807: Foodservice Distribution is the New Wild West

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A New Wild West has been created in the Foodservice Industry by many of the changes that have taken place in the past couple of years. Each week seems to bring a new technology or business practice that enables all parties involved in the industry to do business in ways different from the past, which is very exciting!

The ripple effect that the Sysco – US Foods deal has created is sort of a once in a lifetime opportunity for Sysco MAs, US Foods TMs and local distributors all over the country.

Somebody PLEASE tell the FTC this

Brokers changing their business model are creating new opportunities for every sales person who has good relationships in the field. It will be exciting to see how distributor buying groups answer the call in this new way of doing business.

With all the changes in foodservice distribution, DSRs might want to make a few adjustments in order to dominate in their territory. Some basic principles have not changed such as relationships, contribution, service, purpose, adding value and helping others.

Operators will always need help to make money in this business because there are so many products and changing pieces to deal with and they don’t have any time to do anything but run their business.

I work with dozens and dozens of DSRs and meet many of their customers. What I keep seeing is that the Operators who are working with their DSRs (as if they were their best employee) are making the most money and are happy to be in the restaurant business.

DSRs, use technology to help you dominate your competition. Use the internet to read more, research more, continue to be better trained and more prepared. Be the EXPERT on products by spending time on manufacturer’s websites. Know what a manufacturer’s sales network looks like and acts like in your sales area so you can get samples and the help you need, when you need it. Don’t wait until a manufacturer shows up at your sales meeting to find out.

Decide which accounts/operators you want, and go after them with everything you’ve got. Every day you waste is a day you’ll never get back. Go out and dominate your territory; don’t just go out and compete.

Be a Resource and a Gunslinger in your market…and Sell Something!