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How I went from a nobody to the #1 sales trainer In
the 200 billion dollar foodservice distribution industry

 How I failed big time as a rookie sales person.  

When I first returned home after completing six years in the US Navy I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted, or so I thought.  The profession of selling really appealed to me so I applied for a job selling life insurance.  I only lasted a few months before I knew I was not mentally equipped for the stress and insecurity that comes with the territory.

How I discovered a powerful system. 

The experience was not wasted.  My manager gave me a book on selling and in one tiny portion of the book there was mention of Ben Franklin's system for improving your skills.  I was intrigued so I thought I would give it a try. 

This system helped me become a top sales person.   

As the program recommended, I carefully selected 13 skills and attitudes that I wanted to master.  I typed them on small cards along with an affirmation to go along with it.  I carried one card with me each week and read it at odd moments, focusing on improving that single skill for the week, then moving onto the next skill.  At the end of 13 weeks I would repeat the process resulting in continuous, ongoing improvement in each skill. 

It seemed too simple to work. 

I struggled with this program for the next few years.  I thought it was too simple to have any real effect.  However, I kept with it in spite of getting sidetracked with all sorts books on sales, all good, but nothing seemed to really take root.  I kept coming back to Ben Franklin's program.

My original list was basically the same as it is today:

_______________________________________________

  1. Attitude: Define what you want and go after it.
  2. Respect: Earn respect no more comfort zone.
  3. Service: Help customers build their business.
 
4. Urgency: Be enthusiastic get things done now.
  5. Confidence: Remove restrictions and limitations.
 
6. Persistence: Keep going and never give up.
 
 7. Planning: Get big results by setting big goals.
  8. Questions: Ask questions that make the sale.
  9. Attention: Get attention with irresistible offers.
10. Presenting: Give reasons why they should buy.
11. Objections: Remove every roadblock to the sale.
12. Closing: Ask for the order and get paid.
13. Follow up: Remove all hope for competitors.
_______________________________________________

My first small sign of progress. 

I had to make money to support my wife and son while I was trying to go to school and ended up in a supermarket bagging groceries.  The store manager watched me closely as I dealt with the customers, always having a great attitude (it was on my list), always offering to be of service, (service was also on my list) and he asked me if I would like to be an apprentice in the meat department.  The pay was good and the hours were great, but the work was extremely difficult.

The meat business is brutal - very hard work with a lot of pressure! 

Three years later I became certified by the union and was promoted to their meat department manager at one of the busiest stores near Boston.  I had 16 meat cutters working for me and we were selling half a truckload of "hanging beef" a week.  All during these three years I was off and on with my self improvement program.  As I mentioned, the biggest struggle I had was it seemed too easy to possibly have much of an affect on me.  Little did I know that Ben Franklin's system was working on me in the background.  That's the beauty of this program.   

I didn't know they were going out of business! 

I wanted to move back to Maine where my wife and I are originally from.  I found a meat company that was looking for help, so I applied for the job and moved to Maine.  The company I went to work for had 25 employees (mostly in their 50s and early 60s) and was set up as a corporation with a board of directors consisting of 10 local business owners, all over the age of 75.  When I took the job I didn't know the company was about to go out of business.

They asked me to take over the "sinking ship". 

After a few months the CEO asked me if I would take over and run the company.  Keep in mind I was only 25 years old and had never seen a profit and loss statement in my life, plus, all the employees were more than twice my age.  I took over and everything started to click.  It was almost as if Ben Franklin had his hand on my shoulder and was showing me what to do.

A 500% increase in 5 years. 

During the next 5 years the company grew at the rate of 100% per year.  The skills I had been embedding in my subconscious mind really came to light and I seemed to be a different person than when I first started.  We decided to sell the company while it was going strong and the stockholders (me being one of them) could get their money out.  That was a high point in my career.  At 30 years old I really felt like "somebody!"  After a year working for a small local distributor I discovered the foodservice distribution industry.  My wife and I decided to sell our house, take our two kids and move to Orlando, Florida.

It's amazing how fast you can go from "somebody" to "nobody!" 

It was if I was dropped from an airplane into the middle of a city without knowing a single person.  At that time there were over 800 people a day moving to Florida, all looking for jobs in a place where they didn't much care about how you did it up "North".  It was the ultimate culture shock.

A fast recovery because of the "system" I was using. 

I landed a job as a meat department manager for an Albertson's Supermarket that was just opening.  There I met the vendors who were selling to the supermarket and I worked my way into an interview where I was hired as a sales rep.  I immediately did very well because of my experience along with the selling skills I developed using Ben Franklin's system.  With a little stability in my life I was able to start up my 13 week cycle again to see if I could continue to improve while adapting to this new Florida lifestyle.

