Definition of Manufacturer's Representative

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    Significance

    • A manufacturer's representative usually makes sales calls to manufacturing, wholesale, retail and government clients. Sometimes, they may also call on institutional entities such as hospitals or schools. The job of a manufacturer's representative is to offer each client multiple product lines from various manufacturers. Some of these professionals may offer competitive products, while others deal with noncompeting products. Whatever the case, the manufacturer's representative usually makes sales presentations to clients, shows product samples and even demonstrates certain products.

    Types of Products

    • Manufacturer's representatives can sell consumer, industrial, technical, scientific, agricultural, mechanical, food and pharmaceutical products, according to the "Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2010 to 2011 Edition" of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Often, these sale professionals must attend trade shows or seminars to keep up with the latest products.

    Function

    • The manufacturer's representative may also perform various merchandising activities in retail stores. For example, a manufacturer's representative who sells packaged soaps and detergents might build displays to promote certain brands. Additionally, he may place point-of-purchase (POP) materials, including shelf tag cards, to highlight the particular location of a soap or detergent item. Additionally, the manufacturer's representative might coordinate advertising for insertion in a store's paper or advertising booklet, or even hang banners or put up window displays.

    Considerations

    • A manufacturer's representative will often have to install technical products for her clients. For example, a manufacturer's representative who sells an assembly line apparatus will likely have to install it for her manufacturing client. She might also recommend ancillary products that help improve the efficiency of the assembly line. Additionally, the manufacturer's representative will need to occasionally perform routine maintenance on the assembly line, if it breaks down.

    Geography

    • Most manufacturer's representatives cover regional territories. Hence, they are often required to travel and may spend weeks away from home. Manufacturer's representatives who travel will often need to arrange flights, plan routes, schedule appointments and keep track of expenses.

    Salary and Job Outlook

    • The annual salary for a manufacturer's representative usually falls between $35,000 and $90,000, depending on experience, according to payscale.com. Manufacturer's representatives who have 20 or more years of experience can expect to earn closer to $90,000. Additionally, the number of sales jobs, including manufacturer's representatives, is expected to increase 7 percent per year between 2008 and 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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