opinions please

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    this is a letter i've written to send to a local meat shop regarding selling my chickens in his store. i'd appreciate any opinions on it, or suggestions on how to make it better.

    I am a local farmer who raises and sells all-natural, pasture-fed poultry. I have had a few of your customers suggest that I contact you about the possibility of selling my poultry in your shop, so I am. I am a licensed meat broker and all my poultry is USDA inspected.

    Your customers love your meat! They cannot say enough about your beef and pork, but they have reported to me that your poultry is “ordinary”. My poultry is anything but ordinary and I think that it is a product you would be proud to offer in your shop.

    I raise the best tasting birds I have ever had. They are raised on pasture, where the birds are free to eat grass, seeds and bugs. I mix my own feed from my own homegrown grains and other quality ingredients. They are not fed antibiotics. They are natural, healthy and as I said, they are the best tasting birds I have ever had. My customers love them and remain very loyal to my tasty birds! I am currently selling 300+ chickens per month and plan to sell 150+ turkeys during the holiday season. Many of these sales do go out of state, but my local customer base is growing.

    I would like to offer you a couple of free chickens to try. Once you see for yourself how good they are, I would be happy to meet with you to see if you would like to sell them in your shop. I am open to any type of arrangement, whether it is direct wholesale sales to you, or a percentage type of deal for what is sold, or whatever else you would like to do.

    Please contact me at your convenience and I will deliver your free chickens!


    thanks
    jena
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is worded pretty good, the only thing I might would change is for it to read free range, as some folks might be put off by there meat eating insects otherwise .It comes across very well,As you first complimented his beef/pork, And the free birds to try at home help to make a sale. He might want all of your currant customers to come to him instead .That would be a sticking point for me. good luck ,And I hope your hand is getting better.
     

  3. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    I agree with James about the bug eating chicken part LOL and also think you should consider taking out one of the "best i have ever had"s. It is a great letter and I sure would take you up on the offer if I was the store guy! Good luck and let us know how it goes!
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Jena, I go along with the first two replys. One word bothered me. Calling his chickens ordinary could be constrewed as a put down. Calling them commercial confinement chickens might take the negativity out of the same meaning. He doesn't need to be told your chickens eat bugs. You can't tell how that would affect some people's oppinion of them. Free range is a possitive type description.
     
  5. margo

    margo Well-Known Member

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    Jena, you may want to re-word your proposal a bit where you are suggesting possible deal arrangements. I am not a business person, mind you, but I kind of felt that you are leaving it up to the other person how you will sell. Would it sound as if you are coming from a stronger base knowledge-wise to state your terms in general in this letter.? Or perhaps wait till he has sampled the goods, then talk terms? If I am way off base here, okay, as I said I know nuttin bout business deallings, just listening to the wording of the letter, I think all the rest sounds great and agree about the other poster's suggestion. Best wishes, Margo ;) Plus, you sound very friendly and encouraging(convincing) in the letter, I would be right curious if it were myself reading about your chickens.
     
  6. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Correcting run on sentences, passive verbs, excessive wordiness, etc......

    I am a local farmer who raises and sells all-natural, pasture-fed poultry. A few of your customers have suggested that I contact you about the possibility of selling my poultry in your shop. If we can negotiate a business arrangement, it could be to both our advantages.

    Your customers love your meat! They cannot say enough about your beef and pork, but they have reported to me that your poultry is "ordinary." My poultry has qualities that you might find impressive and a product you would be proud to offer in your shop.

    I am a licensed meat broker, and all my poultry is USDA inspected. I raise the best tasting birds I have ever had. They are raised on pasture, where the birds eat grass, seeds, and the free range diet that is natural to them. I mix my feed from my own homegrown grains and other quality ingredients. They are not fed antibiotics. They are natural, healthy, and my customers say they are the best tasting chicken they have ever had. I am currently selling 300+ chickens per month and plan to sell 150+ turkeys during the holiday season. Many of these sales go out of state, but my local customer base is growing.

    I would like to offer you a couple of free chickens to try. Once you see for yourself how good they are, I would be happy to meet with you to see if you would like to sell them in your shop. We can discuss a variety of business arrangements, whether it is direct wholesale sales to you, or a percentage deal for what is sold, or other ideas you might have.

