Eloquent Expressive Narrative Conversation


Success
Eloquent Expressive Narrative Conversation

Today is the beginning of new and exciting future for you. Will you choose to take advantage of this golden opportunity? Now is the time to decide the direction of your tomorrow. 2015 is beckoning for a continuation of your growth of 2014. This past year drove many companies to discover a way to deliver extraordinary and over the top customer service and experience. Giving their customers different experiences then they have ever had in the past from any service provider.

This has led many companies to try a different approach delivering better solutions to consumers. In order to facilitate change with their customers companies have to make a decision concerning the direction of their company. This direction has the company moving forward and typically not walking in familiar territory. A change from the normal performance of business to an exchange of ideas increasing the customer’s involvement from diagnostic, covering multiple options, and budget.

The transformation is with the communication, replacing your conservative communication with effective conversation driving your exchange of descriptive phrasing that thrusts a picture of the positive ownership exchange between buyer and seller. The consumer must place them self in a position to understand and to become part of the decision making process of the sale. This is the exciting change that will take place.

Now is the time you should start to give the customer ideas that will assist them decide what is in their best interest and fits into their budget and alleviate any issues preventing her from moving forward. Frequently in the construction service trades the technician will tell the consumer a choice perhaps 2 choices. The consumer realizes neither of the choices is viable and chooses to let you go and try someone else and improve the choices.

The 2 choices frequently given the consumer are to make a repair or to do nothing. What would multiple choices given to the consumer look like to you and your buyer and how would it affect their decisions? What if she knew and understood the ease of something new? What if you are able to convey a message and a product that encouraged and compelled the consumer too purchase a better product that produces superior results than the old existing product.

Will you give yourself the authority to positively move your company in a new direction that brings excitement and renewed joy driving your ability to increase your potential earnings and profits? You do control the ability to make choices. What choice will you make today?

Decide to increase your ability to communicate driving conversation that will change your life and those that are around you. This includes your customers by giving them better solutions that allow them to want to use your products and services. Then it will affect all of the people that surround you personally such as family and friends. In conclusion it will affect your co-workers and employees due to conveying descriptive and graphic concepts that presents ideas that are clear and precise painting a colorful image with their words. Their words will match their actions.
vision and success
Are you ready to make that decision? Will you make decision?

Practice Better Business

Between the Listener and Speaker, how do you decide whose responsibility it is to hear the real message ?


Role-Clarity

Between the Listener and Speaker, how do you decide whose responsibility it is to hear the real message ?

Emerging thoughts for the upcoming year have entered into what will take place in the next 12 months. Amazingly the learning process never ends and is always throwing new wrinkles increasing thought awareness that throws endless possibilities towards success.

These thought reversals are to discover whose job and responsibility it is to gain facts and clarity within and about a conversation to changing me while adapting to my surroundings. Any time change must occur the change must start within and sometimes we try and force and outward change that meets with resistance. Is it the speaker’s responsibility or the listener’s responsibility to discover clarity?

The resistance occurs due to observation regarding that change that is lost in translation. Then there is the thought process that I/you am not the responsible party to change and it is not my problem. It is the other person’s problem and lack of ability to adapt and to flow where the wind blows.

Who is responsible to get what I am saying when I am the speaker? Who is responsible to understand the statements? Who is responsible for the clarity of my statements? Who is responsible to discover who is on board with the message?

Could this be the real reason why people fail to understand sales? Could this be the reason many people fail in sales? Could this be the reason why so many sales falls through the cracks only for someone else to gain the sale? If no one is in charge of deciding who is responsible for the clarity between the speaker and listener who do things get done? If it is the listener how do you the speaker know the listener has it and will move forward with you? It is time to find out who is listening.beware_md

What say you and how will you decide?

Practice Better Business

Choose the correct training.


images of words
Choose the correct training. I receive 35 emails on training

The conclusion of the New Year is amusing and at times hilarious in my appraisal. I revel in helping others reach a higher potential both as a person and professional increasing their earning potential.
During this time period there is definitely pressure to take the last few days of the year to gain as much business to boost profits for the year ending and to shove all kinds of training to different companies whether they need it or not. Get what you can this year and enjoy the deductions while getting preparing for the next year.

