Here is a short summary of some of the discussion at the “Maximizing the Rep/Buyer
Relationship” panel at the Industry Boot Camp this week.
- Reps need to know their lines before the showing. They need to know what pieces the company is backing with marketing, etc.
- They should also ask for sell through reports from retailers before the meeting so they know what was booked last year and what sold.
- Sometimes reps tell buyers that the company the reps represent don’t listen to them. That’s a big mistake, Mike said. If you aren’t listening to the reps, who are the face of your company, than you essentially aren’t listening to your retail customers.
(HSS's Mike Sheldon with Aaron Pai and PT Townend.)
- His main expectations of reps is to be there – to be in the store a lot, to always be checking inventories and talking to kids on the floor, etc.
- A turnoff for Mike is the “constant peppering” for orders from some reps. Be patient, he said, and offer to help by writing a proposed order.
- Mike praised 6.0 for its easy, online ordering system. The catalog is online, so he can see the photos of what he is ordering and can fill out everything right there. “It’s a huge help,” he said.
- Mike also praised a town hall Quiksilver did with the HSS staff, where it brought in Quiksilver customer service expert George Kam to talk, and other executives discussed the brand, its roots, and what it stands for. The HSS staff left that meeting, “And all they wanted to do was sell Quiksilver,” Mike said. A lot of the kids that work on the floor don’t know that brand owners and top execs actually surf and snowboard, and were excited to learn that.
See Page 2 for more from the panel