Ep 029, Scott Nielsen, Bedrock Training Solutions

Scott Nielsen is an industry leader in training and development. Listen as Tracy and Scott talk about Scott’s first day selling beer, the things he learned and the relationships he made along the way. Our industry is all about our community, and we couldn’t be more proud to present to you Scott Nielsen.

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Scott Nielsen:
We've got to get past this idea that our way was the right way. No, it wasn't. Our way was the way in which we did it, their ways, the way in which the future is going to be. So our responsibility is to be in that moment of time that basically says how do we collectively move forward? Because that's what that's what our goal is. So our job is, yeah, that's what responsibility is.

Tracy Neal:
My guest for episode number twenty nine is Scott Nielsen. For those of you from the Coors Brewing Company Network. You'll recognize Scott's name because he was the head instructor for Learning and People Development at Coors Brewing Company back in the 90s. And for most of the 2000s, yes, those were the good old days when breweries would fly distributor sales managers back to the brewery for business and leadership training. And as a result, there are hundreds, if not thousands of industry leaders who have graduated from S.M.S., Sales Management Seminar that are now leading distributorships and working for all different suppliers in beer, wine, spirits and other CPG companies. I myself am a three time graduate of S. M.S. in 1997, 2003 and 2005. And not only do I have my Plax from Scott on my office wall today, but I credit much of what I learned about execution and people development back to my S.M.S. Classes with Scott. And before you begin, here's a shout out to a few of my fellow s.m s graduates from those classes who are still rocking it and beer. Craig Mikatakasa, Mark Kirklson, Tom Corno,. Tony Ameral, Nasser Alimusa, Greg Meredith, Dave Chow, Rick Queada, Deacon Nauslar, Dave Madden, John Donelson, Steve Corrigan and V Scott Naro. I hope you enjoy this as much as did. iSellBeer presents to you, Scott Nielsen.

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

Do you know the freakin chips, Kip?

Don't be jealous that I've been shown online games.

We have a pawn in the back yard pool and a pot of tea. Good for you.

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:
All right, Scott. Welcome to the podcast.

Scott Nielsen:
Thanks. I appreciate that.

Tracy Neal:
Thank you for taking the time to be here. It's really exciting. And of course, we've talked a couple of times over the years. And in the introduction I gave the history of our our background and how we worked together. And as I said, the introduction here, you're always someone that I admired and looked up to in the roles that you had in learning and development and as well as a mentor because you had just high standards of professionalism. You always held me accountable and little known secret about me as I actually really like people that hold me accountable because I feel like I'm coachable. And you were always a great, great coach in that area. So thanks for being here. So as I said, the intro also we're seeing the hotel room in Fort Collins. You drove up here from Denver to meet with me today. So thank you very much for making that happen. About a year ago, we had breakfast out in California getting caught up. And while you tell me a little about your background.

Scott Nielsen:
Well, of course, I'm in my 42nd year in the industry.

Tracy Neal:
42 years.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. So it's been kind of a cool ride and some great things yet to accomplish and everything. But of course, most of those years were spent with Coors Brewing Company in a number of different levels and stuff. But the last fifteen, sixteen years been focusing its learning and development and helping people move forward and and kind of focus against those things. So.

Tracy Neal:
OK, good. And now you're working. You have your own company called Bedrock Solutions.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
Tell me a little about Bedrock Solutions.

Scott Nielsen:
Well, it's actually something that I developed probably about 9, 10 years ago now. And it just kind of sat in the rafters a little bit focused, a little bit about, again, its majority around people and things like that. But it was also trying to find where those different avenues are in terms of what organizations we're looking for to kind of either help develop themselves or to help develop individuals as well. And it's just one piece of what I do. I mean, I recently became an adjunct professor. So I lost I do economics for a business school.

Tracy Neal:
Which one?

Scott Nielsen:
It's Chadron State College up in Chater, Nebraska.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Scott Nielsen:
And then I do guest lecturing for the brewing division program at Metro State University. Guess lecturing means I don't get paid. So.

Tracy Neal:
But it's fun.

Scott Nielsen:
It is fun. And I. So I teach a couple of I lecture in a couple of classes there each year.

Tracy Neal:
On the brewing process.

Scott Nielsen:
On the brewing process. It's more on the HR side. And again, you know, managing people and where do you look for resources for people and in how to properly put together the right organization structures to make those things happen. So it keeps me on the beer side. Yeah. And that's kind of where that focus comes in. And then I do consulting for a couple of distributorships again around people, development.

Tracy Neal:
People developments important. Right. I mean, it's it's critical.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah, this is probably, you know, when you start looking at next generation and and we've got two of them in the wings now.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Scott Nielsen:
So we're at the tail end of what would be the millennials. And they're tired of hearing that particular piece. But for the first time now, you know, Generation Z is starting to come into the equation, which there's a lot of similarities of gen z with millennials, but there's also a lot of differences.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Scott Nielsen:
And so my number one focus is helping organizations understand how to properly onboard these types of individuals to achieve that. The most they can going forward.

Tracy Neal:
On the training is so important too, you know, I've been running my own business. Now it's almost seven years. It just kind of depends where I count the anniversary. I mean, the official anniversary when I incorporated with business papers. Right. And that's gonna come up in April. But when I actually sat down with developers and figured out, are we going to build the software was seven years ago this week.

Scott Nielsen:
Sure. Cool.

Tracy Neal:
And so I've been in this world of entrepreneurial is for seven years. But prior to that, I had 20 something years of big corporate business working for Coors and MillerCoors a little bit of stint at Intel and a little bit at Hewlett Packard. And I can't tell you in my entrepreneurial circles, my peers tell me and they remind me. And of course, I now looking back, reflect on it just how valuable all the corporate training that I had in those first 20 years of my career was. Thanks. A lot of it was, to. Coors Brewing Company. Of course, you were the big lead on that. So I I know that when companies say especially back Coors used to say in their terms, you know, our people are our greatest asset. You were the face behind that statement.

Scott Nielsen:
Well, I. Reshaped dad. I mean, I was one of many, but it certainly reported up through a pretty cool structure that believed that, you know, the unfortunate side and this is the biggest difference. Ah, right, right now. You know, boomer generation, the next generation, which, you know, following that we're more Rumball Yuppies side, everything. You know, you were led to believe that if you joined the right organization, you started at the bottom work your way up, you're going to get the right development, the right training behind it. In this isn't true anymore, training, development, learning and development is probably one of the most expensive areas that an organization can invest in. But they're just not able to because everybody is looking at where do I make my savings and my costs, cuttings and those types of things. And also, we're at a different point in our lives. I mean, knowledge is at our fingertips. So, you know, whatever you're looking for, you can open up your. I mean, we put the man on the moon today with an iPhone. I mean, it has that capability to do those things. So as a result of it, we've also learned to think that, you know, if somebody needs, you know, something, they can just open up their phone and Google something or YouTube something or, you know, do a life, hack something in it. Yeah. This is not true. And that's where the fallacy starts to come into. But, you know, developing people in in making the right decisions is the key system. So that always comes in.

