“Indoff Provides Solutions to Your Business Challenges.”
11816 Lackland Rd. St. Louis, MO 63146
Prose CONTENT President’s by Jim Malkus, Indoff President & CEO Page 2 Champion’s Circle Page 3 Anniversaries Page 4 Recruiting Report Page 5 New Additions/ Partners of the Month Page 6 Partner Report Page 7 HiLumz Case Study Page 8-9 Business Wisdom Page 10 Confluence Education: Vendors Page 11 Partner Feature Page 13 Marketing Report Page 15 Techie Talk
Greetings to all! Winter finally left here in late April, and I hope you’re enjoying a taste of spring in your neck of Indoff-land. This newsletter, we’re doing something a little different. We’ve replaced some of the scintillating regular columns with articles about sales, marketing and selling techniques. • Read about BP Partner Chris Drowne’s success with an LED retrofit project – a $125,000+ sale for an office supply “lifer” • Kevin Flynn’s sales system – you know him for his quirky point of view, but Kevin has successfully developed two Indoff territories from scratch by following his system • IT highlights some technological advantages we have that many of our competitors do not We are pretty open about who we are – a sales company – and I readily acknowledge our greatest strength is our sales force, our Sales Partners. More and more vendors who visit here acknowledge our Partners’ greatest strength – your relationships. There is never a bad time to consider ways to do our jobs better, and I think applying some of the thoughts and opportunities discussed in this edition of Inside Indoff might help take your sales game up a notch. If you try one or two of these ideas, let me know how it works for you. Sharing success stories can only help us all be better; it’s part of why I do the weekly large order listing. Thank you all for all you do for Indoff!
Indoff We are very pleased to announce our sixth Champion’s Circle Sales Partner Meeting for all divisions to be held in May 2019! The Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach, FL will be the location and dates are May 4 through May 8, 2019. Attendance for this meeting is based on your gross profits for 2018. Gross profit goals are as follows: • Gross Profit > $220,000 = one trip to the meeting, private room and Chairman’s outing • Gross Profit > $110,000 = one trip to the meeting This meeting will be our only sales meeting for 2019. Start tracking your progress today; we want to see you in Clearwater Beach, Florida!
Happy Anniversary! 25 Years
Bob Berry June 1
Andrew Harmon June 10
Steve Bixler June 29
Bill McCall May 15
Pat Ballenger May 19
Golda Whitten June 16
Roland Baugh June 16
by Angela Suntrup, Indoff VP of Recruiting Partner Referrals are essential to Indoff ’s future growth. Some Partners may feel threatened adding new Partners in their territory and as a result are hesitant to refer prospects. Our top producing states have multiple Partners in a territory. California has 42 Partners, North Carolina has 33 Partners, and Pennsylvania has 10. Think outside the box and consider who you may know in one of our industries that would make a great Partner. Maybe you live in a small town or don’t run in to the competition, this is a good opportunity to ask your local reps who they may know that would make a good Partner!
Angela Suntrup VP of Recruiting
Keep in mind the accounts you have sold to are protected at Indoff! The competition can go in to your accounts now but cannot as an Indoff Partner. Adding Partners in your market can benefit you in many ways: • • • •
Volume discounts from the vendors More cross selling opportunities with other divisions Indoff brand awareness Sharing of services- customer service, delivery, designers, installers etc.
If you know or heard of a good rep in another city or across the US, Canada or Mexico currently selling in one of our divisions please let the Recruiting Department know! We will keep your referrals confidential! We are ALWAYS looking to add experienced, qualified Partners to our team! A qualified referral is one that has at least 3 years outside sales experience in one of our divisions, has a transferable customer base and the ability to work independently. We also have some options if you want to bring on a mentee or need a transition plan for retirement. • Mentor Program: Hire and train a sales rep new to the industry. Indoff will pay 60% for the new hire’s commission rate for the first year; we suggest a split of 40% to the new hire and 20% to the mentoring Partner. • New Hire Program: Find and help hire a qualified replacement and earn significant overrides on your accounts after you retire. • Partnership Agreement: Sell your accounts at reirement to an existing Partner; split commissions on your customer base after you retire. This has been successfully done by many Partners over the years.
Indoff offers $1000 referral bonus if you refer a sales rep or owner that becomes an Indoff Partner!
Meet the New Additions to Indoff
Nedene Jackson A/R Payment
Deb Liles CI
Jim Gerlach MH
Jim Liles MH
Brana Williams CI
Annette Faircloth BP
Wendell James BP
Indoff Sales Partners of the Month Congratulations to our top Partners from each division!
