“Before you ask the question, you must know the answer.
That’s how I am successful.” ~ Steve Lentz
What suggestions do you have for Greenhorns and the struggle they go through in that first 1 ½-2 years?
Steve: The biggest problem for greenhorns these days is the day in day out, week in and week out discouragement. New DSRs get discouraged and lose their focus and desire from hearing “No” so much. I tell them you are going to win some and lose some, you just have to get through it because it is going to get better. Change it up if what you are doing is not working, think outside of the box.
Greenhorns must be confident, believe in yourself, inventive, creative, able to learn and move forward from mistakes and remember there is always tomorrow. Use the past to change your approach tomorrow.
Your response to those prospects who will not buy from you?
Steve: Think outside of the box and overcome hurdles. I had a prospect I couldn’t get because it was a corporate account who needed 100,000 aluminum TV dinner trays for a promotion at The GAP (clothing) stores nationally. I was able to get them and shipped two-day air. Thirty days later I had a $2 million account.
I will do this weekly, buying something different my competition won’t or can’t do and drop it off to my account or prospect and they love it. The reward from doing this allows me to increase my line items too.
Go the extra mile to get about any account you really want.
I see about 90% of my accounts every week and 60% of them are ordering and paying online.
How do you add line items you are not currently selling to your accounts?
Steve: I read the menu. I know the ingredients. In one of my country clubs, I might ask about filets, saying they are X amount (knowing my price in my head), and tell them I can get them there tomorrow. I either match the price or slightly beat the competition’s price (knowing that price beforehand). Before you ask the question, you must be prepared with the answer. I ask for the order by making suggestions even by telling the chef he forgot to order X ingredient for his dish and getting a “thank you” response with the order.
Regarding my competition in my accounts: In most of my accounts I am the sole purveyor. I pick and choose what I want to sell and let these other people (produce, seafood, meat companies) come in and fill in what maybe I cannot deliver daily such as seafood.
I always control the center of the plate and once you control that, you can always add line items.
Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!!