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“We are like doctors of food. If you want to be successful in the foodservice distribution business, you’re on call 24/7. Customers respect the fact that you will answer your phone anytime they call, not just when it’s convenient for you. Customers know that you’re in it to win it, not just another nine-to-fiver.” ~Jason Hennigin
Jason Hennigin of HILLCREST FOODSERVICE, Cleveland, Ohio is the latest DSR to be inducted into the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame as the September DSR of the Month.
Twenty years of relationship building has proven to be the groundwork for this AFDR DSR of the Month’s sales success. Starting out as a beer & wine sales pro, Jason then moved onto selling coffee & tea for Sara Lee before settling into his role as a DSR at Hillcrest Foodservice.
Transitioning from selling for a specialty distributor to a broadliner was easy for Jason since he had built relationships over the years and now had more products to sell to those customers. y Jason’s mentors at Hillcrest and his customers assisted with the learning curve of products.
When going after new business, Jason leads with the LOCAL and independent aspect that Hillcrest promotes in and around Cleveland. When Hennigin does get that first appointment with a prospect, he explains to them that he and his company will immerse themselves in their business.
Hennigin promises the prospect that he will out-hustle and out-work any other DSR or company and is backed up every step of the way by his company by working together to help each of their customers make money. They figure the more they help an operator to make money, the less the customer will be looking at other distributors.
There will always be out-of-stocks, miss-picks, incorrect ordering and just about anything else that can go wrong. It’s how you and your company take care of those issues that separates you from other distributors.
When describing his foodservice sales career, Hennigin says he started his sales career
liquoring customers up, then sobering them up, and now stuffing them up!
DSR of the Month, Jason Hennigin, Tips:
- Prospecting: Uses the good old fashion yellow pad and pen; takes him about 6 weeks.
- Becoming a more successful DSR: Be humble, and realize you don’t know everything; always learn something new every day.
- Being grateful: Always thank your customers for their business; it is appreciated because most DSRs forget that part of the job.
- Being reliable: Beating your competition by out-working them and doing what you say you’re going to do.
- Always learning: Pay attention and gain knowledge about products and techniques from your customers that you can share with other customers when they’re having similar issues.
DSRs, Be a Resource…and Sell Something!