Tracy Neal:
I have so many different ways. I want to take this conversation, you know. I want to I want to. But I'm going to come back to something in a minute. But I definitely ask you at some point, what is your advice for the sales reps of distributors to day? Don't answer that yet. But, you know, a lot of our listeners out there are, as we say, sales reps of distributors who are driving around all day selling beer. Yeah. And you not only knew what it took to be successful 20, 30 years ago or 42 years ago. But but now I know you study on that a lot. I want to talk to you a lot about some of. What are some of the core things that we used to do? At Coors Brewing Company that are outdated, that are still relevant today. What are some of those things? But before I get into both of those questions, as well as telling some more stories. I want to ask you, how did you get into the beer business? What? What. What happened 42 years ago that rolled a young Scott Nielsen, you know, not into insurance, not into construction, not into retail, not into education, but rolled you into beer. And how did that happen?

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah, that's. I don't know if it's a cool story or not, but, you know, I came of age when age was lowered. Of course, at that particular boy time. So that's what adds the years to it.

Tracy Neal:
So it was 18.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. 18 in Iowa. Because I grew up in Omaha.

Tracy Neal:
OK.

Scott Nielsen:
And 19 in Nebraska. So I was and I was an older student in high school to begin with. I was actually 18 during my junior year and 19 during my senior year. So I had a you know, I was already enjoying the fruits of everything. But.

Tracy Neal:
You were experienced in tasting beer.

Scott Nielsen:
That's exactly what it was. And so I went to school out in western Nebraska, and I got involved with a lot of campus activities, a lot of programs. And cause was just basically rolling into the state at that particular point in time. They'd been there for a few months. OK. But the local distributor is looking for a campus rep. And he had asked me if I knew anybody. And I looked and I go, well, I think I'm the guy.

Tracy Neal:
This guy. Yeah. Exact two thumbs. This guy.

Scott Nielsen:
You know.

Tracy Neal:
What year we in, by the way?

Scott Nielsen:
This would've been. Seventy seven. Seventy eight.

Tracy Neal:
1977, '78. OK.

Scott Nielsen:
So my my first job because we were the small western town and the distributor was a couple hours away. My job was to meet the truck when it got to town. Help them help the driver get through town and then back out, you know, in a relatively good fashion of time so that they could make it back before it was dark or whatever the case may be. So, you know, I was a swamp and or a helper or whatever. You want to.

Tracy Neal:
Help unload the trucks?

Scott Nielsen:
Absolutely.

Tracy Neal:
So you use a hand truck and wielded into it.

Scott Nielsen:
It's exactly what it was.

Tracy Neal:
On and off premise because probably a combo route combination back then.

Scott Nielsen:
Combination of both and that included Keg's and everything else that came with it. And so the driver would tell me what he needed. And I'd run out and get it. Wheel it in and, you know, put it all the way. And sure enough, I could have a lot of town within about a four to five hour period.

Tracy Neal:
So campus rep spoke more to being a helper than it did what we might call today, a campus rep might be some of that goes and does on premise promotion.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. I did promotions in Nebraska at a law where we couldn't do anything on campus, but I put together, you know, promotions off campus. And worked with a lot of different activities that were involved with that. And at that point time, Coors Light was rolling out for the first time as well, too. So, you know, every time we got a new bar, you know, placement. My job was to grab a group of individuals and we'd go hit that bar and drink it out of inventory and enjoy the evening. And they made.

Tracy Neal:
Get some artificial pull.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. And then. You know, somehow get back to where we were living at that particular point. But, you know, these are all different time periods. And there is a lot of flexibility in terms of what we could do.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Scott Nielsen:
And but that's. And then during the summers following that, you know, I needed a job and they had work. And so then I would go in and spend the summers. You know, I either had my own route that I drove as a driver salesman or I helped out on the truck on other days. And, you know, for the East Coast listeners, that would be I had a route so to work with from there.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah, what's what was the name of this distributor you worked with?

Scott Nielsen:
It was called Coors of western Nebraska at that point.

Tracy Neal:
Coors of west Nebraska. Do you know who covers that territory today?

Scott Nielsen:
I think they're based out of alliance. I can't remember what the name of the operation. It's been it's been an it wasn't a buy sell price about five, six years ago.

Tracy Neal:
Ok, so at what point your career did you go from summer college job at this help or at what point did you actually get the career move?

Scott Nielsen:
Well, it was interesting when I mean, I was going to school. My my actually my my undergrad is in elementary education.

Tracy Neal:
And so you were going to go elementary education?

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah, absolutely. In fact, I even had a couple of job offers. And I knew basically my junior year that I was destined to be in beer. And so that's kind of where the focus remained. So when I did, you know, the morning following graduation, my parents came up.

Tracy Neal:
At 11:00 a.m..

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah, about that. Yeah, exactly. And I loaded up my truck and I left the next morning and drove the Golden Colorado with this idea.

Tracy Neal:
Did you have a job?

Scott Nielsen:
No.

Tracy Neal:
You just you just knew that Coors was headquartered in Boulder.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah, that's where I was going. I'd been down there for couple of

Tracy Neal:
like 1980?

Scott Nielsen:
This would've been eighty one.

Tracy Neal:
Eighty one. And you just drove you put stuff in your car.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. If it didn't fit it did.

Tracy Neal:
From Iowa or Nebraska.

Scott Nielsen:
Nebraska. Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
And you drove to Golden, Colorado without a job.

Scott Nielsen:
Without a job.

Tracy Neal:
OK, tell me about the knocking on the front door experience.

Scott Nielsen:
Well, I went in and put in the application thinking I was going to get a phone call the next day. And it, of course, it didn't happen.

Tracy Neal:
I'm acting like that's weird, but it's actually not that weird from 1980. I mean, the only way to apply for a job back then would have been to drive.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
And get an application. Right.

Scott Nielsen:
Absolutely.

Tracy Neal:
I mean I'm kind of forgetting that we didn't have email.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
You would never, you know, write an inquiry letter by snail mail and get it back two weeks later you would have to there in person.

Scott Nielsen:
Entire entire life evolved or on a resumé with recommendations on it.

Tracy Neal:
That was it. It's all paper base.

Scott Nielsen:
It was all paper based and it didn't happen right away. So I found a job with a distributor down in southeastern Colorado and worked there for six months, sweeping the floor and cleaning draft lines and merchandising and, you know, helping out on trucks when I needed to. And from there I was offered an opportunity to go to Colorado Springs and went to work for the distributor there and and drove a driver. So, you know, situation for another year and a half before the brewery happened.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Scott Nielsen:
So, yeah.

Tracy Neal:
So when you got hired at the brewery, what was that job?

Scott Nielsen:
Area. Area sales manager.

Tracy Neal:
Do you remember your first day on the job working for Coors Brewing Company?

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah, I do.

Tracy Neal:
OK. Tell me about it.

Scott Nielsen:
1983 sales convention.

Tracy Neal:
The. So your first day was the sales.

Scott Nielsen:
Reno, Nevada.

Tracy Neal:
Reno, Nevada.

Scott Nielsen:
The first day on the job was the convention.

Tracy Neal:
And anybody that's been to sales conventions. Laughing they know that is the the probably the most fun way you start your career.

Scott Nielsen:
Absolutely.

Tracy Neal:
Right. It's it's not like you just sat and filled out paperwork.

Scott Nielsen:
I got off a truck two days before I was there. I drove my last route and delivered my last account on a Saturday. And I was on a plane on Sunday and Monday I was at the convention.

