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This DSR of the Month spent three months as a 3rd shift picker in the warehouse in order to have an opportunity to get into the foodservice distributor business. When a DSR career opportunity became available, Mike went for it!
Mike would rather be the specialist in his accounts rather than calling in a “so-called” specialist to make a call on one of his customers. To become the specialist, Nedolast explains how he strives to learn at sales meetings and when he works with brokers and manufacturer reps so he can learn about all of the products TPC has available to sell. Becoming a product specialist for all those products gives Mike an advantage over his competitors who use a specialist for about every category.
TPC is a national brand distributor and Mike uses those brands to his advantage (or as a tool) to compete with the MEGA distributors that are pushing their house labels. He tells his customers that house labels are just “stuff in a box” because most distributors don’t pack anything themselves. He tells his customers, “If it says Tyson or Hormel on the case, that’s what it is.” Mike uses those brand names to his advantage and that really helps him get the business.
Nedolast uses Yelp, Google and Facebook when he’s working on new accounts to do the necessary research on a prospect’s menu and to see what their customers are saying about their food and the service. This way he’s armed with intel that enables him to help prospects in their business.
DOT FOODS plays a big part in Mike’s daily routine as he keeps one tab open for his company’s product list and another tab open for DOT EXPRESSWAY for any other product needed that he doesn’t carry. He sends a simple email to his buyer and the product comes in on TPC’s next delivery and then out to his customer on their next delivery. “Customers are just happy they don’t have to try to find the product at another distributor, and as long as they know when it’s going to be delivered to them, they’re good-to-go,” says Mike.
Topics discussed on the AUDIO INTERVIEW with Mike Nedolast:
- Providing great customer service creates customer loyalty.
- Using your company’s size to be flexible (if not a large distributor) is an advantage over the MEGA distributors.
- Paying attention at sales meetings versus just showing up is key to success.
- Selling as a DSR is harder than selling cars…
- When making new account calls, always make note of the person’s name you talked to and log it in along with other intel you acquire so you can address them by name the next time you go in. It makes all the difference.
- Address problems the moment they come up; don’t wait until later, or the next day, as it just gets worse.
Be a Resource…and Sell Something!