Ski shops are interested in finding the best ski equipment to attract skiing enthusiasts. To convince these shops of the quality of their ski products, ski manufacturers often send sales representatives. These sales representatives, called ski representatives, ski reps and winter sports representatives;, specialise in selling ski equipment.
These sales representatives sometimes work directly for a single manufacturer and other times work independently, selling skis from various manufacturers. These representatives try to get retailers to buy skis from a given company and sell them at their ski shop. Ski representatives should be knowledgeable about snow conditions in order to predict which skis will sell well. They must also explain problems with ski merchandise to retailers whenever there is a delay or design problem with the skis. Ski representatives also travel to trade shows to demonstrate ski equipment, according to JobMonkey.com. Ski representatives get access to these trade shows by being a part of organisations, such as the Western Winter Sports Representatives Association. Some ski representatives work alone, while others work in teams.
Ski representatives often travel extensively to market company skis to various retailers. According to JobMonkey.com, ski representatives are able to set their own hours, though many representatives have to set their hours in a way that accommodates customers. Ski representation can be stressful, since representatives who are not able to make a sale are often not paid.
Ski representatives need to have a good amount of experience skiing to have enough ski knowledge to be a ski representative and often must also have background experience working as a retail sales representative. According to JobMonkey.com, ski representatives often start off providing demonstration equipment and checking the inventories of various ski stores before moving into ski consultant positions. Ski representatives are usually chosen if they demonstrate a personality that is compatible with sales.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the need for sales representatives will grow by 7 per cent between 2008 and 2018. Independent ski representatives have been hurt by mergers, with merged companies often using their in-house ski representatives instead of contracting out independent ski representatives. The job security of a ski representative is highly dependent on the connections he makes.
In 2008, the median earnings for sales representatives were £45,630. The highest 10 per cent earned more than £86,476, while the lowest 10 per cent earned less than £22,737. Ski representative earnings are based on the commissions they earn. Ski representatives can also receive discounts on ski equipment.