DSR Years of experience: 26 years
Annual volume: 3 million
Number of active accounts: 32
Average line items per stop: 29
Territory/City/Area where you sell: Thumb area of Michigan, Norther Macomb County
Favorite type of account: One that partners with me to help them make money, and pays their bills on time
Best tools that help you sell: POS, Cuttings, use of vendors sales reps, Sysco e-commerce platform
Where you learn about new products: Vendor Sales Reps, Company sales meetings, my customers
Favorite website: Sysco Test Kitchen
Hobbies: Water Ski, spend time with grandchildren
Favorite Brand to sell: Sysco, because no other distributor has it, and it regularly outperforms national brands
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- DSR Live: 1022
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Sysco Detroit’s Pat Bohr has been inducted into the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame and is the DSR of the Month for June 2017. Pat’s territory is in the “thumb area” of Michigan, part rural and part in the population base of northern Macomb County which is about 65 miles away from their warehouse in Canton, Michigan.
Pat Bohr, a 26 veteran with Sysco Detroit, started in the distribution side of the business as a buyer and quickly moved to being an E & S Specialist and finally settled in as an MA. Pat has been in the foodservice industry most of his life following in his father’s footsteps. His father was the EVP of the Minnesota Hotel & Restaurant Association. In college, Bohr got his degree in hotel and restaurant management with his first jobs being in the hotel business.
After learning and working on that side of the foodservice business, Pat decided to try the distribution side and asked his DSM at Sysco for an interview and the rest is history.
Even with all that experience, it still took Pat about two (2) years to feel like he was doing better and 3 ½-4 years before he felt like he really “got it.” Bohr says what happens is, “You go from being unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent to unconsciously competent, and finally to consciously competent.” He was growing over those four years, but when he became “consciously competent,” he could finally answer a question confidently with the product knowledge necessary. So, try to continue to learn a little bit all the time while listening to others.
Don’t lose heart when you lose that first account or are having a negative numbers year compared to your history. Talk to other Reps who’ve been through it and talk to your boss for help to get you through it so you don’t allow it to become debilitating. Fight through it and don’t lose heart. There’s a positive year coming right behind that negative year. The real reward is sticking it out.
When managing A/R you need to know your accounts before you walk into the account. Look at them regularly just like you’re preparing for their order… it’s part of your prep. Take a final look before you go in to see if the check you were given on Friday, that hadn’t posted Friday, has possibly posted on Monday. By staying on top of your A/R, you avoid having to ask about it, thereby avoiding the ugly conversation.
You should leave all your problems at the door when you go in. Pat says, “The sweetest sound to anybody is the sound of their own name and you make it about them all of the time. It’s never about you.” Life should be wonderful on that call. You can pick up your problems at the door on your way out. Being happy when you’re with your customers makes them feel they have your full attention. If you help enough people with what they want, you’ll have everything that you want. Your customers are not your dumping ground for your problems, they have enough of their own. This part is about people not groceries… Get them talking about themselves because that’s their favorite subject and they will settle down and be ready to buy from you because they like you. They won’t buy from you if they don’t like you, and won’t like you until they trust you, and won’t trust you until you prove you are trustworthy.
But you can blow it in five minutes! You are a professional out there, so be PROFESSIONAL and make it about THEM.
DSRs, Be a Resource...and Sell Something!