EPISODE 159: Nestlé’s Dominic Strada Shares How Selling Brands Such as Purina and Gerber Has Dramatically Shifted

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EPISODE 159: Nestlé’s Dominic Strada Shares How Selling Brands Such as Purina and Gerber Has Dramatically Shifted

DOMINIC’S FINAL TIP TO EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “Never get comfortable. If you always have that mentality that either you don’t know enough or somebody can take away what you have today, you’ll lose your edge. Never think you have a problem solved long-term and never think you have all the relationships that you need in order to be successful.”

For the first time we’re interviewing someone from Nestlé.

We’re talking to Dominic Strada, he’s the Head of Sales for Nestlé Nutrition.

Prior to this role he was the VP for Pet Specialty and e-Commerce at Nestlé Purina Pet Care.

Find Dominic on LinkedIn!

Fred Diamond: We’re doing this interview today from the Nestlé headquarters just right outside of Washington DC, there’s a lot of buzz when Nestlé made their announcement they were moving to this area. I know people are very excited to hear your story, so why don’t you tell us a little more about you that we need to know?

Dominic Strada: I’ve been with the organization now for 30 years, it’s the only company I worked for. I started as a sales intern while I was still in college and have held numerous roles. More importantly, I’m a father to three children, I’ve got two sons, 25, 27 and a 13 year old daughter, all very successful in their own right. It’s a new chapter of my life as I moved to Arlington about 4 months ago to start running this business.

Fred Diamond: You said your son also works, you have people in the family who’ve worked at Nestle as well?

Dominic Strada: Yes, I actually have a son and a future daughter-in-law who both work for the organization and believe it or not, I have a nephew who works in the Purina division also. I’ve got quite a few family who work for the Nestlé organization.

Fred Diamond: Before I ask you what you specifically are responsible for – obviously I’m going to guess everyone listening to the podcast is familiar with the brand of Nestlé – but why don’t you give us a little bit of a scope into what the brand of Nestlé is and a summary of all the things that you guys sell?

Dominic Strada: That would take the entire podcast. I think whenever you ask somebody “Nestlé “, the #1 thing that comes to their mind is usually a candy bar. The interesting part is we don’t even own a candy business in the United States, that was divested about a year ago. Our biggest pieces of the business are our water division, our coffee division which would be under the Nescafe or Nespresso names, pet food is huge and that’s under the Purina banner, and then for example the division that I represent is known more for the Gerber brand or the Boost brand than it is for the Nestlé brand. Nestlé is a mix of many brands and the reality is you can’t go up and down the aisle of a grocery store without running into one of our products.

Fred Diamond: Why don’t you tell us specifically what you sell today and tell us what excites you about that?

Dominic Strada: I actually represent two different parts of our organization. I’m responsible for the Gerber Baby business and then on the flip side I represent Nestlé Health Sciences specifically representing their Boost line and Carnation Breakfast line of products. What’s exciting? There’s very few purchases within a grocery store, for example, a mass merchant store where there’s emotion tied to the category and I’ve had the ability to work in two of those. Working in the pet space or working in the baby space is much different than if you’re going down the canned vegetable aisle, so to speak, because you are truly responsible for making those decisions of what’s right and what’s not right for either the pet or for the baby of your family. There’s a little different emotion tied in that purchase and that’s what actually makes it very fun and exciting.

Fred Diamond: Again, you spent almost 30 years in the pet side. Most of the people we’ve interviewed on the Sales Game Changers podcast came from tech, media, professional services. Why don’t you tell us some things about selling pet food that we may not know?

Dominic Strada: I think for sales in general it doesn’t matter what you’re selling. You’re still confronted with the same business opportunities or a tax whether you’re selling widget A, B, C or D. You need to understand who your competitive set is, you need to understand what you’re solving from a consumer proposition, what’s that white space, the idea that your product is filling for the consumer? Once you have that, to me it’s an awful lot like sports. I grew up playing right through college, playing football and you need to understand the game, you need to understand who you’re up against, you need to understand their strengths and weaknesses and you need to know how to attack them. It’s the same basic philosophy whether I’m selling baby food, pet food or frankly if I went to any other company and sold item A, B, C or D.

Fred Diamond: We’ve interviewed people who’ve worked for big brands in technology: Oracle, Red Hat, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services. We recently interviewed a guy named Mike Williams who worker for Coca-Cola for a large part of his career. Tell us what it feels like to be a VP of sales for a big brand like Nestle.

