This is a must listen to podcast only about 15 minutes long, but there’s a lot of little details that Paul shares from all his years of experience. Below is a summary of what he discussed.
We’re talking about being sort of post-COVID and dealing with today and moving forward. Foodservice distribution has been transformed in many ways for several reasons, but one of the most significant changes has been the supply chain and how DSRs have to sort through what items they have available each day to fill orders, along with their operators who must make adjustments to their menus and/or their ingredients they’ve used in the past. Paul and Dave talk about how this affects opening new accounts, dealing with your current accounts, and the opportunities that are out there if you just look for them.
One of the best opportunities for sales reps is selling the products that you do have in stock which might not be the spec products to current customers and to prospects, but they are willing to listen like never before and that’s the opportunity. Even operators that are on contract and have a prime distributor will listen like never before because their prime distributor simply cannot get the product that you might have even if it may be a different brand, but at least they can get something from you that they can’t get from their prime distributor.
From our research and listening to Paul, he says that it is so much easier today post-COVID versus pre- COVID to walk into a prospect cold because they will actually take time to listen to you for all these reasons – – they need products, and you might have them!
Paul likes taking his own orders versus having his customer place their orders online so that he can do instant adjustments knowing what he has in stock and what he does not have in stock, so he and his customer can make the decision on the spot. Only About 10% of his customers placed their phone orders and that’s just fine with him.
About 40% of his customers paid their bills online and he’s moving that percentage up every month, but he takes care of the A/R business while he’s taking the order like we always have in the past.
Paul explains in good detail on the podcast how important it is to get along and work together with your colleagues and have great relationships with every department. It makes a significant difference in his sales.
Honesty has been Paul’s policy and it has worked well for him, not only with his customers, but with the people that he works with every day never having to worry about things because you were honest in the first place, and it makes each day exciting because you never have to worry about something coming back on you. Honesty with his customers about pricing has also been a great benefit to him because he’s always priced it fair, but not always the lowest price, but fair and he explains to his customers that they both have to make a living.
Sampling products is key to our business and Paul gives you play by play how he sets them up and the results he expects out of them. Listen in, you might learn something.
Gamziukas explains in the audio that he never turns off his phone and he always will take a call even when he’s on vacation. Speaking of vacation, he explains in great detail how he plans for vacations and how he manages it when he’s on vacation. You really should listen to this part because there are many DSRs who hardly ever take a vacation which does not help you in your business – – Everybody needs to sharpen the saw!
Greenhorn Advice: grow thick skin, be persistent, be consistent, and get out there and fight, and the rewards will come.
Veteran Advice: Hopefully, you love what you do, first and foremost. You have to roll with the changes especially now because of how crazy it is and remember when you first started the feeling that you had taking care of your customers so that you look forward to getting up every day to want to do it again.
Other topics that Paul and DSR Dave talked about on this podcast:
Working with your colleagues
Working with brokers and manufacturer reps
Doing this job and having your family be behind you
Be a Resource and Sell Something!