Stay Nimble

By: Dawn Singleton-Olson
December, 2018
Help your customers navigate the changing marketplace that may impact their business

It’s been another year of transition in our field with more consolidations and mergers, decreased use of antibiotics, and disruptions caused by shortages, allocations and backorders. It may be hard to believe when you’ve just finished a call with a frustrated customer, but there is a bright side!

Categories: Sales, Inside Sales

Outside Your Comfort Zone

By: Patrick T. Malone
December, 2018
Increase your knowledge of issues beyond your products and services

One of the biggest challenges facing distribution representatives is how do you differentiate yourself from everyone else in the marketplace? After all, your product lines are relatively similar.

So, when it comes to a competitive advantage, the best you can do is offer a special that your company is running this month, this quarter, this year. Competing on this basis is a win-lose proposition. You might win with the right special but you generally lose when you don’t have one running. It just isn’t sustainable.

Categories: Sales


By: Dawn Singleton-Olson
June, 2018
Have you made yourself essential to your veterinary practice’s business?

I subscribe to a handful of daily and weekly blogs in the marketing and customer service fields (that I often fall far behind in actually reading) but one popped up in my inbox the other day from blogger Seth Godin that was short, to-the-point, and really made me think. It simply asked: “If your customers had to stop using your product or service tomorrow, how much would they miss it? How easy are you to replace? How deep are the habits, how essential are the interactions? Being missed when you’re gone is a worthy objective.”

Categories: Inside Sales, Sales

Your Sustainable Competitive Advantage

By: Patrick T. Malone
June, 2018

A competitive advantage is obtained by implementing value-creating strategies, not simultaneously being implemented by any current competitor. These strategies need to be rare, valuable, and non-substitutable. These competitive advantages become sustainable when they are not easily copied and, thus, can be maintained over a long period of time.

Over my 25+ years of experience in animal health, many companies have obtained a competitive advantage through the introduction of a new product, a new service, a new promotion, etc. All of those were relatively short lived as they were easily duplicated and/or had a relatively low cost of entry. Even those with patent protection have a limited advantage before generics start eroding market share.

Categories: Sales

A Critical Season

By: Dawn Singleton-Olson
March, 2018

A successful calving season with healthy cows and their offspring sets the stage for a profitable year for cattle producers

For cattle producers, the issues they face during spring calving season – and how they react to them – affect their success for the rest of the year. A survey conducted last fall by Colorado State University and BEEF magazine asked producers what they considered to be the industry’s top five challenges. 

Categories: Inside Sales, Sales, Livestock

Coaching: Helping Others Succeed

By: Patrick T. Malone
March, 2018

With society’s current focus inward, the concept of helping others succeed may not seem like the answer to the perennial question, “What’s in it for me?” Yet, when one does stop long enough to contemplate the commonality of the success around us, we begin to see how helping others succeed plays a central role in our individual success.

Categories: Coaching, Sales, Sales Management

Evaluating Your Sales Leadership Mindset

By: Patrick T. Malone
October, 2017

You are a sales leader, but where do you stand among your peers in distribution? How do you evaluate where you are today and what it will take to get to the next level? There is always room for improvement, so consider these three actions you can take to improve your sales leadership skills.

Sales leadership is complicated. If you asked 100 sales leaders to articulate the skill that made them successful, you would probably get 100 different answers. The bottom line is every sales leader has a slightly different approach that has proved to be effective for them. Each approach has nuances that work for one leader but will come across as phony for another. However, I believe the following three actions are universal among distribution sales leaders. Let me share them with you and then you decide if they would help you.

Categories: 2017 Livestock Winter, Sales

Productive Producer Meetings

By: Patrick T. Malone
July, 2017

Why adjusting the opening of your producer meetings can greatly enhance your success

Over the last two decades, the number of producer meetings I have attended are too numerous to count. Unfortunately, most have been a waste of time and a waste of a company’s money unless the sole objective was to create goodwill.

Categories: 2017 Livestock Summer, Sales

Consequences of Change

By: Patrick T. Malone
March, 2017


Change is a constant. Every day is new and different. We accept that, adapt and move forward, probably because most daily changes are out of our control. But changing those things we do control – our daily routine, our eating habits, our exercise regimen – is a major hassle. Even changing something at work is difficult.

Categories: Sales, Livestock, 2017 SPRING LIVESTOCK

Point of View

By: Patrick T. Malone
November, 2016

Doing business from the customer’s perspective

In the last issue of the Livestock edition, we focused on listening well to what your customers are really saying. Listening to understand your customer’s perspective is an excellent first step, and people love those who listen and take them seriously. However, you have a job to do, so it is crucial that you be able to do business by customizing your approach to your customer’s current point of view.

Let’s start with the typical range of customer attitudes and then discuss how successful reps are able position to those attitudes and do business from their customer’s perspective. 

Categories: Sales, Positioning, Livestock, Livestock Winter 2016


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