If you would like to know what makes Gordon Marsh a top-flight dealer sales representative, and how he generates so much repeat business for Edward Don & Company, this anecdote goes a long way toward explaining it.
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“You grow the most when you are not comfortable,” says Bolt Bolton, senior account manager at Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Avanti Restaurant Solutions. She’s had to remind herself of that mantra recently as a new client has been pushing her to grow in just that manner — out of discomfort.
“He’s just a stand-up guy.”
Eric Harrison is dressed in his standard uniform today. “I always wear black,” he says, and I laugh. “No, like every day, all the time.” Even while accepting his award for DSR of the Year at the FE&S banquet in May, he was decked out in a black tuxedo. That made sense, as it was a black-tie event, but Harrison paired it with a black shirt, vest and tie.
For Luke Green, wearing the title of "salesperson" is as uncomfortable and out of character as putting on a suit and tie or scratchy wool sweater. It's just not who he is or how he rolls. But make no mistake: Green, FE&S' 2017 Dealer Sales Rep of the Year, is an uncommonly good sales rep.
At age 30, sporting an epic beard, multiple tattoos and his favorite uniform of jeans, a T-shirt and boots, Green has established himself as a top-producing rep at Marion, Iowa-based Rapids Foodservice Contract and Design. He's brought in some of the largest accounts in the company's history and grown his annual sales from around $1 million three years ago to a record-breaking $5.2 million last year — representing roughly one-fifth of total company volume for the year.
It's an easy, comfortable drive from Cleveland to Huron, Ohio — a straight shot that drops you halfway between Cleveland and Toledo, just off the scenic Lake Erie coast.
Leveraging a world-class work ethic, well-rounded sense of humor and sharp eye for detail, Troy Jacobsen continues to help propel his customers and company to new heights.
A few things about Jason Sem, FE&S’ 2014 DSR of the Year and a nearly 10-year veteran of R.W. Smith & Co.: The past 8 years running he’s won a trip to Europe because of his outstanding sales figures. Sem grossed $1.3 million last year and projects $1.5 million or more for this year. He married his wife, Carrie, 10 years ago this September overlooking the ocean in a beautiful park in Carmel, Calif. After a chance meeting on the street, the duo rekindled what was a brief college romance 10 years after the fact. The Marin County native admits he can’t swim well but loves the ocean and has even been abalone diving. While he can rock the nice pants, shirt and tie, and black-rimmed glasses each day, the blonde fauxhawk offers a look at the real Sem — a fan of metal bands and the Beastie Boys. His baby face shows 43 is the new 20.
For some, doing what you say and saying what you do might seem like a quaint trait from bygone days. But, as our editor learned during a fast-paced day with one of the foodservice industry's hardest-working dealer sales reps, this approach can still serve as a foundation for success today.