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Sidney

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Reply with quote  #1 
Calendars, that's it. What ole timers out there remember the days when the company provided gifts for your customers? I can recall gift boxes of assorted coffee, small decorated live Christmas trees, spiral hams, and sets of coffee mugs. Today our TM's are deciding which customer actually gets a calendar of limited supply. What do you recall for gifts of Christmas past?
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dawg1981

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Reply with quote  #2 
I remember the good ole days when I was in route sales.

I used to go in to my accounts, schools/nursing homes/restaurants/hospitals etc.

this time of year everyone would be celebrating the holidays by having fresh baked
cookies and goodies, deli trays egg nog etc. and passing out calendars and such.

These days I barely see anything that resembles those times, I guess with the changing
times and company policies they have gone by the wayside.

I guess it started around the time we all had to start saying Happy Holidays instead
of Merry Christmas so we would not "offend" anyone.


Merry Christmas to All


Dawg

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FSVET

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Reply with quote  #3 
We used to get a least one calendar for the number of accounts we had, and we didn't have to pay for them. Before I retired, we got a minimum number of calendars for free. We paid out of pocket for any extra calendars. That was fine. We could deduct it as a business expense.

I would get a personal gift for my good accounts. Customers also gave their reps a gift. Wine, baked goods, etc.

In the last few years, I would give out a wall or desk calendar and mail out Christmas cards. Only one or two customers got a personal gift.

Corporate doesn't care about relationships.

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Isthisidok

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Reply with quote  #4 
I personally give out scratch off lotto tickets (1,2,3, or $5) and a G2 pen plus a sharpie. Lord knows most people in this industry like to gamble! I also like great foodie books, chefs jackets/aprons, and cut steaks as great presents for my best customers. A pack of French peelers or dough scrappers are great cheap gifts as well.

It is pretty crazy we have to pay for planners and desk calendars these days

Happy holidays all!
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ISellLettuce

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Reply with quote  #5 
I think it's absolutely insane the number of reps that don't invest in their own business. I would always spend ~50-75 bucks on a "gift basket" of stuff for my top 5+ customers and then like ~20-25 bucks for a smaller gift basket for my remaining customers. That 700-800 dollar investment that you spend for Christmas gives comes back to you 200x over the year. You have to spend money to make money, plain and simple.
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Eyes Wide Open

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Reply with quote  #6 
" I can buy that from your competitor for $2.00 case less" or " another vendor is promising better service and prices -

BUT I am not switching because you gave me a gift basket at Christmas"  - said no customer EVER!

 
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commoditiesguy

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Reply with quote  #7 
Where I work, our service levels, late deliveries and/or missed deliveries altogether are so bad, all my customers want these days is what they order, when they order it, at the agreed upon price.

I went into a customer last week to give them a calendar and just see how things were going and talk a little about 2019, and his response to me was - "All I really want from your company is better service.  Until then, 2019 is going to be nothing but more business going to one of your competitors."  At least he and I have a good enough relationship that he's upfront about his plans.  That's why a relationship is important.  He'll absolutely pay slightly more from me, if he could get the service that goes along with a higher price.

Unfortunately, the owners of my company either don't get that, or get it and don't care.
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broadliner

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Reply with quote  #8 
Or "I'll pay Carlos an extra $1.00/hour and he'll go to Restaurant Depot to get what we need."

I was working on a Mediterranean fast food place (4 locations) that paid their chicken supplier $1/cs to go to Depot for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyes Wide Open
" I can buy that from your competitor for $2.00 case less" or " another vendor is promising better service and prices -

BUT I am not switching because you gave me a gift basket at Christmas"  - said no customer EVER!

 
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broadliner

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Reply with quote  #9 
"Unfortunately, the owners of my company either don't get that, or get it and don't care." That pretty much says it all. I'm retired, but I still talk to some of the people I worked with. Service levels have deteriorated. Late trucks are the norm. Pricing is insane. DSMs constantly banging on your head to put your information in the CRM so their managers can see what everyone is or isn't doing. 

The big boys don't care about relationships. They think they can plug in some rookie to an account another rep had for 20 years and motor on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by commoditiesguy
Where I work, our service levels, late deliveries and/or missed deliveries altogether are so bad, all my customers want these days is what they order, when they order it, at the agreed upon price.

I went into a customer last week to give them a calendar and just see how things were going and talk a little about 2019, and his response to me was - "All I really want from your company is better service.  Until then, 2019 is going to be nothing but more business going to one of your competitors."  At least he and I have a good enough relationship that he's upfront about his plans.  That's why a relationship is important.  He'll absolutely pay slightly more from me, if he could get the service that goes along with a higher price.

Unfortunately, the owners of my company either don't get that, or get it and don't care.
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Winenot

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Reply with quote  #10 
I'm so glad I left "the big evil empire" and went to work for an independent.. I spent years being stressed out and this is the best move I could have ever possibly made.. We were given calendars for all of our customers, we also recieved Visa debit cards that said "thank you valued employee" with a nice bonus... When problems arise everybody jumps in and says "Hey what can we do to fix this" - there is no finger pointing.. Honestly I am treated like family - not just a unit of productivity.. I'm actually excited to get-up-and-go out to work..I work with an amazing team of people - Most of whom are industry veterans that felt disenfranchised at the bigger companies. The money is good - there is lots of opportunity for growth, as we are not saturated with reps etc.. no salesforce.com, no trying to get every customer online, no Scoop - It's basically what US foods and Sysco were (back in the day) before they went from being a Sales organization to a Marketing company.. It's really disheartening to hear so many posters on this forum complain about what they are going through and all the stress they're dealing with. Take my advice and get out now - head over to an independent if you are going to remain in this industry - if not you're going to continue to be in a no win situation..
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snoman

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Reply with quote  #11 
I'd suspect that in some cases those expenditures are going over your head w/the higher ups on both sides. 

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