Questions to Ask When Picking a Wholesale Partner

Adding a new market can be a time of frustration, but coming in with a plan to pick a distributor to work with for the expansion into a territory can be helpful in quicker success.

Hannah Perkins of Colorado’s Holidaily shared with Brewer that the gluten-free brewery prepares as much as they can by understanding the future market needs, be that in projections for an increase of raw materials and equipment needs to map out a checklist of what to ask potential distro partners.

Below are questions Perkins said they ask wholesale distributors to see if they’re the right fit for the company:

  • Do you have a solid training process in place for the sales team to fully understand the brands they sell?
  • What are your company’s core values?
  • How is your sales team structured? 
  • What chains do you work with currently?
  • How often do you deliver to current large chains?  
  • Do you have a point of contact that calls on chains specifically?
  • What are you seeing in the development of the GF (gluten-free) category in your market?
  • Off the top of your head, what Off Prems and On Prems do you see Holidaily fitting into?  
  • What is the process for educating your sales staff on new brands and emerging categories?

“No market is the same, so it really depends on the territory and our go-to-market strategy,” Perkins said once a distributor partner is picked and the thought leans toward hiring for the market. “This usually means adding an additional body or additional resources to the new market expansion.” 

Holidaily will either hire from within the company to move someone to the market if that is the best choice or hiring from the market can be a positive way to get a local with boots on the ground going quickly.

“They know the area best,” she said. “What has worked best for us in building our brand in markets quickly is a combination of chain presence and PODs, distributor buy-in and share of mind, brand awareness efforts and marketing, and [the] classic ‘liquid to lips’ opportunities.”

Photo courtesy Holidaily Brewing

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