Preparation Is Essential

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Whether you are playing in the World Series, or running for President of the United States, or interviewing for a new line, the outcomes will all have two things in common. Number one is that there is no prize for second place. And number two is that, although preparation won’t guarantee your success, the lack of preparation will almost certainly guarantee your failure.

I have had the opportunity to interview for some very powerful and lucrative product lines over the years. When it was a line I really, really wanted, I usually got it, and the way I got it … Read the rest

The Carrot Is Mightier Than the Stick

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I’ve often said that principals who use “crack the whip” tactics on their rep sales force are essentially exercising the most expensive (and least efficient) management tool possible.

This is because principals who “crack the whip” on rep sales forces ultimately have to pay more commission just to keep their reps on board compared to other principals who treat their reps well.

Cracking the whip should be reserved for situations where one of my best customer’s orders is running late — just kidding.

All kidding aside, principals need to manage rep sales forces mostly with carrots and rarely resort to … Read the rest

Have you ever heard a representative complain that he grew a line by 110 percent but then lost the line to a larger rep?

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Or how about a remark from a prospective principal during an interview that the prospective principal liked the owner of the previous representative firm, but felt they just didn’t have the manpower to grow his line?

How about the representative owner who says he just can’t make any money as a manufacturers’ representative because his overhead and manpower costs were just too high?

All of these questions apply to deciding when a representative should hire an additional person. This is a tough decision whether you are a single person representative firm or have 20+ employees. You know that the additional … Read the rest