January 2018 DSR of the Month
Don Rouse of Nicholas and Company
“Be the first, be the best, and be different… and always be passionate about your customer’s business.” ~Don Rouse
Don Rouse of Nicholas and Company, Salt Lake City, Utah division is AFDR’s January DSR of the Month for 2018 earning him a permanent place in the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame. Don’s territory is in the Twin Falls, Idaho area which is 200 miles north of the warehouse.
Don began his foodservice career 45 years ago working in restaurants to pay his way through college. After graduating, he found that he could make more money in the restaurant business than he could working in the field he received a degree in.
Rouse managed restaurants for several years before purchasing one in Nebraska and running it through the 80s and 90s. His restaurants were mom & pops making most things from scratch including even breaking down sides of beef himself which has benefitted him in working as a DSR.
Don sold the restaurant to enable him more time raising his kids and moved his family to Idaho. He landed a DSR job allowing him to continue pursuing his passion in the business.
“Dandy Don” (customers’ nickname for him) embraced technology all along the way helping both him and his customers. Don utilized not only internet technology, but also the Food Network and all the cooking shows to help educate his customers on all things possible to encourage experimenting with new menu items.
His strong passion for the business drives him to “explore restaurants” everywhere he goes. Don will take road trips down to the 101 in California and every other town along the way. He usually finds himself in the kitchen at most restaurants sharing passionate conversation with the owners.
Tips on securing new accounts:
- Make sure your prospect feels your passion for the industry and their business without pushing yourself on them.
- Be the FIRST to bring in something that might help that customer.
- Be the BEST at something – maybe you have the best driver, or best product, or you have the best skill at ??
- Be DIFFERENT at something – could be as simple as listening to what a customer says the other distributors won’t do.
Quick tips for Greenhorns:
- If you don’t have the passion for the industry like your customers do, you might want to find another industry for your career.
- Having that passion will open a lot of doors with prospects and will help you learn more about each of your current customers’ businesses driving your passion to help them.
- It’s a relationship business, you must build relationships with customers and prospects if you want to be successful.
- Product knowledge is important, reach out for product knowledge because it’s much easier than it used to be to get all the information you and your customers need.
- There are a lot of challenges in this business, but if you listen… customers will tell you what to do (or not do) next.
Be a Resource…and Sell Something!