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This operator explains in detail on this show what he, and most operators, think it takes in order for both the DSR and the operator to be successful.
Operator Art Goodwin tells guest host Steve Dahl and DSR Dave that he has NEVER found one distributor that could supply his operation with everything he uses.
Art’s place, Goodwin’s Family Restaurant in Circleville, Ohio has been in business since 1979. Goodwin buys around $7000 per week in ingredients and products which he has hard specs for that he expects his prime distributor to stock for him (just like they do for chain accounts).
Art says that many DSRs come in asking to be his prime distributor and that 100% supplier, but he has not found any distributor that could actually provide that service with the products he needs. He says that most DSRs try to switch him to the products they have in their warehouse (which makes sense), but that does not work for him.
He says sticking to his product specs is probably why he’s been in business since 1979, and is also successful.
Art doesn’t think DSRs are as knowledgeable about products as DSRs from years past. Although Goodwin has a really good DSR now, he’s only had three or four good sales reps out of all the ones he’s purchased from over the last 27 years or so.
Art explains in detail what he expects out of DSRs who are doing business with him. If Art makes a mistake, he tries to take care of it himself (if possible), and if the mistake was the DSR’s or their company, he expects the DSR to take care of it.
Goodwin considers his current DSR a partner in his business. He considers him to be like his “most valuable employee” and deals with him in that way because this DSR is that vital to Goodwin making money.
When Distributors send in new (Greenhorn) DSRs to take over his account, Goodwin is usually the one who ends up training them. He says he does not like for distributors to change his DSR, but understands how the business works.
When a DSR and vendor come in trying to solicit his business, Goodwin expects to get the same credit terms he has with his current distributor.
His reasoning is simple, he says, “Hey, they’re trying to get my business, I didn’t call them, they called on me.”
DSRs, Be a Resource…and Sell Something!