Reinventing Rep Search


MANA’s online RepFinder® and RepFinder® smartphone app are already the best rep search tools in the world. So, what’s next? We reinvent ourselves. Better smartphone app. Better rep profiles.

RepFinder® 2.0 Smartphone App

Version 2.0 launches now in the Apple App Store and Google Play and gives manufacturers even more sophisticated search tools than version 1.0 launched early this year.

RepFinder® “My Rep Profile Score”

“My Rep Profile Score” is …

“My Rep Profile Score” is …

Manufacturers use MANA’s RepFinder® to find world-class reps. But sometimes world-class reps don’t have world-class MANA-member profiles.

Why wouldn’t a world-class rep have a world-class member profile? Because they forgot to include important details, or were not careful about choosing territories or product categories.

For example:

  • They forgot to include their website address.
  • They claimed to cover so many territories for their number of salespeople that their territory coverage seems sparse.
  • They claimed so many product categories that they seem to lack focus.
  • Their profile has not been checked or updated for a long time.

Manufacturers tell us that:

  • They want to see reps’ websites listed.
  • They prefer reps with enough staff to cover each territory thoroughly.
  • They prefer reps that focus on a particular market.
  • They expect the information in reps’ profiles to be up-to-date.

To help world-class reps ensure that their member profiles present them as world-class sales forces, MANA has launched the “My Rep Profile Score” system to let reps know if their profiles don’t present them as world-class sales forces.

“My Rep Profile Score” is a private tool to let you be sure your profile is world-class. You are the only one who can see your company’s “My Rep Profile Score.” However, even though manufacturers cannot see reps’ “My MANA Rep Profile Score,” when they download a list of reps that list is sorted in “My MANA Rep Profile Score” order.

To see your “My Rep Profile Score,” watch your email or visit your company’s member profile on

Please call us with any questions — we are here to help!

Reps Need to Educate Manufacturers on the Value Reps Provide in the Field


The wants and needs of a manufacturer and the manufacturers’ representative are aligned: drive revenue, increase profits and manage costs; however, the rep’s role goes beyond these common goals. It is understood that hiring a representative who is paid solely on a commission basis is a cost-effective alternative to marketing and selling any product, but hiring a manufacturers’ representative gives you a lot more bang for the buck.

Reps are marketers. They market their manufacturers’ products through various means. Representing more than one line, especially when complementary, opens doors and creates a synergy that can result in leverage for all … Read the rest

A Key Question:
“What Now Big Shot?”


When asked to recount recollections of his first day as an independent manufacturers’ rep several years ago, Steve Lamer good-naturedly responds: “I just sat there looking at my phone and asked myself ‘What now, big shot?’”

Thankfully, he can now look back on that day with a great deal of satisfaction as, today, he heads North Central Manufacturing Solutions, LLC, Madison, Wisconsin.

In part answer to that “What now?” question, Lamer recalls that among the first steps he wisely took as a rep was to contact business friends and acquaintances to let them know what he was doing and to … Read the rest

Maximizing MANA Membership


“If I could do anything over, I’d join MANA sooner than I did.” That’s a common refrain when speaking with several long-standing association members. The reason they speak that way is that once enrolled as members of the association, they have available at their fingertips any number of products and services that point their agencies in the direction of professionalism.

Speaking to that point, Charles Cohon, MANA’s president and CEO noted, “If there’s anything I would emphasize to MANA’s members, it would be to take it upon themselves to learn all about what the association offers and take advantage of … Read the rest

When Retirement Isn’t Really Retirement


By the time Lisa Wilson reads this, she’ll hopefully be well into what she calls her “semi-retirement.” It’s semi-retirement — not retirement — simply because one of her long‑standing principals won’t let her go.

According to Wilson, who heads L.S. Wilson & Associates, Inc., Bristol, Wisconsin, “I’ve reached a point in my life that while I can still walk, talk and see, when I get up in the morning, I want to do what I want to do.”

L.S. Wilson & Associates, Inc., specializes in motors, stainless steel coatings, surface preparation products and industrial cleaning solutions.

Admitting that the current … Read the rest

Struggling to Build Your Business and Increase Sales


Are you struggling to increase sales? Struggling to build your business? If so, what are you doing about it?

