White Strikes Gold for One to One Team

EvieWhiteRecently Evelyn (Evie) White, a member of our OTO Sales Team, secured business from a major new vendor, Johnson & Johnson, which will lead to many more events for us in 2014. Below is an account, in Evie’s own words, of how this important deal came about.

“To be successful with sales, we have to be innovative—always looking for new ways to achieve our goals and improve our best practices. During the summer of 2013, Shari Robinson, our OTO Vice President, and Denise Arrigo, our Sales Manager, worked to create a new way for us to improve one of the most important tools to achieving our sales goals: networking.

Since September 2013, Denise and I have been scheduling meetings once a month with all of the category managers at Giant Eagle. This is a phenomenal opportunity to not only get an insider view on what new products are being introduced and need to be pushed, but also build rapport with the category managers to gain their support. As we all know, the category managers meet face-to-face with our vendors every day and it is critical that we have their cooperation and support to recommend our services.

One of the ways category managers can show their support is by giving us invaluable contact information for vendors that have yet to work with OTO. During our November meeting, Doug Hoerster (a category manager) and I were discussing ways to promote his baking line. Doug advised me that Johnson & Johnson had trade funds left for 2013 that they would allow him to use towards events to increase Splenda sales. He sent me contact information for Jeanne Seeley, his Johnson & Johnson rep, and I reached out as soon as I got back to my desk. Johnson & Johnson was not a current vendor of ours and I wanted to get them locked in ASAP. A company like Johnson & Johnson is a huge win due to the variety of items they produce and the potential for repeat business.

Jeanne was on board to use up the trade funds for events, and we moved quickly to get Johnson & Johnson set up as a vendor on our end. Initially, Jeanne scheduled 169 events with Splenda during December 2013. When we met in person to finalize those December events, I asked if she had more funds she needed to use up. I have learned over my years in sales that if you don’t ask, the answer is always no. Jeanne said she would check and get back to me. A few days later I got a call from Jeanne letting me know she did indeed have additional funds and she told me to send her prepay invoices to cover an incredible 800 events!

Needless to say, I was thrilled! Not only with the amount of revenue this would bring OTO, but also with the type of products Jeanne wanted us to demonstrate. We will be demonstrating oral care, first aid kit and top care products. One of the objectives our sales team has been focusing on is getting vendors who have non-edible items to schedule events. I believe that having other vendors see us handing out Johnson & Johnson coupons, first aid kit samples, oral care samples, etc. will help further this initiative.

Overall, we are extremely excited to have been given the opportunity to build this profitable relationship with Johnson & Johnson. We will continue working with the category managers to increase our vendor portfolio and tap into vendors with non-edible products.”

Great job Evie and congratulations to the entire OTO Sales Team! Sales Advisors—be on the lookout for a Johnson & Johnson event coming your way soon!