Most distributors today carry more than one line of equipment, tools and chemicals for different reasons.  One is that they want to have a complete line of products that will satisfy almost anyone who comes to them to purchase.  Another reason is that they can sometimes compete different products or services thereby providing lower prices or better value in different areas.  Finally, the manufacturer may have given them a great deal simply to have a presence in a given geographic area.

Just as a local distributor rep, the manufacturer’s rep is on commission or a mix of salary and bonus.  They will not keep their job long if they are not moving product which is a reality we all should accept.  They also have to sell what the company manufactures and sometimes may have difficulty in really justifying the cost/benefits for a particular product or line.

The manufacturer’s rep can be an invaluable asset to the local distributor is they have a close working relationship which means there is a win/win/win outcome.  By that I mean everyone is satisfied with the outcome.  You should remember that unless the manufacturer’s rep lives locally they only see the local distributor once a month or even less due the fact that they will have a different distributor in several cities possibly in several states that make up their territory.  Although they may be able to drop everything and reschedule for a crisis at a large account, they usually can only be relied on when in the area visiting with the local distributor.

Your goal should be to cultivate both the local distributor rep and the manufacturer rep so that they better understand your needs. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or