Tracy Neal:
Nice. Do you remember, which hotel was that.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah, I was at the at that time it was the MGM. And I know this because two years later I ended up or six months later I ended up with Reno as my first assignment for as an area sales manager.

Tracy Neal:
Very nice. So there was a Coors sales convention in Reno at the MGM and you went there. And then shortly after. You're the agent is area sales manager?

Scott Nielsen:
Area sales manager. They assume it was the title at that.

Tracy Neal:
Was that the highest in the in the geography or did you have bosses above you?

Scott Nielsen:
I worked at a.

Tracy Neal:
I mean at a field. I know you have a boss somewhere.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. Yeah. No, exactly. At that time, they were all what was referred to as regional offices.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Scott Nielsen:
And it was based out of the San Francisco San Mateo area. Joe Thompson was the.

Tracy Neal:
Joe Thompson and maybe Gary Styles.

Scott Nielsen:
Gary was not, Gary was back at the brewery at that point. But there's a number of individuals that were based out of that. Pablo Guzman was based in fact, Pablo was the one who gave me my first offer.

Tracy Neal:
I love Pablo.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. And then Scott Whitley was up in the reading area and.

Tracy Neal:
Scott Whitley was recently retired.

Scott Nielsen:
Sacramento, yeah.

Tracy Neal:
And Pete Betka.

Scott Nielsen:
So Greg Hopkins was in that region and I mean, it was a it's an interesting group of. I should say characters it.

Tracy Neal:
I can only I can only imagine.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. I had done some training down in the old Southwest office, which was Don Bechtel. And that's where I met Richard Bartlett for the first time.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah. Richard.

Scott Nielsen:
And Rick Zinoman was there and Mark Barnes was there. And there's, you know, a number of individuals. So this was all prior to the expansion was just starting. You know, just getting ready to take off from here.

Tracy Neal:
You say expansion and talking about the...

Scott Nielsen:
East Coast.

Tracy Neal:
The national expansion of the Coors product.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
So this is right. Probably within a year or two of Smoking the Bandit movie.

Scott Nielsen:
That's. Yeah, smoking ban. It was seventy six. Why? I know that. I have no clue. Brain clatters.

Tracy Neal:
That's Coors history.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. Brain clatter at this point in time. But yeah, look, I I'm a lucky individual. I benefited from the expansion. I mean, at that time, you know, really Coors could still be considered as a craft beer in today's terminology.

Tracy Neal:
Because it was only in the western state?

Scott Nielsen:
States, western part. And for the next two years, in addition to my regular responsibilities, I worked expansion markets. So every time we opened up a new state, I'd go in for a week or two and and working with the distributors and safe to say you've worked in almost every state pretty close. At some point in time.

Tracy Neal:
Any jump out of your mind where you spent the least amount of time?

Scott Nielsen:
The immediate southeast, because that was a different format in terms of how they did it. I spent the most amount of my time in the Great Lakes area. And then as well as the Northeast. So I worked New York and New Jersey and and it works like that.

Tracy Neal:
I just got back from New York and Connecticut.

Scott Nielsen:
Oh, cool.

Tracy Neal:
Yep. And headed to the Great Lakes next week, too.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. I mean, I enjoyed every minute of it. Just amazing wholesalers, you know, working with and a lot still in the business to this day. Interesting networks because, you know, we we started off with being exclusive houses and then started moving into multi-brand.

Tracy Neal:
And so it was. You mean some of the early distributors that you worked with only sold Coors?

Scott Nielsen:
That was it.

Tracy Neal:
And by the way, when we say only Coors we're talking only Coors banquet.

Scott Nielsen:
Only Coors banquet.

Tracy Neal:
Right. I mean, you know, there were no other brands or no Coors light yet. No Keystone. No Killian's Irish Red. No Zima.

Scott Nielsen:
Life was pretty simple. But at the same time, it was also very spoiling because it really wasn't selling right. It was more of filling voids and fullfill filling up the space.

Tracy Neal:
And the demand was so high.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. And at the same time, you weren't you weren't competing. Gets to, you know, a lot of new brands coming into the equation. You were more filling the voids of the brands that were going away. So, you know, at that during those particular time periods, we're witnessing the demise of Schlitz had been on one for a long time, but perhaps was on a demise. Certainly what was as Stroh's rolled out about the same time that Coors did, they just crossed paths. But they were different time periods. And, you know, really, you're your biggest focus was the ability to get the beer to the account immediately.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
OK. What would you say to distributors your sales reps today who are in the industry? What kind of sage advice do you have? Having seen 42 years of this industry all the way from a single brand in a single package at a single distributor to the portfolios that I know you're aware of, just tens, if not hundreds of suppliers in some of these big distributorships. Hello. How would you ask? How would you coach them to navigate their career, to learn to develop themselves, even when maybe people development isn't a focal point at their particular employer?

Scott Nielsen:
Well, that's a great question. You know, the key to anything is what separates you from anybody else. So you've got a number of individuals walking into an account at any given point in time, whether it doesn't make a difference what the product is. I mean, at the end of the day, you're still competing for a an owners dollar. And so everything that you begin to look at from from that standpoint, SB focused against what's going to work and what isn't. You know, at one time it was very simple just to kind of look at something, say you used to have 10, now you got three, so you need seven. So this isn't about building the PR anymore. And it's certainly also not about one size fits all. We're probably at one of the one of the hardest periods in our lives right now in regards to, you know, making sure that we have the right product mixes for the right individuals and the right accounts. So what used to be a norm of 100 percent distribution is a normal anymore. So now it's now it's an understanding because of how much knowledge we have at our fingertips and how much data we have to work with that, you know, account history in the oldest of days was based on paper. It was a book. And if someone kept their book up, they could tell you what they sold in there a year ago. And that was at best. And then that paper went away because you had no more space. So but now we're at a situation where you can actually open up a database and look at something and you can begin to read a trend like there's no end and you start to look for opportunities that basically mirror each other. If brand A works, why won't brand B work? Or if something's coming in new for the first time, it's most likely to fit the following types of consumers and customers. Our current databases that we work with today are historical from the standpoint that they're all based on what's already happened. And now we're at a time period where the consumer is changing. They're shifting on us and they're doing things like they've never done before. And bigger isn't better. No different than smaller is best. So it's a situation of understanding where are the consumers that we're looking for? What are they looking for? Where are they going? Where do they migrate towards? What do they approach? So for any sales rep going into an account of any kind, regardless of if you're in a chain driven market or an independent market, you want to begin to have an understanding of what else is being bought. What else is being sold? And you're looking for brands that best match up. You know, we talk about food pairings, but honestly, you want look for brand pairings, which is kind of where I sell beer comes into play because. You're trying to do is you're trying to attract consumers and you're trying to change the way they see your products. Yeah. And the fastest way to do those types of things are displays with an account. Alignments within an account. Traffic patterns within an account. Understanding where when a consumer walks in a door where you want them to go, number one. But more importantly, what do you want them to see? And that's what you have to focus against.

Tracy Neal:
Awesome. What about from a developmental standpoint, what you're at? Which advice to a sales rep that maybe works for a distributor who hasn't made the person, the people side of development a focal point?

