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TXDistributor
01-07-2006, 07:24 PM
I'm a new beverage distributor in the N. TX area looking for advice on penetrating the market. I'm small and have a single product (an energy drink). I've since learned that's one strike against me.

I'm trying to find out what works best to generate business with the C-stores and getting my product on the shelves.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

TIA

greg
01-09-2006, 01:00 PM
My advice would be to get out there and pound the pavement. All successful distributors started out this way. You have to be in the stores and visible so the store owner knows who you are.
If you are trying to get in corporate C-Stores then you you need to find out the corporate flow chart so you speak to the right person( buyer). This is often hard to do so persistence is important.


Why is having an energy drink one strike against you? The energy category is still hot and growing. You must be willing to give out some free product as an introduction for these guys to have insentive to pick you up.
g

JABevan
01-09-2006, 01:24 PM
Hi TIA,

I'm interested in following this post and finding out as much as possible. I hope you don't mind if I piggyback...

I'm in the southeast and am considering an opportunity presented to me to distribute energy drinks. I'm trying to get an idea of what an average day is in the beverage distribution business??? Also, what is the typical commission structure for a salesman in the distribution business???

Any advice anyone can give would be great. I'd like to know as much as possible before I decide to jump in head first.

Thanks

[ 01-09-2006, 01:25 PM: Message edited by: JABevan ]

TXDistributor
01-09-2006, 02:15 PM
Not the energy drink as a strike, but the one beverage line. We'll expand lines as we grow, but for now it's the one.

JABevan --- piggyback away. You may come up with questions, I haven't thought of!

I too am curious as to the commission structure. Only 1 1/2 of us and we'd like to get more feet on the street.

Basically, we ARE pounding the pavement. Need to pound it more. Biggest thing we're hearing is "wrong time of year." Giving away free product is not an issue. In fact we're leading with buy X cases, get 1 case free. Also thinking of consignment -- anyone familiar with this? How did it work for you?

Since this energy drink is new in our area, what are some of the best ways you've generated deman for a new beverage.

JAB -- what beverage are you thinking of. You can pm me if you'd rather not post the brand.

greg
01-13-2006, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by TXDistributor:
1.Not the energy drink as a strike, but the one beverage line. We'll expand lines as we grow, but for now it's the one.


2.Basically, we ARE pounding the pavement. Need to pound it more. Biggest thing we're hearing is "wrong time of year."

3. Also thinking of consignment -- anyone familiar with this? How did it work for you?

4.Since this energy drink is new in our area, what are some of the best ways you've generated deman for a new beverage.

1.Most but not all RedBull Dist only distribute RB.
2.BS...You need to work on your sales pitch. No Offense but that is an old and worn out excuse. People don't stop drinking Energy drinks because it is cold outside. The sales may slow some but not that drastically. The Energy category is different than the CSD category.
3.You will be ripped off. Don't do it. Give product to them and let them make money and to see how it sells before you expect to get paid. They will lie to you and tell you an employee stole them or a vendor or anything to not pay you.

4.Who are you targeting. If young adults go to where they are and give out free samples. i.e skate parks, athletic fields, bars, etc.

good luck

greg
01-13-2006, 02:48 PM
Pay is tricky. You can pay them commission only. You must be willing to hire people who are cocky, aggressive and sometimes flaky. But Comm only people usually get product in the store, but at any cost.
If you go with a base plus comm you can get more of a responsible person who will probably show up everyday and do what you ask of them while maintaining a good name for your company in the market place but not produce as many rings.

Salary only. This is a delivery guy. He will not sell much at all, unless you pay him handsomely.
g

[ 01-13-2006, 02:48 PM: Message edited by: greg ]

TXDistributor
01-17-2006, 10:35 AM
Thanks for the tips greg. Next question -- what is a "deck". I'm trying to get an appt with a corporate C-store and the buyer wants a sample and a "deck".

I'm assuming its a presentation deck. (in my old industry we referred to them as slides or decks). What type of content would you put in one if this is the case.

Thanks!

greg
01-17-2006, 12:58 PM
People call them all sorts of things. Sales Sheet, Sales Guide, Decks, Slicks, etc. I would put everything you have in there. Pricing, Distribution, Ad Slicks if available, Target Market, History, Size, Specials, anything you can think of.
The more you have the more it looks llike you have come prepared. If you don't need the information, no big deal, but if you need the info and you do not have it available then you risk looking like you didn't prepare properly which reflects negatively on you.
Put together at least 5 of these Booklets. They can be as sinple as folders or binders. Just make sure they are all set up the same so if you are in a presentation setting you can have everyone literally on the same page.
g

Mr Zabe
01-17-2006, 01:25 PM
When I was a merchandiser at P&G moons ago, I used to work with sales men in small Ma & Pa stores. The sales men had several decks that they would use for their accounts.

The good sales man did their homework and knew pretty much what the store manager would buy. It was fun to watch them work their sales presentation with their decks. The good salesmen always would say to me that the store mangers appreciated not having their time wasted. So putting them in a "yes" position was the way they sold their plans/products.

[ 01-17-2006, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: Mr Zabe ]

KD VITALIZER
01-21-2006, 06:39 AM
Contrast to the "Consignment Basis", most of the stores are not willing to adopt new products and brand name, therefore not incline to incur a financial and storage risk.

so what do you all suggest then? btw our team is from Singapore.

JP QuikServ Drinks
01-22-2006, 12:27 AM
TX, you really should email me, i was in your exact same situation last october. you can learn a great deal from me, and hopefully i could learn what maybe works for you.

please email me, you are more then welcome to pick my brain.

JPQuikServDrinks@aol.com

just say like "TX from bevnet" or something, so i know it's you. i get dozens of stupid emails from other drink companies a day,

SamboPhilly
01-31-2006, 09:41 AM
Hey
we distribute lots of things in philadelphia, and we have an energy drink division.

1. consignment: no no. definitely, owners leave for 2 week vacations, works say they dont know where owner is etc etc.

2. pay. we are on a commission only scheme. Even with base pay thats equal to the minimum quota, so the numbers work out about the same.

3. weather? definitely the warmer weather helps, but we still have decent sales with an agressive sales force.

Sam

JABevan
06-23-2006, 11:27 PM
TXDistributor,

I'm wondering how things are going for you. Business is booming for us! We've definitely learned a lot. Our biggest challenge is capitalization (as in any startup) and keeping up with the growth curve. The past few weeks have been a challenge...

I'm hiring again. I've been paying 100% commission up until now but am in serious (!!) need of more sales people and am now offering a base salary + commission.

Some of my biggest challenges have been in dealing with the manufacturers. I wont drop any names, but we've had some pretty serious conflicts of interest with one company and zero support from another.

What's working for you? What's not?

JABevan