AFDR’s 2019 DSR of the Year!
Mike Budden, Martin Bros. Distributing
“I really pride myself on communication.”
~ Mike Budden
The Association for Foodservice Distributor Representatives (AFDR) announced today that Mike Budden of Martin Bros. Distributing in Cedar Falls, Iowa has earned the DSR of the YEAR honor for 2019.
Mike was chosen from a strong field of 12 candidates who had won AFDR’s DSR of the Month award throughout the 2019 year. “Budden’s varied experiences in the foodservice industry gave him depth as a DSR and his strength and focus on communication and relationships earned him this prestigious award,” remarked AFDR’s DSR Dave Miesse.
Because of Mike’s parents’ respect for the sales reps who called on their C-Store, Mike began his foodservice career working for that distributor as a truck driver since a sales position was not open. Budden worked that job for 3 1/2 years before moving into sales for 7 years with the same company. Budden felt like a little change and began working for a broker. During those 10 years as a broker, he worked with Martin Bros. some and took a position there as a DSR where he has been for 3 ½ years.
Budden is thankful for his time as a driver because he saw things from a different perspective and listened to customers talk about their sales rep, the good and the bad. When he got into sales, from a company standpoint, he knew what the drivers went through and learned how to make things flow more smoothly by good communication.
DSR Dave and Mike agree that DSRs would greatly benefit from working with a driver every once-in-a-while on someone else’s sales route, so customers don’t know them, and listen to the feedback of what those customers say about their salespeople, and get an understanding of that job.
Product knowledge is the hardest part of the DSR’s job. He felt familiar with seeing products as a driver, but the technical details and which chicken strip, for example, out of a hundred a customer is looking for was the most difficult.
Tips for Greenhorns:
• He used brokers and buyers and culinary specialists to figure it all out.
• Take a broker or manufacturer rep to ride with you to learn about their products – – through the repetition of hearing them all day.
• Layout a good game plan of qualified leads for that rep so they’re more excited to ride with you.
• Don’t give up too soon! Don’t be afraid to fail. It takes about 5 years to feel comfortable.
• Googles accounts online, for feedback from customers
• Be a customer first
• Describes the benefits of his company and what they could offer to their business for success
• Usually shows up at consistent time and day, unless the prospect is trying to avoid him
• Try us for a month with a handful of products and see how we do for you
Tips for growing:
• Communication is key and treating your in-house peers in different departments with respect and consideration goes a long way.
• This is a relationship business, so look for opportunity within your existing accounts to penetrate them further to become the main supplier. Chemicals, produce, or anything else you don’t currently sell them.