Communication and Relationship Building
The old rule for success in a retail business was “Location, Location, Location.” When marketing directly from the farm to the chef, that rule changes to “Communication, Communication, Communication.” The open line of communication between the farm and the chef is critical for growing the relationship—and growing your business. While this stands true for marketing to restaurants, buying products to supply grocers and food service firms is a stressful, demanding job. Wholesale buyers are busy people, yet it is important to be able to reach them in a timely manner should there be a problem. Many of the buyers interviewed said they preferred to communicate by e-mail when possible. When asked about their expectations regarding communications between farm vendors and themselves, buyers stressed the importance of keeping them informed about your product and its availability.
Best Marketing Practices
- Be sure to speak with buyers about the best ways to communicate with them.
- Make sure you have access to Email, Websites, Social Networking Sites, and other communication channels
- Free email services: Gmail, Yahoo
- Free website builders: Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Jimbo
- Free Social Media Sites: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkdIn, Snap Chat
- Make the effort to connect on a personal level.
- Present a professional and clean appearance.