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product, you can generally overcome most objections,”

Case explains.

For example, Kristoff sales representatives are often

asked what products are new by retailers and consum-

ers. While the company may not have anything that’s

necessarily new, it’s rare for a retailer to carry every

blend the company has to offer. This gives the sales

representatives something “new” to sell. Kristoff’s

Original Maduro is the company’s second blend and is

also the company’s top-selling product. For any retailer

looking for a Kristoff product to start with, this blend is

a product that could help expand the Kristoff footprint

within a retail space.

Also, Case says that retailers must stand behind the

Kristoff brand to help it find success within a store.

To start, retailers are encouraged to carry a good

representation of Kristoff’s lines in both blends and

vitolas. Retailers are viewed as partners, and Kristoff

works with them to achieve success for both Kristoff

and each store. Retailers can help support the brand

and its products by holding cigar events and in-store

promotions and by properly training employees on

the products.


When asked what factors play into the success of a

tobacco business today, Case touches on the number

of pre-predicate date products a manufacturer has to

work with, as well as pending legislation. With the ongo-

ing legislative efforts to get premium cigars exempted

from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA)

regulation, today’s tobacco manufacturers have to grap-

ple with a lot of uncertainty in the market. If there are

no changes to the agency’s deeming rules, success may

come down to which companies can afford to get their

products tested or receive full approval from the FDA to

bring their products to market.

Case acknowledges that companies that launched

after the predicate date of Feb. 15, 2007, will face

a different set of challenges, but Kristoff and those

who were established before can all do one thing: get

involved in legislative and legal efforts to bring about

change. “I personally would like to see more manu-

facturers get involved in the fight against the FDA,

either by spending time on [Capitol Hill] to meet

with members of the House and Senate, or [by pro-

viding the] financial support that is critical in fighting

this battle,” he says.

For Kristoff and Glen Case, the goal moving for-

ward is simple—the brand will continue to grow

beyond market rates and expand nationally and

internationally. Achieving these goals, Case says, will

come down to the three key elements of growth: qual-

ity, consistency and availability of product. In addi-

tion to managing the economics of your business and

reinvesting in areas that will give you a great return,

Case urges his industry peers to get out and start sell-

ing as the face of the company. He offers four tips (see

sidebar) that can help anyone find success and viabili-

ty in today’s competitive marketplace.


Glen Case’s top-four tips

to being a successful



Understand your

weaknesses, and sur-

round yourself with peo-

ple that are better and

smarter than you to com-

pensate for them. “I like

to say, ’If you think you’re

the smartest person in the

room, then you’re in the

wrong room,’” says Case.


Always be open to

suggestions and input

from others. “Even

though you think you

have the best-thought-

out plan or idea, I’ve

found that getting others’

perspective can never

hurt—it often can help,”

he says.


Always treat others

with respect. “While this

sounds like a pretty basic

and fundamental concept,

I’ve had the opportunity

to work with others over

the last 32 years who defi-

nitely did not embrace

this concept,” says Case.

“There is no greater

de-motivator than disre-

specting someone you

work with—or anyone for

that matter.”


Lead with honesty

and integrity, and instill

those same attributes in

your team. “Again, this

seems pretty obvious;

however, I’ve seen others

intentionally do things

that were unethical in an

effort to try and get ahead

or gain the upper hand—

only to find themselves in

a very compromising and

failing position,” Case







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