We truly believe a tree that is not growing is dying.

A tree doesn’t ever grow too fast that it dies.  It will slow the growth when there are struggles.  Growth is managed based on many factors, light, rain, ground conditions, disease and the competition in the forest.  Same for Drexel.  Same for you.  Some days all we can do is hold our roots and let the storm pass.  That’s enough sometimes.  Sometimes large growth is made.  We will not grow beyond our roots.   When the conditions are right, we take advantage and grow to our capacity.  If you feel your roots are lifting up out of the ground… please reach out to someone, if you don’t know where to start, reach out to me.


Today, this very day, you will run into someone with a load of packages.   You will run into someone that has a full burden.  They have too many groceries.  Those groceries will be emotional, or task driven.  What will you do?   Will you offer support?   A ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on?   Will you offer to help in any one way you uniquely can.  Perhaps you can offer to write up an order.  Make a delivery.  Take a walk in the yard with them.   Make a phone call.  Something well beyond your “job duties”.    Will you notice that person and will you offer to help?


If you treat a vendor like a friend, pretty soon they will treat you like a friend.   Same for a co-worker.   A spouse.  A customer.  Treat them like a friend, and soon enough they will treat you like friends.  And then you will be surrounded by friends.  Weird how simple that is and how that works.   Be the change you want to see in the world.



We have 260 full time people that call Drexel their home away from home, almost 300 with our part timers.  We have 52 people that call themselves sales people- flooring, cabinetry, commercial, and account managers.   That is less then 20%— or 2 out of 10 people are out everyday keeping the orders coming in for us to keep our careers going.


1. They bring in ALL the new business AND have the BEST relationships out there.

2. Without them there is no “us”.  Think of them as our “internal customers.”

3. They live on commission and will starve to death without business.

4. No salesperson has EVER been successful BEHIND A COMPUTER, ok maybe if you sell on ebay or something…  SAME FOR STORE LEADERS.  SAME FOR ME.  SAME FOR THOSE THAT WORK AT THE ZOO.  LET’S HELP THEM GET OUT OF THEIR DESKS.   GET THEM MOBILE.  COMPANIES and CERTAINLY SALESPEOPLE GO BROKE STARING AT COMPUTERS.  COMPANIES AND SALESPEOPLE THRIVE WHEN THEY GO AND SELL THE VISION OF THE COMPANY.  I know personally I have to shift my focus.  I ALWAYS have something to do on the computer… like write this blog…but Joel stop it.  Get out there.  Get in front of customers.  Weenie wagon and the WOWbulance** are starting soon… I will be at them.  Perfect!

5. #4 means we need to make their life easier- not enabling them to encourage bad habits- but supporting them by making sure their orders, their relationships solidify with our help.

6.  They take the phone calls when things go bad.  They meet the customer when she is jacked up and ready to kill us.  That’s breaking their promise they made with her- we will make you happier!  Breaking promises is never fun.

7.  Every day they fight for US.   We must FIGHT FOR THEM.  Fight your vendors, fight your team- DON’T SETTLE AND DON’T MAKE EXCUSES.  Not to be dramatic, but to HELP THEM.

8.  Everyone one of them faces a TON OF REJECTION.  Even on an each individual project.  How often do we sell EVERYTHING?   Foam, to locksets, to shingles, to siding, to windows, to doors, to lumber, to nails.  To counters, to cabinets, to cabinetry hardware.  To tile, carpet, and hardwood.  And all places in between?  Not often.  Meaning on every job, they almost always LOSE.  That’s tough.

9.   How often do jobs go perfect? Oh boy.  No problems, only solutions.  It’s why we need to help them stay totally optimistic.  The sun will come out tomorrow!

10.  It’s MUCH easier to sell on price, have the cheapest carpet install, the cheapest lumber package… but that isn’t selling, that’s prime order taking, and at LOW MARGINS TOO!   Anyone can be the cheapest, but those sales people, those companies don’t last long…someone is ALWAYS CHEAPER.  So they need to be out and about and share our vision.  You see when people buy a 2×4 from us, or a window, or a deck, they are buying our mission of sharing happiness, with them, with us, with the community.  Menards ain’t sharing no happiness!  For our salesman to do that they have to be out of the office, they can’t be putting out internal  fires.

11.  The better they are trained, educated, able to handle stress, stay positive, are energetic, and organized… the better DREXEL IS.  Simple.

12.  Thank you sales people!  May you live long and prosper– and always be selling!  To me, it’s my life… I love selling.


Quit selling “markets.”  “We need to sell to more remodelers.  We to target Waupaca.  We need to sell to more shinglers.  We need to sell to more designers.”  STOP IT!

No one in the building supply industry sells to a “market.”

They sell to people.  One person, one business, fulfill their needs.  Rifle approach.  Find a person, share our vision.  See if we can supply happiness to them, and if we can, let’s do that.  And go to the next person and help them.  And then the next and the next.

I’ve never seen ANYONE sell a market.  So let’s stop thinking and talking that way.

** What’s a WOWbulance?  This is a WOWbulance.



– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s