Sales tip: Get rid of lousy accounts and replace them with new ones

Clint Maxwell, an Independent distributor out of Texas, in his first year culled half of the accounts – he bought from his uncle's business. After getting rid of his least profitable accounts, he had to seek others to replace them. He visited two prospective accounts every day, and in the course of two and a half years, he rebuilt the individual customer count to 150 in 115 stops. He visits all but 20 stops weekly; the rest are bi-weekly.

His uncle's reputation has helped him win new accounts. Maxwell tells prospective customer his truck has served the market since 1989.

Another advantage Maxwell brought to the role was his personal history in the area he serves. It is not unusual for him to see former classmates at his stops. "It helps being able to know something about their personal lives," he says. "It helps me relate to them personally."

Maxwell has a gift for gab, and he found it helpful in sustaining customer loyalty.