Defining the Perfect Customer

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I have to admit, when I was sent the prompt for this month’s “Editorial in the Field,” I was a bit jealous of the authors for the two previous editions of this column. Their columns were titled, “Defining the Perfect Rep” and “Defining the Perfect Principal.” Those are easy one line columns — the answers are, in order, “my agency” and “the one with millions in existing business, who pays on time and doesn’t ask any questions.”

I’m here all week, folks.

Joking aside, all three of these columns are equally difficult. The definition of good is entirely subjective — … Read the rest

The More Things Change, The More They #staythesame

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In the October 2016 issue of Agency Sales, Charles Cohon — MANA CEO — provided an excerpt from MANA’s Executive Secretary, P. Edwin Thomas (MANA Minute — “MANA Featured in Billboard Magazine”). I am glad that Charley quoted Mr. Thomas for two reasons: (a) I learned a new word (multifarious), and (b) I felt a connection to my rep brethren of the past in that I — and I think it is safe to say that many, if not all of us — share the same concerns that Mr. Thomas cited in his essay. The international role and responsibility Read the rest

The CRM Struggle

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From a salesperson’s perspective, the old adage, “Nothing is certain save death and taxes,” needs to be modified. It should read, “For salespeople, nothing is certain save death, taxes, and hatred of entering data in my $%^&* CRM!”

It doesn’t matter if you are a one-person agency struggling with how to manage volumes of customer interaction data without spending hours each night in front of your computer, or the president of a large rep firm trying to get your outside salespeople to submit their opportunity reports. Both of these individuals have the same problem — their CRM is not creating … Read the rest

Having a Business Take Flight

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The rep business was literally shortening my life. Three years and 160,000 miles later, I have wasted 150 days of my life staring at innumerable stupid bumper stickers, stick-figure families on SUV windows, and questionably road-worthy cars with sagging suspension. This is not the anticipated freedom of self-employment; this is insanity. Also titled: why I got my pilot’s license, and why you should stop wasting your time and get yours, too.

2010: As I sat in traffic — again — on a breezy, blue summer Friday afternoon six hours from home, I was rehashing this precise argument. Two years prior, … Read the rest

iPhone App Bolsters Outsourced Sales Forces’ Efforts

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photo of John DavisMANA member designs an iPhone/iPad app for agents and principals that includes MANA content and supports the outsourced system of selling.

One MANA manufacturer member describes his representative network as a “force multiplier.” In other words, by deploying this network he is able to reach many more customers and have greater impact on those customers than if he had tried to make those sales calls directly. And he’s learned by experience that the best use of his time is working to support his network rather than trying to do their work for them.

Representatives who sell through wholesalers or distributors … Read the rest