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If I Were a Buyer: Advice for Making a Professional Move Within the Buy-side or Sell-Side of the Industry

If I Were a Buyer: Advice for Making a Professional Move Within the Buy-side or Sell-Side of the Industry



UNITED STATES - More and more recently, we’ve been noticing the movement of retail buyers whether they are shifting to another retail or sell-side position. With that, we have received calls from buyers looking for advice with their transition. I think it’s worth sharing. 

The best thing you can do is to have a plan. I would pause to consider if I still want to be a buyer, or take the opportunity to move to the sell-side of the business. Procurement is a great way to make a living, and there are other great jobs that may fit your skillset. ​Talk with your peers and connections, and let them know you’re thinking about a move. Networking is important! Of course, proceed with caution if you are currently employed, but playing your cards too close to the vest could also mean a missed opportunity.​ 

If you are traveling to shows and connecting at events, try setting up dinners or making good impressions over drinks. Make sure to reach out early when making plans as schedules fill up fast. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people I meet that don’t maximize their time off the floor. 

Start with the following to set a plan:

  • 1. Make a short list of retailers or sell-side companies that are appealing to you.
  • 2. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and acceptable.
  • 3. Find out which shows and events are key, and be sure to attend.
  • 4. Find a successful balance between over- and under-booking your schedule. Make sure you’re always on the move but still at your best.
  • 5. Have conversations with industry veterans, they are experienced in advising these matters with confidentiality.
  • 6. Always have a plan B ready for prospective meet-ups and plans, in case your first plans don’t work out. 

Away from the show floor, make sure you implement actions to carry you into your next position. Know your value, and consider your strongest qualities that make you an asset as a buyer. Keep in mind what you are most proficient at doing, and the areas in which you have the most experience.

​As we all know, the only constant in our industry is change. That is especially the case with consolidation, centralization, reorganization, and global competition changing the customer landscape in both retail and foodservice channels. Utilize a great resume to stand out as a candidate, and speak with professional recruiters for tips on how to get off on the right foot with prospective employers. Check out JoeProresumes.com for examples and information.​

By keeping your social circles in the industry wide open, and treating everyone as you want to be treated, you are more likely to go a long way no matter the move. Let your connections know your goals and where you want to end up–you never know who it will be that opens the door to your next big step.

Joe Produce



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