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Articles to help you in your sales and sales leadership careers

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Are you leading a team of Fire Fighters or Arsonists?

Hope this week’s ideas can help you as a leader of your sales team! Please share your comments and questions below…would love to hear your opinions on this. As a sales consultant and trainer I see the majority of sales reps today are merely functioning as reactive order-takers asking the same servicing questions until their…

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Can your team really prove your “Higher price – lower total cost” competitive solutions?

How effective are your sales team members at defending your higher prices against your competition? The majority of experienced sales reps can talk a good story about all the ways buying a higher-priced product can save your buyer’s money. But most also collapse when their buyer demands they prove on paper why spending more with…

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Can you define the steps of your team’s selling process?

Do you have a clear definition of the steps of your team’s “Identify to close” selling process? Is your team wasting massive amounts of selling time and effort because they keep trying to redefine their selling process with each new selling opportunity? Learn how, as their sales leader, you can lead the definition, and implementation…

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Can you and your team accomplish at least one thing this morning to help achieve your goals?

Check out motivational sales expert Jim Cathcart’s idea to help you achieve your team’s sales goals faster…and with more success. It’s an idea that’s had a major impact on my success…think it can help you and your sales team? Love to know what you think of his idea! And please reach out if I can…

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What can you and your sales team learn from McDonalds?

McDonald’s found a way to package better service by providing faster, simpler and easier to use solutions to their customer’s challenges. Can their creative idea to providing a better customer experience help you and your sales team? Love to know what you think of their idea! And please reach out if I can answer any…

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Are you coaching your reps before…or after they lose all their selling power?

Learn how (and why) you, as a sales coach and leader, need to get involved earlier helping your reps win business…before they lose all of their selling power. And please reach out if I can answer any questions or offer ideas to help you become a better leader of your sales team.

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What are the best skills to look for in the next sales rep you hire?

Do you have the same hidden hiring bias most sales managers have without even realizing it? Learn a different way to evaluate and select the skills of your next sales hire. And please reach out if I can answer any questions or offer ideas to help you become a better leader of your sales team.

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How can I motivate my sales people?

Learn the four rules of motivation…and how they can help strengthen your skills as a coach and leader of your sales team. And please reach out if I can answer any questions or offer ideas to help you become a better leader of your sales team.

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Generational Differences Present Challenges for Employers

January 2018, from TruckingInfo.com by Denise Rondini, Aftermarket Contributing Editor – Also by this author There have been more dramatic changes in the last three years than there have been in the previous 40, according to Jim Pancero, “The Powerhouse of Sales.”  Speaking at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week in Las Vegas he said handling the challenges is complicated…

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Millennial employees may be just as frustrated with you as you are with them

By Jason Cannon, January 23, 2018 in Truck Parts and Service Follow @By_Jason_Cannon on Twitter Millennial employees can be difficult to manage but Jim Pancero, speaking Tuesday at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) in Las Vegas, says they may be just as frustrated with old-school management processes that have failed to adapt to changing business climates. “We…

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The University of Industrial Distribution

Save the Date for 2019! The 2019 University of Innovative Distribution program will take place March 10-13 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis in Indianapolis, IN. You will not find a better sales management training program in the country. I have been honored to be an instructor for the last 10 years. Since 1994, the University…

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Sell More by Spending Time Riding with Your Sales Reps

How strong are the selling skills of your team? How consistent and effective are they in front of a prospect or customer? And when was the last time you checked them out to see if they could actually improve any of their skills and effectiveness? The Problem in Believing That “Experienced = Trained” Do you…

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Moving Your Service Levels to Amazing

Jim Pancero and Satisfyd present “Moving Service Levels to Amazing – Make Your Service Department a Competitive Advantage!” – One hour webinar Topics include: – How do your customers view your sales and service team? – Where are your customer’s service team and support levels now? – The evolution of a competitive advantage – What types of…

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Setting Up Your Own In-House Weekly Sales Training

What have you been doing recently to improve the selling skills of your team? With the growth of online sales newsletters, you now have an inexpensive way to conduct weekly sales training and coaching sessions with your team using the skill ideas being offered in these (normally) free newsletters. Though sales training tends to work…

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Utilizing the Four Core Values of Buying

Utilizing the Four Core Values of Buying! Business-to-business buyers are influenced by your overall philosophy or approach much more than they are by the “parts and pieces” details of your actual products or services. Strategic selling involves continually communicating your overall philosophy, positioning or selling approach throughout your selling process and ongoing support efforts. One…

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5 Tips When You Have 5 Minutes With A Prospect

A guest article by Patricia Fripp, Hall of Fame keynote speaker, executive speech coach, sales presentation skills and an on-line training expert. If you are on the phone, a webinar, or in person, and you have a few minutes with the executive, what do you say to keep on track and be professional? Here is an…

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11 Biggest Mistakes Sales Professionals Make in Their Presentations

A guest article by Patricia Fripp, Hall of Fame keynote speaker, executive speech coach, sales presentation skills and an on-line training expert. Like Hollywood actors, sales professionals put themselves and their companies on the line with every word, taking a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome. Just like actors, even the best, most experienced…

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Are You Healthy Enough to Pass a Sales Physical?

