1707: Bryan Cohen, DSR of the Month, CASH-WA Distributing, Kearney, NE – Starting Out In The Business


“It’s a lot easier not to lose a customer than to get one..” ~ Bryan Cohen

Byan Cohen of CASH-WA Distributing Co. (CWD) based in Kearney, Nebraska is AFDR’s DSR of the Month for April 2024, earning him a permanent place in the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame. Bryan’s territory is South-Central and Southwest Nebraska which is 50 to 90 Miles from the distribution center. Cohen lives in Kearney about a mile from the warehouse.

There’s plenty of great discussions packed into this Podcast Episode please take the time to listen.

Getting Started: Cohen worked on the night crew at Cash-Wa as a summer job and while attending college as well as in customer service before eventually getting an opportunity to be a DSR when a route opened up.

The experience Cohen gained from working in the warehouse and in customer service helped him when he got out on the street selling. Being able to recognize what the boxes were and what was inside of them was helpful as well as the customer service experience of learning to deal with a wide range of people and their personalities, in addition to handling a lot of house accounts.

Hurdles in the beginning: Just trying to make sure you didn’t lose any business of the customers that you took over because it takes so much time to get acclimated with every customer. Every customer is different with their personalities and their needs and making sure that they can trust you. Building trust and customers to depend on you takes a lot of time.

There are prospects in every area, but at that stage, when first out on the street, prospecting is the last thing that was on your mind. You’re working to show up every week at the same time to see them face to face when they are expecting you, to prove you are reliable and trustworthy.

If you don’t do that, then you’re just asking to lose business/a customer. It’s a lot easier not to lose a customer than to get one.

Product knowledge is also a big hurdle. Learning the differences between products, knowing the product for the purpose.

Other topics discussed on this Podcast Episode:

  • Building trust takes a long time, sometimes up to three years or so.
  • Simple things like showing up every week around the same time and returning calls/texts in a timely manner help in building trust.
  • Product knowledge is a never-ending learning part of the job. Use all of the resources that are available and then some.
  • Something always happens in this business so as long as you keep going back to a prospect you will have opportunities because things go sideways all the time.
  • Use online reviews and gain insights by eating in prospect’s operation. Also visit the restrooms when you visit so you can see the soap and dispensers that are in use.
  • Wait staff folks are very helpful to find out who you should be talking to when it comes to finding out who the decision maker is.
  • Ask prospects what they like the most about their current supplier when they tell you they’re happy with their supplier and DSR so you can make sure to do the same things.
  • Ask prospects for what their current supplier could do better, like the delivery day or delivery time, these are crucial details.
  • Find out if they are making things from scratch like chicken tenders, fries, or onion rings so you can sell them the ingredients for those recipes.

Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!!