2002 Winter

Getting to Know Your PolyJohn Business Coach: Ray Luden

What led you to come to work for PolyJohn?
I started as a devoted customer. Knowing the kind of service I always got from PolyJohn made it a very simple choice to come to work for them. I could have gone to work for anybody else, but these were the guys I trusted most. I wasn’t really looking to sell toilets. I wanted to work for PolyJohn.

What attributes of the service were important to you?
Well, first of all, the way that they treated my dad and me for years. When I say service… any time we needed something, they were there.

So, you were in the service side of the business?
Yes. My Dad and I. My family learned to depend on the PolyJohn family. And now that I’m on the other side, I like to make sure my customers see me as someone they can depend on too. This year will be my third Pumper show with PolyJohn. People who come to our booth know that I was on the service side for a long time. They see me as having the operational experience to provide them with valuable information and ideas.

If you gave a summary of the top things a start-up business would need to know to be successful, what would they be?
The first thing to think about is territory. They need to know everything they can about what goes on in the area where they operate—construction, special events, parks and recreation, etc. The next thing I ask is if they have researched their market… who else is there… what kind of equipment do they have... and what are you planning to use to sell against them? Finally I ask if they have the guts for it?

What specifically do you mean by guts?
This is not a 9 to 5 business. It takes a lot of fortitude to succeed in it. Late nights, weekends, charging more money and sticking by your decisions.

Do you use your knowledge as a selling tool? Yes, and here’s the thing—I get a lot of satisfaction out of my job when I can deliver on promises and sell people things that help their businesses grow. I’m not one of those guys who’s just trying to sell more toilets. I can provide information and back it up with 20 years of experience.

Are you saying that you know what works and what doesn’t work? I don’t pretend to know everything—I learn every day.

Ray Luden,
Northeastern States
PolyJohn Area Manager

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