I read a book years ago based on the thesis of making oneself “indispensable” to the customer. Although I do not remember the author or most of the book, I do remember that he stressed the need to invest in my own knowledge base so that I would become the “Go-to Person” when specific topics arose. I have consciously and unconsciously striven to achieve that goal in different ways.

First of all, I read as many trade magazines that I can each month. Not only do I read the articles but I also read the advertisements, which oftentimes highlight new products and systems available. There will usually be a website and/or phone number for more information to follow up on items of interest.

When reading, I try to have a high lighter handy so that I can mark key ideas to return to later. I also like to use the little sticky tabs to flag an article or advertisement that has value to me. Some people actually use different colored tabs to identify the type article such as green for Environmental, pink for Health/Disinfecting, yellow for Equipment and blue for Chemicals. I have never been able to consistently apply such a system, but it certainly has merit.

I am more prone to tear a page or two out of the magazine and three hole punch it before placing it in a three ring binder dedicated to different subjects such as carpet cleaning, hard floor care, scheduling/work loading and other relevant custodial topics.

Whether you work for a BSC, you’re an in-house facility cleaning executive, or you work as a distributor rep, you want to become the “Go-to Person” so that as your knowledge grows, your value grows, as well.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net