The Newest Way for Manufacturers to Find Representatives

image reps wantedManufacturers love the responses they get when they advertise for representatives in Agency Sales magazine, and many take advantage of Agency Sales’ premium ads that push e-mails directly to targeted MANA representative members. So we’ve decided to build on the success we’ve had with Agency Sales “Representative Wanted” advertising and add a whole new “online only” component to our “Representative Wanted” advertising offering.

Why add a new “online only” component? As you know, Agency Sales ads are professionally designed to fit a magazine format, and can optionally be broadcast by e-mail to MANA representative members. Of course, when a manufacturer places a print ad:

  • The size of the print ad limits the number of words a manufacturer can use to describe his or her products.
  • Once the ad is placed, the message cannot be changed unless the manufacturer places another ad.

How does that change with an “online only” platform?

Because the ad does not come out in print:

  • We can give manufacturers virtually unlimited space to describe their products! Of the first 29 manufacturers to place ads on this new platform, only one was able to come up with enough text to completely fill the available space.
  • The manufacturer has complete control to change the ad for the entire term of the ad. That’s a real bargain for manufacturers who want to hire a Michigan representative first, then an Ohio representative, and then an Illinois representative. This new platform lets manufacturers buy an ad for one, three, six, or twelve months, and lets them change the ad from “Ohio Representative Wanted” to “Michigan Representative Wanted” by logging in to their MANA account and revising the text.

We’re excited about the response we’ve already gotten from manufacturers: 29 placed ads in the first two weeks the platform went online. So we’ll be adding new features early in 2014, like options for manufacturers to choose:

  • Premium placement for their ad.
  • A link from the iToolbox to their ad.
  • Featured status with the manufacturers’ logo added and headline bolded.
  • Push e-mail notifications to carefully targeted MANA members.

We are proud and excited to bring this new service to our manufacturer and representative members — one more new benefit of your MANA membership.

To view the ads, visit:

To place an ad, visit (note, this is https not http):

Partners in Profit and More


As a MANA member for over 35 years, I recall many outstanding articles Agency Sales magazine has written, covering everything from “Starting an Agency” through “Succession Planning.” In this month’s issue we key in on the theme, “Professional Manufacturer’s Representatives Working Together with Manufacturers as Partners in Profit.” Information provided throughout the years in Agency Sales has been a tremendous resource to me. So when I was asked to write this editorial, I wondered what I could possibly add to the subject that has not already been said. Drawing on many years of experience puts me in rather a unique Read the rest

Examining the Agent-Principal Partnership


Honesty, integrity, trust, diligence and communication — those are just a few of the words that are repeated over and over when industry observers are asked what they believe are the most important ingredients for agents and principals to have in order to be described as “Partners in Profits.”

Industry consultants/observers Allan Lamberti, Tom Halpin, Hank Bergson and Bob Cangemi were asked their thoughts on the concept that independent manufacturers’ representatives who work with principals as trusted partners in profits succeed at a higher rate than those who do not. All were quick to agree that there are obviously some … Read the rest

Fallout From an Oral Contract


When it comes to contracts between independent manufacturers’ representatives and their principals, MANA and the rep-savvy attorneys who work closely with the association have been adamant in their shared advice that representatives should:

  • Familiarize themselves with their states’ commission protection laws. (A complete list of those laws may be found on the MANA website,
  • Seek and follow the advice of attorneys familiar with representative law.
  • Work with written contracts.
  • Develop and adhere to contracts that are fair to both the representative and the principal.

Representatives that follow this advice stand a much better chance of establishing and benefiting from … Read the rest

There’s No Time Like Now to Plan for the Future


Last May, I attended a sales meeting for one of our principals. The company had been founded in 1968 and enjoyed a long, successful history of using and supporting manufacturers’ reps. During the course of the meeting I noticed that the sales team had really begun to “gray.” As I thought about it, I realized many of the owners and reps in the room were my father’s contemporaries. They had begun representing this company in the mid to late ’70s. For most this relationship resulted in a long and profitable career; but unlike my father, many had not charted their

Read the rest

Coach Your Sales Team From Good to GREAT!


Most of us remember Alabama’s famous football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Someone once said, “The Bear could beat your team on one Saturday, and then take your team and turn around and beat his team the next Saturday!” He knew how to coach players, knew their strengths and weaknesses and how to get their best effort. He knew how to win.

