The Case of the Regrettable Rep This office’s best-selling frame line comes with a rep that doesn’t deserve the commissions. Is it even worth continuing to deal with him? The staff of Sesnel Family Vision were in the middle of their weekly meeting in the break room, before normal business hours, when they heard pounding on the front door. Knowing that they were not open yet, one of the front desk workers, Miranda, sneakily peeked around the corner to see who was there. She turned to optician Rayna, “I’m pretty sure that is one of our frame reps pounding on the door.” Rayna looked and sure enough, it was. “That is one of our frame reps. He actually no-showed to our last appointment and this is his rescheduled appointment, perhaps he’s early to make up for last time.” She was quite confused as to why he was forty-five minutes early and why he was pounding on the door like his life depended on it. “I’ll give it a minute and see if he notices our hours on the door, and that we are not yet open.” The overly forceful knocking continued so Rayna walked to the door, cracked it open and politely whispered, “Hi Martin, we are not yet open and having a staff meeting. I will see you in about forty-five minutes at our scheduled time.” Martin replied, “I had a long drive and would like to be seen so my time is not wasted.” “Our appointment is at a time that works with the clinic schedule, as soon as our meeting is over and the doors are unlocked I can see you.” Rayna concluded as she closed the door. As the staff meeting wrapped up Rayna said to Miranda, “I guess it’s time to go get the frame rep.” Miranda replied, “He seems so entitled, I don’t know why you even want to meet with him.” “The brands he manages are several of our top selling frame lines,” Rayna continued, “Unfortunately it is very important that I meet with him so we can replenish our supply of top-sellers.” EDITOR’S NOTE: Real Deal is a fictional scenario designed to read like real-life business events. The businesses and people mentioned in this story should not be confused with actual businesses and people. As Rayna was viewing and selecting frames to order she noticed that Martin was of no help; he stood behind her with his arms crossed. He offered no input on what was new, had been previously sold, or any selling points about any of his frames. “Let me know when you’re done selecting frames,” Martin said, “Since we started late I’ll write up your order after my next appointment so I’m not late getting to them.” Rayna knew that Martin’s frame lines sold well and that they were very low on stock. She was attentive and thorough when looking through the frames to make sure she ordered what would sell well. Although she knew this was an important buy, it felt like Martin was shooting laser beams into the back of her head which completely killed the vibe of the visit. The moment Martin left, Rayna went straight to her manager to vent, “The rep I just met with is always unpleasant but that was the most torturous visit with any rep in all my years of being an optician. He is completely useless. It absolutely kills me that he makes so much commission from our account.” QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER 1. Are high sales of their frame lines enough to continue dealing with unprofessional, unhelpful or unpleasant rep? 2. Would you continue to put up with him due to the success of the lines or begin scaling back on buys from that rep to see if you could supplement sales with other brands? Or would you fire the rep outright, since he is of no help, and figure out a replacement brand later? 3. Have you ever successfully worked around or gone above a bad rep to continue carrying a successful brand? Fill out my online form.