Again, the company was about to close due to heavy losses. 

Within a few months I was promoted to sales manager for a meat and poultry company distributing throughout Florida.  That's when I found out the company was losing $50,000 per month.  The parent company gave us six months to turn it around or they would close.  Once again, the heat was on.  We not only turned it around, but increased sales from $250,000 per week to $1,000,000 per week.  The General Manager left to start his own company and I took over the responsibility of managing the company.  

A new opportunity to move forward. 

I was offered a sales position for a Fortune 200 meat company as the Central Florida Sales Rep.  Even though it was a step down, I jumped at the opportunity to go to work for a national company.

Three years to become a National Sales Manager. 

Over the next 3 years, armed with nothing more than the 13 skills I developed by implementing the Ben Franklin system, I quickly became an Area Manager, Regional Manager and then moved to Oklahoma City to become a National Sales Manager.  This experience was priceless.  I was flying all over the country meeting people at the highest level. 

Training - product knowledge and selling skills.   

I discovered I had a unique ability to train people how to sell and started conducting training sessions for my own sales people as well as the sales people of my customers.  This had an extremely positive effect on sales.

Becoming an independent sales trainer. 

 I started writing lessons that I merged with Ben Franklin's 13 week program.  That's when I started to build my initial sales training course.  I put the information in a manual and had a program that would increase anyone's sales if they implemented the principles.  I also honed my presentation skills by teaching sales people how to sell meat.  I kept refining and refining the program based on feedback and results.  The company I was working for was in the process of a merger and I felt it was a good time to go on my own. The year was 1992.  My wife and I both left our jobs so I could become an independent sales trainer.

If I couldn't sell - we couldn't eat. 

 After selling our house, putting our belongings in storage we spent the next TEN YEARS traveling the country living in hotel rooms and working out of our van!  TOGETHER WE DROVE 418,000 MILES, TRADED OUR VAN IN ON AN RV AND SPENT MANY MORE YEARS DRIVING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MILES!  We spent many nights in Wal-Mart parking lots, truck stops and rest areas throughout North America racing from one city to another to be on time for another seminar.  We kept going, and going, never giving ONE THOUGHT TO QUITING.  All my sales came from writing sales letters and making follow up calls while driving from one seminar to another.  If I couldn’t write a persuasive sales letter and make a sale on the follow up call we simply could not eat.  In true sales you eat what you kill.  You have to close or go hungry!

Hundreds of seminars and thousands of sales people later. 

After presenting hundreds of seminars and training thousands of sales people I realized that I accomplished the impossible.  The largest companies in the industry were hiring me to speak to their sales team.  I had become (and still am) the #1 independent sales trainer in a 200 billion dollar industry.

To earn the respect of your customers you must be an expert in your business

During my travels I visited thousands of restaurant owners, as well as hundreds of distribution centers and manufacturing plants. I have written over 300 articles for industry magazines, 27 books as well as created a comprehensive center of the plate website for DOT Foods, all adding to the effectiveness of my training. 

Certified Speaking Professional. 

In 2005 I was awarded the designation of CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), the highest honor awarded by the National Speakers Association and the International Federation for Professional Speakers. Less than 8% of speakers worldwide qualify for the CSP designation.

One of the best comments I receive after my seminars: 

"This guy has been there, he's one of us, I am going to use this program."  And isn't that what training is all about? 

All my distributor programs are sponsored by vendors. 

According to research by Wiley Publishing it is the responsibility of your brokers and manufacturers to provide training for their distributors.  However, for the most part they do not have the skills to go beyond product training (there are a few who do a good job).  You can provide my program for your sales people at no cost to you by simply sending me an email requesting information.  

Recent seminars:

  • Flanagan Foodservice Ontario, Canada
  • Cash-Wa Distributing Kearney, Nebraska
  • Food Services of America Portland, Oregon
  • Performance Foodservice Somerset, Kentucky
  • Kelley Foods Elba, Alabama
  • Beck Packaging Allentown, Penn
  • McDonald Wholesale Eugene, Oregon
  • Butterfield & Vallis Hamilton, Bermuda
  • Ben E. Keith Amarillo, Texas

Click here for a PDF with details about
a seminar for your next sales meeting.


Available wherever books are sold. To find a specific book click on the book or Google the ISBN number .

