Samples – Are they important and how do you use/present them?
Matt: I never just leave samples with the customer. I am going to cook it up several different ways with them and do a little show. My goal is to get the sale. Just dropping them or sending in on the truck is not a good idea as they may forget about them, but your goal is to sell it to them.
Does your company allow you to take will calls or sales-takes to customers?
Matt: Yes, because when a customer needs something I will do whatever I have to do to get them the product if they are in dire need. Obviously, it is not good to make a habit of it, but it sure makes you some friends sometimes. A customer recently told me that I do things for them that nobody else will, and it could be because some competitors are not permitted and others just choose not to.
Concerning COVID, how have you managed your way through this year?
Matt: It was certainly tough at first, Indiana was behind the eight ball on the carryout situation.
I handled it by phone initially because we were grounded and advised with where to get PPE products, carryout containers, offering family dinners and other ideas.
Our buyers did a really good job at having the products people needed. I did not lose any of my customers. There were a few like casinos and bowling places that had to just opt out for awhile and ride it out.
Truck drivers, how important is communication?
Matt: They are like your inside salesperson and can make or break it. Communicate with them and treat them well because it does come back to you. Truck drivers will go far lengths for you when you are nice to them. They will call the office when they get shorted and get it taken care of themselves and possibly even drop it off on their way home.
DOT Foods – How do you use them?
Matt: That is a big part of me growing my business due to all that I have access to. In addition to what we stock, if it is an item a customer needs the following week or just occasionally, we can go through DOT EXPRESS, but if they use more than one case per week, we can bring it into stock.
DSRs, Be a Resource… and Sell Something!