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Manufacturers’ Agent or Manufacturers’ Representative
A manufacturers’ agent or manufacturers’ representative is a self-employed salesperson that represents one or more manufacturers on a commission basis. The manufacturers’ agent usually works on his own and does not use any additional middlemen. A large portion of small- to medium-sized manufacturing firms in the United States depends upon independent agents to sell their products. A number of larger companies are also turning to the independent agent form of representation because it is proving to be a very cost-effective means of selling. Manufacturers’ Agents or Manufacturers’ Representatives can represent a local company or a company that is located in a international location. Manufacturers’ Agents could appoint distributors. Representatives may sell to wholesalers, retailers, government agencies, original equipment manufacturers, hospitals, schools, etc. The companies that an agent represents are called principals. Manufacturers’ agents that represent technical products usually sell merchandise that industries use in their own businesses. It may involve raw material and parts the company needs to produce the finished products it sells, or it may be machinery or electronic equipment designed to make company operations more efficient. The largest employers of sales engineers are companies that manufacture transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, electronics and heavy machinery. A single sale often represents hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery, but one sale may take several months or even years to complete. A manufacturers’ agent may represent several principals who produce compatible, but not competitive, lines. For example, an agent may represent one company that manufactures industrial pumps, another that makes valves, and still others that make gaskets, piping, insulation and other industrial equipment that are complementary to each other. Manufacturer’s Reps can also be only active as a sales promotion individual or organization they do not sell a physical product; rather, they promote sales by supplying merchandising advice and services. They build goodwill by helping retailers to increase sales, since they give advice on publicity opportunities, store designs, special events, exhibitions, direct mail and other advertising media.
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