by Matt Weik
If you follow my content, you’d know that this is a topic I’ve spoken about in the past and one that I really feel is incredibly important to all businesses. I recently read an article about the DoorDash CEO telling all his employees, including the c-suite executives, that they will all be making at least one delivery each month regardless of their position and role in the company. Personally, I think this is brilliant and good for him for enforcing such a policy, and I believe all supplement brand CEOs should follow suit.
Now, I know there are going to be people who, just like in the DoorDash example, think they’re above doing certain jobs. One of the executives at DoorDash said deliveries weren’t on the job description when he was hired and not part of his role — essentially saying he’s above making deliveries.
If I were the CEO of DoorDash, that individual would have punched his own ticket to the unemployment line. That’s not the mentality I want in any of my businesses, and it’s not one that ANY business should accept. Here’s where I’m going with this.
How Does the DoorDash Example Work for Supplement Brand CEO’s?
Some people may say I’m calling out the supplement industry, but in actuality, I’m really calling out every industry. What was mentioned above was my reality when I worked for a supplement company for nearly a decade. The CEO, executives, brand managers, and marketing team would NEVER go out and visit retailers or speak with customers. To me, it was mind-blowing.
How do you expect to understand your consumer if you’re not out in the field getting feedback and listening to the people you make and sell the products to? How do you know what the consumer wants if you’re not asking? How do you know what the market needs if you’re not asking the right questions to those who purchase supplements? How do you know if your latest “innovation” for the industry is actually something the consumer wants? You don’t if you’re not out there conversing with consumers and retailers.
Supplement brand CEOs need to focus on retailers as if they are their business partners. Why? Because they are in front of hundreds of consumers a day, listening to their wants, needs, problems, and concerns. If you want a new product idea, speak to your retailers.
Far too often, supplement brand CEOs, executives, and managers sit behind their fancy wooden desks and never walk into a supplement retailer or listen to feedback from consumers at events (such as the Arnold Classic, Olympia, etc.). This is a huge mistake! They are too busy scheduling meetings with retailers and distributors trying to open up new doors than they are looking at the BIG picture of the business.
Let’s take this whole idea a little bit further and explain what it would mean if supplement brand CEOs, executives, and managers went out into the field and started shaking hands and asking questions.
Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies Is NEVER a Bad Thing
I’m going to say it like it is… the supplement industry (or any industry really) has good sales reps and bad sales reps. Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed far more “bad” sales reps in the industry than “good.” How do I know this? Retailers talk.
I’ve walked into a retailer many times back in the day, and another company sales rep would be in there. After they’d leave, the retailer would tell me how much they hate when that individual shows up. They’ll list the reasons, but we’ll leave it at that.
So, what’s my point? My point is… the only people retailers and consumers see are the sales reps. And let’s be honest, they’re always looking to make a sale versus get to know people, ask questions, and show they actually care about something other than how big their commission check is going to be if they can get the retailer to place an order with them.
Know who the retailers and consumers never see? Anyone high up in a company. Why? They’re apparently too busy looking out of their floor-to-ceiling window in their oversized office. Again, I’m calling it like it is and how it appears to retailers and consumers. They assume supplement brand CEOs, executives, and managers are too busy or too important to make an appearance outside of their office. And that’s why brands can flip the script and build rapport with retailers and consumers.
Can you imagine how a retailer would feel if the CEO rolled up and walked into their store to thank them for supporting the brand and asked them what they could do better to support their business and give the consumers what they want? The retailer would be completely blown away. Not only would it show they care, but it would allow them to get feedback and understand different parts of the business that they don’t normally see on a day-to-day basis to potentially make improvements and help grow the business.
And that’s exactly what DoorDash is doing, but their employees are too dumb to understand that and on their high horse thinking that they’re better than a “lower” role within the company.
I will always support the companies where the supplement brand CEOs are out there shaking hands and kissing babies. Or, when at a restaurant, the owner will jump on the register to ring people up because there is a long line rather than stand there thinking they are better than such a responsibility. It shows they CARE. If more supplement brand CEOs were to implement the strategy of forcing everyone to get out in the field and see the industry firsthand, I can almost guarantee that their business would improve. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself and prove me wrong.