Announcing MANA Networking Breakfast October 9 Near O’Hare Airport

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Network with MANA’s Board of Directors, MANA CEO & President Charles Cohon, and MANA VP & GM Jerry Leth.

Daniel E. Beederman, MANA’s legal counsel and a partner in Chicago-based law firm Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer, LLC, is our featured speaker.

Beederman will present: Rep Succession Planning — Why It Is so Important for Reps and Their Manufacturers? His presentation will include the following topics.

What Reps Need to Know About Succession Planning

  • Should I recruit and hire my successor or merge with another rep firm?
  • How do I set a valuation for my rep firm?
  • How do I structure the sale or acquisition?
  • What if you are not yet ready to sell or bring on new owners?

What Manufacturers Who Sell Through Reps Need to Know About Their Rep’s Succession Plans

  • Do my reps have a succession plan to let their firms continue to serve my needs when the current owner retires?
  • Am I at risk of abruptly needing to recruit, interview, evaluate and train a replacement rep firm?
  • How do I tell my reps who don’t have succession plans that our relationship may be at risk if they don’t have long-term plans to protect my company’s sales in their territories?

Beederman will also be available for Q&A at the end of the session.

Seating is limited. You may be wait-listed if you are not among the first 20 to register.

Your $20 registration includes parking and a full breakfast. The event is being held at the Hilton Garden Inn O’Hare Airport, 2930 S. River Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60018.

Our agenda:

  • 8:00-8:45 a.m. — Breakfast and networking with MANA’s Board of Directors, MANA CEO & President Charles Cohon, MANA VP & GM Jerry Leth
  • 8:45-9:30 a.m. — MANA Board member introductions and Q&A
  • 9:30-10 a.m. — Dan Beederman presentation

To register, visit

Has a Principal Recently Terminated Your Agreement?


It’s not uncommon for me to get phone calls from MANA manufacturers’ representative members who start the conversation by telling me a long-term principal they’ve worked with just notified them they were terminating the relationship.

When they tell me that, I then ask, “So, how long has the new guy been working there?” In 100 percent of these calls, the answer is, “There has been a change in management.”

If the new owners have experience with manufacturers’ representatives and understand the value manufacturers’ representatives provide, they would not have canceled the agreement. If they are new to working with manufacturers’ … Read the rest

Hiring and Partnering With Sub-Reps


Just as manufacturers should weigh the financial benefits of hiring an outsourced sales staff vs. independent manufacturers’ reps, so too should reps weigh whether hiring a direct employee vs. working with a sub-rep is the best way to expand or cover a territory. That was just part of the subject matter covered during a MANAcast by John McNellis.

McNellis, a former MANA Board member, heads McReps, Inc., Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, a national multi-person agency that works with a mix of both direct and sub-reps. The agency has represented specialized component manufacturers for more than 48 years. It focuses on custom-engineered parts … Read the rest

Reps Opt for ESOPs


What does ESOP stand for? As defined ESOP is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. An ESOP grants company stock to employees every year. The stock value is based on the value of the company, while the number of shares awarded are based on how much each employee earns. Typically, it is part of a compensation package where shares will vest over a period of time. But, in reality, it is much more than that. Historically ESOPs motivate employees, increase productivity, improve worker retention, keep jobs local, contribute to business longevity, and much more.

While such plans aren’t for everyone, they … Read the rest

Making a Rep Firm Successful in Winning New, Profitable Lines — Most of the Time


Competing for a line should be a well-planned process designed to win most of the time. There is no reason not to be one of the best, if not the very best, rep firm in your geographic area.

Being a great rep firm requires total discipline and an organized approach to how you conduct business. The key to winning is how you present your firm when talking to prospective new principals.

There is only one thing a prospective manufacturer wants to know about — sales! The business of a rep firm is obtaining and maintaining sales volume for its lines. … Read the rest

Is Service Part of Selling?


Here’s a quote that prompted this article: “I like making deliveries. I look at that as end-to-end sales. I sell it, make sure everything goes smoothly and then finally I deliver it and make sure they’re happy.”

On the surface, it sounds good, right? I mean that makes sense except for one thing: the definition of a salesperson is someone who sells, not someone who sells it, takes care of all the paperwork, financing, etc., preps it, and finally delivers it.

