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Business owners with a product to sell often dream of winning shelf space in the Wal-Marts and Targets of the world. But these days, with the recovery dragging, it is a challenge to get shelf space in any store.

According to The New York Times, here is how Brian Chossek, the president of Garlic Gold in Ventura, Calif., won his first account — at Gelson’s, a Southern California grocery chain that now has 18 stores.

Chossek went to Gelson’s Santa Barbara location late one night when things were slow and buttonholed the produce manager, who then connected him with the produce buyer. Chossek persuaded the buyer to let him give an in-store demonstration that he hoped would prove that Garlic Gold, a seasoning that features toasted organic garlic nuggets, would sell.

During a four-hour demo, Chossek sold 92 bottles. After that, he gave demonstrations in the store every weekend and four weeks later, Garlic Gold was sold in a second store.

Within six months, it was on the shelves at every Gelson’s store. Every time he approached a new Gelson’s location, he gave the store a free case of the product to test. Garlic Gold is now carried in more than 3,000 stores nationwide.

Photo by The New York Times.

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Originally posted by Rich Whittle on October 20, 2012 in Ideas.

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