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MSN E-Newsletter March 2015

To view current and archived issues of Maintenance Sales News, click here.


By Rick Mullen
Maintenance Sales News Associate Editor

When Jim Pancero, who is an advanced sales and sales management training expert, finds himself sitting in first class on an airplane, he knows statistics from the frequent flyer program indicate there is an 80 percent chance the person next to him is in sales or a sales management position.

As Pancero tells it, “Whenever I get upgraded to first class, I turn to the person next to me and ask, ‘What do you do?’ The person most often says, ‘I’m in sales.’

“I ask him or her, how long have you been selling and what do you sell? After they tell me, I ask, ‘How much sales training have you had in the past 12 months?’ The average response I get on an airplane is, ‘I’ve been selling for 15 years.’ People tend to equate experience with training.

“So, I ask if he or she has had sales training. I often hear, ‘I’m experienced. I’m successful. Why do I need sales training?’”

Pancero told this story to a room full of attendees during an educational seminar at the ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2014 trade show and convention in November in Orlando, FL.

“I’m assuming you are in this room because you are a principal, a senior executive or a CEO,” Pancero said. “The reality is we have more aggressive competitors in your industry, and new competitors (including non-traditional players in the jan/san segment, the Internet, etc.)”

Pancero referred to the Internet as an example of how the modern selling landscape has and continues to change.

“Today, a person can just ‘Google’ a product,” he said. “Look at how the whole selling arena has changed, and yet many sales people are still saying, ‘Well, I was trained 20 years ago, so why do I need it now?’”

Pancero’s presentation was titled “How to Coach and Train Your Sales Team in the Five Selling Skills That Can Best Increase Your Competitive Advantage.” During the seminar, he referenced a workbook by the same title, which can be downloaded from Pancero has conducted an edcational session at 18 of the past 24 ISSA annual conventions, and is also scheduled to be a presenter in 2015.

Pancero outlined some skill sets and “tests” designed to help a company increase its competitive advantage.

“As a leader of a sales organization, what skills do you need from your team that would most increase your competitive advantage and your success?” Pancero asked those in attendance. “What I want to do is walk you through five skills and talk about why they are critical to a successful sales team.”

According to the workbook, the first skill is “sales consistency and professionalism.” The first “test” of this skill is to write down the steps of a sales call.

“Of all the sales people I meet, 95 percent cannot write down the steps of a sales call,” Pancero said.

As listed in the workbook, the five steps of a sales call are:
• Lower resistance;

• Ask questions and qualify; identify customer needs; learn/understand their environment; and qualify the relevance and appropriateness of your solution;

• Present your solution;

• Close. Where do we go from here? What happens now? What do we need to do next?; and,

• Agree to your next contact.

Pancero gave a little history lesson on when the steps of a sales call were first identified and published.

“The steps of a sales call were identified in 1925 in a book titled, ‘Birth of a Sales Person,’” Pancero said. “The Ford Motor Company was the first company to publish these steps. It was a revolutionary concept, because it defined structure to a process that nobody understood had structure. The steps of a sales call immediately became wildly popular and everybody copied them.”

Despite the popularity and reception the steps of a sales call have enjoyed, Pancero alluded to a problem in comparing what works in automotive sales to what works in selling jan/san products and services.

“In the process of selling a car, the final step is not agreeing to and setting up the next contact between the buyer and the car sales person — it is the close,” Pancero said. “When the steps were first published in 1925, they ended with the close. There was some follow-up and paperwork to clean up, but the call itself ended with the close.”

Pancero explained the sale of a car is an “event” sale. Sales in the jan/san industry typically fall under another category.

“Sales people do ‘process’ selling in the jan/san industry,” he said. “A sales person doesn’t call on customers just once, he or she calls on them forever. It is a process, however, if a sales staff is asked to write down the steps of a sales call, I’ll bet the last step they write down will be the close, even though it is not relevant to the industry.”

According to the workbook, the second skill is “thinking and planning multiple moves ahead, selling new business.”

“The second skill set involves working on ‘operational’ skills,” Pancero said. “Operational skills are a person’s personal persuasion skills. The knowledge of the steps of a sales call is an operational skill because it makes the sales person personally persuasive. Any kind of personality, flexibility or skill training is an operational skill. Also, technical industry knowledge is an operational skill, because it makes the sales person personally effective.”

