Reps Remain Hungry for Training From Their Principals


I have been to so many manufacturer training sessions that the phrase, “Thank you for coming, we understand that time is your most precious asset” is ingrained in me.

I can’t disagree with that statement; however, I believe principals and their reps can use this as an excuse as to why not to get together for anything.

As an independent manufacturers’ rep, I always have an appetite to train further and to become the best possible rep when it comes to product knowledge and business acumen. I expect and appreciate training from my principals, but I also love to pay … Read the rest

Agencies Finding, Recruiting and Hiring New Salespeople


I am used to putting ads in a local paper and seeing what comes of it. Yes, I just gave away my age. The problem today is trying to figure out which website or app will best apply to sales and what I particularly need.

Job posting or posturing has become very hard in many ways. A job was posted here at my facility many years ago for an internal salesperson. The most shocking response was from the Ph.D. in engineering — clearly a stop gap from what we do here.

So where do we find people today? Where is … Read the rest

Stop Labeling and Learn to Accept


What is a Millennial?

I’m not really too keen on labeling people or the generations that they’re a part of. That’s why I have trouble defining a Millennial.

I seems as if every conference or learning experience I have today is all about discussing what generation you are from. They tell me Baby Boomers can only do this and can’t do that. Generations X, Y, Z have this skill set and not that one. I hear people talking about the new generation being lazy. I have heard that the older generations are reluctant to change and don’t like to learn … Read the rest

Is There Such a Person as a Perfect Rep?


As I consider my 23-year history as an independent manufacturers’ representative, I’ve got to admit that I’ve really never encountered one! I’ve seen very successful reps — but not perfect ones. Wouldn’t achieving perfection lead to more compensation? Why can’t we get there?

Shouldn’t striving for perfection be in the DNA of a great rep? But what does perfection really mean? Is it someone who is ideal, flawless, faultless? There are so many words we could use to describe perfection; but I’ve got to admit that I’ve never been labeled with any of these adjectives.

As I consider the concept … Read the rest

Rep Councils in 2016? Really?


I was personally brought into my first rep council in 2001. I was shocked and honored that they asked me (first Canadian rep) to be associated with this long-standing tradition at this company.

I had never been on a council or really ever represented a product line that was involved in this type of practice. What was a rep council and what does it mean that I am the first Canadian to be on it?

I quickly researched rep councils to prepare myself as to what they are and how they work. Fellow colleagues told me not to make it … Read the rest

Examining the Attributes Required to be a Successful Independent Representative


As the result of the time I’ve spent in my career, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect upon the attributes one must possess in order to be a successful independent manufacturers’ representative.

I had many other things written down before I came to a realization just recently that perseverance and risk-taking were actually necessary attributes. I was a corporate representative who felt I should be making more money. I worked for a great company but was only making $36,000 managing a $5-million territory. Understandably, I felt underappreciated and overworked. As a result, I left without knowing the first thing about … Read the rest