At any company, when a new employee is brought on board, the team hopes the individual at least fulfills their role. It is a plus if that person goes beyond their assigned job title and “clicks” with other employees. In Rob Bentivegna’s case, the Makers Nutrition sales team was lucky enough to be joined by someone with the dedication, personality, and approachability that makes our company better.
Before Makers, Rob was a sales associate for GNC (General Nutrition Centers). He has been able to carry over and apply skills acquired during that time to educate our clients and assist them through the private label supplement manufacturing process. Here’s what Rob had to say about his experience so far.
Q: Before joining the Makers team, you both worked for GNC, which sells health products such as vitamins, minerals, and sports nutrition supplements. What knowledge have you found helpful from your previous positions in your work here at Makers Nutrition?
I have found the knowledge of specific ingredients to be most useful. When we are contacting potential clients and they ask us for either our opinion of a certain ingredient(s) or if that ingredient is something we can obtain for a product, knowing what the ingredient does, is used for, and the DRV helps not only the customer understand more about the ingredient he or she has submitted, but it also help us as sales representatives gain the trust of the potential client by having the knowledge to explain and go into detail about it.
Q: How different is B2C from B2B? Have you been able to transfer any skills acquired during your time at GNC?
I personally enjoy speaking to people, regardless of environment. When I worked at GNC, speaking to people one-on-one in person was and still is definitely a strong suit for me; while speaking to a stranger over the phone and trying to be as personable was a big change for me. I soon realized that someone over the phone can hear and feel when you are happy and excited to speak to them, so I took how I used to act and respond to customers in a retail setting in person, and transferred that same demeanor to over the phone and the response has been the same: people are willing to talk to someone who sounds and approaches them like they actually want to be in the conversation.
Q: Our goal at Makers Nutrition is to provide unbeatable quality and service for supplement companies, from startups to seasoned brands. How do you inform your potential clients that our partnership is the one to choose?
Being an employee of Makers Nutrition and seeing and hearing how much pride we all take in caring for each and every customer is truly amazing, and I am happy to be a part of it. When a client comes to me looking to manufacture supplements, whether for a startup or an existing company, I always tell them that customer service is one of the most important keys to our company that many other manufacturers lack. By the time our conversation is concluded, if I haven’t sold them on how much I personally care about their goals and their product(s), I always tell them that they will never be left in the dark about any part of their project. They will always have at least two points of contact, either myself or my account manager, if not more! This is comforting to someone who is taking a risk by spending their hard-earned money, and trusting someone will be there to get them from A-Z.
Q: Which products do you receive the most inquiries about? Have you noticed any trends on the market?
Lately, protein products and immunity products. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, immunity products make a lot of sense to be literally flying off our shelves. As far as protein goes, I have noticed a great deal of sales opportunities involving protein-related products. I asked prospective clients why they were interested in coming out with a protein supplement and most of them had similar responses, “to be prepared when the smoke settles.” When I asked them to expand on this, they simply said once things begin to go back to normal, people are going to be looking for a new and improved formula to try, so dietary supplement companies are looking to be ahead of the game!
Q: Many of our product specialists know a lot about dietary supplementation because they are supplement users themselves. Do you take any supplements yourself? If so, have you found speaking from experience to help clients in their decisions?
I have been a supplement user for basically my entire, I have used all spectrums of supplements. I personally do find that when a potential customer comes to me with a product that I know a lot about and can confidently speak on the matter, the relationship grows instantly because I am showing honesty and confidence about what they are looking to produce. I enjoy speaking with clients about sports nutrition because that’s where my passions really are, but I am confident in all aspects of supplements.
Q: As you are well on your way to success at Makers Nutrition, what are you looking forward to the most?
Continuing to build relationships with customers and really inspiring clients to achieve whatever goals they have when creating supplements.
Executive Vice President Steve Finnegan is the first to say that when Makers Nutrition hires someone new, we are fully aware of our investment. While revenue is important, it’s not everything. We make sure that the people we employ understand why they were hired in the first place and the potential we see in them. And we look forward to seeing Rob fulfill that potential!
Want to follow in Rob’s footsteps? Look out for Makers Nutrition on Indeed.com and apply to a "BIG Best Place to Work and Inc. 5000 company!