But at the end of the day, the Internet doesn't change the fact that people tend to do business with people they like, trust, and respect. Personal reputations matter - especially in foodservice distribution, where most companies carry the same non-differentiating national brands.
According to Jake Mash, vice president of sales and marketing for Frosty Acres Brands, Inc., Alpharetta, GA, "There's just no substitute for being regarded as credible by your bankers, suppliers, and customers. Personal differentiation is a critical issue throughout the foodservice distribution business, where relationships sometimes matter more than the product. Respect is a function of expertise."
He's right. In an industry plagued by price competition, establishing expertise among your peers is no longer about ego. It's about survival.
But what exactly is an expert? The National Speakers Association has published an excellent position paper called "The Expertise Imperative