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Research, Research, Research: Distribution: What Can You Do For Diamond?

A column article by: Ace Masters

Last time, I went over what Diamond can do for you. I stressed the fact that once Diamond agrees to distribute your product, you have entered into a relationship. And all relationships should be mutually beneficial. My column ended with this Burning Question: What can you do for Diamond?

That may seem like an odd question, reading it straight off. After all, isn't the idea that Diamond should now do things for you?

Not quite.

You cannot go into any relationship, even a business relationship, if you only consider what you would gain. The other partner in your relationship wants to gain something as well. (Besides, if there was never going to be a benefit for the other partner, why would anyone want to enter into a relationship with you?)

Diamond knows what it can do for you. (And you should know what Diamond can do before you go there, which was covered my last column.) What Diamond needs to know (and believe) is that carrying your product will be beneficial for business.

In other words, you have to show Diamond what you can do to help your mutual business proposition out, starting with your submission package. (For more information on how and what to submit to Diamond, please view their website.)

Your submission package is your introduction to Diamond; it's where you showcase yourself to Diamond. This package should show Diamond what kind of product you have, its quality, and what you plan to do with it down the line.

Now, it is not enough to submit your package to Diamond; you must show how it will benefit Diamond. In other words: what you can do for Diamond.

So, what can you do for Diamond? There are three things, minimum, you must show that you can do:

  1. Produce a quality product.
  2. Deliver the product on time.
  3. Advertise/Market/Promote/Sell your product.

If any one of these things are lacking, then Diamond might pass. If they do, most likely they will send out a form letter letting you know that Diamond doesn't feel your product is "right for Diamond at this time," or words to that effect.

But if you can do these three things, then you have taken a giant step in the right direction.

You need to convince Diamond that there's a chance for you both to make money by distributing your product. Once you convince them, Diamond will distribute your product, which means you have a greater chance of making money (but only if you follow through on those three things – do not forget them, ever.)

Now, is there anything else you can do for Diamond beyond these three things? That is something you need to figure out for yourself, as there is no clear answer. But take heart -- there may be dozens of things you can do.

One way to figure out these things is to try a little "role reversal." Consider that you are the Diamond brand manager talking to a new publisher. What would you want to see and hear in order to know this business is a growing concern? What could a new publisher do or say that would make you, as one of Diamond's brand managers, want to make a deal?

Once you've done your brainstorming, you should be able to come up with ideas. Then, write down the list of what you would want to hear in Diamond's place.

Guess what? You now have a potential list of things you can do for Diamond.

Maybe you came up with a detailed business plan. Or, perhaps, you came up with a promotional plan. Or maybe it's something else that no one else has ever thought of before. Whatever it is, take your list and work from it. Then approach Diamond and lay out exactly what you can do for Diamond.

Show Diamond that distributing your product will benefit Diamond. And that should benefit you in the long run.

Keep in mind, Diamond wants to make money. So what you can do for Diamond will ultimately benefit you as much, if not more than, it benefits Diamond.

This is how you lay the groundwork. But to get there, you should be thinking about what sorts of ideas you can pitch to Diamond – these ideas should be gestating, deep inside your brain.

The next step is the "make or break" point, and I am going to leave it with you as this week's Burning Question:

What is the best way to submit projects to Diamond?

Until next time,

Ace.

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