943: DSR of the Month, Kelly Donohue of Favorite Foods

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Kelly Donohue of Favorite Foods in Somersworth, New Hampshire has been inducted into the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame as the DSR of the Month for November 2016.

Donohue is a 17 year DSR veteran who began her foodservice career as a prep cook in the summers when she was fifteen years-old. She worked her way up to running kitchens at a number of different restaurants before deciding that she wanted to be a DSR when a sales rep friend encouraged her because they thought she would be good at it. Her friend was right!

The restaurant experience really has helped Kelly understand her customers’ needs, and it also helped her judgment on when to listen and when to talk. She learned as an operator the tendencies to respond to DSRs when they came in to call on her the first time.

When Donohue makes a her first cold-call with a prospect she feels more comfortable walking in the back door because she likes to gauge the reactions and responses she gets from the folks she comes into contact with. In her audio interview, she calls it “getting a read on them”.

Her main goal on her first call is to get an appointment as she does not try to sell them on herself or her company. Donohue also always asks a few questions that might prompt the prospect to tell her that they’re happy with the distributor they are currently buying from “BUT” …

Kelly pays very close attention to any and all of the “BUTS,” because those “BUTS” are her windows of opportunity with that prospect.

Donohue makes a great point that many of the “BUTS” are very important to an operator, but and in many cases, are not as important to their distributor. She says a benefit of working with a smaller distributor is that they’re much more flexible and can take care of the “BUTS” easier than a larger distributor.

Topics & Sales Tips discussed by Kelly and DSR Dave:

  • Hear Kelly’s ideas on DSR training the first month on the job; work with Drivers the first 3 weeks.
  • Using DOT FOODS Expressway and having 20,000 products available makes a huge difference.
  • Working with her peers is all about sharing information.
  • Sales meetings every Friday help her learn from others on her team about account issues, good and bad!
  • A/R management is a daily process she does in the afternoon so she can take action right away.
  • Kelly explains that just about every prospect and or customer have issues with a distributor they’re buying from, so you have to listen much more than talk to uncover those issues.
  • She thinks customers really like to see DSRs and does not think most customers will want to just place their order online and not have interaction with DSRs.

DSRs, Be a Resource…and Sell Something!