If you’re new to the CPG industry, be sure to check out the FAQs below that can help you learn more and fast!

What is a master broker, and how is it different than a regular broker?

A broker provides sales and service for specific accounts in a specific territory. A master broker acts in a leadership and management capacity to oversee multiple brokers and their activities across the country. As a master broker, I train, manage and act as your company’s senior-level sales executive. I’m “hands-on” and very active at all retail accounts and in all business development activities. I work for YOU to provide you with consistent and effective results.

Why do we need brokers? Can’t we do it ourselves?

Most retailers prefer to work with brokers they know who live and work in their region, and know the ins and outs of how the specific retailer operates.  Each retailer has a lot of politics and intricacies that a local broker knows how to work through so you definitely want them on your team.  However, I along with a representative from my client, almost always accompany the broker to make a major presentation.  In fact, I often to the actual presenting. It is usually not a good idea to handle brokers on your own unless you have a tremendous amount of experience and plenty of time on your hands to deal with loads of account-specific politics and concerns. Leave all that to me!

What’s the standard commission for brokers?

The industry standard is 5% commission on net sales. As master-broker I earn an over-ride up to 3%.  And frankly I am a master-broker who earns it well!  I consistently invest a lot of personal funds for travel, broker meetings, senior level trade events, and even trade advertising to promote my clients and my business, together.  It is very effective and provides a strong return on your investment.

Why do we pay a retainer for a master broker?

Hiring me as a master broker is much like having a full time senior-level executive with tremendous industry know-how for a fraction of what it would cost for hiring a fulltime employee at this level. Without a retainer fee, I am unable to provide the tremendous amount of time, resources, experience, and labor it takes to position your brand for success.

Broker-management is extremely complex. Candidly, most brokers prefer to work with a master-broker like me rather than having to go through the excruciating exercise of “training the new client.”  (Sorry, but it’s true!)

Please keep in mind that for new lines, brokers will not make ANY commissions for a year or more, and in many cases, not ever.  Frankly, brokers loathe the idea of “pioneering” new lines.  They much prefer to take on the easy lines already in distribution.  However, with my relationships, my long history and frankly, my clout, with them, most of my brokers will take on my client’s new lines and work hard to make them successful.

What if we already have a broker?

No problem! Many of my established clients use me for consulting, training and often as an advisor to the company owners or managers, including their VP’s of Sales /Marketing, while other clients hire me to take over the leadership and management of its existing sales organization.  I have accomplished some amazing turnarounds with existing brokers!

We tried a master broker once but didn’t get great results. What went wrong?

Some former CPG managers try to be a “master-brokers” but lack current connections, are too one-dimensional, and lack adequate personal funding. It’s a lot harder than it looks!

Does David Biernbaum have his own network of brokers?

For best results, I like to use the outstanding pool of brokers I already work with on a regular basis. These brokers work very effectively for my clients as associates and partners.  They trust me and know I will do things the right way.  By using my current network of brokers, you will have a larger footprint of coverage over the entire U.S.

Can we hire David for consulting?

Yes! I consult for my clients in many capacities related to the CPG business.  I LOVE consulting and sharing my knowledge, experience, connections and strategies. Helping CPG companies grow is my passion!

Does David help companies with well established brands?

Absolutely! In our field, the biggest challenges come after the products are on the shelves. I will strengthen your brand development in all areas including: national sales and marketing management, consumer and retail marketing, business development, line extensions, product launches, negotiations, brand management, executive training, trade show planning, reviews, mentoring, and for many other critical functions.

What are the typical costs of doing business in retail?

Retailers look for slotting allowances, co-op advertising, exit strategies, safe-funding, etc. But don’t worry – I will coach you long before you attend your first meeting with a retailer at the buyer’s office, trade shows like ECRM, NACDS or other places where experience matters.  I have 40 years of experience negotiating with retailers!

Will David help us get ready for ECRM, NACDS, GMDC, etc.?

I have such a passion for this!!  I have worked at, or backstage in, more than 200 ECRM events, and almost every NACDS Marketplace (Total Store Expo) and GMDC event since the mid-1980s.  I will coach you through every aspect of pre-event planning, pre-selling, booth design or meeting-room layout and planning, and I will share with you my expertise for making the very best of every minute at each event with retailers. Then I will help you conduct the most effective follow up to close the deal. You will be much better prepared than your competition!

How long does it take for a new product to hit retail shelves?

Each product category is reviewed once each year at every retailer. These reviews are called category reviews or planogram (POG) reviews. For one example, the oral care category is usually reviewed in the months of August, September and October, and retailers make their decisions in November and December. New items will ship in March or April, so, overall, it’s typically a six- to eight-month process from the time the product is first presented to the retailer. It’s important to note that product categories are reviewed at different times of the year, which could also impact your timeline.