Just an idea for those companies that have reps...
I deal with around 20 - 30 suppliers and most have reps. I do not want to see reps all the time, for me once or twice a year is ample but like to be updated by email if there are any specials or new products on the market. Because I deal in brands unfortunately sometimes you have to deal with a company even though the rep is useless, that's just the way it is. I hate knowing that a portion of my orders is going to a rep that has no interest in my business.
So the other day I received a phone call from a rep from a company I had been dealing with for a good three years. I was surprised as I had been dealing with the office and was not aware that they had a rep. Turns out he had been the rep for 2 years. And although I was happy with their products I looked around and found a better company to deal with. This is not the first time this has happened, I can think of at least two other examples where I have gone to another company purely on not wanting the commissions on my sales to go to an uninterested rep.
Always have an "in house" rep that can deal with clients that your reps cannot deal with (ether because of time, laziness or distance)..let that person service the clients properly and pay that person the commissions earned because just knowing that a rep is earning commissions for nothing is a big turn off for customers.