I find that for whatever reason, whether it’s the fear of rejection, or simply not wanting to call on … Read the rest

Sales Pros Stressed Like Entrepreneurs


Some sales pros are true entrepreneurs in that they own their companies.

But all sales pros have entrepreneurial traits. When your job is to approach strangers, build a relationship and convince them to spend money, you’re entrepreneurial. When you’re a person who manufactures new business out of thin air, you’re an entrepreneur.

You could argue that the best sales pros have “entrepreneurial” personalities. That’s a good thing because entrepreneurs are savvy, driven and hard-working people.

The business world puts a lot of emphasis on entrepreneurism. We place successful entrepreneurs on pedestals and look up to them. Much of humanity’s progress … Read the rest

Steps for Managing Customers to Maximize Sales Success


The professional sales representative is continually seeking better ways to manage his customers to maximize sales. How do you know which customers to call on, when and how often? How do you stay organized amid your phone calls, sales visits, paperwork and planning? Managing your customers is not complicated. It takes organizing and time management skills to develop a plan suitable to meet your sales goals. Finally, it requires a focus, and personal commitment to follow the plan.

Have you ensured your pathway to maximize sales success? Here are 10 proven ideas to manage customers and maximize sales.

1. Organizing Read the rest

Did You Make the Sale? Or, Did You Get the Sale? Proactive vs. Reactive Selling


During a meeting we recently hosted, we discussed the concerns and opportunities of 2023 in business. Like most business leaders, when talking about the success of the business, the conversation moves toward sales. Like many businesses, these businesses have been having great success over the past few years, and the concern is the success was coming to them not necessarily in a proactive way but more in a reactive way.

So, what exactly do we mean by proactive selling? It’s all about taking the initiative and being proactive in your sales behaviors. Instead of waiting for customers to come to … Read the rest

Did You Know That You Have Woodpeckers on Your Sales Team?


The landscaper called me over to look at a tree on our property. He showed me the enormous hole and I asked, “What did that?”

“Woodpecker,” he said.

On one side of the tree, we had this perfectly cut, huge hole, and the other side of the tree had many small holes. I learned that the woodpecker that made the small holes was looking for food while the woodpecker that made the huge hole was making a home. Hunters and farmers.

Just like the two types of woodpeckers, salespeople tend to fall into the same two categories of being either … Read the rest

Action vs. Reaction


For every action there naturally is going to be a reaction, and that’s exactly what happens when a manufacturer makes an inquiry of a rep. That point was made recently when a rep asked the following: “One of my lines’ competitors tried to hire me. I declined out of loyalty to my current principal. Is it unprofessional or bad manners to share that information with my current principal?”

What’s important to keep in mind here is that reps are going to react — one way or the other — to questions of that type. Here’s some of the feedback on … Read the rest

The Hidden Value of Social Media


Organic social media marketing can be a flashy/shiny object to companies. Brands start tossing time/money/resources into it, almost hoping that something positive will happen from all that effort.

We call that the “post and pray” method.

Or they barrel into organic social media, thinking it should be approached like any other direct response channel.

We call that generally a bad idea.

Examples of things I’ve heard company decision makers say (any of these sound familiar?):

  • We’ve got to be on TikTok; it’s exploding right now!
  • Social media feels like a marketing tax we have to pay — it doesn’t do
Read the rest

Follow a Moral Compass — Five Years and Three Million Dollars


“A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by no matter his job.” — John Wayne

The concept of a moral compass is something I have given a lot of thought to over the years. Living my life by my moral compass is something I strive to do every day. Living by a moral compass to me means that a person has principles and values and tries to consistently conform his or her behavior to those principles and values. Primarily to me, this means being honest.

One of the things I have learned over the 40-plus years … Read the rest

Industrial Supply Association Announces 2023 Fall Summit: The Channel’s Best Professional Development Event

Registration is now open for the Industrial Supply Association’s (ISA) highly anticipated Fall Summit, the channel’s premier professional development experience. Taking place from October 18-20, 2023 in Orlando, Florida, this year’s Fall Summit offers attendees tailored agendas with three tracks: Women in Industry, Emerging Leaders, and Channel Pros. Packed with engaging sessions, interactive breakouts, and exciting networking activities, the Fall Summit is designed to captivate and empower professionals, unlocking their full potential for career growth.

“Professional development is the lifeblood of growth in any industry, and this sector is no exception. ISA’s Fall Summit is precisely what our industry needs … Read the rest