Hi All! My name is Kristin Beckstead and I am one of the fabulous AP reps in Orem, Utah. I remind my customers often that we (my family included) are their favorite reps in Orem. It is a family affair at our house with my face being the most well recognized, but everyone in the family pitching in and helping with all aspects of the business, including taking orders, entering orders into portals, picking up at the warehouse, doing inventory, helping customers at pick up, printing invoices, distribution lists and tax reports, and doing taxes. Fun, fun! Family includes my husband of 25 years Ryan, 24 year old son Trevor and his lovely wife Angela who are also giving us our first grandbaby soon, 21 year old son Xane, 18 year old daughter Korin, 13 year old son Sam, my mother Vicki and my in-laws helped us too before they passed away.
I fell in love with the Alison’s Pantry products many years ago as a storefront customer. I actually found them when it was called Wholesale Foods and I’m thinking it was 18 years ago or so. I would pop in every few months and buy hundreds of dollars worth of spices, mixes, utensils, etc. I always took out of town family with me whenever they visited and usually some friends tagged along too. I remember one day seeing the Alison’s Pantry booth at a Taste of Home cooking class in Lehi. The employee recognized me and introduced me to Alison as a loyal customer. She was kind and gracious and suggested I become a rep for the company. I panicked and said no way!!!
Change arrived again and in January 2010 the business plan for AP was changing. The storefront was closing forever and I panicked again. “How will I get my favorite products?” I asked. “You can get them through a rep or become a rep yourself,” was the immediate reply. Hurrumph! I chose to finally become an AP rep and have enjoyed it for the last 6 1/2 years. My initial driving force was to use any commissions earned to support our oldest son on his LDS mission for two years. Since then, I have used this business for preparing before, supporting during and later helping missionaries after their return home.
Several times a year, I review all the craziness/unbalance in my life and try to get rid of something. Usually this introspection occurs right around pick up time and as I consider saying good-bye to Alison’s Pantry, I realize how much I love what I do. I love figuring out samples, I love visiting/emailing with all my friends (AP customers), I love serving my family great food, I love going to the bank with a stack of checks and a wad of cash and making a nice deposit, I love sharing AP products with others as birthday gifts, wedding gifts, welcome to the neighborhood gifts, just because gifts, etc, I love going to the food shows, I love learning more about the products during any kind of training, I love looking through the beautiful catalogs – I just love it all!!! I keep doing it because it’s fun for me and I committed to my husband that when it stopped being fun, I would leave it behind. Hopefully I pass that joy, enthusiasm and excitement along to my customers. I’m happy to help them fill their pantry and freezer with great, quality products.
I don’t believe I am a very good “sales rep.” However, I am a very nice person and an excellent facilitator. If my customers want a product, I will bend over backwards and go the extra mile to get it for them. I send an email every month to customers reminding them when orders are due and when pick up is scheduled. I invite my customers to my home on a certain day to pick up their items and pay me for them and if it works out, great! If it doesn’t, we plan a better time for us to get together. Some customers prefer that I deliver which I am happy to do. I always have food samples at pick up (but only on the scheduled pick up day. If they miss it, I don’t worry about it later). I like to try to do my own food show at my home once per year with about 50 products to see or sample. I also like giving a holiday thank you with their orders. Some customers order every month, others several times a year, and still others order once every several years. I am grateful for them all!
Good luck to you with your business ventures. Remember some months are better than others and don’t worry. Work hard, love what you do, have fun serving your AP friends and be grateful that there is still a company to work with that actually cares about you, the rep. Alison has passed the baton to Jesse and Josh and they along with all the amazing support staff in the office, in the field, and in the warehouse, care about me personally. They work hard so I can succeed. It’s an amazing feeling and I am thrilled to be an AP rep!