Axente Ltd is an independent sales agent. But what exactly does that mean? And how does the sales agent relationship differ from the relationship you have with distributors?
There are a few key differences between sales agents and distributors. If you have a product that you want to get to UK retailers and resellers, who you choose will depend on a few factors…
Agents don’t buy goods from you; distributors do. Distributors offer the appeal of an immediate sale. But you have no control over what the distributor does with your products or how they are marketed further downstream.
Sales agents act as your representative to negotiate sales; they are effectively an extension of your company. One of the benefits that we offer at Axente is our connections with the key players in the IT market. We help our vendors to get their products into Europe’s second-largest market. And we can do this quickly because we know where to go and how to approach the market. With sales agents, your business retains the contract with the end customer.
Distributors simply pay you for the products they want to sell. Distributors have many products to sell, and if you are a newcomer they may not be particularly motivated to shift your goods (e.g. if they have established relationships with other vendors).
Sales agents are paid commission for the sales they secure. This means they are highly motivated to place your products with major distributors and resellers, and also drive sales of your products. Sales agents are more likely to carefully manage your products and their placement in the market, because this matters to their bottom line. The commission relationship encourages sales agent to constantly strive for better sales.
Sales agents are your representatives. They exist to help carry your brand into new territories. You will have a close working relationship with your sales agent and they will be keen to understand your goals. Agents negotiate with the key distributors and resellers, ensuring that you get the best deal in the shortest possible time.
How do you choose?
One consideration is whether there is a sales agent or a distributor with the right connections to sell your products. Is there someone out there with the perfect mix of contacts and channel experience for your brand? An experienced sales agent can help you leapfrog many of the challenges usually associated with expanding into new markets, and could be a significant asset.
If you want to talk directly to a distributor, you need to be prepared to negotiate with someone who may have a much more complete view of the market, and therefore a stronger negotiating position.
Trying to launch a product in the UK? Talk to Nigel Lado at Axente about our IT channel expertise today.