I am all about training and know it is essential. Without proper training you are spinning your tires in the mud. Decide to discover the real obstacles that are keeping you from reaching your potential. Blindly attacking every process within your company will overwhelm you and place you in a position to fail and believe the changes are the reason for failure. There are way too many contractors’ training companies that try to overhaul too many things at one time. You must eat the elephant one bite at a time. It Is essential to find out the portion of the company that requires treatment and fix the cause. Once that is accomplished whatever is next will help grow your company.

My specialty is growing income and increasing your earning potential. If your issue is spending increasing your dollars has not fixed the problem. What it did is add more money to spend on your spending issues. I can prove to any company they need to increase their earning potential and increase profitability. That is easy to prove and gain agreement. I am more interested in a healthy you and your company. Once you start to encounter the same problem you experienced in the past what good was the training I gave you to increase profits? The main illness was not treated. In your mind the training was horrible and wasted your time and effort.

Analyze your company. Hire a professional that can and will find the real issue and address the reason why your business is not where you think it should be positioned. The sales help companies are really good at what they do. They can build frenzy and have you fired up and ready to proceed and push the urgency to get it today. They need you to make that decision today. Why? Emotion sells.

You may discover that you require a complete business overhaul. I am not willing to place your company in a position without investigating a few business practices.I would definitely hire a local business coach to visit your company and then to evaluate from head to toes what is going on from business practices, dispatching, customer relations to how truthful your books are telling you where you stand. For this numbers are required but not the sole way to make a decision as numbers do not always tell the truth. Some areas to research are:

The first is hiring practices. Your work culture will make or break you. Whether you buy into a sales system does not matter when your plumber can not spell or complete a sentence. It is amazing how little training is set aside for this small but extremely important portion of your work culture. Communication and conversations will determine your success within the company and with your customers.

Second is what type of training, Speaking to plumbers and other trade professional’s there is a wide belief that sales are manipulation. This is because we demand a fast return on investment. The training is called persuasion and convincing which is part of manipulation but in a kinder way. However when push comes to shove and we place the spotlight it is good intentions done for the wrong reason is still wrong. But it is the fastest way to bring money into the company and teach people how to sell. Typically this is 2-4 day training. What training only takes 2-4 days to master? Sales are essential to increase profits. Discover the training and investigate what is best for your company.

Discover your overhead and why it is where it is. Find a way to bring your over head down. You do this by having the right per hour rate whether you are per hour or flat rate. Surround yourself with brighter people then you. Do not be afraid of hiring great people for fear they may leave you after they get experienced. You are as successful as those people who surround you. Hiring bodies that do not fit your company will kill the company

Choosing the right company is crucial .So many companies are choosing the training for the wrong reason. I received 35 emails from trainers offering me their training. The reason is there training is what will save our company, They never bothered to discover if we needed their type training or what was keeping us up at night. Their crustal ball told them our problem magically fit their solution without gathering information. They have never been off value to our company in the past and doubt that there training is a fit for us.
Behind the 8 ball
How do you determine the right company for you? I am going to point out a friend of mine. He was not a friend until I received emails from his company. The emails were of value and in the form of blogs that helped me with various business decisions. Some of the value material covered successful hiring practices. It showed me how to discover the customer’s real reason to buy and how to give proper options to the customer and in what order. Amazingly the free stuff given to me showed me how to prepare the solutions in a way that made sense to the customer, how to include customers in the decision while learning how to stop buyer’s remorse. I finally decided it was time to get to know this person and we made contact. It was then that he became a friend, his name is Joe Crisara. Joe is not the only guy out there like this, there are many to choose from. He is a fantastic role model with his presentation skills. Others would be Steve Corsica, Ellen Rohr, and Charlie Greer and there are others. Notice that these people are individuals and not huge resources.

