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Bookmark and ShareWednesday February 6, 2013

NAID 2013 session to discuss route drivers in sales

By Bob Johnson, NAID CEO

There is a great discussion unfolding on the unofficial NAID LinkedIn group page where industry professionals are sharing ideas about involving route drivers in the sales process.

As many of you know, I have always felt that route drivers have been underused in the sales process. To be fair, there are some service providers who incentivize drivers to turn in new leads. Some even provide drivers with business cards and brochures. 

Also, many NAID members started out as both the driver and the salesperson. Many are still are. That is exactly how I got started. Back in the day, (and, no I did not have to walk two miles in the snow every day), when I was on the route, I was always on the prowl for new opportunities. I had to be. It was very common for me to do a pickup at a multitenant building, and then spend 20 minutes dropping of my cards and brochures. I even remember my line. 

“Hi, I am not a salesman, my company just signed up one of your neighbors for our shredding service. We’ll be around twice a month in case you ever need a service. Can you give this to the office manager?”

And, it worked like magic.

Of course, things changed. Once I got out of the truck, I wanted drivers to be as productive as possible. I kept the sale role, and later hired salespeople. I often wonder if it would have been better to hire a better caliber of drivers, give them intense training and incentives, and maybe even get them to invest in their routes like the milkman was (am I really that old?).

Stemming from this burning question I have carried with me all these years, NAID decided to include a session at the NAID conference in Nashville about route drivers. Len Rashkin has built a career advising businesses that rely on route driver sales to create and improve programs. I am personally working with Len to understand how our industry works. In the process, I am coming to learn we have more in common with those other office service industries than at first glance. Who knows, maybe the question on route driver sales that I have carried for all these years will be answered. All I know for sure is that anyone attending the session will leave with a much better understanding of the dynamics and a handful of actionable ideas.

If you want to see Len’s presentation, make sure you’re registered for the conference. There's still time to take advantage of the conference registration discount so sign up at www.bitly.com/NAID2013.

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