TCI Precision Metals
I enjoyed using the website and appreciate the connections I was able to make. You have a very valuable service.Matt Erickson, Director of Sales, TCI Precision Metals
L.S. Wilson & Associates, Inc.
I really regret my MANA membership. By that, I mean that I really regret that I took so long to become a member.
When I started my rep firm, every time I learned something, I learned it the hard way. The only way I got “schooled” was from the school of hard knocks.
Then, during the 2007/2008 recession, a major principal terminated me as a cost-saving measure. I realized that I had put too many eggs into one basket.
So, I joined MANA to learn things about running my rep firm that I hadn’t learned from the school of hard knocks and help me build a line card that wouldn’t be overly dependent on a single line.
I could have avoided a lot of the pain during the start-up phase of my rep firm if I had joined MANA as soon as I opened my company. But, like most people, I suppose, I didn’t “get it” until I had some negative experiences and realized I needed to be part of an association that could help me make my firm a better company.Lisa Wilson, L.S. Wilson & Associates, Inc.
Northwest Heavy Duty
As a small, relatively young, specialized firm supporting North American heavy duty truck OEMs, we went over 10 years without considering the issue of liability insurance. The topic came up negotiating with a new supplier, so we began looking for a broker and getting quotes. We soon learned that our business model was outside the norm for their industry, and as a result, some of the quotes we received were staggeringly high!
As a sanity check, we reached out to MANA. Charles Cohon was quick to suggest a phone call. As we talked, it became clear that our business should be looking at a very modest cost to obtain the type of coverage we needed. At that point, with the additional knowledge supplied by MANA, we shifted the conversation to a new broker and purchased a perfectly serviceable policy for a very reasonable premium.
Our industry has a very effective rep council, and on occasion, MANA has spoken to our group, providing insightful, actionable ideas for creating and sustaining a robust rep agency. Our experience with liability insurance proved that their advice is also highly practical, making an immediate and positive difference to our bottom line. We look forward to many more opportunities to learn from MANA in the years ahead!John Adami, Principal, Northwest Heavy Duty, Inc.
Bernardo & Associates
I have closed the single biggest sale of my sales career history, a $3.8 million sale that netted me $366,000 commission. God bless America. This company found me because of my MANA membership, I love you guys!Robert Bernardo, Robert Bernardo & Associates, Inc.
I have been a MANA member for about a year. For the best part of the past 48 years I have been focused on process improvement. Several years ago I invented a device, designed my own circuit board, and built a prototype in my hangar. Then I discovered that the biggest challenge was taking it to market! Wow! Marketing was a much bigger challenge than engineering! A close friend, Dan Quinn, the former president of MHI suggested MANA. What a great experience! It has been a very rewarding decision. I have found many excellent candidates for manufacturers’ reps. The professionalism and organizational knowledge in our industry has significantly improved over the past 40 years! Much of it is due to professional organizations such as MANA. The Industrial Metric, LLC, success would not have been realized without MANA and their fine staff! I highly recommend MANA to everyone except my competition!Lin Brown III, Facilities Planning Services, LLC, Industrial Metric, LLC
Microwave Component Sources
MCS has been serving the Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina territory since 1998 and I have been a MANA member since 2008.
My MANA membership has been proven to be especially valuable just recently.
I just picked up a new line from an ad in Agency Sales magazine, and I also have connected with a MANA-member attorney for some legal needs.Mark Peavey, Microwave Component Sources
General Broach Company
First of all I wanted you to know the material you presented at the MANA seminar on sales reps in Chicago last week was very informative. I found you to be very knowledgeable and enjoyable in the presentation of it as well.
If possible I would like to request the PowerPoint program of your presentation so that I could use parts of it at a training session for our sales representative group. I’d also like to use it with my management team so that they can fully understand the sales representatives’ role in our business.Larry D. Stover, General Manager, General Broach Company
I have only been a member for a short time and I can testify it was a terrific decision.
Thank you and MANA.Ed Ruzicka
C. Bayless & Associates
Thank you for your note of congratulations and for recognizing our C. Bayless & Associates membership in MANA of 18 years. It has been a most helpful and rewarding membership.
I was operating C. Bayless & Associates, a 49-year-old agency, as the second generation after our founder, my Dad, Charles E. Bayless.