Click here to purchase and download

Selling Confidential: Ben Franklin's Little Known Scientific Formula Improves Selling Skills 52%
 ISBN   9781312060067
eBook  9781312502994

Ben Franklin's Scientific Program for Prosperity and Self Improvement
 ISBN   9781312829381
eBook  9781312829633
Attitude: Define What You Want and Go After It
ISBN 9781105225932
eBook 9781300052555
Respect: Earn Respect By Being an Expert
ISBN 9781105226670
eBook 9781300052517
Service: Help Customers Build Their Business
ISBN 9781105226755
eBook 9781300052470
Urgency: Be Enthusiastic Get Things Done Now
ISBN 9781105226915 
eBook 9781300052449
Confidence: Remove Restrictions and Limitations
ISBN 9781105226946 
eBook 9781300051466
Persistence: Keep Going and Never Give Up
ISBN 9781105226977 
eBook 9781300050940
Planning: To Get Big Results Set Big Goals
ISBN 9781105222597
eBook 9781300053255
Questions: Ask Questions That Make the Sale
ISBN 9781105222757
eBook 9781300053217
Attention: Make Irresistible Compelling Offers
ISBN 9781105222900 
eBook 9781300053200
Presenting: Give Reasons Why They Should Buy
ISBN 9781105222962
eBook 9781300052791
Objections: Remove Every Roadblock to the Sale
ISBN 9781105223020
eBook 9781300052715
Closing: Ask for the Order and Get Paid
ISBN 9781105225376
eBook 9781300052678
Follow Up: Remove All Hope for Competitors
ISBN 9781105225444
eBook 9781300052630
 

Many thanks to those who have
hired me over the past 25+ years

A.F. Wendling's

A.J. Martin Inc.

Ace Endico

Affiliated

Alabama Inst

All American

All Kitchens

AMK Distributors

Appert Distribution

Awrey Bakeries, Inc.

BakeMark - Chicago

BakeMark OH

BakeMark WI

BakeMark Youngstown

Banta Foods

Bari Italian Foods Atlanta

Bassham Distributors

Bears Distributing

Beck Packaging

Ben E Keith Albuquerque

Ben E Keith Amarillo

Ben E Keith AR

Ben E Keith North Little

Ben E Keith OKC

Ben E Keith Fort worth

Ben E Keith Little Rock

Ben E Keith San Antonio

Berks Packing

Best Industrial Packaging

Blue Mountain Distributors

Bonacorsi & Sons Inc.

Boon's Wholesale

Bowling Proprietors'

Brakebush Brothers

Browns Wholesale

Bunn Capitol

Burlington Wholesale

Buzz Food Service

C & W Wholesale

C. A. Curtze Co.

C.D. Hartnett Co

Cal-Tex Citrus Juice, LP

Carl Smith Wholesale

Caro Distributors, Inc

Carolina Turkey

Cash-Wa Distributing

Certified Angus Beef

Chef's Choice, Inc.

Cheney Brothers, Inc.

Child Nutrition

Cirelli, Inc

Clark FS South Bend

COHR

CONCO Wholesale

Cone Financial Group, Inc.

Crean New Zeland

Creative Marketing Shows

Daffin Wholesale

Edward Don Co

The Chef's Warehouse

Dan Valley Food Inc.

Davenport Wholesale

Dennis Paper

Dianne's Desserts

Dilgard Frozen Foods

Dot Foods

Euclid Fish Co.

EVCO Wholesale

Facciola Wholesale

Fadler Company, Inc

Favorite Foods, Inc

Federated Foodservice

Flanagan Foodservice

FPC Wholesale

Frank J. Catanzaro

Frosty Acres

FSA Anchorage

FSA Billings

FSA Boise

FSA Fargo

FSA Kent

FSA Omaha

FSA Portland

FSA Seattle

FSA Spokane

Gem State Paper & Supply

Ginsberg's Inc.

Glazier Wholesale Company

Glover Wholesale

Golbon

Goldberg and Solovy

Gordon Foodservice, KY

Great Western Meats, Inc.

H & M Wagner & Sons

Harker's Distribution, Inc.

Harold Wholesale Co.

Hipp Wholesale

Holten Meat, Inc.

HRS Foodservice

IJ Company

Imperial Foods Inc.

Indian Nation Wholesale

Institutional Distributors

J T Davenport & Sons

J. Hoelting Produce

Jennette Brothers

John Gross & Co

Johnnies Wholesale Supply

Johnson Bros. Bakery Supply

Jordano's, Inc.

Jumbo Wholesale Inc.

Kast Distributors, Inc

Kelley Foods

Key Sales & Marketing Co

Keyco Distributors

Kohl Wholesale

Kuna Food Service

KY Restaurant Assn

Lady Baltimore Wholesale

Mackoul Distributing Co.