You want to hook up with people that provide value to you before they make their sales pitch to you. We have 1 person we call and every time we call we are told to raise our prices without discovering what the issue is. This is of no value to me. I want to know a better way to increase our ability to increase booking of calls. Raising the rates will not provide that information. I will not call this person and the contact is not mine. I had a trainer write me to teach me how to negotiate with customers without giving up dollars. In his email sales pitch he gave me a discount if I were to choose his company. I am not sure this is the trainer to teach me how to negotiate if he is dropping his price on our initial contact.
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What is information that is of value? Things that interest you with building your company this information makes you powerful and will increase your thought process making you more aware of your surroundings and where you want to visualize your company in the future. Your future begins today.

Interview this trainer via the phone. Have a set of questions you need to ask. Remember when you are with customers they ask the most bizarre question and make statements that make little to no sense. You need a trainer that will teach you how to react and respond to this customer. The training should help you with 20—25% of your customers the rest should make up their own minds and decide to use you based on trust and respect with likeability. The training should deal with that 20-25% not the 75% that do business with you already.

Now for non-traditional sales training in the trades I am going to say a few things about Practice Better Business. Most of the training is drawn from outside the traditional sales training given by those inside the construction sales training. By this it is drawn by those that have experience and expertise in sales . Cold calling techniques are included because we must learn to talk with customer via the phone that are out of state. We must visualize to the customer why you do what you are going to do. We must hold conversations that build mutual trust and respect. We are in a people business and we must learn to appreciate our customers and understand what they mean.

Choose the right trainer for your company. Choose the right reasons to choose and make the correct choice. Find a business coach that can help you diagnose your company and the areas that need a spoonful of sugar. Apply that medicine and watch your company grow by leaps and bounds.

Practice Better Business wished you a Happy New Year and decide to grow.

Praise and good in a life.


joy
Praise and good in a life.

This past week I have been blessed by my involvement in some amazing life changing circumstances that have certainly rocked my heart and world. It categorically has created a different outlook towards life’s irritating trash as inconsequential to what is certainly more significant in people’s lives.

The first of which is a small church in Sarasota called Liberty Baptist. From the very first Sunday evening 4-5 months ago that entrenched me to visited the church I knew this was my slice of Gods will for me. Everyone was inviting and friendly. For me this was the first time I have ever had this feeling of belongingness. I have been in this church ever since then .However what me and my family are going through has never been mentioned to anyone in this church they made me feel like I have been there my whole life. This is my feeling and reflects no one else’s feelings.

A week ago Monday we received news that was not a priority on my list or my wife’s. The first day I was fine. The second day I had a feeling that I would need help and I did something I have never done in my life. I sent the pastor an email asking for help. In this email I explained I have never done this and how the church members and he have made me feel. The thing I love about this church is how caring and giving they outside of the church and inside to their congregation. This small church has raised over 119 grand for mission work inside the USA and in many countries in a very short period of time. The Mission conference at the church was Monday through Wednesday. I wanted to attend however my emotional stance would not allow me until Wednesday night.

When I arrived there was an outpouring of support caring and love expressed that overwhelmed me. I did not know the pastor had read my email to the congregation. What is more is, I never realized how many of the congregation knew who I am? This church at every chance has a time where the members greet one another. However most of the churches I have been to do this: hi how are you and off to the next person.Many others are shaking your hand while making eye contact with other people. At Liberty it is different, they talk with you and this blows me away; they remember what they talk to you about during this short period of time. They are awesome individuals that are caring loving and kind people that live the word of God. This made me weep uncontrollably with explosive joyfulness.

Then the day of my treatment today I was able to experience this: an opportunity and pleasure to witness the Bell Ringing at Florida Cancer Specialists. When the Bell Rings the individual ringing the bell has found their cancer in remission and is cancer free. This is an amazing awesome experience to witness. What an incredible day and something that will stay with me for a very long time. Almost like observing a rebirth, the look in her eyes and the feeling of getting her life back. To personally witness this has given me a sense of God’s miracles. This woman had been fighting breast cancer and for now has won.

On top of this I am the luckiest person on the planet as I have Suzy my wife since 1981. She is in my corner supporting and helping me every day of my life. Without Suzy’s help, where we are today is improbable. Suzy has given feely to me 3 children that are out of this world and very much like her. They are all caring, giving, and loving. Each one of them has a profession that demands a great deal of giving to others and thinking of others. One of our daughters has given birth to a daughter who is an amazing little girl that brightens up the world with her smile and love. Each is a wonderful inspiration to me that drives the want and will to come forward from me. Now both of our daughters have picked wonderful men to go through life.

