It is very easy, when the landscape contains hundreds of possible retail outlets, to think that all you need to do is get out there and the right retailers will find you. That thinking has cost many a startup and even seasoned pros incredibly priceless calendar time working with all the wrong retailers for all the seemingly right reasons.

If you can’t answer this question you are already in trouble: “Who are my top 5 prospects in every retail channel and what are we doing to get our product in their stores?”

Any salesperson worth a nickel knows who their most important prospects are they are targeting to grow their income. They put in a healthy percentage of their effort doing what they can to get in front of those buyers. They may call every single day, multiple times, leaving messages or not, in just the hopes that the buyer will answer the phone (which by the way is most common between 8-9am and 4-5pm their local time).

First they may need to get the phone number and buyer’s name. Once they have a phone number and a buyer’s name, what else do you need? Contact.

Yet, amazingly, most business owners don’t even have the names of the top 5 retail targets, let alone the names of the buyers and the phone number to contact them.

If you want your product in the store badly enough, do whatever it takes to get the buyer’s attention and make them aware of your product. Know their business. Know your rationale. Know your marketplace AND MAKE CONTACT.

If you don’t know who your top 5 prospects are, know their business, know your rationale and know your marketplace, that is why you are already in growth trouble. Then by all means, spend tons of dollars and time at trade shows crossing your fingers that retailers important to your business might walk by. It’s your money and your time. Focus, focus, focus.