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Years as a DSR 11 years
Annual sales volume $2.5 million
No. of active accounts 100+
Territory South Ft. Myers, Fla. and the surrounding area
Biggest attributes Outgoing and dependable.
Best tools/support Local customer service department
Favorite category Coffee
Learned the hard way You won't get along with everybody 100% of the time.
Always Be honest.
Never Fail to follow through.
Mojo Motto Be the best.

 

DSR of the Month

Kenney Attkisson
Stan’s Coffee and Food Service
Ft. Myers, FL
Caring and Persistence Combined Are A Winning Sales Strategy

When Kenney Attkisson started as a driver at Stan’s Coffee and Food Service in 1990, he knew it was only a matter of time before he moved into sales. “But being a driver was beneficial,” he says. “I also spent a year in the service department. You get to know all the equipment and products, and develop a thorough understanding of the business.”

Stan’s Coffee and Food Service has their own coffee roasting facility, and one of Attkisson’s favorite activities is inviting local chefs to see how the beans are roasted. The company has seen a rise in demand for specialized coffee blends in recent years. “The gourmet coffees are definitely very, very big right now,” says Attkisson. “I love selling coffee and tea—that’s what gets me in the door, but I’ll sell everything we’ve got, from spices to commodities. I try to hit it home with as many items as I can.”

To Attkisson, understanding the needs and challenges of his customers is key to both developing relationships with them and holding onto their business. On site visits, he turns off his mobile phone to give the client his full attention. “If I’m dealing with a chef, his time is valuable too; that’s why we have voicemail,” he says.

That individual dedication has earned Attkisson a reputation. Bob Payne, president of Stan’s Coffee and Food Service, learned while interviewing a potential sales employee who worked for a competitor, that Attkisson’s clients are tough to crack. “He stated he didn’t care to much for Ken in the past, when I asked why he said that, his answer was because he could never take any business from him,” Payne says. “Ken is a rock.”

But even the strongest rock will shift with the right leverage, as Attkisson learned a year and a half ago, when he unexpectedly lost two clients, a caterer and small restaurant. He’d fumbled some cost and service issues, and paid the price. “I was caught off guard,” he admits.

Unwilling to accept defeat, Attkisson kept visiting both accounts, maintaining the relationships and “sharpening the pencil” – offering small cost reductions and free product. “Six months ago they came back to us, 100% and more,” he says. “Sometimes you just can’t give up.”

Attkisson enjoys his work and controls more than $2.5 million in annual sales. He’s always in the top two for sales each month, and wrote more than $75,000 in new account sales last year.

While he says it isn’t difficult, he is always fighting to protect his business. “There’s always someone trying to steal your business, so you have to be upfront and honest, and stay on top of your customers,” Attkisson says. “Do that, and you won’t lose anybody.”