Maines Paper

Maplevale Farms Inc.

Martin Bros Dist Co, Inc.

Menu Maker Food Dist

Merchants Foodservice

Merrill Distributing Inc.

Mid America Foods

Midwest Food Distributors

Midwest Wholesale

Monsour's Inc.

Morrad Wholesale

Morrone's Wholesale

National Checking Company

New Ulm Wholesale Inc

Neway Packaging

Newman & Ullman Inc

Nichols Wholesale, Inc

Normans Wholesale

North Valley Bank

Oasis Wholesale

Orrell's Wholesale

Packers Distributing

Palazzolo Food Distributing

Palmer WholesaleInc.

Pate Dawson

Pate-Derby Company

PFG Caro

PFG Florida

PFG Hale

PFG Lester

PFG Milton's

PFG Northcenter

PFG Powell Thomasville

PFG Quality Inc.

PFG Springfield

PFG Somerset

PFG Thoms Proestler Co

Plee-Zing/Lil Brave

Pocahontas Wholesale

Pocono WholesaleInc.

Potato Specialty Co.

Quality Meats and Seafood

Quandt's Wholesale

Race Street Wholesale

Reinhart La Crosse

Request WholesaleInc

Ritz Wholesale

Rock River Provision

Romeo & Sons

Rycott Wholesale Foods

Saval Foods .

S & W Wholesale Foods

Schiff's Food Service

Schisa Brothers

Schreiber Wholesale

Schwan Wholesale, Inc

Seabreeze Seafood & Meats

Sierra Meats

Skylark Meats, Inc.

Smith and Wollensky

Sofo Foods

Southeastern Paper

Southern Wholesale Inc.

Stanz Wholesale Inc.

Suisan Company, HI, Ltd

Superior Seafoods & Meat

Supreme Wholesale Inc

SYSCO KONINGS

SYSCO Abbot

Sysco Albuquerque

Sysco Arizona Inc.

Sysco Atlanta

Sysco Boise, ID

Sysco Central PA

Sysco Charlotte

Sysco Cincinnati

Sysco Columbus

Sysco Connecticut

Sysco Florida West Coast

Sysco Central Penn

Sysco Charlotte, LLC.

Sysco Columbia

Sysco Connecticut

Sysco Detroit

Sysco Idaho, Inc.

Sysco Louisville

Sysco Portland, Inc.

Sysco Grand Rapids

Sysco Harrisburg

Sysco Idaho

Sysco Indianapolis

Sysco Intermountain

Sysco Jackson, MS

Sysco Jacksonville, FL

Sysco Jamestown

Sysco Kansas City

Sysco Konnings

Sysco Los Angles

Sysco Louisville

Sysco Maine

Sysco Memphis

Sysco Modesto

Sysco New England

Sysco Nobel

Sysco Olathe, KS

Sysco Phoenix

Sysco Pittsburgh

Sysco Portland, OR

Sysco Robert Orr 

Sysco Salt Lake City

Sysco San Francisco

Sysco St Louis

Sysco Syracuse

Sysco Vancouver

Sysco Warners, NY

Sysco West Coast Florida

Merchants Company Inc

Thomas & Howard

Thomas O. Miller

Thompson Co.

Tippecanoe Wholesale

Tucson Prime Meats

Thurston Foods

Troyer Foods

USF Charlotte

USF Raleigh

USF Albuquerque

USF Altoona

USF Austin

USF Boca Raton

USF Boston

USF Buffalo

USF Cincinnati

USF Cleveland

USF Detroit

USF Greensburg

USF Hartford

USF Houston

USF IN

USF Kesterson

USF Las Vegas

USF Missouri

USF Montgomery

USF Norfolk

USF Oklahoma

USF Ormond Beach

USF Pacific NW

USF Paducah

USF Paris TN

USF Peabody

USF Pompano

USF San Francisco

USF Sofco Depew

USF South FL

USF South Windsor

USF Streator

USF WI

USF Zebulon

USF Albany

USF Clearfield

USF Paducah

USF Pittsburg

USF S FL

Valley Bakers

Van Bennett Wholesale

Ventura Wholesale

Vesuvio Wholesale

Vienna Sausage

VIP Wholesale

Roma Dallas

Roma Onterio

Roma Springfield

W L Halsey Co

W.S. Lee & Sons, Inc.

Wholesale Supply Co

Wohrle's Wholesale

Y. Hata & Co., Limited

Yancey's Wholesale

Zanios Foods

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