One person’s trash is another’s feedstock

We just returned from a sales trip. For me this was fun.

Sales isn’t about being slick, a fast talker or pushy. Successful in sales is being a trusted advisor helping clients or prospects. People’s time is valuable. I don’t believe in ever making a sales call unless I can bring something valuable to the client or prospect that will help them.

This requires knowing the prospect and their company. It requires thought and creativity. I love being face to face and helping people. We did a lot of that on this trip with our solid information, our network and an attitude of positivity and hope. Few people want to talk a salesman. Busy executives will make time to talk to a trusted advisor who brings them valuable information.

The goal of the marketing Shale Crescent USA has been doing for almost three years is to create an awareness of our region. We are succeeding. Executives in petrochemical and manufacturing from around the world have heard about the Shale Crescent USA. At conferences people know who we are and approach us.

SCUSA has exhibited and spoken at major conferences to the decision-makers of the largest companies in world. We have used the internet to get our message out. Websites like Yahoo Finance have called the Shale Crescent USA a second petrochemical hub. The Bloomberg TV interview that our Wally Kandel did last year was viewed around the world. The U.S. Department of Energy cited Shale Crescent USA’s first IHSMarkit Study in its report to Congress on reasons for creating a second U.S. petrochemical hub here.

Awareness alone won’t bring us the high-wage jobs we want for our region. Just like in your business, marketing can bring potential customers to you but it doesn’t generate revenue. Customers must decide to buy from you. That is sales. It is sales that closes the deal and creates the revenue and profits to keep you in business. In the case of SCUSA, we are selling a region. Companies must decide to come here or local companies must decide to expand here. SCUSA must convince them our region is the best place in the world for them to grow and expand. We have already had prospects tell us, “You have convinced us. We’re coming to the Shale Crescent USA.” They then need to settle on a site, contractors, other vendors and get needed permits so they can start construction. We continue to be a trusted advisor helping them through the process.

On this trip, we met face to face with prospects at their offices. These are people we met at conferences like the World Petrochemical Conference or Global Plastics Summit. We have created a dialog with them. We were able to jumpstart one prospect that had gotten stagnant using information from our most recent IHSMarkit Study 2.0. The study shows why this region is more profitable when companies use our methane, ethane, propane and butane as feedstocks. Companies are also more profitable when they use derivatives of our region’s feedstocks.

We observed a pilot project by a company who is turning plastic garbage into building materials. They can take all grades of plastic “as is” without any special washing or preparation. The process uses household or industrial plastic waste. We observed the process from start to finish. It works! It doesn’t require a lot of space. A 3-5-acre site is more than adequate. Their goal is to ultimately process 80 tons of plastic waste per day from a facility. Our goal is to bring them to the SCUSA.

These are good jobs and will generate additional jobs in trucking. This is also good for the environment. It is about how we look at things. We see plastic waste as trash. They see it as valuable feedstock. They are taking materials being sent to landfills today and turning them into useful products. Their process doesn’t require any special cleaning or preparation. The separation can happen at a waste collection facility rather than needing consumers to do the separation.

Many municipalities or recyclers don’t accept plastic waste because they don’t have anyone that wants it. I recently learned most plastic dropped off for recycling is actually going to landfills. The process we viewed on this trip takes waste plastic out of the environment for good. It could actually make waste plastic a valuable commodity. Plastic is basic to our way of life, being responsible for cell phones, medical equipment that keeps people alive and thousands of other products including solar panels. We can now create good jobs and create a cleaner world. Compared to other projects, this can happen fairly quickly if they decide to come here. I believe this visit helped to bring these jobs closer to our region.

In addition to jobs for our region, what does this mean to you and your business? Are you and your people “sales” people or are they trusted advisors? Do you make a point to bring value when you make a sales call? It isn’t about you, your product, or service. It is all about your customer and their needs. Are you marketing to create an awareness of what you do?

Do you look at all possibilities with a positive attitude? We have heard one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. There are people that talk about banning plastic who are clueless as to what that means to the lives of people like the child that needs an asthma inhaler. The man who developed the plastic reuse process we saw didn’t see waste. He saw feedstock. We can have modern plastic conveniences and a clean environment. Anything really is possible. Thoughts to ponder.

Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com, is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a master’s in environmental engineering and over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. He is the author of four books and numerous published articles.

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