A Shrinking World Is an Opportunity to Expand the Rep’s Line Card — Part 2


This is a two-part editorial solely focused on the subject of representing principals from overseas.

In Part 1 of this editorial, we covered some of the soft skills associated with working with overseas companies such as holiday schedules, language and U.S. geography. In this month’s editorial, we cover some of the “harder skills” that the rep must take into account. I have narrowed this down to my top three. These include contracts, shipping terms, and harmonized tariff codes.

1. Contracts/Agreements

At the best of times, contract negotiations can be tedious, time-consuming and potentially expensive if the contract has to go … Read the rest

A Shrinking World Is an Opportunity to Expand the Rep’s Line Card — Part 1


Representing overseas principals can be a very enriching and rewarding experience. It involves all of the skills associated with representing a domestic principal plus some additional skills that one needs to be sensitive to​​ before signing up with an overseas principal.

I have close to two decades of experience representing overseas companies and during that time, I have made many lifelong friends. I have always been fascinated and most times pleasantly surprised by the many subtle differences between representing domestic and principals from different countries. While there are differences between different countries and continents, I have distilled my list down … Read the rest

Follow Up or Give Up!


Follow-up is the most cost effective and underutilized marketing tool available to a sales force in just about every single industry; however, effective follow-up is considerably more involved than simply sending one or two emails to see if the prospect responds.

While marketing is an important aspect of any business, there is no point in undertaking any form of marketing initiative if there is not first and foremost a well-thought-through follow-up plan that has the buy-in of the sales force. Simply put, it’s follow up or give up. In fact, a marketing plan with no follow-up plan is simply akin … Read the rest

Working On Your Business Not In Your Business


The catch phrase “working on your business and not in your business” is almost ubiquitous these days and can be found in just about any article or podcast discussing entrepreneurship.

The term was first coined by Michael Gerber decades ago. The rationale behind the advice was derived from the fact that not all people that start business are actual entrepreneurs. In fact, most are not. Instead, they are skilled technicians that have mastered a craft and have decided to set up shop, despite having little or no knowledge of what it takes to start, manage and grow a business. This … Read the rest

Keys to Effective Communication With Overseas Principals


When a North American rep takes on a foreign principal, not only does it require every one of the same skills one currently uses with a domestic principal but also demands that a whole host of additional skills be added to the rep toolbox.

We all know that communication, trust and laying the ground rules at the beginning before any agreement is signed, are some of the major factors in helping to foster a long and profitable relationship. This is even more important when dealing with overseas principals. First of all due to time differences, a great deal of communication … Read the rest