This interview is with sales expert Tony Gonzales, a DSR of the Year from Shamrock Foods. He’s providing suggestions for DSRs, both Greenhorns and Veterans, on ideas about planning for the holiday season to help you manage your business territory during this season. These ideas could help you maintain your current business and not lose any business to your competitors because you are so busy with business and “life” (school plays, vacations, Thanksgiving, weird work weeks, etc.) during this crazy, busy season.
Remember that delivery schedules are wacked out too, so make sure you have a calendar of when your accounts are open and closed and communicate that with your transportation department.
It is a great idea to have a system in place before this busy time kicks in. It may be a folder, notepad, CRM system and usage reports from the previous year. Use these to talk with your customers ahead of time about what they did last year, and ask if they think they might see some spikes or would like to try some new items like vegetarian options, for example, because they are a big trend this year. You could use the data to say, “I know last year you did the filet mignon with asparagus in Beurre Blanc sauce… do you plan on doing it again this year?”
Having the data and going through it before the conversation shows them you are on top of your job and care about their business. This is being a consultative salesperson. By helping your customers navigate through this crazy, busy season you may gain more of their loyalty. It’s also the perfect time to call on those prospects you’ve been working on to maybe help them through the season just in case their current distributor is not taking care of them the way they should. You might even gain traction with those prospects! Now that would be a nice Christmas gift, wouldn’t it!! HO-HO-HO!