1537: David Lotzgesell DSR of the Month, Harbor Foodservice, Kent, WA, Part 1, How I Got Started, Solving Problems, Organize Your Day

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David Lotzgesell of Harbor Foodservice based in Kent, Washington is AFDR’s October DSR of the Month for 2022, earning him a permanent place in the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame. David’s territory is Sequim & Port Angeles, WA which is about 165 miles and 2 1/2 hours from the warehouse. David resides in Sequim, WA where he grew up as a farm boy on the North Olympic Peninsula of the state of Washington.

PART 1

David got into the business 38 years ago with a large regional broker that carried many product lines, mainly proteins, cheese products, center of the plate items, and then moved to a meat company, then onto being a Manufacturer/cooperative Rep doing marketing and managing broker networks, then to National accounts manufacturer, then to a distributor for a few years before moving back to Sequim and working for Foodservices of America for 20 years that became Harbor Foodservices. He loves his family-owned company and how it aligns with other local suppliers, the Northwest Alliance, to present an independent broadline.

David learned a great deal about how to sell a wide range of products and how to sample those products so operators would purchase them.

David has been using a unique sample method that he came up with years ago now known as the “Lotzgesell Sample Method.” You will have to listen to the podcast coming up in the next few weeks to hear him explain his method. DSR Dave said he has never heard of a DSR that used brokers and manufacturer reps like this.

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO PODCAST to hear details of other topics Lotzgesell and DSR Dave discuss.

  • Tips on when selling in a territory 2 1/2 hours away from the warehouse you must be as efficient as possible, as productive as possible, and not make mistakes because it’s time-consuming and costly.
  • When you utilize brokers, you have to be focused because that’s a long drive back and forth for them, and you don’t want to waste their time.
  • Learn your company’s story so you can tell it to prospects and your customers. David knows his company’s story and loves to tell it.
  • Learn specific usage for various products and the terms that operators use with the same, or different products. Many operators call the same item by different names. You need to quickly learn that when first meeting a prospect.
  • Also tune in very quickly to the personalities of different prospects because some people are introverted, and some people are extroverted, and you have to be able to read that quickly.
  • One thing that David learned early in his career was never to tell a fib to your credit manager. If you haven’t got the check, simply tell them that.
  • Make collecting money and managing your A/R a lighthearted function versus a strong-arm approach.
  • Be organized. You must go over your route and be flexible. Massage your route so everything flows well to give yourself enough time to not be rushed between calls.
  • You must review every report that your company provides, and you might want to even make a couple of your own.
  • Think of yourself as a problem solver. David says that it’s his job to solve problems. View them as a challenge instead of a task.
  • If your customers are not using your online order entry system, you need to train them up. He gives a great example on the podcast. Lotzgesell explains how customers find things they were not even looking for and they order it.
  • Doing the work and making custom order guides have proven to be one of the most valuable tools he provides for his customers, himself, and his company. He says the warehouse is too far away to make a mistake, and the custom order guide is the key to minimizing those costly mistakes.

Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!!