Pancero suggested to audience members that they ask their sales people to write down what they do from the time an opportunity is identified to the closing of the sale.

In addition, Pancero said, “Ask your sales reps to list their best accounts. Also, ask, ‘What did you do on the first call to that account?’ Then ask, ‘What are you going to do on the second call on that account?’ Chances are you are not going to be happy with the answer.

“The most common answer I hear when I ask that question is whatever the sales person did on the first call is what he or she is going to do on the second call. Another common answer is, ‘I’m not going to know what to do on the second call until I see the outcome of the first call.’ These sales people are thinking one move ahead. Why is this a problem? If, in a game of chess, one player is thinking one move ahead, while the second player is thinking two moves ahead, the second player will win every game.”

Higher, Wider And Deeper

Pancero said rectifying “one-call” thinking depends on developing a proactive plan to get “higher, wider and deeper” with customers to increase a company’s competitive edge.

Without such a plan in place, Pancero said, sales forces tend to be reactive, rather than proactive in their sales methods.

“I tell sales people, we don’t need firefighters, we need arsonists,” he said.

Moreover, without a defined, proactive process, sales people tend to go about their jobs, “free-forming” and “shooting from the hip,” as Pancero described their methods.

“As the sales person reinvents the process each time for a new customer, when something goes wrong, there is nothing to learn, because no consistent process was followed,” he said.

For example, if a company devises a six-step proactive process designed to give it a competitive edge and then something goes wrong, there is a structure in place that can be studied and adjusted.

“Maybe we need to add a tool here or add a step there to neutralize what happened,” Pancero said. “With a plan in place, now even a loss has value, because it helps to improve the process.”

The third skill is “thinking and planning multiple moves ahead with your support of your most important customers,” according to the workbook.

The third set involves “tactical” skills, Pancero said, which include processes and/or structures. For example, how to manage and support an account from January 1 to December 31 is a multiple-step, tactical structure or process.

“One of the things I’ve observed is the reactive nature of sales reps,” Pancero said. “If I tell a sales rep I am ready to buy, he or she will be my best friend. After I buy and sign a contract, what happens? When does the sales rep come back? The answer is about a month before the contract comes up for renewal.

“The questions to ask are, ‘What is the plan to support your most important accounts when there is no major new opportunity in play? What is your plan to maintain support of your accounts?’

“When I ask that question, I get the same three answers. The first answer is people tell me how often they call on customers. They visit a customer on a regular basis every two to six weeks and ask him or her four questions — Anything you need? Anything coming up? Anything I can help with? How’s the family? They go to the next customer and ask, anything you need? Anything coming up? Anything I can help with? How’s the family? Then the sales people come back and say, ‘Boss, everything is stable. Nobody needs anything. My customers are locked in.’”

The second answer Pancero most often receives from sales reps is they have usually planned only one social activity during the year to help “bond” with a client.

The third answer is to the question, “Anything else?” The answer, Pancero said, is “no.”

“These are the three answers sales people give. They will tell me how frequently they call on customers — ‘I stop every four weeks to see if they need anything.’ They will tell me the social event they have planned in August to build a relationship, right before the contract ends. And then the third response only focuses on what they will personally be doing for the account. No one else helping this customer is usually ever mentioned by the rep.

“This scenario is a ‘Lone Ranger’ without a sales strategy as a ‘Tonto.’ Isn’t it amazing that, in the eyes of the sales rep, there is nobody else in the company who can help this customer. There is a sales mantra that says, ‘If you want it done right, do it yourself.’ How many people have this attitude? By not using his or her support team, about 30 percent of a sales person’s effectiveness is taken away doing service work that could easily be done by others. A sales person could spend this time selling if he or she trusted the support team. This is something a company needs to work on, as trust cannot be forced.”

The fourth skill set is “connecting within your most important accounts,” according to the workbook.

“The fourth skill set is strategic. Strategic deals with a company’s philosophy, approach, positioning and branding,” Pancero said. “Branding is predictability. The more predictable a company, the stronger its brand — this is a philosophy; this is a position.”

Pancero pointed out that 90 percent of all sales training done these days is on product knowledge, which he thinks is a problem found in the entire jan/san industry.

“Of the 10 percent of training that is left, 90 percent of that 10 percent is on attitude and operational skills,” he said. “If sales people have had any training, it most likely has been on how to ask questions, how to present, how to close, steps of a sales call, how to sell value against a low price — all this operational stuff.

