Questions to Ask Manufacturers

Edition: August 2001 - Vol 9 Number 08
Article#: 1030
Author: Repertoire

Thinking of taking on a new product? Not so fast. Get some questions answered by the manufacturer first. These questions were devised by Cindy Juhas for a past HIDA conference session.


Your Company



  • What is your position in the market? Can you give me an overview of the market? What type of growth are you experiencing? What are your annual sales? What are your goals in dollars, units, target customers, market share?

  • What is your long-range strategy? Do you have any products in development?

  • How many sales reps do you support? Where are they located? What are their goals and responsibilities? How are they paid?

  • What is your marketing strategy? Direct mail campaigns? Advertising? Promotion schedule? Industry shows attended?

  • What is your distributor strategy? Small? Large? Niche? Exclusive? Semi-exclusive?



Product Focus



  • What products are you currently focusing on?

  • What is the market opportunity? What is your market share now? What is the size of the marketplace? Growth rate? Market share goal? Time frame?

  • What differentiates your product from the competition? Why does the market need this product? What about reimbursement? CPT codes? Regulations?

  • What is the sales cycle? Competition? Pricing? Life expectancy of product

  • What is the distributor's margin? How can the distributor earn more?

  • What do you expect from the distributor? Leads? Demos? Sales? Buy-in? Sales meetings? Work contact days? Sales tracings? Marketing? Focus? Commitment?

  • How will you help the distributor? Education? Sales meetings? Work contact days? Lead generation program? Promotions? Customer service? Focus? Commitment?

  • What other distributors will have the product?

  • When will you be ready to ship the product? Is it cleared by the FDA?