Scott Nielsen:
Sure. Well, you know, it's interesting when we talk about, you know, development of individuals as a whole to begin with. The first thing is that, you know, there's a set of tasks that you have to be able to get done. And those are the goals and the objectives that are laid out to you. And you have a responsibility against that. So you manage tasks and you coach how they get done or you develop how they get done. So the first thing is to lay out exactly what it is that you've been tasked to do and what you're our number one responsibilities to accomplish those. And then for those areas that you don't have a comfort level with or you're not, you know, gaining some great results with, you want to start seeking help from other individuals in terms of what made them, you know, so good at it or or what are some of the things in which you can take on as a result of his? Well, do we we as individuals never ask enough questions for help. You know, asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It's actually a sign of strength. So if there's ever a feeling of being uncomfortable, of not knowing something, raise your hand. Yeah, ask for the assistance or that help with it. And there are so many other ways to grab that information now, whether it be something from an electronic standpoint or the retailer willing to give something or other sales reps that are calling on the account, you know, or other people that you're working with. Don't be afraid to ask those things and you'll be amazed that way you can accomplish as a result of it.

Tracy Neal:
I remember we used to have that that chart from SMS on what makes a good sales rep. You talk about some of those qualities.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah, well, I mean, look, at the end of the day, it's still a relationship type business, right?

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Scott Nielsen:
And the hardest part.

Tracy Neal:
People buy from people they like.

Scott Nielsen:
Absolutely right. You know, the hardest part of that now leading up to it, though, is that, you know, a lot of that was based on the idea that when you walked into an account, you're going to meet with the same person had been there five years before and they had a history with it, too. These are true anymore. I mean, a majority of the people that we deal with are as short term as anybody else. You know, sales rep jobs are are fast, you know, turnover, you know, rates with it. Retail account is even worse than that. I mean, gone are those days where you've got people with longevity in the roles that they're in. So as I say, that impression rate is immediate,.

Tracy Neal:
Tell me about what impression rate is.

Scott Nielsen:
Well, and this is where a lot of those characteristics come back to it. OK. So, you know, what might be acceptable for you? Doesn't mean it's acceptable for somebody else. So a perfect example right now is that anybody who has not seen me for quite some time, my hair is a lot longer than what it had been in the past.

Tracy Neal:
Ses, his hair is longer.

Scott Nielsen:
Yes. Well.

Tracy Neal:
I want to call it The Big Lebowski.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. I've been referred to as that. So now if I were back in front of retail on a regular basis or making calls on a regular basis, I wouldn't do this. You know, even though I'm a I'm having fun with it and kind of living a second life and enjoying some of those things that come into it, it doesn't necessarily mean that the person sitting across from me is going to want to do business with me based on decisions that I've made. Do I have a right to do it? Yes. But is that the right thing to do? And the answer is probably not. It's a situation of making sure that the people that you're dealing with, that you're working with them on their level, not on yours. Your responsibility is to make sure that there is zero reasons for them to tell you no.

Tracy Neal:
Zero, not one, two, three or five.

Scott Nielsen:
You're trying to eliminate all of those things that come into it, because what you're trying to cater towards is what their expectations are, what they're looking for, what their needs are, what they want to accomplish. So when I sell you something or have a conversation with you about something, it's your benefit to buy it. Now, mind you, I'm going to gain something, but you need the reasons why you want to buy it. And that's what you're focused against.

Tracy Neal:
That's awesome. Let's talk a little bit about some of the best tools and practices we used back in the old Coors Brewing Company days. And I mean SMS right?

Scott Nielsen:
Sure.

Tracy Neal:
I mean, that was such a good program. We have to raise it last. All the estimates graduates out there to the Marriott in Golden for a week. And if they left early, they did not get it right. And if they were outside on the phone too long, they did not.

Scott Nielsen:
Sell. Dave Thomas was an amazing individual.

Tracy Neal:
Dave Thomas. Yes. Do you still keep in touch with Dave.

Scott Nielsen:
A little bit? I mean, it's.

Tracy Neal:
Uncle Dave.

Scott Nielsen:
It's been about a year since the last time I had any any correspondence. But I was very fortunate. I mean, Dave is probably one of the ones that, you know, when I look back in terms of people I admired and worked with and those types of things. There's a lot that I gain from Dave.

Tracy Neal:
He was awesome.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah, absolutely. And so, you know, part of that was what made it so successful, again, was Dave. But at the same time, the material that was involved with it in the disciplines around it, you know, were huge. But, you know, historically, when we start to look at these types of things, this entire industry is built on what we referred to as transactional thinking. You know, for for every action, there's a reaction and everything has a step to it. Everything has a process to it and everything has a built basis to it. So if I do step one, I go to step two, then I go to step three. And so, you know, we learned all about the seven steps to a sales call and there's merchandising zones and there's, you know, all these particular types of things. Well, these are all transactional ways of approaching things. Where the difference comes in now is so we can't live in a transactional world, meaning if I do step one, then step two, I'm going to get, you know, three as a result. The truth to the matter is that things are faster, they're quicker. So it's become more transformational, meaning we have to rethink the ways in which we approach things. So the way in which we approach it five years ago is the way in which we can approach it tomorrow because everything shifted on us. And this is why there's such a gigantic difference between next gen and Gen Z. There's a difference in all these areas are coming into it because years prior when you and I entered the industry of any kind or any business of any kind, we entered it with the understanding that we were joining. Their way of doing things were going to start at the bottom. They're going to show us the way.

Tracy Neal:
That's very true, you know, when we join.

Scott Nielsen:
We can accomplish many things.

Tracy Neal:
When we join a company or join a role,.

Scott Nielsen:
Absolutely.

Tracy Neal:
You went into it with an open mind on how do I do it their way.

Scott Nielsen:
That's exactly right. So you always heard about the way of doing things?

Tracy Neal:
Yeah. The Gallo way, or the Procter & Gamble way or.

Scott Nielsen:
You can't do that anymore. In fact, today our responsibility is of organizations, which is why so many are struggling. Our responsibility is to transform or conform to the next generation and the generation after that. It's never happened before.

Tracy Neal:
Because it's moving so fast.

Scott Nielsen:
Shifting dramatically.

Tracy Neal:
At a rate. Instead of talking 30 years, we're talking 3 to 5.

Scott Nielsen:
If I don't cater to them, they won't stay with me. And the less that stay with me going forward, the less likely I am to succeed as an organization or as a company, because I have an old way of thinking, an old way of approaching things, an old way of doing business in a world that is shifted dramatically. I mean, the three tier structure as a whole has a lot of obstacles in front of it in regards to what's happening on a worldwide level through the ways in which products make it to retail or make it to a consumer. These are huge shifts. So if we're not thinking past that meaning transformationaly, how do I re-approach things? How do I refocus ourselves? Then they're going to get left behind.

Tracy Neal:
You once told me a story about the Gen X, Gen Z, Gen Y, Millennials, and you give like little examples about how and why each of them does something a little different. Can you remember that story? Can you repeat that?

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. Yeah. It's just, you know, I am a boomer and you're a. Well, you would be what's referred to as a as a lost generation.

Tracy Neal:
Okay, yeah. Yeah, yeah. I'm a I'm born. Well I'm only forty seven.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. No I know that.

