Dannette Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic, Regional Business Development
Even when it’s not Valentine’s Day, I love my customers and potential customers! Over the years, my clients have taught me better and given me a more thorough education than any university. Here are three invaluable lessons I’ve learned from three different customers.
3 Valuable Lessons They Have Taught Me
A few weeks ago I went to lunch with a previous customer, a particularly intelligent and engaging young woman. We were discussing how many years we’d known each other, having met her over 15 years ago during a pre-proposal meeting. She said that particular proposal always stuck in her mind as it was the first one she had participated in as a facility manager. When all the bids were submitted, one of the bidders had several pages in their proposal upside down. Even after 15 years, she still recalled the name of the (offending) company and of the negative impression they made on her. I learned that customers never forget bad first impressions.
Early in my career, I had a customer that would report problems in her building almost every day. Her main complaint would be, “My building is just not clean”. Supervisor after supervisor would be sent to inspect her building and would report back that the building was very clean. The calls continued until I finally went to visit the client myself. As I walked into the building, the windows sparkled, the floors shined, and there was nothing visible to warrant all her calls. When I sat down in her office, she complained about the poor quality of our service. I asked her to show me specific areas since neither my supervisor nor I could find any issues. She took me into the women’s restroom, opened the middle stall, and asked me to sit down on the toilet. The back of the stall door was filthy and dusty, and since she looked at that door several times a day, it made her angry each time. This customer taught me to see the building through the clients’ eyes.
One day while out making sales calls, I received a call from a company that accepted the bid of a competitor versus awarding the contract to Varsity. The buyer began asking me specific questions about our local offices and operations team. Finally she said, “I believe we made a big mistake when we didn’t choose your company. Are you still interested in our business”? When we met with her the following week, I asked why she wanted to make a change long before the current contract was scheduled to end. Apparently, the incumbent company was less than truthful about the size of their operation in her market and did not have the local resources necessary to serve her company’s needs. Vendors must be honest in all their dealings even if it means not getting the business.
Customers look for honesty, attention to detail and the ability to see from their point of view. Anything less is unacceptable.
On this Valentine’s Day, I want to thank our customers for their business, for their confidence in Varsity as their business partner, and for the lessons we are continually learning from them!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Varsity Facility Services/Southwest Division
Regional Business Development
During the late 1970’s, Dannette was working in an Arlington, Texas hospital where the Environmental Services Department was outsourced to a janitorial vendor. She became interested in the training and processes required to keep the hospital properly cleaned. On her breaks, she would hang out in the EVS manager’s office to learn everything she could. Several years later, Dannette started a janitorial service, and with her medical background, began seeing ALL buildings as infectious as hospitals. Later in life she married a Flight/Critical Care Paramedic that inspired her to fulfill her dream of being a paramedic as well. She completed EMT-Basic training in 2008, joined MedicOne ambulance company (formerly MedCare), completed paramedic school and licensure in 2010, began the paramedic/RN bridge program, and eventually wound up as a trauma paramedic in a busy ER on the weekends.
In addition to her weekend work as a paramedic, she is involved in business development during the week with the best janitorial service in the world….Varsity Facility Services. Her life is full and busy!
Since starting with Varsity Facility Services in January 2013, doing Regional Business Development for Texas and Arizona, Dannette has already had great success. With her medical background, she was instrumental in obtaining the DaVita Dialysis business (63 locations in Houston); and Mountain Park Health Centers (4 locations) in Arizona.She also played a key role in bringing Varsity’s industry-leading services to Prosperity Bank (Houston); and most recently, State Farm regional offices in Phoenix. She concentrates on locating Fortune 500 companies, medical facilities, universities and national companies that have multiple locations throughout the country who need the level of service that only Varsity is able to provide. She believes in meeting prospective customers face-to-face, and spends at least 60% of her week “in the field” meeting new people and spreading the good news about Varsity to companies that have never heard of us. Her motto is, “The harder I work, the luckier I get!”
In addition to working with Varsity, Dannette is currently working in the medical field as a trauma paramedic on the weekends at Dallas Regional Medical Center Emergency Department.She has also been an American Red Cross (Dallas Chapter) volunteer since 2007 and is on two of their teams: their Medical Disaster Team and their Disaster Action Team for fires/floods for which she is the Team Leader.She worked as a MedicOne Medical Response paramedic for 4 years.She has also taught infection control to nurses at the Texas Hospital Association; hasbeen a speaker at TORCH (Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals); and served on the Public Health Board, City of Grand Prairie from 2010-2012.
As well as her impressive medical experience, Dannette has extensive experience in Facility Management and Janitorial.Before joining Varsity Facility Services, Dannette owned numerous janitorial companies. She has also served as Executive Vice President at AHI Facility Services; and as Director of Medical Treatment Facilities at Aztec Facility Services. She served on the BSCAI Board of Directors from 1955-1998; served on the Proctor & Gamble Advisory Board of Directors from 1995-1998; and was a speaker for Sales & Marketing at the 2002 & 2003 ISSA Conventions.
• University of Texas at Arlington
• Southern Methodist University
• National College of Technical Instruction (Paramedic)
• DCCCD nursing (Phi Theta Kappa)
Other experience and certifications:
• Texas State Paramedic, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians – Paramedic (NREMT-P)
• Infection Preventionist (IP)
• IICRC carpet cleaning
• FEMA disaster paramedic certified
• Wildlands Firefighter
• Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
• CPR instructor
• Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
• International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services, 16 Springs Fire Department (New Mexico).
• Disaster Action Team Leader – American Red Cross
• Certified Executive Housekeeper (CEH)
Awards / Honors:
• Won Dallas 100, Inc. 1994 for being one of the fastest growing companies in Dallas.
• 1995 Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce Enterprise of the Year winner
• Published over 50 articles with SERVICES magazine and CONTRACTING PROFITS
• Former Columnist for Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce, “Who’s Who in Grand Prairie”.
Dannette’s hobbies include playing the classical piano since the age of 3, playing pipe organ, writing hymns and she is currently working on 2 books: From Acne to Estrogen, and Crazy Stories from the ER.
Latest posts by Dannette Heath CEH, IP, Paramedic, EVS Business Development (see all)
- Behind the Scenes: EVS Unsung Heroes - September 12, 2016
- 9-11, The Impact on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) - September 11, 2016
- Norovirus – The Gift That Keeps on Giving … until it’s stopped! - May 9, 2016