What I have learned today is we never control anything in our lives. We are a passenger in our lives. We get the free will to roll the window down and let our hair blow through the breeze or we can close the window and pretend that life is to hard or terrible to live. There are times we think we are in control of our lives and destiny and we have this false sense of security that is like the coolness before the dawn of morning. However we also discover that during these times it seems like a long long time and satisfaction or contentment is fleeting and nothing is ever good enough.

I feel that without living a life of faith and hope in God there is that false sense of I made this happen. But if I really made it happen why I am not at peace with myself, that inner peace that says everything will be alright and is alright. I have found it is great to say a little prayer get grace, mercy, and strength that tell me that I have an inner peace that created calmness and a debt of gratitude.

What this has done for me is give me the want to give information that I have gathered through the years and give it to others. For many it could save them from traveling down the road of hard knocks that I pursued for many years to master a fantastic education given by other to me. What seems to bother me more today than in the past the less fortunate people who refuse to open their minds to endless possibilities to potentially make a huge impact on them financially and change their personal lives? I feel sorry that they have obstacles in their lives preventing them from accepting a different way of life and living. I am trying to be more tolerant but it is difficult to say the least due to the most dangerous part of the human anatomy. That being the tongue, saying the right thing can bring tears of joy yet saying the wrong thing has caused wars. The stupidity and ignorance of man and his ability to become a fool comes to light far too often. I typically write about sales and you can apply these principles to your work and make a difference in your customers life.

Good intentions

Too much time ,to many stupid excuses


clock time wasted

Too much time ,to many stupid excuses

I like talking to people. I enjoy speaking with peer professionals in my industry. I especially love to hold conversations with people in the construction trade industry that can open their mind to a different way of thinking. What I like more than anything is to have someone take an open hand to their face and start to rub their chin with hmmm I see. It almost becomes an “aha” moment with the person listening.

Conversely I cannot stand those in the industry that eagerly participate trashing and complaining their customers and potential customers. They seem to bad mouth quite a few of their customers that seem to change into horrible consumers. Why it seems to happen to these same people is a miracle as far as they are concerned. HOWEVER it is never them; it has to be the consumer.

The consumer decided to do the least expensive repair, the customer decided to play with the plumbers fix and caused the new/old leak. One female plumber in Virginia thinks a 90 year old woman is playing with old shutoffs. The plumber connected lavatory supply lines to the existing shutoff valves instead of installing new shutoffs. How ridiculous is it to think a 90 year old woman is crawling inside a cabinet and sabotaging shutoff valves inn order for her to come back to her home. At some point when will you realize that it is you that is the common denominator with each and every one of your customers? I am not implying that all troubled customers are a result of what you do however when the horse is staring at you, it is time to accept that you may be the problem that needs fixed.

I made a comment that we should discover budget. When those in the construction trades are asked to give quotes it is essential to discover budget.1 plumber stood up and thought he would put me in my place by stating that anytime he asks his customers about a budget they laugh at him and will never tell him. Asking for a budget is a silly time wasting project is what he should have said and given a reason why. Instead he decided to try and be a smart alec that had no reason to back his idea.

I would agree with him, if I asked you to tell me your budget of course you wouldn’t. I would not tell you if you asked me to tell you my budget or how much I am going to spend. Figure a different way to ask the question that allows you to gain an answer. Have a purpose with your questions. At times we must take the hat off our head and use it for something other than a hat rack. You must discover the budget, it is a guide to help you get from Point A to Point B. Sometimes people in the construction trades are way too literal and have a difficult time peering over the top of the proverbial box that contains their ideas. Many more are so stuck in their ways that they refuse to see a different way to ask.

One way to ask about a budget is: Have you given any thought to the plumbing fixtures? What have you chosen? That is great can you tell me why you went that route? Have you seen the new 1 piece Kohler power flush or whatever 1 piece water closet you think is better for that customer? Once you discover where your customer has looked at their fixtures you can discover why which leads to an answer about a budget. Another way is; is there a monetary constraint on your investment? Then ask questions about top end fixtures.

