We have another great issue of Agency Sales focused on Rep-Principal agreements. MANA wants to help both parties reach fair and reasonable terms in their contracts. Last month, we had a very successful teleforum with Nicki Weiss on this topic, and we discussed how the word “negotiate” can sometimes create a negative beginning to your talks. Practice some Stephen Covey: begin with the end in mind, and think win-win. Think of what is good for the other party and what is equitable. Winning a negotiation isn’t always winning.
MANA makes some great tools available to our members. We offer a Manual for the Creation of a Rep-Principal Agreement that is available in the member area of our website. It has great tips on the very important parts to be included in agreements. There are also three different template agreements that you can download, modify and print. MANA members also have access to a list of 26 attorneys who are very knowledgeable and are truly “rep” lawyers.
On another topic, I wanted to provide MANA updates in a format familiar to our members. May 1, 2010 marks the beginning ofMANA’s 63rd year of promoting, protecting,educating and connecting manufacturers’ reps and manufacturers. The MANA team has made many recent changes and great accomplishments:
- We held our first ever marketing and sales conference, MANAFest’09 — a huge success.
- Made major upgrades to our flagship publication, Agency Sales magazine, the voice of reps.
- We purchased the MANA building in Aliso Viejo, Orange County, California.
- We completely rebranded MANA with a new strategic plan, logo, and a new mission and vision.
- We enhanced our educational program offerings with teleforums, professional development forums in cities throughout North America, webinars, new and updated publications — notably the Manual for the Creation of a Rep-Principal Agreement.
- We revamped the rep directory database and launched the new RepFinder.
- We participated in many industry specific tradeshows with the new MANA booth.
- We presented to many manufacturer groups (associations and companies) and continued to promote the rep function to all manufacturers, new and old, large and small.
- Enhanced MANA Tele-counseling with more advice for all members.
- Like many companies, we did all of that with a 30%+ reduction to our workforce. As we move into our new fiscal year, we are embarking on a new strategic plan focused on several key elements.
- Member relevance: reviewing our products and services, rejuvenating some, developing new ones and constantly working on getting feedback from you, our customers.
- Virtually virtual: utilizing new association management software, new IT and infrastructure to become more web-centric and to provide social networking communities (“tribes”) for you.
- Association management: working to expand our service offerings to other associations.
So, tell someone about MANA, get a new member to join (rep or manufacturer). Help us to grow and continue supporting this great function and the best way to sell — with reps!