Industry Profile: Quiksilver Sales Rep Dan Scherman
12 Sep, 2008
Industry Profile: Quiksilver Sales Rep Dan Scherman
Dan: I am an avid snowboarder and an independent contractor representing Quiksilver, GNU, Roxy, Lib Tech, and One Ball Jay.
Shay: What is your job title?
Dan: Sales Rep or Sub Rep
Shay: Did your parents question your job choice?
Dan: Ha, no, they’re stoked. In fact, my dad has even pursued a sales rep job for a kayak company.
Shay: What was your first set up?
Dan: It was a 135 K2 Gyrator. So I was stoked to see them re-release the graphic!
Shay: What is your current set up?
Dan: 161.5 Lib Tech Dark Series.
Shay: What was your first job?
Dan: Aside from yard work, I got a job working in a ski/bike shop when I was 15. It was a good start into the industry.
Shay: What’s a great day of snowboarding to you?
Dan: Any powder day. Actually any day I’ve made it on to the slopes.
Dan: The best influences are the people riding with you. When you’re with someone who is pushing their limits, it always stokes me out! It doesn’t matter if they’re better than you or a beginner. Otherwise, it’s Greg Baker, Jamie Lynn and Travis Rice.
Shay: How long have you been snowboarding?
Dan: 15 years or so….
Shay: How many days do you get to ride a year?
Dan: I used to get 100+ now I get on average 60 days.
Shay: What is the parent company you work for? What companies do they own that you also work with?
Dan: Quiksilver. They own everything…but it’s all good, if you know what I do, you see how deep their roots actually go into the core of our industries. They’ve stayed true to their customers and they’re still owned by surf/snow bums.
Shay: What is your role for those companies?
Dan: To sell their shit. Sell, sell, sell… I do a lot of maintenance too.
Shay: How many days a year do you travel?
Dan: Too many to count. From August till February I am gone almost as much as I’m home.
Shay: What’s the best way to establish connections/relationships with shops?
Dan: The shop kids are the best. Be their friends and you’re in. And not just for business, it’s the shop kids who make this industry. They make hardly anything and still show up for work. Plus their fun to party with, Utah is a great example.
Shay: What are your thoughts on the current state of the snowboard industry?
Dan: It’s not going anywhere for a while. We were already broke before the “depression” and will probably continue with our spending habits. I like to see all the new innovations that snowboard companies are coming out with, even though they’re just chasing what Lib has done. At least we’re thinking differently.
Shay: Quiksilver is a major player in the industry, what do you think are key components to it’s success?
Dan: The people who work for Quiksilver. I wish you could all see and meet the people I know. Great people.
Shay: What is the timeline for your average sales season?
Dan: About a month and a half for clothing, longer for boards and outerwear.
Shay: Do you spend a lot of time doing demos?
Dan: We hire someone to do them now, but I do really enjoy being around for them.
Shay: How important are demo’s to the companies you work for?
Dan: I think a lot of people make up their minds on equipment before they ride it. I don’t know if they are really that important, except for maybe the shop kids who are selling directly to the consumer.
Dan: Not enough, but I had drive and dedication!
Shay: How did you end up in your job with Quiksilver?
Dan: There’s not really an average day, but answering emails, entering orders, soliciting sales, visiting shops, setting up and/or attending trade shows and doing clinics.
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working at Quiksilver?
Dan: When I first joined on, my boss took me to my first sales meeting. I was meeting everyone at Mervin (mfg) and they were cool enough to get me set up with a surf board and wet-suit. I caught the first wave I tried and rode it all the way into the shore! Those guys still talk about it. The next day I woke up at 6am and headed out to the ocean. I was the only one there and played around in the shallow section so I wouldn’t drown. On my way out, I saw someone else and decided to see if they’d surf with me just in case something happened. That someone turned out to be Mike Olson. We were the only two in the ocean, watched the sunrise, hung out with dolphins and shot the shit. It was epic! I did fucking book reports on snowboarding with him in it back in high school!
Dan: Meeting people. I’ve gotten to hang out with my idol Jamie Lynn on multiple occasions.
Shay: What’s the best park you’ve gotten from your job?
Dan: The travel.
Shay: Any disadvantages of your job?
Dan: The pay.
Shay: Since you started in the snowboard industry, what’s been the best technology advance in snowboarding?
Dan: Seriously? Is this a question that needs to be asked? Look at all the other brands out there and look at what they’re trying to do. The combination of magne-traction and Banana Camber is revolutionary and it may be a lifetime before we see something revolutionize the industry like this again!
Shay: Do you try out other companies products?
Dan: Yes, and I don’t hate on anyone. We’ve been riding butter-knife sidecuts and ski specific camber for years and years.
Shay: What’s the busiest time of year for you?
Dan: October thru February for sure!
Dan: Experience for sure. It’s like you get paid to learn.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the snowboard industry?
Dan: That we’re all family. We do this for a common love and anyone who wants to hate on another brand and rag someone else’s product does it because they’re a poor sales person.