Go Right to the Front of the Line


At Universal Studios, an Express™ Pass moves you in front of everyone who only bought a standard ticket. At close to double the cost.


© Dashk | stock.adobe.com

Now MANA manufacturers’ representative members can move to the front of the list manufacturers see when they search MANA’s RepFinder® database. And the cost is: Free!

How do you get free priority placement when manufacturers do RepFinder® searches? Update your member profile using these guidelines:

  1. Pick only product categories where your firm excels. Manufacturers tell us, “A rep who claims to sell everything really sells nothing.” Choose fewer product categories to get priority placement over reps who choose too many categories.
  2. Pick only the product categories you sell, not the markets you sell to. If you sell castings to the pump industry, choose “castings” not “pumps.”
  3. Pick only the sales territories your firm covers well. Manufacturers tell us, “A rep who claims to sell everywhere really sells nowhere.” The number of salespeople at your firm and the size of your territories should make sense.
  4. Check any boxes that describe your firm:
    ☐  My firm has a business plan.
    ☐  My firm has a succession plan.
    ☐  All our salespeople have taken professional selling courses.
    ☐  My firm has a professionally done website.
    ☐  We work with all our principals as Trusted Partners in Profits.

Need help updating your profile? Schedule a free telephone profile coaching session with Jerry Leth, jleth@manaonline.org, or with me, ccohon@manaonline.org. We’ll walk through the steps together.

Be among the first manufacturers’ representatives that manufacturers see when they search to fill an open territory. Update your MANA member profile today!

Should Principal Field Visits Be a Production?


The old expression goes, “Don’t make a production out of this,” referring to the 1930s Busby Berkeley musical movies, when the centerpiece is a complicated, ornate dance routine, dominating the film, taking seemingly forever! Glitzy, showy, endless tapping and strutting — So don’t make a production number out of this, make it quick, keep it straightforward and simple. Always?

You should, in fact you must, make a production out of some key events because some don’t take care of themselves. Those times need the production values of excellent content, quality script, great participants, superior directing, and lots of post-filming work. … Read the rest

Maximizing the Value of Field Visits


“You hired us to increase sales, not to be your travel agents or ‘yes men.’” That’s how one rep described his reaction to a principal’s request that they make all the necessary arrangements for a visit to the territory, including getting plane tickets, making hotel reservations, not to mention setting up appointments with customers.

According to the rep, “When the principal’s new sales manager came on board for one of our lines one of the first things he asked was that we prepare for his visit in the field. Let me emphasize that there was no particular reason for the … Read the rest

Zink Foodservice Makes Move to ESOP


In addition to the changes that any company experiences during the course of a more than 40‑year history, Zink Foodservice, led by Jim Zink and Mike McGuire, made the major change last year from a family-owned business to an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP).

Zink Foodservice provides comprehensive sales, marketing, distribution and installation services for manufacturers and authorized dealers of foodservice equipment and smallwares. The agency, headquartered in Westerville, Ohio, has more than 70 associates (40 of whom are focused on sales), located in 10 office locations and four culinary centers in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio; Chicago and Indianapolis.

(As … Read the rest

Selling the Sellers


How do you get salespeople to accept technology to help them be reps, not employees?

Who sells for the agency? What do they see as their role? How productive are they? Do they provide value? How do you measure “value”?

As rep agencies grow, the primary need they have is salespeople. The more lines, the more big lines, the more big customers, the greater the need for qualified salespeople.

What qualifies a person to be a salesperson for a rep agency? Sales experience, and product and industry knowledge are certainly high on the list.

Someone who has sold the lines … Read the rest

Motivations That Move Customers to Buy


Why Salespeople Lose Sales

Contrary to what many people believe, most salespeople want their customers to make good decisions. They want them satisfied, whether it’s buying shoes, home improvement, a vacation package, a car, or an insurance policy.

Even so, salespeople accidentally lose sales. They leave customers unsatisfied, not dissatisfied. Customers become dissatisfied after making a purchase; if they’re unsatisfied, they walk away before buying.

Intent on rattling off features and benefits, salespeople forget they must understand the customer’s need to buy before the facts will make sense. In doing so, they overwhelm customers.

Why do salespeople do this? They … Read the rest

Four Keys to Massive Sales Success


I was recently speaking with an extremely successful executive (he asked to remain anonymous) who is known for being able to walk into an organization, clear away all the clutter and nonsense, and make them extremely successful. He boiled his process down to four keys which can also be applied to successful selling.

Key #1: Simplicity

The formula for success in sales really is simple. It comes down to talking to enough of the right people the right way. That means talking to plenty of qualified prospects and having the skills necessary to find a problem, solve the problem, and … Read the rest

Beliefs That Limit a Salesperson’s Performance


“Good salespeople are problem solvers.” Or, so the illusion goes.

