Please Don’t Read This!

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If, by chance, you happen to manufacture any products similar to what my company does or you’re a rep that sells competitive equipment to ours, please stop reading this article immediately. For the rest of you, there’s a little secret to winning more orders, building brand awareness and gaining market share which our company and our reps have employed during each and every economic downturn and unstable marketplace we’ve all experienced.

Ready? It’s called “promotion.” That’s right. Website development, advertising, public relations, direct communication with customers — those types of promotion. Right now you’re saying to yourself, “I’ve heard all … Read the rest

Tips for Manufacturers to Get and Keep Their Reps’ Attention

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A common topic of discussion among manufacturers’ sales managers, besides the exploits of their favorite sports team, is how to get their reps’ attention for their company — and keep it.

While there are certainly special or unique methods many manufacturers use (no, I’m not sharing our unique ones here), several tips are worth reviewing to assure your company has best practices in place to garner your reps’ attention.

  • Treat your rep as a partner in the business of sales

Remember, both the rep and manufacturer have value for each other. The “Us and Them” attitude simply will not foster … Read the rest

Working With Reps to Develop New Business

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So you’re a manufacturer and you want to develop new business, grow your sales, perhaps in a new geographic territory, new industry/market, or maybe you have a new product to launch. What are the factors any good manufacturer should consider to maximize the likelihood of success?

Just like when a manufacturer and rep join forces when they first begin working together, developing new business requires setting realistic expectations. The reasons most often cited by manufacturers and reps alike for representation agreement termination has to do with misunderstood expectations by the two parties involved. When you both get it right up … Read the rest

Why Should a Manufacturer Be a Member of MANA?

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“I’m a manufacturer, not a rep agency. Why should my company join MANA?”

I hear this all the time. It’s a legitimate question, really. After all, the name of the organization is Manufacturers’ Agents National Association — MANA, for short. Seems like it’s an association just for reps. While that may have been its foundation, MANA is much, much more. It’s a terrific organization for manufacturers, whether you’re just exploring the strategy of utilizing reps as your sales channel or have been working with reps for decades.

Our company, Eriez Magnetics, has enjoyed the benefits of selling through independent reps … Read the rest

What Do Manufacturers Look for in a Rep?

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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, there are some constants we all look for.

At Eriez Magnetics, where we’ve been working with independent manufacturers’ representatives for over 70 years, our best representative agencies possess the following:

  • A formal company overview

This sounds like a simple requirement all professional reps should have, but it’s surprising just how many agencies solicit representing our line without a basic presentation of their … Read the rest

Successful Partnerships

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In October 2017, MANA celebrates its 70th Anniversary as the preeminent organization for the professional independent manufacturers’ representative. Congratulations! It took a great deal of hard work and commitment by a lot of people to grow MANA and maintain its relevance over these many years.

1947 was a good year for my company, Eriez Manufacturing, as well. It was the year our founder, Bob Merwin, and Dean Thomas, a sales representative of what is now Dominion-Carolina Sales, Inc., based in High Point, North Carolina, came to an agreement for Dean to sell Eriez magnetic separators for a commission. This was … Read the rest