Category Six:

Category Six:

First place: Jim Wood (for Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.).
Sales Rep Offers Relaxed Style and Knowledgeable Service

It is these traits, as well as his ability to relate easily and warmly with the people whose accounts he services, that has earned him first place honors in Category Six of K&BDN's second annual Industry Leadership Awards.

Customers agree that one of the things that makes Wood so special is the way he makes every effort to ensure his customers are satisfied. Part of this service, he believes, is about keeping up with industry trends. He stays abreast of what distributors are selling, and is always thinking and planning ahead, making him more readily able to project future directions the kitchen and bath industry may be headed in so that customers can work proactively, according to Wellborn regional sales manager Roger Butler. For instance, Wood is proactive in terms of getting a distributor to change styles with regard to product lines, door styles and colors, keeping them up to date with the latest market trends.

In order to keep his customers well informed, he presents all of the new products and product options as soon as they are available. He also works hard to keep his customers aware of all new product changes, price changes, shipping concerns, co-operative advertising and any sales or product training seminars available.

Working with a sales staff of nine, Wood is responsible for covering all or part of eight states. Not only does he cover these areas, but he is number one in sales, product knowledge, customer service and flexibility in knowing what products are popular in each different territory, a status determined by surveys done in the Wellborn corporate office to existing accounts on which Wood has worked.

Wood also exceeds expectations by following up on existing accounts' needs and refusing to give up on potential accounts. In fact, Wood once called on a potential account for three years until the timing was finally right and as a result of his perseverance, he broke the account.

As Butler notes, when there is a need to fill, Wood is there.
It is this combination of sales tenacity and an ability to make the customer feel at ease that has propelled Wood into the sales stratosphere.

Second place: David E. Miller, Kansas Building Supply, Wichita, KS (for Merillat Industries & Closet Maid).
Sales Rep 'Goes the Extra Mile' With Personalized Service

According to Joyce Baker, CKD, a distributor who works with Miller (her office is 45 miles from Miller's), the secret of his success comes from the personal attention he gives to each account and each situation, unerringly making the correct choices to meet the needs of his customers.

Being flexible is key here. Baker notes that, one time, a cabinet had a pop-up mixer and the way the cabinet was constructed, it was coming in warped. Despite the parts all coming in separate pieces, Miller fixed the cabinet himself.

In fact, at the time of this article, Miller was working on replacing roll-out trays for an order, Baker notes. 
It is this type of personalized service and dedication to his customers that makes Miller so successful, and which has earned him second place honors in Category Six of K&BDN's second annual Industry Leadership Awards.

Maintaining a strong knowledge of both his products and the people he deals with also helps Miller succeed as a sales representative. By keeping up with trends and his clients' wishes, he is able to suggest the correct product in any given situation.

Most of all, Miller truly partners himself with his clients, to the benefit of both. In fact, Baker notes that Miller is widely recognized at trade shows almost as a member of her business. In many ways, he is. For example, Miller has helped Baker install cabinets and put up wallpaper in her showroom just to help get it done.

In addition, he reminds Baker about the Homeshow display (a display for an annual trade show in Southwest Kansas), and he helps her to organize it.

Miller certainly appears to know the importance of maintaining friendly relations with his clients. In fact, he once helped an irate customer with the grain on her door and then sent her flowers afterwards.

He even helped Baker to gather up gifts for a rest home, simply to help out in her efforts to provide service to the community.

By going the extra mile, Miller has established himself as one of the top sales representatives in the kitchen and bath industry.