Joe Vander Zanden - $259,225
Barry Blankenship - $980,208
Georgine Golitko - $1,032,160
Dave Morrow- $332,591
Tom Vanhoozer - $154,872
Darrell Reed - $80,928
Commercial Interiors Business Products
Commercial Interiors Business Products
John Hollern - $110,315
John Hollern - $39,388
Chris Koeneman - $187,378
Chris Koeneman - $356,944
John Vasquez - $367,823
John Vasquez - $37,352
by Chris Drowne, Energy Solutions Business Products (BP) Partners know their market is tough. There’s a reason Depot and Max combined, Essendant and SPR are combining, Staples and Depot tried to do so and Staples is now breaking into parts – the BP market is shrinking and new entrants (primarily Amazon) are revolutionizing the industry. BP is not a growth industry. What’s a BP Partner to do? One can either sit in a corner and rock back and forth silently, or one can make some changes. Chris Drowne, a BP lifer from Omaha (21 years with Indoff, 25+ years in the industry), looked at his business and took action.
Chris Drowne Omaha, NE
“BP has been very good to me, but I knew I had to change. BP is becoming more and more a price driven commodity, so I knew I had to develop a high value niche to supplement my core business. John Vasquez has been speaking about the LED opportunity for a few years, and I decided to look into it more deeply,” said Chris. “I visited the booths at our trade show, I attended HiLumz and AEF training webinars, and I invested in a light meter and laser tape. I talked lighting with my longterm customers, my new customers and prospects. It became part of my standard presentation – supplies, furniture and lighting.” “I like lighting sales – it’s a longer sales process, but it’s a high value, ROI sale that I enjoy. It has been a great complement to my BP foundation.” The photos on the facing page are from Chris’ large project - $125,000+ - at one of his long-term BP customers. It wasn’t Chris’ first lighting project, but he built up to it through training, smaller sales and relying on a quality supplier to help him through (with an occasional call to John Vasquez). The project primarily utilized HiLumz lights. “Expanding my mix has really helped me protect my income. My current expansion involves working with other local Indoff Partners – Mike Fosmer and John Swenson – to introduce lighting to their accounts.” It’s not rocket science – adding capabilities to your tool kit helps make you more valuable to your customer. Challenge yourself to add a new product or a new expertise – it will keep you engaged and energized while helping you increase your sales and income.
Chris Drowne HiLumz
Led by Chris Drowne, 696 380 Watt Metal Halide converted to 116W HiLumz DM Retroﬁt Kits
70% Energy Savings 30% Increase in Usable Light Preconﬁgured Units for Seamless Installation Eliminated Bulb Maintenance Eliminated Unnecessary Fixtures
Corporate Headquarters 11816 Lackland Road, St. Louis, MO 63146 www.indoff.com
by Kevin Flynn, Commercial Interiors Business Wisdom from: A Trout, Vince Lombardi and Mr. MiyagiI moved to Tyler, Texas in 2012 (pop. 97,000) from San Diego (pop. 1.5, Metro 3+ million), mostly for the lifestyle and escaping Southern California for reasons I can share another time. I exchanged a thriving $800k-1.25 Million Dollar annual business for a more rural lifestyle. Having jumped off the cliff, I spent time asking myself: how was I going to re-build, re-establish myself, my family, and grow a business without knowing anyone, and I mean not a soul? As odd as it sounds, I looked to the same tools I used to build my San Diego business in 1999. To help illustrate these and create solutions you can ‘see’ I’ll use examples from: fishing, a coach, and film.
Kevin Flynn Tyler, TX “For me fundamentals are the building blocks of growing, re-establishing, or starting your business with Indoff.”
Most of you know I love: fishing, biographies, and movies. Movies, because often times they reveal insights we know, but can’t quite bring to life; fishing, because it’s a very simple sport that’s been made complicated by catalogs and gadgets, and the lives of those who’ve gone before us along this trail of life. First fishing, I love fishing and have taught my boys not to buy all that fancy pants gadget stuff at Bass Pro and Cabela’s, there’s no need for it. Growing up in a very rural part of NY, I learned from others to, “Match the Hatch”. That is, you look around at what’s on the ground and what’s biting your arm to see what the fish could be eating and use that. No “Watermelon” or “Fireball Red” plastic worms or spinning gadgets, just what the fish eat naturally. When I re-started in Texas, I ignored this simple principle and decided what East Texas needed was an Ergonomic Specialist. I could not have been more wrong! I spent 3-4 months trying to introduce what had been very successful for me in San Diego to East Texas. To say they could care less would be an understatement. In fact, if you needed these items you were seen as a whiner and complainer. I had failed to ‘Match the Hatch’. With my tail between my legs, I thoughtfully re-evaluated what ‘bait’ to use to ‘Match the Hatch’ in East Texas when I noticed the large number of Healthcare Facilities. I don’t know why I never noticed them before, some with 600 acre campuses. I started touring them and noted a large number were out of compliance with Infection Control guidelines and safety standards, I’d found my bait. Partnering with a couple of Vendors (Allseating and Buzz) I built an entire program designed to renovate ‘Public Spaces’ and ‘Exam Rooms’ in Hospitals, nothing too wild, or technical. In fact, I’ve used the exact same solution in about 12-15 of these Public Spaces in the last 2 years at wonderful margins and NO competition. It’s been fun. I can upload my Healthcare Intro Power Point if the Marketing Team would like to post it.