Then this plumber decided to attack in a different way, he said I do not want to be a pushy sales person I just want to plumb. No you don’t; if you wanted to plumb you would want to give your customer the best possible solution and if you refuse to sell them the best solution then you cannot possibly want to plumb.

To some this may sound a little angry, it is not. It is meant to get to the core problem of why our industry has dropped in reputation over the years. It is to get to the core point of why more home owners have decided to use non licensed unqualified personnel to do their plumbing work or any type construction service work in their home. I am at an age where I really do not care that some of those people in my profession are offended. It is time they started to realize there is a better way, they must open their mind and eyes and do something other than what they have done for years. A common response is Richard you seem to think there is only 1 way to do things. I take pity on you for saying something that is even more stupid than what you uttered earlier. It has nothing to do with my way as the only way. I have mentioned many other sales trainers that are very good, very progressive, and have systems that are available for you to grow your business with high integrity. Stop trying to discredit by trying to go in a different direction by reducing it to the ridiculous. I’ll call you out on your stupidity and your feelings will get hurt once again. I would rather hurt your feelings if that is the way to motivate you to at least take a look at a different direction to increase your earning potential. However if you refuse that is not my problem, it is yours. What do you have to lose?

But; if I become a sales person I will sell with less integrity and dishonesty. The statement is worded differently but it holds the same meaning. People that sell are crooks or over sell, sell things that do not need to be sold. If that is how you intend to sell you may be correct. However that is you not the sales method. Again stop making stupid statements that sound more like excuses.

Stop being the damaged goods in your company’s presentation. Start being the customer’s hero and go to person for information. Become the trusted advisor. Stop being afraid of the term sales person.
productive

The past 12 months


The past 12 months

beware_md
Wow a lot has happened in the past 12 months. Some good, some bad, and some of it ok. We scheduled on a routine removal of a 4 centimeter polyp October 29th, 2013. The night before was a typical and predictable night before surgery no food or drink after 12:00 midnight. I was a smoker and I smoked my last cigarette that night. We went to bed thinking that it would be a quick in and out and life would return to normal.

On our way to the hospital for the surgery roughly 5:30 AM Suzy and I chatted. We had no idea what was around the corner. All I can say is Suzy is one of the strongest women I have ever known and will ever know and I am ecstatic that she is in my corner and in my world. After the surgery we discovered that they found cancer in my colon. They removed 22 lymph nodes and 21 of them were cancerous. There was more left inside the colon. However we still had no idea concerning how severe and impacted our lives would become.

The next 5 days in the hospital recovering from colon surgery the surgeon kept on saying; we did not catch it in time? I kept asking what that means. The surgeon would repeat himself saying we did not catch it in time. No one could tell me what that meant. Every time I have an appointment with him, he repeats that phrase and every time I ask what that means. During the hospital stay I did not know if I would be coming home from the hospital and I still do not know today what we did not catch it in time means. All I know is here am I today.

After being released from the hospital we were advised to meet with an oncologist. We were extremely lucky with the person we chose. The choice was random. We met with a local oncologist that we really liked. However every place we visited suggested that we get a second opinion. There is a cancer help facility that has volunteers and they pushed hard for us to visit a cancer institute in Tampa to receive a 2nd opinion. Finally after a few months of this particular place pushing for a 2nd opinion I said ok. Suzy and I set the appointment and sat with an oncologist from this center. This fellow sat in the middle of the room slouched in a chair and asked: what do you know. We told him, he said WRONG. He said you have a 5% chance of survival. He also made it perfectly clear that the oncologist was not doing what she should have been doing. He told us his diagnostics and what he would be doing differently than our present oncologist and if I expected to live I would be with him.

Obviously we had many questions and many more that could not be answered. Tic toc, tic toc, time ticking and slipping away. There was and is so many things that we want to do, know, and now we discovered there is not enough time for us to complete the bucket list. If you get anything out of this forget the bucket list for the future. Start fulfilling your bucket list now your future is now. When your decision is to wait the wait may never mature into the right choice.

