HERO Condoms founder Dustin Leonard: How I used LinkedIn to snare a high-profile business mentor and get a supermarket deal

 In Australia, Metcash/IGA, NewZealand
Dustin Leonard has a LinkedIn email to thank for securing shelf space in IGA Supermarkets for his products and snaring meetings with Coles and Woolworths to do the same.
The 28-year-old entrepreneur established his social enterprise HERO Condoms as a university assignment in 2012, aimed at donating a condom to Africa for every condom sold in Australia.
Within a year, HERO Condoms were available from Australian pharmacies but Leonard’s efforts to secure distribution in the lucrative grocery market were less successful. Representatives of the major supermarket chains all declined to meet with him.
“I tried to get to the larger players in the grocery market but I hit a brick wall,” Leonard told SmartCompany.
“They weren’t interested. I couldn’t even get a meeting. I tried everything under the sun and was very persistent with emails and phone calls, but no one would see us.”
But instead of giving up, Leonard turned to the annual reports of the major grocery chains to research their business models and hopefully stumble upon “some way to get our foot in the door”.  SmartCompany – Read more…

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