Selecting Channel Members

During the selection process, producers should determine what characteristics distinguish the better intermediaries. They will want to evaluate number of years in business, other lines carried, growth and profit record, solvency, cooperativeness, and reputation. If the intermediaries are sales agents, producers will want to evaluate the number and character of other lines carried and the size and quality of the sales force. If the intermediaries are store or Internet retailers that want exclusive distribution, the producer will want to evaluate locations, brand strength, future growth potential, and type of clientele.

Selection of channel participants is actually a two-way process: Just as producers select their channel members, the intermediaries also select their producer partners. Yet producers vary in their ability to attract qualified intermediaries. Toyota was able to attract many new dealers when it first introduced its Lexus line, but Polaroid initially had to sell through mass-merchandising outlets when photographic-equipment stores would not carry its cameras.

Selection can be a lengthy process. Consider the experience of Japan's Epson Corporation. A leading manufacturer of computer printers, Epson decided to add computers to its product line but chose to recruit new distributors rather than sell through its existing distributors. The firm hired a recruiting firm to find candidates who (1) had distribution experience with major appliances, (2) were willing and able to set up their own distributorships, (3) would accept Epson's financial arrangements, and (4) would handle only Epson equipment, although they could stock other companies' software. After the recruiting firm went to great effort to find qualified candidates, Epson terminated its existing distributors and began selling through the new channel members. Despite this time-consuming, detailed selection process, Epson never succeeded as a computer manufacturer.11

Salehoo Secrets and Tips

Salehoo Secrets and Tips

As with any web site, SaleHoo has a number of features that will help you in buying products from around the world. Once you have an account on SaleHoo, which only costs a one-time fee, you can establish up to twenty named searches for products. After that, any time those items become available, you’ll be alerted.

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