Dominic Strada: That’s an interesting question because that really has changed over the last 5 years because the market dynamics have changed dramatically over the last 5 years. Over my 30 year career you could actually see the world of retailing in different phases. When I first started, it was really the transition from mom and pop or independent grocery stores into your big box grocery retailers – the ones that you go down and I grew up shopping in with my family. Then Walmart entered the space and that created a cultural change in the industry where there was much more focus on logistics, route to market, landed cost, things of that nature.

Then in the last 5 years, e-commerce has completely changed the dynamic of retailing. When you ask me a question, “What does it feel like to be responsible for a big organization” there’s pros and cons that come with that. In the “old days”, let’s say before 5 years ago, a lot of your competitive set was controlled because there was cost to enter. In order to get into Walmart, in order to get into a local grocery store, so on and so forth, there was a cost to doing business that only certain sized companies could more than likely foot in order to get on the shelf to be available to the consumer. That’s gone in the world of e-commerce.

What’s interesting in the world of sales the way I see it, getting to 95% of your goal is usually pretty easy. It’s that last 5% and then whatever accretive value you need to add if your company goal is grow 3%, 4%, 5%, whatever that number is. That’s where the difficult part happens. When you’re now up against hundreds if not thousands of competitors versus 3 or 4, if those small competitors just do a little bit of business it makes it much more difficult. There’s pros to being responsible for a big organization, there’s cons because you already have a big base you’re working off of. If you’re a small company, you’re working with a small base so any little wing you get has a dramatic impact on your sales year to year, you can say, “I’m growing 20%, 30%, 40%”.

When you have a base that’s $1, $2, $3 billion dollars or more and you’re fighting to grow that 2%, 3%, 4%, 5% there’s a different challenge. If the small company was sitting in front of you and says, “But you get access to people I don’t get because of your size and scale and your ability to influence”, yes. The flip side is there’s things they have and plays they can run that can generate very small gains that develop big wins for them that I can’t execute, because they have zero impact on my business.

Fred Diamond: Who do you sell to today? Again, you made the shift from pet food to health products to Gerber brand, if you will. Because of e-commerce and the shift and things like that, maybe 10 years ago or a big part of your career you sold to the food chains, the Kroger’s, if you will. Who do you sell to today? When you wake up every day, you have a large team of people around the globe, who do you sell to? Who’s your big customer?

Dominic Strada: Who do we sell to today in the world of Omni-channel? Everybody. If you looked at percentage business, yes, the big guys are still the line share of the business. We do a very large percent of our business at Walmart and traditional retail outlets. Specifically for baby food lines it would be grocery and mass retailer so Walmart, Target, the Kroger’s of the world, your local grocery store. For example in this market the Harris Teeter, Safeway and so on and so forth, but we do business everywhere. I’m also responsible for our across-border business. We have a large business that we do in places like China, we’re opening up Southeast Asia, India, Japan and South Korea this year. The world of retailing is changed, the consumer can buy anywhere at any time and my group needs to make sure our product is available anytime, anywhere at the value that consumer is looking for.

Fred Diamond: We’re going to talk about your sales career in a second but I just have a couple more quick questions. Again, you’re now responsible for the Gerber Baby brand, what is the Gerber Baby brand? Sure, everyone knows the Gerber Baby and those things, we’ve all probably eaten Gerber Baby food at one time in our lives. Tell us what that brand looks like and what are some things that we may not know about it when it comes to sales.

Dominic Strada: It’s an honor, actually to represent it because there’s very few brands that you could go and have a conversation with a customer and more than likely the person sitting at the other side of the desk ate your product at some point as they were growing up as a baby. In the early part of the Gerber lifecycle up until about 10 years ago, more than 8 out of every 10 dollars done in the category were in a Gerber Baby product. That’s very interesting, it’s humbling in a way, it’s challenging in a way because there’s only so much you can grow versus how much you can lose because of your market shares.

The Gerber brand today is in a state of transition, as we were moving our offices to here we were also looking at our brand heritage and what we need to do. Frankly, what mom’s looking for in today’s environment and what mom’s looking for today is dramatically different than what she was looking for 5, 10 years ago. We are dramatically changing our product offerings, our goal in Gerber is to always make sure we’re at the front end of innovation and providing mom with the product she wants today. We will be coming in with some exciting innovation over the next 6 to 9 months that will really meet the needs of today’s millennial moms.

Fred Diamond: Can you give us a little bit of insight into that? You said mom and I’ve taught MBA marketing classes for a large part of my career, I always tell the students that if it’s on a shelf it’s usually mom who’s making the purchase. You said mom has changed, the consumer has changed in the last 5 years. Is it organic, where are the changes coming?

