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Most of these Operators state loudly and clearly that the DSR is the voice of the distributor they work for. Therefore, the relationship with a distributor is their relationship with the DSR. It starts and stops with the DSR.
Operators from Hospitals, College Food Service Operations, Casinos, Caterers, White Table Cloth and Casual Dining establishments give their advice to DSRs as to what works and what doesn’t work when a DSR is calling on them as a prospect, and also while working with them on a weekly basis as a customer.
Listen to the audio version of this show to hear what one operator says he’ll NOT let a DSR slide on, and what other operators say they expect out of their DSRs. Operators count on their DSRs to have strong Product knowledge and to stay up-to-date on the market situations with the products they purchase from the DSR.
Greenhorns listen up… one of the operators actually likes dealing with newer sales people because it gives him the chance to train them the way he wants them to work with him versus dealing with a DSR who is not willing to change.
Chef Glenn, longtime owner/operator of an upscale catering operation, likes dealing with DSRs who are product experts. He counts on them to learn about any products he uses or could use in his operation. His advice to DSRs is for them to understand how each of their prospects and customers like to do business, whether it is walking around with them while taking their order or helping them to learn their distributors’ order entry system. One size does not fit all operators, adjust with each of them.
Operator Amy is the director of a college foodservice operation and is in constant daily contact with her main DSR. She knows in real time if there is an out which is important to her because it affects operations. It might not be a big deal to the distributor, but it’s a big deal to her. She also expects DSRs to know about all products, not just the products with their name on it.
Carolyn, the hospital operator, calls her DSRs “PARTNERS” and says she uses them as her eyes and ears to let her know what’s going on in the outside foodservice world. She expects DSRs to add value to her operation by helping train her staff on things like how to prepare different cuisines that are on trend. She also expects DSRs to always be looking for products that might work better and save money in her operations.
After the DSR helps Carolyn set up the ordering system by coordinating it with her stock room, she does not need any other help with orders.
Keith, owner/operator of eight different restaurant concepts, dislikes DSRs who try to show him something that has no application whatsoever to his business. When not only does it waste his time, he also questions why he’s even doing business with a DSR who would do that. He gives a great example of this on the AUDIO portion of this show.
Keith also advises DSRs to make at least three or four calls on any prospect before making an appointment so that you (the DSR) would at least have a clue about what the prospect’s trying to accomplish in their business.
DSRs, Be a Resource…and Sell Something!