Positioning as solution provider has never been as important as now against the background of the corona pandemic. We spoke to Heike Seltmann, Group Sales Director New Business Hygiene at CWS, about the background of the Solution Selling concept and its benefits for customers.
Ms. Seltmann, what does “Solution Selling” actually mean?
Roughly speaking, it means offering solutions and not merely individual products. Why are we doing that? The corona pandemic has made the world even more complex and complicated. Our aim is to accompany our customers and their guests on the way into the new normality – with appropriate concepts and products that are tailored to those customers' needs and requirements and, at the same time, sustainable. To this end we take an on-site look at how we can create an attractive hygiene experience and how the new hygiene requirements can best be implemented.
The strategy of positioning the company as solution provider already existed before the pandemic, didn’t it?
Yes it did, but the coronavirus prompted us to shift up a gear on our way there. CWS is working for a healthier, safer future. We take this mission very seriously, and therefore attach a lot of importance to looking beyond individual washroom products and advising our customers. Take daycare centres, for example: here we offer, among other things, child-friendly dirt trapping mats to help children maintain the necessary safe distancing among themselves. Or offices: this is particularly important and worthy of consideration now that everyone is going back to the office after having worked from home: think of what we come into contact in the course of a working day, for example doorbells, light switches or keyboards. The question here is – where a disinfectant dispenser outside of the washroom can and should usefully help in ensuring the employees' hand hygiene. We thus help companies protect their employees and keep their office operations running.
So Solution Selling means benefits for the customers?
Absolutely! On the one hand they get all products and consumables from a single source. That saves time when it comes to procurement but, above all, they get products that are oriented to their individual requirements. As hygiene expert, we know the different requirements among the industries. We also know what guests value in restaurants, but also in train stations and at airports, and what is needed and necessary in clinics and nursing homes. And these are just a few examples. Our salespeople cast an expert eye over production facilities, schools, offices or daycare centres, ask the right questions and provide comprehensive advice. They understand the value of a long-term customer relationship. In other words we look for what customers really need rather than pressure selling to generate quick sales.
Add to that the fact that the more service lines we rent to customers, the more we can contribute to sustainability in the washrooms – for example by way of abrasives and soaps that are 100 percent free of solid microplastics. Or by way of the innovative and sustainable hygiene package SmartWash Plus, which increases the level of hygiene and saves water like soap with an innovative tap that dispenses both soap and water mixed.
How are customers reacting to this concept?
Extremely positively. The majority attach great importance to high quality and attractive dispensers that are easy to maintain and refill. Together with the consumables and other products, we offer customers comprehensive solutions with which we can create an attractive washroom experience.
Thank you very much for the interview.