Anyone can become a sales distributor. It just takes a little ambition, drive and determination. Distributors usually buy products from manufacturers or wholesalers directly, then sell these wares through direct sales, party plans or some other method like flea markets. Some manufacturers and wholesalers promote their distributorships through advertising. There are several key steps a person must take to become a distributor for selling products.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Manufacturer or Wholesale supplier
- Order forms
- Business cards
- Shipping boxes
- Shipping labels
Decide which types of products you want to sell. Sell products in which you are familiar or have an interest, as you will already have some knowledge about the product.
Search for wholesale distributors or manufacturers online and see who carries the type of products you want to sell. Search wholesaler sites like traderdaily.com or wholesaledir.com.
Go to the grocery store or a bookstore and search for home business magazines such as "Entrepreneur," "Home Business," "Opportunities" and others. Scan the pages to see if there are any distributors of the products you want to sell.
Call some of the wholesalers and manufacturers. Take notes on all the manufacturers and wholesalers you resource. Try to find one that offers drop shipping because drop-shippers usually allow you to purchase even one product at the wholesale price.
Read and study the terms of the contract with the manufacturer or wholesaler, according to the article "Becoming a Distributor: Distributorship Business Tips" at the morebusiness website. Sign the contract.
Find out if your wholesaler or manufacturer offers any training to new distributors, according to morebusiness.com. Sign up for the training to learn about the products.
Ask your supplier for any catalogues, price lists, order forms or other promotional materials that you can use on your sales calls. Order these items and keep them in stock. Order some product samples.
Create a name for your business, such as your last name or initials follow by "Distributors." Contact your local county administration office. Obtain an application for registering your DBA (doing business as) and vendor's license before you start selling, as you will need the vendor's license to collect sales tax from customers. Fill out the application and mail it back to the county administration office with your application fee.
Call on businesses, restaurants, hospitals and other types of businesses in your area if you are selling items they use, such as office supplies and furniture, cleaning products or computer software. Ask for the decision maker or person who make purchasing decisions, then show her your products.
Take your catalogues around to high traffic businesses such as dentist and doctor's offices, business offices and car dealerships, if you are selling to consumers. Ask the office manager if you can leave some catalogues and plenty of order forms. Make sure your company name and address are on each catalogue and order form. Make sure you have added in your sales tax and the shipping fee.
Place all orders for your products with the wholesaler, even all business customers. Ship the products out to customers, or use the drop-shipping services of your wholesaler or manufacturer.
Tips and warnings
- Consider calling some businesses and setting up an appointment before visiting them in person. That way you will have an actual appointment. The key is to fill up each day with appointments, then cold call on businesses the rest of the time.
- If you are distributing catalogues, get hundreds of them out there. Go around week or so and make sure there are plenty of order forms. Introduce new catalogues as they become available through your distributor.
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