Representatives National Resource Center
Selling through Manufacturers' Reps:
It Works Best If It's a Partnership
selling through manufacturers’ reps is much more that just signing up reps
and sending them a supply of sales literature.
A Genuine Partnership: The best principal-manufacturers’ rep relationship is win/win/win. It benefits the customer, the rep and the principal! In fact, that’s the only relationship that really works in the long run!
Training and Orientation: A new rep needs comprehensive product training and orientation to the company he is to represent. Either the new rep travels to the principal’s facilities (the best option), or the principal sends someone to train and orient the rep and his staff. When a rep travels to see a principal, it is traditional for the rep to pay his own expenses to and from the principal’s facility, and for the principal to pick up hotel and meal charges while the rep is at its facility.
Support Tools: In addition to samples and sales literature, reps need presentation tools they can use to introduce their customers and prospects to their new principal. This might include a slide show, a PowerPoint presentation or a video tour of the principal’s facilities. Give your reps an interesting story to tell, and they will tell it!
Field Support: Someone from the principal should travel in the field with each rep at least twice a year.
Start-Up Funding: When a rep is recruited to open a new sales territory, it is not uncommon for the principal to pay a monthly fee or an advance against commissions for a fixed period or until the territory begins to generate sales.
Is a Universal
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