How do you prospect these days?
Scott: My process is unique for each. Now, I go online and look at their delivery menu. But I know I have better solutions through my company, something they need. I walk in confident knowing that we have something they are not getting with their current supplier. Confidence is key.
How do you develop that kind of confidence?
Scott: I do not believe you are born with it. It comes down to your confidence in your knowledge, in your company, and in yourself. If you do not have the knowledge, you work at researching and learning it; learn what your company can do to help customers with their business; and through gaining knowledge of those things, you will gain confidence in yourself, or you can fake it till you make it.
Competition is thick, so you must get the answer and follow up quickly with the answers to your prospect’s questions when you do not know the answers immediately.
What point do you ask for a new account/credit application?
Scott: Since I already have decided we are going to do business, I will tell them it takes a couple days to set up, and even if I am going to be their backup, why don’t we go ahead and get it done in case they want to order or need my help in an emergency situation, otherwise I cannot help them when they need it.
How do you learn about new products?
Scott: On the spot, I can Google, but I utilize my brokers a lot. When new things are coming out, they are letting me know.
How do you get that next product into a customer? You carry it, but they are buying it from another distributor.
Scott: Exact product for product becomes only about price, but I prefer to come in with another product to try. I build it up so that when they taste it, they believe there is something different about it in a good way.
I am a big sampler, but I do not like to drop full cases. I am not a big giveaway guy. It does not seem to benefit me much to give a full case. I like to give them enough to experiment with or I will do that with them, cutting against what they are using.
How do you communicate with customers now?
Scott: In Idaho, a lot of my core business is mom and pops, and they tend to be old school, want you to see them or call. Younger kitchens tend not to answer phones, only text. But I tend to use email a ton, sending out market conditions or trends, anything going on. I do this weekly or as needed. I prefer phone the most because there is less confusion, but I adjust for each account’s preference.
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