Ep. 021: Josh Hale, Fisher59

Ep. 021 josh hale3.mp3 transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Ep. 021 josh hale3.mp3 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Josh Hale:
It's hard work, but I always end it with guys, for God's sake. We sell beer for a living.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
There are a lot worse jobs out there.

Tracy Neal:
Oh, yeah.

Josh Hale:
I was like, whether it's a hundred and ten or it's pouring down rain and you're on the truck. Either way, it works. We sell beer for a living.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
We get to do this.

Tracy Neal:
My guest for episode number 21 is Josh Hale. Josh is the V.P. of sales and general manager at the Denton, Texas branch of Fisher 59. I first met Josh by phone from the show floor of the MBWA Convention in 2013. And you'll hear more about that story soon. Josh and I are sitting across from each other in these big red comfy chairs in my hotel room at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. If you've listened to the series at all, then you know I'm sincere and accurate when I say that I get to meet and talk with some of the best beer distributor salespeople in the country. And Josh is no exception. He's a man of character, integrity and discipline. And he loves his job and his team as much as he does his wife and his family. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. iSellBeer presents to you, Josh Hale.

I am not Mr. Lebowski. You're Mr Lebowski, I'm the dude.

Yeah, I tell you what. You can take a good look at what pictures asked by sticking your head up there, but wouldn't you rather take his word for it?

Film it all the freakin chips. Kip.

A point. Don't be jealous that I've been shown online with games all day.

We have a pawn in the back pool and a pot of good.

Welcome to the iSellBeer podcast with Tracy Neal, a production for sales reps and distributors who are driving around all day selling beer and the official home of the iSellBeer Nation Facebook group. And now your host. The 1989 winner of the John M. Studebaker Wheelbarrow Race in Hangtown, California, Tracy Neal!

Tracy Neal:
I want to take a moment to connect with my audience. First of all, thank you. Thank you for listening and providing encouragement and feedback. I just returned from the NBWA convention in Las Vegas. And not only did a half a dozen strangers come up to me and say, hey, you're Tracy Neal, the podcast guy. But I was also approached by several supplier leaders and co-workers from my previous roles who said, Hey, Tracy, keep up the good work. I like the podcast. So thank you. It makes me feel makes me feel good and makes me feel like I'm doing it right and staying true to the iSellBeer brand promise. I have three more things to share before we get to Josh Hale. Number one, the episode Gap. Yes, it's been over a month since we had an episode. Several of you have contacted me and saying, hey, what's going on? When's the next episode gonna drop? And I have to be honest with you. We did record an episode. We reviewed it internally and it wasn't of the highest quality, it wasn't what we're used to releasing. And I would rather have an episode gap than to release something that makes you think that we're changing our format. And it wasn't entirely the fault of the interviewee. It was partly me as well. We got off on some tangents that just weren't consistent with how we've done these episodes. So I decided, you know what, I'd rather have a gap than think you make you think that we're getting off track. And so we didn't release an episode. Okay. Number two, suppliers. I've had several distributors and several supplier leaders. I'm not going to name drop, but let's just say it's all the big ones who've approached me saying, when can I be on your podcast? And I've told them, be patient. Give us another six to nine months. We're building the base of a couple thousand sales reps out there. Right. Sales reps who are out there on behalf of these suppliers at the street level, making it happen for their brands every day. And when we do have a major supplier on here, I want to make sure that it's the best B2B sales meeting they've ever had because they're going to be in your ears talking you about what's important. And I had this conversation with one supplier this week. I said, I don't want you to talk about advertising. I don't want you to talk about taste. I don't want you to talk about what's going on with the consumer. I want you to talk as if you're onto a work with in a car, one on one with a sales rep and how you're going to impact them. And that's a different position for these suppliers. In fact, I'm not aware that anyone's ever had that conversation out there on a public medium like a podcast. So I'm excited to do it. We're setting them up, but it's going to be at least after first quarter, maybe into the summer of 2020, simply because I want to have as many sales reps on here as possible. So that brings me to number three. I need your help growing our audience. We've got a lot of listeners out there, and I'm so impressed at how well this podcast has taken off. But when you think about the forty thousand men and women that are out there every day selling beer, we only have a fraction of them. So if you like this podcast, please share it. Share it with your your merchandisers, share it with other sales reps. Have them follow us on Facebook and Instagram. You can find us there, iSellBeer Nation. But by all means, share the podcast. We want to grow the listenership and get a bigger audience because with a bigger audience, we have more control over how we dictate who's going to be on here and what they're going to talk about. When I can sit in front of a major supplier and say, hey, we're gonna talk to 5000 sales reps. That gives us control on what they talk about and can dictate it. So they're talking specifically to you as opposed to just another organizational sales meeting. So those are my asks. Thank you very much. And now we'll move on to Josh Hale. I'll finish with my two signature lines. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. iSellBeer presents to you. Josh Hale. All right. Josh, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you. Here we are. For our listeners, we're at the NBWA. We're sitting in Caesar's Palace. The real Caesar does not live here, by the way. And we just came up from the NBWA trade show floor. Have a little conversation about you and how you got in the beer industry. First of all, thank you for being a fan of the podcast.

Josh Hale:
Without a doubt.

Tracy Neal:
Right. You told me earlier that you actually when you get the podcast, you you email it out to your group.

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir.

Tracy Neal:
All right. So I meet with Josh Hale from Fisher 59. And Josh, explain to me, where is Fisher 59 in the country. Explain to me the warehouses that you guys have and approximate volume, whether it's easier to do that. I don't know if you want to share dollars or volume, but just to give the listeners an idea of the background a distributor come from.

Josh Hale:
Sure thing. So I'm the vice president general manager of our Denton branch. Fisher 59 was founded by Clyde Fisher in 1959. We have three branches. Denton, Texas. Wichita Falls and Lawton, Oklahoma.

Tracy Neal:
Denton, Texas. Wichita Falls. Wichita falls is in.

Josh Hale:
Its north north Texas.

Tracy Neal:
North Texas. And then what was the third one?

Josh Hale:
Lawton, Oklahoma.

Tracy Neal:
Lawton, Oklahoma, and kind of north north Texas up there on the Oklahoma border with three different branches.

Josh Hale:
That's correct. So our branch and Denton were kind of the peak of the Golden Triangle, which is Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
So we cover all of Denton County, a little portion of Wise County.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
For Miller and Coors and 30 other wonderful suppliers.

Tracy Neal:
All right. And how many, many sales reps you guys have roughly in each of those branches.

Josh Hale:
Saying Denton I have 22 sales reps, six area managers, couple of sales managers, chain team, reset team and our Wichita Falls branch. I believe we have nine account managers, four supervisors, sales manager. Got the same numbers in our Lawton, Oklahoma branch.

Tracy Neal:
Okay. So fairly, fairly good sized medium distributor.

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir.

Tracy Neal:
Compared across the country to all others. Those good size medium distributor.

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir. We'll do about three and a half million cases in Denton. A little north of that total company will be about five and a quarter.

Tracy Neal:
Nice. All right. By the way, I forgot something. Here I was. Josh want to open up his beer before I start requires and I'm no, no, wait, wait, wait. I love to open it in the microphone. So, Josh, let's let's open our beers. There we go.

