Thank you for your article "Hard Sell: Sales Training" in the Nov./Dec. 2010 issue of Sanitary Maintenance. Having been involved with distributor training programs for more than 25 years, I am always interested in anything that can promote training, education and ultimately greater professionalism in our industry.

A number of items in your article caught my eye. For instance, at one point you wrote (which I really liked) that some distributors have decided to "sell their way out of this recession," while others are slashing budgets and cutting training programs. It's pretty clear who will be the ultimate winners and losers in these two scenarios.

This reminds me of something that occurred during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

At that time, some companies such as Post cereals cut back on their marketing dramatically. Others, such as Kellogg's, significantly increased their advertising budgets. Before the Depression, Post was a far bigger company than was Kellogg's. After the Depression, they switched places, and Post has never regained its top position.

This tells me that the distributors that provide the leadership, focus, resources and the time to invest in education now are most likely to be the companies that come out on top as we emerge from this difficult economy. Knowledge and the passionate use of it will be a key factor differentiating the winners from the losers. It just makes common sense, and as the previous example shows, history has proved this to be true.

— Mark Warner, product manager - disinfectants & sanitizers, director of training, regional sales manager, Enviro-Solutions, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada