Whether they are seeking certification, implementing a new product or testing out an entirely new service offering, distributors can help steer end user customers in the right direction using training. New products and procedures have developed throughout the pandemic. Distributors are the best resource to showcase these new offerings and demonstrate techniques to implement these tasks in a safe and cost effective manner.

“Having the proper product, training and procedure is key to completing new tasks,” says Waite. “Distributors have the ability to pro- vide all of the above.”

Although distributors should be ready to offer training guidance to their customers, Charles Moody, president and founder of Solutex, Sterling, Virginia, reminds his staff to let the customers dictate training needs. But he advises his BSC customers to not sell their employees short.

“Sometimes we underestimate what people can learn,” he says. “I would say it's best when we equip our existing team members with as many learning opportunities and new tasks as they can take.”

When training staff to take on an entirely new task or facility type, it’s essential to communicate clearly with all team members. According to Moody, well-trained employees are part of a BSC's core business. They serve as a dependable foundation when the company is looking to expand their service offerings.

Helping their customers to expand into new markets will be mutually beneficial for distributors. BSCs that grow into specialized service offerings means the potential for larger staffs and specialty products and equipment. Distributors who have maintained strong relationships with these customers can step in to not only recommend and explain new equipment, but provide advice on how the BSC can workload new services among the staff.

Expanding Services

When a BSC is creating a plan to expand their menu of services, distributors should be ready and available to assist.

“I help them look into different areas where they can grow their busi- ness,” says Rubin. “We discuss what they need in terms of proper staffing and the correct tools and equipment to complete these new types of tasks.”

In addition to exploring the needs associated with diversified services, distributors can help their customers understand who the normal competitors are for these new services. They can then help guide customers on ways to differentiate themselves.

“How does your BSC customer differentiate themself from these normal channels? It can’t always be about the cost of the service,” notes Waite. “Lis- ten to the customer and identify the challenges they have.”

From there, he helps customers determine whether they will have the capacity to meet those challenges.

Although there is a lot for customers to consider when expanding service offerings, Moody comments that it can sometimes grow organically from a need to increase profits, as well as being observant to existing customers' unfulfilled needs. He re- counted an example of a company he works with who provided parking lot sweeping, but found that the business unit was basically breaking even. The company added parking lot striping to their services, then expanded into landscaping work at the shopping centers where they were sweeping. Eventually, they moved on to power- washing the shopping centers, as well — all while keeping the parking lot sweeping as their core offering.

“It's the little add-ons that have made them more profitable,” says Moody.

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