Josh Hale:
Can't beat that, especially in Vegas.

Tracy Neal:
One more. Three.

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir.

Tracy Neal:
All right, so you said was executive V.P. sales was on.

Josh Hale:
I'm the vice president by general manager.

Tracy Neal:
For the Denton branch.

Josh Hale:
For the Denton branch. Yes, sir.

Tracy Neal:
Okay. And by the way, Fisher 59, a special place in my heart. You know this you know this story. The listeners may not. But here's the story. It was 2013.

Josh Hale:
New Orleans.

Tracy Neal:
I had this harebrained idea that I might be able to start a company with this app that I called CPG Data. I booked a flight to New Orleans at the NBWA on my credit card because money I didn't have, I booked a hotel room. And actually, it was here, wasn't it Vegas? It was Vegas.

Josh Hale:
Was it Vegas?

Tracy Neal:
Yeah, because I couldn't afford Caesars Palace. You know, it's you know, there's like 350 bucks a night. I went down the street to the Flamingo at like $96 a night. And I didn't even have a booth because again, I didn't have any money. And I brought my laptop and I set up on a high boy table at a friend's booth on the trade show. And I sold my buns off showing people the CPG Data app that year. And one guy came back on the second day and it was Dick Fisher. And he gave me a handshake. He said, get on the phone and talk to my guy, Josh Hale. He's not here, but if you can convince him this is a good product, then I'll buy it. So he handed me the phone and I called you and you're thinking, what in the world? Well, well, you tell me, what's your perception that phone volume of that phone call?

Josh Hale:
I remember very clearly. So I was actually in Dentonay I was the sales manager at the time.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
And so Dicky said Dicky called me up and said, I want you to talk to this guy. Tracy Neal. He's an ex MillerCoors guy. But he's got something that I think can really help our business. I got on the phone with Tracy and I think we probably spoke for close to 30 minutes detailing everything that CPG Data at the time would do. And I was like, you know what? Send me a demo, because right now we're spinning our wheels, taken so much time recapping everything that we're doing. And if you can help streamline at that, I'm 100% in. And I think we're one of the first distributors, probably the first outside of California to get in.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah, you were. You were. I call you guys my first NBWA customer. You're right. I had a few customers in California some of the distributors that I that I had previously worked with signed up. But then I came here and you guys were really the first distributor that didn't know who I was. So I'll give you a lot of credit for that because you're the first one that actually bought the product on merit. Right. Which means that, you know, you. Fisher 59, especially Dick Fisher, special place in my heart. You know, you're that you're the original. And you've also helped build it. You know, I don't want to go too much into my product. I want this to be an infomercial that's about you and your career, but your important part of my story. So I enjoy talking about it. I enjoy giving you and Dick Fisher the credit for helping me get started on the CPG Data platform.

Josh Hale:
Without a doubt. And I've pitched it to everybody I know from just the beneficial savings that it gave me. So.

Tracy Neal:
Well, thank you.

Josh Hale:
I think it's been a great partnership and us giving feedback back and forth.

Tracy Neal:
Yes. Thank you. You guys have been very instrumental in giving us feedback and helping us grow and evolve our feature sets over the years. And you know what? How. Here we are, what, six and a half years later, sitting here, putting you on the podcast for people driving around all day selling beer?

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir.

Tracy Neal:
So, Josh, tell me, what did you want to be when you grew up? If you take you back to, like, you know, fifth grade, sixth grade, you know, you're 10 or 11 years old. Would you want to be when you grow up?

Josh Hale:
I tell you, it's goofy. But I watched the movie Cocktail.

Tracy Neal:
Who didn't want to be.

Josh Hale:
I wanted to be a bartender. You know, I had an infatuation with alcohol in a young age. You know, sadly to say. But now I wanted to be a bartender at an island paradise.

Tracy Neal:
Okay. Coughlin's law.

Josh Hale:
There you go. Yes, sir.

Tracy Neal:
Nice. You want to be a bartender. Now, at what point did you decide this was not the career path for you?

Josh Hale:
Oh, I was in college in East Texas. Stephen F. Austin, waiting tables and bartending. I was 19 years old and I I'm sick of it there in the summer. I was just tired of working in a frickin restaurant.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
And one of my really good friends of fraternity brothers, a couple of them had started working for the Miller distributor in East Texas at the time in .

Tracy Neal:
What's the name of that distributor?

Josh Hale:
At the time, it was Tower Beverage owned by Tom White. Now it is Giglio Distributing or GG Distributing.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
And so started up, went over there in June of 1997.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
And fell in love with the beer business and have not left.

Tracy Neal:
So tell me, do you recall your first day on the job.

Josh Hale:
I do so. Let's see. Larry Fleming was the sales manager down there, he's a sales manager for GG still, he was down there that day. I walked in. You know, young punk 19 year old kid and he said, let's go. So they took me out in the warehouse. We grabbed the old Iron Maiden, the orange dolly with the big rubber tires. And he said, I'm gonna teach you how to scoop beer.

Tracy Neal:
Have a scoop beer with the, with the dolly.

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir. So we went back in the warehouse, spent about 10 minutes trying to scoop beer, pulling it up. We set a pilot down so I could practice pulling it up a curb.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
So did that. And within 45 minutes, he had driven me down to the south side of town to a wet, dry line where the truck was delivering.

Tracy Neal:
What is a wet, dry line in Texas?

Josh Hale:
So in Texas, in the late 90s and early 2000s. Not every county or city was wet. To be able to sell beer or liquor, for that matter.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
So if you were on the county line of a wet town versus dry town, then huge stores.

Tracy Neal:
Huge store. Okay, so right up...

Josh Hale:
Truck loads.

Tracy Neal:
Against the line.

Josh Hale:
Truck loads.

Tracy Neal:
Kind of like, can of like the gas station with all the slot machines up against the California border with Nevada. Right.

Josh Hale:
Got it. Yes, sir.

Tracy Neal:
So the wet, dry line has a beer selling store that just's massive.

Josh Hale:
Yep.

Tracy Neal:
So everybody could drive up to the edge.

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
So all the all the everybody that lived in the dry counties, that was the first stop they could hit. And so it was a big, huge drive there.

Tracy Neal:
What's the name of the account?

Josh Hale:
It was called Hills Drive-In.

Tracy Neal:
Hills Drive Drive-In. And so.

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir. Right on the Angelina River in East Texas, in between Nacogdoches and Lufkin.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
So he pulls up and drops me off and my eyes are about as big as apricots. You know, just like. Whoa! And so we had a truck down there and we were just used a forklift pulling pallets off. We just dollie it. So Hills Drive-In there big thing was cold beer. So they had two pre-coolers and a main cooler.

Tracy Neal:
A pre-cooler and a main cooler.

Josh Hale:
Two pre-coolers.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
So you'd roll all the way to the back of the store and load one pre-cooler. But as your loading it, you're pulling beer out of that to load to the second pre-cooler. So all of their beer was chilled for at least seven days before it made it to the main cooler. So it was ice cold.

Tracy Neal:
So it's like the three field system in medieval times.

