MANA is the Association for Manufacturers Who Require the Utmost Professionalism From Their Agent Partners

As a manufacturer that outsources the sales function to independent manufacturers’ agents, you want to create relationships with the most professional manufacturers’ agents willing to work with you. The more professional the manufacturers’ agent, the more they sell for you.

On the other side of the relationship, the manufacturers’ agents want to partner with the highest quality manufacturers willing to work with them.

How prepared are you to effectively work with professional manufacturers’ representatives? Take our short quiz to find out.

For those questions where you answer “No”, you will find a section in our Steps to Being a Quality Principal Program where we provide resources that help you get to “Yes”. Invest some time and implement what you learn to raise your quality level. You will get a return.

The goal is to create long-term and mutually profitable relationships, a “Partners in Profits” relationship.

9 Steps to “High Quality” Status With Manufacturers’ Agents

There’s a lot more to high quality than just the products and services they provide. Product quality, on-time delivery, responsiveness to customer issues are a given. That’s not the focus of this program.

Below we outline the steps to achieve the characteristics of high-quality manufacturers, as seen in the eyes of a manufacturers’ agent.

1. Understand the Manufacturer-Manufacturers’ Representative Relationship

An understanding of the effective way to partner with your manufacturers’ representatives is crucial for developing long-term and mutually profitable relationships

RESOURCE TYPE
Analyzing the Manufacturers’ Rep-Principal Relationship Special Report
Outsourcing Field Sales PDF
Working Together as Trusted Partners in Profits (7 minutes) Video
Sales Reps/Manufacturers — Adversarial or Cooperative E-Book

RELEVANT AGENCY SALES MAGAZINE ARTICLES

TELEFORUMS AND PODCASTS

Teleforums are hour-long conversations with people who know the topic. Podcasts are the sound files from the videos.

RESOURCE TYPE
Working as Partners in Profits Teleforum
Understanding the Rep-Principal Relationship Teleforum
Working Together as Trusted Partners in Profits (7 minutes) Podcast

Sync your phone to your car speakers and listen to the teleforums or podcasts as you drive to and from work.

2. Select the Right Manufacturers’ Rep

Learn the importance of and how to conduct a thorough interview and due diligence process. You want ensure there’s a high probability the relationship works well for both of you prior to signing the agreement.

RESOURCE TYPE
Selecting the Right Representative or Principal Partners Special Report
Selecting the Right Sales Channel Partner (10 minutes) Video
Create a Successful Rep Network (11 minutes) Video
Get Them to Call You Back (7 minutes) Video
Our 53 Best Interview Questions When Hiring Manufacturers’ Representatives Blog
Interviewing Guidelines PDF

RELEVANT AGENCY SALES MAGAZINE ARTICLES

Need additional help when setting up a manufacturers’ representative network?
MANA provides a list of Consultants Who Help Set up Rep Networks.

TELEFORUMS AND PODCASTS

Teleforums are hour-long conversations with people who know the topic. Podcasts are the sound files from the videos.

RESOURCE TYPE
Marketing Your Company to Attract Professional Manufacturers’ Representatives Teleforum
Getting Them to Call You Back Teleforum
Selecting the Right Representative Teleforum
Selecting the Right Sales Channel Partner (10 minutes) Podcast
Create a Successful Rep Network (11 minutes) Podcast
Get them to call you back (7 minutes) Podcast

Sync your phone to your car speakers and listen to the teleforums or podcasts as you drive to and from work.

3. Create Fair and Balanced Written Agreements

At the conclusion of the selection process, manufacturers sign agreements with their manufacturers’ representatives. These agreements need to work for both parties; otherwise, they work for neither. These agreements govern how the relationship will work and spell out the rules of engagement.

RESOURCE TYPE
Manual for the Creation of a Rep-Principal Agreement Special Report

The manual contains background and rationale information for the clauses found in a typical manufacturers’ representative agreement. You will also find sample agreements in it.

For help with agreements, MANA recommends you contact our list of Rep Savvy Attorneys.

What commission rates apply for the products or services my company supplies?

RESOURCE TYPE
Simplified Commission Rate Ranges Survey
Commission Survey Special Report

RELEVANT AGENCY SALES MAGAZINE ARTICLES

OTHER RESOURCES

RESOURCE TYPE
Product Liability Protection for Agents — By the Numbers Article
Example of Agent Menu Services for Missionary Line Launch Legal
Sample Letter to a Principal Concerning Product Liability Coverage Legal
Intellectual Property Protection Guideline Legal

VIDEO

RESOURCE TYPE
Extended Post-Termination Commission Clauses (7 minutes) Video

TELEFORUMS AND PODCASTS

Teleforums are hour-long conversations with people who know the topic. Podcasts are the sound files from the videos.

RESOURCE TYPE
The Rep-Manufacturer Agreement Teleforum
Extended Post-Termination Commission Clauses (7 minutes) Podcast

Sync your phone to your car speakers and listen to the teleforums or podcasts as you drive to and from work.

4. Develop Trust and Open Communications With Manufacturers’ Reps

Manufacturers and their manufacturers’ representatives need to communicate in an effective manner. For communications to flow freely, the trust level must be high. These communications deal with relevant information that provides value for both sides of the relationship.

RESOURCE TYPE
The Value of Communication: From the Principal’s Perspective Agency Sales
Are Call Reports Effective? Agency Sales
Call Reports and the Rep Agency Sales
More On Communication Agency Sales
Drawing the Line Between Communication and Call Reports Agency Sales
Maximizing Communication | Agent Communication Guides Agency Sales

TELEFORUM

Teleforums are hour-long conversations with people who know the topic.

RESOURCE TYPE
Rep-Manufacturer Communications Teleforum

Sync your phone to your car speakers and listen to the teleforum as you commute to and from your office.

5. Form Rep Councils to Improve the Rep-Manufacturer Relationship

Once you establish your manufacturers’ representative network, you want them to sell lots for you. You work together as “Partners in Profits” and an effective tool that fosters this type of a relationship is a Rep Council. The Rep Council provides focused feedback and recommendations on ways you can improve how you work with each other. You select a small number of your manufacturers’ representatives and sales management staff to make up the Rep Council.

RESOURCE TYPE
Open Doors by Building an Effective Rep Council Special Report
How to Establish and Benefit From Rep Councils Teleforum
Agent Council Operating Charter Guideline

RELEVANT AGENCY SALES MAGAZINE ARTICLES

RESOURCE TYPE
Listening When It Matters — Steps for Setting Up a Rep Council Agency Sales
Manufacturer Fine Tunes Its Rep Council Agency Sales
Real-World Tips for Effective Rep Councils Agency Sales
The Case for Rep Councils Agency Sales
Positives of Rep Councils Outweigh Any Negatives Agency Sales
What’s the Value of a Rep Council in 2015? Agency Sales

TELEFORUMS

Teleforums are hour-long conversations with people who know the topic.

RESOURCE TYPE
How to Establish and Benefit From Rep Councils Teleforum

PODCAST

Business Networking Group 2.0 – The Rep Council 4 minutes

Sync your phone to your car speakers and listen to the teleforums or podcasts as you commute to and from your office.

6. Create Mutual Action Plans on How to Grow Territory Sales

7. Set Up Territory Visits for Maximum Benefit

High-quality manufacturers abide by MANA’s Code of Ethics