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Communication with Principals and Line Card Profitability Analysis
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Communication with Principals and Line Card Profitability Analysis

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Without good communication there can’t be a good rep-principal relationship, so MANA covers key points reps need to know to successfully communicate with principals. In today’s economy, all rep eyes …

Without good communication there can’t be a good rep-principal relationship, so MANA covers key points reps need to know to successfully communicate with principals. In today’s economy, all rep eyes are on the bottom line, so MANA provides a template and guidelines to assess which lines on your line card deserve the most and least attention, and which don’t belong on your line card at all.

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  • 1. Best PracticesCommunication With Principals Line Card Profitability Analysis Charles M. Cohon, CEO & President © 2013 Manufacturers’ Agents Nat’l Assn. www.manaonline.org
  • 2. September 2012 2
  • 3. 3
  • 4. 4
  • 5. • Best practice is ________. 5
  • 6. • Best practice is frequently. 6
  • 7. • Best practice is frequently.• Email is great but __________ _______. 7
  • 8. • Best practice is frequently.• Email is great but pick up the phone. 8
  • 9. • Best practice is frequently.• Email is great but pick up the phone.• Not just ________. 9
  • 10. • Best practice is frequently.• Email is great but pick up the phone.• Not just in a crisis. 10
  • 11. • Best practice is frequently.• Email is great but pick up the phone.• Not just in a crisis.• Pack the _________ with information. 11
  • 12. • Best practice is frequently.• Email is great but pick up the phone.• Not just in a crisis.• Pack the subject line with information. 12
  • 13. Subject RE:Subject QuoteSubject FYISubject Your RequestSubject Quote AttachedSubject Quote 200# 8/32 1” Machine Screws, $800.00, Factory Stock, F.O.B. Cleveland 13
  • 14. • _____________once a year. 14
  • 15. • Get on a plane once a year. 15
  • 16. • _______________ trends, new __________ product, new trend in ______ industry. 16
  • 17. • Product or market trends, new competitive product, new trend in vertical industry. 17
  • 18. • Product or market trends, new competitive product, new trend in vertical industry.• No ______, full ___________, best to bring it up yourself 18
  • 19. • Product or market trends, new competitor product, new trend in vertical industry.• No secrets, full transparency, best to bring it up yourself 19
  • 20. • Trade show booth time, windshield time.• Application notes, successful sales call• Agency news• Line card change. 20
  • 21. • Employees _____ or gone. 21
  • 22. • Employees added or gone. 22
  • 23. • Employees added or gone.• Know your audience, ___________ with them as they ___________ with you. 23
  • 24. • Employees added or gone.• Know your audience, communicate with them as they communicate with you. 24
  • 25. • Long sales cycles: _______ just to let principals know the project is still alive and you are making calls. 25
  • 26. • Long sales cycles: e-mails just to let principals know the project is still alive and you are making calls. 26
  • 27. • Leads have to be ________. 27
  • 28. • Leads have to be closed out. 28
  • 29. • Leads have to be closed out.• Reciprocate. Principals who contact you frequently expect __ _________________________. 29
  • 30. • Leads have to be closed out.• Reciprocate. Principals who contact you frequently expect to be contacted frequently. 30
  • 31. • Leads have to be closed out.• Reciprocate. Principals who contact you frequently expect to be contacted frequently.• Asynchronous: Email after ____________________ 31
  • 32. • Leads have to be closed out.• Reciprocate. Principals who contact you frequently expect to be contacted frequently.• Asynchronous: Email after normal business hours 32
  • 33. • If you have office staff, _______. 33
  • 34. • If you have office staff, delegate. 34
  • 35. • If you have office staff, delegate.• To communicate with 30 year olds, learn to ____. 35
  • 36. • If you have office staff, delegate.• To communicate with 30 year olds, learn to text. 36
  • 37. • If you have office staff, delegate.• To communicate with 30 year olds, learn to text.• Discuss problems ____, manage principal’s __________. 37
  • 38. • If you have office staff, delegate.• To communicate with 30 year olds, learn to text.• Discuss problems early, manage principal’s expectations. 38
  • 39. • If you have office staff, delegate.• To communicate with 30 year olds, learn to text.• Discuss problems early, manage principal’s expectations.• Principals hate ________. 39
  • 40. • If you have office staff, delegate.• To communicate with 30 year olds, learn to text.• Discuss problems early, manage principal’s expectations.• Principals hate surprises. 40
  • 41. “Don’t be _______ to yourmanufacturer. 41
  • 42. “Don’t be invisible to yourmanufacturer. 42
  • 43. “Don’t be invisible to yourmanufacturer. I’m here to tellyou that you’ll never receivethe _____ you’re due unless you takethat _____. 43
  • 44. “Don’t be invisible to yourmanufacturer. I’m here to tellyou that you’ll never receivethe credit you’re due unless you takethat credit. 44
  • 45. “Don’t be invisible to yourmanufacturer. I’m here to tellyou that you’ll never receivethe credit you’re due unless you takethat credit. There’s no way yourmanufacturers can know about ______________________ unless you tellthem about it. 45
  • 46. “Don’t be invisible to yourmanufacturer. I’m here to tellyou that you’ll never receivethe credit you’re due unless you takethat credit. There’s no way yourmanufacturers can know about allthat you do in the field unless you tellthem about it. 46
