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Wishing You the “Right” People

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While criss-crossing the Ohio River recently in the passenger seat of Kenny Krause’s Moog Louisville Warehouse company car, a thought occurred to me. What a pleasure it was to be out making sales calls on customers. But, what made this particular day of sales calls so fun was the person driving the car. Kenny Krause.

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Just another WD sales rep? Hardly. Just another pitch man out for his own benefit, caring less about his customers and more about his sales quota and commission? Not even close. Kenny was genuinely excited to have me riding shotgun on this day, and the fact that he was would be the only reason to question his sanity!

As for everything else about Kenny, well, he’s completely sane and completely committed to his customer’s success. This was evident from our very first call at Highlander Collision Center in Floyds Knobs, Ind., to our evening seminar at world-famous Churchill Downs, where representatives from 3M were conducting a “Top Shop” Profit Improvement Program, which Kenny helped to coordinate.

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At Highlander, owner Nick Jecker was a changed man. Kenny had carte blanche access to Nick’s pristine, 12-bay shop, and Nick was more than comfortable with that. However, as a technician-turned-owner, this wasn’t always the case. But Nick’s come a long way as an owner, and his trust in Kenny is a reflection of his growth as a shop owner. Nick believes his success is directly attributable to his shop’s ability to perform at a higher level of efficiency. His focus is on cycle times and everything that feeds the overall efficiency of the repair process.

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That’s where Kenny and Moog Warehouse come in. They help Nick manage an effective paint and associated products system, and by doing so, they add significant value to Nick’s business. Kenny is less a sales rep, and more a shop consultant.

As the day moves along, we visit dealerships and other independent shops. Each with their own special circumstances and requirements, and each being serviced dutifully by Kenny and his team at Moog. However, unlike most sales reps, Kenny’s day doesn’t end at 5 p.m. Today, it’s on to Churchill Downs for the aforementioned 3M seminar. Here I see Nick again, along with others whom we visited earlier in the day. And that’s when it really sinks in, just how valuable Kenny is to his customers. Now they are taking time out of their personal lives in an effort to be better at what they do. Once again, I’m reminded of just how valuable a sales person can truly be once he’s committed, truly committed, to his customer’s success.

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The representatives from 3M conduct an outstanding seminar, and the attendance is impressive. By 8 p.m, the day is winding to a close, and as I make my way to the exit, I see Kenny engaged in a conversation with one of his customers, recapping some of the 3M profit improvement concepts. They share a laugh, pat each other on the back and say goodbye. Kenny confirms that he’ll stop by tomorrow and bring some 3M materials with him. It’s easy to tell that the customer is looking forward to Kenny’s visit, because he knows that Kenny wants to help him succeed.

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Since this is our Christmas issue, I’ll end by wishing for each of you a salesperson just like Kenny, and a supplier just like Moog. Entities, just like this magazine, that are truly dedicated to your success. Merry Christmas!

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