U.S. Workplace Fatalities Likely at Highest Level Since 2008

Source: WSJ – Alexandra Berzon

I hear a lot of distributors comment that their customers don’t care about safety and price is all that matters.

Is workplace safety really the priority espoused by the Industry?  Or, are refineries, chemical plants, contractors, oilfield services companies, etc. all conspiring to improve the bottom line at the expense of worker well-being?  I contend that safety and a strong bottom line can and must coexist.

It is the responsibility – actually it is in the best interest – of every professional hose distributor salesperson to properly educate their customers on safety and safe products.  A plant Safety Manager, who doesn’t know about the newest and best products that can improve his or her plant, will continue with the status quo.  This means the plant purchasing manager will seek the lowest priced products they can find.

Keys to overcoming price objections:

  • Educate the right people
    • Start by educating the Safety Manager/Safety Department.  You’ll make a friend and create a “champion” who will help you navigate the purchasing department. (Wake up! the Purchasing Department doesn’t care about your safety speech.)
  • Become a hero
    • You’ve now solved problems for your “champion”. Work together to overcome any objections from purchasing.
    • Become the hero when you are able to show purchasing that safer products aren’t necessarily more expensive products.  (Bang! Win-win.)
  • Establish yourself as a resource
    • By introducing your customers to new products you are educating them on how to improve safety.  In this way, you will become an important resource for them and ultimately a long-term supplier.

You can win short-term, low profit business by being the lowest quote or you can win long-term profitable business by educating the appropriate people!

Remember… “If you think safety is expensive, try an accident”.