Manufacturers Representative Associations

Written by Sandy Mitchell
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What Are Manufacturers Representative Associations?

A Manufacturers representative association is a non-commercial group whose goal is to promote professional and ethical sales practices, provide a discussion forum among sales representatives, and to educate manufacturers reps on new sales techniques and technology. Such organizations provide reps with a network of support and offer a wide array of benefits. For manufacturers, they can help them keep in touch with current sales trends and build relationships with manufacturer reps they may want to work with in the future.

Generally, both manufacturers reps and manufacturing companies are eligible to join. Sometimes a manufacturer is offered an associate membership rather than a full membership. Usually there are annual dues to join a manufacturers representative association. Obviously, this is a business expense and can be deducted as such.

Benefits of Belonging to a Manufacturers Representative Association

Joining a manufacturer representative association can be a big asset to the self-employed salesperson. Such associations offer group heath insurance rates, tax assistance, and often have a forum for addressing commission payment disputes. Many associations have lobbying efforts in Washington to promote issues favorable to self-employed salespeople. Manufacturers representative associations often offer continuing education opportunities as well as contract guidelines for independent sales rep agreements.

Many associations have local or regional chapters giving the sometimes-solitary salesperson a social outlet. A monthly magazine usually gives information on local chapters. Belonging to one of these associations helps keep manufacturers representatives fresh, up-to-date on new sales information, and helps them from getting "burned out."

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