Dominic Strada: Let me try and answer the first question, mom. I think I use the word mom where it can represent either mom or dad. That’s the other change with e-commerce, it’s not just mom going to the store doing the shopping because dad’s doing a lot of it at his computer also. That represents mom or dad – and I got off track and I forgot what your question was, I apologize.

Fred Diamond: Where’s the change, what has the change been? You said 5 years ago it was different than where it is today.

Dominic Strada: It’s really what they’re looking for, the dynamics of ingredient-based products. I think there’s a lot of information that is out there on the internet, some of it’s accurate, some of it isn’t accurate. As I talked at the beginning part, it’s an emotional category. They want to do what’s right for their baby and there’s buzz words out there right now that give people the impression they’re doing the best. For example, you throw out the word “organic” that to me is one of the most confusing words in retail space today, in marketing space today. “Organic” is going to tell you what’s being put on the fruit, vegetable, what the cow is eating, so on and so forth, it doesn’t tell you what’s in the soil.

Mom could be going to the store, buying an organic apple or banana, mashing it up and thinking she’s doing the absolute best thing for her baby not knowing that the heavy metals or other things that are in the soil that have transferred to that item are at a content level that’s really not good for her baby. That’s one of the things we pride ourselves on and as people look at it and say, “Big companies are bad”, I think they need to do the research to understand the safety mechanisms that big companies go to. Gerber has very limited suppliers we can go to to purchase our fruits and vegetables, for example, because of our standards. We actually deal with farmers who’ve been with us for 4 generations, so we have soil practices that are put in place. We know everything about not just what’s on it but what’s in it and why it truly is doing the best for your baby.

Fred Diamond: Let’s talk a little more about your career. Tell us how you first got into sales as a career.

Dominic Strada: That’s interesting because if you asked me when I was in college did I want to be in sales, I would have said no, I would have told you I wanted to be in marketing. Did I know what that was? I had no idea. I honestly had no idea what sales was until I did the sales internship job and then what I found out, it’s a little bit of everything. One of the things about sales is you have to be almost a general manager. You have to be able to create programming at customers or so on to sell your product, you have to understand the finances, you talk an awful lot about margin and profitability and things of that nature, you have to build sales plans, you have to work internally to identify what are the white spaces that we need to fill in our portfolio gap.

What I like about sales, two things: it’s a combination of multiple worlds and it’s different every day. That is the one thing in 30 years I can honestly say, I don’t think any two days is the same and never get comfortable thinking you’ve got something solved. You could have a great customer relationship and then all of a sudden the customer changes their structure or they get purchased by somebody else. You can never get comfortable, you can never think you have the solution.

What’s bad today could be good tomorrow, what’s good today can be bad tomorrow and you need to be constantly looking at what’s happening in your space and be in constant movement. That’s why I reference it’s a lot like sports, think of it like a soccer game. The ball’s in play, you better be moving and you better be thinking, “Where do I need to be now, with the next pass” so on and so forth.

Fred Diamond: What were some of your first few sales jobs and where did you go to school, by the way?

Dominic Strada: I went to school at the University of Rochester. My first few sales jobs, as I mentioned earlier, I started out as a sales intern for Ralston Purina. What they did is they gave you their introductory position which was a district sales representative, just in a much more scaled-down version. Came out of college, I went to work with Purina as a district sales representative and then progressed my career from there through account manager, team leader, so on and so forth. If I look back at my career and you ask me, I’ve done probably 18 or 19 roles in my 30 years. If I look at what’s been the most impactful, there’s those roles that really form the foundation of different competencies.

Being a district sales representative really taught you how important understanding your product and your competitor’s product is because you needed to understand how things fit on the shelf, you needed to understand what was important to store managers so you could build your stories. Understanding how the store worked transitioned to how I became a key account manager and then was able to develop the master plans for how we would win with that customer. Then you get into people leadership which is a whole different dynamic and there’s frankly no class that prepares you to be a people leader.

There are different things whether you’re talking professional, emotional, it’s just a lot of different things you have to deal with when you’re leading people. That first people leadership role, for me it was a district manager, really starts to give you an idea that not everybody can be managed the same and more importantly, you can’t manage people the way you want to be managed. You need to lead them the way they want to be led.

Fred Diamond: We’ll talk about the challenges in a few seconds but tell us about you specifically. Again, you said you held 19 different roles in your career with Nestle. Tell us what you’re an expert in, tell us what’s your specific area of brilliance.

