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Dale Bennecoff of Pocono ProFoods, which is based out of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, is the latest DSR to be inducted into the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame as the April DSR of the Month.
Mr. Bennecoff has done just about every job you can do at a foodservice distributor in his 43 years in this business. He has been a buyer, run the bid department, run inside sales, and done just about everything else. For the last 20 years he’s been a successful DSR, and for many of those years, he also worked at a country club running the kitchen operation and also tended bar. Those experiences have helped Dale to better assist his customers as a true consultant and business partner.
Bennecoff still takes brokers out on his route a few times a month. He explains in his AUDIO INTERVIEW how he prepares the night before a broker works with him so that it’s very productive for all parties involved, especially his customers. Dale asks the broker for a list of the products they plan to show so he can figure the costs down to the portion so his customers have everything they would need to make a decision of whether to purchase or not. Being prepared takes out many of the stumbling blocks.
When calling on prospects, Dale wants to qualify them by going in as a customer to try the food and just look around to see if it is the kind of account that his help would benefit. When he does get his first appointment to meet with the prospect, he does not take his laptop in with him because his focus is on asking them a lot of questions and really listening to their answers so he understands how they conduct their business, and how they would want him to work with them if they were to do business.
Dale Bennecoff is not your usual DSR, as he really steps up and out of the box by going the extra mile for his customers to help them with their business. An example would be when he took three days off from work to drive to Michigan (nine hours each way) with a customer to do research in a town that Cabela’s was in because Cabela’s was building a store in his town. They visited restaurant operators in that town to find out what the patrons who came into town to shop at Cabela’s liked and disliked so they might adjust things at his restaurant to accommodate folks when that store opened in his town.
Topics Dale discussed in the Audio Interview:
- Tips on working with brokers by being very prepared before making the call on customers
- Treating his peers with the utmost respect and trying to understand their jobs
- Selling by using portion costs versus just selling on price
- Training DSRs is KEY and critical for a DSR to have success and longevity in this profession
DSRs, Be a Resource…and Sell Something!