Introducing the C.I.Agent Solutions Turnkey Approach to Secondary Oil Containment




Editor’s Note: This blog post is the second post of a three-part series about recent corporate changes at C.I.Agent Solutions. Be sure to read the previous post “A Whole New Company; Providing Oil Containment Solutions is Our Main Focus“, and watch for the next post in this series to find out more about recently formed strategic alliances.

A quick Google search of the phrase “turnkey solutions” yielded more than 2 million results. Apparently, turnkey solutions are quite common. But, what are they, exactly?

According to Wikipedia, “a turnkey or a turnkey project is a type of project that is constructed so that it could be sold to any buyer as a completed product.” In common terms, turnkey is something that is ready to be immediately used, and is typically referenced in the sale or supply of goods or services. Investopedia defines a turnkey solution as a “type of system that can easily be implemented into current business processes.” The terms is most often heard in technology or real estate applications.

 

As mentioned in a previous blog post, over the past two years, our company has evolved! We consider ourselves to be an entirely new company, and this change has subsequently altered the strategy behind our sales process. Because of this realization, we’ve recently informed and trained all of our sales associates, both internal and outside sales, in a sales style we’ve dubbed the CIAS Turnkey Approach.

For some, the term “turnkey” is misleading, and we understand why. So we have defined it for our industry: To turnkey a project requires that we work in tandem with the customer to create, approve and implement all aspects of the project from start to finish, including engineering, site supervision and contracting of the installation. Simple, right?

With the CIAS Turnkey Approach, everybody wins!
With the CIAS Turnkey Approach, everybody wins!

Yes, it is, and we firmly believe, when it comes to selling our solutions, the CIAS Turnkey Approach is the only way. For successful sales relationships in our industry, everyone must win – the customer, the sales agent, and the manufacturer. And with the CIAS Turnkey Approach, everyone does! Plus, everyone is very satisfied – especially our utility customers … which is the main reason why we do it.

Be sure to read our next blog post in this series to hear about our newfound partnerships to deliver state-of-the-art oil containment solutions. And if you missed it, check out our first post in this series, “A Whole New Company; Providing Oil Containment Solutions is Our Main Focus.”

 

The CIAS Turnkey Approach to Secondary Containment Sales Success

The CIAS Turnkey Approach is a simple sales process that, to be successful, must follow these steps from sales call to invoice:



Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
Step 7

1. Identify & Engage the Mobilizers

How do you get the right people in the room for a sales meeting? It’s not always easy … but check out this article on how thinking outside the box and making a mentor out of the key decision maker helped one small business owner land a much-coveted account. [https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/how-to-score-a-meeting-with-a-key-decision-maker/]
How do you get the right people in the room for a sales meeting? It’s not always easy … but check out this article on how thinking outside the box and making a mentor out of the key decision maker helped one small business owner land a much-coveted account.

According to sales author Jill Konrath, Mobilizers, a term penned by sales research group CEB, are “the ones who spearhead new projects in their organization … They jump into action when they see problems that need solving or goals that can’t be achieved unless something is changed.” These Mobilizers are the decision makers, who conduct online research for specific problems and solutions, and stimulate their company to take action. These are the right people to meet with, and vital to closing the deal. Making sure Mobilizers are part of the entire process matters greatly.

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2. Use Your SME!

We are the SMEs for oil containment solutions. Here’s Dan Parker presenting to the USWAG Low-Volume Waste Committee this past July in Detroit.
We are the SMEs for oil containment solutions. Here’s Dan Parker presenting to the USWAG Low-Volume Waste Committee this past July in Detroit.

When it comes to secondary oil containment solutions, our team at C.I.Agent Solutions are the SMEs – subject matter experts. That’s why it’s important to have someone from CIAS present during the sales meeting, to answer the tough questions or provide background information. We know our products and secondary containment solutions better than anyone, and are very happy to assist. Even if we can’t be there in person, let us be on the phone or attend via online conferencing.

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3. Avoid Getting Gobbledygook

 

“If you’re not asking the right questions, all you’re going to get is gobbledygook. Meaningless drivel that builds relationships, but doesn’t advance the sales process,” states Konrath. During the meeting, the right questions must be asked to ensure the customer will receive the solution for which they are searching or in need, as well as other challenges they may face. How can this be accomplished? By pinpointing the risks and tradeoffs that matter to them, or by teaching them something new or challenging them to think differently and move beyond the tired “it’s just how we always did it” excuse. As Zig Ziglar once stated, “Stop selling. Start helping.”

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4. Non-Cookie Cutter Turnkey

"Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get." (Nelson Boswell)
“Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get.” (Nelson Boswell)

This is where many, including our own sales reps, have become confused about our new CIAS Turnkey Approach. This step focuses on developing the best solution for what they need, because there is no one-size-fits-all fix for oil containment. But isn’t that the complete opposite of turnkey solutions?

Yes, it is, technically. But considering that our end goal is to deliver the customer with a completed secondary containment project, with all details handled from start to finish, this step ensures the customer gets what they want. We go above and beyond to provide the ideal solution, starting with walking and inspecting the particular sub or transformer site to perform a risk analysis (which can be easily accomplished via our Site Assessment Form). We also have an interactive Secondary Containment Solutions Tool that will provide customers with our most recommended solution to your problem in real time.

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5. Don’t Fail to Communicate

"What we've got here is failure to communicate." (Cool Hand Luke, 1967)
“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” (Cool Hand Luke, 1967)

With all the noise in the world today, it’s easy to understand why some of our communication skills seem to get lost in the mix. However, communication is vital to the CIAS Turnkey Approach. If there isn’t ongoing communication between the customer, sales team and manufacturing, mistakes can be made. Deadlines might be missed. And, most importantly, customers may get upset. Did you know, research shows that most dissatisfied customers don’t complain? The average business hears feedback from less than 5 percent of its unhappy customers.

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6. Details, Details, Details

As Coach John Wooden once said, "It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."
As Coach John Wooden once said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

Here’s where the traditional definition of one-stop-shop turnkey comes into play. We’ve talked to utilities, engineers, and contractors, and listened to their concerns. A common lament? They don’t want to handle all the details that must be juggled for an installation. This includes bidding the labor, coordinating the supplies (such as pea gravel and rock), communicating with the contractor, managing pre-installation site details to make sure the site is ready on the scheduled installation date, etc. They have enough on their plates already, and are searching for an easy secondary containment solution. So we’re simply giving them what they want by taking care of the details.

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7. On site and In Charge

Site Supervision is the icing on the cake for the CIAS Turnkey Approach!
Site Supervision is the icing on the cake for the CIAS Turnkey Approach!

This last step is optional in the CIAS Turnkey Approach, but we highly recommend it and do it ourselves. We always provide site supervision during the installation, for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we’re the experts at our secondary containment solutions. We’ve done a lot of installations over the years, and have experience at being adaptable and prepared to handle the unexpected. Secondly, when a CIAS representative is on site, it is an assurance to the customer that the containment will be installed correctly. We won’t sign off on an oil containment system if we feel it will not function as it was designed or was improperly installed. This step represents an additional guarantee to our customers.

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