bike rep not

A day in the life of a bike sales rep: by Scott Banister

A day in this job is rarely what you would call a “normal working day”. It occasionally follows a very vague pattern, but with appointments running late, traffic jams and the occasional brush with the law, changeability is the name of the game.

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Me, Scott, showing a customer the new YETI SB6c.

My name is Scott and I represent the firm, Silverfish UK Ltd, for our operations in Germany and Austria, where we distribute YETI CYCLES and COVE BIKES. A typical sales rep has a fixed territory of around 400-500km in every direction from a central point, and generally lives somewhere in the middle of it all. My situation however, is slightly less typical. My job is to establish and maintain the dealer base for these brands in this massive area, while being based at our offices in South West England … only visiting the territory periodically.

I’d love to be able to give you an idea of my routine, but to be honest I don’t have one yet. This job is still fairly new to me; I’m learning something new about it every day. Initially, when I was hired after going through all those interviews, background checks, and drug tests (for a better understanding, see drug testing in Chattanooga), I was very excited, and I still am today. However, I’m not sure a “routine” is something I’ll ever have. If I had to try though, I would say it’s loosely based on something like this:

  • 6:30am- Wake up and check emails, answer any that are urgent and delay the rest until a more reasonable hour. Shower and make yourself presentable: manky reps don’t sell!
  • 7:30am- Breakfast, and more emails. Occasionally you luck out with the hotel and get a great start to the day, but more often than not it’s pretty grim. So you grab whatever looks edible, with a strong black coffee to take away the taste.
  • 8-8:30am- Leave the hotel, and drive to your first appointment:
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Always ready to share the fun and love of bikes.

  • Morning appointments (normally one or two) If it’s a dealer you already know, this normally involves drinking coffee, talking about the weather and life in general, before getting down to business.
    I believe a lot comes down to first impressions. Be punctual, be presentable and be pleasant. Dealers hate nothing more than a rep who shows up late, looking scruffy, and walks in the door like a little grey raincloud. Be energetic and enthusiastic! This can be a challenge sometimes if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep in a shoddy hotel, but it’s worth it as the customer will remember you as that fun guy who came in and brightened his morning.
    Shop owners are like sharks: they can smell fear, and going too fast or wittering on incoherently is like splashing around like a wounded seal. Most dealers won’t eat you, but they’ll certainly lose all respect for you. Such a dealer visit is just one part of the process, and when you’re selling 7.000€ bikes, very few dealers will make a decision there and then.
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There are worse things than working as a rep for YETI bikes.

  • Lunch- If you have time to get lunch, it normally involves grabbing whatever you can from the nearest eatery. It would be great to be able to sit down, stop for a while and eat a nice healthy salad, but the reality is that this is almost never possible.
  • Afternoon appointments – more of the same. Most shops have a small staff covering a variety of different jobs and they tend to get busier in the afternoon, so delays are very likely. With this in mind, it’s great if you can make sure your last appointment of the day is someone you already know, who won’t mind too much if you’re late.
    Thankfully, if you’re meeting media contacts, they tend to be very friendly and accommodating to an ever-changing schedule –like when I stopped by the TNI offices about 2h late :-).
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… and of course there are worse things than sharing a sundown ride with newly made friends.

Certain visits involve fun things like test rides and quite often dealers will tell customers to come over when they know the rep for a certain brand is coming to visit. This is the best bit about my job: riding with dealers and customers alike. Riding bikes is always fun, but especially so when it gets you away from the computer, or from behind the wheel of a van for a few hours. It reminds you why you do the job you do: for the love of bikes.
Soon they realize that you’re not just a boring guy with a van and a few catalogues; that you are in fact a rider who loves the sport as much as they do. This counts for a lot, as the majority of people working in our industry do it for the love.

36 YETI rep 31 YETI Logo

  • There is no set end time to my days. I can often count on finishing when the shop of my last visit closes, but not always. Sometimes it runs on well past this and into dinner. While the more social aspects of the job like this can be enjoyable, you are still at work so remember to act like it. At whatever time you finish your appointments, it’s then time to travel to your next place. For someone with a pretty big territory to look after, this can be a long way. Sadly, once you arrive, the day is far from over. Remember those emails you delayed in the morning? They’re going to need to be answered.
  • Once you’ve done all this, you get to go to bed and look forward to repeating the whole process tomorrow.

You’ll notice that I gave up on noting times after leaving the hotel. This varies day by day, so it’s really impossible to say when it all starts and ends!

Being based in the UK, I generally come over to Europe once every month or two, with an average tour taking between 2 and 3 weeks. Given the costs involved (transport, accommodation, sustenance etc.) it’s essential that I cram in as much as possible and maximise every opportunity available. The result is that it tends to be a very hectic and stressful few weeks, but if I can come away from each trip saying that I achieved something, then it will be worthwhile.

It’s important not to expect miracles or overnight success, as these things take time to build. Not everyone is going to like you straight away and you will probably screw up a few sales pitches, but it’s important not to let it get you down. It’s all experience and you learn as you go.

Scott Bannister
(Territory Account Manager- Germany and Austria,
Silverfish UK Ltd.,

(images of the above post are used with permission by GO-CYCLE, Münster and LOVE HURTS. Regensburg)


As hinted at above, Scott also paid us a visit to introduce the all new YETI ASRc which we first saw at the last Eurobike. While the plan had been to take the bike on a wintery ride, it was, thanks to the day’s last shop visit, taking longer than anticipated and topping it off with running into a traffic control out of Munich (with his British license plate) he ran really late … too late for a real ride and almost too late to even take some decent pictures. At least he tried!


The YETI ASRc just when the sun goes down near TNI headquarters.

Unlike the newest longer travel bikes SB5c and SB6c, which feature their new Infinity Switch Link, the 100mm of travel on the XC- and marathon oriented ASRc makes do with a minimalist single pivot design, including a carbon rocker, and utilizes the built in flex of the chain and seat stays to do without a pivot near the rear axle – Yeti’s formerly typical “Loopstays”.

While sized MED to XL run on 29″er wheels, the smaller XS and SM are designed for 27.5″ wheels.


YETI ASRc … ain’t she a beauty? Besides – why should a Yeti not be seen in the snow?

With all that weight saving and minimalist design the full carbon frame comes out at a weight below 2 kg/4.2 lbs (incl. shock) and a complete bike’s weight (as pictured) is only 10.6kg/ 23.35lbs.


To show this bike is more than a high-zoot racing rig, it features the routing options for a stealth dropper post and can be run with the standard 120 mm travel fork just as well as with 140 mm (!) travel fork.


Of course this beauty of a frame and bike don’t come cheap, neither in its homeland USA, nor in Europe. The frame alone runs at USD 2899.- or Euro 3199.-. The XO1 equipped standard build would be Euro 6190.- in Europe or USD 5799.- in the US.

We are hoping for a real TNI review of this bike sometimes this year.