A Healthy Obsession

Matt Scharping's work ethic, attitude and drive have produced company-leading results from what was once a failing route.

Matt Scharping is admittedly obsessive, hates to lose and says he'll do whatever it takes to be successful. He also rarely stops smiling, loves his job and tackles it with a passion fueled by providing everything he can for his wife and children. It sounds like two different people, but these...

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"As the business has grown, it has also gotten a lot more complicated," states Scharping. "Turning bigger numbers is great, but it also means that I have to look more closely at what I've got on the street, what my margins are, what my competition is doing, and how quickly I can re-coup the sale. That's why I ask for more in weekly collections. It helps shorten my turn, while also taking money away from the competition."

His Team

Like most successful people, Scharping is grateful for the support he has received, and continues to benefit from in growing the business. In addition to being there emotionally, his wife Shelly helps trailer and deliver toolboxes, as well as run the landscaping business.

He also points to the insight of regional manager Mike Massey, leadership of Scott Mata, and the overall vision of Cornwell president Bill Nobley in helping him to learn and do more with the business.

And his choice of role models hasn't hurt either. Throughout the different stages of his career Scharping has been able to tap into Del Postma, a former number one, and current top five Cornwell dealer. (Postma also appeared on the June 2002 cover of this publication.)

"Del's consistency is really amazing when you look at how he's been able to continually do so well through the years," explains Scharping. "And he's provided so much advice, like establishing and following up on Needs Lists.

"He's my role model, especially in how he balances time between his family and the business. I just have all the respect in the world for him and Bruce Beltramini (another top 5 Cornwell dealer)." With support from Shelly and guidance from Postma, Scharping has been able to get more from the final members of his team – his customers.

"I hang my awards on the truck because I want my customers to know that they're part of my team. Plus, they want to buy from a winner, and it helps validate my reliability," he states.

Scharping also looks to connect with customers on a level that goes beyond just showing up once a week to collect payments. "I want my customers to believe in me, so I'm sincere in what I do to take care of them, and I make sure they know that.

"My job is to help them solve problems and make money, which entails being more than just an order taker. It means being proactive and hunting down what they need, because if I don't take care of them today, another tool truck will tomorrow. Throw in the fact that you have to have fun or you're going to bore your customers to death, and that's what I think being a total toolman is all about," he explains.

When you ask Matt Scharping about any of the typical issues mobile distributors face, his responses typify a positive, yet unrelenting personality. "When gas prices increase, it just means you have to sell more," he states. Followed by, "Bad debt doesn't kill you, lack of sales kills you," when asked about skip accounts.

So it's no surprise to hear the following when asked to sum up his approach to the business, and in taking over a highly rural, lowly populated area. "The situation is what you make it, and I wanted to make this a successful one."


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