October 2010: Ralph Owens, Sysco Arizona
Ralph Owens, a 22-year sales veteran with Sysco Arizona, says he continues to learn everyday on how to adjust to the ever-changing marketplace in his rural territory known for its hot temperatures and temporary population that comes and goes during the winter months.
"Ralph has the natural determination and passion for foodservice sales that is required to not only survive during the tough times, but to thrive for more than two decades," said AFDR president Todd Hauser. "And servicing a highly rural territory that is driven largely by seasonal business makes Ralph's success even that more incredible."
Owens' territory includes Southeastern California and Southwestern Arizona, famous for attracting a huge influx of retirees with comfortable temperatures during the winter months. Then the population shrinks considerably when scorching triple-digit temperatures return in the summer. Yet, Owens averages about $4 million in annual sales in the territory with seasonal customers that can vary widely in number depending on the year.
"I've learned to succeed you need to love what you do, really enjoy and have fun with your customers, and admit when you're wrong," Owens said. "Otherwise, you probably shouldn't be in the job."
During his interview with DSR Live!, Owens praises his sales manager at understanding the unique challenges of his seasonal territory. He also discusses how he continues to learn how brokers can be major asset in his overall sales success.
Listen to interview below!