When Scott Franiak joined the sales team at Acme Paper and Supply Co., Inc., in Savage, Md., four years ago, he didn’t have traditional sales experience. Yet despite this, he has met all his goals and increased sales numbers each year, earning him Rookie of the Year and Rising Star accolades. This year Franiak added the prestigious designation of Acme’s Salesman of the Year to his resume.

So how is it possible that someone new to distributor sales can hit all his numbers and earn such deserving recognition? Franiak translated his years of experience as Environmental Services Director (EVS) for both MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and Crothall Services Group into a consultative selling approach for Acme (which, by the way, was his preferred supplier when he was EVS director).

“I’ve used the products, I’ve used the systems, I’ve used the programs,” says Franiak. “I know what can and can’t work in certain situations. If I identify a particular end user problem that needs a solution, I’m able to talk from a real down-to-earth standpoint because I’ve done it.”

Franiak not only knows what products work the best, but more importantly, he understands the needs and daily challenges of his customers. When working in operations, he learned how a distributor could help him solve current problems and avoid future ones. Now on the other side of the business, his background gives him the instincts to anticipate client demands and expectations.

“The customer benefits a great deal from Scott’s experience, knowledge and background,” says Ron Schwartzman, Acme general manager – jan/san division. “He uses that in his consultations, presentations and demonstrations.”

Franiak’s MO is his consultative approach. He isn’t pushing a product, but rather looking to make his customers jobs easier.

For example, when three hospitals recently switched cleaning providers, he was able to seamlessly transition the facilities to the new building service contractor, despite a need to switch to different chemicals, paper and equipment.

“You need to keep customers ahead of everything in new technology and new products,” says Franiak. “They may not need it today, but make them aware so they are a call or a send button away from getting some information quickly.”

Clients tell him he comes across as honest and believable. After landing a multiyear contract with the University of Maryland Medical Systems, the director wrote in to say:

“Scott is in excellent sales representative, strong follow-through, reliable, truthful, a true consultant, knowledgeable — he was successful in helping me consolidate 16 vendors into one.”

Franiak was hand-picked by one of Acme’s owners nearly five years ago for situations just like this one. With his solid pre-existing relationships, Franiak is a perfect match to call upon larger healthcare facilities in the Middle Atlantic region. In just a short time he is already succeeding — even without the traditional sales background.

“Scott understands and recognizes that the customer does come first,” says Schwartzman. “He is the finest all-around salesperson that I have ever worked with in my 45 years in this industry.”

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