The Six Critical Tests That Most Contribute to Your Personal Selling Success So how healthy are you? Want to find out by completing a simple six question test of your selling skills and effectiveness? As a sales and sales management consultant and trainer for 35 years I’ve been able to observe and evaluate the skills…

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“How Do You Change an Old-Style Sales Manager into a More Inclusive Leader?

The significant differences between your sales manager’s “Independent Gunfighter” leadership and selling style and your core values of collaboration and respect for the individual is the current struggle being faced by many companies (and industries) today. We are experiencing a generational shift in selling and sales leadership philosophies. The “old school” style of selling that…

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Are Your Selling Actions Truly Customer Focused?

Four Questions to Test Your Resolve & Improve Your Sales Success Whenever I ask experienced sales professionals this question, they always affirm how customer-focused they already are and how they really do not need any additional help or training in this area. What about you? Are you really customer-focused in your day-to-day selling efforts? Answer…

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Are You Selling to Their FUD Factor?

“FUD Factor” is an old selling term that stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The idea as a sales person is to focus on a buyer’s fears, uncertainty and doubts in trying something new or in taking no action or in doing business with your competitors. A foundation of all buying is the opposite balance,…

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“How Can We Improve Our Customer Service?”

  How impressive is your customer service? And how much better are you and your service levels when compared to your competitors? I’m Jim Pancero. I’ve spent over 30 years as a sales and sales management consultant and trainer, helping sales teams like yours to increase their competitive advantage and selling success. I’d like to…

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My Sales Suck! – Five Proven Ways to Invigorate Yourself and Your Team

So how are sales? I’m Jim Pancero. I’ve spent over 30 years as a sales and sales management consultant and trainer, helping experienced sales pro’s like you increase their selling success and margins. In just six minutes I’d like to share with you five proven things you can start doing now, today, that can immediately…

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Improving Your Trade Show Selling Skills

  You can get the most value by showing this video at a sales meeting prior to your trade show and then leading your team on a discussion of: What did you think of the ideas on the video? How relevant are these ideas to us and our upcoming show? What do you think we…

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Move Your Customer Service from Assumed to Amazing!

  Jim describes the four levels of customer service: Assumed, Expected, Impressed and Amazed. How you can move your service from being reactive to proactive! Thanks to our friends at ISSA for the permission to use this video! https://www.issa.com/  

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How To Coach Sales Reps On The Fundamental Structures Of A Sales Call

The job of a sales manager is to help each and every one of your people achieve more than they would have achieved if just left alone. How are you helping your people achieve even more by coaching and helping them increase their Operational or fundamental selling skills? How often are you riding along and…

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Improve Your Team Hiring by Asking Stronger Interview Questions

All sales managers eventually wind up needing to invest time and effort interviewing, hiring and training new members of their sales team. How effective are your interviewing skills and efforts? The majority of sales managers don’t interview and hire new salespeople on a regular basis so their interviewing skills tend to be weak or “underdeveloped.”…

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Increasing Your Cold Calling Efforts

Cold calling, or contacting prospects you have never talked to, is one of the single toughest activities any salesperson can do. It’s not that cold calling is hard, it’s just takes a lot of work to generate a little new business and involves the highest rate of selling rejection. Most salespeople hate cold calling, not…

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Utilizing the Five Steps of Financial Justification

How often are you the lowest priced vendor bidding for new business? If you are like the vast majority of my readers, the answer is almost never. The reality of selling is there will always be some competitors who will under-bid you and others to win the business. So how are you and the rest…

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Are You Managing Your Sales Team by GPS?

Are there valid reasons for recording a salesperson’s travels by GPS? Short term I am sure a team’s sales would increase due to the bottom performers running scared and working harder. But long term I believe a team will lose its top performers (or future top performers) due to their feelings of “Big Brother” and…

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Remember to ‘Pencil Sell’ During Your Sales Presentation

Can you increase your persuasiveness when presenting your ideas to customers? A powerful idea that might be of help originally came out of the 1940’s and involves “pencil selling” as a way to get your message remembered and to help you maintain control of your sales presentation. “Pencil selling” simply means using a blank pad…

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Sell More With a Strong Competitive Awareness

How high is your competitive awareness? On a scale of one to 10…with 10 being strongest…pick a number you feel most represents your current level of competitive awareness. Most experienced sales professionals identify their competitive awareness level as around a seven to nine…what’s your number? Having a comprehensive understanding of your competition and how they…