Tracy Neal:
I have no grandkids.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. You know. Interesting. I call it the lost generation. There's actually another technical term for everybody.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah. You kind of talk. You told me about that when we had breakfast in California and about the you've got the boomers then you've got the lost gen. Go through those sequences and kind of define if you will.

Scott Nielsen:
Sure. The the youngest boomer. I can't say the oldest because they're in their 70s but the youngest boomers actually about 58, 59. And so it's a small group, OK. That's basically left, you know, around right now raised with an understanding that it's you against the world, very territorial. Everything that you do is focused on making yourself better. You're not one necessarily. You're going to give away trade secrets. You're not really going to share things with others in fear that they're going to be more successful than you. So as a result, you competed against everybody you wanted on top.

Tracy Neal:
We're obviously generalizing, right?

Scott Nielsen:
Absolute. Absolutely.

Tracy Neal:
As a population there's great people of every age group of every group out there having great things. But generally you're talking 58 to 75.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. Exactly.

Tracy Neal:
Of that boomer group, right?

Scott Nielsen:
And because of that. It's also that understanding that there is one way of doing things and it's the right way or the.

Tracy Neal:
Like the Gordon Gekko.

Scott Nielsen:
Yes.

Tracy Neal:
Right. Gordon Gekko with the.

Scott Nielsen:
Baby boomer. The lost generation, unfortunately, grew up with an understanding that that's how the world works.

Tracy Neal:
Because boomers were our parents.

Scott Nielsen:
Exactly. Well. And the. There was an edge part to it, but it was kind of like you were informed that joined the right company benefits. You know, start at the bottom. Work your way up and everything is going to be taken care of for you. But when you entered the workplace, Enron was taken place. Dot.com futuristic money was flying all over the place with nothing behind it. It was all collapsing. Things were coming. You know, all the cooking, the books and everything else that kind of came with it. So it's like when you got there was like, okay, where's this promise plan?

Tracy Neal:
None of the promises were there.

Scott Nielsen:
Exactly. And it's gone.

Tracy Neal:
What year was Enron?

Scott Nielsen:
It was it was early 90s. OK, late 80s, early 90s when all that started coming into play. And so it's the situation of all of sudden that you were raised to think any other way and you were kind of like, you know, working your way through with things. And there's a little bit of a floundering time period now, smallest generation population wise out of everybody. Okay.

Tracy Neal:
Okay.

Scott Nielsen:
Enter millennials. All right. And we still think millennials are young and they're not. I mean, the oldest millennial right now is 39. Soon to be 40 next year.

Tracy Neal:
Really? OK.

Scott Nielsen:
So born in 1980. OK. Entered the workforce right around 2000, 2001. OK. Is where all where this equation starts to come in, in all, these are built on technology. What was available at that particular point in time that made a significant shift in the way in which thinking what's taken place. So now it's and we're looking at a generation that most people call the generation of entitlement. Everybody gets a trophy, all those types of things. And it's easy to stereotype it that way. And we can have fun with it. But the truth of the matter is, it is by far the largest population in his back, filling the fastest of the boomers. It's not the loss that's filling. It's that it's actually the millennials that are filling that particular void. Well, for the first time, companies were caught off guard because they weren't prepared to understand what a millennial was looking for. They saw it as this somebody who doesn't get it. They don't want to work. They don't want to, you know, they don't want to accomplish anything. And it was far from the truth overall. It really is this next gen type situation. It simply said, I get what it was. That's just not who I am. That's not the way I approach things. It's not the way I look at things. And so for the first time, the industry's had to rethink the way they approach their new employment base. And that's kind of where all this came in now. Now we have Generation Z coming in.

Tracy Neal:
How old are they?

Scott Nielsen:
The oldest is 22.

Tracy Neal:
OK.

Scott Nielsen:
OK. First generation to have had a world with the Internet from day one.

Tracy Neal:
From their fingertips almost, right?

Scott Nielsen:
Yes. They've never known a world without the Internet. It's an amazing group of individuals. You're going to see a little bit more of the tradition start to come back. They want security. They're looking for stabilization. They're looking for development. And they're going to go wherever they can to get it. If you don't provide it, they'll find somebody else who will. So they will shift. It's not like they're looking for a company for 10 years. They'll be there if the opportunity to grow is there. But it's a situation saying that when I come on board, I'm looking for the following things. We already know that, you know, pensions are gone. Benefits are questionable we already know all that, we already know that they're responsible for these types of things, but they just want to make sure they got a chance to win, you know, an opportunity to do something good.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah.

Scott Nielsen:
So the security piece behind this gigantic as a result. Again, companies with the focus on them. I'm gonna need some to drink.

Tracy Neal:
Ok. On a pause. Let me grab him a water.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. Perfect, thanks. Yeah, no worries. Is this going as you expected or.

Tracy Neal:
Oh, yeah, you're doing great.

Scott Nielsen:
OK. Cool.

Tracy Neal:
You're doing great.

Scott Nielsen:
Thanks.

Tracy Neal:
Thirty seven minutes. So, Kevin, we just had to get a glass of water. So go back to when Scott's in any glass of water and edit that out. We've both got water, so we'll go again. We're going to pick up where you were talking about the always knowing the Internet. Right.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Tracy Neal:
Here we go, Kevin. Three, two, one.

Scott Nielsen:
So what's this? You know, with their ability from an Internet standpoint, knowledge at their fingertips and everything else that comes into it, what's really more interesting was or is, you know, for the last few years we've we've heard about work-life balance and how much work can we actually put into something and we need to spend more time at home. Why are you checking your e-mail and why are you and all the following things? Well, the coolest fact out of its cooler now. But I mean, it's it's a neat fact coming at a generation Z. Is that to them? All of this is seamless. When they pick up their phone to check something. Doesn't matter if it's work related, personally related education or regardless of what it is, they're going to answer it. And they have no problem doing it. They don't see the obstacles of I work too much. They just see this. It's a part of their daily lives.

Tracy Neal:
That's work-life integration.

Scott Nielsen:
Absolutely.

Tracy Neal:
That's a word I got from Bud Dunn on the last episode.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
He said he believed in work life integration.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. And that's exactly where these things start to come into play.

Tracy Neal:
He's 32.

Scott Nielsen:
Ok. Right. So in in I think we had we had talked before that the closer you are on the bubble, meaning up, you know,.

Tracy Neal:
On the edges?

Scott Nielsen:
On the edges like that, you're going to lean towards a particular.

Tracy Neal:
You pick up a little DNA. You pick up a little DNA from the previous generation if you're close to the edges.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. And then, of course, certainly the younger millennials are more likely to have more Internet, you know, activity in world because of, you know, how much closer they were to it. But, yeah. So this is exciting because you're also looking at different living patterns, different lifestyle patterns. Z-ers are not big time shoppers from the standpoint of, you know, grocery stores are fine, but they're more into the neighborhood niches. They're more into the smaller mom and pops, which is a cool thing. But it also tells us that, you know, if you're if you're continuously walking into the largest grocery stores with sales programs, they're cool right now, but they're not something we working five to six years from now. There's going be a shift in terms of where shopping patterns come into play.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah. What do you. Is there anything you're working on? You said you're a guest lecturer and adjunct professor. Right. So what is everything that you're working on from your educational part of your career that would apply to sales reps driving around all day, selling beer that you can share?

