October 2009 Table of Contents

Top Gun Top Gun

In the decade I have spent running LBM sales seminars across the country, personally traveling with more than 200 sales reps, meeting thousands of other salesmen and hearing stories about yet thousands more, I have never met or heard of anyone at any LBM dealer anywhere who sells better than Cowboy. Over the course of this and several other days, Jackie Allmond's work habits, technical and technological savvy, and above all his organization and attention to detail proved to me that he's The One. Read more

This Gun's For Hire This Gun's For Hire

Yard closures and downsizings have left plenty of solid sales professionals looking for work--pros with a long list of good customers in their holster. Dealers across the country are hiring these guns to rustle up some business for them or at least improve their existing position in the market. For the moment, it's a buyer's market. But talk to dealers about sales reps and you can still detect that age-old sense of unease, a feeling that the fellow rustling up business for you today could well be cutting into your herd tomorrow. Luckily, customers aren't as docile as cattle, and so even as dealers build up their sales team in an attempt to expand business, they also are taking steps to ensure their customers are loyal to the dealer's brand, not to the salesman. As one dealer exec put it recently: "Outside sales reps are needed, but what a pain to deal with!" Read more

Fresh Stock Fresh Stock

A pair of British and American flags used to sit prominently on the CEO's desk when Fenton Hord ran Stock Building Supply a few years back. Today those flags are gone, a sign of the changes that have rocked Stock since its U.K.-based parent, Wolseley Plc, sold 51% of the company this past summer. Now, when you look into the corner of the Raleigh, N.C., executive suite where Joe Appelmann runs Stock, the most noticeable item is a framed sketch of John Wayne. Read more

ProWatch: Less Is More ProWatch: Less Is More

A California dealer increases its sales by culling its product list. Read more

My Yardsticks
Gary Smith Gary Smith

It's nothing special to hear people in Anadarko, Okla., use words from the Kiowa and Caddo Indian languages. Here in the self-proclaimed Indian Capital of the Nation, located 70 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, whites and Indians contribute roughly equal numbers to the town's 6,600 population. Gary Smith is married to a Caddo. His father bought the facility in 1979 and ran it until he died five years ago, when Gary and brother Larry took over what is now a $2 million operation. Now Smith & Sons includes an agriculture co-op as well as an all-purpose building center. Read more

Yard Notables: October 2009

SRS Acquisition's / Start-Up Plans 25 Stores / BMHC Incurs Loss / LMC Names New President Read more

Product Monitor
Adhesives Adhesives

Adhesive manufacturers continue to create lower-VOC products to meet and exceed stricter emissions regulations. Many are focusing on products that don't use solvents to cure. Read more

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