We drove home that long lonely Thursday night, the hour and half seemed like an eternity. It was the longest drive I think we have ever made. Both Suzy and I cried most of the way home. We were not sure what we were going to do or how we would break this to our adult children. Then we decided to wait until the following Monday when we would be visiting with our original oncologist. Sometimes the best thing is to sit and relax before making decisions that you believe are life changing .

Friday afternoon while walking I had an epiphany that hit me square in the jaw. I started to analyze the original oncologist statements and this new person we visited on Thursday. When you are in that situation you reach for whatever is available to change the circumstances. However the circumstances did not need changed. My direction and beliefs went back to the original oncologist’s remarks and diagnostics. When I arrived home Suzy had the same idea. How could we possibly allow someone that did not know, understand, or was vested in our wellbeing adjust our thought process.

Finally Monday arrived, our tears were dry by now and emotionally we were spent. Our emotional stance dressed our bodies. I dislike when a customer seeks a second opinion from me. I can only imagine how a Doctor feels. I explained what I had done by getting second opinion. We have a fantastic oncologist. She looked at us and said I work for you. If I missed something I am more than happy to get you in a treatment that is better for you. We love her spirit, her professionalism, and her caring attitude. Her name is Janice Eakles and we trust her explicitly. Better yet we have entrusted her with my life which should explain everything that you may want to know about her ability.

Here is what we found: The second oncologist from Tampa was making a diagnostic on 3 month old data. Second he recommended a treatment that destroyed cells that were rebuilding the area of my colon that had undergone surgery. His prescribed treatment would have destroyed my colon and not allowed it to heal. Who knows what he meant by a 5% chance of living? This man tried to convince us that our world had stopped spinning and it was time for me to step off.

We have consumed a full year brawling all the way with aggressive treatments. Having a year under our belts is huge especially when I did not know if I would be coming home from the hospital. I did not know if I would be there for my granddaughter’s birthday in February, or Valentine’s Day, our kid’s birthday. It has been an extremely tough year for Suzy and me. You know what, we made it and now are looking forward to next year. We forgot a major force in our lives and that is God. When it is our time it is our time decided by God and no man has control over our destination and will not determine time. Through faith our strength and resolve became so strong and has led us to where we stand today. We are now so much better prepared for the future. We have discovered that we and more specifically myself am ready and ok with the end. However at this time I am not ready and have more to do.

Over the past 12 months I have noticed my tolerance of people and their stupid remarks has dropped considerably. I cannot believe how many people try to reduce things to the ridiculous which helps no one and is of no value. What each person requires are people that surround them that add value and are valuable to the growth and wisdom that is necessary to live each day. I am no longer interested in how a person reacts when they should sit back and respond. I no longer am tolerant of people who see the same results yet they continue to repeat the same activates then deny that another idea or concept will not work in their circumstance. Stop being afraid to accept change especially when change is the exact answer to your circumstances. The problem is whether you change or not is your choice and it is amazing how badly some people choose.

What is amazing is we do not know when the end is near. We can speculate but then again why would you want to know? There is too much to share especially the events that have happened in everyone’s life to date is more exciting than discussing the things you may or may not have the ability to experience. Decide to live each day as if it were your last. Express gratitude by professing your faith in God, articulating how valuable and important your family is to you and the unconditional love that surrounds the family. Then lastly to have continued gratefulness for the people that encircle you. It is extremely important to remove all obstacles and negative people from immediate environment. There is absolutely no reason or rhyme why you should endure people that are not happy or joyful.

Richard Hilliard
Practice Better Business

joy-is-portable

Decisions to make with Your Company


beware_md
Decisions to make with Your Company

Whenever I get involved in a discussion with construction trade professionals concerning sales an amazing fact keeps leaping to the front of the line. I discovered this fact while I was working as a service sales plumber in a truck. Our owner would try anything that he believed would and could have helped his staff become more effective with their ability to help his customers. The training should have helped. However it failed miserably.

It was not due to the owner that the effort failed. The trusted advisors of the well-known sales help and companywide educational organizations failed this owner and many other owners and companies due to the exact same reason. They excelled at sales however they were extremely poor at discovering real problems and providing long term solutions that would create success.