Second, Vince Lombardi, is famous for distilling the complexity of football to its most basic component, scoring. Coach Lombardi took nothing for granted. He began a tradition each year of starting from scratch, assuming that his players were blank slates who carried over no knowledge from the year before… He began with the most elemental statement of all, and this now famous Quote, “Gentlemen,” he said, holding a pigskin in his right hand, “this is a football.” I’m sure Bart Starr had seen one before, but... What are your fundamentals? What is your ‘football’? For me fundamentals are the building blocks of growing, re-establishing, or starting your business with Indoff. I started my re-launch in Texas by searching for the top 100 Companies in my area with a simple Google Search, loaded each of these into my ACT contacts (some use Goldmine, others Google), called each to learn a contact name, and began a Mailing Program of postcards every two weeks (samples are on the Marketing Web Site), followed by a phone call on alternate weeks, and a site visit each month to hand them my Introduction Brochure (also on the Marketing Web Site). After about 6 months of this and keeping a regular schedule, my clients and local Architects began to expect me to stop along my ‘route’ and my Business began to grow, slowly but always growing. if you are looking for a Magic Pill, or Miracle Shake to help you get in shape, this is not it. Instead, this is a process, just like washing your hair: wash, rinse, repeat (unless you’re Abercrombie, Duane Young, or Doug Black). Finally, Mr. Miyagi from ‘The Karate Kid’ gave only Daniel three basic tools to start: Wax On/ Wax Off , Paint the Fence, and Sand the Floor. That’s it. Like Fishing and Vince Lombardi, he, too, kept it very simple and had Daniel wash, rinse, and repeat until these three tools were a part of who he was. Daniel waxed cars, painted a fence and sanded a floor until his arms almost fell off; then when Mr. Miyagi asked him to show him, “Wax On/Wax Off ” Daniel-son responded almost without thinking. It had become, for him, as natural as breathing. Like Daniel-son we, too, need to practice until our tools are an extension of who we are. No one teaches a dog to bark, dogs bark; it’s who they are. “What’s in your Toolbox?” Are you trying to be everything to everyone, or are you focused. The tools I cherish are: the knowledge I’ve learned on Infection Control and Hospital Contract guidelines, Vendors that know they are my First Call, this builds trust and loyalty. When I call they respond. Most recently, I received a call from a longtime client that had become part of a new Company in Dallas and they needed to build an 18,000 square foot facility and a 7,800 annex. My new favorite tool is other Indoff Partners. In this case each trip to the site was a 6 hour trip, 3 each way, for a client that thrives on ‘Change Orders’. Abercrombie and I are now on Version 8.0, and what I hope is the Final version. This client also needed Material Handling and Lighting Solutions, Indoff had both in Duane Young. Now, the three of us (I’m the one still with hair) are looking at a truly wonderful project that would not be possible without my new favorite tool, Indoff Partners.
Did You Know? Vendor Info
• Did you know in Confluence that you can look up vendors and find Indoff ’s yearly total purchases with that vendor? • Did you know that you can also run a quick report in Confluence to get your individual purchases or total Indoff purchases with all of our vendors using any date range? • Do you know how to set a new vendor is up in Confluence? These are all very easy processes that you can run in Confluence at any time. To look up a vendor, simply click on Accounts, choose Vendor and type in the vendor name. To see total Indoff purchases by year with that vendor, click Division Purchases. Now you know if we have access to that vendor and how many purchases as a company we have done with them. If you want to find the entire list of vendors we do business with in a specific division-click Reports, Vendor Purchases summary, choose a date range, your division, and group by vendor. You can run the report in Excel or as a pdf and you will get a list of the vendors we did business with during that time frame. You can also choose to only look at your sales by clicking the box labeled My Purchases Only. If you want to set up a new vendor, there is also an easy process for that. All we need is a current W-9 from the vendor that you will upload with the New Vendor Application that can be found under the Applications menu in Confluence. Partner Support can help you through this process. Lastly, if you do not use the divisional message boards, we highly encourage you to re-think your stance. The collective years of experience and knowledge accumulated by Indoff Partners is staggering. If you are not on the message board you are missing out on an invaluable resource. You are also missing out on emails from the Corporate staff designed to make your job easier and help you increase your income.
