Why you need to up-skill your Safety sales team

We have come a long way since the dark satanic mills of the 19th century and today most good employers know that it’s wrong to expose their workers to risks that can damage their health. Today our customers take health and safety compliance very seriously and failure to do so can damage their productivity and profits and at worst lead to fines, imprisonment and even business closure.

It’s very easy when selling safety products and PPE to concentrate on the user benefits and lose sight of the bigger picture. In such a competitive market when a manufacturer launches a new product and there’s a clamber to sell it by distributors, often at best it’s the new features, functions and wearer benefits that are presented and at worse and still so commonly in this sector price becomes the be all and end all.  Of course price is an important factor but price alone will not win the business on its own and I am constantly amazed at how often one of the first questions to be asked by safety sales reps is; how much are you paying for X currently?

Today most responsible employers understand the importance that risk control measures have in protecting their people and the reputation of their businesses, and it’s the sales people who are able to identify the real issues and business costs and then show that their products and services outweigh them who are the most successful. Selling on price may work to a point in selling consumable safety products to small businesses however the larger a business becomes and the more senior your level of contact, the greater they see the bigger picture and are looking for products and services that improve business efficiency and take cost out of the business.

To use a basic example, let’s say a worker is issued with a pair of ill-fitting gloves that become trapped in moving machinery and crushes their arm, ok it shouldn’t happen if the machine is properly guarded and the worker has been trained and is competent to work the machinery but if it did and accidents like this do happen the actual business costs could be significant, here are just a few:

  • Loss of a skilled worker through absenteeism
  • Wasted management time on accident investigation
  • Claims and Compensation
  • Potential Increased insurance premiums
  • Damage to remaining staff morale and productivity
  • Replacement labour, recruitment and training costs
  • Damage to brand and reputation
  • Occupational health and medical expenses
  • Loss of output and business interruption.

The HSE estimate that for every £1 recoverable from an insurer after an accident, the employer will still have to pay an additional £3.30 in uninsured costs – all of a sudden saving £0.50 a pair off gloves doesn’t sound quite as attractive!

Whilst this is a fairly simple example the fact remains that businesses have much to lose if they don’t get it right when it comes to managing risk. When you begin to consult with your customers to understand the real issues and see your products and services as high value business risk solutions, you will gain an edge over your competition, sell more and be of greater value to your customers.


About Inspirachieve – Richard Hilleard

Richard-HilleardFor over 30 years I have been selling safety products and services and in that time have learnt a great deal about what works and what doesn’t. I began my career as a commercial trainee at a newly acquired Arco branch in London in 1982 and learnt all aspects of branch operations. I soon got my chance to get out on the road and became the first Arco safety representative in the South. I took on firmly entrenched local competition to secure Arco’s position in the south which then lead to the opening of further branches. In 1996 I seized the opportunity to join the training team and went on to prepare and deliver sales based training to the Arco sales teams. Eventually I achieved my goal of leading the field sales operation and established best practice standards that still exist today.

Following a long and successful background in PPE sales and sales management, I entered the Health and Safety software industry and gained a great deal of experience of consulting and new business development of H&S software systems. In this time I worked for SHE Software and Rivo Software and learnt a great deal more about the real issues that face today’s health and safety professionals as well as how to implement structured sales development processes to win high value contracts.

Today through my business Inspirachieve, I help businesses in the Health and Safety supply sector to up-skill their sales teams, improve their sales systems and gain a greater slice of the available market.

To find out how I can improve your sales results contact me at Richard@Inspirachieve.com or call me on 07703 564499 to arrange a free consultation meeting.