Out of stocks and auto-shipping

As a sales rep for a wholesaler, here’s an easy way to make your buyers mad.

  1. Run out of stock on something. 
  2. Do little to nothing to acknowledge the out of stock situation.
  3. When the product comes back in, ship it automatically without asking.

When you can’t ship something because the item is out of stock, you have lost that sale. It is done. Vanished. And unless you’ve done some quick work to acknowledge, cover, and apologize for that out of stock you can consider that placement lost. Gone. Up for grabs for the next rep in line.

Some wholesalers think they are quite good at not having out of stock situations. Some truly are better than others. But it does happen to everybody (this is a supply and demand business, after all). The key is to have a plan, a very careful step by step plan, that you can initiate the moment an out of stock happens.

And part of that plan is this: don’t silently auto-ship a product that was out of stock the week before. It’s the easiest way to get under the skin of your buyers.

As with most things, it’s all about communication and how you present a problem with solution(s).