Scott McMaster of Feeser’s Food Distributors located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania earned top honors as AFDR’s October 2021 DSR of the Month and has been inducted into the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame.
Scott’s territory is in and around Chambersburg, Pennsylvania which is about 45 miles west of the warehouse.
Scott worked for the snack food company, Utz as a direct store delivery and salesperson. He was interested in a different challenge and began in foodservice distribution as a DSR 21 years ago.
Most difficult part of the job when first started:
Scott: One of biggest hurdles was learning the products. I asked my boss for the top 100 items to try and learn those items first and focus on selling them because that was what they sold a lot of and did well. The list was based on sales dollars as opposed to cases sold, but it was helpful to have those to focus on.
Opening new accounts/prospects:
Scott: Twenty years ago, I would drop in to see how busy they were, eat, look over the menu, see what’s being used at the bar, etc. Now, I tend to look online first through their website or Facebook to gather some information and look at the menu, then I stop in for coffee or lunch to gather more ideas and get a feel for the place whether it is fine dining or a mom and pop. I make a list of any product observations and ask the waitress who the manager is and maybe give the waiter my card to give to the owner/manager to let them know I will be calling to ask for an appointment. I follow up with a call for an appointment.
I make notes on a legal pad of whether I see brand names on items such as the sugar packets, ketchup, or mustard which lets me know that brands are important to them, or if they have generic/private labeled items, then they are probably shopping more on price. I like to have an understanding of their operation so I can have something to offer the owner that will help them when we meet at our first appointment.
I set up a “dummy account” from my research before my appointment so I can begin to build an order guide for them. If I am able to walk through the prospect’s stock room at our appointment, I will jot specific items down and add those items to the “dummy” order guide to be better prepared for future discussions.
Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!!