Beverage Distribution/Energy shot

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Question
Hello
I am starting my energy shot brand in a growing market and we already have inventory and want to launch soon,
How do we get distribution for our new brand, where do we look  and tips on closing deals
Thanks

Answer
It requires peddling a brand to build up interest.  Perhaps though, there are many competitors already in the market, with distribution.  And that the best distributors for this niche will be reluctant to take on other brands - especially if they are sitting on inventory and/or have exclusive category agreements.

If the product is that much stronger than others, then you could build local following to attract the interest of a distributor and build custom organically.  It's slow though.  

You can also take on selling the product yourself, passing orders back to a distributor that just does delivery.  This requires a sales force, marketing and a promotion budget.

You might also investigate some tie up with a particular outlet; or try to get a listing through a major retailer - this will cost, but it'll get you some visibility.

As to closing a deal...

There's a lot that goes into a distribution agreement; and I've written at length on this previously:-
- marketing, promotional budget, executing in-store
- breach and renewal rights
- dealing with territory overlap
- collecting sales statistics (who buys, where, when)
- terms - 30 days, 1/2 up front
- returns, policy
- handling out-of-stocks
- turn around time on re-ordering

Most distributors will want you to carry the risk; you're trying to do the opposite.  

You need to have a selling story, work out a plan as to how to get there.

You might also benefit from a beverage broker.  Try LinkedIn (Food & Bev; Drinks International Groups) asking if there are people interested in the product.

Beverage Distribution

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Eric Hofer

Expertise

Over 27 years experience, with 17 in international FMCG in back office operations and in field sales and data collection, including design, development and deployment of Handhelds, Marketing Equipment (Service, Tracking and Return on Investment), reporting and Vending management. Have participated on the launch of operations in new markets, and re-engineered the back office in several countries.

Experience

Designed and led the development and deployment internal ERP system for Pepsi used in On-Premise/Vending in 13 markets. Designed 2 handheld systems, the latest is now deployed in 4 markets internationally. Re-engineered the back office functions (settlements, despatch, invoicing, credit control, etc) for over 20 snack, confectionary and beverage operators. Developing software: Progress, VB, Access, C, Sybase, SA

Organizations
Innovative-Selling Solutions; SalesSuite

Publications
BudapestSun

Education/Credentials
State University of New York - BA Economics NYU - Courant - Graduate work - Computing

Awards and Honors
Moderator of LinkedIn CEE Group

Past/Present Clients
PepsiAmericas PepsiCola International PepsiCola Company British Steel British Telecom Britvic (Pepsi's bottler in the UK) AT&T BellSouth Mars Overseas Bottling Pepsi France Matutano (Frito-Lay Spain) Frito-Lay Pepsi Foods International Chase Manhattan Bank Kidder Peabody National Power SmithKline Beecham Mars Overseas Bottling (Pepsi Azerbaijan) A&P Bottling (Pepsi Serbia & Montenegro) Iberia Bottlers (Pepsi Georgia)

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