Sales Archetype: Merchandiser

After our last post many of you brought up the fact that we’re all different, our audiences are different, so there are sales techniques that work for some people but not others. For example, Jackie is an extrovert who loves going live 10x/week and hits all her sales goals this way. Susan is an introvert and needs frequent breaks between social interactions, so going live for her is a brutal exercise. When she does, her discomfort is evident, so people don’t really like to watch her or buy from her. But Jackie said that’s how you find success, so she plods along, selling less each day, and feeling even worse about herself.

And it’s not her fault. It’s fine, and it can be fixed. 

But until now, there hasn’t been language to explain why she struggles, and why Jackie doesn’t. This makes troubleshooting challenging. We’re going to talk a lot about that language, the language of THE 3 SALES ARCHETYPES

Starting with the Merchandiser.

ABOUT THE MERCHANDISER

The merchandiser is characterized by VOLUME & VARIETY, and their customers are ADRENALINE SHOPPERS

This type of shopper caters to people who are looking for the adrenaline rush they get when they get the item everyone wants or snag the new product. These are usually inventory based businesses but can be in any industry. They’ll have several employees and a warehouse of products. 

Their shoppers rely on the constant influx of new and interesting products, and the volume of products secured. Because they cater to a specific type of shopper who spends money mostly indiscriminately, they can sell using any platform they choose, because the thrill of the purchase comes from the win for their customers, not from the product itself. They are also selling 10-15 hours a the day, and have a huge infrastructure behind their front facing store to support their sales. 

WHY IT DOESN’T WORK FOR YOU

The top sellers of product-based companies are usually merchandisers and idolized. They are the gold standard you should try to become. However, this type of seller has a HUGE threshold for risk. Merchandisers are comfortable having a lot of money tied up in assets. They demonstrate a willingness to use credit to build a strong starting inventory. Most people who try to mimic their way of selling do so without having the infrastructure in place. They have limited inventory, no employees, possess a lower threshold for risk, and don’t have the bandwidth or the desire to have a lot of money tied up in inventory.

Strengths & Challenges

STRENGTHS

  1. Advertising works best for this method. You can target the fanatics of the product, or retail therapists who will buy on sight. Offering them tons of volume, turnover, and variety, is an easy and cheap ROI sell.
  2. Shopping communities for this type of seller are usually very large (100K base or so). They feel the impact of turnover much less, since there’s always someone else to take their place. 
  3. There’s often enough variety in the products to make up for any shortfalls in income due to unpopular items. 
  4. Able to sell using any platform, live, website, etc. Sellers are relying on the adrenaline to keep people coming back, not community. 

CHALLENGES

  1. It requires a heavy investment up front, allowing the seller to have an inventory 10-20x larger than the average seller, with significant variety. 
  2. The ramp up time is significant as the merchandiser builds their reputation. 
  3. It’s extremely risky, and requires a comprehensive infrastructure, so there’s not a lot of accessible cash, which is very bad for people with anxiety.
  4. If you buy a product no one wants, because you have so much of it, you can take a huge hit, since now all of that product will be sitting there. 
  5. The pressure to constantly turn over product so that they don’t become stagnant means there’s usually very little downtime for recovery.

Is this something that resonates with you? Come join the conversation, I’d love to hear how you feel about this archetype.

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