“I love DOT Foods. It’s really simple with a ton of information that helps me grow my business.” ~ Tammy Pratt
Penetrating existing accounts:
- Keeping your eyes open when in your account for items from a competitor or simply asking who else they’re buying from.
- Creating a separate order guide that matches up with items being purchased elsewhere or even adding one item to the regular guide that I know they are not buying from me.
- Managing customers’ order guides weekly, especially key online ordering customers to make sure it is correct for them due to close outs or items that may fall off because they do not order it often. This is their roadmap.
Using Brokers and Manufacturer Reps:
- Whether it’s questions about the product or you have the opportunity to show somebody a sample, they’re a big part of the team and support for customers.
- I discuss it with the customer. Let them know there’s either something new that I’d like them to see and set that all up so the customer knows what to expect, and then let the broker either come in or send the sample.
- I have brokers that I have worked with for years that I will send in on their own.
- But with others, I would prefer that they review with me before going in because there are nuances in an account or a reason why you have them using a certain product or a commitment they’ve made with somebody, and I don’t want to run that over with something else. I really like to be able to go through that ahead of time, making sure that the items are stocked so the customers are not frustrated if they think they want to order item X, but we do not currently stock it.
DSR Dave: It’s important that manufacturer reps and brokers work together with the DSR. Many young manufacturer reps and brokers are trained on everything about the products but are not trained on engagement with DSRs. It can be a mutually beneficial relationship when there is discussion between the DSR and the rep.
Tammy: After we have a discussion on what they’d like to introduce and what I “need” shown, then I can properly prepare the customer and get good feedback by following up with the customer and then getting back to the rep and letting them know where we’re at on all the items that they showed so they can fill out their reports. This allows me to show the customer that we’re staying organized about this, and that is a benefit for all involved.
If the customer is interested in one of the products shown that we do not stock, then I can go to DOT Foods. I love DOT. I’m able to sign into their website and find so many products. It’s really simple. You can also scroll to the bottom of the page and see who the updated broker is really quickly if you need one. It’s just a really easy website that’s got a ton of information.
Tips for Greenhorns and Veterans:
Greenhorns – The job can be a lot of fun and I always say it is dynamic. You will not be bored, but there will be days that are really hard mixed in with the really fun and easier ones. There will be mistakes and things happening beyond your control.
Pick up the phone and listen. Do your best to try to solve the issues that are going on. Enjoy the moments of success. The longer you do it, there will be fewer emotional ups and downs. You will create amazing relationships with people that will feed you and entertain you with stories of what happens in their world. Stick with it. It can be a great, fun, and rewarding job.
Vets – You work hard for your customers and your accounts, and when they say thank you or I appreciate you, or I couldn’t do this without you, that’s all the motivation I need. That’s what drives me.
Suggestions for those who just are NOT growing:
Get your team involved. I don’t know if it’s the same at every broadliner out there, but I can’t do what I do without the team. I have amazing sales managers and coworkers all the way to the management staff, and any one of them will jump into the car with you when you need it and help. We’re just a stronger team than we are on our own. When things are lagging and you’re feeling stagnant, there are people out there that should be able to help you.
On the back of our trucks and on a lot of our flyers is the slogan, “Life happening around the table.” And our job is to fortify our communities. And we take that to heart. As DSRs out here, part of our job is to fortify our communities.
Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!!