As of December 31, 2016, using all the wisdom and wonderful tips provided by Agency Sales magazine in recent years, we sold our agency to one of our employees. Mike Mosher, our agency buyer and a recent MANA member, has established a new agency, MM Sales Southeast, LLC. Upon guidance from our legal counsel, Tom Kammerait, a recognized MANA attorney and suggested to us by Jerry Leth, we have dissolved the C. Bayless & Associates agency/corporation. Tom has not only given us excellent legal help, but has also been an excellent adviser. He knows the rep business.
Don’t fear the loss of our agency’s dues. I have now incorporated my other agency, CDB Instruments, a current MANA member, and plan to focus attention on the growth of this agency. Life is great and the manufacturers’ rep career path is ever challenging!
Thank you for your strong leadership of MANA. It’s a privilege to continue our membership in this fine, professional organization.Chuck Bayless, C. Bayless & Associates
We received our Agency Sales magazine today!
Commendations and my appreciation to Alane LaPlante and Jack Foster on an exceptional layout and well written article that not only precisely represents EYSCO, but hopefully provides value for other MANA members.
I never imagined that sending an e-mail to MANA CEO Charles Cohon and MANA VP Jerry Leth about MANA’s “power, effectiveness, prestige” would have resulted in an Agency Sales magazine article on EYSCO.
I’m very thankful to be a MANA member.Ed Young, EYSCO
DA Roller Corporation
Get Them To Call You Back was a pretty good presentation, thanks.
Previously to my current role, I have held VP jobs in several companies, notable Interroll Corporation for several decades.
At Interroll we had a hybrid sales force of direct and indirect globally. We did very involved training on how to sell to the “C” suite: CEO, CMO, Presidents and so on. It involved video presentations on camera that were critiqued by your peers, all working in small groups. Preparation was the key.
You had time to work out you “pitch” for a meeting, then you presented to the team. It was fascinating to watch participants improve after 3 and some times more tries. They learned how to prepare.
Currently I have six manufacturers’ reps in North America and am engaged in hiring three more by 2017. As I make calls using the MANA RepFinder, I have two prepared phone messages written out on what the voice mail I fall into says. It works! I almost always get a response in a day or so, sometimes in 10 minutes.
Good Work, thanks for the refresher.Ken Cowlin, Vice President, DA Roller Corporation
Elite Mold & Engineering, Inc.
I joined MANA six weeks ago and have made contact with several reps and agencies that fit very well into our business.
Thank you and your team for making all of this easy, productive and educational.Paul Patrash, CEO, Elite Mold & Engineering, Inc.
Just finished reading your most recent edition of the “Three Minute Business School….” email.
I really appreciate your regular insightful “talks”. They are a genuine encouragement and, as I’m often just plodding along trying to keep up with the daily activities, they sometimes tend to “wake me up” and help adjust my thinking.
Being a one man agency and MANA member now for 32 years, I appreciate and can attest to all that MANA has done for me. Help has been in the form of start-up advice (back in the early days), providing answers to questions (especially commission & call report guidance), the seminars have been insightful & encouraging, occasionally Agency Sales articles have boosted my morale, and at times MANA has provided the “swift kick in the pants” needed to help me get back on the right track.
Keep up the good job you’re doing and thanks again for the monthly direction and encouragement.Mark Daily, Daily Co.
The Manufacturer’s Agents National Association (MANA) is a great resource for best practices in the independent reps/manufacturer relationship. They offer videos, teleconferences, live events, consultation with their experienced staff, free (limited) legal counsel, and their monthly Agency Sales magazine. 9Wood has been a member for a few years now, and they are highly recommended for any of our independent rep firms. To this end MANA and 9Wood have collaborated to offer 9Wood reps discounted membership if you join by October 31, 2015. 9Wood is not getting anything for this other than knowing our reps have been encouraged to take advantage of some of the best resources available!
P.S. I’ll even raise the offer: 9Wood rep firms that join MANA by 10/31/15 and over the next year find that it’s not worth several times over the membership fee, 9Wood will reimburse your annual dues. Now THAT is a deal.Michael Roemen, Independent Sales Rep Manager, 9Wood
Eastern Technologies, Inc.
Many thanks for recognizing our long time association with MANA. Our company joined MANA and was an active member long before I was involved or in the business.
