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BrandHero Promotions, a Geiger (asi/202900) affiliate
Lady Luck smiles often at David Kennealey. Indeed, the self-proclaimed marketing geek has a knack for winning. “I’m the luckiest guy you know,” Kennealey says. “I’ve won everything, from trips to Hawaii and Florida to the lottery, and I’ve fallen into every job I’ve ever had in my career. I’ve never sent in a resume. I’ve always been at the right place at the right time.”
Left off of his long list of good fortune, though, is the fact that Kennealey works his butt off. In 2016 he was up about 33% in sales vs. 2015. This was no fluke. Even during the recession, his sales were up 20%. Luck alone can’t account for those kinds of numbers. Smart planning, though, can.
“I’m guessing only about 10% of distributor salespeople write a sales and marketing plan, they usually just wing it – I believe in planning,” Kennealey says. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So I do a sales and marketing plan every year, and at the end of the year, I always test a new tactic.”
Another reason for Kennealey’s success is his off-the-charts creativity, with his biggest categories of business coming from retail, insurance, gaming and consumer package goods. For 15 years prior to making the switch to promo products, he worked as a director of marketing for firms including Frito-Lay, Dunkin’ Donuts and Hasbro. He ran a G.I. Joe giveaway with the Minnesota Twins for Armed Services Appreciation Night, as well as a fun halftime promo for the NFL. “I managed the Monopoly game at McDonald’s, which is arguably the greatest promotion of all time as far as how much it moved the needle for McDonald’s in volume,” Kennealey says. “I’m all about the ‘big idea.’ If I was just selling one-color imprints on coffee mugs, I’d be poking my eye with a pencil.”
One of the strategies that Kennealey has scratched off his list is cold-calling. Over the last decade, he says he made only one cold call and failed miserably. “I’m not old school. I have colleagues that are set in their ways and make cold calls and it works for them. I won’t condemn it,” the married father of three says. “I do what’s best by the client, not what’s best by me or Geiger. I nurture referrals and I’m rewarded. I do it right with no shortcuts, and success follows.”