Dale B. Johnson (DBJ) Associates
Cheryl Lickteig first fell in love with promotional products while managing a high-tech company’s marketing group. “I occasionally purchased promotional products,” she says. “My promo distributor rep introduced me to so many interesting products that could be used to promote our brand and reward our customers that I was intrigued and excited about the possibilities in this industry.” She later went to work as an account manager for a supplier and then a distributor before joining Dale Johnson Cornell at DBJ Associates.
The job checked all the boxes for Lickteig, who has since spent the past 25 years helping her clients solve their problems. “I like the opportunity to work with my distributors to solve their customers’ challenges by offering a variety of products and decorating solutions,” says Lickteig, who is based in Groton, Massachusetts, and covers New England and Upstate New York. “I also enjoy working with such diverse distributor companies that range in size, organization and business approach.”
Among those who nominated Lickteig is Sharon J. Walsh, president of distributor Sun Specialties, Inc., who notes her rep’s honesty and integrity, and her willingness to consistently go the extra mile. “She has driven to my office with samples for a rush presentation,” says Walsh, “and supplied no-charge spec samples on a brand name line that does not usually offer that. It resulted in an order!” She was also impressed with the extra product education that resulted when Lickteig brought supplier company executives to some of Sun Specialties’ meetings.
Nominator Tami Wainscott at The Allen Company, who nominated Lickteig along with DBJ principal Dale Johnson Cornell (See Cornell’s profile on the previous page), adds, “… your immediate sense of knowing you are working with and speaking to a class-act multi-line representative team is more than reassuring. It’s peace of mind and that is what you will experience in working with Dale and Cheryl.”
One On One With Cheryl Lickteig
On the difficulties of the job: Capturing the distributor’s time and attention is a huge challenge. Our distributors are extremely busy trying to service their customers, stay ahead of their competition and compete with the internet. Hopefully they learn to value our help and support.
On maintaining exclusivity of product lines: It has become more difficult to have lines that are focused only on one product category. We have worked to maintain suppliers who have one major category so we can give them strong product and line recognition. We educate our distributors on how each of our suppliers offers the best products to fill their needs for specific opportunities.
On keeping multi-line reps relevant: We work with both our distributors and suppliers to make sure we are on top of current promotional product and retail business trends. Reading industry updates, attending educational opportunities and checking the competition are important as well.
On how distributors can help her serve them better: We are partners working to gain more business—so put us to work.