Finding a Distributor for your Product
Do you have a new product ready for convenience stores which will create a revolution in its product line? To ensure that your product is displayed in stores within the state or across the nation, you can choose to work with either few convenience store brokers with local and national presence or take the assistance of marketing groups. Associations like Checkstand Program take responsibility of promoting and distributing new product across large and small convenience stores for a fee and once a product’s demand picks up they ensure distribution at all their member stores.
You have to understand customer who is likely to buy your product in terms of age, lifestyle and income which will help you make changes in future to bring more people into the buyers group.
To achieve the objective of generating maximum revenue by selling their products across state and national boundaries t every manufacturer has to learn to divide markets into business segments. By segregating markets into groups based on varied factors based on needs manufacturers will be better equipped to find distributors who can meet demands of these groups.
There are innumerable marketing plans that will tell you how to get products into c stores, but none that will tell you how to help retain its space on a retailer’s shelves for a few years or decades. Different type of expertise and market reach is required for varied categories of products and once you are able to identify the target consumer groups you can design varied advertisement and promotional programs for them.
Beverage distribution is carried out by manufacturers’ transportation system and also by national level distributors which specialize in different beverages like tea, coffee, health drinks and aerated drinks. Distribution of food products is generally done by wholesale food suppliers who supply dry rations which may be either branded or unbranded to both convenience store chains and grocery stores across the nation. In general, manufacturers of convenience items employ the services of sales professionals like agents and convenience store brokers to interact with store owners to sell their products.
Selling products through special distribution groups
Instead of selling your product blindly through wholesalers and distributors who will just try to sell them through convenience stores and grocery stores you should take the help of specialist groups like Checkstand Program who can present it before target buyers. These associations work with independent distributors, wagon jobbers and wholesale grocery distributors to directly distribute products into convenience stores and grocery store chains across the nation.
Whether a manufacturer is trying to market food and beverages, drugs or other products these can be distributed to both single convenience stores and big box retailers with equal gusto and promptness. As each distributor is a voluntary member they have complete control over personal business activity and marketing enabling them to make changes wherever required to meet product requirements.
Steps to select an ideal distributor for your product
A product distributor will be concerned about profits he can earn from the deal along with the cost of stocking and transportation. So if you are selling multiple products it will be more profitable for him as retailers like to buy several products from distributors instead of one each from several manufacturers. Distributors selected after careful research help to break geographical barriers and find new markets so you can concentrate on manufacturing. If the product requires approval by FDA or any other government statutory body then ensure that you have it before trying to seek distributors.
Step 1 – Make a list of distributors in your areas who deal with your kind of products through a distributor directory that can be purchased online. Visit trade shows and take referrals from traders about suitable distributors. Review trade publications and sites of distributor associations for ideal distributors which have positive reviews written about them.
Step 2 – If you have made a food product then meeting with grocery wholesale distributors in your area and presenting your product/s should be a first step forward. Present details about your manufacturing process and how it can be scaled up to meet demand if the product is distributed across the market. As a distributor’s first concern is about likely profits he can expect from the deal, make a comparative statement about costs and profits potential.
Step 3 – Show them how your product is unique when comparing it with other products and how it can meet specific needs of existing customers in the market. Prepare yourself to handle all doubts about competition, supply and existing demand with relevant data as then it will show how confident you are about the product and its potential in the market. Check with them about procedures used for storing and transporting products from warehouse to retailer which will give you a clear idea if they can handle your product efficiently.
Step 4 – Compare cost of each distributor after your initial discussion with them to understand how much of it is essential or which part is superficial. Check with other traders in similar product line about fees and transportation costs that they share with distributors. Review the insurance cover that a distributor is likely to use for your products for protection against damage during transit and delivery. This will help you keep your prices at a competitive level when it reaches the customers.
Step 5 – While finalizing your distributors review their individual vision and goal for your products. Take feedback from the distributor’s references about timeliness of delivery and effectiveness in delivering products in required condition to retailers.
When you find the right distributor and have established cost distribution and terms of business ensure that the business contract is reviewed by a lawyer for validity and correctness before signing it. If the distributor is going to be your representative before retailers and brokers then ensure that he is given adequate number of samples to show around along with the necessary documentation. Remember that a distributor’s reputation will be dependent on the success and failure of a product so he will try to market it to the best of his ability and you have to assist him in every way possible.