Independent or Factory Sales Rep of the
First place: Bernard Kronk, Marketing Enterprises West,
Rep Rises to Occasion With Experience, Down-to-Earth
It has been said: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life
by what we give.”And if you ask Brenda Stoner, CKD, and owner of
Santa Clarita, CA-based Kitchens, Etc., she will tell you that
Bernard Kronk embodies that sentiment.
You see Kronk, the Crystal Cabinet Works, Inc. factory sales
representative for Thousand Oaks, CA-based Marketing Enterprises
West, Inc. has made his life by helping others in the industry and
sharing his over 45 years of kitchen cabinet experience the last 24
of which have been spent representing Crystal.
Stoner points to Kronk’s positive, proactive attitude, product
knowledge and ability to correct problems as key assets, and, she
believes that his down-to-earth demeanor is what sets him
Says Stoner, “We always value his recommendations and through
the years we have respected him for his knowledge and his teamwork
As a result of Kronk’s generosity and commitment, he has been
given first-place honors in K&BDN’s 2003 Industry Leadership
Awards in the category of Independent Factory Sales Rep of the
Says Stoner, “When we have a problem, he always creates a
‘win-win’ situation by listening to our needs and formulating a
solution that’s beneficial to us and to the company he
She explains: “There was a time when we had to replace all the
doors in a kitchen and he not only came out to inspect everything,
but he went back to the company with our best interests in mind. As
it turned out, the company was able to credit some of the
She also offers, “If a question arises of any sort, he is on the
phone right away to get an answer. You never have to wait for a
follow-through and he tells you straight.” She also finds him to be
a fountain of knowledge about products and trends that relate to
For instance, Kronk makes sure to keep her firm in touch with
the latest product offerings in the industry even going as far as
to inform her as to what specific wood style or finish is more
likely to sell in her geographic area.
Her prime example relates to one of her earliest meetings with
Kronk, she notes.
“Since we had just opened, I thought Crystal might be too
high-end for us, but I remember him going through the pricing
structure and how it would compare. Had he not done that, I may not
have acted. Today, Crystal is our number one line.”
“Any time anything new comes out, he goes to a meeting and gets
information and calls us right away to suggest products even before
we find out from Crystal directly,” she boasts.
But, what if he can’t find the perfect product? According to
Stoner, that is not a problem for Kronk, either.
In fact, she describes, if he doesn’t have a particular style
available, he has been known to call incessantly until he finds
someone who does carry that line. If that doesn’t work, Kronk will
even recommend to Crystal that it come out with the particular
Kronk’s generosity has aided in her firm’s individual kitchen
sales increasing in dollar volume and profitability, Stoner notes.
And, she adds, “his visits are always timely and informative.”
But, his visits are not limited to the Kitchens, Etc. showroom,
either, she is quick to point out.
“Bernard has even dropped product off on my front porch to help
me out, just because it
would be easier for me,” she offers.
She continues, “With Bernard, there is the added value that you
don’t have to worry about anything. [As I said], even if there were
a problem, you just know he will take care of it.”
But, perhaps most important, Stoner says, is simply that Kronk
cares about his clients.
“He calls to see how we are doing. There are a lot of reps who
are trying hard to sell but they don’t get you what you need. When
Bernard gets you the fundamental tools you need, you know that you
are going to wind up selling.”
She concludes: “I think that having the continuity of the same
representative calling [is very important because] it really
increases the level of communication between the dealer and
supplier. Therefore, we feel very fortunate in having him as our