Scoring real estate in a major retail store is something many small-business owners fantasize about, but securing space on a shelf isn't easy.
Before establishing licensing agreements, determining production quotas and signing legal documents, a small company has to first prove that the product can sell.
An effective way to sell, without putting added pressure on a retail store, is through a silent salesman display, says Marcus Lemonis, an entrepreneur and host of CNBC's "The Profit." The freestanding display is a marketing tool that showcases the product and often provides information about it.
On this week's episode, Lemonis explained to the founders of Los Angeles–based watch brand Flex Watches why having this kind of display could not only earn the charitable company more revenue, but also appeal to retailers such as Shiekh Shoes.
"A store like Shiekh has a very small staff — two to three people — and it's not realistic that they're going to be able to spend a lot of time selling a $35 watch," Lemonis explained.
Rather than completely redesigning a more expensive watch that would give Shiekh a higher margin on its sales, Lemonis suggested that Flex Watches founders Trevor Jones and Travis Lubinsky invest in a creative way to merchandise their existing $35 watch.
"If we provide retailers with a simple, affordable silent salesman display, it makes it easier for everybody," Lemonis said. "They don't have to invest in the valuable time that it takes telling the initial story."
The benefit of the device is clear when you break down the numbers. With a silent salesman display costing about $300, Lemonis estimated Flex Watches would see gross profits of $200 on the first case of inventory, and $500 on all future orders.
Of course, to ultimately reach those profits, the silent salesman display has to be effective. "This silent salesman has to be able to sell the product on its own," said Lemonis.
It should demonstrate the brand story in a simple, compelling way, and the customer should know what the message is even when walking quickly by the display, Lemonis said.
Shortly after Flex Watches employed Lemonis' advice and designed a silent salesman display for their watches, the company brokered a deal with global retailer Flip Flop Shops.