Dominic Strada: I don’t know if I would ever call myself an expert in anything. I think what I bring and what’s been my strength is I like to say I’m dangerous in a lot of different areas. I know enough about things like logistics, finance and so on and so forth where I can go in and engage our customers. Frankly, I do more selling internally these days than I do externally. I can engage stake holders from multiple perspectives or provide a different view on how to attack an opportunity because I have a level of knowledge – not an expert knowledge, but a level of knowledge. The key is understand once you gain agreement in an area, then bring the people in who are experts. I think understanding that you don’t have to do everything and knowing how to delegate and who to involve is probably the greatest strength that I have.

Fred Diamond: Dominic, you’ve been with this company for close to 30 somewhat years, you must have had some amazing mentors especially with a company as globally successful as Nestle. Why don’t you tell us about an impactful sales career mentor or two and how they impacted your career?

Dominic Strada: I have to say one of the things that made me stay here for 30 years is I’ve been blessed to work for some incredible individuals who have taught me something along the way that made who I am today as a leader. If I had to look and say out of all the people I worked for, if I had to pick one, the person who used to be the Head of Sales for Nestle Purina for the bulk of my career, John McGinty. He was my mentor that I really tried to emulate and the follow up would be why. I think John was one of those people who truly cared about people. You hear that and you see that on too many vision statements or mission statements that people are our #1 asset, you don’t find a lot of people who walk the walk and truly believe people are their #1 asset. John not only tried to do each and every day what was right for the company, he truly did each and every day what was right for his team and the organization. To me, if you can put others in front of yourself, that’s a style in a leader that I like to emulate.

Fred Diamond: What are the two biggest challenges you face today as a sales leader? Again, you were in the pet specialty space for the large part of your career, you moved over into the Nestle Health Sciences and the Gerber Baby space about a year ago, I guess?

Dominic Strada: Yes, I moved over in April last year.

Fred Diamond: Just curiously, why did you make the move? Just wanted some new challenges?

Dominic Strada: When I looked at where my career was in Purina, there really wasn’t an opportunity to take that next step. Over the next 2 to 3 years, I had some opportunities outside of Purina but still within the Nestle world open up for me and I’ll be honest, the decision to switch probably happened 5 years ago when I made a move to go to Saint Louis. Where I said I would never live in St. Louis, that I would never work in the corporate office was things that I had said for years, the fact that I went to St. Louis and did a corporate job and loved both of them really opened me up to say, “Okay, I was wrong.” Instead of saying I won’t do something, let me go and do it because if I found out I loved this and I’ll probably love the next job, too. That opened up my opportunities within the Nestle world and things just worked out where there was a great opportunity to come be the Head of Sales. The interview process went well and 8 months later I’m very happy I made that move.

Fred Diamond: What are the two big challenges you face as a sales leader?

Dominic Strada: I think I mentioned one of them earlier, greatest challenge as a sales leader today is the market dynamic. E-commerce is changing the way we do business, so one of the things I need to be prepared for is to make sure my assets align with the new world. That’s not just a financial asset, that’s also making sure I have the human capital and I have my people trained to work within the new environment. That is by far the biggest challenge from a business perspective, the other one deals with people. You’re now seeing in today’s younger generation a different mindset.

What’s important to them today from flexibility, freedom, staying close to home, areas like that is different and they also have different expectations for what their career path should be. When you’re leading a people organization, meeting their needs because I’ve always found I have a very simple leadership style. It’s company, team, you, then me. Every decision we make better be for what’s best for the company so if you’re running one of my teams and you make a decision that’s good for your customer but it’s detrimental to the overall company, that’s not a good thing. Team comes before the individual, one of the things that’s lacking in a lot of organizations is the ability to have the fair and honest conversation. If you put the team over the individual, you’ll have those difficult conversations so that everybody is doing what they need to do for the team to succeed.

I’ve always been big on “you before me”, train your people, get them where they want to be and if your people are successful, A -they want to do a good job for you, B – by default, you will be successful. I don’t invest a lot of time into myself and the internal networking, I like to let my team’s results play out for how we lead.

Fred Diamond: Again, you’ve worked basically for the same entity for about 30 somewhat years and you’re working for one of the biggest brands on the planet. Take us back to the #1 specific sale success or win from your career that you’re most proud of.