I owe this to my former senior partner who was not only a mentor but an exceptional sales person but a visionary of the sales process. He was, long before anyone else, not just a salesman but “a salesman in the business of selling”. I learned a lot from him and am grateful for the knowledge base he shared and upon which to build.
It has been good to have this long a heritage with MANA…it has been a most beneficial relationship over the many years.Joseph Cook, President, Eastern Technologies, Inc.
(Editor’s note: Eastern Technologies, Inc. has been a MANA member since 1967!)
Thermal Power Solutions
I have been contacted by 3 manufacturers since we joined MANA earlier this month!Jim Thornton, Managing Partner, Thermal Power Solutions
Prime Systems Network, Inc.
MANA is an outstanding organization and one that has truly benefited our organization as well the Principals we serve. We appreciate the significant value that MANA has created for all concerned.Ralph McAllister, President, Prime Systems Network, Inc.
We Bring People Together Through Technology to Solve Manufacturing Challenges
SPAP Company, LLC
It is my pleasure, and to my company’s benefit, to have MANA on my website. When there are no standards, when there are no shared ideas, rules and ethics, there is more likelihood of misunderstandings and conflict. Having MANA in place slides a foundational platform underneath from which principals and reps can formally collaborate. Without it, the learning curve is long and time gets devoured.
I also appreciate your weekly e-blasts and your efforts to make market development fees understood. In fact, I incorporated a couple of MANA’s videos (one about market development fees) onto my website for harried US Small and Medium Enterprises. These types of supplemental, MANA tools contrast sharply with other associations.Jeff Henderson, SPAP Company, LLC
Maxey Sales Group, LLC
Just a note to say “thanks” for the articles. I know when you do these things you wonder if people take the time to read them.
I do each week and have benefited from them.
Keep em comin’Richard Maxey, Maxey Sales Group, LLC
I am receiving your emails and they are absolutely fantastic! I very much enjoyed your “Writing Email to Earn Orders” letter and have been utilizing it. Please keep the emails coming!Allen Berg, Aftermarket Account Manager at Ameritek International
Thank you for the message. I launched my agency in 2014 and joined MANA at the suggestion of a seasoned veteran that I know. So far, I feel that my MANA membership has paid for itself several times over in the value that it has provided me as I build my business.Jeff Trotta, Vertex Manufacturing Solutions
In appreciation of MANA…
I decided to start my own manufacturers’ sales representative business after working inside sales for my husband’s manufacturing business. I was searching the internet for a trade organization, when I found MANA’s website. The MANA website looked like a wealth of information, so I immediately joined. While I was looking for information on representative agreements/contracts, I got an e-mail from Charley Cohon as follows, “Your name has popped up a few times on our website on rep agreements. Is there anything I can help you with?” As I responded to say thank you, Charley provided me with the most thorough response to my questions, and he also informed me that MANA was available to support me anytime I needed.
In the short time I have been a member, MANA has been an invaluable source of information — offering the following (and so much more):
- A very thorough reference in developing my sales agency business plan.
- A working template for a sales representative agreement.
- A critique of both of the above from MANA professionals.
- What to look for and what questions to ask when interviewing principals.
- 12 Steps to Rep professionalism.
- Countless phone calls with and endless encouragement from both Charles Cohon and Jerry Leth.
- Access to other professional sales representatives nationwide.
- MANA’s Code of Ethics.
- A Listing in the MANA Directory of Sales Representatives & Manufacturers
I am and continue to be most appreciative of the limitless resources available through MANA and its professionals!Marnee Palladino, President, Facture, Inc.
I just wanted to give you a follow up to our efforts at procuring independent sales reps for our company LYCO manufacturing.
As you may recall, you worked with me on developing a list from the MANA database that comprised 90 reps. Of those, I narrowed it down to 11. I sent a profile last Thursday that you had reviewed for me.
I contacted all of the 11 reps yesterday and reached most of them. I had very good conversations with them. Two of them are coming to visit us this Friday. Another is very interested in setting up a visit next week or the week after. I expect I will hear from him today as to when he wants to visit. A fourth is getting back to me next week after he has had a chance to talk with the other reps in their organization.
From what I gather, apparently we have some capabilities they don’t have with their current principals and they were excited we found them. One rep told me they control $60 million in sales and could easily give us at least $1 million of sales in roll forming business alone which they do not have a fabricator with roll forming capabilities.