    Please contact me at your convenience, and I will deliver your free chickens!

    Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
     
  7. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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    Rose's version is just about exactly the way I would word the letter, with the following possible exceptions. I would not give specific examples of what kind of business arrangement you would like to set up with him. Just mention that you are flexible.

    If you are SURE that some of your customers are also his customers, talk to them and ask them if you could include a quote from them in your letter. 'Mrs. Jones' and 'Mr. Smith' would have more impact than 'your customers', especially if he has been wondering why they aren't buying his chicken!

    I would encourage you to also start contacting other businesses as well. As soon as you have one under your belt you will gain some legitimacy that the others might react positively to.

    Good Luck,

    Michael
     
  8. poppy

    poppy Guest

    Jena, yes I would take out the bug part. The rest sounds fine to me. If it was me, I would wait until you feel well enough from your accident. Then I would take the 2 chickens in person at a time when he wasn't too busy, let him look and touch them, see how they are wrapped, and such. Have him try them himself and maybe offer to put 10 in his store for him to sell so he can get reports back from his customers. I think in person beats a letter anytime. Good luck however you go about it.
     
  9. Bink

    Bink Well-Known Member

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    I like it. I agree with the others about the bugs. We know that chickens will eat all sorts of stuff, but pondering on it spoils the appetite. Letter first to soften him up, visit later. Reading it made me hungry. Good luck!
     
  10. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

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    Hi Jena,
    I agree with what everone has said, but I have one more idea to add. Rather that merely offering to bring sample birds to him upon his request, state in your letter that you will be stopping by in a couple of days (or maybe a specific date) to bring in the sample birds. If he is expecting a visit from you, he will probably keep you in mind more so that if it was something he could set aside for later consideration, or to loose and forget! When you do show up with the birds, be sure to bring additional information to show additional products you could offer him. Also, a few pictures of big, healthy birds happily foraging in an picturesque (sp?) farmyard would add to the appeal of buying "farm fresh" birds, and will make customers feel good about supporting a family farm. It might seem slightly more aggressive or pushy, but it will get you noticed!!

    It probably would not hurt to give him a call about a week after dropping off the birds, and see what he's thinking...anything to keep you in his head!!

    Happy Marketing!! :p
    April
     
  11. evilbunny

    evilbunny Well-Known Member

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    Good point April.

    If you suggest dropping the two samples off on a certain date, it accomplishes a couple things.

    1. It asserts what the next action should be on his part.
    2. It lets him know you are serious and will be following up, not leaving him wondering what ever happened to that chicken woman.
    3. It will make him think about the idea before you show up and gives him a deadline for him to know when the next thing needs done. For now its just his accepting the free birds. If you always set WHAT needs done next and WHEN, there will never be any confusion as to who/what/where etc. LOL

    I've been in sales for over 20 years and I always end a sale or conversation with my clients with a plan in place of what we will do next.

    Also when you drop off the sample birds, make sure you set a time you want to call or stop by to see him again. It puts a bit of responsibilty on his shoulders to keep the sales process running smoothly.

    Your letter is fine, I do like the rewrite too.

    Good Luck
     
  12. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    There is such a huge market out there for free-range, antibiotic free chicken. :) I buy it at at a local chain grocery (they have several stores in cities and towns in the immediate area) --- just the look of free-range next to commercially produced is enough to convince anyone to buy it, esp. given commercial chicken is just such nasty stuff! :no: And it isn't that much more expensive --- I buy enough to last a month or so at a time (fill the freezer) and the cost is VERY reasonable --- not to mention, one quarter of a free range chicken has as much meat as three-four of those measly, sickly, disgusting commercial chickens.

    I suspect once you learn the ropes with this particular store (or one like it), you'll easily be able to move your product into more stores. :) All in good time.
     
