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Frank Cedeno of Ben E Keith, a DSR Hall of Famer, explains to DSR Dave how he never tells one of his customers “NO” when it comes to a product they need, or want to try. Frank also explains why it’s important to never tell a customer “NO,” therefore making it impossible for his customers to be able to stop relying on him.
Frank says if you tell a customer “NO,” or that you don’t have a product right off the bat, the customer will call the other guy. When a customer asks Cedeno about a product, he responds by saying, “I don’t think we have it, but let me see if I can find it for you”. If BEK does not stock it, he’ll go to the store and buy it; he’ll even go to a competitor to buy it to keep another distributor out of his account.
A big reason why Frank does not have to say “NO” is because the Ben E Keith buyers send him the dead inventory/discontinued lists, and he tries to be the first DSR to respond and sell those products. He then keeps a tally on the dead items he’s sold for that buyer, and reminds them of it when he asks them to bring in a product for one of his customers. You give, you get!
DSRs you might want to listen to Frank talk about how he takes his customers to dinner at his other customer’s restaurants, or to a prospect’s restaurant. “No strings attached” (not in selling mode) is the message he likes to send to the customers he takes out to eat, so that they don’t think he wants something in exchange other than their friendship. The more you give, and the more you do for your customers, the more you will get in return.