How to create an agent and dealer network

Step-by-step instruction

What is the best way to look for intermediaries for the development of your business? How to maximize the use of dealers? How to set up effective work? Especially for you, we have prepared an article with answers to these and many other questions.

Agent and dealer - what's the difference?

The agent is an individual or a private entrepreneur distributing the goods of the manufacturer or dealer. He independently finds buyers and gets a share of sales for it. The commission of the agent is lower than that of the dealer.

A dealer is a private entrepreneur or a company that deals with the retail or wholesale sale of goods. The dealer can work both through his own retail network of outlets and through other stores, including through wholesalers, as well as independently create an agent network. His share of sales is very significant and much higher than that of the agent.

Why do you need dealers / agents?

You can sell goods in many ways. You can form a whole sales department in your company and directly deliver your goods to the market. You can also set up company branches in other cities. This is quite troublesome and energy-consuming, and requires a lot of money.

The most optimal solution is an online store + dealer network. Create a wholesale internet site for sale you can independently, without even involving IT professionals. (How to do this we tell in detail in our article).

"Why the network of intermediaries?" - you ask. Everything is simple: you save both strength and money. It is profitable for you, because in order to sell your goods well, the dealer will invest their own funds and promote it as if you did it when you opened your office.

Such a model of doing business has proved to be quite successful. Remember how many auto companies are selling their cars or how large software companies (Kaspersky and Microsoft) promote their software to the market. All of them do this through dealer and agent networks. And there are more such examples every day.

Work through company representatives makes it possible, having spent a minimum of resources, to win new large sales markets and strengthen its positions in other regions. Here everything is built on two key points - the high quality of the product itself + a carefully constructed system of dealer / agent network.

How to open a dealership in 9 stages

Step 1. Calculate the cost of opening and running your own office

To understand how profitable it will be for dealers to work with you, you need to take their place. The first step is to prescribe and calculate all the necessary resources that will be required to open a representative office. You need to do this especially carefully, as if you yourself are launching a new business.

    As a result, you will have:
  • Amount and items of upcoming expenses at the initial stage;
  • Detailed plan for opening a company;
  • Understanding the needs of dealers;
  • Marketing strategies to attract potential buyers;
  • General plan for business development in a specific region;
  • Review and analysis of competitors.

Step 2. Develop a strategy to conquer a new market and step by step describe the process

First of all, you have studied what the dealer should do, and based on this information you can write a step-by-step plan to capture a new market. If earlier you yourself were engaged in sales, then, based on your experience, you will be able to create the right strategy for your future intermediaries.

Your task is to write the most detailed document, a kind of "instruction manual". The plan should describe all the necessary actions for the successful start of your business in a new location.

Moving step by step on your instructions, the representative will go through all the stages of becoming a business in the region, gradually moving to success. And you can optimally adjust the process of entering the dealer into the business, saving your time and resources.

Stage 3. Look for future representatives of your business

Make a "portrait" of your dealer / agent. Describe in detail, who would be interested in your product, who could promote it, for example, in parallel with its main business. Let's say you supply auto parts and engine oils. So, your products can be of interest to car repair shops with their own base of customers. They can sell your product, in addition to their main business or as a new line of business.

It is best to look for agents and dealers in areas where companies are already working with your target audience and have rich business development experience with these customers. Also successful entrepreneurs can become enterprising newcomers, without experience, but with a great desire to work in this direction and develop your business.

Stage 4. Describe your proposal for potential intermediaries

You have determined with whom you are planning to work and created the base of potential partners. Now formulate the conditions for such cooperation. Describe in detail each item, including the required volume and sales plan, the amount of remuneration, as well as other important conditions.

Describe your product. Tell us what your uniqueness is, what your advantages are and why it will be beneficial for dealers / agents to work with you. It is best to draw up a separate document.

Step 5. Get the information at first-hand

Communicate with potential mediators, conduct a survey, a kind of research, without making any proposals for cooperation so far. So you "explore" the situation and get feedback + ideas for further development.

Talk about your field of activity, share your plans for business development in this region. In the market research, ask your potential partners to answer a few questions. You will receive invaluable information: find out with which customers and how they work, whether they plan to develop in adjacent directions or to develop new markets, what products and on what terms they would like to promote, etc.

    Such a survey will allow you to achieve several goals at once:
  1. You will become "closer" to your potential representatives, gather up-to-date information about them. Thanks to this, you can improve your offer, make it more interesting, taking into account their needs.
  2. You will establish contact with possible intermediaries, thereby laying the foundation for future mutually beneficial cooperation.
  3. You can make a favorable first impression and interest your future partners with your proposal.

Step 6. Start an advertising campaign to promote your dealership proposal

Armed with current information, you have improved your own proposal. Now it fully corresponds to the real needs of possible partners. The next step is to issue it in the form of a letter and start the dispatch to potential dealers on a pre-assembled basis.

Contact him a little later. So you not only remind yourself of yourself, but also find out whether they have studied the proposal and how interesting it is to them. Discuss all details on opening a representative office.

For promotion activate several channels at once. Inform on the special sites that you are expanding the coverage and are looking for partners to build networks in a certain region. Launch contextual advertising in Google and Yandex, use social networks and a special service, which will allow you to find partners for business around the world.

Stage 7. Train a representative to work with the goods

To successfully promote your product, the dealer must know the features of doing business, as well as study the products in detail. You know your product in all its details, and your task is to teach it to your partners. Prepare training materials for them in text and video format. Monitor the process and the result of training, for example, by arranging at the end a kind of examination for knowledge of the material.

Step 8. Stay connected

Your cooperation with dealers and agents is built in the same way as working with sales managers. It is always necessary to maintain contact, give and receive feedback on the results of work, constantly train them and monitor their progress. Always stay in touch - communicate every week at least twice, keep abreast of all the news, arrange regular online conferences, hold a quarterly general meeting of dealers and agents. Feedback from dealers will help improve your product and present it well to the customer.

Involve your new partners in your business. To do this, send them a selection of useful links, not only for business, but for personal growth. After all, you are also interested in their development and prosperity.

Step 9. Develop at all times

You already have inspiring results. This is great news, but do not stop there. Expand the sales markets and dealer network, while improving my production and increasing its capacity. "Who does not develop, then degrades." This is the law of life. Always remember this!

Date of publication: 14. 08. 2018
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