By Bob Dean Stanford (The Maverick Entrepreneur)
Thursday, June 09, 2005; 6:00pm EST
PART 1 OF 2
If you have a marketing business, chances are you get excited at the prospect of acquiring a new product to sell. One challenge to marketing, especially over the Internet, is the amount of competition. Affiliate programs often create an enormous amount of competitors offering identical products. Experienced marketers realize the benefit and excitement of being the first to make a new product offering of an affiliate product, or even better, their own exclusive product.
Suppose you've done your research and located a couple of products that you believe potential buyers are seeking, ones you feel are the next generation of hot, high demand items. You want to offer them and beat the competition to the niche market. You know you could really make a financial killing if you had exclusive rights to them, by marketing them yourself and through your own affiliate program. How do you acquire exclusivity of these products?
The prime benefit of having exclusive product rights is the level of control you have and potential for greater income. Personally, I will only represent products that I control through exclusive rights. The only exceptions are affiliate programs, but this is a different discussion entirely. I am excluding affiliate programs relative to this subject, since they are the exception. I have been marketing products in many categories for nearly forty years, both intangibles (services, financial etc.), and tangibles (physical products in many categories) and have made most of the mistakes possible, as well as my share of successes. Experience teaches you to not waste your time, money and effort. The following is an overview of the basics to acquiring product exclusivity.
I only represent products that I can gain exclusive rights for my market and I will get paid something for every product unit sold, even if sold by others. Exclusive rights means no one else can purchase that product without purchasing it through you, including wholesalers, distributors, affiliates, and etc.
The secret is to locate a product already selling, but is not available in your niche market yet. Its exposure is currently very limited. Many companies make great products but don't really know how to sell them, or how to locate and reach other markets. That's where you come in. Think outside of the box. You are suggesting to the manufacturer or company that controls the product that he should give you exclusive rights for a special market he isn't yet covering. Once you show him you can perform, he will likely give you additional exclusive rights for that product or service in other market niches.
For example, he's selling his product only through distributors that sell to retail stores, who in turn retail to the end user, the final customer. He would like to reach new markets if the opportunity arose. That's where you come in.
You desire to sell over the Internet, through your website, newsletter, and affiliates. You're opening up a new, potentially mass market for him. Perform well, and you may get international rights, direct mail exclusivity and etc. I negotiated total exclusive rights on a product, in all markets, even though the manufacturer was directly selling to over 200 clients nationwide. And, we secured international - worldwide exclusive rights. He realized we could outsell him even in the market he was already serving and he was satisfied with the bigger picture of my group handling all sales. He realized he would make more income with much less work on his part by having us make all sales.
The nice thing about a product that is already being sold in a very limited market is the manufacturer can already provide you with literature, product samples and his successful marketing programs. In the USA, I never had to pay for initial product samples, though I understand that climate is starting to change. I have paid for a few foreign samples over the years.
Did you realize that it's been reported that only about 4% of all manufactures export their products outside of America? Did you know some companies secure exclusive rights on a product or service, then sell those rights to a third party that is setup to market it? Sometimes you can just work as a Finder making an income through selling your services through the Finders Exchange. There is great value in securing exclusive product rights.
How To Request Exclusive Rights
? Since most manufacturers only sell their products through two or three methods, you may get exclusive rights for other markets like the Internet or mail order.
? Once the manufacturer sees you can perform in the market he's assigned to you, he will likely give you additional exclusive rights to other markets..
? Never pay for exclusive rights. You are opening up new markets and sales for him at your expense. Remember, time is money and that's what you will be providing. Your total upfront cost should be for postage, and maybe a sample if you can't talk him into a free review product.
? Don't buy a large upfront inventory. If possible, just get a few samples, and work with these and possibly some pictures or catalog sheets (glossy pictures with product description and specifications). If you need an inventory, be conservative, and start with as little as possible. Use all the existing selling aids you can get from the manufacturer, to start with.
? Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. If you calculate you realistically need to make a certain amount of money per unit, and you expect to conservatively sell a specific minimum of units per month, don't be pressured into higher prices or greater sales numbers. Only settle for what you believe to be fair and realistic. If they want more than you believe fair or realistic, pass up the product and find another one from someone else.
? When negotiating for new product exclusivity, expect to get your share of refusals and turndowns. Keep plugging along and you'll likely get that winner in time. The manufacturer wants to work with you, and especially wants you to succeed. But, he wants to be represented by a true professional that can perform, making sales according to his goals. It's your job to convince him you are that person. Give him reasons why you can perform by showing some past successes, and your ability to penetrate the
market you are requesting exclusivity for. Don't be too specific or you'll give away your trade secrets and he may feel he may not need you, because he now believes he can now do it himself, since you've given him the idea.
The steps to gaining exclusive rights are in Part Two.
About the Author
Bob Dean Stanford, aka Maverick, age 58, is host of the upcoming television show "The Maverick Entrepreneur," scheduled to air in September 2005, targeting aspiring entrepreneurs and home business individuals. His new Internet radio show of the same name is scheduled to air in July 2005. He specializes in creative and backdoor (creative) marketing techniques with emphasis in business consulting, marketing, new product development, and newsletter publishing. Subscribe to his FREE newsletter "The Maverick Entrepreneur"? at http://maverickentrepreneur. com (TV show support website) or http://stanfordtc. com (Stanford Trade Center, Inc.) email mavnewsletter@maverickentrepreneur. com