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The most recent inductee of the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame for the month of July 2016 is Troy Zimmerman of Martin Bros. Distributing out of Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Zimmerman is a 27 year veteran who generates $6.2 million in annual sales with 80 customers in NW Iowa and SW Minnesota. Troy was in ROTC in college and then spent four years in the Army before going to work for Sysco. Zimmerman spent his first three years as a DSR with Sysco, and then went to work for Loffredo Produce before settling down for the last eight years with Martin Bros.
It took around two years for Troy to get up on plane and get around what he describes as the “learning curve” before he felt like he could talk to a customer with some knowledge about the business and products.
Troy suggests to any DSR who’s trying to learn about a product to enlist a manufacturer’s rep to ride and work with him all day trying to sell their products, and LISTEN really closely because they know those products better than anybody. After working with a manufacturer’s rep for the day, you’ll also have somebody you can call when you need a sample or an answer to a question about at product.
Zimmerman explains that one of the best times to suggest new products to an operator is each week when punching orders in because the customer stops working long enough to actually discuss things. Most of his customers who order online usually leave a few items for him to punch in just so they can take the time to discuss new menu items or new/different products that he might bring into sample.
Topics & Sales tips Troy and DSR Dave talk about in his DSRLive interview:
- Greenhorns listen and learn from the peer groups at your company to learn faster
- Seek out a person who knows what’s going on at a prospect you’re calling on
- Step-by-step process on a prospect he closed on recently
- A/R – Organize each week according to which customer to focus on and try to convert them to ACH, ASAP
- About Peers – They’re your support system so always keep a cool head because you’ll need them down the road
- Your buyers need to be given a heads-up if movement on a product changes or might change
- About Sales managers – Make sure your effort is consistent with what they’ve asked you to do and what you’ve agreed to do
- About Current customers – If you don’t want to get your pocket picked by a competitor, always be showing them something so they feel like they’re in the loop on trends and what’s going on in the industry
- Greenhorns, it’s a tough gig, but after you learn the business, this is a great career
DSRs, Be a Resource…and Sell Something!