Reps and Manufacturers Working Together


That’s a very short declarative statement that brings to mind reps and manufacturers skipping through the morass of the business market place enjoying mutual profitability and growth. But underlying that declarative statement is a plethora of details that can get in the way of a successful working relationship.

Let me offer this cautionary tale of a manufacturer that made product marketing decisions that influenced the effectiveness of its rep network, not in a positive way.

This large manufacturer with a well-established rep network had a history of being very rep friendly and offered significant compensation for functions performed by their … Read the rest

The Ideal Rep From a Principal’s Point of View


You can ask most 20-something-year-old males, “What is your ideal car?” The answer that you would most likely hear is a Ferrari or a car of similar ilk. Ask a sales manager or a principal or manufacturer, “What is an ideal rep?” He or she will most likely answer “one that has sales growth year after year.” Both visions are ideal for the short term but lack depth and success in the future.

So the definition of an ideal rep from the principal’s point of view is not as simplistic as one might hope. It depends on the principal’s goals, … Read the rest

Membership in MANA is Important: The Facts!


The 2007 business census tells us there are around 30,000 rep agencies in the U.S. and Canada. The census numbers correlate to the market data MANA has used for many years. The point is that there are a lot of you out there, and your economic impact is estimated at around $300 billion, with a B. As a group, you employ about 170,000 people and pay them around $7 billion per year. 

Now don’t get a swelled head!

As individuals your voice can barely be heard. You need to form a group, a union, an association that can look after … Read the rest

Rep Councils Why You Need Them


This is addressed primarily to you, sales managers and rep-managers who are responsible for a rep network. I hope you have figured out that reps, like your teenage kid, will tell you what you want to hear when you ask a question. Unlike your teenage kids, there is a good reason or perhaps a better reason for reps to tell you what you want to hear. They don’t want to antagonize a good principal and get on your wrong side. Being on the wrong side of a principal can lead to the loss of income or the line. This is

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Rep-Principal Communication


Good communication with your reps ensures you are working toward the same goals.

One of the biggest problems that rears its ugly head between reps and principals is rooted in communication. The rep often expresses this lack of communication by saying “I didn’t know that is what you wanted.” It is not enough for a principal to just communicate a sales goal for the year.

So how do we improve rep-principal communication? It’s not that difficult; it just takes time. Here are some suggestions for what a principal should share with his reps.

Your vision of the future for your Read the rest