What we are Learning (re-learning) about What it takes to be A GREAT salesperson

At Drexel, we have ventured deep into the heart of the world of Sales as it relates to Building Supply dealers like us.

What’s the best Salesperson (we call QB) what’s the best approach?

Our industry has primarily in the Midwest taught us, that great salespeople are entrepreneurs (white males over 40 years old) with 10 plus years of construction experience with as many accounts as possible, making as much money as possible with assistants around them to make their stressful life somewhat easier.

The entire organization is on edge because you never know what they will demand next… because DAMMIT, THEY ARE THE SALESMAN!

We have gone a 180 on that path.

Where QBs have a clear team mindset, with a select few true building partners, they are relaxed and lead from the back AND front and truly help the entire organization get better on a daily basis.

What do I mean exactly?

I am still learning and re-learning as I go, even after 25 years. But I can see what we call a model 1 salesperson (wild west, set their own prices, products procedures, and services) if they portray the following behaviors:s

  1. Use the words: I, me a lot. Use phrases, my accounts, my book of business, my customer. They want to be left alone, unless they come to ask for help. And when they come for help, they really just mean, I want someone else to fix it.
  2. They hate tracking tools, and performance metrics outside of sales/gross margin dollars. They believe gross margin dollars are king. If that is good, leave me alone.
  3. They reference the good old days a lot.
  4. They refuse to believe in less is more. Any sale is a good sale.
  5. They work at least 50 hours a week.
  6. They are really stressed.
  7. They like to believe they have a DIRECT TEAM THAT ONLY REPORTS TO THEM.
  8. They actually have teammates that also believe that.
  9. Their priorities are EVERYONE’S priorities, instantly.
  10. They always want everyone else to be trained, but personally have no time for training.
  11. They refuse to believe they have too many accounts and believe all accounts buy from THEM, not Drexel.
  12. E-mails are constant. Texts are endless.
  13. Skeptical of new products.
  14. Hate refined procedures.
  15. Dislike price tiers.

Model 2

  1. We. Team. Us.
  2. 40-hour workweeks.
  3. Responsible for their work.
  4. Time to train. Time to coach.
  5. Like tools to track like closing tools. Like performance reviews. See ways to get better.
  6. Like to be PART of the solution, not simply defining the problem and walking away.
  7. Embrace anything that makes their life easier, like processes and procedures.
  8. Have time to read company information, and develop relationships outside their department.
  9. Sell all categories to our accounts.
  10. HAVE TIME.

We want people that are developed with each account and spend TIME with them and our team. Those team members embrace this and understand a less stressed life is better for them, their family, their team, and their customer!

If this offends you… you are firmly model 1. We should all be inspired to be moving to a model 2 company!


How can you know if it is going to storm?

Early indicators, black clouds on the horizon, a change in the wind direction, things you have seen before.

I think we are about to go into a recession in the housing market, I call it the Great Reset. I don’t know how long or how deep, the country is still short of homes, we must build more. But the wind is changing.

And fast.

While the orders on new homes are deep and massive, most builders are booked for a year, and the quote file is at record levels… things are a miss.

BREAKING TODAY: Consumer prices rose 8.5% in March — the highest since 1981. We are paying 8.5% more for things now. 8.5%! A new house costs over 20% from just last year.

More problematic…

Interest rates are at 5%… with 6% just about guaranteed.

The BIGGEST PROBLEM is the media spin on this (Why do we listen to them?!)

The Federal Reserve is “selling” a fix.. higher interest rates… that they say will help surging prices and a tight labor market. And the media is shaking their head yes, higher interest are good and needed.

Let me translate.

The U.S. Government and supported by the major media (including google)

wants the interest rates to rise sharply.

What will this do to housing?

A 1% increase adds about 300 dollars plus a month to a $350,000 home mortage.

at 4%…. where we were at for a monthly payment on a $350,000:


at 5%


at 6% (where we are quickly headed)


This will take a lot of people out of the house of their dreams.

A simple Google Search “will higher interest rates help”…shows that yes indeed it helps! It hurts short term, but long term by golly we will be better off.

This will help the labor shortage. Translation, fewer jobs. This will help demand. Meaning no one is buying anything.

Lumber is TANKING. That’s another key indicator. Mills are working 3 days a week to stop the supply. That isn’t working either. Remember mills make lumber every day. It’s a product in the forests that must be used. Tanking lumber means people aren’t buying it. 40% DOWN in a month.


We are often in a recession LONG before we feel it.

We are there.

What is Drexel doing?

Get ready to acquire more market share (get more builders that are left). We are training new qbs, new cabinetry, and new flooring salespeople. We are driving consistency + stability = clarity. Taking on good business with good business partners for the future.

We do think the building will continue, just slowing.

Our robotic future and offsite construction will help builders that are left!

Over $8 trillion … 800,000,000,000,000 has been printed by the US government, flooding us with “more money, worth less”… the consequences have been brutal, but we are ready.

Our New Berlin yard is offsetting the cost of higher transportation costs.

We are low on new hiring positions, with only 6 full time in our entire supply company (we are growing our manufacturing division.) And really diving into WHY we need a new person in that department.

We have turned products into paid services (residential design, offsite is a process, not a product)…. all to prepare for the great reset.

If new home buyers can’t afford homes, they will rent. We have many fantastic builders that are preparing to build 8-12 units projects and rentable condos. If you can’t afford to buy new.. or think about this… locked into a 3% loan, why would you ever build for a 6% loan?… we do anticipate remodeling will soar…

Remodelers and remodeling projects require KNOWLEDGE, ORGANIZATION, AND INTRICITATE PROCESSES WITH COMPLICATED PRODUCTS… this is why our training is so critical. And in all departments why are sales people are required to have fewer accounts to be poised to help builders remodel.

Could I be wrong?

Of course. I have been in Vilas County, wetting a worm on a lake, and seeing what I believe is a storm brewing. We take in the boat. Put the water toys away. Put the tarp on the boat, and wait for the storm. Sometimes it blows over, misses us, or is very minor. At least we were prepared. No harm done. Sun comes back out.

Prepare now. But keep going.

The fun will be there. Supplying happiness is possible. We just must be prepared.


I’m not scared. I’m excited. I like storms.

Trust the Lord,



Nick Saban is one if not the greatest college football coach of all time.

They asked him about how his team is coming along for fall this past week…his answer is remarkable.

“We’re still trying to identify leadership,” Saban said. They have a good core but want more to step into that role.

Are you identify leadership? Setting standards and holding people to them.  Training and coaching on how to lead?

How can you expect your team to soar if you are not encouraging them to lead?

Every player at Alabama is encouraged to lead.

By example. By actions. By body language. By effort. By positivity.

The more LEADERS YOU HAVE the better your odds of success.

The coach is finding LEADERS.  Nick Saban understands that will lead to wins.  

What are you doing to create more leaders? 

I’d love to hear from you about what you are doing.  Or just take a few quiet minutes to contemplate this.

Trust the Lord,