Being successful in sales is pretty easy. You know the roadmap. Assuming you have the basic foundation of liking people and having people skills, now you simply need to learn sales skills, some marketing skills, communication skills, your product, your industry, and about the prospects and clients in your industry. While working on that, you have to talk to enough people to find out who has a problem you can solve and then solve it by having them invest in your … Read the rest

Basic Business Survival Skills: Making Sure You Always Have a Job


No one in business was prepared for what happened when the coronavirus invaded the United States. Overnight, it literally upended the nation’s economy, leaving American workers not knowing what to think about the future.

While some workers are doing well, others are underemployed, and 13 million are jobless. Whether you’re a CEO, just entering the workforce, or someone in-between, such confusion and uncertainty begs the question “What’s it take to survive in a job today?”

What businesses are looking for are people with the ability to adapt, learn, perform and progress so they can contribute to the organization’s success. To … Read the rest

Tips for Getting an Appointment With a Busy Person


It is important to have a good state of mind when attempting to get appointments with busy, important people.

First, do not take rejection (non-answering of your calls and correspondence) personally. Your target may literally get 50 plus requests a day for an appointment. This is in addition to their regular extreme workload. Your challenge is to cut through this clutter. Stay upbeat. Never get angry. Follow up, be persistent, be creative. Be patient. Be confident. Be energetic. Smile. (Yes, you can sense a smile on the phone or through the written word.) Don’t let fear of failure stop you … Read the rest

The Sales Force — Working With Reps


This is the final in a number of articles serializing The Sales Force — Working With Reps by Charles Cohon, MANA’s president and CEO. The entire book may be found in the member area of MANA’s website.

Several years had passed since Troothe hired William Carl’s company as its first rep. The changes Troothe had made in its operation seemed gradual as they occurred, but, in retrospect, looked more dramatic.

Troothe employees who had been its direct sales force had made a transition from having day-to-day direct account responsibility to being regional managers charged with supporting and providing oversight for … Read the rest

MANA Recognizes Members’ Milestone Anniversary Dates

Each year MANA recognizes members who are celebrating special anniversaries of their MANA memberships. In this issue we recognize members who are celebrating 70, 65, 60, 55, 50, 45, 40, 35, 30 or 25 years of MANA membership.

MANA thanks and congratulates these members for their long-term support and commitment to MANA and our industry.

We also thank those long-term members whose membership anniversaries are not among the years listed in this issue. Your company name was either published within the past three years or will be published within the next two.

Whether your company has reached a special anniversary … Read the rest

Why Reps?


Elsewhere in this issue of Agency Sales magazine, a manufacturer describes why and how he continues to work with reps as he has for the entire 24-year history of his company.

According to the manufacturer, “My wife and I own and run the company. While we do have some direct sales personnel, we’ve learned over the years of the many benefits that come with working with independent reps. One of those major benefits is that since we already have some business in the territories that we want to sell into, the fact is reps don’t really cost us anything. If … Read the rest

Things for Salespeople to Do to Make Up for a Lackluster Quarter


At the end of summer we moved our son into his dorm to begin his freshman year of college. The college president’s opening remarks were virtual, so we joined the Zoom stream from our hotel room and listened in. He had some really useful things to share with the new freshmen and while his thoughts were targeted to the students, they apply quite equally to salespeople.

Among the points he made, these seemed to be just as applicable to salespeople:

  • Show up.
  • Do the work.
  • Try approaches that you haven’t previously attempted.
  • You will be uncomfortable but do it anyway.
Read the rest

Consider Your Contract Provisions


This article will emphasize the importance of having a good underlying written contract between sales representatives and their principals. While “form” agreements may be available and are often used to attempt to recite the business relationship between parties, there is no substitute for a well-thought-out agreement that recites and accurately presents the relationship that the parties intend to follow.

In order to achieve this, an agreement must not only recite the undertakings by the parties but these must be viewed and clearly stated as obligations. Further, the contract should be one that embodies the laws of the state where, at … Read the rest

Jerry Leth Marks Two Decades With MANA


If Jerry Leth thinks it was just yesterday that he joined the MANA staff, he should think twice because it’s been a lot longer than just yesterday. A great deal has happened in the world, in general, and in the world of reps specifically during the 20 years that Leth has been a staple at MANA headquarters.

While gas was averaging about $1.26 a gallon in 2000, George Bush had just narrowly defeated Al Gore in one of the closest elections in American history and cell phones were just emerging as more than a “yuppie toy,” it’s remarkable how many … Read the rest