1627: Opening New Accounts, Step-by-Step Action Plan with Hall of Fame DSR, Franke Hilson


Greenhorns, this podcast is a MUST-LISTEN to!!

Franke Hilson, veteran DSR with Ben E Keith, Little Rock, Arkansas division has a PROVEN, simple formula for opening new accounts that has been refined during his 20-plus years in foodservice sales.

Franke does not look at his first call on a prospect as a “cold call.”  He looks at it like this prospect might become one of his best friends in about a year or so; he’s looking for a future partner.  Hilson says it’s more of an interview process, not a cold call.

Hilson first differentiates himself by finding a need the prospect has that he can fill using his “Top 10” products.

Franke says you need to learn your competitors’ tendencies so you can adjust your products and pricing based on which DSR you are competing with.

Hilson Never codes out an order guide that was put together by another distributor when asked to by a prospect.  Instead, he asks the prospect for the last two week’s invoices with prices cut off so he can code out the products that they’re really using, and he can see how many cases of each product they use so he can price accordingly.

Before he leaves a prospect, the LAST TWO questions Franke asks at the end of this first meeting are:

  • “What things do you like the most about your current supplier?”


  • “What do you like the LEAST about your current supplier; what do you wish they would change?”

Again, LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN and they will tell you exactly what you need to do to start selling them. Leaving them right after this question works in your favor because they are left thinking about all the things they DON’T like about their current distributor!

When the prospect tells him they’re highly loyal and really happy with their current supplier, Hilson pulls out one of his cards and hand-writes on the back a specific note:

This card is good for ONE FREE, NO OBLIGATION DELIVERY; this is your “GET ME OUT OF A JAM CARD” …  When the chips are down, Franke will always be around!!

These simple steps have led Franke to consistent success, plus his induction into AFDR’s DSR Hall of Fame.

Be a Resource and Sell Something!