emotions.

While brands still want to sell products and services and bring in revenue, the way they move users through the funnel has to change. And this approach needs to be from the ground up.

Adapt your content marketing, re-examine the customer journey, and educate your employees about the benefits of evoking emotion across marketing channels.

How to use empathy in marketing

Brand marketing has been on one trajectory for a long time: sell products and amplify your brand image by emphasizing the characteristics of your company.

This mindset is ingrained in us, which makes it difficult to understand how to use empathy in marketing. But the world of marketing has had to adapt before, and we can do it again. Here are the best ways to switch to an empathetic marketing mindset.


Did you know that Google Keyword Planner (formally Google Keyword Tool) is one of the few free keyword research tools for SEO?

As a matter of fact, this AdWords keyword research tool is not just an SEO tool, it also allows you to source for untapped keywords for your SEO content.

I’m sure there’s no need to waste time convincing you that keyword research is one of the biggest SEO activities that are essential for your online business.

SEO is practised by a lot of websites owners, bloggers, columnist and content creators online.

But the damning truth is,

…Not many of these folks truly know how to do a proper keyword word research for better ranking their websites on SERPs.

Some of our past students who attended our digital marketing training have been able to master the process. They can now use the Google Keyword Planner Tool to search for untapped keywords. And they’ve seen massive success investing their time and effort in carrying out proper keyword research.

The fact that many people go ahead to start blogging without an idea what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is. …This is absolutely wrong!

The reason you will not drive the right amount of traffic you want to your site is this:

You are not writing about topics that people are searching for.
You are also writing about a topic that is trending,
But what you don’t know is.

You are making it difficult for search engine bots to understand your content.

“What is your traffic marketing plan/strategy?”

This is a question I throw at those who ask for my opinion about setting up a new website.

So many of them end up saying they will share their articles on social media, Nairaland, bla bla….

No doubt, Facebook and other social media sites are a massive place for driving traffic to your website. But this platforms requires huge advertising budget to do that.

So, you see…

As a rookie blogger, Facebook might sound like the brightest idea for you but the best still circle around getting organic traffic for free.

In today’s world, people have invested heavily in growing their organic traffic instead of wasting time, effort and money in driving visitors via social media.

Organic traffic is website traffic you get when people find your articles on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

How To Use Google Keyword Planner Tool For SEO Keyword Research

But to do this…

You have to understand what SEO, Keyword Research and how to find untapped keywords using Google Keyword Planner Tool.

Today, you will be introduced to the fundamentals of doing a proper keyword research using the Google Keyword Planner.

Contents  hide
1 What is SEO?
2 What is Keyword Research?
3 Importance of Keywords play in SEO
4 What is Google Keyword Planner?
5 How to do Keyword Research using Google Keyword Planner
5.1 Step 1: Login to Google Adwords
5.2 Step 2: Enter your product or service keyword
5.2.1 What are LSI Keywords?
6 How to find LSI keywords using Google Keyword Planner for free
7 Alternative ways to generate LSI keywords
7.1 1. Use Google Search
7.2 2. Use Google Related Searches
7.3 3. Use Google Search Bolded Text
7.4 4. Use LSIGRAPH
7.4.1 To sum it all up:

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The goal of each search engine optimisation is to get high-quality traffic from search engines.

Search: We want to provide the best result for a specific search query.
Engine: We want to tune our results for an ever-changing search algorithm.
Optimization: Optimization is an ongoing process.
What is Keyword Research?
How To Use Google Keyword Planner Tool For SEO Keyword Research

Keyword research is a core SEO task that involves identifying popular words and phrases people enter into search engines -make in an attempt to figure out what to rank for (Click here to learn why keyword research is important).

While we’re clarifying things, let’s look at two more important terms:

Short Tail Keywords: Short keywords that are 1-3 words.
e.g, Online Business, Make Money Online, Keyword Planner
Long Tail Keywords: More specific keywords that are usually three words or longer.
e.g, List Of Online Businesses In Nigeria, Easiest Ways To Make Money Online in Nigeria, How To Use Google Keyword Planner
Now that you have figured out the definition, let’s look at the importance Keywords play in our SEO efforts today.