Anyway, I wanted to let you know how well it was going and to thank you again for all your input and support in helping me put this together. I will keep you posted on the progress.Jim Rowlands, LYCO MFG
A couple of weeks ago, Eriez held its regular Rep Council Meeting, marking our twentieth year of providing this important forum for communication, business development and strategic planning between our company and our Rep organization. I was reminded of the important role MANA has played over this time, including the MANA sponsored seminar especially for manufacturers, the white papers and Agency Sales magazine articles covering relevant issues for the Rep-Manufacturer relationship, and easy access to key MANA staff for sources and insights. We’ve even been fortunate enough to have hosted presentations by two MANA Presidents at our company’s International Sales Conferences which included all our global Reps and key company executives.
MANA provides a well-balanced platform for both Manufacturers and Rep Agencies on how to best work together in a mutual effort to grow our businesses, collectively serve our customers better and improve all levels of service. Simply put, MANA helps eliminate the “Us vs. Them” attitude between Manufacturers and Reps so we all are pulling on the same end of the rope. We believe in the benefits of MANA so much that we sponsored a one year MANA membership for our Rep companies who were not already MANA members – a total of 44 Rep companies from North America and worldwide.
We at Eriez find our relationship with MANA to be extremely valuable. Thanks for all you and the MANA team do for its members!
All the best.
CharlieCharlie Ingram, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Eriez Magnetics
GSA has the privilege to belong to 3 excellent professional organizations. Of the three, MANA has benefited my firm most. The informative data, Agency Sales magazine combined with the availability of expert advice makes them an excellent value. If I was to choose to belong to only one trade organization, MANA would be the one.John Beaver, President, GSA Optimum
My involvement with MANA over the past 10 years has been exceptionally valuable. Much of what I have learned about our profession came from the excellent and always informative AgencySales magazine as well as many other specific topic MANA publications. MANA’s backing of programs like MRERF and the CPMR certification are crucial to our industry; so our support of MANA is important.Bob Evans, EK Associates
I am the second generation owner of my family rep business – an organization that has been a MANA member for many years. My plan for growth is aggressive, and MANA has been a fantastic resource for not only networking opportunities, but business planning and strategy as well. As my parents transition out of the business, they, along with MANA, provide an excellent mentoring source that helps me avoid many common roadblocks. The result of which is faster, more sustainable growth. The rep business presents a very unique set of challenges and opportunities, and having MANA in my corner makes me a more informed and competitive agency. For me, my MANA membership is worth every dollar.John Davis, CEO/Founder, 3ML LLC
After attending a MANA Manufacturer Seminar, Eric Rodriguez, Director of Sales at 1factory wrote:
I have been to hundreds of presentation, training, and promotional events in my 25 year career. I have to say that your’s ranks in the top 3. The reason I say that is:
- You get people to know each other.
- You ask upfront, what do you want out of this.
- You tailored the presentation to your audience.
- You had an eye opener event — Mr. Grant introduction.
- You made the presentation truly interactive.
- You did a mid-session check of teaching progress from your introduction notes.
- You created an environment of learning from the audience as well as the teacher.
- You applied the Scientific Method to a topic that is full of emotion (bad and good experiences).
- You gave us a perspective of the manufacturers’ rep’s life in the trenches.
I have been a hardware high-tech manufacturing operations, supply chain professional for 23 of my 25 years in Silicon Valley. I am fortunate to have an opportunity to work in sales and business development and transition to the software frontier for my next season of work.
We are venturing in a new emerging industry of software-as-a-service which is becoming a disruptive technology to the traditional in-house server providers.
Our challenge is: Finding the new age Professional Sales Service person that not only sells a solution but can also offer B2B advice that is included in our value pricing proposition. We are not selling a transaction but a service. The great thing is, our product ties to manufacturing and how to make a quality part without increasing QC headcount. As one of my mentor’s said: “This is a good problem to have!”
You have provided me a good starting point for my discussions with our CEO, as we plan the sales growth strategy in our next phase.Eric Rodriguez, Director of Sales, 1factory
The topics were great and the input from members was very helpful. Learning from other members’ businesses and how to venture out to find reps was great.Thane Lechlitner, Water Star — A Tennant Co.