Top five distribution channel errors
Creating a channel is easy, isn’t it? Everyone does it, so it has to be trouble-free and straightforward, right?
No, most alliances fail.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling computers in a brick and mortar shop or selling online or selling through multiple levels of distribution. The channels are different and require different efforts. Intermediaries, distributors or resellers sell your product to the end users. Users hear the distributors’ voice. It seems like a piece of cake, but frequently, business owners create blunders with their distribution channels.
Common major distribution mistakes:
- Expect instant results. Distribution takes time to develop and produce results. Business owners expecting immediate results quickly learn business relationships don’t move at the speed of light. Even if the business wants to move fast, take time. Start planning before you begin creating the channel. Track results together with your partners.
- Create too many channels. Other businesses put their product out in too many distribution channels. Each point of distribution requires effort from the manufacturer, and too many channels spread the resources too thinly. Can you track each channel? Do you communicate regularly with them? Is value created with each partner?
- Taking your partners for granted. Remember behind every distribution channel is a group of people working hard for you. Don’t take them for granted. Be sure your partners feel as though they are an integral part of your business. Take care of them and they will take care of you.
- Fail to inform your channels. Whether the information is innovations, recalls or just updates, inform your channels well. Communication is essential. Regular flows of information build the relationship and the channel. Teach your partners how to present your products in the most favorable light, and they will provide you with feedback on the market.
- Never build trust. Building long term relationships requires establishing trust. Celebrate successes, and share the blame. Problems will arise. Solve problems with respect, honesty and professionalism to establish trust with your distribution partners.
If businesses establish good plans and practices when it comes to their distribution channels, then outstanding results follow.
You didn’t start your business because it was easy. Channels aren’t easy. Distribution takes time and effort, but the end result can be spectacular. Take time to do it right, and not fail. Your distribution partners build value for you and become an integral part of your team.