Sales Tips from the World's Toughest Customers

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Valero Energy: Do Your Homework

"When you come face to face with one of our buyers, it's usually a one-chance deal, so it adds some credibility when you've invested some time in researching Valero and learning what role you might play in it," says Hal Adams, vice president for retail merchandising at Valero Energy, a petroleum supplier that operates about 1,000 service-station convenience stores. "In order to do business with us, you need to be aware of our minimum requirements and preliminaries, and you need to be able to do those things. All that information is available on our website."