Global Fastener News

1982 FIN – Prussin to MFDA: Outside Salesmen Needed to ‘Press the Flesh’

September 08
00:00 2015

November 15, 1982 FIN – The outside salesman: Some love them; some leave them; most distributors are uneasy about them. This was the topic of a panel at the November meeting of Metropolitan Fastener Distributors Association.
“Today, more than ever before, the fastener distributor must put himself in front of his customers on a regular basis,” said Joe Prussin of Fastbolt Corp. “Either in person or through his representatives. To coin an old expression, we must press the flesh. High visibility is a necessity.”
“Don’t be swayed by the recession-induced mania to cut costs,” Prussin said. “Every accountant has become a business genius. His solution is always the same; cut overhead.”
The danger is, for distributors in the New York metropolitan area, that someone will take your business away from you. “Fastener distributors are opening offices and warehouses where none have ever existed before,” Prussin noted. “The business is still there, but it’s starting to go into other areas of the country.”
Quoting the poet John Dunne, Prussin reminded us, “No man is an island.”
But, the direct sales call is expensive, now estimated to be $178 a piece, said Ray Van Horn of Holokrome. “Our thinking about outside sales was formed, he suggested, around 1942 when new cars cost $1,093 on average, gasoline was 14 cents a gallon, and a hotel room cost $3.53.”
Further, it has been traditionally thought that there is very little a distributor’s salesman can do; we all know how distributorships work and the order taking can be done by telephone.
“We are looking to the distributorship to play a larger role,” ©1982/2015 Fastener Industry News.
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