Josh Hale:
Without a doubt. So, you know, we go in, we're gonna roll 11 hundred cases.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
We're really rolling about 3000 cases. You're moving it from one cooler to the other to the other to the other.

Tracy Neal:
That's exactly like building the display.

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir. Without a doubt.

Tracy Neal:
Right? You know, I tell my friends that sometimes and they say, oh, yeah, you know, you went out. You work the whole day. How many cases did you stack? And I said, well, you know what? We we put on display about 3000. But I think I touched about 9000 because I took down the Pepsi and I took down the macaroni and cheese and I moved the Pepsi and then I moved the mac and cheese. And then I moved this brand for that brand, for that brand. For that brand. It's almost like a for the minimum of a four to one. Sometimes it can be a seven to one.

Josh Hale:
And that didn't even count what you're in the back of the coolers stocking.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
Your own product before you roll in the new stuff and so.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
Yeah. So by the end of the day I thought I was gonna die.

Tracy Neal:
So not a work you're expecting.

Josh Hale:
Yeah. Yeah. I was 19 years old. I was in great shape. Yeah. Football player. You done all that. And as. It's like I'm Superman, you know. But so at the end of the day, I had this giant bruise across my forearm because I didn't understand leverage of the dolly.

Tracy Neal:
I'll see. You took it to deep.

Josh Hale:
Oh, yeah. So I had that dolly kind of resting on my forehead. You know, every rookie in the beer business you see.

Tracy Neal:
Pass the folsom same point and got a whole way to the beer on the floor.

Josh Hale:
Oh yeah, oh yeah. So major accuser had a giant black and blue bruise on my arm that night and the next morning and probably for about a week after that. But I'll tell you, I learned real quick all about leverage and how to operate a dolly. But I will say I'll never forget that day because as hard as it was, I loved doing what it was. I mean, just the words. Right. The camaraderie between the guys I was working with, John. Cole.

Tracy Neal:
Three to four guys all doing this together?

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir. So there was a guy named John Cole who taught me a ton in the business. He was actually one of my brothers, but he had worked there and he taught me a ton about the business. Him, Larry Fleming. I mean, that whole group coming up through Giglio built my foundation. And I learned more from those guys about hard work and ethics and just the little things. And you know it the right way. And you do it the right way everyday. Grace, perfection. There was no shortcuts. And, you know, I really valued that coming from kind of a sports background.

Tracy Neal:
Explain that. What's a sports background? You said you played football. I did a fraternity. What did you go to college?

Josh Hale:
I did. I went to Stephen F. Austin.

Tracy Neal:
Stephen F. Austin , is that in Austin Texas?

Josh Hale:
No, in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Tracy Neal:
And that's on East Texas.

Josh Hale:
So I was 19 years old, going to school.

Tracy Neal:
Can you speel Nacogdoches?

Josh Hale:
N-A-C-O-G-D-O-C-H-E-S.

Tracy Neal:
All I heard was, O-G.

Josh Hale:
There you go. Yeah, I guess the one famous person that came out of Nacogdoches was Clint Dempsey, who played soccer for the U.S. national team.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
He graduated. He actually was playing soccer down there and about 0 1 when I was in Nacogdoches.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
Off the beaten path.

Tracy Neal:
Well call it semi-famous.

Josh Hale:
Yeah, exactly. But.

Tracy Neal:
Going to college now that what you said you were turning what was turning?

Josh Hale:
SA's Pi Kappa Alpha.

Tracy Neal:
Phi Alpha Phi Kappa Alpha shout out to anyone out there.

Josh Hale:
Yeah. There you go. All the guys in the beer business that are all the pikes that I took the path like me as I did not graduate college because when I was 19, I started as a summer job, started making some money. Then all sudden, I got my CDO, got a route and I was loving it. Then I became a salesman. I became an on premise. I did everything in the company. But every year when enroll enrollment would roll around and college and I wouldn't want to get back in. I'd say might think they had a trigger there. You know what? Let's promoting another position. You know, let's get a raise. And sounds like, you know what? I like making this money and I love the beer business. So I'm going to continue doing this. And, you know.

Tracy Neal:
I can imagine that's a common pathway a lot of people have taken and been very successful at it.

Josh Hale:
Without a doubt. You know,.

Tracy Neal:
Because you have.

Josh Hale:
And I looked at it. You know, I would have been graduating about '99, 2000 college. Well, in 2001, I left Nacogdoches and actually moved back home to North Texas. The Denton area,.

Tracy Neal:
Oky.

Josh Hale:
And started working for Miller of Denton, which is now Fisher, 59. Same owners. We just did a little DBA change because we saw a lot more than just Miller.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
And so I had friends that were graduating college that could not find jobs. And I looked at my four years that I spent with Giglio down there in East Texas was my college.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
It taught me the beer business. It taught me what I needed to know to build a good foundation. And then once I got to...

Tracy Neal:
This idea. Giglio, huh?

Josh Hale:
You darn right. And then once I got to Denton, I learned from Dick Fisher. I learned from Clyde Fisher, the sales manager at the, at the time was Carl Hager,.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
And he has kind of been a beer distributor voyeur. He's been across the country working with different distributors. But I learned a ton from him. And, you know, I reached back today and I look at the guys that I just hired last week and I continue to learn from them. It is an ever changing business. You just fall in love with.

Tracy Neal:
That's awesome. And I know I know what you mean when you look back. I saw one of my mentors downstairs at the trade show, Mark Kebi. One of the best bosses I ever had. And I had some good special moments telling him that. And tell him how much I enjoyed working for him, which I didn't know until I got older and looked back on it.

Josh Hale:
Without a doubt.

Tracy Neal:
You know, and I was also talking to another good friend of mine that worked with Dave Madden. And I was telling Dave, I said, you know, if my career is a is a football game here, I feel like I just started the fourth quarter of the third quarter. I said the overall all the years I've been around this beer business, I know. I mean I mean, I know I'm in the lower half. Age wise, this trade show, I'm looking around, there's a lot of new faces and a lot of younger people. I think I'm in the 51 percentile in terms of age now.

Josh Hale:
Without a doubt.

Tracy Neal:
It feels a little weird because I've always been the young guy. I mean, when I got when I got hired at cause I think I was one about four people under 40. Back in 1994, I've always been the young guy. And I don't know, I think I'm in the 51 percentile on age right now.

Josh Hale:
I look at I just turned 42. And so I always consider myself the young guy and I'm looking around. You know, even with my sales team and everybody coming in and our supplier partners. Although now that I've been doing it for 22 years and I'm 42 years old, I'm like, wow, yeah, I'm kind of a wily old veteran. But don't get me wrong. I still look at myself and say, I learned so much from so many people. And you learn it from the people that you least expect. You know, a warehouse employee coming in with no skills whatsoever can teach me something that I never even thought about.

Tracy Neal:
You didn't know that you didn't know.

Josh Hale:
Exactly.

Tracy Neal:
That's called the blind spot.

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir.

Tracy Neal:
Right. There's there's the there's something called the Johari window. It's got four quadrants in it. Right. One quadrant is what you know about me and what I know about me, right? That's openness.

