target manufacturer's representative

Understanding Manufacturer Representative Synergy

A major reason for manufacturer representatives’ effectiveness and value

The Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF) defines synergy in their Outsourcing Field Sales manual:


Synergism is the joint interaction of agents which, when combined with each other, increase each other’s overall effectiveness. Synergistic selling refers to the sales interaction between lines and products, which increases the sales of each.

Let’s break that down. For our purposes, agents refers to the products, or lines of products that a vendor offers. So when a product from Vendor A is combined or bundled together with the product from Vendor B, when being shown to a customer, both vendors are able to make a sale where neither may have succeeded before. The customer gets more for their dollar, and less time in meetings, and rep firms get more lines into the store.

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A Self-Examination for Manufacturer Representatives

Why we continually examine our lines to ensure synergy

John Haskell, in Agency Sales online magazine, asks manufacturer representatives to examine their lines and portfolios.


Whom do you represent? Why? How do the lines fit together into an explainable portfolio of lines?

The explanation of your portfolio is a major issue for you to consider with your sales team. Do the lines you represent make sense as a multiple-line package of products that your customers understand and appreciate?

This question is key to your firm’s ability to leverage the package of lines you have been able to acquire for sale in your territory. It does not make sense to represent lines that do not benefit from being a synergistic part of your package.

This is good advice for us as manufacturer representatives. Synergy in our product lines don’t just benefit ourselves. It dramatically impacts what can be sold when and where, ultimately affecting both our customers and vendor partners. Three Sixty Sales doesn’t work with anyone that knocks on our door. Lines are screened for many things, not least of which is the ways those lines fit with our portfolio.

Outsourcing to a Manufacturer Representative

Understanding Sales vs Needing to Manage Them

Agency Sales writer Charles Cohon quotes professor Eric Bacon from his Columbia University Business School class,


“To run a business you need to understand law, but you don’t have to be a lawyer. You need to understand accounting, but you don’t need to be an accountant… You need to understand sales through courses like Professor Baron’s… but once you understand sales, you don’t necessarily need to be your company’s sales force. You can outsource the sales function just like you outsource legal and accounting needs.”

Knowledge is certainly power, so understanding the sales process is key. But letting go of that function and allowing professionals with more experience, stronger relationships and greater access to customers might be the best sales decision you make.

target manufacturer's representative

Manufacturer Representatives are More than Just a Source

They are valuable in ways that extend beyond the normal sales functions.

In addition to the synergy a manufacturer representative offers, the ability for a rep to perform well rests in the high caliber of their sales personnel. These firms attract and retain the top entrepreneurial, goal-oriented and competitive talent in the industry.

Reps like long-term relationship with vendors and customers, which is why most reps live in the territory they serve, and for manufacturer representatives like Three Sixty Sales that focus on a few major customers, working only a few skyway steps away from the customer is a huge reason for a vendor to consider partnering with a manufacturer’s rep. Their ability to get face-to-face time with the customer allows them to establish strong relationships that last a long time.

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Manufacturer Representative Compatibility

Another Factor to Consider when Choosing Your Rep

Back in July of 2014, posted an article about choosing the right manufacturer representative, which contained a piece about representative compatibility, an important aspect when choosing a manufacturer representative.

While hiring someone simply because you both get along well is definitely not a good idea, you should hire a manufacturer’s rep that you’re compatible with. Since much of the rep’s work will be done out of the office and you will not be able to monitor their performance, you have to be sure that you can still effectively communicate with the rep. For example, if you tend to communicate via email you’ll want to choose a manufacturer’s rep that can effectively communicate through the written word. Or, if you are very detail-oriented, you’ll want to make sure that the rep you hire is equally focused on the nitty-gritty. Otherwise, you’ll find it hard to see eye-to-eye.

– Kate DiGiacomo, Business Opportunities 2014


Three Sixty Sales is a boutique Target manufacturer’s rep and values the close relationships it has with its vendor clients. Get in touch to see how we can work for you.

manufacturer representative

How a Manufacturer Representative can Increase Sales and Reduce Costs

Achieving a Better Bottom Line by Outsourcing Manufacturing Sales

One of the most important functions leaders across corporate America perform is increasing profits and building shareholder equity. And two of the most effective methods for reaching these goals is to increase sales and decrease company costs.

For manufacturers, outsourcing is a normal method for reducing costs and increasing sales, while allowing the ability to maintain focus on their core competencies. While it may be most common for companies to outsource security, technology, marketing or legal departments, outsourcing the sales function is equally effective to achieving those reduced costs and increased sales goals. Because manufacturer representatives handle so much more than direct sales calls, this process can be more complex than outsourcing some other services. But once understood and running smoothly, a representative will allow manufacturers to focus on their core business: manufacturing and perfecting their product.

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Evaluating Manufacturer Representatives

Curated Post from Agency Sales Magazine

Manufacturer representatives make constant calculations and evaluations. Whether it is of the products they are helping sell or the shelf space those products get allotted, a manufacturer representative is evaluating everything that will help increase sales. But as Tom Hayward, writing for Agency Sales magazine states, manufacturer representatives also get evaluated.


As unbridled entrepreneurs, manufacturers’ representatives naturally evaluate our business space to maximize our return on investment. We evaluate many areas to include the prospects at end user/OEMs, the effectiveness of our distributor/wholesaler networks, and the future with the principals we represent. We should not be surprised that each of these channel partners are evaluating us as well.

– Agency Sales: May 2015


We don’t forget that we, too, are evaluated by our customers and principals, and we strive to maintain a level of competence and expertise that benefits all parties and proves our value.

Manufacturer Representatives in the Sign Industry

Curated Post from Agency Sales Online Magazine

Here is another article that shows that it doesn’t matter the industry you are a part of— a manufacturer representative should be an essential part of your business strategy.

…What kind of impact do companies like Yorston’s have on the image of representatives? A very positive impact, says Sales Manager-Sign Products Joe Walsh of Orange, Connecticut-based Voltarc. “I will say that manufacturers’ representatives’ professionalism has increased dramatically over the years. So when I meet a manufacturers’ representative who knows every sign company in a six- to eight-state area, the ins and outs of what they are working on, and their typical customers, I know that’s a professional. And I know that I’m unlikely to find a new hire as a direct employee who could match that expertise.”

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manufacturer representative

Outsourcing Your Sales

How a Manufacturer Representative is a Cost Effective Way to Get Products to Market

You’re a manufacturer that wants to start selling in Target or other big retailers, and you have heard that many vendors work with a manufacturer representative to achieve these goals. But what is a manufacturer representative, and what makes them so essential to your success in a large retail environment?

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How to Get Your Product Sold in Target

How to Get Your Product Sold in Target

A few helpful tips for manufacturers seeking Target as a means to international distribution and sales


You have an awesome product. It’s something people across the country need to have in their homes right now. But how do you get it there? You can sell independently from a website or through established online retailers. We know that many great products start this way. Others begin with QVC or similar outlets. But one of the most sought-after methods of distribution is selling a product through one of America’s largest retailers.

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