I have always valued the fact that my sales reps bring valuable information and experience with them to help me make good buying decisions. But Lois Jordan, our sales rep for Two’s Company, has gone the average rep one better.  She has generously offered to bring a dozen Nigerian dwarf dairy goats, some chickens and a Spanish mastiff to our neighborhood street festival next month to help make the event a success. 


Over the years sales reps have assisted our store in many other ways — one of my favorites is by presenting educational seminars for our staff, complete with refreshments and door prizes.  Marcus Schwartz, our Thymes rep, puts on a great training session every fall. Employees loves these one-hour sessions before we open, and you can be sure that they put their knowledge of the Thymes to good use in selling it.


Other reps, such as Vicki Brandt from Malden, are willing to take an inventory of the product on hand in order to help with a reorder.  She arranges to come a few minutes early so that she has it all done in time for our appointment.


We sometimes ask our reps to help us with fundraisers, and Dave Tallaksen of Design Ideas is one of those who always responds.  In fact Dave just called us to ask if we could use a wire lion to donate to our local zoo. Of course we could!  


There are many ways that we count on our reps, including advice as to what to order (they’re great sources of information about what is selling elsewhere in our area) and help with problems.  We enjoy seeing new lines and products that they bring to our attention.  


As retailers, we hope that our customers will always appreciate the joys of shopping in person instead of online.  And as buyers, I hope we always appreciate the personal touch that comes from working with a skilled and knowledgeable sales rep instead of ordering from a web site or catalogue. We need to keep in mind that most reps are paid strictly on commission, so we should make good use of their time.  The rep system is an endangered species unless we support it. Remember, good sales reps make it easier for us to get the goods  — and the goats.


Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder