Many great products fail to reach the right customers because business owners did not choose the right distributors.
While many not-so-great alternatives are available on every shelf across the country and you wonder how they did it.
Having the right distributors can be the difference between a nationwide success and a product that cannot grow.
It means more revenue for your business. Since, distributors order in bulk and, thanks to their marketing and sales prowess, can bring you money consistently.
Instead of your business negotiating with individual stores to stock your products which can be tedious.
Distributors can do that at a faster pace. And sometimes relieve you of the stress of storage and shipping.
Getting the right distributor, can give you an edge, by giving you access to a proven market of willing buyers cost-effectively.
Steps To Choosing The Right Distributor(s)
1. Do your research
To make the right choice among available distributors, you have to start by doing your homework.
You need to make a list of distributors in your industry.
You can get the information you need to make your list by doing a google search, asking for referrals from other business owners, finding out your competitor’s distributors, attending trade shows and industry events, etc.
2. Evaluate distributors
Now, you might find that there are as many as 50 distributors in your industry. So, you need to cut that number to the top 3 or 5.
To do so, you need to rate them based on various factors like their size, the type of products they cover and specialize in, the markets they cover, etc.
These factors would help you select the few distributors that qualify for a more in-depth evaluation.
For instance, some distributors are more mass-mass specialists than niche distributors.
Depending on the type of products you want to bring to market, you need to choose which type of distributor would be better able to get the job done.
3. Reach out to your top distributors
At the end of your evaluation, you need to reach out to the 3 or 5 distributors that you deem fit for your products.
You can ask for a meeting, call, or send them an email. Introduce your business and ask them for information to help you make a better choice.
You may have to pitch to the distributors so when you get an appointment, showcase your products and tell them why it would be a great fit for them.
4. Compare! Compare!! Compare!!!
At the end of your enquiries, meetings, etc.
You should have enough information you might not get online to assess which distributor you go with.
Compare them based on their financial stability; credit score, reputation etc.
Their costs, procedures, knowledge of the product/market, management style and alignment with your long term goals etc.
5. Now build relationships
At the end of the step above, you should be able to have a clear winner and chose the right distributor for your product. But that’s not all you need to build good long term relationships with your distributors.
Without it, even the best distributors will not yield less than optimal value for your business. So, communicate with them, don’t sacrifice long term gains for short term rewards.
Don’t be their competition, be a great partner and help them be the best partner they can be.
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