Million Dollar Deal. Rep’s Share: 100%

by Charles Cohon, President and CEO, MANA

Yes, sometimes reps write a six figure or seven figure deal and get to keep all the money. And it happens more often than you’d think.

How does this happen? It happens when the rep sells their rep firm to a new owner and retires.

What kind of difference would a six-figure or seven-figure payday make in your lifestyle after your retirement? Enough to put in some serious planning? Of course!

Can you answer “yes” to these questions? And if you can’t, would the possibility of a six-figure or seven-figure payday be enough to motivate you to work on changing any “no” answers to “yes”?

  • Have I identified a willing and able buyer, either within my own company or outside it?
  • Have I kept financial records to document for that willing and able buyer the financial returns he or she can reasonably expect after the sale?
  • Have I structured my company so that this willing and able buyer can manage day-to-day operations after I’m no longer part of the company?
  • Have I planned for the retention of key employees and principals after the transaction is completed?
  • Have I secured the counsel of a rep-savvy attorney and a rep-savvy accountant to navigate the many potential legal and tax pitfalls of the transaction?

And with careful planning, the sale of a rep company can be a win-win for the buyer and the seller. One MANA rep reports he has purchased five rep companies over his career, earning the sellers a fair return on their entrepreneurial investment and allowing the buyer to assemble a regional rep powerhouse that stretches from Maine to Virginia.

MANA membership includes a wealth of resources for reps who are ready to give succession planning some serious attention. Visit the member area at, click on “Steps to Rep Professionalism” and go to step 12, “Plan for Your Succession and Sell Your Rep Business.” Or contact us by email at or by phone at 877-626-2776.

Charles Cohon, CPMR, is CEO and president of MANA. In 2016 Cohon earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation after completing American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) coursework and testing. Cohon also earned an MBA with honors and with concentrations in strategic management and entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and was founder and owner of a very successful Illinois manufacturers’ representative firm for nearly 30 years before joining MANA.

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