Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 38
#replife: w/Jon Webb
The pandemic has changed a lot for reps, but the
light at the end of the tunnel is slowly coming
into view. By Cameron Martindell
JONWEBB BLAMES HIS HIGH SCHOOL JOBATWASATCHTOURING IN
Salt Lake City for sucking him into the outdoor industry. He is originally
from Memphis, Tenn., then got into skiing, climbing, and riding mountain bikes after his family moved to Utah.
How did you get started in this business ?
I worked retail at the Trail Head in Missoula, Mont., while attending
college at the University of Montana. After college, I worked in-house
at Black Diamond Equipment as a customer service rep. Five years
later, I went out on my own into the independent rep world.
My agency partner, Emily McMurray, also worked in retail for
Lululemon. Amy Cardwell, our operations lead, worked for Zion
Outdoors, one of our accounts, as a buyer and manager. Both jobs
eventually led them to working as reps. Collectively, we have repped
or worked for reps who represented Wookey Backpacks, Grivel North
America, Evolv climbing shoes, Mountain Hardwear, Montrail, Kuhl,
Zamberlan, Mountain Equipment, Forsake, Skratch Labs, Skout
Organics, Tailwind, and, last but not least, Hoka.
When did you start your own agency? Why?
I first started as a rep in 2002 with the initial launch of Cordillera
Sales when I was 27 years old. We are now on our third iteration of
Cordillera Sales, and this version started in 2014. I had initially wanted to be a rep for Black Diamond Equipment. When I realized that
was not going to happen, I went out on my own.
What's the most fulfilling thing about being a rep?
Building relationships with our accounts and seeing their businesses
grow by virtue of selling our product. We are passionate about the
brands we rep, and working hard for them is fulfilling.
What can reps do to create better relationships with the retailers
with whom they work?
Be nice, be honest, don't oversell. Keep the success of the shop's business as the goal because, without them, we are done. Communicate
with retailers clearly and promptly.
What can retailers do better to get the most out of their reps?
Sell-through reports. Give us information to help manage our business with you. Let us take work off your plate. Communicate with
38 OUTDOOR RETAILER
/ March 2021
What's the biggest challenge
reps are facing during the pandemic? And how are you overcoming those challenges?
Watching some of our retailers
struggle and not being able to
AGENCY: Cordillera Sales LLC
see people in person. It's easing
HOME BASE: Boulder, Colo.
up, but not being able to visit
BRANDS HE REPS: Hydro Flask,
accounts is a struggle, and the
Cotopaxi, Ciele Athletics, Duer
lack of trade shows and camaraDenim
derie-missing our community.
It's tricky to build psych for the coming season without being able to
visit our brands. And, finally, selling over Zoom can be challenging,
especially when meeting people for the first time.
What advice do you have for new reps on how to handle pandemic-related issues? How have things changed from the start of the
pandemic compared to looking forward to spring 2021?
Be flexible-we tell our buyers the same thing. Being able to adjust to
a changing business landscape and a willingness to adapt your practices will serve you well, pandemic or no pandemic. Be positive and
look toward the bright side.
Buyers are much more confident than they were at the beginning of
the pandemic. Everyone has gone from panic to hope, and most have
just come off a pretty positive 2020 year. At least that's what we've
seen in our region (the Rockies). The increase in domestic travel offered an increase in business as a result.
We're also hearing that buyers are looking back at '19 for an indication of where they want to set their " open to buy " for '21-as if '20
didn't happen or at least can't really be trusted for solid forecasting.
What are the most significant changes you've experienced over
the past year?
In short, the pandemic and the subsequent business changes we've
experienced in the last year have been the most significant changes
we've experienced since getting into the business. Before 2020, the
cadence of our rep life was fairly steady: sales meetings, trade shows,
the sell-in, the clinic season, and the sell-through. Then we get a little
downtime, and then it all starts again. But in the last 10 years, the
downtime has dwindled-although that varies depending on what
product you are repping. Now, we are all trying to stay somewhat on
a similar schedule with Zoom sell-in calls, Zoom sales meetings, and
Zoom product presentations. Everything is virtual. We are really
looking forward to getting back to our regularly scheduled programming after the pandemic winds down. O.R.
Courtesy Jon Webb
Back to Normal
their reps clearly and promptly.
Send orders in on time .
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - March 2021
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021
THE WEEKLY CHAT
OUTDOOR RETAILER WINTER ONLINE
THIS LAND IS OUR LAND
BREAD + BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Outdoor Retailer - March 2021
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 9
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - MAREKTING
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - RETAIL 101
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THOUGHT LEADER
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THE WEEKLY CHAT
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - OUTDOOR RETAILER WINTER ONLINE
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THIS LAND IS OUR LAND
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 20
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - BREAD + BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - GEAR GALLERY
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 24
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 26
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - HOT PICKS
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 28
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 32
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 34
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - FIELD NOTES
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Cover4