Jim Sinn


In the mid 1980s, a business book called the “One-Minute Sales Person” was making its rounds in Corporate America. Eventually, the 112-page sales guide fell into the lap of Jim Sinn — then a young sales representative fresh out of college — and changed the way he would view his sales career going forward.

The book purported that the secret to successful sales wasn’t selling the most product, but rather “helping people to feel good about what they buy.” The message quickly resonated with Sinn.

“It basically says, ‘Work well with everyone and try to do good by your customers,” says Sinn, a veteran account manager at Dalco in Minneapolis. Sinn works out of the Rochester, Minn. branch. “If what I do makes him look good — if I can save him money, or show him better cleaning procedures — then he will buy from me. I try to make their jobs easy.”

For example, when one of Dalco’s largest customers — an internationally-renowned medical facility — needed to substitute their toilet bowl cleaner with a product that had a lower pH factor due to new regulations, Sinn immediately began working to find a replacement. There was just one problem: the product didn’t exist.

Instead of going back to the customer with a curt apology and an unfulfileed request, Sinn and his sales partner, Gary Schoenfelder, worked with a small chemical manufacturer to develop a toilet bowl cleaner specifically fit for the hospital’s needs.

Going above and beyond for customers is simply in Sinn’s character, says Executive Vice President, Rod Dummer. He says key customers at the company routinely demand to work with Sinn, a fact that Sinn is humble about when asked.

“I just try to be a team player,” Sinn says. “If they have a problem, it is just as much our problem, as theirs. I don’t go for quick sales. I try to help them out. It’s a win-win all around.”

According to Dummer, Sinn also brings that team mentality back to the office.

Sinn sits on several committees within the company, including its CARE (Customer Are Really Everything) committee, which aims to position sales best practices and advises less experienced sales reps. He is also involved in the company’s new products committee, where he helps to select products — or get rid of them — as he did when he consolidated the company’s expansive line of mops.

“He has a passion for the business — you have to if you’re going to be at that level,” Dummer says. “He’s big on technology, and he always wants to be on the cutting edge to find the next greatest product and solutions.” 

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