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Kenny McLain of Merchants Foodservice, selling out of the Jackson, Mississippi division earned top honors as AFDR’s October 2018 DSR of the Month placing him in the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame.
After graduating from college in 1989, Kenny was making a sales call for office supplies on the Merchants Foodservice sales manager and asked him if they needed a good salesperson, the sales manager asked if he could start Monday? McLain gave a two week notice to the small office supply company and found himself working his first day at a Merchants food show.
Kenny says it took him about a year to begin to understand the business. Learning products was by far the toughest hurdle to get over. He learned about products from his customers, sales meetings, and brokers and really increased his awareness about them while taking inventory in the warehouse where he got to see the products first-hand.
When prospecting, McLain always checks the health department’s website because it has every foodservice establishment in his territory along with all the contact information needed to get started. He also listens to local radio and TV stations to hear who’s advertising.
When calling on prospects, Kenny says he always asks the question, “If there was one thing you could do to improve your business, what would that be?”
This Hall of Famer says DSRs who routinely practice persistence and perseverance will be more successful in this business despite the difficulty of the profession.
McLain says it’s best to treat everyone he works with the way he wants to be treated, with a lot of respect.
Hall of Fame Sales Tips:
- Steadfastness and always doing what you say you’re going to do
- Believing in the products you’re selling
- Believing in your company
- Don’t fail to plan or you should plan to fail
- Never give up on an account you really want, there is no time limit
- Samples work – – always be sampling because it’s the power of suggestion
- Always have something in your hand when making a customer call
DSRs, Be a Resource… and Sell Something!