  • How can you coach your sales team like Bear Bryant: from good to great?
  • How can you do this with different personalities and age groups?
  • How do you get salespeople engaged with their best efforts and able to handle
Read the rest

What Leadership is NOT Leadership Myths to Avoid


Bradley was failing, and failing badly. Not only did the members of his team avoid him in the lunchroom and never stop by to say “good morning,” they had begun taping a target to his back every day and everyone had signed up for archery lessons. Bradley’s leadership style just wasn’t working.

Unfortunately, Bradley’s core problem was that he suffered from several leadership myths he’d picked up from pop culture. Like many of us, he didn’t have any formal training in leadership so his beliefs came mostly from watching movies. Leadership to Bradley was square-jawed men taking on insurmountable odds, … Read the rest

Use Bartering to Get Your Business off the Ground


Long-time friend of MANA Bob Reiss has graciously allowed Agency Sales magazine to serialize his book Bootstrapping 101: Tips to Build Your Business with Limited Cash and Free Outside Help, available now on The book looks at surprisingly effective low-cost and no-cost ways to acquire the resources you need to run your company. Whether your company is an existing enterprise or a start up, a manufacturers’ representative company or a manufacturer, this book will introduce you to innovative ways to cut your costs and drive more of your income into bottom line profits.

In prehistoric times, the tribe … Read the rest

Keys to Success in Sales, Business and Life


These three critical components have always been, and always will be, at the core of success in any endeavor in life. While they may seem obvious at first glance, my twist on them is not.

Three Keys to Ultimate Success

Key #1: Be likeable and get along with other people

Everyone knows that if people are going to buy from you, assuming it’s a substantial investment or the buying cycle is longer than ten minutes, the buyer needs to like you, but Key #1 goes way beyond that.

Key #1 shows up when you’re looked up to, not just by … Read the rest

MANA Recognizes Long-Term Members

MANA wants to recognize members who have been with us for many years.

Every January we list in Agency Sales those agent and principal members who celebrated their 65, 60, 55, 50, 45, 40, 35, 30 and 25 year membership anniversary the previous year. MANA also sends them certificates in commemoration of their longevity as members.

Thank youMANA thanks and congratulates the members we listed below for their long-term support and commitment.

Agent Members

65 Years

Stephen V. Foster
Basic Manufacturers’ Sales Co., Inc.
Toledo, OH

Jeff Witt
Henry M. Wood Co.
West Chester, OH

Jim L. Crow
Jim Crow Sales… Read the rest

There’s Nothing Like Face-to-Face Contact


“Blame it on Gen X or whatever; I’ve got to live with it.” That’s how one manufacturer opened a conversation about a problem he was having with some of his inside sales staff. “Whatever or whomever is to blame, it’s up to us to find a solution.”

Here’s what he was talking about. It seems the new hires on his inside sales staff are on the young side. As a result, from the start he’s finding that many of them were more than satisfied with keeping their agents at arm’s length and communicating with them via e-mail, text and sometimes … Read the rest

Legal Risks of Using Facebook to Screen Job Applicants


Like many employers, you may be mining social network sites (which, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll refer to collectively as “Facebook”) for personal information about individuals applying for jobs with your organization. While it enables you to unearth information that no resume or job interview would reveal, using Facebook to check up on job applicants feels, well, kinda dirty. But is it illegal?

Short answer: No, as long as you follow certain limits. Here are the limits and how to stay within them.

In a widely cited Microsoft-sponsored survey of employers, 70 percent of the respondents admitted to rejecting an applicant … Read the rest

How to Avoid Litigation Over Unpaid Sales Commissions


Editor’s note: It’s always interesting to see parallels to representative-principal issues turn up in other industries. In this article we look at the similarities to the representative-principal relationship in the relationships between fashion showrooms (which operate somewhat like representatives) and fashion designers (which operate similarly to principals.)

It’s a common story in the fast-paced world of fashion showrooms: A designer (principal) wants his or her work featured in a showroom and access to the showroom owner’s (representative’s) contacts and relationships in order to sell his or her line. The showroom agrees and upholds its end of the bargain, selling millions … Read the rest

How Much is an Investment Manager Going to Cost Me?


I know I need a new driveway. My present driveway sports a host of large cracks that make driving on it akin to traversing the surface of the moon. But I’ve been putting off getting a new driveway because I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to pay to have one poured, and I really don’t have the time to make phone calls to driveway companies to compare prices. And since those companies don’t generally list prices in their ads, I’ll remain in the dark and put up with the daily bump-filled ride to my garage.

Most people I … Read the rest