Importance of Keywords play in SEO
Basically, keyword research allows you to discover untapped keywords in your niche. So just like in this article, I’ve optimised this blog post to rank for ‘Google Keyword Planner‘. Thus, If this blog post was able to make it to Google page 1.1. This will eventually drive traffic to the website for keywords related to Google keyword Planner. With this

With that said, Keywords when executed correctly in our On-page SEO strategy, here is what we stand to enjoy:

ROI: Great return on investment in most cases.
Long term: Keeps bringing you clients for a very long time.
Easy to start: Just like running, easy to get started, hard to master.
Increase sales: You will drive customers who are looking to buy a product.
Traffic: You will get a traffic boost.
So remember that anytime someone tells you meta keywords matters for traffic, without doubt, tell them YES!

So, how do we go about coming up with keywords that would get high monthly searches?

But first…

What is Google Keyword Planner?
Keyword Planner is a tool that provides keyword ideas and traffic estimates to help you build a Search Network campaign.

Search for keyword and ad groups ideas based on terms that describe your product or service, your website, or a product category related to what you’re advertising. You can also enter or upload a list of keywords. And you can multiply two or more lists of keywords to create a new list that combines your keywords.
Get historical statistics, like the number of times people have searched for a keyword or how competitive that keyword is.
You can also get traffic estimates, like how many clicks and impressions your keywords might get for given bid and budget amounts.
Now that we have an idea what this research tool is used for. How do we practically use the keyword Planner to find new keyword?.

Below is a stepped guide how to use Google Keyword Planner for free to help improve your website’s search appearance.

How to do Keyword Research using Google Keyword Planner
Step 1: Login to Google Adwords
Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

Click the link below to visit Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool: http://adwords.google.com/ko/KeywordPlanner/

Navigate to Tools, then select Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

Step 2: Enter your product or service keyword
Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

This is the space where you will type in your target keyword. For example, If I will be writing an article to teach people how to do keyword research using Google keyword, I will have to come up with a primary keyword of what people are likely to type on Google if they want to learn how to do a proper keyword research for their content.

In that case, I will type Keyword Research to know the exact average search volume that keyword gets monthly. The Idea is to discover untapped keywords that will produce get a good global search volume for my article. If you’re selecting your own keyword, it’s important that you go with a less competitive keyword to get a chance to rank fast for targeted keywords.

The below image illustrates a good explanation of the difference between a long tail and short tail keywords.

Long tail keyword vs short tail keywords
According to the image above, you will agree with me that writing an article around the “Adidas Yeezy Boost Trainers” is a better than idea starting off with “Trainers”. This is because the competition for Trainers is high. And depending on certain constituents (off-page factors), you may or may not rank for the short tail keyword.

Let’s head back to doing the actual keyword analysis.

Now that you have an idea how to choose a less competitive keyword, you will agree that it will be better for me to start with “How to do keyword research“. Thus, I could rank for the initial keyword which is “Keyword research“.

Click “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category“.

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

I will just type How to do keyword research in Google keyword Planner to find the search volume (See image below).

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

Ignore the landing page and product category tab since we are using the Adwords keyword tool for only discovering new keywords and search volume.

Next, proceed to “targeting”.

With targeting, you can streamline your search to get local keyword search volume.

What I am simply saying is.

If you want to know how much traffic the keyword “How to do keyword research” gets in Nigeria, then you will have to select Nigeria from the targeting option.

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

Leave as default to target all location or select Nigeria to get local keyword search idea.

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

This targeting feature is set to add more filters to your search. For instance; Country search volume.

Others are language and search partners. Depending on your target audience, you can set everything based on your preference.

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

Ignore Negative keywords, they are for Google Adwords campaigns. You don’t need that for keyword research.

For example, when you add “free” as a negative keyword to your campaign or ad group, you tell AdWords not to show your ad for any search containing the term “free.” On the Display Network, your ad is less likely to appear on a site when your negative keywords match the site’s content.

You can as well leave the Customise your search option too.

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

With the Date Range option, you can see average monthly searches for a date range you select, or compare average monthly searches for two date ranges.

