Never have reps been more needed in the outdoor industry. If retailers are to be the cultural ambassadors and flesh-and-blood connections to real consumers, reps must be the grand wizards, the witch-doctors, the story-tellers. For our vendors, we’re the ear-to-the-rails, boots-on-the-ground force that is otherwise lacking in an increasingly digital world transformed by social media and market disruption.
Reps need to have huge skill-sets to do what we do. We're rare, and valuable.
Meanwhile, reps have three main jobs: We sell, we service, and we market. We also have three work stations: The phone, the computer, and the steering wheel (sometimes even at the same time, with a cup of coffee and a burrito in our laps for good measure.) Juggling our job duties while transitioning from one work-station to another - and often from one time-zone to another - is beyond challenging: It's not sustainable, nor scalable.
It's time to look at the model we've been using and figure out what's next. What is next? We'll discuss this while looking at how new technologies and media habits can broaden our reach and effectiveness while conserving our most valuable resource: Our time and attention.
Werntz, founder of Pemba Serves, Inc, a sales agency that has been servicing the upper Midwest for almost twenty years, has over thirty years of experience in the outdoor industry. Pemba Serves was a finalist for the OIA Industry Innovator award in 2007; Brad was recognized in 2009 as one of the ten inaugural SNEWS® Power Players.