Editorial in the Field


What is it that makes a rep successful? Is it having the most principals? The most customers? Making the most money?

While any one or all of those may be desirable, there are far more important factors that in the end provide lasting satisfaction in a successful career. There are three key attributes a rep needs in order to be successful in his business life. Let’s look at them and see how they help to increase one’s success as a rep.

The primary one is integrity. Integrity must be present in every action with the rep’s three constituents: principal, customer … Read the rest

Rep’s Belief in Service Paves “Perfect” Business Path


Among the many attributes that Compton Sales, Inc. possesses that attracts the attention of its customers and principals is the agency’s belief in a service philosophy. That means the firm sets an example for others when it comes to:

  • Making the calls that have to be made.
  • Constantly selling its customers’ customers.
  • Staying in constant touch with its principals and customers.

At least that’s the view of one of that firm’s principals. Novatech Glass Group, Inc. thought so highly of the Duluth, Georgia, agency that it recommended we include the rep firm in our growing list of “Perfect Reps.”

According … Read the rest

Tips & Tactics

Some important security tips….

Our thanks for Gary Brusacoram, CPMR, Andrews-Johnson-Brusacoram, Minneapolis, Minnesota, who forwarded the following security tips from an attorney that had been passed on to him. If followed, these suggestions can do much to limit damages if a theft occurs.

The next time you order checks, have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.

Do not sign the back … Read the rest

CDs Are Coming Back in Style


With the Federal Reserve continuing to raise interest rates, some investors are taking a new look at certificates of deposit (CDs). CDs are time deposits issued by banks and thrifts across the country that are insured up to $100,000 per depositor through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

CDs fell out of favor with many investors when interest rates hit rock bottom, but now, after the Federal Reserve’s series of interest-rate hikes since mid-2004, short-term rates hover around 4.5%, and many investors are once again turning to CDs. According to MSNBC, the amount of money invested in traditional CDs now … Read the rest

How Many Mutual Funds Is Too Many?


You’ve probably heard for years that diversification is one of the keys to successful money management. And as many employees of scandalized companies have recently learned, lack of diversification can mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and possibly none at all. (Note, however, that diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against loss in a declining market). But are you one of those investors who collect mutual funds like other people take aspirin? If two are good, then four must be better?

It’s easy to get into the rut of owning an overabundance of funds. You might have … Read the rest

Really Cool Ways to Blow It on the Internet


Every business today needs an online presence, but blowing it on the internet is easier than you think if you have the wrong assumptions about what a good website is. Perhaps we can learn what to do by looking at what not to do. Here are some ideas that will help a company to go out of business on the Internet fast.

Really cool ways to blow it online:

  • Have a really slow website that has lots and lots of graphics showing what you think is really cool. After all, you tried it on your really fast T3 or T1
Read the rest

MANA President Offers Reflections Upon Leaving Office


Too often, individuals who are confident or even foolish enough to offer predictions concerning the future are not held accountable for what they thought was going to transpire. After eight years, however, as Joe Miller leaves his position as president and CEO of MANA, Agency Sales magazine has asked him to comment on his thoughts about the future as he leaves the association. We do this at the same time we look back at predictions Miller made several years ago.

In an editorial in the December 1997 issue of MANA’s monthly magazine, Miller maintained: “These are exciting times for the … Read the rest

Bob Trinkle to PTRA: The Times Are A-Changing


It might be a bit of a stretch to hear Copernicus and futurist Alvin Toffler mentioned in the same presentation, but that’s exactly what happened — to great effect — at this year’s PTRA Annual Conference in Tampa, Florida.

Then former rep and current consultant and author Bob Trinkle began his presentation, entitled “The Times Are A-Changing,” aimed at dispelling myths that surround the rep profession, he drew upon those two figures to assist in making his points.

Trinkle, co-author with Erin Anderson of Outsourcing the Sales Function: The Real Costs of Field Sales, emphasized that both Toffler and … Read the rest

Would I Be Happy as a Rep?


You are, in all probability, already a rep. So, maybe this should read:

  • “Should I be happy as a rep?”
  • “Do I still enjoy being a rep?”
  • “If not, why not?”

I think these are rather basic questions that ought to be considered. The answers are not simple, but the principles behind the questions are.

If you are indeed a rep, the initial questions to ask are: “Why did I take the step, and have I realized what I needed or wanted to accomplish? Am I reasonably happy, or at least am I happier doing this than whatever I was … Read the rest

Slaying the Gatekeepers: How to Get to the Top to Make the Sale


“Go No Further.” That might as well be the sign implied, perceived or implanted in most people’s minds when it comes to dealing with gatekeepers. Yet, if left in place, these blockers can kill your chances of making the sale because they control where and how your message moves upward.

It’s amazing how people stick with gatekeepers until they are about to lose the deal. Then, they come up with all sorts of creative ideas to charge upwards. Here are several ways to move these dragons out of the way.

Always Put Together a Penetration Strategy

Once a prospect gives … Read the rest

Paying the Rep for Work Done


A recent court decision reinforced long-standing tenets of the rep-principal relationship. According to Tom Moore, an attorney with the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Watje & Moore law firm:

  • “An important lesson for the principal and the rep in this case is that if the rep successfully performs the work the principal asks him to perform, then he should be fairly compensated for his efforts.”
  • Sometimes having only an oral agreement between the rep and principal is preferable to a written contract. Concerning the latter, Moore explained, “If a contract existed that was worded in such a way that the termination of the
Read the rest

The Top Rep Myths in the Eyes of a Rep


This article exposes 10 rep myths that deserve to be eradicated. If you have any additional rep myths, kindly share them with me, and please don’t submit, “All reps are rich.” We all know that is the ultimate myth!

Reps Don’t Understand Distribution

This is a plausible statement if the rep that you refer to sells only to OEM accounts and lives in a cave. Also, there is a strong possibility that he won’t be around for the long term. Perfect reps embrace all sales channels to achieve maximum market share and penetration. The distribution channel is the most viable … Read the rest

Identifying Buying Signals


For a salesperson, identifying buying signals is the ability to analyze the events in a sales situation and make a determination as to when the prospect is ready to buy.

A salesperson with good skills in this area is attuned to the verbal and nonverbal signals of their prospect or customer. A common mistake that many salespeople make is approaching a prospect or customer with a preplanned presentation and delivering a “pitch” — blatantly or inadvertently ignoring buying signals even if the prospect may be ready to buy.

This improvable skill of identifying buying signals is a combination of intuitive … Read the rest

Common Sales Challenges That Prevent Executive-Level Access


With the complexity of today’s business solutions and their far-reaching effects, more often than not senior-level executives are actively involved in the process of assessing the issues and their options. Yet many companies are finding their best sales and marketing strategies are highly diluted by the time they reach their customers, and their sales professionals are not connecting to the power in the executive suite.

Gaining access and connecting to executive decision makers is one challenge that most sales professionals continue to seek a better solution to. There are several common challenges that sales professionals need to resolve in order … Read the rest