Independent or Factory Sales Rep of the Year

Independent or Factory Sales Rep of the Year

First place: Bernard Kronk, Marketing Enterprises West, Inc.

Rep Rises to Occasion With Experience, Down-to-Earth Demeanor

You see Kronk, the Crystal Cabinet Works, Inc. factory sales representative for Thousand Oaks, CA-based Marketing Enterprises West, Inc. has made his life by helping others in the industry and sharing his over 45 years of kitchen cabinet experience the last 24 of which have been spent representing Crystal.

Stoner points to Kronk's positive, proactive attitude, product knowledge and ability to correct problems as key assets, and, she believes that his down-to-earth demeanor is what sets him apart.

Says Stoner, "We always value his recommendations and through the years we have respected him for his knowledge and his teamwork attitude."

As a result of Kronk's generosity and commitment, he has been given first-place honors in K&BDN's 2003 Industry Leadership Awards in the category of Independent Factory Sales Rep of the Year.

Says Stoner, "When we have a problem, he always creates a 'win-win' situation by listening to our needs and formulating a solution that's beneficial to us and to the company he represents."

She explains: "There was a time when we had to replace all the doors in a kitchen and he not only came out to inspect everything, but he went back to the company with our best interests in mind. As it turned out, the company was able to credit some of the installation."

She also offers, "If a question arises of any sort, he is on the phone right away to get an answer. You never have to wait for a follow-through and he tells you straight." She also finds him to be a fountain of knowledge about products and trends that relate to her customers.

For instance, Kronk makes sure to keep her firm in touch with the latest product offerings in the industry even going as far as to inform her as to what specific wood style or finish is more likely to sell in her geographic area.

Her prime example relates to one of her earliest meetings with Kronk, she notes.

"Since we had just opened, I thought Crystal might be too high-end for us, but I remember him going through the pricing structure and how it would compare. Had he not done that, I may not have acted. Today, Crystal is our number one line."

"Any time anything new comes out, he goes to a meeting and gets information and calls us right away to suggest products even before we find out from Crystal directly," she boasts.

But, what if he can't find the perfect product? According to Stoner, that is not a problem for Kronk, either.

In fact, she describes, if he doesn't have a particular style available, he has been known to call incessantly until he finds someone who does carry that line. If that doesn't work, Kronk will even recommend to Crystal that it come out with the particular style needed.

Kronk's generosity has aided in her firm's individual kitchen sales increasing in dollar volume and profitability, Stoner notes. And, she adds, "his visits are always timely and informative."

But, his visits are not limited to the Kitchens, Etc. showroom, either, she is quick to point out.

"Bernard has even dropped product off on my front porch to help me out, just because it
would be easier for me," she offers.

She continues, "With Bernard, there is the added value that you don't have to worry about anything. [As I said], even if there were a problem, you just know he will take care of it."

But, perhaps most important, Stoner says, is simply that Kronk cares about his clients.

"He calls to see how we are doing. There are a lot of reps who are trying hard to sell but they don't get you what you need. When Bernard gets you the fundamental tools you need, you know that you are going to wind up selling."

She concludes: "I think that having the continuity of the same representative calling [is very important because] it really increases the level of communication between the dealer and supplier. Therefore, we feel very fortunate in having him as our Crystal rep."