how to pick the right distributor
How you do when determining who is the best dist. for your brand? I know its a general question but I'm curious as to how most do their homework on dist.?
Did you check out the distribution section in ProBrewer? It has some good info - not all the answers, but some.
It's located here: http://www.probrewer.com/resources/d...ibution101.php
I have and its very helpful. Just wondering what everyone else does. Seems like many small guys are making some extremely odd decisions in my mind.
Its like a marriage
Spend some time getting to know your potential partner, the sales reps, what other brands they handle, and their reputation with retailers. Retailers are more than happy to tell you what distributors they like. And just like any marriage you have to wonder how some people end up getting together.
Picking a Distributor
I agree with the above comment. Spend some time with a potential distributor. Visit with them or invite them to visit with you, including their salespeople. If it seems like you have a hard time getting to that point with them, they may not be a good partner to begin with.
Also agreed that you should talk to retailers or other brewers. My only biased qualifier on that is that you'll almost always hear things from retailers or even other brewers that you should follow up on yourself by talking to the distruibutor directly if you have serious interest in them. As in any business, talk doesn't always reflect reality.
I agree, talk with the retailers in your area and ask them who they think does the best selling your product. We've had some problems with dist. and getting out of the agreements in some states is like pulling teeth.
I've also noticed that if the sales staff has been selling crafts for awhile they will probably do a good job with your brands. If the dist. is a major brand that is just getting into crafts, they will have the resources but not the experience in selling the craft beers.