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Strengthening Your Strategic Selling Skills to Sell More

How strong are your strategic selling skills? Strategic selling involves increasing your competitive advantage by strengthening your ability to communicate your uniqueness, value, and competitive differential to a customer or prospect. How successful have you been explaining your competitive uniqueness and differentiation to your potential buyers? What is involved with strategic selling? So what is…

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Reasons to Add a Sales Manager to a Dealership

Natural evolution of a dealership As dealerships get larger each person working there will tend to become more specialized. In the beginning when there are only one to three locations most managers are general managers getting involved in all major decisions. As they grow, usually by adding locations, they will need their top managers to…

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Using ‘Ride-With Sales Coaching’ and Being a Leader

The best sales coaching opportunity is going to be whenever you are riding with a rep for a few days or are talking with them on the phone. On the phone it’s just taking a few extra minutes to ask them about any specific account plans or what they are working on with their most…

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As a Sales Professional, Look for New Smokestacks!

Everyone agrees with new business prospecting being a critical component of any sales territory. However, even during tougher economic conditions the majority of sales people still tend to over-service their existing customers and do as little as possible to find new clients. What about you? How much new business prospecting have you been investing in…

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Spend Half Your Time Selling to Customers, Half to Your Company

Where do you focus all of your selling efforts? The immediate assumption would be to respond by answering that of course you’re spending as much time as possible selling to your customers! But there is a better long-term answer! I got some of the best advice for my sales career as I started my first…

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Is Everyone Talking to Your Customers Properly Trained and Coached?

How many different people from your company talk with your customers? Consider asking your team to evaluate and discuss two different selling scenarios. The first scenario deals with your newest customers. Ask your team how many different people from your company will talk with a new prospect (either by telephone or “face-to-face”) from the time…

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You Can Sell More,With a Strong Competitive Awareness

How high is your competitive awareness? On a scale of one to 10…with 10 being strongest…pick a number you feel most represents your current level of competitive awareness. Most experienced sales professionals identify their competitive awareness level as around a seven to nine…what’s your number? Having a comprehensive understanding of your competition and how they…

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Selling to Your Buyer’s Entire Political Culture

The reality of today’s buyers is they rarely make decisions alone. A “final decision maker” will still seek opinions and insights from others, even when they alone are the final decision maker of their vendor selection. However, most sales professionals only focus their attention selling to their main buyer or decision maker and see little…

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Focusing on Problems – Not Symptoms

As a sales manager, are you spending more times working to solve symptoms or problems from your sales team members? Sadly, most of the sales managers I see spend the majority of their time only working on symptoms and not problems. The majority of all the sales problems brought to me by sales people asking…

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Positioning Buyers to Use Your Low Risk Customer Buying Process

What is your selling approach and competitive uniqueness? Is your selling strategy to win the business based on having the lowest prices or are you selling on your greater value and lower total cost? Less skilled sales people tend to gravitate to selling on price. They lack the skills of probing to understand better, their…

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Sell More by Becoming More of a ‘Managing Manager’

Are your salespeople maximizing all of the selling opportunities available in your markets? How are you, as their sales manager, contributing to their selling success and profitability? What “management style”do you utilize to lead your sales team? There are two basic managerial styles or philosophies of leading a sales team. You can manage and lead…

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You Can Always Sell More, By Not Saying ‘It’s No Problem!’

There‘s a new term that’s crept into today’s selling and service language that’s having a severe and negative impact on our customers… and how they view our efforts to help them, and I bet it’s a term you’ve used yourself in the last 24 hours when talking with your customer. And the term is…“No problem!”…

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Help Reps Shift From Intuitive to Structured and Consistent

Do you have professional salespeople on your team? Of course almost all sales managers would answer yes, even when it’s not really the correct answer. What’s your definition of a professional? The best definition I’ve heard of a professional is based on their consistency of performance. Describing someone as a professional is also saying there’s…

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Sell More By Strengthening Your Listening Skills

How good a listener are you? When I ask this question of experienced sales pro’s the overwhelming majority immediately identify they’re great listeners and identify their listening skills as one of the reasons for their long-term selling success. But the reality is significantly different for most salespeople, even the most experienced and successful ones. The…

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Find ‘The Win’ In Any Sales Loss

Do you see selling as an event or as a process? Less trained or experienced sales reps tend to see selling as just a series of stand-alone events. They work hard at every selling opportunity but when that sale is complete, whether it was won or lost, they see that sales effort as now being…

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Utilizing Stronger ‘Cold Calling’ Phone Openings

NOTE: Please read Jim’s update (5/2/17) at the end of this article. His answer to the posted comments.  How are you opening up your phone calls, especially when cold calling? There’s a simple four step process you can utilize that will increase your success grabbing a prospect’s attention and positioning the reason for your call.…

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How to Conduct Effective Sales Training and Adult Learning

A significant component of your sales training design is going to be based on what type of sales training structure or process you select to best communicate your new learning ideas. To best understand the positives and trade-offs of any specific training format we need to first look at the steps of adult learning. You…

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Ask Your Sales Team ‘And then what?’

