The 7 Traits of Great Distributors
Choosing a distributor can be a real minefield. With so many distributors out there promising you the world on a plate, how do you know who’s the real deal? We have paired nearly 20 brands with their perfect uk distributor/agent. So, what have we learned? We list the 7 traits to look out for in your pursuit of ‘the one’.
The best distributors are passionate about the products they are representing. Real passion for a product comes across in the way sellers talk and show their excitement about the brand. Whilst some may argue that a passion for money is all that’s needed, in our extensive experience, sales people who believe in a product are the ones who get sustained results.
While some agencies may lure in brands with their impressive list of clients, a broad client base could send alarm bells ringing. Great distributors pick a small number of brands that they can focus on and understand in-depth. They know the ins and outs of the category and have existing relationships with the relevant buyers. Whilst a large company may specialise in several areas to great effect, always question how well they really know your category.
A good distributor is all about making their customer understand and get excited about the products they are representing. A great distributor listens to the buyer’s needs and finds a way of positioning their products to address them, rather than just blindly “pushing” the products.
What use is a distributor who doesn’t tell you when your product taste isn’t up to scratch, or when the packaging isn’t attractive enough? If something is wrong, you’ll hear these criticisms from the buyer and this will really harm your chances later on. A good distributor is not afraid to speak the truth about your products right away, so you can address these issues before buyers start to associate your brand with poor standards and low quality.
Distributors with an open mind and an ability to evaluate all the possibilities of a product are highly valuable. You may want to go straight into Tesco’s, but they might see an opportunity in the specialist channel that you hadn’t considered. Even an experienced food industry professional sometimes needs their eyes opened to other opportunities.
A successful distributor doesn’t get where they are without hearing the word ‘no’. The difference is, they don’t take no for an answer. They are NOT easily put off and they keep going, adapting their offering and their strategy to get you where you want to be.
7. Good Value
Good distributors know their worth in the market. They offer value to brands, though this doesn’t necessarily mean a low price. They will typically offer a commission based structure alongside a retainer to cover the costs for the work they are doing on your brand. They drive a fair bargain – not a soft or hard one.
If you want our help finding the perfect UK distributor, please get in touch, call us on 01803 203387 or email at [email protected].