A positive to emerge from the difficulties of 2020 is a greater respect for the Jan/San industry. The work done by those in our industry is important. We have always known that. Nevertheless, others sometimes perceive the industry as being less important than it is.
That has all changed. The Covid-19 Pandemic has spotlighted our important role in maintaining public health. Roles have reversed. Instead of our sales teams pursing prospects in order to help them, the prospects are now pursing them for help. Our customers depend on us to help them through this critical time. The companies in the Jan/San space are the producers and distributors of critical items such as hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and PPE.
We provide more than product. Information on how to use the products correctly and when to use the products are part of the service we provide. Additionally, as distributors, we manage the logistics of getting the products to the needed users on time. It is not easy to say the least.
This has been a good time for people to see us for the professionals we really are.
I suggest that this is the perfect time to elevate our position even higher. This is the time to be even better than we have to be. This is the perfect time to create a competitive advantage. How?
It is time to hone our job skills and also upgrade our knowledge of the problems facing our customers. Challenge yourself to learn more about the struggles they face. Be able to provide reliable information, they do not yet know or understand
Familiarize yourself with the CDC guidelines pertaining to our industry. Know what the guidelines for reopening a building. How do you clean that building if it has been empty? How do you clean it if someone has tested positive for Covid-19? How do you make sure a school is safe? How do you keep customers safe in a restaurant? What are the guidelines of the local and Health State departments? How do you interpret EPA List N? Who regulates hand sanitizers, the EPA, CDC, or FDA?
If you provide food service disposables, how can you impact the effectiveness, efficiency, and profitability of your customers business. Do you feel the pulse of that small business owner struggling to pay their overhead, pay their employees, and stay in business? Are you familiar with the labor challenge that the governmental assistance program has created? Can you address how to improve the takeout process and help them make up the lost catering and eat in business?
To be on top of these subjects requires you to spend time focused on learning these things at a much deeper level. Surface knowledge just won’t do! Knowledge is what allows you to bring value to that end user so it actually helps them. One must be willing to gather this information from many sources and then condense and explain it in a useful fashion. That is what it takes to be seen as a true professional. To be seen as an expert in your field. To be recognized as a trusted advisor.
I challenge you to commit to this worthy process and gain the satisfaction of knowing you are really making a difference.