1029: Produce Expert DSR Frank Jones – it’s NOT about PRICE

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Frank Jones of Food Services of America in Spokane, Washington was inducted into the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame back in March 2015.

Jones was a manager in a retail produce department in Southern California when he realized he didn’t really want to make a career out of “stacking apples” so he became a DSR and now sells a lot of produce.

Selling produce is Frank’s favorite category to sell, and on this audio show, he gives great tips on how DSRs can stay current on what is going on weekly in produce market conditions and trends so they can keep customers informed. Jones explains, for example, that rainy conditions may cause some produce to come in with a little mud on it if it was raining like mad in the fields when it was harvested. Frank says that he passes that intel onto his customers whether they’re buying produce from him or not so they know what to expect when it is delivered. Actively supplying your customers with trend and market conditions, as well as, other great product information, takes price away from becoming a hurdle.

This Hall of Famer stays informed by using tools like subscribing to GOOD FOOD podcast where host Evan Kleiman highlights the diverse community of chefs, cooks, farmers, entrepreneurs, historians and journalists who have devoted their lives to food. He also gets many good ideas from The Daily Meal.com (all things food and drink). Frank says they provide good ideas about food trends which help him keep his customers in Spokane “in the know.”

Below are a few other sites that might help you avoid hearing the “PRICE” excuse from your customers as to why they will NOT buy produce from you.

Produce Marketing Association (PMA)

Weekly Market Outlook


The Produce News

Produce Alliance (PA)

The Packer

State Farmers Market Associations (Farmers Market Coalition)

Hall of Fame advice on this DSRLive audio interview:

  • Participate with your local and state restaurant association to keep you in the know & because your competitors probably will not.
  • Use your specialists to become an expert and to help you reach your goals.
  • Fill your customer’s heads with information about products so price is last, not first.
  • Know market conditions and seasons of products so your customers don’t have to.
  • Seek out knowledge on trending menu items by searching restaurant menus in different cities.

DSRs, Be a Resource…and Sell Something!