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

All you need to do is, enter a date range to see average monthly searches for that time period. You can also compare different date ranges.

Once you have accomplished all the necessary targeting, you can proceed by hitting BLUE Get ideas button.

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

….tik tok

Boom… and the result is up!

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

The picture above shows that the keyword ‘How to do keyword research’ is getting between 1000 to 10,000 average monthly search for the last 12 months.

Now, that’s what I call… a good long tail keyword.

Keyword analysis using the Google keyword Planner tool is relatively simple and effective.

The steps you have just read is all there is to using Google keyword Planner to find new and low competitive keywords.

Although, the competition and suggestion bid region has nothing to do with keyword research. They are useful to those who want to set up Adwords campaign for ads.

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

“Competition” is the number of advertisers that showed on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google.

Google Adwords calculates the number of advertisers bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google. This data is specific to the locations and Search Network targeting option that you’ve selected.


A Suggested bid is the recommended bid for a keyword idea.

A suggested bid is calculated by looking at the costs-per-click (CPCs) that advertisers are paying for a keyword, taking into account the location and Search Network settings you’ve selected.

So these two sections have absolutely nothing to do with finding keywords using Keyword Planner. You can as well just jump them.


…that we know how to search and know new keywords and volume

Does it end there?

Hell NO!

To get a better SEO optimised article that will rank high on Google, you need to get other keywords related to your primary keyword.

For example, if I’m to write an article around ‘How to do keyword research’, I will definitely fill my article up with LSI keywords.

So then:

What are LSI Keywords?
LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing) are basically keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword. Contrary to popular belief, they are NOT just synonym or keywords that are similar in meaning.

Examples of How to do keyword research are search engine keywords, good keywords for search engines, free keyword search, finding keywords etc.

These keyword phrases need to be used when writing my article.

But the question now is:

How do I generate LSI keywords for my article?


…that’s exactly what I’m about to show you here.

I will share with you how to get LSI keywords using Google Keyword Planner for free.

Also, you will find other cool methods I normally use to find these latent semantic keywords.

So, let’s get digging.

How to find LSI keywords using Google Keyword Planner for free
Google keyword tool is straight to the point. After carrying out your normal keyword search just as I explained above. You have a list of other related keywords displayed along with their search volumes.

The picture below explains everything you need to know:

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

That is it.

All you need to do is, copy those keyword phrases and make sure you sprinkle them like spices to make your content awesomely rich!

Alternative ways to generate LSI keywords
1. Use Google Search
Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

You can identify LSI keywords for your SEO campaign by typing your keyword into Google’s search box and noticing the suggestions it returns for you.

2. Use Google Related Searches
Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

You can leverage on Google’s related searches beneath the result for the keyword searched. Find those LSI closely related to your primary keyword.

3. Use Google Search Bolded Text
Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

When you perform a search, you’ll notice that Google shows certain words in a bold black text. These are LSI keywords. Find ways to implement them in your own copy that make sense to readers.

Google Keyword Planner Tool For Keyword Research

LSIGRAPH is a website that helps you to generate LSI keywords. All you need to do is; type your primary keyword.

Click link to visit: www.lsigraph.com

To sum it all up:
That is everything there is to know about keyword research using Google keyword Planner. There are other keyword research tools that can help you get the targeted and less competitive keywords (Click link to see them).

When searching for keywords with good characteristics; You must ensure that they have these key four components:

Must have buyer intent (Click to learn more)
Long-tail keywords
Competition must below
High search volume
Thanks for reading this article… let the God of SEO be with you, cheers!


Why Should You Sell Online?

If you haven’t yet done so, why should you consider selling online? There are many reasons. Consider these:

You can work from home and organize your working hours flexibly. Instead of having to drive to the office in the morning, you can work from your living room or be there for your family during the day and work in the evening.

You can increase your income as you see fit. Unlike an employee, you decide how much you want to earn. You can scale your business with the time and money you invest.

You are free (within legal limits) to decide which products you want to sell on the Internet and you can bring your personal interest to your business. Instead of making money just by doing your job, you enjoy what you do every day.

Unlike starting a traditional business, selling products online requires little capital. You can start with small investments.

