In 2011, I wrote about the life of hot tub sales reps (bit.ly/2011Reps). I not only liked hearing tales from the road, but I was also fascinated by the rep lifestyle. Far removed from my days in front of a computer and traveling to trade shows once or twice a year, I could not comprehend what it would be like to travel more than half the year, as many of these reps did.
In this issue, we’re looking at the rep life again. While things have changed for me — I spent more than 30 days on the road in the first quarter-and-a-half of this year visiting customers in the United States and Canada — that’s probably all the travel I’ll be doing for 2019. For a product rep, however, this would be only the beginning. Reps still spend a ton of time on the road, but thanks to technology can now get more work done remotely. While they’re visiting one dealership, helping with an event or training employees, they can correspond with others via text and email.
In some ways, however, technology means reps work more, not less. While you might not be comfortable calling a rep late into the evening (even if they say it’s OK), sending a short text or email doesn’t seem like a big deal. But having face-to-face support seems just as important now as it did eight years ago.
On another note, congratulations to Kelly King and his team at Mountain Hot Tub in Bozeman, Montana, who are featured in this issue. If you could build a store from the ground up, I imagine you would want many of the things you’ll find in his new flagship location. It is one of the nicest hot tub stores I’ve ever seen — and get a load of the service area.