As CEO of the not-for-profit Manufacturers’ Agents National Association (MANA www.manaonline.org), it’s a question I get all the time from manufacturers: “What kind of ‘Independent Sales Reps Needed’ resources are out there?”
And because we are a not-for-profit trade association, I always let people know about the free “independent sales reps needed” resources that are available before I talk about the resources that are not free.
Ask your existing customers who the best reps who call on them are. The downside to this tactic is that you’ll hire reps who do well with customers you already have, and you really want new customers.
Ask your best prospects who the best reps who call on them are. Sharing your “independent sales reps needed” announcement with your best prospects can get you referrals to sales reps who are strong with the customers you want, not the customers you already have.
Ask your current reps. If you have a rep in Illinois, chances are he will know who the best reps are in Wisconsin and Indiana. If you have a rep in Ohio, you can probably get a referral to the best reps in Pennsylvania. And a referral from a current rep will get you more attention from the prospective rep, because you got his or her name from someone they know and trust.
Ask at trade shows where you exhibit. Hang an “Independent Sales Reps Needed” sign in your booth, and you’ll get inquiries from reps who are visiting that show.
What other kinds of “Independent Sales Reps Needed” resources are out there?
With MANA membership you get access to MANA’s Rep Finder searchable database of reps. It’s free to MANA manufacturer members, but if you’re not a member you’ll need to join to search this list. The unique feature of this list is that MANA rep members pay substantial dues to be members of their trade association. Which means that people who are just dabbling in the rep business won’t be on the MANA list, because dabblers won’t pay to join their industry’s trade association.
The fastest “Independent Sales Reps Needed” resource is to place a “Rep Wanted” classified ad on MANA’s website. Because manufacturers pay for these ads, MANA wants to be sure they reach the widest possible audience, so these ads are in the public area of www.manaonline.org. As of this writing, MANA’s “Rep Wanted” classified ad page gets about 2,000 hits per month.
More questions about “Independent Sales Reps Needed” resources. Reach out to MANA at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to take your questions whether you are a member or not.