  13. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the suggestions, especially the re-write. my biggest downfall in business writing is i like to use a lot of words! plus i'm still on vicodin and that never helped anyone write well!

    i thought a letter would be the best first approach as i don't want to show up on a busy day when he's distracted or frazzled. his state of mind could ruin my first impression!

    i will try to come up with a better ending. perhaps let him know i've reserved some chickens for him from my current sold-out batch and could i bring them by sometime next week or something....i'll think about it.

    i will include one of my brochures in the letter...it has all the pretty pictures and stuff in it.

    i will remove reference to bugs!

    as far as terms....i am willing to pretty much do anything in order to get my birds in his shop. i don't want him to think the only option is straight wholesale sales, but then he might want it that way. my price is my price. i sell to both my wholesale and retail customers for the same. if i sell through his shop, they will have to be marked-up, but i think that customers would understand that they are paying for the convenience of getting them on demand at the shop, rather than waiting for me to have more, etc. i do deliver, but most of those customers do not live right here in town. i'll try to re-word it.

    i do sell a lot of chickens to another business, but i have found it's best to keep that quiet. i told one person once and the next thing i knew, they were contacting my customer to try to steal my job!!! i could include a vague reference to them, then if things progress tell him who they are so he could contact them to see that i am trustworthy, relkiable, etc.

    thanks

    jena
     
  14. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jena,

    I would have replied sooner but I was out at the farm with no internet connectivity.

    Two things I would recommend:

    1) I would reword or drop the part about his/her current chickens. By saying they are ordinary you are impugning the butchers judgement. Not a good way to start out a business relationship. I have a feeling that if this relationship blossoms it is going to be up close and personal.

    2) I would leave the letter more generic. You want to talk chicken and will be over his way in a week or so. Indicate that you will follow up with a call to set an appointment so as not to interfere with his schedule. You can provide additional details on the phone.

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  15. my family owned a convenience store for over 40 years and I was involved as employee, manager and finally co-owner.

    This being said as a former store owner:

    I would have preferred you make contact with me by stopping by. if I wasn't there then find out what my typical hours are from an employee and stop by again. By stopping by my store and approaching me, you are making it easiest for me to actually consider your products.

    Give me some solid numbers as to what you want, I would expect either a flat price or volume discount but I'm going to ask you to name a price. Don't ask me to name one if you don't want to be lowballed.

    it wasn't at all unusual for a salesman to offer a promotional period of say either some free samples to try selling and/or a deep discount for the trial period to see if they would sell in your shop. they ALWAYS left free samples as part of it. If I've never tried the product before it's almost imperative.

    This is all based on what I would consider a brand new product, a brand new salesperson/business that I've never done business with before. If you can give me a reference that would really help.

    With a new unique item that you are offering, we would probably be willing to try a few and see what happens ESPECIALLY if you could provide those few for free (even say 5?) then what have I got to lose by putting them in my fridge/display case? I've already got the grocery license. Or, if I don't pay you for the first ones until after/if they sale that also gives me more incentive to give a new person with a new product a try.

    Either way, I think I'd also stress the locally grown aspect more. I know you mentioned it in your letter but it just didn't jump out and grab me that you are a local business and I think that's an asset you want to stress.

    I know you know as a business owner how few hours there can be in a day. Your product may be wonderful but I still just can't find the time to sit down and discuss it with you and make a decision on whether I want to invest in a new item in an untried market. but free introductory offers are basically a no risk situation for me.

    You know, I was thinking that this guys shop may be so different from ours that maybe this wouldn't apply. But, think of it this way: Some unknown person sends a letter to your farm saying he's got this newest, latest, greatest soy bean seed you ever saw and his cows say it's the greatest thing they ever tasted and his customers say the yield is unlike anything else they've ever grown! What would it take to get you to plant his seed if you've never heard of him and you've never heard of the seed and don't know anyone who has grown this exact seed?

    Mel-
     
  16. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Jena,

    Just had another thought. When you are speaking with the butcher, offer to do sampling to his customers. Find out when his busy days are or offer to provide a sign saying there will be chicken samples and special introductory prices on (pick a day).

    Mike
     
  17. I agree with Mike, especially about not saying anything negative about his chickens. He will remember that most of all, reread that sentence several times, and then wonder who it is that thinks his chickens are ordinary. I think it is better to just promote your product.