How to Build a Line Sheet for Your Wholesale Business
Find out why line sheets are helpful tools for wholesalers, distirbutors and manufacturers.
Selling just one product is an entirely different proposition to selling a hundred different products. The more diverse your product lines are, the more complex your sales pitch has to be.
Even if your product lines are not so diverse, the more shapes, sizes, and versions of your products you offer, the more information you have to deliver to your buyers in order to make a sale.
But diversification carries some key benefits. Once you determine the optimal degree of diversification for your business, you’re left with the task of actually selling all of those products to distributors and retailers.
This further increases the cognitive load that you place on your buyers, and that reduces sales for all but the most convinced customers. To increase sales, you need a simple method of showing your buyers all of the data relevant to your various product lines so that your sales pitch refers to something concrete.
This is where the Line Sheet comes in. A good line sheet can transform your business and boost sales significantly. Discover below how to make a line sheet that uses tried-and-true tactics to sell products effectively.
Download our free line sheet template to easily create one for your business.
What exactly is a Line Sheet?
As a wholesale business owner, you should create a line sheet specifically for your buyers.
Indeed, this is the document your buyers will turn to when they’re looking for facts about your products. Implicitly, this means that they are already interested in your products. You can therefore assume your other sales materials – like your full-scale catalog – have already done their job successfully.
If you already have a potential customer interested in one or more of your products, you want to give them an accessible, easy-to-understand document that lists everything they might need to know about those products before ordering. It should give all the information buyers need alongside attractive (but not flashy or showy) imagery.
In addition to quickly understanding your product line, buyers are also looking to identify costs associated with your products. At they end of the day, buyers focus on cash flow, budget and profitability. That is why wholesale businesses and distributors need line sheets.
What are line sheets for?
Download our free line sheet template to help you get started.
Historically, line sheets come from the fashion industry. It’s very common for fashion retailers to express interest in a product, only to find out that it isn’t available in the desired color, size, or cut. The line sheet eliminates the need for wholesalers to field these questions about multiple products to multiple buyers – all that information is right there on the sheet.
But line sheets have spread out from their origins in fashion to encompass almost every product-oriented wholesale industry. Electronics manufacturers use line sheets to deliver key specifications about their products in an easy-to-read format. Furniture designers use them for the same reason.
Any wholesaler that sells products with multiple configurations or specifications can benefit from a line sheet. If your customers often have questions about your products before they buy, you want to put the answers to those questions in your wholesale sheet.
How to make a great line sheet
As a sales-oriented document, the first priority of your line sheet is making it easier for customers to buy your products. A good line sheet is one that improves sales by meeting customer expectations and making it easier for them to make the final purchase decision.
This means that your line sheet should be attractively organized and it should put your products in the best possible light, without any distractions. It needs to contain the following elements:
- Regularly spaced high-resolution photographs of your products.
- Each product’s name, SKU, and a brief, no-nonsense description.
- Product specifications, including sizes, colors, and other variables.
- Wholesale pricing information, including minimum order counts.
- Ordering information and terms of sale (including minimum reorder quantity, shipping cost, return policy, payment terms...)
- Your contact information.
Each product should be displayed unambiguously in lines or boxes, running horizontally across a landscape-oriented sheet of paper. Sort your products in a predictable, organized way so that they are easy to find.
In a typical example, a fashion wholesaler might include eight products per sheet, with matching photographs of the same model wearing each item. Beneath the photograph, the line sheet will offer product-specific sizing, fit, and order information.
So far, this seems like a relatively unexciting document. That’s part of the plan. Unlike your sales catalog, your line sheet simply presents the facts – think of it as a table of contents for your in-person sales pitch.
But you can and should dress up your line sheet with a branded cover and your best product photographs. You only get to use one photograph per product, so make sure it’s your very best image, and make sure all of your photographs match one another in terms of shape, size, and atmosphere.
Download our free line sheet template to help you get started.
Line sheet template
You don’t have to start from scratch! Making line sheets may not be rocket science, but it’s a powerful addition to any wholesale pitch. As with any other sales document, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.
Some organizations hire graphic designers to create attractive, vibrantly colored line sheets into which they can easily add, remove, or swap around products. Others simply use text editor or spreadsheet software like Microsoft Word or Excel to make their line sheets.
The problem with both approaches is that they are labor-intensive, time-consuming tasks. With a highly organized, frequently updated document like a wholesale line sheet, there is simply no reason to reinvent the wheel – using a professionally designed line sheet template can streamline the entire process.
This allows wholesale businesses to reduce the amount of work that goes into creating a high-impact line sheet. At the same time, templates make it easy for wholesalers to swap products in and out of their line sheets on the fly, so you can email it to interested buyers before making your in-person presentation.
We’ve developed a line sheet template ideal for use in a broad range of industries, and we’re happy to make it available to wholesalers who want to improve the efficiency of their sales processes. Feel free to save our template and add in your products for a quick, effective solution to creating wholesale line sheets: