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Finding the Right Distributor for Your Invention
Distributors can help you educate retailers on the features and benefits of your invention, introduce it to the masses, and create compelling visual displays. Sounds great, right? The trouble is finding the perfect distributor to help you make this a reality. How can you find the right distributor for your invention? Follow these tips:
Network at trade shows.
When you are just starting out on your journey to find the right distributor, it’s important to create a long list of potential distributors and then narrow it down from there. How can you collect names to add to this list? Attend a trade show! Trade shows draw in thousands of wholesale distributors, so this is the perfect opportunity for you to introduce yourself and your invention to them. Exchange business cards so you can follow up with each of the wholesale distributors later on.
If you happen to talk to retail buyers, ask if they have any recommendations for which distributor you should work with. This shows you value their opinion and are eager to form a relationship, and it also gives you valuable insight into which distributors are preferred by retailers.
Look at the fine print.
Obviously, you can’t hire a distributor you cannot afford, so it’s important to read the fine print to determine the costs of working with each distributor you are interested in. Make sure to read every word in the contract so you’re aware of any additional fees that may be charged for processing or storing products in the distributor’s warehouse. This step should help you eliminate a lot of distributors since you won’t be able to afford all of them when you are just starting out in business.
Ask for references.
Just as you would never hire an employee without first calling his references, you should never work with a distributor before talking to clients he has worked with in the past. If possible, ask to speak to clients who were launching their very first product so you can get a better idea of how each distributor will sell your invention to retailers. Ask the references about the distributor’s responsiveness, willingness to help, and timeliness. Because you are new to the business, you can’t afford to make a bad impression on retailers, so it’s important that the person who interacts with retailers on your behalf is professional at all times.
Trust your gut.
The more you narrow down your list, the harder the decision becomes. But, once you only have a few distributors left, it’s best to trust your gut. Call each of the distributors to talk about your invention and try to sense who is the most passionate about it. Ask why they love your invention and how they would present it to retailers. If you can sense phoniness in their pitch, the retailers will be able to, too. You want a distributor who is truly a fan of what you have created, otherwise how will he or she be able to sell it to others?
The right distributor can take your product from a little-known invention to a household name, so choose wisely!
Mr. Checkout Distributors
189 S Orange Ave. Suite 800
Orlando, FL 32801
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