Rep Rap. Appeared August 1995.

How do you think reps can improve relations with a shop?

Eric Nyberg¿Northwest rep for Avalanche

My biggest thing is going to the shop as much as possible. And if I have riders or other reps under me, I have them stop in the shop while they are on the road.

We Avalanche offer shop-employee programs. Giving out stickers, T-shirts, hats, and any other little gimmicks you have to the shop so they can give them to employees and team riders is great.

Also, it’s important to be honest with the retailer. If you can’t ship it¿tell them.

Ned Silverman¿Midwest rep for Gnu/Lib Tech

Most reps’ true role in life is to facilitate business, while in reality they hinder it through phony moral posturing or creating imaginary and nonexisting geographical lines of distribution. They maintain a holier than thou attitude, which is neither justified nor necessary to accomplish what they were hired for. Most reps should be fired, but they just don’t know it. Only through self-examination can we heal.

You don’t see many reps. A lot of reps don’t realize that they work for the retailers. They should make appointments and keep them, call before they “stop in,” and do things like assist the retailer with inventory tracking. They should educate the retailer, as the retailer must educate the customer. And they should get lost if they sense that they’re not welcome.