SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA (BRAIN)—Sales reps are often the forgotten souls of the bike industry, so Interbike is considering sponsoring the formation of a non-profit sales representative association. One of Interbike's first steps in supporting reps is a "Rep Only" lounge on the show floor as a place to relax and to provide some much needed onsite business services.
The Rep Lounge, which will be located on the show's street level floor next to the food court, will provide a place for sales reps to decompress during a busy show with comfortable seating, free coffee and beer, and other services such as free WiFi, bag check, and printing and copying services. A representative will be in the lounge to discuss specific benefits an association could provide and to gather feedback and rep information.
"I started my career as an independent rep in Southern California in 1983, and have worked in various sales positions for more than 20 years," said Pat Hus, Interbike's new managing director. "Reps' costs of doing business have continued to increase, but commissions have generally remained flat or gone down. We are looking to help start an association that can deliver meaningful discounts and benefits with very low annual dues."
The association's goal is to provide both independent and factory reps deep discounts on hotels, office supplies, cell phone services, health insurance and other business related services. In addition, the association would host an on-line bulletin board linking manufacturers and reps looking for representation.
"I've discussed the concept with lots of reps over the years about the 'what ifs' of a rep association," Hus said. "There is universal agreement that the collective bargaining power of an association would help immensely. It could help independent and factory reps save significant money on every single expense report. I am excited about presenting the details of our vision to as many reps as possible at the show. The Rep Lounge will be the gathering point for those discussions."