Questions You’ll Need to Answer When Pitching to a Distributor




  • — October 30, 2016

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    Pitching to a new distributor or product broker can be nerve-wracking, but the best way to calm your nerves is to thoroughly prepare. Go into your meeting ready to answer these questions that will most likely come up during the pitch:


    What’s so different about your product?


    The beginning of the pitch may begin with basic questions about your product, including how it is different from what’s currently on the market. This will set the tone for the rest of the meeting, so be prepared with a strong response. This is the perfect time to mention if your product is priced lower than competitors, or has some sort of unique benefit, such as being made in the USA or certified organic, that competitors don’t have.


    Do you do a guaranteed sale?


    A guaranteed sale is an agreement that states the manufacturer will take back any items from the distributor that have not sold after a certain period of time. Distributors love guaranteed sales because it reduces the risk involved with selling your product. They know if things don’t go according to plan, they won’t lose any money because you are willing to purchase the items back from them.


    What marketing campaigns do you have planned?


    Distributors will want to make sure their efforts are going to be supported by marketing campaigns. If you have anything planned, be prepared to talk about what you’re going to do, and how it will drive people into the stores your distributor’s service. You should also mention you’re willing to launch new campaigns to promote your presence in retailers if you happen to land a big box client. Distributors who are able to get your products on these stores’ shelves want to know you will be flexible and willing to adjust your marketing plan to aggressively promote your presence in a large chain and keep the retailer happy.


    Where is your product sold?


    Before agreeing to represent a product, distributors will also want to know where it’s currently being sold, if anywhere. This is done for three reasons, the first being they will need to determine if there will be any overlap. If you’re already doing business in most of the retailers they service, it doesn’t make sense for them to represent your product. Second, if some retailers already carry your product, distributors will be more confident in their ability to sell it to more retailers because you have proven that there is somewhat of a demand. Finally, telling distributors where you are already being sold gives the distributor an idea of what type of retailers you are interested in doing business with. But don’t worry, if your product is not being sold anywhere yet, it’s not a deal breaker. In fact, many distributors enjoy working with products that are brand new so they can be the first to introduce them to the market.


    Have you ever pitched a product to a distributor? What questions did the distributor ask during the meeting? Share your stories in the comments below!

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    Author: Joel Goldstein


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