My discovery and declaration of these organizations is they have not learned how to sell or educate properly. These contractors and employees have searched for sales training when they should be searching for other items including how my staff learns. They find sales training, get sold and then decide to invest in the training without considering, how they learn, why they need to sell, how they will sell, or what they will sell.

There may be a consultation with the sales trainer most likely the consultation is with a person that is ready, willing, and quite able to convince you to pay 10,000 or more dollars a year to join their chapter or group. What good is that training when you or the sales trainer has not found out your core beliefs? You must discover what is holding back the company instead frenzy is built that overwhelms. What is most likely to stop you in your tracks from selling? What is stopping you from moving forward with a sales system? What have you done up to this point? Why did it not work? Why did you give it up? Why did you not stay with it? What did you like about it and what did you not like about it? Are you committed?

What is it that you like about sales? What do you not like about selling situations? Why do you think the way that you do? What is your support system like? How do you continue with your ongoing training? What drives your training? What have you seen? What have you done? What have you heard?

If you have invested in training and help in the past why has it failed? Some of these trusted advisors will pick up a phone and decide to ask questions without visiting the company and understanding firsthand how your company is in an unorganized chaos. They expect you as an owner to tell them truthfully. A good rule with sales is the customer may tell you things truthfully however it may not be true. They have information and the information is wrong. Very rarely will you hear a person, especially an owner say; I have been running my company wrong or into the ground. As an organization you will hear I am not making money.

Then questions like what is your overhead? What is your breakeven? You need to charge more. These remedies seem to spew out without direction. The organization is expecting you to understand business and you are joining them due to wanting to expand your education with your business acumen. This is crazy and sort of like allowing the alcoholic to serve drinks and collect money at a bar. Stop allowing the inmates to run the asylum.

What is it that you need? What is it that you want? Where do you want to be in 1 year? Where do you see your company in 3 years and then 5 years? What is your plan? How will you get there? How will you sell?
Don't fear change,change fear

I am here to inform you that you must jump in and get your feet wet. It is understood that you drank a lot of Kool-Aid in the past .You are reluctant to drink from the well of broken promises and dreams. However there is a need to give a little more you for your future. It is a simple procedure. In a few steps you can have a break out year. Answer the questions asked above and now you may be able to implement the strategies below.

It starts with step 1, defining and determining your GOALS. What are your goals with customer service and experience with you and your company? What are your company goals? What are your personal goals? How can you tie these goals together? Each goal must be dependent upon each other and a plan to reach those goals. Your customer allows you to reach your company goals that will pay you and then give you the means to reach your personal goal. Once you have clearly defined the customer, professional and personal goals you then can head to step 2.

Step 2 is a COMMITMENT to do what is necessary to follow up on your goals. You cannot be half in and half out and expect to reach your goals. There is a demand to be all in with your words and actions to fulfill your dreams. The commitment stage is 2 phases. The first phase is a commitment to stop doing what you have always done in the past. Let me cover that a gain as it is the most important phase of stage 2. You must forget and leave behind the land of what was and move into the land of what will become your future. Make this commitment to you, spouse, children and employees. Most importantly make this commitment to your customers.

Step 3 is a byproduct of step 2. Sharpen your LISTENING skills. Close your mouth and listen to the customer. Practice with your spouse and friends in order to build a new belief system. When your spouse or friends speak, shut up; do not respond with something that you know. Decide to ask a question about the things you have heard. Let them react and respond to your question. Once again do not react to their reply respond and ask another question about their response. The purpose is to gain confirmation about a fact they stated. You will start to see a change with their eagerness to give you more information and they will be happier. This stage is difficult as you will change your behavior from center stage to a developer.

Step 4 is dependent upon step 3. Your COMMUNICATION skill must take a giant leap forward. The communication you employ is based on what the customer states to you. It is essential to use the same powerful descriptive words to describe your solution. An example is my faucet is too hard to turn on and off. Typically a plumber would present it this way. This faucet is broke and needs fixed. It is an old faucet and should be replaced or they may state I have parts in my truck and can fix it. Some may say,I have a faucet in my truck and it is x amount.

