How Blockchain Could Impact the Manufacturers’ Representative and Agent Profession


How many times have you encountered a manufacturer’s, customer’s or government’s process and asked yourself, “Why is this process so difficult? Why is this process so bureaucratic? Why is this process making our lives more difficult?”

I have yet to dig into any broken or lengthy process and find that it exists exactly as it was designed many years before. It is always the evolution of sometimes many years of tweaks and changes to cover a perceived weakness or loophole in the original design. Sometimes peeling back the onion and trying to fix it becomes impossible because of the tangle … Read the rest

Rep Nightmares: Learning From Colleagues


What are the odds that your very first deal as a manufacturers’ representative turns out to be a long-term contract on $50 million in sales per year and you’re guaranteed to land the project with one of the handful of manufacturers you are working with?

The intention for this column is to provide new and old reps with horror stories from the field so that we can use our collective experience to help each other avoid some of the common and not-so-common pitfalls of our profession.

You know the type of phone call — totally out of left field from … Read the rest

What Manufacturers Value in Their Reps


The selection of manufacturers’ representatives can be one of the most overlooked yet critical activities that a sales manager or leader can undertake. Once the decision is made to include the use of reps as an alternative or supplement to an internal sales force, the process for the evaluation and selection of the reps must be as meticulously designed and followed as any process for hiring a full-time internal resource. A year or more lost with a rep can set a company back even longer when considering the time required to train and replace the rep.

As a global director … Read the rest

Selling to the Manufacturing Sector in Other Countries: Focus Mexico


While being a manufacturers’ agent or representative is a well‑developed profession in the U.S. and Canada, the entire concept of outsourced sales forces is still mostly unknown in Mexico.

Many of the reasons companies fail to sell their products in Mexico through reps fall into these categories:

  • Being unprepared to pioneer a new market.
  • Making assumptions about the market based on current paradigm.
  • Not embracing that the new market uses a different language.
  • Not accepting that the new market operates under a different business and social culture.
  • Not understanding that the new market operates under different business rules
Read the rest