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“You have to be the guy/gal they want to see. You can’t carry all the stuff from your day in with you. You need to go in and lift them up; you can’t go in and expect them to lift you up!” ~Tony DeSio
DSR Tony DeSio, proudly representing Maplevale Farms based in Falconer, New York, is the latest inductee into the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame as the 2017 DSR of the Year.
Tony’s territory is in and around St. Marys, which lies in the center of Pennsylvania’s elk country (one of the few places east of the Mississippi River that allows hunting of wild elk).
Working in his father’s butcher shop as a teenager, Tony DeSio not only learned how to provision meats, he also learned valuable customer service lessons that would later serve him well while running his restaurant. When Tony was a senior in college his brother had purchased a restaurant with a silent partner, and about 7 months into owning the place, his brother got hurt and could not work. Like any good brother would do, Tony came to the rescue, fell in love with running the place and ran it for years before selling it to start a family. DeSio said the long hours were fine until the kids came along.
During his time running that restaurant, Tony had purchased from Maplevale for about 15 years and knew the quality and value they added to his businesses’ success, so when a DSR job opened up with them, he went for it and has been loving it ever since.
Tony says that in the past eleven years he hasn’t had a day yet where he got up in the morning and thought, “I really don’t want to do this today. It seems like I was born to do this! I just love it!”
His selling style: Tony’s customers tell him they don’t consider him a salesman as he just passes on information he knows or learns to help them make money in their business. He does not push them in one direction or another when it comes to products unless he’s used the product and knows it will definitely work. He gives them choices so they can make informed decisions.
Working with his peers: DeSio says he gets more mileage out of a smile and a thank you. If you can be consistent, courteous and caring about other people, things just work themselves out. We’re on the same team and putting together our ideas helps us all.
Advice for reaching sales goals: Tony says that you can do the same stuff that everybody else is doing, and you more than likely will get the same results. But if you do the little things that could help in any way, it’s amazing how those LITTLE THINGS turn into BIG THINGS in your customer’s minds. Then they just look to him for help. He remembers to follow up at the end of the day on issues.
Managing A/R: DeSio learned a more comfortable way to manage his A/R from the DSR who sold to him when he had the restaurant. He tells the customer that he needs their help with something. He says, “Hey I’m getting some grief from the credit department… how can we fix this or how can I help you get headed in the right direction?” His customers respond well to his approach with no hostility or negativity.
Opening new accounts: I’m selling me. If they are happy with their current supplier, I say, “Hey we’re always looking to get better… what do you like about this supplier? Are they hitting your delivery windows, do you have no outs?” Often their responses may lead to an opening for him. Eventually he gets deeper and deeper into their accounts.
DSRs, Be a Resource…and Sell Something!