“Here’s the problem, I don’t know of an industry that I can name where operational excellence gives a company a competitive edge. It does not exist. Operational excellence just makes a business competitive, it doesn’t give it an edge.”

Pancero asked the attendees how many of their customers have said, “You are higher priced, but I have to buy from you, because that was a perfect sales call?”

He added: “The reality is operational excellence makes a company competitive, but it doesn’t give it a competitive edge. A competitive edge comes from tactics, controlled processes, thinking more moves ahead than competitors, strategy, philosophy, positioning and communicating a business’ uniqueness. These are problems areas where most companies lack training.”

Pancero said a company’s profitability and sales force’s skill would not be increased by making the “perfect” sales call.

“Tactics and strategy are critical, but most people are not training on these topics,” Pancero said.

Because many companies do not have programs or the tools in place to train on tactics and strategy, their sales people tend to develop their own methods, according to Pancero.

“In these cases, when a customer buys from a sales rep, that company’s service people have no idea why the customer bought from them in the first place. They don’t know how to support the sale, because each sales rep is making this stuff up as he or she goes along,” Pancero said.

Another question Pancero suggested attendees put to their sales team is how are they going to get “higher, wider and deeper” into their accounts?

“‘Higher’ means calling on executives who can actually pay for stuff,” Pancero explained. “‘Wider’ is calling on other departments to understand what is happening and to understand the culture of a client’s company. It asks the question, ‘How we can provide more value or do something unique that is different from our competition.’

“‘Deeper’ indicates we are going down to the front-line users to understand them, which provides a perfect indicator if there are any challenges or concerns.”

A scenario is often played out that a company’s sales rep has not developed a trust for his or her support team. Furthermore, the sales person does not have a strategy to get higher, wider and deeper with his or her clients. In such a case, Pancero posed the following question, “What if this sales rep’s only contact in a company goes away or changes?”

“How many of your top accounts are one car wreck away from being lost?” Pancero asked the audience. “The average answer I get is 50 percent.”

Pancero asked what would happen if a company’s only contact at a client’s business suddenly dies or is replaced.

“All of a sudden it is like a new prospect for your company,” Pancero said. “It doesn’t matter that you have sold to them for 10 years. There is now a new person in charge and that person asks, ‘Why do I want to buy from you? We’ve done business with you in the past, but what are you going to do for me now? Show me what you got?’

“You are back to ground zero with this account, because there were no past efforts to get higher, wider and deeper.”

Another factor in training a sales staff on how to get higher, wider and deeper has to do with learning the lingo and subject matters that are associated with each level. Pancero drew the parallel between operational, tactical and strategic skills with the three levels in a company associated with the concept of higher, wider and deeper.

Pancero said most sales reps are “one-trick ponies” in that they mostly know about, and talk, products. However, when getting “deeper” with front-line users, the majority of the focus is going to be in the “operational” skills area. Likewise, “tactical” skills relate to the “wider” aspect, as the majority of a department head’s work is going to be tactical — what to do if a guy doesn’t show up for work today, for example.

When going “higher,” a sales rep needs to understand that an owner’s or CEO’s main concern is where their company is going to be in five years. A CEO or owner is going to want to know how the sales rep can contribute to the company’s competitive edge and help financially.

“Ask your people what they say to an owner of a company, compared to what they say to a purchasing agent,” Pancero urged attendees. “Many of them will not be able to tell you the difference. When it comes to how to get higher, wider and deeper, we must teach sales people that at each level the language is different. The topics of discussion and the hot-button issues of organizations are all different.”

The fifth skill, as outlined in the workbook, is “communicating a stronger message of competitive positioning, value and uniqueness.” It attempts to answer the question, “Why, based on the alternatives available to me, do I want to buy from you?”

“I find this is the toughest single question in selling,” Pancero said. “A sales rep begins talking with a prospect, who says, ‘You are the third vendor I have talked to about this stuff this week. Based on all the competitive alternatives available to me, why do I want to buy from you?’”

Part of what has traditionally made it difficult for many companies to define and establish a consistent, unified message on their competitive positioning, value and uniqueness has been what Pancero calls the “Baby Boomer” model.

“The Baby Boomer model for most companies refers to a sales force, in which each person has his or her own style, like independent ‘gunfighters,’” Pancero said. “Most Baby Boomer sales people view selling like a game of tennis. They might have a coach on the side, but when they walk out onto the court to play, they are on their own.

