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.
Charlie 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.
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.