Josh Hale:
Mm hmm.

Tracy Neal:
One quadrant is what you know about me that I don't know about me. That's my blind spot.

Josh Hale:
Gotcha.

Tracy Neal:
Then there's something that I know about me that you don't know about me. Those are called secrets.

Josh Hale:
Mm hmm.

Tracy Neal:
Right. And then you have the you don't know and I don't know about me. That's the. I guess that's about the bizo. There's the black hole right there. The area.

Josh Hale:
The ever unknown.

Tracy Neal:
The ever unknown that resembles extreme growth. If we both get in there and figure it out and learn together. Right. Which takes trust and vulnerability and experience and wisdom and all that kind of stuff. The great way to think about how you grow.

Josh Hale:
And you mentioned that trust and trust is a big thing.

Tracy Neal:
Tell me about trust in your in your your life and your organization, your career.

Josh Hale:
There's a lot of people that I've had to trust and, you know, myself included, trust in the decisions of whether we.

Tracy Neal:
Trust yourself?

Josh Hale:
Yes. Trust my own decisions, you know. And just like in anybody's career path, there's hard decisions that you have to make.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
Do I continue doing this? Do I want to stay here? And I've always felt that I had pretty good instincts and had to trust myself. And what I knew about the situations and I don't say I always make the best decisions, but I look at my career path. I have not I do not have a college degree. I started off, I worked hard. I did every job. And now I'm sitting here with an extremely successful company, with an ownership group that is second to none. Who backs this 110%. And yes, it and here is the vice president and general manager. And like I mentioned, when we walked in here, we just left the meeting. We're building a brand new two hundred and three thousand square foot distribution facility that will be in the middle of November.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
So, you know the little decisions. Yeah. Did we make mistakes here and there? But I think in the grand scheme, the smart people that I have listened to throughout my career that I kind of mentioned earlier and really trusting my gut in making some of the hard decisions and some of the hard decisions were to stay where I am, you know, and when I didn't think there was growth,.

Tracy Neal:
That's always tempting.

Josh Hale:
When I was a sales supervisor and there was a young sales manager ahead of me and I never thought he would go anywhere. And I really looked at different options, you know, where can I go to grow? I was like, I've invested a lot. I'm going to stick here and I will stick it out. And things have worked out. And the Fisher family is taking great care of me. And. And I'd like to think that I've taken good care of them as well. So.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah I'm sure you have. So what would you say to a young merchandiser or sales rep whose first day on the job is today? I'll personify that first person I showed up. And what's going through my head is I went out there and I worked a heck of a lot harder than I thought I was going to have to work. And I'm not sure if this is if I'm long for this job or this industry. What would you say to me?

Josh Hale:
First thing I'll say to them is, yes, it's hard. Second thing is it gets easier every day.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
You know, as as an intro position now, as an account manager and a salesman, it I typically don't starting pay off there. They start off as a route assistant or a merchandiser to kind of learn the basics, learn rotation, learn how to read dates, learn how to build the display, actually learn how to interact with customers, how to interact.

Tracy Neal:
Why is it so important?

Josh Hale:
Well.

Tracy Neal:
You just had back door receiver to kind of an important first.

Josh Hale:
Yes. So I will say, as a salesman, you're always trying to sell something.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
So you're kind of the bad guy. So as a merchandiser or a driver, you're in there providing service. So you're kind of a hero. You know, they get free soda drinks at the convenience stores. You know, the back door receivers usually feel sorry for them when they walk in and they're having to throw 10 bottles of beer. So, you know, they get a little love. But if they can't learn how to develop that relationship and ask for that extra discipline, I've got 20 extra cases of Modelo sitting back here in the backstop. Can I get this on the floor over the weekend? The merchandisers that are able to do those little things and develop that relationship and sell that extra display that the salesman, whether it couldn't do or didn't think about, those are the guys that really catch my attention. And so I tell him, just watch, listen and learn. You know, keep your mouth closed. There are people who will yell at you. Back door receivers. Ideally, they're some of the toughest people, but they're also some of the greatest people.

Tracy Neal:
Their job is to be the choke point, to make sure that the wrong stuff's not coming in. Make sure that there's not too much too little. They're important part of.

Josh Hale:
And if you can learn to deal with them, I think you can be successful as hell in this business. But you have to learn how to deal with each different personality and then you have a store manager who is some of them are great, some are more difficult. And so but you got to learn that balancing act. You know, the way you talk to a receiver and the way you talk to a store manager, two completely different ways. And then you find those guys and you get those guys that are really engaged that want to learn and move up. You know, let's be honest. There's some guys that merchandisers probably also they're going to be. But God love them. We need them. We need those guys in our business. But then we also need those guys to desire more.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah. And if they take pride in how they do their work, they're as important and valuable with anybody else on the team.

Josh Hale:
Without a doubt, those are the guys who become my my merchandiser trainers. My team leads the guys running my department right now. That's where merchandising is their key. They don't want to be the salesmen. But guess what. There's there's room to advance within the company, within each department or within each area or aspect of your business. And if we can help you grow. That's what we're here for.

Tracy Neal:
Yep. And I think it takes all of us a little bit of time and maturity to figure out how hard we want to step on the gas in terms of career growth. You know what I mean? I think coming out of maybe coming out of high school or coming out of college. I think we're all talked to. You know, we'll just put pedal the metal, you know, grow, get promoted, make more money, and you get to a certain point. I don't know. For me, it was probably in my mid 30s where you start to think about it and say, you know, I'm good at putting the pedal, the metal I can keep. I can keep pushing myself with titles. I keep pushing myself with income. I keep pushing myself with responsibility. But I also got to figure out what's a good balance for what I'm comfortable with. And that's different for everybody. We're all different of what we're comfortable with. We're all different terms of what our expectations of income are. And we're definitely different drivers of our comfort, ability of responsibility and decision making. Some people are just really good at decision making. Other people don't like to make decisions at all.

Josh Hale:
When you just hit on the responsibility in decision making. So you know, that's a big part. And as you progress up through your career, that's the one thing that I challenge my team and all of our guys to really consider. Are you ready to take on this responsibility if you're not? That's fine. You know, continue to kick ass and take names where you're at and what you're doing until you really feel ready. And then there are those times that I think they're ready. They might not think they are, but I'm going to push them because I know they are. And they might be a little bit more timid and not want to take that leap of faith, because I was there. I did that. And, you know, as a father of three kids and a husband, you know, family's super important. But the one thing that I take into consideration each and every day when I get up and come to work is, you know, in Denton, we have 164 employees on any given day. So I basically look at that as I have about 500 individual lives that affect on a daily basis with what I do. That is a big responsibility. And if you don't because everyone has a family, a spouse, a more child, a mortgage, something that that they're having to do, and the decisions that I can make on a daily basis will directly affect everything in their future. So I have to be able to think soundly and make those decisions. And that's kind of what I teach our young guys coming up. And I let them know. I let them know that about myself. I said, I take that to heart that directly affect anything and everything that everybody that comes here every day. Anything in your life. I really take that to heart and I try to strive for that. I tell you, I want you to expect 110 percent for me every single day. But I'm going to in turn asset from you. And when we do our new heart orientations, that's one of the first things that I tell. And we live it, breathe it just the way it is.