“What happens is, because the company has never worked on it, each sales person has developed his or her own message of why people want to buy from them. Therefore, every customer brought in can’t be supported, because no one really knows why they bought in the first place. Secondly, the reason a customer made a purchase might run completely counter to a company’s beliefs.”

10 Steps To Strengthening Message Of Competitive Uniqueness

The workbook outlines in more detail the following 10 steps to strengthening a company’s sales team’s message of competitive uniqueness:

• Agreement — You are not in a price driven market;

• Identification — Your uniqueness and competitive edge will no longer likely come from your products, but from your support organization to help your customers increase their utilization and ease of using your products.

“I can’t think of an industry today where products are a competitive advantage,” Pancero said. “It just doesn’t exist. Remember when Apple phones were a competitive edge because they were so unique? This is no longer the case.”;

• Build a team list — Write on a flip chart pad or white board the major points to answer a customer or prospect asking, “Why, based on all the competitive alternatives available to me, do I want to buy from you?”;

• Put your completed “Why buy” list through the four consistent problems or tests of your uniqueness message (outlined in the program workbook);

• Discuss the “Four Core Values” and how they apply to your organization;

• Discuss as a team how you can repackage your value and uniqueness into one consistent message delivered by all members of your team;

• Test your message to ensure you are moving in the correct direction;

• Discuss your expectations of how much of your message you expect each member of your team to be able to communicate;

• Work with all members of your team to learn and consistently communicate your new message of value and uniqueness to all prospects and customers; and,

• Monitor your customers and competitors to ensure your message continues to accurately communicate your competitive value and uniqueness.

“Invoke your leadership. Baby Boomers are phasing out,” Pancero told the audience. “Value is you, as a leader of your sales team, putting the direction, the message, and the tools in place to increase your company’s competitive edge.”

Times are constantly changing, and the younger generation often approaches its job differently than its older counterparts.

“When you were 10 to 14 years old, what sports did you play and in what environment,” Pancero asked. “If you are a Baby Boomer, I’ll bet it was all neighborhood play. Somebody had a bat, somebody had a ball and you had a game.

“If you are about 30 years old, what sports did you play when you were 10 to 14? I’ll bet whatever sport it was, it involved a uniform, a coach and a team. There wasn’t as much independent play for the next generation of workers coming into the marketplace.

“‘Boomer’ law was to ignore everybody. Leave Boomers alone and watch them create magic. There was no team. Now all of a sudden, the sons and daughters of Boomers are joining a sales team, and what’s their first question? It is, who is the coach? The second is, where is the uniform, and the third is, where is the team?”

Contact: Jim Pancero, Inc.,
2006 Robin Hill Lane, Carrollton, TX 75007.
Phone: 952-913-8998.

Warsaw Chemical Company Remains Open After Fire

Ken Bucher, Warsaw Chemical president said, “On Friday, February 6, 2015, there was a fire in our bulk plant, which is detached from our main production facility. We are grateful that no one was seriously injured. Only the detached building was effected and we are in full production. The investigation as to the cause of the fire is ongoing. We appreciate your concern and want you to know that we are open and production is running at
100 percent.”

Warsaw Chemical offers over 200 Car Choice® brand car wash products and maintenance products internationally and throughout the United States. Warsaw Chemical also offers two lines of environmentally friendly products for the car wash and maintenance industries.


For more information, contact Warsaw Chemical Co., Inc. at 800-548-3396 or visit

DDI System Has New Upgrade, The 21.0.12

DDI System, a software provider for wholesale distributors, now offers the Inform ERP Version 21.0.12.

Its features include: automated and single click end of month reporting and delivery, the ability to process all account payables at once from a single screen, automated delivery of custom reports at user designated intervals, the ability to zoom into the screen, and more.

“Our developers have a passion for the distribution industry. They constantly deliver meaningful innovations that create strategic advantages for wholesale distributors nationwide,” said Barbara Jagoe, DDI System COO.

Barbara Jagoe, DDI System COO

“DDI’s inform software combines everyday operational benefits in accounting, inventory, sales, purchasing and pricing, with sales driving tools such as CRM, direct marketing, real-time e-commerce and mobile apps.”

Visit, or call DDI for a demonstration at 877-599-4334.

