One of the best pieces of advice for finding success in any industry is to drill down into a niche. Gabriel Curry has supersized that axiom, creating several highly successful distribution businesses (Fuelbox, Authorify, Green Dynamix) to support smaller, often overlooked verticals. Jason chatted with Gabe about his approach to researching new entrepreneurial endeavors, delivering customer value through private-label offerings, and utilizing remote associates to build a global network of motivated, loyal employees.
I truly believe it’s all about the value we deliver to our boss, the customer. The sentiment isn’t just a pithy turn of phrase. It’s a core principle of Gabe’s entire business model. He’s genuinely interested in making the customer’s life easier. In doing so, he’s enjoyed massive gains in several unique markets: landscaping supply, the pallet industry, and auto dismantling. We say the riches are in the niches, he laughs. All joking aside, Gabe relies on several innovations to differentiate his businesses from the pack: unique marketing strategies to limit costly job site visits, and global teams to close the sale.
Assertive marketing plans fail fast if not supported by a knowledgeable, enthusiastic team. Gabe built a network of highly skilled, strategically positioned employees who exceed customer expectations while saving the company money. Very targeted marketing, marketing done right, is a lot less money than having salespeople. Salespeople are expensive! Gabe’s US-based sales staff receives support from remote global associates, mostly from Central and South America. Their timezone compatibility and high customer service aptitude make Latin American employees a perfect cultural fit.
While the cost savings associated with an international workforce are enticing, Gabe cautions owners to start small instead of trying to orchestrate a swift transition. You’ve gotta start with one win, two wins; then you can steadily grow to add more people. It takes time for a culture to adapt. He also advises owners to care for the entire team (through training, compensation, and overall well-being). Doing so, he says, builds an infectious mad loyalty that customers respond to. It’s about getting the right people in the right spot, regardless of where in the world those folks are located.
I really believe that in distribution, it’s about value to the customer. You know, it’s the perception the customer has and not just the perception. What can we do to enhance their bottom line, reduce their cost, and make life simpler?
Hiring people from different parts of the world can really help you deliver strong value to the customer and reduce your costs.
When you got an amazing salesperson, the more time they spend in front of the customer or on the phone, the more we sell.
15 years ago, it was all about the customer. It still is all about the customer, but if you take amazing care of your people, the people will naturally take care of the customer, and it’s about taking care of the customer that’s gonna give us success long term for our business.
Distribution Talk is produced by The Distribution Team, a consulting services firm dedicated to helping wholesale distribution clients remove barriers to profitability, generate wealth and achieve personal goals.
This episode was edited & mixed by The Creative Impostor Studios.
Special thanks to our sponsor for this episode: Profit2, helping distributors charge the right price.