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Written by The Mezzanine Group
on July 13, 2011

For companies who sell through distributors and brokers, the key to success lies in the effectiveness of the broker relationship. It’s very easy to get into a new partnership / distribution agreement – and in my experience it’s ten times harder to actually make the relationship work.

Here are a few tips to help you pursue the right distributors, and create an effective business relationship:

1. Negotiate for exclusivity within the range of products the agent carries

  • You don’t want an agent who sells a competitors products

2. Never give territorial exclusivity to an agent

  • Keep your options open
  • You want sales agents to get as much trial and error experience as possible, and quickly

3. Equip agents with the best-selling tools you can provide

  • Agents deal with many products – make yours easy to deal with
  • Provide tools that work independently for agents.

4. Bring agents together regularly (quarterly or semi-annually) to exchange ideas, successes, and failures

5. Be top of mind

  • Keep in touch with bi-weekly emails, phone calls, updates of products and services, and successes elsewhere in the company
  • Look for agents who are proven and have strong sales skills and integrity

 

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