There are text streams that the sales guys have. We use tools like Slack and Lilypad that help to tie in those out of state sales reps into the day to day. Slack is a good tool because it encompasses everybody in the company and everybody here seems to like to use that tool. So you can get on a channel that includes production folks, your tap from folks, or other people in the brewery, and you can stay apprised of everything that’s going on.
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We also have a monthly meeting that I hold, we call it the First Friday Meeting, and it’s an all-employee meeting. We have those reps dial in and I’m pretty transparent on what I tell our employees about what’s going on in the company. It’s really an opportunity to share information. “How are we doing, what kind of events do we have coming up, what are our challenges, what victories did we have last month, how are we doing year to date, do we have some new equipment coming into production, what’s that all about?” You know, it’s another great opportunity to tie them into the game plan that’s happening with the company.
Do you have any strategies that you’ve found to be effective tackling these states that you described as spread out? Are there any kinds of accounts or chains that you’re tackling to make those reps be successful where they are?
Yeah, we are in chains in the out of state markets. That’s primarily getting to know the chain buyers, which our reps have done a good job with. There’s, of course, a lot of love for “local” in out of state markets. So, how do you penetrate that? Our reps are primarily born and bred in those markets. We had some misfires with reps that we’ve taken from Colorado and put them in an out of state market. But also, I’m thinking of one or two examples in which that has been successful. So it’s a lot of the same blocking and tackling that we do here in Colorado. But very often, you know, those out of state reps come with their own relationships. Maybe those relationships are a tavern or restaurant or liquor store, but maybe they’re something else. Maybe they’re a fly fishing shop, maybe they’re a bike shop, maybe they’re a climbing gym that is in line with our values, our goals, and our demographic that we’re targeting.