“I’m only as good as the people I work with. And that’s not a line. I wouldn’t be out here without any of my resources, my managers, the head of my office, AR, the warehouse, the buyers, all of them.” ~ Jeremy Winter
DSR Dave and Jeremy have a DETAILED discussion about Price, A/R management, Teamwork, Penetrating your existing accounts, and Greenhorn & Veteran Tips.
Below is an overview of the detailed discussion:
If price is an issue you might want to dig deeper into what your customers need to make money and find solutions for those needs. Jeremy explains how he helps his customers figure real yield on products.
- Are your customers doing inventory?
- Check often to make sure they are serving the right portion sizes.
- Continue to review what they are throwing away by doing “waste studies” and come up with a way to track monthly, because BOH employees change and so will the daily practices.
- You must emphasize to your customers the importance of training their employees on portions, waste, and more.
- It costs them money when an employee puts 12 oz. of French fries on the plates versus the 6 oz. that were figured in costs. PLUS, it confuses and disappoints the patrons because one time they got a plate full of French fries, and the next time they only received half as much, so they feel ripped off. Then you lose customers, more lost money.
How does Jeremy teach his customers ways to make money? How does he help customers understand that price per case on products is just one factor in their food cost and profit & loss?
- You must build a relationship with your customer. You must be invested in their business. You need to understand what they do, what they need, and what they don’t need. A lot of times, the customers don’t really know.
- Teach your customers how to figure food costs. Many operators don’t really understand how to figure this like they should. You might have to use your company’s resources like a specialist or another DSR that has been successful at this.
- Figure costs by the ounce for your customers’ top 20 (most used) items and make sure they have the right serving utensils (spoodles, spoons, etc.) and are serving the correct portion size. Review this at least quarterly.
How Jeremy manages Accounts Receivable:
- It helps to get along well with your AR/credit analysts. Be honest with them.
- Find out what kind of terms they need, like 7, 21, or 30 days.
- Be consistent. If a customer writes a check out every Friday, pick up the check.
- If they’re paying online, you must work with them to make their payment if it is not set up on automatic.
- You must follow up to keep them on schedule. You check and remind them, “Hey, I noticed you didn’t book your payment for tomorrow.” Sometimes they just forget in all the busyness.
- You need to handle it early so your mind is free and clear to sell more, not be worrying all day if they’ve paid.
- When you build your value to them, they may even become more timely payers out of respect for you and all that you do for them.
Teamwork makes ALL the difference.
- I’m only as good as the people I work with. And that’s not a line. I wouldn’t be out here without any of my resources, my managers, our drivers, the head of my office, AR, the warehouse, the buyers, all of them.
- Because you have a great relationship with your drivers, you can utilize your “Driver Intel” to take better care of your customers.
Penetrating existing accounts:
- One of the best tools is to get to know your truck drivers. I have a lot of drivers who will ask me why we don’t have various items they see when delivering, for example, the flour for a particular pizza place. They may see 42 cases of flour from another distributor, but we have everything else.
- So, now I am going to find out. It’s just learning what it is and then finding out why they don’t buy it from you.
- Know what your customers want and need and why they need it. I’m blessed. I think about 80% to 90% of my customers buy from me alone.
Greenhorn Tips: It is setting yourself up with, what do you want out of this job? Do you want to make money? Is it about winning awards? There are different ways on doing everything.
Set goals not only on your sales, but also on things you want/need in life that take more money and work toward those goals.
Have a goal and a target every day on every customer.
Also, learn what your company is best at in your market area by reviewing your TOP 200 products sold by Cases. Be an expert with these items first.
Veteran Tips: REINVENT YOURSELF! Do something different each week that you have not done in the past few years like call on some different segments. If you are selling pizza joints and bar & grills, call on some breakfast-lunch operators, ethnic operators, private schools, country clubs or church foodservice etc.
Come up with a new special. Get on Google and Facebook to look for a new idea for one of your accounts. Because if you can walk into an account with a flyer or a new menu item or say, a Friday night feature for them, that might excite you.
Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!!