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David will COACH you with “BROKER MANAGEMENT 101.”   Otherwise, you will soon find that synchronizing, controlling, and motivating brokers do is not easy or intuitive.

  • FREE TIP: Avoid the large “National brokers” and  “National Sales Companies.”  These companies tend to be too “corporate” for the needs of most smaller brands. With national brokers your company will be lost in the sea of the big brands that these firms represent.  Typically, the reps that work in these firms tend to be good with “process,”  but often lack the ambition and assertiveness to work around the barriers. These firms have a tendency to get an allotment of time with the buyer to squeeze in all their lines.

Case in Point: I know a company that is using one of these national companies, and was recently told that they would only be given 5 minutes at Albertson’s to review their business and present their new items.  The reason: because the big national sales organization was allotted just one hour to parade all of their client-brands through.  Meanwhile, this company’s chief competitor, no bigger or smaller in size, had the full 30 minutes on the day before to meet with the very same buyer.  Why?  Because the competitor is using the right-size broker that doesn’t have to split the appointment time with multiple companies.

  • In contrast, AVOID THE HUNGRY LONE-WOLF  that has an “in” with only one buyer, or one account, in an otherwise large footprint with multiple accounts.  You will have a difficult time finding other brokers to represent you at the rest of the accounts in the same region.  Often these reps tend to lack proper access  as well.
  • David’s network of brokers are highly experienced, most are former CPG executives or CPG category managers that have proper access to each retail account. David’s brokers are mid-size regionals; highly seasoned, accessible, know the accounts, and most have worked with David Biernbaum for many, many years.
  • DB will accompany brokers on major appointments. You and/or David usually do the presenting, not the broker by himself or herself.  Brokers PREFER this!  David knows extremely well how to prepare for the meetings, and to get the brokers ready. DB will maximize broker-efforts, without putting them in a position to fail.  DB  will leave nothing to “chance.”
  • DB relentlessly communicates and provides the brokers with all the right materials he or she needs to help the client maximize each appointment.  In addition, David knows how to constantly tap the broker for the information David and the client needs to keep up with changes and new data, from each retail client.
  • DB systematically evaluates, trains, and provides professional assistance to the brokers and client on an ongoing every day basis.


Saturday, June 5, 2010 CHAIN DRUGSTORE DAILY



David Biernbaum is a Master Broker Sales Consultant and CPG Business Development specialist since 1977. His background includes major national brands, niche, licensed and specialty brands, and held pivotal executive positions in major companies such as Gillette, P&G and GSK, and also consulted numerous ‘small brands’ to success in many consumer goods categories. He also consults with major retail executives and is a daily ‘BrainTrust’ panelist on

CDM: What is a master broker? 

DB: A master broker is an independently contracted ‘National V.P. of Sales’ that manages and oversees the entire broker sales force for the client company. An effective master broker directs the activities of the broker sales force account by account day to day. David Biernbaum & Associates helps to develop accounts-specific sales presentations and fully participates at key accounts appointments to help drive success, the right communications and results, and timely follow-up. 

CDM: Why should a company hire a master broker?

DB: Hiring and managing brokers to get effective results requires a very certain set of knowledge and skill sets that are learned over many years of experience. I make certain that we are keeping a razor sharp eye on everything brokers are doing. The broker process needs constant dexterous attention to avoid common mistakes, oversights and pitfalls. 

CDM: What are some of the common mistakes and pitfalls? 

DB: Sending brokers out without complete presentations and comprehensive business proposals, or being pressed into unfavorable deals with a retailer that will never be overcome, and not hiring the right brokers in the right places for a given category or retail situation. 

CDM: Which brokers does David Biernbaum & Associates work with? 

DB: We work with most reputable brokers in the United States in each individual market. Selection is based on client needs, timing, relationships and category characteristics. We have a terrific working relationship with nearly all the broker organizations in the nation.  We know how to match up the right brokers in every situation. However, in any case, the real factor is in how we oversee and manage them. 

CDM: What is a business development consultant? 

DB: For many of my clients I’m not in the master broker role but more in a consulting and support role. I’m hired to either train or develop executives within the company, and/or to assist, advice, coach and provide my fullest support in many different areas day to day. For example, I get involved in developing comprehensive retail sales presentations and proposals behind the scenes, or to assist with critical package and design selection, or tocreate strategic competitive strategies, or to help in the backstage to manage brokers. I also work with companies to build meaningful budgets and of course to help in every aspect imaginable to prepare and execute successful strategies for NACDS Marketplace, ECRM, GMDC, PLMA and any or all other pivotal trade events. 

CDM: What are the most common mistakes companies make that prevent growth and success? 

DB: Underestimating the skill sets and amount of attention needed to manage brokers, retail appointments, category reviews, trade spending, promotion and good timing. In addition, package design is so much more than just a creative function. So many great product ideas fail because they don’t really understand what needs to be on a package and what not, to drive retail sales off the shelves. Also many companies do not truly understand the true costs, or sequences of events, or the right order in which things have to happen to achieve retail success in consumer goods. 

CDM: How does David Biernbaum & Associates help to make it happen right? 

DB: There is no substitute for experience, knowledge and passion. Whether I’m a master broker, business development consultant or both, for any given client, I will make sure that the overall components of the business are approached together and dynamically. These components include brokers, sales management, consumer marketing, the right retail appointments, presentations and proposals all at the right times, trade promotion and careful but strategic spending, the right packaging and design, and a well planned out approach to fully capitalize on trade shows and industry events. All of these areas need to be thought about and worked together under the right dynamic guidance. That’s what we do!