How to choose the best partner for your business?
As we saw in our last post, when entering a new market, a company needs to decide the channel strategy that it is going to employ. According to our strategy and product type, the best option can be to use indirect selling. In this case, we have to take into consideration to choose the best partner for us. There are several factors that may affect our corporation and that we need to foresee to avoid unexpected and damaging events.
Issues to consider before choosing a partner
Indirect selling implies dealing with an intermediary who will bridge the gap between the producer and the future client. As the name suggests, with this type of channel, we are not going to have face-to-face contact with the consumer, which raises a risk increase due to these two main factors:
Less control over the product selling: Since we will sell our product through an intermediary, we will not be able to supervise while the product is introduced to the client, control the customer relationship management and choose the given service, among other things. That is, we will lose control over our product reputation in this new market. Besides, to receive feedback from the client will be a slow-moving process.
Conflict of interest: discrepancies with the partner could emerge, resulting in a commercial relationship breakup. This would lead to difficulties in finding out new clients in that market.
How to reduce risk looking for the proper partner?
Emphasizing the terms and conditions of the business relationship and selecting the proper partner is not just going to reduce the risk but also give out some benefits like the following ones:
Saving costs: The partner will be in charge of the marketing and commercialization, so the initial investment is going to be lessened.
Market knowledge: our partner is going to have local knowledge and stablished local clients, from which we can take advantage of.
Which is the right partner?
To precisely outline the partner profiles is getting harder. But generally, we can talk about choosing between distributors and agents.
Distributors: this type of partner will reduce even more the initial investment because they will buy from you and then sell to their clients, so the financial risk and import tasks belong to them. They also assume marketing and post-sales services, so the image and brand reputation relies on them too. In this case, to avoid future conflicts, it is necessary to establish the responsibilities of both the manufacturer and intermediary in a very precise manner.
Commercial agent: in this case, we will just have a person (or a sales team) prospecting the new area they acknowledge, but the marketing strategy and stock title will still belong to us, so we will carry a higher risk than when working with a distributor.
When appointing between one profile or the other, besides all of the above, we should take into consideration which one will rapidly reach and better recognize our target audience. This will change depending on the market we want to open up.
Overall, we can regard that the selection of a sales channel can be very helpful and advantageous, provided that it is chosen in a very deliberate way and we establish clear terms and conditions with our partner. Furthermore, we need to succeed in making our ally believe in our product and take care of it the same way we would do.
At Ferrer-Dalmau, thanks to more than 100 years of experience as Country Managers, we are able to understand your product and commercialize with success in the Spanish market. Building trusting relationships with our partners, keeping in mind their recommendations and performing an on-going results analysis are key factors in our sales strategy. Take a look what our partners are saying about us.
Contact us for more information.