Archive | May, 2014

Retail Pitch Tips: Vanessa’s expert interview on BizChix Podcast

15 May

By Vanessa Ting

I had the recent honor of recording a podcast with fellow web-enterpreneur, Natalie Eckdahl, who does this fantastic podcast series called BizChix.

I set high standards for myself but rarely do I critique myself publicly. But today I want to use myself as a Retail Pitch Tip example to benefit you,  the product entrepreneurs.

I often say preparation is 90% of the recipe for success. Before heading into any presentation, whether it is a retail pitch, TV interview, consulting engagement – and in this case, a podcast recording – it behooves you to do a few things in advance:

  • Think about your talking points
  • Do research on your interviewer (or the person you are meeting) and the types of questions they typically ask
  • And then an hour or so before game time, clear your head. Get present in the moment. I like to close my eyes and visualize how I want to come across.
  • Keeping with the sports analogy, get your game face on and start talking in your game “voice”  prior to when you go live. For me this usually requires me to slow down my speech and smooth out my cadence.

Keep these tips in mind before jumping on the phone with a retail buyer, before a meeting with a retailer, or any time you are “on stage”.  Doing so will refine your presentation and convey credibility.

Shall we see what good and poor preparation sound like? Check out this podcast below.  I share some great content for product entrepreneurs, plus a lot of “um’s” and moments where I’m searching for words. But then contrast my performance with the interviewer, Natalie. She is impressive and clearly did her preparation! Then check out my MSBBC interview and see another example of good preparation. See the difference preparation can make?

Making myself a case study aside, this podcast is a recommended business resource. Since my podcast recording, I’ve listened to other episodes in her series and am impressed by the quality of guests, insightful interview questions and the many productivity and business tips guests share.  This is definitely my go-to business podcast now.  Definitely check out Amy Porterfield’s interview, which is episode 74. I took down a page full of notes from that podcast.


Listen to Vanessa Ting’s Podcast Interview on BizChix:

Episode Link:

iTunes Link: 


What tips have you found helpful in preparing for live presentations?

Products We Love: fashionABLE’s Line of Fashionable Scarves & Leather Accessories

5 May

Be still our hearts. We found a mission-driven company that prioritizes fashion as importantly as their cause! Who is this diamond in the rough?

Meet fashionABLE, a company that sells scarves and leather accessories handmade in Ethiopia by women who have been exploited by the effects of poverty. The sale of each fashionABLE products provide jobs and rehabilitation for women in these communities. What makes fashionABLE unique from other companies with similar “buy and donate” business models is that…

Number 1. Tangible emotional benefit. Each item is tagged with the name of and a message from the woman who handmade the very item you bought. Every good product marketer can tell you that every successful product has an emotional pay off. For cleaning products, the emotional benefit may be feeling like the superhero mom because you wiped-out every last icky germ in your house so that your kids are safe.  In the case of fashionABLE, the emotional pay-off is knowing that you helped Sebie (see photo below) develop into a leader in her work place. For others in the fashionABLE network, your purchase may help provide an income and fund job training for many other women disadvantaged by the effects of poverty. Tying a purchase to a tangible beneficiary is something that you just don’t get when buying a pair of Toms shoes (no disrespect, Blake Mycoskie!). But a big thank you to Blake for bringing conscious purchasing to the forefront of industry.


Number 2: Don’t Ignore What Drives Consumers’ Purchase.  Let’s not forget the #1 criteria when consumers purchase fashion: style/design.  Buyerly has seen many cause-related companies that sell products to support communities but fail to meet the functional needs of its consumers. The functional need of  fashionABLE consumers is an accessory item that reflects their style and finishes their outfit. But strangely, many companies deprioritize this. Remember, the reality is that supporting causes is a “nice to have” for consumers. They can only support others after they’ve supported themselves…and in this case, their style.


We’d love to hear what conscious-purchasing companies  you have come across that you think does the above well. Who are they? Tell us about them.