“I don’t want to be your only distributor,
but I do want to be your MOST IMPORTANT distributor!”
Paul Gamziukas from Maplevale Farms is AFDR’s DSR of the Month for May 2022. Paul has earned his place in the AFDR Hall of Fame.
Paul lives about 90 miles from the warehouse which is based in Falconer, New York and takes about one hour and fifteen minutes to make the drive.
What areas do you sell?
Paul: I sell primarily Northern Western New York, and go up to the shore of Lake Ontario, into Youngstown and small areas up there. The farthest east that I would go is between Buffalo and Rochester.
How did you get into this business in the first place?
Paul: I was always working in restaurants in high school, and enjoyed cooking in the restaurant atmosphere. But when I graduated from college, I wound up in industrial sales in Western New York. It was not exactly a growing area to be in. Then I found a Maplevale ad in the newspaper and applied and eventually got the job. My only regret is that I didn’t start out in foodservice sales to begin with.
DSR Dave: If you hadn’t seen that ad in the newspaper, you might have missed out on a fulfilling career that you obviously enjoy. This is an area in which our industry needs to do better. To make young people aware of the opportunities in our industry. Programs in college that teach foodservice distribution.
In this show Paul and DSR Dave discuss:
- Hurdles when he began with not having any accounts
- Differentiating his company from the larger ones in a competitive market
- Showing that he could compete using samples and quotes
- Proving to customers you are trustworthy and are there to work for them
- Prospecting – doing my research by asking around my company and eating there before ever presenting my company
- Consultative selling is my favorite. I love it. It is an opportunity to help a bad restaurant become good
- The importance of being persistent when prospecting to the point of going until I am thrown out; got an account on the spot when the owner/chef told me I was the most persistent rep and what would it take to stop me… told him to throw me out… they placed an order that day!!
- Knowing prospects and customers are going to be using more than one distributor in our competitive environment and having the goal of becoming their Most Important Distributor.
Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!!