Dear Manufacturer / Importer:
Thank you for your interest in the Manufacturers Representative Profile (MRP) program.
First of all, I would like to give you a little information on our background in the industry and explain why we developed the MRP Database and the MRP Method of working with Sales Agencies.
We have been selling and marketing stationery gift, general and better gift, collectable, housewares, bath, decorative accessories, toy, electronic, etc. lines since 1965. We have owned one of the larger manufacturer representative agencies in Southern California for 16 years. We sold that agency sixteen years ago.
Since 1970 we have consulted with more than 1000 new manufacturers and importers and have assisted in bringing their lines to market. We have also been involved with 2700 reorganizations of existing company's sales efforts. In this capacity, we were often given the assignment of finding good representation for our clients. In addition, MRP focuses on teaching the client how to work with the agents. We cover everything ranging from the first phone to the call to the prospective agent, contracts, sampling and training the agent to sell your line. We also cover week to week communications and how to measure the agents sales performance and to keep them motivated to sell your line.
Before we developed the MRP service, we used the same method in selecting sales representatives that most of the industry used; "word of mouth" information we received from other representatives, manufacturers, etc.
That system was not reliable enough. Less than 20% of the agencies we selected were successful, which we later found to be the industry average. That was in the early 1970's, and is still the average success rate today. Three quarters of the agents were not successful and had to be replaced. The cost of re-sampling the new agents' showrooms, salespeople, sales lost and customers lost (market share) to competitive lines was astronomical.
We did a study to identify the factors that contribute to this problem, and here are some of our findings.
The industry is over-populated in lines, and nearly every representative is over-lined. A rep concentrates the major portion (usually 80%) of their sales effort on 20% to 30% of their line package. The balance of their lines receive varying degrees of attention, but not their full sales effort.
There are over 250 types of accounts (classes of trade) an agency can sell and service in our industry, yet we found the average agency is usually efficient in selling and servicing 8 to 12 classes of trade. The combinations of these classes covered best, of course, vary greatly from one agency to another.
Why is it so hard to find an appropriate rep to sell your line?
- If you interview the rep, they are professional sales people and will tell you everything you want to hear.
- If you study their lines, you have no way of identifying if those lines comparable to your line are part of the 20% to 30% they sell everyday, or part of the 70% to 80% that don't get their everyday attention.
When the agent fills out information on the MRP and submits it to us, they have to make over 250 choices. We can identify the classes of trade which get their everyday selling attention, the lines they sell everyday, match line compatibility, judge the strength of their management and more.
When we conduct a search for prospective representatives for your line, we are selecting from 70% to 85% of the entire rep agency pool, which is many more agencies than a company owner or sales manager would have time to find and interview. In fact, many of the most efficient sales agencies these days do not have showrooms in regional marts, which makes them even more difficult for you to find.
The information that the MRP provides is analyzed by our trained personnel, making it easy to find the representatives who are most appropriate to sell your line. THE SYSTEM WORKS.