Scott Nielsen:
Well, more for me. I mean, there's a couple of pieces to that. Most most of the work I do now is more with mid-management to a senior leadership type teams. And the reason why I say that out. You know, get back to the sales rep side of it. Is that like anything we want to make sure that we map out some of these career. We want to have an understanding what we're hiring somebody. We're actually hiring them with the idea that they're potentially capable of doing to levels above what we're hiring them to do. That's our that's first our goal.

Tracy Neal:
Interesting. That's the goal for all companies.

Scott Nielsen:
All companies.

Tracy Neal:
Everybody you work with.

Scott Nielsen:
Everybody.

Tracy Neal:
You hire somebody with the intention of having them work two levels above what you're hiring them.

Scott Nielsen:
Yes.

Tracy Neal:
And this is true today.

Scott Nielsen:
It's true today. And the reason behind that is from a from a rational standpoint is there's a lot of money and time that's about ready to happen for somebody coming in. OK. And so you want to make sure that you're hiring somebody that's got I mean, first of all, we're at the lowest unemployment rates we were born at. And I'd say this from a political standpoint.

Tracy Neal:
With a lot of people.

Scott Nielsen:
This is where it is. And so, you know, it's not like there's a bunch of people running around looking for a job. So what we do have a capability of doing for the first time or right now is we can be very selective, though, at the same time. Meaning if there's somebody you're really interested in, go after a make it happen and bring them on board and run with it from there because there are good opportunities for good people. But you have to make sure that you lay out the right structures to get them there. So if you're thinking as organization for somebody is two steps above all of a sudden you can map out a game plan that simply says this is something which a I did at the NBWA a couple of years ago.

Tracy Neal:
National Beer Wholesalers Association?

Scott Nielsen:
Yes, exactly what I call the 36 month employee. It was basically designed around is the idea that you have an employee. It comes in. And what you do with them over the first 12 months. First of all, most most employees make a decision within 30 days how long they're to stay with the company or not. OK, which is pretty scary when you think about.

Tracy Neal:
The first week in the first 30 days. Employees make a decision on their first 30 days of a new job, how long they're going to stay there. Because you come into it and you kind of feel it out and you get a taste for it for 30 days. You say to yourself, this is a mistake. I gotta to stick it out for a year or two.

Scott Nielsen:
Whatever happened or didn't happen. Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
Or this is so awesome. I'm never going to leave here.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. You know,.

Tracy Neal:
Or somewhere in between.

Scott Nielsen:
Sure. Well, you know that first question, what was your first day like on the job? And so when you ask somebody that in regards to. OK, you went to work there. What happened? And unfortunately, so many times I hear the story. OK. Of the individual that said, OK, I got their, number one, they weren't ready for me or they I was asked to sit someplace and wait until someone came and got me or whatever the case may be. So, you know, we do these amazing things to recruit people, bring them into an atmosphere, and then all of a sudden we tell them to sit down and shut up and wait till I get back to you.

Tracy Neal:
And fill out paperwork.

Scott Nielsen:
Absolutely. So all these things are nothing more than dragging somebody down or it's like a I'm glad you're as sharp as you are. But in the meantime, we're going to do it this way. You know, you hire people to make you better. You don't hire them to, you know, haven't become the same as you or equal to you. You hire them and do that. So in this two step process, this idea of that they're ahead or that you've got a game plan to it. It says, what do I need to give them to be the most successful they can be within a 12 month period? Then what do I need to provide them with? And that's where that next step starts to come into play that allows them to be successful in their lives and how they accomplish what they're doing. And this is where sales rep parts are so important. Work widths, spending time width, coaching, immediate feedback. You know, year in reviews are so old. You know, reviews should be taking place on a very regular at a minimum, at a quarterly basis. Goals are set. We review, we build, we, you know, give feedback. And when you do these types of things, you're setting people up for success because every employee coming into an organization wants to be successful. That's why they came to work there. And by not coaching them, not develop them, developing them, not working with them, that writing with them, whatever you want to call it, when you don't do those things, you're reinforcing what they are doing, good or bad. In most cases, it's not good. They are falling into habits or or zones or situations that aren't necessarily taken. And yet they have that, you know, as a rep. You had a question yourself about this, you know, am I doing it right? Is this the right way of doing it? Why isn't it working? What can I do? Well, they need that reinforcement. So when I work with leadership teams and management teams, it's again, we manage what they do. We coach how they do it.

Tracy Neal:
We manage what they do. We coach how they do it.

Scott Nielsen:
Which requires you to observe them. So I could test your knowledge of beer by asking you a series of questions right here as we sit, and you could tell me all about it, but I can't test your skill set ability to go sell something in or deliver on something or make something happen unless I observe you, watch you doing it? And then it allows me to coach. And when you think about it, most organizations aren't coaching anymore.

Tracy Neal:
Yep.

Scott Nielsen:
We run reports. How's the guy doing.

Tracy Neal:
It's all quantifiable.

Scott Nielsen:
We run another report. So these are these are were the fall out start to take place. So as a sales rep, you want to ask for help? You want to ask for people to be with you as much as you can or you want to role play or you want to demonstrate. You can't be afraid of this. You want it. You want to, you know, jump in, take it with everything that you got. Because people who do this and move on this will continuously move forward. And management teams and structures that are designed on observing people doing good things are going to have organizations that succeed at the highest levels.

Tracy Neal:
That's awesome. That's very, very true. How much of an opportunity is this for the beer distribution network as a whole to deal with what you're working with some distributors? I mean, do are 30 percent the distributors doing this right? Are 3 percent of them doing it right? 92 percent of them doing right.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. I you know, I wish I could put a number to it because I'm not good enough.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah. I mean they obviously haven't done enough to do the analysis of every distributor. But on your sample size, as you've looked at it.

Scott Nielsen:
In most cases, I'd say this is where the failure rate starts to come in.

Tracy Neal:
A lot of a lot of mid managers. What I hear when I go around the country a lot times is that frontline supervisor and middle managers are more often than not, the relief guy.

Scott Nielsen:
They are there. There's everything.

Tracy Neal:
Let me give you too much work and then come in and help you finish it.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
Whether it be brand management, which I understand, or they are the relief individual or they are out doing surveys or they are out taking care of reps that have come to visit those types of things. The unfortunate side of the coin is the last thing they're doing is actually observing somebody doing something. And it's always the first thing that actually goes away is as a result, too. You know, when you think back on things, there are two types of employees that get the most amount of attention in an organization. You know, in the old SMS days, they referred to as killers.

Tracy Neal:
Killers. Yep.

Scott Nielsen:
And in those particular situations, you're putting out their fires. They've either shaken something up to a point where they need help and or there or their need of tickets or they did something that was questionable. And they're being called in on the carpet on it, whatever the case may be. So they're grabbing the attention and then the individuals who fail to show up on a regular basis, which were at that time were referred to as Turners.

Tracy Neal:
The Turners. Okay.

