episode 90: Dana Caraway, Caraway & Co.

What’s really important to me is that we have that next generation coming up of reps. They are that next consumer and they’re understanding what the friends are asking for.”

– Dana Caraway, founder of Caraway & Co. Sales Reps

EPISODE PREVIEW:

For decades, the glue that held the outdoor and specialty markets together to was the sales reps. Independent or in-house, sales representatives were the first point of contact, the primary relationship, and the most prominent link between brands and retailers.

Here’s the thing: they still are.

At least the sales groups that are doing it right. They are brand ambassadors, customer service gurus, educators, and retail evangelists. They’re tastemakers and influencers, in and of themselves, and they’re the megaphones for their peers and clients. Just like ALL businesses right now, the work and type of services sales teams provide are evolving to uplevel and modernize the perception of what sales reps can be for brands and retailers in this era of consumer-centric, multichannel business strategies.

I have the pleasure today of speaking with one of the absolute best in the business, Dana Caraway, founder of Caraway & Co. Dana and her team are redefining the value equation of what sales reps provide to brands and retailers today – across all channels.

What’s particularly compelling about Caraway & Co.’s approach is its long-term view of the specialty markets and the people that give them such vibrancy. Numbers matter. Sell-through is crucial. But Dana’s approach to fostering the joy and dedication to these markets is really what sets her and her team apart.

GUEST PROFILES:

Dana Caraway

Dana Caraway is the founder and principal of Caraway & Co., a premier sales rep agency serving. Prior to founding the agency, Dana led customer service and served as a brand manager at Stonewear Designs. Then she became an independent sales representative and translated her inherent ability to pinpoint issues and build solutions directly to the buyers and retail staff.

When Dana isn’t traveling or enjoying her time at home, she is biking, hiking, spending time with friends, and enjoying the outdoors.

TOPICS COVERED:

Sales reps, independent sales reps, intergenerational sales, reps as ambassadors, customer service, sell through in outdoor markets, expansion strategies

SELECT QUOTES:

“It’s really back to partnerships, relationships, understanding their community.”

“One of the things I think is really important whenever we onboard a new team member is to get in there, get in the community, see what’s around their store, educate yourself on the retailer and the community.”

“What’s really important to me is that we have that next generation coming up of reps. They are that next consumer and they’re understanding what the friends are asking for.”

“You need to look for multiple channels for that brand so that everybody can be successful in what they’re doing.”

CONNECT:

AS MENTIONED IN EPISODE:

Corporate America Can’t Afford to Ignore Gen Z,” by Tiffany Kary, Bloomberg News (Mar. 29, 2019)

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