When appointing an agent, a good starting point is to assess your view of the “ideal” agent. His or her appearance, the words they use, their behaviour; is this someone we feel we could work with?
We have asked hundreds of exporting companies to comment on the qualities they believe are important in an “Ideal” agent and their views can be summarised as follows:
- Well Connected
- Business Fit
- Well resourced
- Shared “ethos”
- Good track record
But finding the right agent isn’t just about personality and skills. It also means choosing the right type of agent. Here’s a summary:
Types of Agent
- Commission Agent
Receives a commission payment from the seller (in ••return for the introduction it provided between seller and buyer leading to the sale). This is the most common type of agent
- Stocking Agent
Receives and holds goods as consignment stock but still ••does not have title to the goods
- Servicing Agent
Provides a servicing/maintenance facility on behalf of the principal
- Exclusive – the whole market is covered by one agent
- Non Exclusive – several different agents operating in one market
- Sole agent – an agent + key accounts. There’s one agent for the market but certain key accounts are excluded. The reasons for this could be that the principal already has close contacts with the client(s), that the buying decision is made in another country, or there are Pan-European or global prices in place for certain clients.
This article is an adapted extract from Exporting Made Easy by Simon Bedford and Giles Dixon
It’s interesting to know that when a business chooses an exporting company, that there are different things that they need to look for. I think they business need to know that they should try to find one that is great with the communication skills to help them know for sure when their shipments arrived on time. Personally, I believe this will help them keep their business up and running, and keep it successful.