058 - How to Pitch Your Product to Retail Stores with Mark Shanahan | Product Startup Podcast | MAKO Design + Invent

058 – How to Pitch Your Product to Retail Stores with Mark Shanahan

December 1, 2020

With Mark Shanahan, past VP at Staples

Today’s guest on the Product Startup Podcast is Mark Shanahan, a top expert in consumer product distribution and retailers. Previously, Mark had a successful 25 year career at Staples, where he started as a junior product buyer, moved up to running entire product categories, eventually becoming a Vice President. Mark joins Kevin Mako to share valuable insights about how inventors, product startups, and manufacturers can get in the door with buyers at major retail stores, and how they can sell their product once they’ve crossed that threshold.

You’ll hear them talk about:

  • What entrepreneurs can do with their physical products to get the best chance of success with major retailers. Mark shares tips and tricks from an insider’s view as a long-time Staples buyer.
  • Questions that buyers often ask entrepreneurs. They will want to know your target market, what your value proposition is, and why you’re legitimate.
  • The components of a well-done pitch. Always remember to be concise, clear, and transparent.
  • The importance of being honest with a potential retailer. The buyer needs to know that you are reliable and can be trusted.
  • Things to consider when meeting buyers: maintain eye contact, don’t get too personal, take notes, and be as brief as possible.

Episode Links:

Mark Shanahan Links:

  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markshanahan/

The Product Startup Podcast Links:

Mako Design Links:

Kevin Mako Links:

Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!