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Ten Tips: Measuring Distributor Enthusiasm for your Brand

By: Greg Seminara, Export Solutions
Topics: Distributor

All your distributors express enthusiasm and commitment for your brand.
True passion for your partnership is measured by what distributors do, not by what they say. Listed below are ten tips to consider when measuring Distributor enthusiasm for your brand.

1. CEO commitment and involvement
The CEO steers the distributor ship and sets the tone for your business relationship. Best in Class Distributor CEO's reach out via phone to touch base periodically and spend time with you when you are in town . They keep up to date on your priorities and key issues and insure that his team is delivering good service and results.

2. Responsiveness to problems
Urgent situations erupt in every market. Currency devaluations, product recalls, or missed budget numbers require immediate attention. What is the distributor response time ? Does the distributor share your sense of urgency ? How long does it take to get problems fixed ?

3. Customer Introductions
Most distributors maintain good relationships with leading retailers.
Enthusiastic distributors are happy to introduce you to the leadership of their customers. These distributors will use their personal relationships and "favors" to benefit your brand.

4. Best People Assigned to Your Brand
The distributor functions as a team. Every team has superstars and developing players. How does the distributor allocate "talent" ? Are the stars working on your business ?

5. Web Site Prominence
A Distributor's web site offers important clues to distributor professionalism, services, and core brands. How prominently is your brand featured on the distributors web site ? Is a case study using your brand results mentioned ?Is your brand logo listed at the top of the page or buried  at the bottom ?

6. Distributor visits to your Headquarters
How often does the distributor travel to your headquarters or factory ?
Does the distributor have a relationship with your CEO, vice president of international , or other leaders. Many distributors are interested in  visiting companies based in San Francisco or London, but true enthusiasm accompanies meetings in  Chicago or Hamburg during the winter !

7. Creative Ideas
Distributors can be magicians at developing "new ways to solve old problems".
Good distributors bring innovative ideas to adapt your plan and funding budget to the local market. How often does your distributor apply their brilliant new idea to your brand ?

8. Distributor Awards and References
Successful distributors proudly display their awards in conference rooms and lobbies. Is your award visible ? I always ask distributors for references from other brand owners. Does the distributor use your name as a reference or request a testimonial from you on their performance ?

9. Love Your Brand
I have written an entire titled Getting your Distributors to Love your Brand.
There are many ways to feel the love. Does the distributor sales team wear the shirts with your brand logo or use the pens that you handed out at the last sales meeting v? Is the distributor able to secure a customer meeting for you on one week lead time? Are they happy to see you arrive or just to see you depart ?

10. Exceed Expectations Everyday
The most enthusiastic distributors exceed your expectations everyday.
This includes shipment results in excess of overall market growth and total organizational support behind your new product introductions. Enthusiasm is not measured in words and weeks, but in actions carried out over many years by a Best in Class partner.