Step 1: market research and product selection

Product and market selection is crucial for the further success of your online business. Maybe you already have an idea of the product you want to sell? In this case, it is advisable to check critically the evolution of the market situation by using various methods of market research.

Consider conducting surveys of potential customers, read current market research, and analyze competitors.

Many newcomers to e-commerce too often take their own interests as a starting point and do not take the time to consider whether there is sufficient demand for the product.

To learn how to sell on the Internet effectively, it helps to find online stores that sell the same or similar products to the ones you are considering; rate them positively. A certain level of competition can show that you have discovered a lucrative market niche. However, if the competition is too strong, you should reconsider your idea. If the market is dominated by large players and demand is already saturated, it will be difficult for you to find your place.

When selecting your products, also consider the possible margin. The demand is good, but if high prices cannot be imposed in the market, there may be times when you are no longer profitable after deducting the costs of the online store, hosting, and commission when sales are realistic.

To prevail over the existing competition, it is advisable to find a small product niche. Instead of opening an online store for accessories, you could specialize in patterned socks; instead of selling different kinds of tea, you could only sell white tea.

Step 2: create a business plan

Many online store founders are tempted to skip this step since they are not looking for investors and do not need the document to apply for a loan from their bank. However, you should take the time to write a business plan for your online store.

The plan will force you to think ahead of all of the important startup factors. If you present in writing your competitive situation, your entrepreneurial profile, your product, your financial planning, and your marketing strategy, you will see weaknesses and gaps that you still need to work on. At the same time, you will be able to better recognize the strengths of your business.

The business plan is an important guide for starting your business. If you use a business start-up advisor or tax advisor for financial planning, they can use your business plan to get a complete picture of your project and make more reliable assessments.

If you decide to use a grant or loan for your start-up, you are usually also asked for a business plan.

Step 3: selecting the sales platform and setting up the store

Already in the business plan, you need to determine which sales platform you choose for your products. In order to be able to sell products on the internet, there are different models that you can choose from.

Go through online marketplaces

A third possibility of selling your own products online is offered by online sales platforms such as Amazon, eBay, or Alibaba, which are also called online marketplaces. The advantage here is that you don’t have to make customers aware of your store with a lot of effort since you benefit from the traffic of the corresponding platform. The downside: You have to pay a commission and you are limited in your shop page design.

Step 4: find suppliers

If you make your own products, you can skip this step. Otherwise, you will face the challenge of finding a suitable supplier for your products. Depending on the orientation and the quality requirements of your store, it is possible to call on domestic and foreign suppliers.

Contact the supplier personally, by phone, or by Email. Is he easy to reach and does he respond quickly? Is he friendly and service-oriented?

Order samples of the products you plan to use in your range to get a feel for the quality.

Step 5: marketing planning

Is your social selling system in place? Now you need to take care of marketing and advertising for your products.

As a seller of products on the Internet, there are many marketing possibilities that you can combine as you wish. However, you should take your product and target group into account when choosing your strategy: for example, a lifestyle product aimed at a young target group may be marketed well by Instagram, a useful household product may be better sold by GoogleAds or SEO.

Gain insight on how to market your website and gain experience in potentially appropriate marketing formats on a low budget at the start, before investing larger sums.

If you find that you are not getting good results, you should not give up marketing. Instead of wasting your budget on ads, it might be worth hiring a service provider who, due to their experience, will be much more efficient.

As profitable marketing measures, you can maintain your own pages and profiles in major social networks such as Instagram or Facebook. Connect with people who are interested in the field in which your product is located and contribute useful content. Do not display advertising exclusively for your own products.

Also, post informative and detailed articles on your website to reach users who search for information on the topic through Google.

Once prospects have visited your online store, you can also try to keep in touch with emailing to possibly make a (re) sale at a later date.

Additionally, don’t underestimate the effect of offline marketing in drawing attention to your store. For example, present your business at trade shows and distribute flyers or postcards with a QR code from your online store in places where your target group is located. Cafés, doctor’s offices, libraries, the possibilities are endless. Carry business cards with a link to your online store when you network at industry meetings and conferences. 