Tracy Neal:
Did you see that the speaker today, the gal that was the pilot for the Thunderbirds.

Josh Hale:
Nicole was awesome.

Tracy Neal:
She blew the doors out.

Josh Hale:
She was awesome.

Tracy Neal:
I mean, my expectations were not that high because I've seen the Thunderbirds and the the Blue Angels a couple of times. And this for the listeners out there. This was a woman who was the first female pilot of the Thunderbirds, her name was Nicole. I can't remember her last name Nicole but.

Josh Hale:
I couldn't pronounce I'd butcher if I try to pronounce.

Tracy Neal:
It's a long last name. And so, you know, my expectations was here's a woman who's going to talk about being a female pilot. Pilot. Right. She was unbelievable.

Josh Hale:
Steel Sharp and Still.

Tracy Neal:
Steel Sharp and Still. I mean, I took about five paragraphs of notes. She was so good. She was she was outstanding. And I was amazed at her ability to apply all the lessons she learned in the Air Force to. The beer industry. She really did her homework and she made it so that I didn't have to translate everything in my own head. She was talking in our own language, which was really cool.

Josh Hale:
You know, everything we just say, you know, self-doubt, stepping up, taking the leap. She did that throughout her whole career. That's how we just got her talking about.

Tracy Neal:
Half of her presentation's was showing us all the failure she had and how she recovered from which was great. You know where to be vulnerable up there.

Josh Hale:
Oh, yeah.

Tracy Neal:
It was unbelievable presentation. I wish everybody could have seen it. So she had a quote up there called Steel Sharp and Still. Tell me what you thought about Steel Sharp and Still.

Josh Hale:
You know, as we were sitting at lunch today with our whole executive team and were we were talking about that. And I think that is something that is we do it, but I don't think we do it to the extent that we probably should.

Tracy Neal:
But we meant contract, right?

Josh Hale:
Yeah. Any of our companies. Yeah. I'm the first one to admit that I make mistakes all day and I'll admit it. But her philosophy of carrying that out throughout the company.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
You know, everybody makes mistakes. But if you don't call that mistake out and let everyone know, then it will continue to happen. That's what I took.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
You know, let's bring it to light. Let's own it. We're not going to kill you or murder you. You're not going to get written up or fired over making a mistake. I've always looked at mistakes with effort are so forgivable if as long as you're given effort, you make a mistake. I truly don't care. Mistakes of laziness. I really do. Those are the ones that get under my crawl. So, you know, calling a guy out. But I think we all learn from each other's mistakes.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
You know, and so being able to address that with your teams and individual departments, you know, that's what we sat down and talked about.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
You know, that's just an actual step. We want to bring in to our meetings.

Tracy Neal:
I told my team the exact same thing at our lodge. I said, you know what? We're gonna start the Steel Sharp and Still philosophy. And to kind of explain that to the listening crowd here, she used the word Steel Sharp and Still, Steel Sharp and Still. Was there a code word in their squadron for I've let the team down by not upholding the standards that we've agreed to and nobody knows it. But I'm going to be forward coming and I'm going it I'm going to share how I let the team down. And they would take the call. I got a Steel Sharp and Still moment. I mean, I let everybody know I dropped the ball. So it's kind of like we were talking at my lunch. It's almost like keeping score in golf. You're opening beer. Three, two, one, go. Oh, yeah.

Josh Hale:
Good conversation. I need a second one.

Tracy Neal:
You beat me in the second beer. We were talking earlier. It's kind of like keeping score on golf.

Josh Hale:
Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
Right. It's the honor code. You know, when you're out golfing, I got a hard enough time keeping track of my own swearwords and my ball to count your strokes. You know, that's that's it's like also gentlemen's game, they call it, you know, because you're supposed to be honest about it. And you get up there and say, you know, I had nine strokes, so I had seven strokes. I mean, maybe some people have sex money, usually between nine and seven, but anyway. I like that. Steel Sharp and Still. And that's I liked it. And I didn't like it because as soon as I said that, I thought to myself, how many times have I let my team down on something that I knew I should have done? And, you know, we're not talking about being mischievous or lying or stealing or just little standards. Like I said, I was gonna do some, but I didn't do it. But I can get away with that because I'm the boss.

Josh Hale:
Yeah. Or I can get away with it because. And maybe I'll do it tomorrow. Maybe I'll do it next week and no one will ever know. And as you mentioned, that it kind of really triggered me. You think about our business, our account managers who are out selling each day. You know, they're probably better friends with the competition than they are with their own co-workers, because as they're out on their own route, they see the Pepsi guy. They see the button. You know where MillerCoors. So they see the Bud guy. They see the Coke guy. They see those guys more often than they see their own co-workers as they're out selling around. So, you know, if their supervisors not on top of them every single day. So if they're taking shortcuts, if they're not doing something. But if you have the let's own let's be responsible. We're not going to kill you for what did you do? And that's one thing we've always done in our sales meetings. We kind of ended with success stories, success stories. You know, what did you do today, whether it was a reset, whether it's a display, no matter what it was, got package placement.

Tracy Neal:
You have some failure stories coming up?

Josh Hale:
But you need to add those because those are the coaching and learning moments, whether we even bring them up and address them, just have guys address it. And then I guarantee two or three other guys in the room were saying, you know what, I did that same shit. I thought, oh.

Tracy Neal:
Maybe you could maybe give them like anonymously put into the offering plate.

Josh Hale:
Yeah, exactly.

Tracy Neal:
So that way you can read them without embarrassing.

Josh Hale:
Without a doubt.

Tracy Neal:
We're gonna go to the steel sharp and steel box. We're gonna pull a couple of things and talk about them. I did this vlog of all of all of you. OK. I don't know who did this. If you did, here's how I would handle it. Here's what you can learn from it.

Josh Hale:
Exactly.

Tracy Neal:
That's good. Yeah. She was an outstanding speaker.

Josh Hale:
Yeah, I was super impressed.

Tracy Neal:
So what else is part of the Josh Hale DNA as a leader? I was talking to somebody today about the podcast. Somebody came up to me. In fact, it was kind of nice. I had five or six people told me, hey, you're Tracy Neal. You did the podcast. I'm like, wow, somebody is listening.

Josh Hale:
That's right.

Tracy Neal:
I see I see several hundred downloads per episode. But I always you know, you talk about self-doubt and all that. You know what? My my my stinking thinking tells me nobody's listening. Everybody subscribe. And it just auto downloaded automatically in the background and nobody actually listened to this. So when I get five or six people on the same day recognize me, I gotta tell you, my my confidence was a little up today. And I walked up here with a little little taller and I thought, well, I'm on record a podcast and at least five or six are gonna listen.

Josh Hale:
I'm glad I got to be here for you, yes sir.

Tracy Neal:
But it was kind of interesting because one of the gentlemen I talked to, he said, you know, what I really like is the leadership lessons. He goes, I think it's great that you're talking to the sales reps and telling them about the chronological history of the industry and stuff like that, because I really like the leadership lessons. So what would be part of your if we were, you know, documenting Josh Hale's leadership DNA you've talked about, you know, mistakes with effort. It's so clearly effort. You talked about 110 percent. Those are part of your DNA. What are some of the things that are part of the Josh Hale DNA of leadership?

