Doris Mallia, Ben E. Keith, August 2019


Doris Mallia, a 39-year DSR veteran who has worked the past 14 years with Ben E. Keith – San Antonio is the latest to be inducted into the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame as the DSR of the Month for August.

Her territory is about 170 miles (2.5 hours) from the San Antonio warehouse.

Doris began her career in foodservice as a secretary taking calls from customers at a seafood company in Corpus Christie, TX. Customers began insisting that Mallia begin calling on them, and her boss relented, and 39 years later she’s still out there going strong!

On the audio interview, Doris tells us that her favorite kind of account to prospect and call on is the one that has been buying “forever” from her competitors. She also likes to call on prospects that tell her right away that they are not interested in any kind of prime-vendor deal because they like to shop around. She feels that her job is to analyze those accounts and figure out how she and her company can help them make money, and to find out what the current distributors are NOT doing for this account. In most cases the prospect did not realize they had the problem(s) Doris discovered.

Mallia says that when a prospect has been buying from the same distributor for years, some things are taken for granted by both the prospect and the distributor and that’s the opening she’s searching for. She also says that in some of those long-term distributor customer relationships, the accounts have been handled by Greenhorns that sometimes change. Doris uses these opportunities to point out that (through the various DSR changes at that company) she’s still there calling on them. She tends to take on the big, tough prospects which can take up to 2-3 years to bring in. Doris reminds us that being consistently consistent is the key to landing these accounts while also keeping her current customers happy.

When Doris finally talks to the owner, chef or manager at a prospect she always asks them, “What is your ‘WHY’? WHY do your customers come in here to eat versus the other five restaurants around here?”

She monitors her current customers’ social media accounts to help them spot problems from among folks’ remarks. She also feels great pride when she sees that a suggestion or sample that she gave to one of her customers shows up with positive comments. “It worked!”

New Prospect Tips

Ask these questions when you get to talk to the person in charge of buying the products.

  1. What is your WHY- – Why do people come here to eat?
  2. Is there anything you wish your current distributor was doing but is not?

First appearances are key to getting your foot in the door with a smile and great attitude.

Tips for Greenhorns

  • Keep peddling the bike each day and you will find success, don’t give up.
  • Learn from your peers, everybody has something you can learn and use.
  • Never stop learning new products and new business practices because things continue to change.

Tips for Veterans

  • To help stay motivated, make daily lists of what you promised and what needs to be done, this will motivate you to get up the next day and accomplish those lists.
  • Accomplishment is motivation!


February 2021


DSR Years of experience: 39 years
Annual volume:  4.5 million
Number of active accounts:   42
Territory/City/Area where you sell:  Corpus Christi and Port Aransas (Island)
Average line items per stop:   28
Favorite type of account:  The ones that say they are currently satisfied with their current supplier, or the account that says they will never go Prime Vendor.
Best tools that help you sell:   Brokers Where do you learn about new products:   Brokers, sales meetings, researching on my own
Favorite website    Facebook (to see how customers are promoting menu items that I suggested) Favorite Brand to sell:   Ben E. Keith because I am confident of the specs
Hobbies:  Family Gatherings, Bunco, Community Service