Lagos is undoubtedly the most populous city in Africa and one of the most industrialized. Coming with this status is huge business opportunities and also comes the challenge of managing this large business space. In this article, we shall look at how different businesses in this economic capital manages their operation and in a midst of a seemingly large population and how they are able to connect with their clients and possibly create a niche for themselves in this Largely populated economy.

As a company that has businesses in Lagos and has interacted with many businesses in Lagos, We will be able to share with our readers the secrets to how most businesses thrive in Lagos in this article.

Many years ago, businesses in Lagos relied on conventional means of marketing to advertise their businesses to intending customers of leads. However, with the advent of technology as a tool for driving sales into business finding it’s way into the business world in the millennium, digital marketing has since replaced all formal method and conventional methods of marketing products by big brands in Lagos. This new and effective way of marketing has long replaced the way marketing and sales was done in Lagos. For businesses to thrive in Lagos, digital marketing in Lagos is the only surest means of getting businesses connected to clients because of the population. rallies in market squares, and marketing team storming malls used to be the order of the day, but with the advent of these method of this 21st century method of marketing, businesses in lagos now thrive effortlessly with the use of digital marketing tools. most companies especially product based companies in lagos now engages the professionalization of people having this skill to drive their businesses to enviable heights paying between 150,000 naira to 200,000 naira to experts in digital marketing. 

Due to the rise of the digital marketing for businesses in lagos many companies spring up by the day in order to bridge this gap between companies and their prospects. Of many of the companies that solves these needs for companies from implementing business to business daily strategy for companies to offering social media advertising campaigns for students is digi sale solution otherwise called digisalesolution. This company has distinguished itself in the league of companies offering digital marketing services in lagos by offering cutting edge digital marketing services such as social media advertizing and management for businesses and services, website design and management for businesses, lead generation services and search engine optimization services for companies. They are reputed to have trained over 1,000 students in lagos running 6 weeks digital marketing trainings on monthly basis and helping their students and alumni set up multimillion digital marketing agencies after their training.

“digi sale solution is reputed for training students weekly in digital marketing in lagos and issue google, Microsoft and professional diploma certificate to their students upon successful completion of their training. on the list of corporations that have worked with them and are currently working with them  are banking institutions, conventional media houses, real estate companies, food and restaurant owners to mention a few”

Digital Marketing in Lagos is thriving as many businesses resort to this means to market their product as it is seen as cheap, more engaging and flexible in it’s system compared to conventional marketing that gulp millions of naira without really getting desired results most times. Another reason many business owners patronize digital marketing companies in Lagos is the availability of data. Digital marketing gives opportunities to track records of performances of campaigns for a product or service  giving room for improvement or opportunity to better the performance of the next digital marketing campaigns. as it is said,” everything done online leaves traces just like plane moving through the skies”, this traces are what is called  and used as data in digital marketing as data gotten from one campaign can be used to modify or fine tune or make another campaign perform better.

as a business owner, thinking of developing your business or scaling sales and profit to the next level. digital marketing is one area, you sure want to look into especially if you live in lagos, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you choose to get that training for yourself also or members of your sales team as this tend to be the new trend fir any business seeking to sell it’s product more or have a robust customer base and engagement.

it is no doubt that digital marketing in Lagos is the big thing, it is thriving and any business that needs to stay relevant must not take this new wave lightly at all. They must seek to work with digital marketing agencies such as digital solution who is not just one of the best digital marketing institute in Lagos but also the most sort after trainer in the business.

you can visit www.digisalesolution.com or www.digisalesolution.com/rapidsales or chat with them on 07042000204 for all your digital marketing needs.



Strategy planning By Chris Cornelius

So you’ve invented the next great gadget, and you’re sure it’ll be a hit. In fact, you’ve got cartons of inventory stored in every room of your house that you’re itching to sell, sell, sell. Your test market said they love it, but how can you reach the legions of consumers you’re sure will want to buy it?

Welcome to Sales 101. While there are countless books you can read about sales and marketing, here’s a relatively simple, proven strategy that’ll teach you how to market a product and grow your sales.

