First place: Jim Wood (for Wellborn Cabinet,
Sales Rep Offers Relaxed
Style and Knowledgeable Service
As an independent sales representative for the Ashland, AL-based
Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. for the past 15 years, Jim Wood has
consistently distinguished himself as a knowledgeable, relaxed
personality whose reputation for quality service precedes him
wherever he goes.
It is these traits, as well as his ability to relate easily and
warmly with the people whose accounts he services, that has earned
him first place honors in Category Six of K&BDN’s second annual
Industry Leadership Awards.
Customers agree that one of the things that makes Wood so
special is the way he makes every effort to ensure his customers
are satisfied. Part of this service, he believes, is about keeping
up with industry trends. He stays abreast of what distributors are
selling, and is always thinking and planning ahead, making him more
readily able to project future directions the kitchen and bath
industry may be headed in so that customers can work proactively,
according to Wellborn regional sales manager Roger Butler. For
instance, Wood is proactive in terms of getting a distributor to
change styles with regard to product lines, door styles and colors,
keeping them up to date with the latest market trends.
In order to keep his customers well informed, he presents all of
the new products and product options as soon as they are available.
He also works hard to keep his customers aware of all new product
changes, price changes, shipping concerns, co-operative advertising
and any sales or product training seminars available.
Working with a sales staff of nine, Wood is responsible for
covering all or part of eight states. Not only does he cover these
areas, but he is number one in sales, product knowledge, customer
service and flexibility in knowing what products are popular in
each different territory, a status determined by surveys done in
the Wellborn corporate office to existing accounts on which Wood
Wood also exceeds expectations by following up on existing
accounts’ needs and refusing to give up on potential accounts. In
fact, Wood once called on a potential account for three years until
the timing was finally right and as a result of his perseverance,
he broke the account.
As Butler notes, when there is a need to fill, Wood is
It is this combination of sales tenacity and an ability to make the
customer feel at ease that has propelled Wood into the sales
Second place: David E. Miller, Kansas Building Supply,
Wichita, KS (for Merillat Industries & Closet
Sales Rep ‘Goes the Extra Mile’ With Personalized
David E. Miller of Wichita, KS-based Kansas Building Supply is not
afraid to go the extra mile for his clients. Whether it is
traveling long distances so that he can personally speak with a
distributor, or making sure an order arrives on time, Miller is
According to Joyce Baker, CKD, a distributor who works with
Miller (her office is 45 miles from Miller’s), the secret of his
success comes from the personal attention he gives to each account
and each situation, unerringly making the correct choices to meet
the needs of his customers.
Being flexible is key here. Baker notes that, one time, a
cabinet had a pop-up mixer and the way the cabinet was constructed,
it was coming in warped. Despite the parts all coming in separate
pieces, Miller fixed the cabinet himself.
In fact, at the time of this article, Miller was working on
replacing roll-out trays for an order, Baker notes.
It is this type of personalized service and dedication to his
customers that makes Miller so successful, and which has earned him
second place honors in Category Six of K&BDN’s second annual
Industry Leadership Awards.
Maintaining a strong knowledge of both his products and the
people he deals with also helps Miller succeed as a sales
representative. By keeping up with trends and his clients’ wishes,
he is able to suggest the correct product in any given
Most of all, Miller truly partners himself with his clients, to
the benefit of both. In fact, Baker notes that Miller is widely
recognized at trade shows almost as a member of her business. In
many ways, he is. For example, Miller has helped Baker install
cabinets and put up wallpaper in her showroom just to help get it
In addition, he reminds Baker about the Homeshow display (a
display for an annual trade show in Southwest Kansas), and he helps
her to organize it.
Miller certainly appears to know the importance of maintaining
friendly relations with his clients. In fact, he once helped an
irate customer with the grain on her door and then sent her flowers
He even helped Baker to gather up gifts for a rest home, simply
to help out in her efforts to provide service to the community.
By going the extra mile, Miller has established himself as one
of the top sales representatives in the kitchen and bath