Scott Nielsen:
I referred to was anchors in this particular situation. So when you have these two groups of individuals, unfortunately and again, they're the ones who need to have their their route ran the most because they didn't show up or they were late or whatever the case may be. When you have these two groups of individuals, they're taking about 70 to 80 percent of a company's time. Scary. Or the meantime, you've got this other 70 percent of the individuals I like to refer to as utility players or fielders. These are individuals who show up every day. They do their job. They get everything done. They're turning in their paperwork. They're doing all the right things. They got all the right distribution. They got displays up. They've got a number of things happening. And yet nobody knows it because they're not in trouble.

Tracy Neal:
Scottie Pippens of the world.

Scott Nielsen:
That's exactly right. These are individuals who continuously.

Tracy Neal:
You got Michael Jordan a killer?

Scott Nielsen:
Yep. Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
I'm gonna approved you and pay attention to all your class back in the 90s. Killers are people who achieve their goal every time, always. But they can't tell others how they did.

Scott Nielsen:
Cannot coach.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah, they always hit their goals. But they can't necessarily coach or explain. They don't have the transferable skill. They have the most highest level of execution skill, but not transferable skill. And one of the big errors in our industry is taking the highest performing rep yet, which is often a killer. And making them into a frontline or a middle manager. And they get frustrated with their reps and say, why can't you hit your goals? Right. But they don't have that transferable skill set to show people how to.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah. Can't do it. That's an amazing piece. So this is kind of where that that that idea of a thirty six month comes into play because there is a whole developmental piece in there that comes into.

Tracy Neal:
By the way, is Dennis Rodman a Turner?

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah. Rodman is a Turner. Pippen is the utility guy.

Scott Nielsen:
I would put Rodman more is the event. Okay. And well you know I love events selling. You know you take a relatively middle of the road skill set. And you turn it into you know, one of the brightest individuals in the room and he did it any way he could. So there is an applause level from that standpoint. But yeah, I you know, look, this is. You don't win at the end of the day by either cutting corners or cheating your way to the top. OK. This is this business is designed to. This is where the analytical side comes in. If there's a difference between 20 years ago and today or 25 years ago or 50 years ago, didn't make a difference. We are we are sitting at the most amount of knowledge in our entire lives, more knowledge today than we've ever had to understand what a consumer is looking for when they walk in the door. We know this and we're not utilizing it. We still think it's based on walking in a door and doing nothing more than immediately walking to the back of the count and counting a bunch of cases. That's not what this business is. This business is based on changing what consumers see. You know, if there's a future in order taking honestly, most companies today could, you know, punch in an order online or they could, you know, send something over in some electronic fashion. Any time they want and they're OK with it. What we're not doing as organizations is we're not selling the future. We're not analyzing the future. It's a simple business. July 4th happens every year on July 4th. And we know that Memorial Day is the last Monday of May. And we know that Labor Day is the first Monday of September. We know all these things. So why are we already selling against them when you've got accounts that are already planned against them? But yet we're still selling today. Like it matters for tomorrow. Those are orders. So we don't want to get caught up in an order world. We want to get caught up in a selling world. And the selling is what do we need going forward as opposed to what happened yesterday. And that's that's kind of where that reactionary piece comes in. So when you look at people, you're not you're not you don't want to hire order takers. OK. And you need them. They have to be in place because they've got to make sure that the truck is filled, but you want to be looking towards how do I transform into a selling organization that isn't based on going out to get in order. So if I were looking at things futuristic early. I would look at if there's ever such a thing as restructuring. I think I would take order taking out of a sales reps equation. Anybody go get the order? OK. I don't care how big the account is. The accounts are ready to give the order. What we're looking for is the ability to plan for the future self for the future gain space for the future. The floors which are buying.

Tracy Neal:
And the relationships still need to be there right. I know sometimes we need to win in this beer industry. People talk futurism. They think all the sales reps will go away and all the computer based and. But I bring that back, too. I don't necessarily agree with that, by the way, because it comes back to even if you automate order taking, as you said, you. It's about the relationships and the trust and the impression that you can make.

Scott Nielsen:
You've got to if you've got a company that has thirty five sales routes, you can equate it to be thirty five order takers. OK. Reality is OK. You can have thirty five order takers, but you're going to need 16 salesmen or fifteen salesmen or I say this gender neutral. Yeah. You know, you're taking the ordering side time out of the equation. I mean the fastest way to take costs out of out of a business is to speed up the ability to have actions take place. So you want the truck to keep rolling. The longer it sits, the more expensive it becomes. And if you've got a sales rep going in the bulk of their time, 80 to 90 percent are times based on doing a transaction based on, you know, they're either filling a shelf or they're getting an order, but they're certainly not selling a portfolio that has gotten so big that things aren't being accomplished. So. All right. So it will stop. We'll take a pause for a minute against that. Well, we're basically now saying is simply this send somebody to go get the order or have the account send the order. But when a sales rep walks in the account, they're walking in with this ability to have a discussion that simply says this. Here we are in the second week of December. The first week. Second week in December. We're thinking Christmas is in a couple of weeks and it is. But Christmas was sold back around Labor Day. OK, those discussions in terms of floor and plans and everything else game into it already took place. Right. Key accounts has already been focused against those types of things. So why is that? All of a sudden we are three to four months behind in a in a root sell order taking type of fashion. And the reason behind it is because we still think everything has to take place for tomorrow. Well, the truth is, we should be talking about Super Bowl. We should be starting to talk about St. Patrick's Day. So now we have a relationship that comes in and I could say. Okay. Tracy, you know, good to see you again. How was the weekend? You know, typical small talk that comes into it. Now we're going to move into the business side of the conversation. You know, I got some ideas that I'd like to talk to you about. It's stuff that you and I have been sharing now for a couple of months and three months. Four months. Ed, let me give you an idea of some of things that are coming up for St. Patrick's State. I'd like to talk to you about some space. Now, we'd like to make a final decision today. But here's what my thoughts are. We could tie it in with the following products and what it would look like and where we should go with it and what the return is and what the opportunity is. And we're all that overall that starts to come into it. So all of a sudden, it's like, well, what if we add this? Okay. We could talk about that. I'll go have a conversation. We can look at the following. So that in a week or two, I can come back to you with a full blown game plan with exactly what's going to take place. So now I'm securing future. I'm selling in the event for the programs that we will actually want to gain and where we want to go with it. This is what the future is based on. It's likely based on getting orders because you're right. It's all automated. So let's stop fooling ourselves.

Tracy Neal:
And it's actually can be at some point. Yeah.

Scott Nielsen:
But let's not take selling out of the equation to your point. We need to sell because people want to buy. They just they honestly do.

Tracy Neal:
It feel's good to buy.

Scott Nielsen:
Absolutely. They want an account that people want to come back to and they don't want something that was dream that was dreamt up the day before or is dreamt up just a week ago. It was just nothing more than a stack that was thrown into a corner. We end up with those things today because that's what we've been programmed to do. But the truth is, more and more accounts are looking for those ideas of what makes me different than the one down the street. And it's what came in here to actually create an atmosphere that was driven towards it. That's where the focus starts come into play.

Tracy Neal:
That's awesome. You know, one of my dreams in the future. I don't know if I'm going to get it in 2020 or 2021, but I would love to have. A sales conference. I don't know how I'm going to convince sales reps to all come to one part of the country on their own, but I envision sales reps from any house coming together to focus on learning how to sell and improve those sales skills and.

Scott Nielsen:
Probably take it on the road.