Josh Hale:
Walk the walk and talk to talk. I mean, honestly, if if I say something, I'm not going to expect anybody who I work with to do anything that I would not do, whether it's going out in the repack room and fixing breaker's picking up trash off the where else for six o'clock at night, going home, stopping at a 7-Eleven.

Tracy Neal:
Merchandise it?

Josh Hale:
And going and spending 30 minutes in the cooler, stocking the shelf. It's what we do. It is. And it's always it's hard work. But I always end up with guys, for God's sake. We sell beer for a living.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
There are a lot worse jobs out there.

Tracy Neal:
Oh, yeah.

Josh Hale:
I was like whether it's a hundred and ten or it's pouring down rain and you're on the truck. Either way, it works. We sell beer for a living.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
We get to do this is a privilege to come and do this and work for an independent company. We're not tied to anything else. We're an independent beer distributor. And guess what? We all have a say in how this thing moves forward.

Tracy Neal:
I remember there was a time in my career in probably the first five or six years where I was looking to get out of beer. I wanted to do something different. I thought, the grass is greener. I thought the ice cream guy made more money than me. I thought the Wonderbread guy made more money than me. You know, I thought the potato chip guy. Yeah. The truth is, they all probably did, but not in the long run.

Josh Hale:
Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
Not in the long run.

Josh Hale:
If it does that potato chip guy get to go to a Cowboys game?

Tracy Neal:
Nope.

Josh Hale:
Does he get to go on a cool trip to Mexico. Or does he get the opportunity to work out to be a vice president jam and sit here in a hotel room in Las Vegas at NBWA.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah. Three hundred ninety five dollar a night hotel room. I mean, it's a basic hotel room, by the way. Guys, this is not a suite. Vegas. Vegas knows when there's a conference in town and they jack the prices a little.

Josh Hale:
That is correct.

Tracy Neal:
So. All right. Well, over the history of your career, you've seen some some brand introductions. I usually don't go too much into suppliers and trends, you know, because those things change. But if we go back five or ten years, what's one, the cooler brand introductions that you're involved with?

Josh Hale:
Wow.

Tracy Neal:
I know you've seen a few. Right.

Josh Hale:
Seen a ton. And I'll be honest. It's all the talk of everything today. But when it came out three years ago, we're like, there's no way in hell this will ever sell.

Tracy Neal:
Like what?

Josh Hale:
Seltzer.

Tracy Neal:
The seltzer, the hard seltzer.

Josh Hale:
Yeah, just just the whole seltzer category.

Tracy Neal:
I remember it was launched you're right.

Josh Hale:
I remember as our Boston Beer rep brought it in, which she was the first one to sample it.

Tracy Neal:
So it's truly.

Josh Hale:
Truly. And the whole room everybody is like because we're big guys. We're used to drinking beer. And I'll be honest with you. I probably drink more seltzer now than I do beer because my wife drink seltzer and that's what's in the house. So I'll drink that when I'm on the yard. But three years ago, 90 percent of the room was like, this won't sell heavy flavor.

Tracy Neal:
I bet if you could get in the brain of every sales rep that sampled it three years ago, I could. I could, with a high degree of confidence, narrowed down to two words. That's cute.

Josh Hale:
Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
Right. And that sells a little bit. Then that's cool.

Josh Hale:
Now they're all making tons of money off.

Tracy Neal:
Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Josh Hale:
And we all are. But I mean, it's it's amazing how the beer business has changed. Yeah. I mean, I'll say probably the most exciting evolution in the beer business or introduction. And I screamed for it. I know a ton of us Miller guys scream for it for years. It was bringing back this, as I'm showing Tracy.

Tracy Neal:
Show me as Miller Lite can.

Josh Hale:
The white can.

Tracy Neal:
Oh the white can.

Josh Hale:
The white can, the original white can when that came out. Was it six, seven years ago when Miller brought it back?

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
You know, that's when the trend started changing. You know, we went from a gray can with a circle logo just watching the evolution of brands in the packaging and the marketing guys.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
You know, what we do is not hard in the day to day big grand scheme.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
It's getting displays, getting distribution and servicing our customers and making sure we have share of mind with them when it comes to consideration for new items that come out.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
If you had the share of mind I can bring. Who cares? But if that retailer trusts me and trusts our sales team, then we're gonna get it on the shelf and.

Tracy Neal:
Described share of mind for me. I know what it is, but I've I've had some distributors say that they're actually starting to make this podcast either highly recommended or mandatory for new hire orientation. So no better time than on your first day on the job to learn from Josh Hale what share a mind means.

Josh Hale:
So share of mind is. It's basically going back to what we said earlier. It's the trust. Do you do what you say and do you say what you do when you're talking with a retailer? If I tell you that I'm going to be here at 6 o'clock on a Saturday evening to stock your store, you know that I'm here if I tell you that this beer that is coming in, that's hot off the shelf and I'll make sure that you're gonna get it. I get it delivered to you on your next delivery. Whatever you do, you live up to your word with that retailer and they are in that. Trust, and once they trust you, you have that share of mine and share a business, you become their advocate. You control their boxset as long as you make the right decisions. You know, it's not just for what's in mine. You know, I compete against Bennie Keith of Giant Bud distributor in the country.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah, big one.

Josh Hale:
But guess what? They have brands that are absolutely on fire. And if I don't take care of their brands, when we go in and propose a boxset, then I'm not doing justice by that retailer. When I go in there, I better be grown Michelob Ultra space, even though it stares me in the heart to do it. It's what's right for the business. So I'm going to grow that Michelob Ultra space as I'm growing my Corona space and even Miller Lite, who's gaining share in North Texas, I'm going to gain Seltzer's space.

Tracy Neal:
How about the latter days? Yeah. The 30 packs strawbery latter days.

Josh Hale:
You know what.

Tracy Neal:
A little package out there right now.

Josh Hale:
It's it's a. Whoever knew a pink flamingo would sell some beer. But.

Tracy Neal:
It's working.

Josh Hale:
The stuff is working. It is. It truly is.

Tracy Neal:
I worked. I worked a crew drive with Anheuser-Busch distributor. Over the Fourth of July, I touch quite a few pallets in that day. It was amazing.

Josh Hale:
Oh, yeah. I mean.

Tracy Neal:
It's out there.

Josh Hale:
Just look at the IRA and the Nielsen numbers. I mean it when you have something like that that's just popping up and it's glaring and.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
You know. Innovation's huge in this business. But going back to that share of mine in that trust, innovation doesn't make the shelf unless they trust you. And that's that share of mine that I was talking about. You have to be able to have that retailers here, but also have the back story in the crowd behind your own game that they're going to trust you to bring in what's good for their business.

Tracy Neal:
What are your favorite ways to build street cred?

Josh Hale:
Wow. Service. I really think it's as a company. I think it service.

Tracy Neal:
Okay. Yeah, that's. That's even a bigger question. As an independent merchandise or sales rep, what percentage of the street cred is attributable to you and what percentage is it? The company company reputation?

