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How To Help Distributors Sell More Of Your Spirits

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13/12/2019 Distributors love a helping hand, so why not sell more by helping them. Here are tips on how to help distributors sell more of your spirits.

So you prepared a solid pitch, presented it in front of your desired distributor, hit a homerun by getting your spirits added to the distributor’s portfolio, and you’ve shipped your cases away to their warehouse. You might think your job ends there, but does it really?

Once you’ve found the right distributor for your spirits, the next step is them going out and closing accounts for you. One thing you need to remember is that distributors have hundreds of brands in their portfolio, and if you don’t help them sell your spirits, there’s a high chance that you might end up getting lost in their list of spirits to sell. Not because your product isn’t good, but probably because you don’t have any interaction with the distributor, and they might not even remember you or your product.

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You also need to remember that distributors like working with suppliers that they like, and suppliers that make their jobs easier for them. If you’re one of those suppliers who ships their cases to the distributor’s warehouse and then sits back and waits for the report - then the distributor is most likely not going to want to work with you. And let’s be honest, if the distributor doesn’t want to work with you, then they aren’t going to be putting effort in giving you a second order - or even selling your spirits.

So here’s what you can do to help your distributor sell more of your spirits.

1. Communicate openly

Communication is the key to any successful relationship, so why should your supplier-distributor relationship be any different? Communicating with your distributor about the business will show them that you’re serious about your business, which will make them want to put in the effort to get your spirits to retail shelves, restaurants, and bars.

Here’s how you can keep an active communication with your distributor:

● Email, call, or text them often to just check up on the business in general.

● Ask for your depletion reports. Let them know you’re interested in knowing what is happening to your spirits.

● Meet them out of the business zone. It’s always good to build a personal relationship with your distributor, this way they will build a connection with you, and your passion for the business will motivate them to sell more of your spirits.

● Keep them updated on what’s happening at your end of the business. Let them know how much you’re producing, and how much stock you’ll be able to give them over a period of time.

2. Open new accounts for your distributor

You should always try and go out of your way to open up accounts for your distributor. Keep in mind, sales reps have targets to meet, and if you help the sales rep meet their targets, then you’ll be helping the distributor. By opening accounts for your spirits, you will make the job easier for your distributor’s sales rep. This way, sales reps will be more inclined to work with you, which in turn will motivate them to sell more of your spirits.

3. Attend trade shows to promote your spirits

Getting your spirits in front of buyers is a good way to secure new accounts, and also help your distributor sell more of your spirits. One of the best ways to meet buyers all under one roof is exhibiting at trade shows such as USA Trade Tasting.

4. Help in marketing and merchandising

Distributors have hundreds of brands that they have to close accounts for; which means that they have a lot of marketing and merchandising that they need to do. Distributors also love suppliers who make their jobs easier for them. So one way of helping your distributor to sell more of your spirits is by taking the extra step and help out with the marketing and merchandising of your spirits.

Here’s what you can do:

● Provide the distributor with all the marketing material and budget they might need to sell your   spirits.

● Create consumer awareness for your brand by yourself. Once consumers want your spirits, then retailers are going to want it too. If retailers want your spirits, then this makes the distributor’s job much easier as they might not have to pitch too aggressively to the retailer. Think about it this way, if everyone is asking for your spirits, people are going to want to stock them up in their stores and restaurants anyway.

● Invest in getting a large floor display at retail stores. Invest in shelf talkers, and try to get your spirits on the endcaps of store aisles. You can also go ahead and make sure your bottles are placed properly at the stores, maybe get them dusted and cleaned. Your distributor isn’t going to have the time to check this out, so you have to take a step forward in doing it yourself.

5. Do store tastings

(Image credit: Market Watch)

Do store tastings with your spirits and help the retailer deplete your product. If your product is gone off the racks, the retailer is going to ask your distributor for another shipment - and this will increase the sales of your spirits.

In the end, it all boils down to being ‘all-in’ from production to distribution to sales. Just because you’re a supplier doesn’t mean you need to back down after the production part of it. Remember, it is your brand, and there’s no one better to help sell it other than you.

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