Changes: The Network for Professional Agents and Representatives

SEMA Member News—January/February 2013  

Changes: The Network for Professional Agents and Representatives

 

Pierre Pfeffer of Amp Research accepted the award for MRN’s STAR (Sales Team Annual Recognition) award
Pierre Pfeffer of Amp Research accepted the award for MRN’s STAR (Sales Team Annual Recognition) award, which honors a manufacturer that demonstrates best practices and a true partnership in working with professional reps.

   
  Jon Wyly (upper left) of the SEMA Data Co-Op led one of several discussions during the Rep Technology Roundtable. Wyly spoke to the group about making the connection between product data management and sales growth.
Jon Wyly (upper left) of the SEMA Data Co-Op led one of several discussions during the Rep Technology Roundtable. Wyly spoke to the group about making the connection between product data management and sales growth. 
   
  Jon Wyly (upper left) of the SEMA Data Co-Op led one of several discussions during the Rep Technology Roundtable. Wyly spoke to the group about making the connection between product data management and sales growth.
Bernard Bolisig (back to camera) of Upshift Marketing also led one of the roundtable discussions. His topic was the use of e-Commerce to maintain sales relevance in the current economy. 

The SEMA organization that serves manufacturers’ reps in the automotive aftermarket industry has changed from the Manufacturers’ Representatives Council to the Manufacturers’ Representatives Network (MRN). The new name reflects the group’s desire to better serve the needs of the membership by becoming an individual-based professional network, compared to its previous agency-based membership format.

“MRN is very excited about these changes and feels this will best serve, promote and elevate our industry,” said MRN Chairman Thomas Jourdan of True High Performance Sales.

A critical component to the decision was the ability to reach more industry professionals and, as a result, better address the challenges and opportunities confronting the rep industry.

MRN’s vision statement is as follows: MRN is a community of manufacturer agents that seeks to promote the benefits and relevance of the profession. We will do this by collaborating with all segments of the specialty-equipment market on the importance of our community; strengthening our community through engaging industry professionals; and being a catalyst for communicating solutions impacting the industry and its segments.

MRN Honors AMP Research and Mr. Phone, Herb Goldstein

The late Herb Goldstein, better known as Mr. Phone, was the 2012 inductee into the MRN Hall of Fame. Goldstein had a long and illustrious career as a high-performance manufacturers’ rep. He represented many major names in that sector on a national basis and is credited with not only bringing those manufacturers to market but also helping carry them into national prominence with his marketing skills.

Goldstein earned his nickname for the nearly constant long-distance phone calls he would make to every high-performance customer in the country. He was a powerful and creative salesman who came from a rep family. His father, Jack, had a long career on the West Coast.

In his time, Goldstein was perhaps the best-known performance rep in the entire country. In addition to his career as a manufacturers’ rep, he also invested in several manufacturing enterprises.

Rep Technology Roundtable Takes Center Stage

Traditionally known as the Rep Conference, the 2012 event also saw its share of change. The MRN leadership made the decision to modify the format for the conference back to an exclusive rep event. The format was less formal and focused on more intimate roundtable discussions that provided industry peers and competitors with the opportunity to discuss issues in an open forum. The opening session was led by Bryan Shirley, CPMR, who introduced the nearly 100 attendees to the thought leaders who would guide conversations. Experts and topics included:

  • Improve your Brand: Effective and Practical Online Solutions; Luanne Brown, eTool Developers
  • Product Data: Product Data Management and Sales Growth—Making the Connection; Jon Wyly, SEMA Data Co-op
  • e-Commerce: Remaining Relevant in Today’s Economy; Bernard Bolisig, Upshift Marketing
  • Apps: Business Apps that Boost Productivity; Tyler Tanaka of Cie Studios
  • Market Research: Identifying Information to Help Your Business; Gavin Knapp, SEMA
  • MRN: What is the Manufacturers’ Representative Network?; Joel Rosenthal, MRN IPC/Advisor
  • Insurance: Addressing Risk and Building a Solution; Franco Ganino of Alliant Insurance Solutions
  • Practical Advice for Complicated Issues in Your Rep Firm: Buy-Sell Valuations, Outside Sales Compensation, Contracts, Commissions; Stump Bryan

Special thanks to the event sponsors for their generous support.

  • Premier Sponsor: Bob Cook Sales
  • Supporting Sponsors: Considine Sales & Marketing and The Kayes Co.
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