Josh Hale:
I don't think it's me. You know me. What what I'm able to do now is, you know, a lot of local events and charities. We're able to get our name out. We donate beer and we make sure that everybody, you know, has a Miller Lite or a Shiner Bock or Corona in their hand at the Chamber Mixer. You know, I'm not the one on the street every day. It's my front level, guys. It's mass delivery team. It's my salesmen. It's my merchandisers. Hell, it's my warehouse guys on the back of the house that are making sure that the orders are correct when they get out there so that the receivers aren't pissed off when we back up and hit the dock. You know, it's our team who does all that, but that's where the street cred comes in. And we as beer distributors, we're just like a waiter. I go back to where I started as a waiter 25 years ago and a bartender. We're in the service industry. If we do not provide service to our retailers and I'm not talking about just going in stock in their stores.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
I'm talking about bringing them knowledgeable solutions to grow their business. If we don't do that, then why are we in business?

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
And that is how we get our street cred. And that is how our guys are able to earn the respect of the retailer, earn the respect of their competitors. But I walk into a Kroger and I need to go in there and get a display on the floor. If my merchandise around Sunday afternoon didn't give a good pull that store managers pissed off, I have to know that our teams provide in the service day in and day out. So this store, whether it's Kroger racetrack or the little independent down the street. If we're not taking care of their business and making sure that they are able to make money, then there is no way that we can go in there and ask for that business. Each sales call.

Tracy Neal:
Awesome. Very well said. I think a lot of people that are new in their career will get a lot of value out of that. What's. Tell me about a strategy or an incentive or something that you did that bombed? You know, we talked about Nicole's ability to be vulnerable and shit and presentations of her failures. What's something that you sticks out in your mind over the last 20 year career here? And you think, man, did I screw that up? But clearly, you're still here. So somebody provided you some grace and forgiveness on it. But let's learn from it. Let's have a learning session.

Josh Hale:
Wow. That's a long list. You know.

Tracy Neal:
With all the good leadership talk and vulnerability trust that we can't not go right.

Josh Hale:
Oh, I know. Kind of screwed up many of things. And to be honest, a lot of has been on our service levels. You know, trying different things, you know, trying to. Okay. Can we do this and be more efficient by doing it this way? Can we do merchandising? We tried a new merchandising program. Price six years ago. And some other distributors were doing it. It's kind of having a chase team follow the truck worked order at grocery stores. Well, our market in particular, grocery stores are a huge percentage of our business.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Josh Hale:
So the way we do it now, we have a consistent merchandise or same guys in there Monday through Friday, five days a week, five days a week. And then I have a weekend team down Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.

Tracy Neal:
Wow.

Josh Hale:
Yes. And so everybody is doing it. Vinicky is doing it. Andrews is doing it down Dallas. I mean, it's part of anywhere in Texas, the part the grocery stores are being merged merchandise that way. I know there's other distributors that don't have to do that and maybe in some rural areas. But we have 42 grocery stores that make up about 40 percent of our business. Okay. So we really have to take care of them going back to that service level. And so we tried to tweak some stuff and have different guys work in the stores on different days. We found that our breaker's increased.

Tracy Neal:
Breaker's mean breakage?

Josh Hale:
Yes.

Tracy Neal:
You call your breakage.

Josh Hale:
Yeah, breakage in the store because you had guys in there throwing the order that weren't going to be in there tomorrow. Shells weren't getting stocked. Rotation went so just on service. I just throw that out there. That was a big bomb. So we did it were about three months and then resorted back to our old way with tweaks. You know, we continue to tweak it throughout. But having a consistent person in there who is responsible for that product on a daily basis is the best way, in my opinion.

Tracy Neal:
You took a chance. You tried something different, didn't work. You either lost money or lost sales or both.

Josh Hale:
Both.

Tracy Neal:
Both. Okay. Unfortunately. And give it about 90 days and then course corrected.

Josh Hale:
Yes.

Tracy Neal:
Altered a little bit. Good.

Josh Hale:
Yeah. I mean, numerous other you know, I don't know if you've ever had an incentive that fail to be honest because you know, enough is the carrot for the guys. You know, they're always out there going after regardless of whether it's a trip or dollars, putting a sales team is ready to go.

Tracy Neal:
But incentive. I was thinking, when I say a failed incentive, I was thinking that sometimes the carrot. You know, I used do a lot of incentives in my MBO planning, you know, pre-planning every month. And I felt like sometimes I'd sit down my distributor and we would say, okay, we're gonna put up a budget of seven thousand dollars and we want 2 percent growth. Right. And guess what? We guys worked their butts off and we get 0.3 growth and go through six thousand dollars right in the next month. We give away sixteen thousand dollars and get 1 percent growth. So a failed incentive or an incentive that maybe needs adjustment could also be you paid out too much and didn't get the results. You made it too easy. Or you or you more than likely. What usually happens is you missed a loophole. Right. That's the most common thing. A lot of time instead of. I feel like I don't have the time, do this, they're gonna achieve this. We're gonna pay this boom loophole. I didn't think of because I've got some creative sales guys that busted a loophole, took me three weeks to figure it out. Now I'm out, you know, six or ten or seventeen thousand dollars in payments.

Josh Hale:
I just I'm a third year the one care at. Because you close a lot of loopholes.

Tracy Neal:
Did we?

Josh Hale:
One of the thing on incentive is that I would have guys submit pictures and who knew when that picture was taken? Now, a CPG Data that loopholes closed. I will say, yeah, there are incentives out there, but we really scrub our incentives between myself and ourselves managers and our teams before anything is published. All the goals, whether it's a volume goal, a distribution goal or display goal, they're scrubbed their scrub between our internal team. They're scrubbed with our partners. Know supplier partners are gonna come in with some outstanding outrageous goals. Yeah. Yeah, they make want to come in with I need two hundred and fifty displays of this and an independent site. It doesn't really work. I only have about two hundred and ten independent so that's not gonna work. Come on. And half of those are ten case a week stopped. You know, whatever it may be. So. So you can't always trust what the what the supplier rep or what the computer generates. If you don't do your homework it will not be correct. So you that's the one thing I always say. You have to always do your homework.

Tracy Neal:
Nice. All right. I've got two questions left for you as we start to wrap it up. The first one is, who do you want to give a shout out to that helped you get to where you are? You know, you mentioned a lot of names, but this is this is the official shout out section of the podcast. Could you all give a shout out to the help you get to where you are today? Give them big thanks for helping grow your career, steer, steer you in the right direction or where you've ended up.

Josh Hale:
There's three people in three different phases of my career. So didn't work with him a whole lot, but I was able to watch him from afar and able to model what I want to be in this business. Charles Giglio.

Tracy Neal:
Charles Giglio.

Josh Hale:
Charles Giglio. And you know what? You just said something that's so cool because I do that to some of my best mentors have no idea they're my mentors. And sometimes I don't even interact with them. But I look up to them and I model them. And I said, that's the guy I want to be. And I want to say the names of my mentors, because that's part of the game in my head is they don't know. And they keep their standards high. They haven't let me down. They're still doing it. They're still raising their own bar. And I say, I want to be like that guy. So to Charles Gigli. All right. Second phase, when I got to Denton, Carl Hager.