Create a Sales Plan
First, define your market as accurately as possible so you have a deeper understanding of exactly who you’re selling to. For example, instead of all women, it may be working women with above-average incomes and kids under age 5. Instead of all men, it may be divorced men in their 40s with six-figure salaries. The more specific you get, the more accurately you’ll be able to target your sales and marketing efforts, choosing the sales channels most receptive to your product.

Next, you’ll need to develop a sales plan. Before you groan, “Another plan,” understand this can be a simple document for your eyes only that’ll help you organize and think through your sales strategy. Write it in a way that makes sense for you. Typically, it should include the following:

Sales goals

These goals should be specific and measurable, not something like selling a million units. Base them on the nature of your product and try to break them down into manageable parts. For example, sell 50 units to end-users in 30 days and sell 100 units to local independent retailers in six months.

Sales activities

 These are your tactics–how you plan to make the sale. You may say you’ll sell direct-to-consumer through a website or via craft shows, for instance. Or this part of the plan may include activities like developing a sell sheet to send to independent retail stores.

Target accounts

Your sales plan should also include the accounts you want to sell to. If it’s end-users, for example, plan how you’re going to reach them through eBay, classified ads or your website.


Put dates to all of the above elements so you can define your steps within a realistic timeline. Don’t forget that your timelines should be fluid–if you’re underachieving, your sales plan can help you figure out why and define the corrective steps you need to take.

Finally, follow a proven process for growing sales over time. While it would be fabulous to have Jumia or Jiji carry your product right out of the gate, it may not be realistic. Most large retailers want to see a track record of successful sales before agreeing to take on a new product.

Build Your Market

To learn how to bring a product to market, begin by selling directly to end-users. This’ll give you confidence that there’s demand for your product and will also create referenceable customers that you can contact for product and packaging feedback before you hit the bigger leagues. So where can you reach your end-users? ADVERTISING 

The web is one highly effective channel, and you can reach your market through your own website or via a site like eBay or the popular ones in Nigeria not to mention names.

You can also tap into your own personal network as you begin. Host a home party to share your product with friends and friends-of-friends, sell through local community groups and e-mail your network.

Once you get feedback directly from your customers, refine the packaging and price point before approaching your next market–wholesalers. You’ll probably start with small, independently owned, local stores. It’s a good idea to start with them before hitting larger chain stores because it’s easier to get in touch with the direct decision-maker, and they’re more inclined to take on new, unique or hard-to-find items to differentiate themselves from larger stores. To sell to these retailers, be prepared and bring a product sell sheet, photos, product samples (if possible) and a succinct introductory letter to explain what’s in it for them, highlighting your product’s profit margin, features and benefits, and proven sales record.

Expand to New Markets

Once you’ve established sales strength with independent retailers and are ready to support new markets, it’s time to sell to the big guns. Of course, exactly who those big guns are will depend on your product. For some, it’s powerhouse general mass retailers, like Wal-Mart and Target, while other products will fit more specialized but equally powerful retailers, like Williams-Sonoma, The Sharper Image and Sephora.

Note that when dealing with these major accounts, the sale is just the beginning of the deal. Handling fulfillment, returns, rollbacks, slotting fees, advertising and more will require strengthening your business’s infrastructure and resources.

But back to the sale. What’s the best way to approach a larger retailer? Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

Get the correct buyer

One of your biggest challenges is finding the right buyer within a large organization, so do your homework. If you’re experiencing roadblocks, consider hiring a distributor or manufacturer’s rep who already has established relationships in your industry.

Be prepared

 Develop a presentation and have professional-looking sell sheets ready. Your product should also have packaging that’s ready to go.

Know your target

Understand what products they already carry and how yours will fit in. Don’t waste your time pitching to a retailer who’s unlikely to carry your product.

Take advantage of special programs

Some mass retailers, such as Wal-Mart, have local purchase programs that give managers authority to try local items. And other retailers may have different initiatives, such as minority business programs.

Be patient

It can take up to a year or longer before you see your product on store shelves, so don’t get frustrated. And if the final answer is no, try to turn it into a learning experience.

Finally, remember there are other sales channels besides the traditional brick-and-mortar retail store. Catalogs, TV shopping networks and online stores can also be excellent methods to enable you to learn how to market a product online.