25+ years in Sales, merchandising and FMCG
We are passionate about...
And love helping...
If this is you, then you've found a home with Elm and we'd love to hear your story
There is always space for a Distributor however the question WHEN do you use one vs do I NEED one. For many new brands the belief is that a Distributor is the answer to all your problems- you are able to get maximum coverage and only pay one bill - and if you are not worried about margin and counting every cent then this is absolutely the right move for you.
If, however, you want more control over your product, price and the overall relationship with stores then a Distributor might not be the right move. Some of the things you should keep in mind when working with a distributor include:
If you're a better-for-you brand, chances are we're already in the stores you want to get into!
This makes it easy for us to have conversations with store owners and buyer about getting you on-shelf without the fuss of you having to "hit the road" and build those relationships yourself.
Ready to get started? Here's how:
1) Let's start with a meet'n'greet. Let's talk about your product, what the retail journey will looks like, and the art of the possible
2) Next, to ensure you get ranged quickly with no hiccups along the way, we'll lock in a free 45-minute session to walk through the 12 elements of being Retail Ready
3) Once we have built that Retail Ready foundation, we'll activate your sales rep- we'll shortlist stores for quick wins, set you up on our systems, and run product training and knowledge transfer to make sure your passion comes through
4) Finally, we'll hit the ground- visiting stores, following up leads, locking in orders, and providing you weekly sales reports so you can see your business grow
Unlike a Distributor, we ensure that the relationship with stores is built directly with you. When the sales reps are in the field with your prospects, they represent YOUR brand. The customer does not know who Elm is, so there is no confusion. You have complete transparency on your stockists, what stores you're in, and you have the contact details of the buyer.
We're not some shady Advert you've seen on YouTube or Insta promising the world in 30 seconds or less. Retail takes work.
Think about the mechanics at play- to get YOUR product on-shelf means you're kicking SOMEONE else out. And that takes tenacity. And that's why you should allow 3 months to get traction. Anyone who says otherwise does not know the game.
This is a common concern that many of our clients have before working with us. We spend a lot of time getting to know your business inside out. From your products, purpose and story, all the way to how you say gday to your customers. We make sure your Elm Sales rep completely understands your offering and has the technical and product know-how to sell your brand with confidence.
It’s important to understand that sales in the retail space don’t work overnight (and be wary of people who tell you otherwise!). When it comes to the commitment, we recommend a 2-step arrangement:
- A 12-month term to give you the runway for us to establish store relationships AND build your processes; BUT
- A "Get out of Jail Free" card after the first 3 months just in case things don't work out as planned
Each of our sales reps is specifically trained on your product. As the voice of your brand, we take this very seriously so there's the expectation that our clients and reps will commit to the following:
1) As you are the expert, you will deliver the initial product training and knowledge transfer
2) Elm's Sales Manager will then take over with weekly 1:1s, sales training and role playing to refine the sales approach
3) You will commit to spending 2 days "on the road" with your rep every quarter. This serves 2 important roles: firstly, we are building the relationship directly between you and the stores so it's important for you to continue to build these relationships; and secondly, as a QA check so you can get assurance that the messaging and tone is reflecting your brand values
A simple rule of thumb is that a sales rep should bring in 10x their cost to business. This is a clear and straight forward measure of success. We back this by providing you insights and weekly reports outlining things like the stores visited that week, number of orders taken, and ROI
No. We do not believe commission-only programs provide the level of success, brand protection and more importantly, integrity, that our clients expect from us.
We track activity levels daily and evaluate performance constantly. If a sales rep is not achieving expectations and we have provided them with every opportunity to succeed, it is our responsibility to replace that rep at no cost to you.
Visiting and merchandising stores
Initiating relationships with new stores
Taking orders as required
Handling customer questions and enquiries
Planning weekly runsheet and store visit routes
Planning strategies to hit sales targets
Supporting the Owner/GM in understanding the sales process and performance
Setting up reviews & ranging conversations with buyers
Sales reports through weekly sales meetings
Document sales processes
Key Account Management
Mapping expansion plans into other states