Tracy Neal:
Carl Hager.

Josh Hale:
And then third as current right now, Tom McElveney.

Tracy Neal:
Tom McElveney.

Josh Hale:
He's the president of our company right now. His background from his MillerCoors is distributor days. Run and half the country with juice working a director with Diageo. He's seen the country. He's been there, done that. And he's the one that I'm learning more right now as my in my GM vice president role, who I'm able to really bounce ideas.

Tracy Neal:
Absorb from huh. That's awesome. Well, since you wanted to be a cocktail bartender in the Bahamas, I would assume that you've got to have some sort of a get rich quick leadership book under the bar. Are you a are you a guy that reads those kinds thing? Are you a reader or are you a podcaster or are you a quote guy? What will get you going in terms of learning, advancing yourself?

Josh Hale:
I've never been a great reader. I've always been a good listener. So I will take in college, high school. I never could take notes. I don't know if is the ADD kicking in or whatever, but I can sit and watch and listen. And our retained 99% if I'm taking notes.

Tracy Neal:
So do you like TED Talks?

Josh Hale:
I do. I like I like to listen. So I go to meetings. I love peer trainings. I love listening to any can you know. I will read like beer swags. But be honest. I'll listen to your podcast. I like to hear what other people in the industry you're talking about. What are they experiencing? Because I'm not alone in art. And my challenge, everybody has a challenge. And believe it or not, whether you're a distributor in Denton, Texas or and Portland, Oregon, we're probably battle the same things every single day. And, you know.

Tracy Neal:
Just driving around selling beer.

Josh Hale:
Without a doubt.

Tracy Neal:
Nice. I love Ted Talks, too. If anybody out there has never heard of a TED talk. It's a YouTube video. Check it out if you need a very simple introductory Ted Talk will allow you. There's one on the dung beetle. How and why? The dung beetle collects his dung in Africa. It's amazing. Open your eyes is like what a TED Talks all about.

Josh Hale:
At the end of the day, the one that brings it all home. I will say it's my wife.

Tracy Neal:
Nice.

Josh Hale:
She's the one who keeps everything level. And, you know, this business is hard. And that's my advice to everybody. Anybody listening? Family First. You know, work is there. It'll be there tomorrow. And it's hard. But take care yourselves.

Tracy Neal:
What's your wife's name?

Josh Hale:
My name. My wife's name is Kelly Hale and my best friend. And she puts up with the crap that I do every single day.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
I'm in Vegas for four days and she's at home with three kids show soccer game. So shout out to her. But, you know. Know and understand that you have to have a support system because this is a hard business.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Josh Hale:
And having a good support system helps you get through those hard times.

Tracy Neal:
Big shout out to the wives out there. In fact, you know what one of these days are to get a spouse of a distributor, GM. How's that for a podcast?

Josh Hale:
There you go.

Tracy Neal:
Maybe it'd be Kelly. All right, good. Kelly, thank you, Kelly. Okay. My last and final question, a bit self-serving here. Yes, sir. Towards you guys. I've been a customer of the iSellBeer platform right. Form of the CPG Data for a long time. Can you give me a shameless plug on what it does for you and how you use it? And why you can you tell me that you see it as an investment instead of a cost? Why do you see the iSellBeer platform as an investment?

Josh Hale:
Wow. From the display, tracking, the distribution, tracking, you know, going back to Tom McElveney, you say, you know, one of the goals that we give our on premise team is getting features. Well, if you do, if you can score 100 percent on your feature MBO every month, then shame on you. But now guess what? It's a picture. It's geo coded. We know where it is. We're able to tag it in a promo app.

Tracy Neal:
The promo app is being rebuilt by the way. There's a new one coming out.

Josh Hale:
I heard that.

Tracy Neal:
15th. It's going to rock.

Josh Hale:
I've heard that.

Tracy Neal:
All kinds of on premise promotions.

Josh Hale:
Well, my tap handle survey that I have to submit MillerCoors Quarterly. Guess what? It just became a lot easier because we do it through CPG Sata. iSellBeer.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
And now you're you guys submitted all the MillerCoors Summer incentives where we used to have to log in to submit them. You guys interface and handle that now.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Josh Hale:
Our route accounting software, Encompass, you guys just got on with them. And so we're not having to submit customer lists and the account manager changes. You guys are pulling that data out of our system now. There's so many things and advantages and tweaks that you have made. You know, it was a display basically display log initially six years ago when we started and where it is today. But we've adapted our business along the way with everything that you've added on. We've brought that into our business and everything has saved us time. It saved us energy and it saved Marcel's managers. Recapping time. My supervisors from being able to go out and check. But guess what? There are suppliers that call every single day and say, well, Walmart's only showing you because Walmart display execution, it's off. However many cases showing on inventory, a store, the displays there. Well, hey, I've got a date, time and geo coded picture. Here it is. I got every display up that you need. Yep. And you know, it saves us time from having to go and find it or drive to the store to verify and take a picture and, you know, text it to the rep. I'm able to pull it up at my laptop or on my phone while I'm in the market and download. Pull it, send it.

Tracy Neal:
Awesome.

Josh Hale:
It's just the access and the ease has been so beneficial to our business.

Tracy Neal:
That's awesome. Well, thank you. From a business perspective, I appreciate you as a customer. I thank you for trusting us as being your partner execution as a friend and one of the first customers of all time.

Josh Hale:
Yes sir.

Tracy Neal:
I love you, Josh. It's been great having you on the podcast.

Josh Hale:
Thank you Tracy.

Tracy Neal:
Good luck on that next account call. And let's get out there and help everyone sell more beer.

Josh Hale:
Cheers, everyone.

Tracy Neal:
Cheers. Thanks, Josh.

Josh Hale:
Yes, sir.

So what's the best tasting beer in America? Who cares? That's for the consumer to decide. And until they do, you will keep selling them new brands every day as a distributor sales rep. You can become a part of the iSellBeer Nation by subscribing to this podcast and using the #iSellBeer in all your social posts. Also, be sure to join the iSellBeer Nation Facebook Group and visit our website. Our industry is an up and down the street business where local relationships matter. I want to thank you for making me a part of your day and wish you good luck on the objectives for your next account call. In fact, I know you're gonna crush it.

Automatically convert your audio files to text with Sonix. Sonix is the best online, automated transcription service.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Rapid advancements in speech-to-text technology has made transcription a whole lot easier. Automated transcription can quickly transcribe your skype calls. All of your remote meetings will be better indexed with a Sonix transcript. More computing power makes audio-to-text faster and more efficient. Are you a radio station? Better transcribe your radio shows with Sonix. Create and share better audio content with Sonix. Do you have a podcast? Here's how to automatically transcribe your podcasts with Sonix. Get the most out of your audio content with Sonix. Here are five reasons you should transcribe your podcast with Sonix.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Sonix is the best online audio transcription software in 2020—it's fast, easy, and affordable.

If you are looking for a great way to convert your audio to text, try Sonix today.

Wait! Before You Go

FREE DOWNLOAD: A deck on Motivating Generation XBOX (your employees who spend all night gaming)