Getting More of the Rep’s Time

Every principal that works with representatives will say that they want more time from their representatives. But very few seem to make a consistent effort to win the hearts and minds of their representatives and fewer actually achieve this goal. There is one word that if used regularly will likely get a representative’s time and energy: that is “goodwill.”

In my experience, goodwill is the single most important thing a principal can offer in an effort to secure more of their reps’ time. Here are a few ideas that might make the difference and enable a principal to create and … Read the rest

What Representatives Should Expect From a Principal’s New Product Launch

A principal’s new product launch can be exciting, time-consuming and expensive for both a principal and a representative.

Ultimately, everyone involved wants the launch to be successful and profitable. Getting to these goals takes planning and careful execution. The additional potential for new business that a new product launch offers the sales representative can be exciting, but success with it requires preparation, training, market research and information. I believe that these four things are at the root of what a representative wants and needs to succeed.

I asked a number of experienced representatives to think about their experiences with launching … Read the rest

The Need for Reps to Recognize the Importance of Change and to Embrace Change in the Way They Do Things

Anyone who knows me well will recognize that it’s somewhat ironic that I’m writing on embracing change! That’s because I hate change. But being asked to write this has forced me to examine my general reluctance, its root and the net result of changes in general.

I asked myself, why do I spend the time and energy resisting change? Well, sometimes my resistance is rooted in fear of the unknown. Sometimes it’s in the thought and stress related to having to learn something new and the time it’s likely to absorb. Most frequently it’s rooted in my general fear of … Read the rest

Why Negotiate a Good Contract?

Sales agencies and principals rely on each other, and our mutual growth is intertwined.

Our mutual dependence is obvious for some but not so for others. There cannot be one winner and one loser when it comes to our contracts. The whole purpose of the agency principal relationship is for both parties to succeed and grow in a mutually profitable manner while servicing our mutual customers’ needs. Getting to a win-win contract takes an open mind, a willingness to learn from each other, the ability to accept and understand each other’s needs and then turn all that into a mutually … Read the rest

Communications Between Reps and Their Principals

There are many ways to communicate with principals; a phone call, a voice mail, a written note, a text, an e-mail, a fax and let’s not forget the letter. We have all used these to build our businesses and to communicate with our principals. E-mail messages have rendered obsolete most of the traditional forms of communication and have become the primary business communication tool, but this may be at the expense of our understanding of the messages being conveyed. I’ll try to explain.

Have you ever noticed how important information in the second or later paragraphs of an e‑mail is … Read the rest

Training Hones Competitive Edge

If one allows, training can be a constant in our business. In fact the business of agency sales is a non-stop learning environment. We have opportunities for learning from our principals, our customers, our colleagues and our associations like MANA. As with everything, though, we can do better. Together we’ll figure out how to do just that; how to improve, how to grow and ultimately, how to prosper. If one is open to the opportunities surrounding him or her, the business of agency sales can offer a non-stop learning environment resulting in an improved professional image.

Principals are often … Read the rest

Developing New Markets and Territories

It’s very exciting and equally motivating for a representative to embark on the chase of a new market and/or a new territory. It’s what most of us live for. Well, the monetary payoff is the real reward, but the chase is our game. Manufacturers know this and will dangle the potential reward of future commissions in front of our eyes to reel us into their service. We frequently take their bait, but at what cost to the principal and to the representative? I believe that, years ago, the chase was easier than it is today. Not because I was younger … Read the rest