If you have additional questions, contact Adam Heck at 314-997-1122 ext. 1232 or email@example.com
Partner Feature Wendell James Business Products
What excites you about joining the Indoff team? Professionalism Why did you decide to join Indoff? Worked with Indoff previously and it is a great company with flexibility. How long have you been in the Business Products/Promotional Products industry? 30 years/10 years Where do you focus your sales (apparel, hard goods, bags, awards, calendars, etc.)? Office Supplies How do you enjoy spending a day off? Time with family and grandkids.
Gary Miskimmon Material Handling What excites you about joining the Indoff team? Opportunity to succeed with a great partner backing me. Why did you decide to join Indoff? Discussions with people who know Indoff and how it would be a great fit for me. How long have you been in the Material Handing industry? Over 30 years What are the main products you focus on selling? Compact and stationary storage How do you enjoy spending a day off? Golfing, fishing, outdoor activities
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70th Anniversary 1945 - 2015
by Morgan Powers and Elizabeth Roe, Marketing Coordinators Hello all!
Let us introduce ourselves. We are Elizabeth and Morgan, your personal marketing and e-marketing coordinators! Weâ€™ve both been at Indoff for a little over six months now and in that time have been working with you all on your digital marketing needs. While Morgan works on more of the social media and print marketing you might want, Elizabeth handles all the emails. With that, we would love to talk to you all about the Incentive Program we hold in our department.
Elizabeth Roe E-Marketing Coordinator
Every other month, we will be holding a contest/drawing for a $100 Visa prepaid gift card for the new Partners that begin participating in the Email Marketing Program within that time frame. To be entered into the drawing you will have to send Elizabeth your customer list of at least 50 contacts by the end of the designated time period, which will be sent out in advance. Please contact Elizabeth if you are interested in starting the program and she can help you get started on your list and make it as simple and as easy as possible for you. In addition to the initial contest/drawing for starting the program, we are also introducing a monthly Incentive Program for Partners that send in a minimum of 25 new contacts to the program monthly. This incentive program is designed to increase your customer lists within the email marketing program by encouraging you to continuously add to your list. Every Partner participating in the Email Program that sends me 25 or more new contacts for the program each month, will be entered into a monthly drawing for a $25 Visa prepaid gift card. The program will run monthly from the 1st of every month to the last of the month.
Morgan Powers Marketing Coordinator
If you have any questions about the Incentive program or getting started with the Email Marketing Program donâ€™t hesitate to contact either one of us!
Elizabeth Roe 314-997-1122 ext. 1243 or firstname.lastname@example.org Morgan Powers 314-997-1122 ext. 1208 or email@example.com
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by Shawn Faulkingham, Chief Information Officer Indoff Technology – Working for You
Founded in 1971, Indoff embarked on the Partner Program in 1991 armed with some pretty sweet multi-part sales orders and purchase orders and even nicer thermal facsimiles (I wasn’t here, but Jim told me – he’s OLD…). Twenty-seven years later, times have changed! Over the years, we have invested heavily in our technology. Beginning with the introduction of our Business Products division in 1996, we saw technology as a potential strategic advantage for us. First with third-party software (Copas), then with our own systems (IRIS & the template), we moved from the world of paper and faxes to where we are today – Confluence.
Shawn Faulkingham Chief Information Officer
Confluence powers our Indoff sales world: • Partner Marketing sites – niche marketing, customer company stores, standards programs • Intranet – our list servers where Partners can access literally thousands of years of experience and knowledge to help locate the best solution for their customers • Supplies Direct for Business Products Customer ordering • Ordering, reporting, business analysis Our efforts aren’t just in Confluence. In order to interact with the world at large, we have developed punch-out capabilities (Ariba capable) and EDI systems (wholesaler and vendor hooks) to help communicate with major customers and suppliers. All of our systems keep security at the forefront; all of our sites and applications are as secure as possible, and our systems are PCI compliant so that our customers can trust that their credit card information is safe within our systems.
Colin Faulkingham Chief Information Officer
Powering all of this technology innovation are best of breed products. Indoff ’s hybrid cloud uses and houses VMware, Cisco, Oracle, MariaDB, Nginx, Solr and Apache to make sure that Partners and Customers have a quick and easy experience with Confluence! Confluence is built with speed and redundancy in mind, allowing us to maintain an uptime of at least 99.98%. If there is a disaster here at Corporate, our infrastructure is backed up using encryption and vaulted to a Tier 2 data center located in Pennsylvania. This allows us to recover in a timely fashion in the event of a disaster. All of this is available to all Partners and Customers, no matter how big or small. From companies that span all all of North America to a locally owned business, Indoff gives you the ability to meet your customers’ needs with proven technology!
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