Dominic Strada: I saw that question and I don’t know if I can nail that down to one. The reason I would say that is I never want my greatest sale accomplishment to be in the past. I always want to keep leaning forward and understand what’s out there, because my greatest one should be my next one. As I’m looking today at how we’re transitioning and transforming the Gerber business, we’ve had a few years of difficult sales. We’re completely transitioning product line up positioning so I’m in the midst of the last 6 months being out in front of every customer, walking them through our new journey.

To me, my greatest accomplishment will be delivering what I need to deliver this year and then my greatest accomplishment next year will be delivering what I need to deliver next year. I don’t get caught up on looking at anything in the past. There are things you’re always proud about, you always walk out and you’re like, “I feel good today.” I think what’s challenging is identifying did you win or did you lose in an environment as you go up the corporate ladder. It was easy when I first started out, I knew when I left that store, that account, did I win or lose today. Today I’m in a meeting, I may walk out thinking it was a great meeting, I may walk out thinking it was a horrible meeting. You really don’t know the results to that to 6 to 8 months later when you start to see did anything gain traction? Is anything being implemented? A lot of great things happen in meetings, there’s a lot of commitment made. Execution versus a good meeting are two totally different things.

Fred Diamond: Before we take a short break and listen to one of our sponsors, we haven’t touched on the Nestle Health Sciences side and you also are responsible for sales for the Boost product line and Carnation product line. When you go to any supermarket right now, there’s a whole row of protein, powders and shakes, all the competitors you talked about. You’ve been selling in a competitive space from day 1 but before we ask one final question and take a break, what can you tell us about the Health Sciences side that you also manage? The Boost product line or the Carnation product line.

Dominic Strada: I think it’s similar challenges. That space as you mentioned has got a lot of different variants coming in. The space that we really play in is more towards the older adult, so a lot of the protein powders and drinks are really targeting a little younger folk than what our Boost line is. We really go head to head with one other competitor in that space and the strength of that business is really done outside of the space I represent. It’s the medical detailing, we have a medical sales force that deals with the medical community and really talks about the nutrition and the value and what that product does for that older consumer that needs it.

That’s really the key anchor to the success of the Boost brand, and the other side of that business is Carnation, another heritage brand that everybody understands, recognizes. That’s under a dramatic transformation too, as you look at taking a brand that’s iconic in a singular space and is going to be brought in its reach as we go forward in the next 18 months. I think what you’ll see across all the Nestle divisions right now, there’s a focus on leading edge innovation and leading every segment that we compete in today versus being a fast follower.

That’s why you’ll see some of the acquisitions that we as Nestle have done in the last 18 months or so are all these cutting edge whether it’s in the coffee space, the pet space, the alternative protein space and frankly, in our baby space and health science space because health science made a big Atrium acquisition. There’s a lot of things that are happening to make sure we’re leading across our entire group.

Fred Diamond: Before we take a short break and listen to one of our sponsors, again you originally thought you were going to move into marketing. Did you ever question being in sales? Now that you’ve been involved for 30 somewhat years with some of the biggest brands on the planet, did you ever think to yourself, “It’s too hard, it’s just not for me”?

Dominic Strada: No, actually I have to say I’m very thankful every day that I chose the career that I did and again, I think it’s a challenge. The fact that I come to work every day thinking I know what’s going to happen and by the end of the day what I thought was going to happen may or may not… The challenges that sales has presented to me and the excitement to come to work every day is a decision I’m very happy I made which is why I’m still in it 30 years later and which is why I still love doing it.

Fred Diamond: Dominic, what’s the most important thing you want to get across to the junior selling professionals listening around the globe to help them take their sales career to the next level?

Dominic Strada: If I look at it today, I think first and foremost, come in with a willingness to learn and understand. Also, understand that you have as much to give your organization from day 1 as they have to give to you. I think that dynamic is totally different and what I mean by that is if you look at what we do from a sales and marketing perspective when we’re selling our product line, the media that they use is different than what I grew up on. It was easy, advertise on TV or in the newspaper or in magazines, right?

That’s not the case anymore and the new folks coming into the organization, especially the younger folks, they know more about the tools and vehicles that appeal to them than the leaders in our organization do today. I think the greatest thing you can do to advance your career is come in and question and challenge. Then also be humble enough to understand you don’t know what you don’t know. Take the time to learn from those who have been around on the things that you don’t know, but then also be prepared to push the organization on things that you do know. If you come in with that type of mindset, you provide an incredible amount of value to your organization from day 1.

Fred Diamond: What are some habits that you do to stay at the top of your sales game?

