MWSRA includes the full range of sales professionals, from the most experienced reps in the territory to hungry rookies looking to make a name for themselves. If your product can be sold into the outdoor market, there is probably an MWSRA rep who is a good fit for you.
How to find an MWSRA member
A classic way is to scan the product line listings on this site and contact reps who sell products that you think are complementary to yours. Feel free to contact them directly.
If you have an existing base of retailers in the region, ask them if they have recommendations.
We can also broadcast a description of your line to all of the MWSRA members. This goes out via email from the executive director on a periodic basis. You can use our online form to submit your info (coming soon).
In the meantime, email us
a position description of about 125 words. Make it compelling. After all, if you
can't sell your brand, how can you expect anyone else to do it? And don't forget your audience--you're not selling your brand or product to an end user, you're selling a business opportunity.
Your position description may contain links but not attachments, and it should have info about how you want to be contacted. The best way to provide it is in the body of an email so we can easily extract it for forwarding (rather than as an attachment, for example). Any interested candidates will connect with you directly.
Can MWSRA recommend a candidate to me?
In a word, no. We are a membership organization, and we have an equal duty to each of our members. This means we can't make specific recommendations. You can learn a lot about a candidate through the interview process, and communicating with retailers can be an excellent way to learn more about someone's approach to their business.
The cold reality of the marketplace
An independent rep is a great resource for a manufacturer, but a rep in the field is not a magic bullet. You have to have realistic expectations of what can be accomplished. These expectations will be different depending on a lot of factors, including whether your brand is new or established, and whether your category is up-and-coming, in its prime, or perhaps declining. A good relationship with a rep will be one that is open to communication in both directions and permits open discussion of these and other issues.
Founders launch their brands because they see something--a need or an opportunity. In the present time, sourcing has gotten easier and selling has gotten harder. The result is that in many categories supply exceeds demand, and that makes conditions very difficult for new brands. So anyone seeking to bring new product to market would do well to take a sober look at their offerings and ask if this is something that is different or unique--in other words is it something the world needs. The unfortunate reality is that sometimes the answer is no, and if the world simply does not need what a brand has to offer, no amount of selling will magically make it a success.
A major factor in the parting of ways between reps and manufacturers is a failure of the parties to clearly understand and respond to the needs of the other. As a trade association, we want to encourage strength in these relationships, because long-term relationships are key to the success of our members.