Tracy Neal:
When I do that. I'm going to have you come be a guest speaker.

Scott Nielsen:
Well, I appreciate that. Look, I'm very, very again, lucky. I do have I I'm doing more and more outside of the industry from a consulting standpoint. My specialty is helping third generation come into. It's moving from second generation, third generation ownership. I love working with family owned operations. There's a shift in thought, right. Focus on how that kind of comes into play. So even with the distributors and I I I've got confidentiality agreements with them, so I can't, you know, talk about who they are. But even with the ones in which I work with, they're all they've all been transition from second to third generation. Ed, the entire approach around this is that it's a situation of being where they are. So when you talk about sales conferences and those types of things going forward, you know, our responsibilities as as, you know, individuals who help develop others is to be where they are being in their environment, their places, everything else that kind of comes into play, because this is all about being relevant. You know, gone are the days, OK, where that's the way they do things in Golden or that's the way they do things in Saint Lewis. But here, the real world, this the way we do things is like, OK. I mean, you're we're a world now. OK. Let's talk about it. Let's kind of lay those things out. And, this whole goal by any of this is changing how we think. And I mean that for everybody. You know, Next Gen and gen z, they know how they think. They realize how they think. But the decision makers, the ones who are focused against where we need to go, we got to get past this idea that our way was the right way. No, it wasn't. Our way was the way in which we did it. Their way is the way in which the future is going to be. So our responsibility is to be in that moment of time that basically says how do we collectively move forward? Because that's what that's what our goal is. So our job is. Yeah. That's what responsibility is.

Tracy Neal:
Awesome. Hey, as we as we wrap it up here, is there anyone in your career you'd like to give a shout out to? That was really instrumental in helping you in your last 42 years? Get you started or was a good mentor. Maybe somebody they had ultimate levels of patients with you at one time or another.

Scott Nielsen:
Well, you know, it was. I mean, look, I've got a lot of friends, right? I mea n, Bartlet's always been a.

Tracy Neal:
Richard Bartlett, yeah, a great man.

Scott Nielsen:
He's always been an individual. And, you know, in my life, that's always played into it. And actually, he and I met at the Reno convention my first, you know, days on the job there. But, you know, I've had a lot of very, very cool individuals, you know, in my career, good and bad. You know, we learned as much from what not to do as we do in terms of what to do.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah. That's a good point. You know, in my in my younger years, I didn't like the bad quote-unquote bad people that I had bad relationship. But I've reached a maturity standpoint where I reflect back on and on. So thankful. Oh, yeah. For some of that friction.

Scott Nielsen:
Some of them challenged me. Right? I mean, I didn't get along with them at that point time. I got challenged. And I rose to it because it was the threat. But the reality I could, you know, actually start to see where some of those came into play. You know, you've you've talked about beer stories before to pass. So I bring this up because a one, an influential individual and unfortunately passed away from cancer a few years ago. But it was Jim Raymond. OK. Who is who ran the who owned the distributorship there in Western Nabraska? And I had this goal of getting out the brewery. And so I drove down the two hours to get to where he was and everything. And of course, I dressed up because I'm this college kid that, you know, wants to go after the first type job. And I walked into his office. And so I said to him, it's said, I've got this goal of, you know, getting on with the brewery. And, you know, I'd like to put you on my resume, as you know, as somebody who could actually do a reference for me. So, you know, he tells me, you know, have a seat where his office and he was a big Ducks Unlimited guy and had they'll bounce all over the place. And he was pretty cool.

Tracy Neal:
Yeah. Any any rifles on the wall?

Scott Nielsen:
Number of things, on the wall.

Tracy Neal:
OK.

Scott Nielsen:
But so anyway, he had it worked for Disney for years and it was a western Nebraska guy from, you know, through and through. But anyway, he gets up and he goes over it. He shuts his office door. He comes back around, he sits down his desk. And I will drag this out too far. But he proceeds to tell me for about the next 30 to 45 minutes on the values of the family, meeting the Coors family and the organization and outstanding leadership and all the other things that came to it. I mean, really building this thing up and I'm getting more and more excited. I mean, this college kid who just can't wait to land my first job at the brewery and stuff it all a sudden there's this long pause and he looks and he kind of puts his arms back on his desk and he leans over. He says, but you don't want me on your resume. And I looked at, you know, what are you talking about? He says, I'm not going to go too much into this. He says, I'm not the guy you want on your resume. I'm not the guy that when you walk into, you know, go after the job interview, I'm not the one that you want listed on there as reference. And I never really knew why until about six to 10 months later. And we're actually pretty close to about a year later where he was also where the most controversial individuals, meaning he stood his ground. He ran a business and he had expectations and he wasn't afraid to push back. And he wasn't necessarily in the right light of things in regards to the decision makers at the brewery. Everything else that came into it. I joked about it. I still can't to this day, but I also had a gigantic, respectful level to it, too, because here's an individual who taught me from the ground up a lot in a very short amount of time and the right way of doing things. But he also reminded me that when you're in business, you've got to make tough decisions and they're not always in the best interests of everybody. You know, you got to take care of yourself first. It's so, you know, when you look at those types of foundations, when you look back at things even from a career choice decision, when you make a decision, don't be afraid to stand on it. And don't be afraid, you know. You know, you're not always going to make popular decisions. You're not always gonna be around all those things that start to come into play. Well, when I look back, I mean, I learned a ton from Leo Kiley and I just from an observation standpoint, and there's a number of individuals that in different levels and different roles that Todd Arnold I, you know, learned a lot from Joe Thompson, certainly. I mean, you know, from a watching standpoint.

Tracy Neal:
Joe's a great guy.

Scott Nielsen:
You know. So there's just a number of things when you start to go into it. There's there's several individuals that I crossed paths with over the years that were with Miller and with AB as well, too. And you build a respect level to understand that. We know we're all in a business to accomplish something. And at the other day, a consumer will make a decision what they want to buy. But you just gotta make sure that you give them a reason to choose something. You give them the opportunity to make an informed decision. And if we continuously beat each other up, which is what we've witnessed in the last few years between the craft brew side and the big guys, you know, those types of things going into it. We're not competing against each other. We're collectively in an industry that is competing for a dollar from a consumer who's willing to make an investment in an alcohol product. So they're all friends, they're all family, they're all members of something. And so when I look back at the people that I learned the most from, especially on the people development side, it's my understanding of what our goals are, what we need to accomplish and how do we need to accomplish it.

Tracy Neal:
Awesome. Well, Scott, this has been a wonderful hour to spend together. I want to thank you a ton for driving up here, taking the time to sit down. And I can keep going for another hour. But it's been great. Again, thank you for being a key mentor in my early years in the beer industry. And I think the one thing that resonates with me that you said in the last hour was you told the sales reps, if you said if your sales are about their invite people to work with you, invite them into your car, invite them, you know, ask to do role plays. Ask for feedback on that feedback loop. That's what's going to develop you the most in your career, no matter where you go with it.

Scott Nielsen:
Yeah, absolutely.

Tracy Neal:
Awesome.

Scott Nielsen:
Well, thank you.

Tracy Neal:
Great. Thank you, Scott. It's been a true pleasure.

Scott Nielsen:
Appreciate it.

Tracy Neal:
All right. Take care. 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 distributors' 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 Web site. 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.

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