From Spartan
Tamper Resistant Dispenser
Offers Convenience

Spartan Chemical Company, a formulator and manufacturer of sustainable cleaning and sanitation solutions for the industrial and institutional market, has added 18 oz. captive foam pump dispensers to its Lite‘n Foamy® hand care line.

Spartan's new 18 oz. foam dispensers are available in six varieties, three of which are new formulas. Included in the line are: Cranberry Ice Handwash, Eucalyptus Mint Anti-Bacterial Handwash, and Lemon Blossom Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitizer. New are: Healthcare Personnel Handwash, Hypoallergenic Handwash, and Fruit Burst Handwash.

“Since many facilities have different guidelines, it is important to have multiple dispensing options available,” said John Swigart, president of Spartan Chemical Company.

“For example, the facility may be opposed to installing a soap dispenser into a wall, or it may require tamper-resistant packaging.”

All of the Lite’n Foamy anti-bacterial hand hygiene formulas are triclosan-free and alcohol-free. Triclosan is currently being re-evaluated by the FDA.

Product and features include:

Healthcare Personnel Handwash

Suitable for use in high risk areas and in situations where it is important to reduce the potential for transmission of healthcare acquired infections, Lite’n Foamy Healthcare Personnel Handwash is recommended for medical and healthcare operations. Designed to be gentle on frequently washed hands, the emollient-enriched formula can help condition the skin and promote skin health.


Hypoallergenic Hand Wash

For sensitive skin, Lite’n Foamy® Hypoallergenic Foaming Handwash offers a soothing solution for even frequent hand washing. Tested and validated by a dermatologist to ensure gentleness, this cleanser meets the requirements of U.S. cosmetic regulations. It is unperfumed and designed with a skin-balanced pH.

Fruit Burst Handwash

Formulated with environmentally preferable components, Lite'n Foamy® Fruit Burst is recommended for LEED buildings or green programs. It has a fruity mandarin fragrance.

Spartan will also be offering three new formulas in bulk packaging for the Lite’n Foamy refillable hand hygiene program. These and other Lite‘n Foamy® hand care products are available through Spartan distributors. Visit


Bullen Names Bill Huss National Sales Manager

The Bullen Companies recently named Bill Huss National Sales Manager. Huss previously served as regional sales manager for Bullen. His experience spans 15-plus years with companies generating revenues of $5 million to $9 billion.

Huss has all sales responsibilities for The Bullen Companies. He has also worked as a distributor sales person, a distributor sales manager and as a regional manager for a major chemical manufacturer.

The Bullen Companies is a manufacturer in the floor care, carpet care, disinfection and odor control markets.

Bullen has served the janitorial supply industry since 1939, producing cleaning solutions under the brands: Airx Laboratories, e-clean Products, Clausen Carpet Solutions, Truekleen, Road Off, and One-Up, along with private label manufacturing.

Bill Huss

To learn more about The Bullen Companies, go to

From Tornado:
New Large Walk-Behind Automatic Scrubber

Tornado now offers its walk-behind automatic scrubber. The BD 28/20 has a narrow profile for easier maneuvering, but is still recommended for wide-area cleaning especially in grocery stores, retail facilities, hospitals, and more.

“The BD 28/20 lays down cleaning solution, scrubs the floor, and then vacuums away soil and moisture, leaving floors clean and dry in one pass. With the BD 28/20, users can make 180-degree turns and clean nearly 30,000 square feet per hour," according to the company.

For more information, visit or call: 800-VACUUMS (800-822-8867).


Tornado Industries has been engineering cleaning equipment for more than 80 years.

From CFR:
The Portable Cascade 20 Extractor, Fast And Effective

The Cascade 20 from CFR is a recycling portable extractor with a 25-gallon tank and adjustable pressure up to 400 psi for deep cleaning heavily soiled carpets.

The system can clean 8,000 square feet of carpeting per hour, when used for interim cleaning, and as much as 4,200 square feet per hour for restorative cleaning.

The three-stage vacuum motor allows carpets to dry quickly, so just cleaned areas can immediately be put back into use.


For more information, visit or call: 800-533-2557.

Rankin Publishing Co., Inc. | 204 E. Main St., P.O. Box 130 | Arcola, Illinois 61910-0130, USA
(800) 598-8083 (217) 268-4959 Fax: (217) 268-4815 | email:


Coming in the Mar/Apr 2015
print issue of MSN.


• Paper & Wipes
& Liners

• Carpet Care Equipment

• Odor Control Chemicals & Equipment

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