Alison’s Pantry consists of many parts. Each of these parts is an important link in the chain of our success!
Every adult person is a potential customer because everyone has to eat! Your sales come from your customer base so having a strong customer base is essential to having strong sales each month. Without customers, you would not have anyone to sell our great products to and Alison’s Pantry would not be in business.
As you go out to build your customer base, talk to everyone you know and meet! Do you advertise that you are a sales rep? Do the people around you (friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.) know that you are a sales rep?? Have you offered them a catalog to look at?** Are you sampling our products at order pickup or at fairs, tasting parties, or open houses? Do you invite them to attend our product-training webinars? Educate your customers on how great our products are (restaurant quality, larger quantities = price savings, 100% guarantee on everything we sell, online ordering, payment options, delivery time frame, etc.).
As a sales rep, we want you to grow in the town where you live but you can branch out to the towns around you to find customers, especially if you live in a town with a small population. It is very important for every sales rep to understand that sales reps DO NOT have territories and there can be more than one sales rep in a town or area. In fact, it is really better if there is more than one sales rep in a town. You may be thinking “but this is MY area!” but it is important to understand that, as much as we may wish it, we may not get along with or be liked by everyone in our area, we don’t run in the same crowds or interact with the same people as someone else, so more than one sales rep allows more customers the opportunity to buy our great products! More than one rep in an area means there are more than one of you sharing the good news of Alison’s Pantry and what we offer!
We encourage you to continually work at growing your customer base each month because customers don’t always buy every month nor do they buy the same amount. In order to have consistent sales, you need a good-sized customer base. As I mentioned, besides growing in your local town, you are free to reach out to towns around you AS LONG AS you are able to get product to those customers safely. A good rule of thumb is within 30 minutes of you. Any further and you risk the possibility of frozen items thawing out unless you have the means to keep the product frozen (coolers, dry ice, portable freezers, etc.).
We also want to stress The Golden Rule – if someone already orders from another sales rep, no matter where they live, they are that sales rep’s customer and they need to stay with that sales rep. You would not want someone trying to take your customers away so please do not try to take customers from another sales rep. As always, there are exceptions to that rule – immediate family, next door neighbors, your best friend (of course, they would want to support you in your AP business) BUT these people will need to contact the office or your RSM (Regional Sales Manager) personally through a phone call to request that they be switched to you. Breaking this rule could result in you no longer being a sales rep for our company. We take this very seriously.
How do you contact your customers to get orders (in person, phone call, Facebook post or personal message, text message, email? Is it effective? How often do you contact them? Do you continue trying to contact them until you get a response from them? (Yes, they have an order or no, they don’t have an order.) **Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale!!
Finally, what constitutes an “active customer”? An active customer is someone who has placed at least one order in the last six months. If it has been longer than that, they really aren’t a customer. There are exceptions if you have “snowbirds” (people live part-time in two or more places throughout the year) and only order from you when they are in your area. It is important to reach out to any customers who haven’t ordered in 3 or more months to see why and if there is something you can do to get their business back. The “Customers Active in the Last 6 Months” report is super helpful to see who the customers are who haven’t order for at least 6 months. Please use it!!
Our Sales Reps are the essential link that finds those customers and sells our great products to them. We love our Sales Reps (yes, we do!) and we appreciate all you do each month to reach out to your customers and help them get what they need from Alison’s Pantry through you.
Being a sales rep for Alison’s Pantry entails more than just handing a catalog to someone. We want our sales reps to treat their Alison’s Pantry business as a business and not a hobby that they do only when they feel like it or have time. You will need to make time to work at your businesses by setting goals, learn company policies, learn the ordering and delivery procedures, gain product knowledge, build a customer base of loyal customers, and build a great working relationship with those customers, your RSM, and the office.
You are the face of Alison’s Pantry to your customers so we want every contact they have with you to be a positive one. When your customers hear from you, are you pleasant and smiling? Do they feel good after talking/interacting with you? Are they happy with the products and service they are receiving? Is your pickup location organized and clean? Is the customer’s product in top condition – frozen items frozen, dry items in a clean box or bag? Make their experience with you one they will want to look forward to every month!
Alison’s Pantry procures restaurant-quality food from food service brokers and makes it available to regular people through their wonderful sales reps. We offer a 100% money-back guarantee on everything we sell. We want our customers to be happy with the products they buy from us! We provide a beautiful 48-page full-color catalog each month for customers to order the items they need. These catalogs are provided FREE of charge to every ordering customer plus sales reps get 10 extra for FREE to help them continue growing their businesses or to hand out if a customer did not get one in the mail (if the rep pays to have catalogs mailed by the office).
We want you, our sales reps, to be successful in your AP business and we work hard to provide you with the tools you need to do that – personal contact with your RSM; ideas, recipes, reminders, and encouragement on our website Nourish Blog, Facebook groups and Pantry Academy blog; product and sales tip training on monthly webinars; a wonderful website to order on with product information and product availability; professional truck drivers to deliver our orders each month; and professional and friendly office staff.
If there is anything we can do to make something better for you or your customers, please let us know!
Becky Price, RSM