“Coming from a corporate chain environment, I was surprised how many independent operators did not run a P & L and did not know where their money was.” ~ Audrey Worthington
Audrey Worthington of SGC Foodservice (Springfield Grocer Company) which is based in Springfield, Missouri is AFDR’s DSR of the Month for January 2024, earning her a permanent place in the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame.
Worthington’s territory includes Columbia to Booneville, MO, with some customers in the St. Louis area which is around 3 hours/170 miles away. She has a combination of accounts in rural areas and some in the city.
Audrey got her start in sales and customer service when she was twelve selling and cutting Christmas trees. During high school and college, she worked at Baskin-Robbins where she was promoted to manager of the store her senior year in college. After graduating college, she tried her hand in the banking business and learned that sitting behind a desk was not her cup of tea. Audrey then worked for Papa Murphy’s as an assistant manager, then became an operations specialist covering the entire country, and then ended up in Kansas City as the market coordinator.
A DSM friend of hers talked her into applying for a DSR job at Sysco, which she worked at for five years before going to work at SGC Foodservice. She has been with SGC for six years now and absolutely loves the family-owned culture.
Topics Audrey and DSR Dave discuss on this podcast:
- Worthington’s first few years as a DSR and how she dealt with the surprises and hurdles.
- Coming from a corporate chain environment, Audrey was surprised and baffled that Independent operator customers did not run a P&L or understand where their money was.
- Operators jumping from vendor to vendor trying to save a penny.
- Coming from an organized operation like Papa Murphy’s to working with many independent operators seemed like chaos.
- Audrey had to learn how to take a chill pill because she came out of training being a little too tenacious for prospects and customers.
- Learning to balance how often to call on a prospect so they do not feel pressured.
- Learning about products was all about asking the right questions from operators, buyers, and fellow sales reps.
- Understanding which product a customer might be using because there are so many to choose from. Audrey used a chicken tender as an example. GREAT INSIGHTS FROM WORTHINGTON IN THIS SEGMENT.
- Took her around two to three years for things to begin to click and to be comfortable with most aspects of the job.
- Working with brokers has been a great sales tool for Audrey and she explains in detail how she worked with and managed brokers.
- Create a list of questions before you work with a broker or talk with your buyer about products.
- Help buyers get rid of products that are slow moving and they will help you with bringing in new products.
- DON’T BE SHY ABOUT ASKING TOO MANY QUESTIONS!!
Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!!