That belief ranks high on my all-time list of the beliefs that most limit a salesperson’s performance. This one is especially insidious because it is so commonly held, without reservation, by such a large percentage of sales managers and salespeople. And it sounds so reasonable.

The world is full of sales managers who gravely proclaim that good salespeople are good problem solvers. Salespeople who use that belief to give direction to their jobs are to be found in every sales force.

The problem with this self-limiting belief, as in many … Read the rest

How to Avoid the Fake-Listening Trap


Ask any sales professional about the key to success, and there’s a good chance they’ll say, “You have to listen to your client.”

As a sales strategist, I meet with many successful sales reps, managers and executives. I always ask them about the secret to successful selling. The answers tend to be similar. One time, after yet another of them mentioned the importance of listening, I responded with a slight tone of frustration in my voice:

“Everyone says that listening to the client is the most important skill a salesperson can have,” I said, “yet few salespeople actually bother to … Read the rest

Are You Guessing on Your Quality of Customer Service?


Providing outstanding customer service at the right price is the “Golden Rule” of most companies. It’s worth remembering that we all experience customer service every day. Customer service is a critical piece of your business, and you should fine-tune it as much as you can. Here are some well-known facts on customer service….

Fact: 90 percent of companies say they deliver superior customer service and only eight percent of people think these same companies deliver superior customer service. Which goes to show, you shouldn’t be guessing when it comes to evaluating your customer service.

Think you don’t have to worry? Read the rest

What’s Important for Manufacturers?


Independent manufacturers’ representatives are hardly the only participants on MANA’s LinkedIn discussion page. A recent visit to that location on the Internet found two manufacturers weighing in on issues important to them and their peers.

For instance, in a contribution entitled, “What Do Manufacturers Look for in a Rep?,” Charles Ingram, vice president of sales & marketing for Eriez Magnetics, maintains that “The best manufacturer-rep relationships are those where both parties respect each other, understand their mutual expectations and have shared business values. While manufacturers may have some variations on the attributes of rep organizations they wish to represent them, … Read the rest

What You Should Never Do on LinkedIn to Conduct Business With Your LinkedIn Network


I don’t know about you but for every benefit I get from LinkedIn, I get an equal amount of frustration. Some people, like me, have criteria for who they will invite and whose invitation they will accept on LinkedIn. How many times has this happened to you?

Someone invites you to join their LinkedIn network or asks if they can join yours. You accept. And then it happens….

In the first example, I received this message a week after I accepted this individual’s invitation:

“Hello Dave, I noticed we haven’t had a chance to talk yet having been connected now … Read the rest

Effects of the GDPR: Are You Ready?

By and

What Is the GDPR?

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or “GDPR,” came into effect on May 25, 2018, causing a scramble of companies to update their privacy policies. Sales representatives who believe the regulation does not affect them because they are not located in a European Union country are gravely mistaken. Another common mistaken belief is that the GDPR only affects heavily technology-based companies or processes. However, the GDPR is technology neutral and those that process data through physical paper are equally affected. Thus, the reach of the GDPR is much broader than many believe; it regulates anyone … Read the rest

The World Cup of Investing


One of the world’s most popular global sporting events began earlier this summer. On June 14th the 2018 World Cup kicked off in Russia with much fanfare and anticipation. The World Cup is so popular, it’s been reported that in 2014 more than a billion television viewers worldwide watched Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina in extra time at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

For the uninitiated the World Cup begins with 32 national soccer teams competing for the cup. Like the Olympics, the World Cup is held every four years and alternates among different host nations across the … Read the rest

Maritime Operations Student Awarded $2,500 Scholarship

The National Marine Representatives Association (NMRA) awarded its 2018 NMRA Maritime Trades Scholarship of $2,500 to Kaila Kotkiewicz of Sayville, New York. Established in 2008, it’s given to an outstanding student pursuing education that will lead to a career in the marine industry. Robert Guerrieri of Atlantic Marketing Company made the presentation.

Kotkiewicz is a recent graduate of Sayville High School and plans to attend SUNY Maritime College this Fall. Her intended field of study is Maritime Operations and she also wants to earn a USCG Deck License. “I hope that I can be a role model for more women … Read the rest

MANA Manufacturer Seminar

October 11-12, 2018

Are you a rep who works with a manufacturer who supplies a great product but lacks knowledge on how to effectively work with you?

Wouldn’t it work more profitably for you if they did?

Recommend to them they attend the MANA “Best Practices With Reps, Planning With Intent” manufacturer seminar. When they learn how to effectively partner with you, your sales of what they supply go up. You get a big return when you invest just a little time in sending them the informational link.

Some MANA manufacturers’ representative members even offer to pay the registration fee. … Read the rest