Pro's Corner

The Similarities Between Buying Cold Water at a Baseball Game and the Current State of The JanSan Industry

Picture this: it’s the middle of July and you’re at a Dodger’s game with your family. It’s the bottom of the 9th and the game is tied 5-5. With two strikes and two outs, all of the attention is focused at home plate to see what’s about to happen next. Will the runner on third base make it home to win the game with a walk-off hit?

You’re about halfway up the stands sitting with your family, and the crowd is packed in tight. The combination of the number of fans in attendance and the humidity is making for a palpably hot California day. Your kids start to complain that they are thirsty and ask if they can get water.

Now is not the time to go downstairs and get water. If they can just hold it in for a couple of minutes then the game will be over. You tell them this, but the request to go downstairs to the drinking fountain is persistent.

Pointillist abstract of open-air baseball stadium at night, for themes of sports, competition, fandom-1

Just then you see a man walking determinedly up the stairs boisterously yelling “COLD WATER 7 DOLLARS! Cooold waterrrrrrr GIT IT NOW! COLD WATERRRR ANYONEE?”

You wave the man over to get his attention and reach in your pocket to pull out cash.

Of course, 7 dollars for a 25 oz. bottle of water is very expensive, but the situation demands it. The water is conveniently available, you want to watch the game, you have the cash, and your kids need it. Despite the price, this is a perfect reason to spend your money.

Now is the perfect time to sell—The demand has never been stronger

Covid-19 has underscored the importance of cleaning for health. Millions of Americans are now vaccinated. Businesses and restaurants are bustling with customers, and now schools are opening back up in the fall. The right factors have converged to create high demand for the cleaning industry. All of these elements are combining together for the perfect storm.

As a sales representative in the JanSan industry, this combination has created an unprecedented opportunity for you to make an outsized impact on your customer base.

 Why? A couple of different reasons.

  1. Now is the time that cleaning is not just a necessary burden—it’s a must. One of the top priorities for decision-makers is ensuring that their building occupants, students, and customers are safe.
  2. Cash and demand for cleaning are in high supply. School districts, businesses, and anyone that owns a building that people visit are paying top dollar to ensure cleanliness and safety. Because money isn’t an issue you can sell more products to customers that are happily willing to pay for the amount that they cost.
  3. Places are ordering and requesting different products than they previously did in order to comply with new safety protocols (think hand sanitizer stations, touchless dispensers, disinfectants with low dwell time).

Keeping these factors in mind it’s essential that you seize the existing momentum, just like the water salesman did at the baseball game in order to maximize sales. Just like the dad at the baseball game who needed water for his kids, your customers need you now more than ever.

Hear it firsthand from a Sales Rep with Decades of Experience in the Industry

Allen Stutin, a sales representative for Empire Cleaning Supply who has decades of successful experience in the JanSan industry that includes selling to all of the major sports teams in Los Angeles. says that urgency should be your top priority.

empire logo

“Here in California, the public school and private schools are going to open up in September,” Allen, who also sells to public and private schools and colleges explained.

“Most schools are doing everything that they can to protect children. These school districts have additional funding from government grants as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.”

These public schools have a lot of money to spend. Buyers that are usually budget-conscious are also requesting large amounts of products that they are not able to afford during normal times due to spending constraints.”

Allen went on to cite an example of an account that he works with that is limited on the equipment that they could buy from him. Usually, they would have to make due by ordering replacement parts for older equipment. This district also had to share equipment between different schools due to limited supply.

Now that they have the money, they are able to replace equipment with their expanded budget.


How to take advantage of the momentum and increase your sales with these steps

So, you ask, how do you increase sales and capture the current demand that exists among your customer base? Allen shared his post-pandemic sales approach with me. I’ve broken it down below into a few steps.

  1. Allen starts by familiarizing himself with the inventory that he has available so that he knows what he can sell. He checks inventory almost every day.

    “What I do is I have a rotating system. I have a to-do list from the night before. I try to cover all the main accounts that are bringing employees back.”

  1. Once Allen has looked through his inventory he looks through his client base and determines who might need the products that he has. He then reaches out to discuss what their cleaning strategy is.

    “I talk to them and ask them what their protocols are for cleaning during this post-Covid period. How are they going to handle this? What do they plan to do? Are the teachers going to help out? It’s important to do this to see where we fit in. Then I’ll know what direction to go.” 

  1. Suggest from available inventory and provide solutions that are going to be the timeliest.

    “I try to work around what we have. No one wants to order anything that will take a while to get. If you have to order stuff you’re going to wait a long time. I try to work around what I have. That’s very important today.”
  1. Educate customers so that they understand how the products you are selling will meet the customer’s needs. For example, if Allen determines that teachers are wiping down their classrooms multiple times a day, Allen will talk about the importance of using a product that has a 60 second or less dwell time.
Portrait of children raised their hands in the classroom


The main takeaway that Allen wants you to remember is that the JanSan industry is bulletproof—the owner of any commercial building that has occupants will always need products to clean and sanitize the building.

“The bulk of the products that we sell goes down the drain and then they have to reorder,” Allen reiterates.

By using the steps above, you will be able to help provide your customers with the peace of mind that their building occupants are looking for. Now is the time that Your clients want to make sure that they are using equipment and procedures that prevent the spread of infectious pathogens. If you sell to them with an educational, needs-based approach, your customers will want to buy more from you.


The Bottom Line— The Power of Now

 You work in an industry that provides essential goods and services for customers. In the past JanSan services were just as meaningful and they helped silently bolster daily activities by providing clean and sanitary environments.

Like CleanLink and many others have said, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed how cleaning is perceived. The convergence of factors related to Covid-19 has created a surging demand for the JanSan industry, similar to the dad buying his son a bottle of water.

However, many buyers do not have the technical expertise required to determine the appropriate equipment and products necessary to clean their facilities.

As a sales professional, your responsibility is to provide cost-efficient, impactful solutions to your customers. By being aware of your customers’ needs and educating them about the inventory you have available your sales will increase and your customers will be grateful that you are playing an important role in keeping them in business. 


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COVID-19, sales, JanSan


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