  • 47. “Don’t be invisible to yourmanufacturer. I’m here to tellyou that you’ll never receivethe credit you’re due unless you takethat credit. There’s no way yourmanufacturers can know about allthat you do in the field unless you tellthem about it. Now, does thatmandate call reports? ___________.” 47
  • 48. “Don’t be invisible to yourmanufacturer. I’m here to tellyou that you’ll never receivethe credit you’re due unless you takethat credit. There’s no way yourmanufacturers can know about allthat you do in the field unless you tellthem about it. Now, does thatmandate call reports? Absolutely not.” 48
  • 49. • Our reps communicate with us by letting us know what their plans are for the coming year.• What are your succession plans? If anything, we lose sleep over that one.• Are you adding any lines? Dropping anyone? 49
  • 50. • What are you doing differently in the territory now than you were before?• Do you need any product or market training?• Any trade shows in your territory that we should know about? 50
  • 51. • What do you need from us that you’re not getting?• Just let us know about those matters and we’ll work much more effectively together. 51
  • 52. 52
  • 53. 53
  • 54. 54
  • 55. 55
  • 56. • An inch wide and a mile deep?• Market and/or product segmentation• Getting better at what you are already good at. 56
  • 57. • Eliminate ___________. 57
  • 58. • Eliminate distractions. 58
  • 59. • Eliminate distractions.• Becoming valued _________ instead of commoditized generalists 59
  • 60. • Eliminate distractions.• Becoming valued specialists instead of commoditized generalists. 60
  • 61. 61
  • 62. 62
  • 63. $821,000 My Line Card & Commission IncomeAlpha $180,000 India $23,000Bravo $200,000 Juliet $24,000Charlie $150,000 Kilo $25,000Delta $50,000 Lima $2,000Echo $40,000 Mike $3,000Foxtrot $47,000 November $4,000Golf $46,000 Oscar $5,000Hotel $22,000 63
  • 64. $50KHow does this line’s income compare with your top line that is not in your top 3? Danger Risky Profitable Ideal $40K $30K 12 Retain Swift Action Month & Grow $20K Probation Monitor $10K No Six 12 Brainer Month Month Nurture $1K Probation Probation 0 Lines 1 Line 2 Lines 3 Lines How many of your top 3 lines are a good fit for this line? 64
  • 65. • Assess current profitability• Assess for future profitability• Benchmark prospective new lines against long term plan• Re-allocate sales resources to profitable products. 65
  • 66. • Future potential• Door opener• Sales support• Ease of doing business• Competitive prices 66
  • 67. • Responsive• Flexible• On time• Quality• Repeat business 67
  • 68. • Post sales issues• Reporting demands• Long term commitment to reps• Sales leads• Commission on time• House accounts 68
  • 69. • __________ pending the line you really want 69
  • 70. • Placeholder pending the line you really want 70
  • 71. • Placeholder pending the line you really want• _______ market where you want to be a player. 71
  • 72. • Placeholder pending the line you really want• Emerging market where you want to be a player. 72
  • 73. •80/20 Rule•Return on investment (ROI) 73
  • 74. • Trending toward becoming specialists instead of generalists.• Broad versus narrow is a delicate, market by market balance.• Too narrow is not a sustainable market. 74
  • 75. • Broad generalist reps “compete with the ______ for commodities.” 75
  • 76. • Broad generalist reps “compete with the Internet for commodities.” 76
  • 77. • Broad generalist reps “compete with the Internet for commodities.”• Insurance agents and travel agents can’t match _____ and __________ on commodities. 77
  • 78. • Broad generalist reps “compete with the Internet for commodities.”• Insurance agents and travel agents can’t match Geico and Travelocity on commodities. 78
  • 79. • How can you capture the most income for your value-adding activities? 79
  • 80. • Skill sets must be transferable from one industry to the next so reps can maintain flexibility.• When coal goes away your skills have to carry you in recycling and energy. 80
  • 81. Internet-savvy youngcustomers are furtheralong in the selectionprocess by the time youget the call. 81
  • 82. The first call tends to be moreabout refining the customer’sneeds because: • The simple stuff is done, or • You have to explain why their D. I. Y. approach wont work. 82
  • 83. •Capture the “expertise premium.”•Instead of delivering the information, you curate the information. 83
  • 84. Control the conversation andprovide a unique, tough toduplicate solution. 84
  • 85. • Rep as problem solvers and expert advisor• Customers w/o engineers want complete solutions that savvy reps can design 85
  • 86. • Customers who want to push out the rep having a harder time if the rep ________________ _________________________ ________. 86
  • 87. • Customers who want to push out the rep having a harder time if the rep builds the package around the products in his or her line card. 87
  • 88. • Customers who want to push out the rep having a harder time if the rep builds the package around the products in his or her line card.• Share sales leads __________ _______________. 88
  • 89. • Customers who want to push out the rep having a harder time if the rep builds the package around the products in his or her line card.• Share sales leads between manufacturers. 89
  • 90. • Sometimes your specialty or your principals’ specialties drift over time. 90
  • 91. Inordinate amount of time withoutresults. –It could be the rep. –It could be the principal. –It could just be a bad fit between a good rep and a good principal. 91
  • 92. • You can grow out of line.• Rep or principle can get stale.• Are you are cannibalizing your time?• Niche products may only have one to two opportunities per year.92
  • 93. • Market and/or product segmentation• Ideally a customer could buy 5-6 of my lines. 93
  • 94. • Who gives you the best leads?• Find lines to fit the white space.• Reevaluate cost/benefit annually. 94