Dominic Strada: I think the greatest habit is be involved. Don’t get comfortable sitting behind your desk or listening to the same group of people. This is why I love when new folks come into the organization, it gives you an opportunity to question, learn and understand because one thing I’ve learned through the years, you can execute a play and a program and it’s great. You repeat it the next time, it’s still great, there’s a diminishing return so as the market understands what you’re doing, they either copy it or find a way to counter it. You need to be changing at least 20% of what you’re doing every three months. Likewise, you need to be thinking about things I would say 20% differently every month, and that’s the challenge. If you do that, A – it keeps it exciting but B – it keeps you at the top of your game.

Fred Diamond: What’s a major initiative you’re working on today to ensure your continued success?

Dominic Strada: Again, our initiative today is all focused on two things: one is integrating the new organization and staffing it for the future and #2, we’re completely renovating our line. It’s building that, “Why Gerber?” story with our key customers so they understand where we’re going not only for us, but why it’s good for them. Those are the two initiatives.

Fred Diamond: How long has the Gerber brand been around for?

Dominic Strada: I think like 90 years.

Fred Diamond: Isn’t that crazy? 90 somewhat years, this ubiquitous brand that anyone who’s a parent knows about, I presume and here you are going through all these changes and challenges in 2019 to continue to be successful.

Dominic Strada: I think that’s relevant in any brand that’s in the marketplace today. Coming from pet space, Purina had the same opportunity. Again, I think as you look at it, there’s different things happening, there’s different stories being merchandised to consumers. One of the challenges of being big versus small, when you say something as a big company, government looks at it. When you say something as a small company, not everybody’s looking at it or challenging it the same way. It makes us be very careful because you can expose your company to tremendous liability if you position something that’s not 100% positioned properly.

Fred Diamond: Dominic, sales is hard, we talked about a lot of the challenges. Your industry is being disrupted, of course there’s been huge shifts in the last 3 to 5 years about how the customer buys, where they go to buy, which has totally turned around your industry. Why have you continued? What is it about sales as a career that has kept you going?

Dominic Strada: As we talked earlier, it’s fun. I go to work every day looking forward to what’s in store. You break it down: is the work challenging? Yes. Is the work rewarding? Yes. Then, do you enjoy working side by side with the people you work with every day? And I’ve been blessed for 30 years to work with tremendous people and work for tremendous people where I don’t dread coming to work. Not a lot of people can say that.

Fred Diamond: Dominic, this has been a great interview, I could probably talk to you for another 3 to 4 hours. I used to teach MBA marketing classes and I’ve never actually spoken to someone with your company but it’s fascinating, the major shifts. I need to ask you one last question before we get your final thought. Again, for most of your career you’ve sold to physical places where your products were on shelf and of course now with the shift to e-commerce in a lot of ways, how do you sell to e-commerce platforms? How does that work versus selling to the Walmart’s, Kroger’s, Costco’s of the world?

Dominic Strada: Think about this. When you go into Walmart and you’re in the department, you’re in any department, what’s important to you as a consumer? This is a key to what anybody needs to think about today. How do you shop and what do you look for? That answers your questions for how you attack any opportunity. To that point, when you’re in the store it’s really your packaging, where it’s located, how you see it and what your packaging conveys. The same thing transfers to e-commerce, it’s just not a physical package, it’s digital content. The game is the same, it’s just the tools are different and you have to be able to understand what tools are at your disposal and how to utilize them to win.

That’s, again, what makes this fun because there’s some of the old because the attack strategies and understanding the consumer insight is where it all starts with. As long as you understand what’s really important to the consumer, then you need to make sure that you convey that to them in a way, a point of purchase that makes them understand your item meets that need better than anything else either on the shelf or on the digital page. That’s how you win.

Fred Diamond: Again, I could ask you 50 more questions here. In honor of our guest, people listening to the show around the globe, why don’t you give us one final thought? Again, you’ve given us so many great content here, we talked to Dominic Strada, Head of Sales at Nestle Nutrition. Dominic, give us one final thought to inspire the Sales Game Changers listening around the globe today.

Dominic Strada: I think the final thought is never get comfortable. If you always have that mentality that either you don’t know enough or somebody can take away what you have today, you’ll lose your edge. Never get comfortable, never be happy with what you are, never think you have a problem solved long-term and never think you have all the relationships that you need in order to be successful. Most importantly, don’t take advantage of your people. If your people are not aligned to you and want to win with you or for you, you will ultimately fail. Don’t just use those words, “People are our #1 asset”. Truly walk the talk with that.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo
Produced by Rosario Suarez

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