In my sales programs I describe most sales people as being like the “Hellarewe” bird. That’s a three foot bird living in four foot grass…who keeps saying “Where the hell are we?” How many of your salespeople act like “Hellarewe” birds? But selling is a lot like the game of Chess. If you think more…

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Sales Campaigns Increase Your Competitive Value and Uniqueness

How would you and your team answer an important customer asking “What’ve you done for me lately?” What would you talk about? How many new ideas or suggestions have you offered your better clients over the last year? Too many experienced sales professionals have this reactive, repetitive, and singular “buy my product” approach to selling,…

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Today’s Top Five Sales Fails and How to Avoid Them

Jim Pancero and Satisfyd presents “Today’s Top Five Sales Fails…and How to Avoid Them!” – One hour webinar recording. Topics include: Sales fail #1 – Making it all about you. Sales fail #2 – Selling as a firefighter instead of an arsonist. Sales fail #3 – Selling as a “Hellarewe Bird” Sales fail #4 –…

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Using Formal Account Planning With Your Sales Team

How much account planning do you lead your team through at this time of year? For the majority of sales teams the last month of a business year and the first month of a new year traditionally involve some type of territory planning and quota assignments for the year. Account and territory planning are always…

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Sales Campaigns Increase Your Competitive Value and Uniqueness

How would you and your team answer an important customer asking “What’ve you done for me lately?” What would you talk about? How many new ideas or suggestions have you offered your better clients over the last year? Too many experienced sales professionals have this reactive, repetitive, and singular “buy my product” approach to selling,…

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Go From Being a Sales Manager to a Selling Process Coach

  In this video Jim Pancero shows how sales managers can take the next step to becoming selling process coaches and become more effective leaders. Jim explains how changing the question is the answer to improving sales. Our thanks to our friends at ISSA for the production of this video and their permission to use…

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Gaining Credibility with Your Sales Team

  You don’t have to shoot more 3-pointers to coach LeBron James. And you don’t have to be a better salesperson to lead an award-winning sales team. But you do have to understand the philosophies and process of good selling techniques. Don’t be the towel boy. Let Jim Pancero show you how to become a…

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Account Planning – Leading Your Sales Team to be Future Focused

Account planning – how to lead your sales team using a future focus of account planning. Jim Pancero reveals four key questions that will coach salespeople to be future-focused while boosting sales. Thanks to our friends at ISSA.com for the production and use of this video.

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The Aging of Your Sales Team

What are you doing about the aging of your sales team, your management style, and the new millennials coming on board? It’s time to face this challenge and change your management style. In this 3 minute video Jim describes the challenge and offers a few suggestions. Our thanks to ISSA for the production and use…

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Proactive Customer Service – Show Value

Proactive Customer Service – Initiate Ideas As a sales pro have you tried being more proactive with your clients? Offer your best clients a day of research and allowing them to see the value you can provide.

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Your Price is Too High

How many times have you heard that from a buyer? What do you say? I’m Jim Pancero. In the last 33 years I’ve consulted and trained over 600 experienced sales teams in 80 different industries. Dealing with pricing demands and pressures from buyers is a constant in all industries…whether you’re in retail or business-to-business sales…selling…

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How to Sell Your Way Out of a Tougher Economy

So how’s business? Whether you sell equipment…materials…supplies…or services…I’m guessing your answer isn’t that positive right now. Some business areas are doing really well…but most have spent the last year struggling for every sale…fighting off aggressive cost-cutting competitors as you all chased after fewer buyers. I’m Jim Pancero. and I’ve been consulting and training sales teams…

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Are Your Sales Reps Hellarewe Birds?

In my sales programs I describe most sales people as being like the “Hellarewe” bird. That’s a three foot bird living in four foot grass…who keeps saying “Where the hell are we?” How many of your salespeople act like “Hellarewe” birds? But selling is a lot like the game of Chess. If you think more…

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How Proactive is Your Sales Manager?

An Interview with sales specialist Jim Pancero conducted by Stacy Ward, Managing Editor, FEDA News & Views, the voice of the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association Sit next to sales consultant Jim Pancero on a plane and be prepared to rethink everything you thought you knew about sales, particularly if you’re in management or have umpteen…

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What’s Really Ailing Your Sales Team?

Every sales manager has strong opinions about what they think most needs to be “fixed” or improved within their sales team. A few of the most common responses I often hear from clients include the need for more closing skills or help in time management. Some think cutting prices will increase sales, while others believe…

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Jim Pancero, CSP, CPAE

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