2003 Spring Volume No. 1
Around the World on a Handshake and a Promise
by Vernon Hills, President, PolyJohn UK firstname.lastname@example.org
While PolyJohn UK may sell products around the world, we run the company much the same way we did when we were a small operation here in Yorkshire, England.
As then, we rely on referrals as one of our best sources for new customers. Whether our deals are made in Beijing, or right across the street, they are closed with a handshake and a promise.
Meeting our promises as quickly and efficiently as possible is the most important thing we do.
One reason service is so important to us is that we rely heavily on our customers’ good will to bring in new business. It wouldn’t be possible to advertise in every country we sell to – over 33 nations! New customers often find us by reading the phone number on the portable restroom operator’s sticker and calling our customer. If they don’t recommend us, we lose business.
While we do sell a product, service is the main thing we provide. Customers want to be certain that we will deliver on our promises. They also want to know that their investment will last, and that we’ll be here with parts and service down the road.
That ongoing commitment is one of the reasons I travel over 500,000 miles a year. No matter how great the distance, we still need to see customers face-to-face to make and keep our promises.
While price is a concern for all our customers, it never becomes the main issue. Quality and service are always more important.
Over the years, I have become very close friends with many of my customers and even some of my competitors. I guess that’s the nature of the business we are in…it’s a personal business, still run mostly by families and small companies.
Like the early days in the U.S. and the UK, portable restrooms are still considered an oddity in some parts of the developing world I visit. Businesspeople and entrepreneurs need to be convinced of the usefulness and profitability of portable units. In countries where most homes are still without toilets, it can be a tough sale indeed. However, in the past decade, we’ve seen sanitation standards generally rising worldwide. As more people understand the environmental dangers of untreated waste, we can expect continued growth.
Now that portable toilets are becoming more comfortable and attractive, they are turning up in some unexpected places. A good customer of mine in Australia just told me he placed a few PJNIIIs with flush units at a party in the Prime Minister’s Garden.
From heads of state to field laborers, the great thing about our product is that everyone needs it.
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