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If your company is looking to expand into retail for the first time or looking to expand into a specific retail chain, then you likely need a “product broker”.
Other names used to describe a product broker are manufacturer representative, vendor representative, and supplier representative. No matter the title, you want to be sure they are qualified for the specific retailer you have in mind.
A qualified product broker should have unique relationships, experience, and insight within a particular retail chain. This may include an in depth knowledge of processes, a long history of experience and knowledge about the retailer, a strong relationship with the buying staff, and more.
Using unique skills, background, and information, a product broker will assist manufacturers and service providers in creating unique programs to fit the retailer of choice at little to no cost. This service includes product selection, packaging, fulfillment, presentation creation, pricing verification, meeting set-up, meeting attendance, assistance with retail agreements, customer service, purchase order review, collections and much more.As a rule, a manufacturer and/or service provider’s primary focus should be on manufacturing or serving. Sales, especially large retail sales, should be handled by an established professional to ensure communications are done per the retailers’ expectations. This includes calls, meetings, proposals, customer service, etc. A product broker provides knowledge and experience which qualifies them to represent your company well, without spending hundreds of hours and unnecessary failures to gain the “know-how” on your own. This is all too often a costly mistake as well as damaging to your reputation with the retailer and its buying staff.