Finding the right agent and/or distributor

Webinar posted by Josh Banks, on behalf of Open to Export

Steve Smith (Hartwell Smith Associates) and John Reed (Export Aid) both provided us with detailed information regarding how to meet and create a good relationship with your agent or distributor.

You can watch the video of the webinar below, and check out our Recent Webinars page to access all the Open to Export webinars giving practical guidance and answers to all your exporting concerns.


Agents and distributors can be tricky to get a hold of, especially when you’re selling a very specific service or product. Here are some top tips for finding the right people to help grow your business.

Key points

  1. Research is vital – Search for contact details and references to find out if they are reliable and suit your needs.
  2. Getting into contact can be hard – When emailing, make sure that you are concise and short, letting them know what you are looking for and the details of your business. Steve made the important point that you should always request a meeting in order to discuss rather than think you can do it just by email.
  3. Always strengthen your links – Once you’ve found your agent or distributor make sure that you spend the time strengthening the relationship. You can do this by making prompt payments, for example.

There are several questions that you should ask your potential agent in order to know if they are the right match for your needs. For instance what experience do they have with your specific product and how much time will they be able to dedicate to you.

John also ran over a range of questions that one might consider asking their distributor such as do they have a network of sales agents? Will they dedicate key staff to you and your product? These types of questions are important as you are working with a single point of contact.