Mrs. Client I have a faucet that works with a single finger and is extremely easy to use. Would you like to give it a try? Notice how the handle is formed for ease of operation. The best thing is you will get years of use before you will need me again. Let’s go take it to the (sink) and see how it would look.

Which way entices a buyer to buy? Which way engages the customer to act in a particular way? Which way increases the desire to have the new faucet? There is no end to where this could help the customer. She could say since we are doing the faucet can I have a new sink? Would you like a new sink also? It will also give you the freedom to suggest a new sink.

Decide today to implement these 4 basic strategies and Practice Better Business. Decide today to use words that encourage the customer to take action. It is time to stop being boringly predictable. It is time to learn how to sell.

What you think may not be what the customer thinks.


past  futureWhat you think may not be what the customer thinks.

Every Wednesday morning we hold ongoing training. I try to have theme based training. As any of you who have kept up reading the blogs I post a lot of the blogs pertain to communication. I believe the reason sales fail is due to a communication breakdown. Some will debate that you can do everything perfect and still the sale will fall through the cracks. That is a true statement. However let us look at who the sale was perfect too. It was perfect in the eyes of the wrong person and that is the sales person. It must be perfect in the eyes of the customer. They are the ones who hold the key to the door that you want to enter.

I was asking plumbers an area of difficulty when they are trying to renew service agreements? Their response is not surprising. A few of their co-workers have been to the home and there to do list suggesting preventive measures do not standup to the number of issues they found. The customer will make a statement that the other plumbers/guys have not said anything in the past.

Before I answer anything that a customer asks I must dig deeper to find out more information. There is a core belief that people make decisions based on what they have seen, heard, or done. The case describe in the last paragraph needs more information to give a good material back to the plumbers. The simple question of what did you say to the customer when they made that statement. As I made my way around the table discussion discovering each person’s reply many things stood out.
1. Preparation
When you are prepared you can answer the customer’s questions and concern’s without trying to defend your position.
2. Communication
Making the right statements to the customer is essential

The reply’s went like this or similar and remember they say these things to customers. I do it this way with all of my clients. This gives each client the same treatment. On the outside looking in this appears as a good thing to say to a client. However it also implies that no one else is doing what they should be doing and you have quietly just burned your co-workers and company. The customer hears no one else is doing what they should so why should I purchase this service agreement again. I did not get the correct service the last few times, what makes me think I will on the next few visits? You may be lucky to get anything out of this service call.

Another response was: this is what I do on every visit I make. This also seems like a good answer and is exactly on the same lines as above. You have just burned everyone in your company. There is no need to use you or your company there is no consistency. The company does not train their staff or they just do not care. Employees can do whatever they want and broken promises are the norm.
A sole proprietor made the statement that it depended on how busy he was. Wow really you are going to tell a customer that the care they receive is determined by how much time you think you have to spend with him or her? You are lucky they do not ask you to leave right now.

Another tells his customers I am not sure why they did not do it this way I was not here. This implies that the other people on staff are not as careful or as good as you. When I call and if I do not get you I will not get what was promised. Why should I purchase this as you have already informed me others are not doing their job properly? The biggest problem is you have told the customer that no one is supervising the others and everyone flies from the seat of their pants. This is no set procedure to follow up on your promise.

How can you be prepared? If you noticed we said renewal of a service agreement. This means your office should have history. Get that history and know what has been completed at this customer’s home and how much he or she has saved by having this service agreement. I have a customer that one of our plumbers visited her. He suggested to her that she should replace the garbage disposal. She became extremely angry at him and wondered why I who had visited her the past few years never informed her of the disposal problem.

He had history and knew ahead of time that I have already spoken with her about the disposal not once but three times in the past. Each time there was a notice on the paperwork the disposal with the reason it should be replaced. It was extremely rusted and the blades were not turning freely. Meaning the food is not being chopped up properly. He was there for a kitchen sink stoppage. Once she saw on her invoices the three notices, she turned to him and said perhaps we should listen more to you; told us what would happen 3 years ago and it happened. This is why we use you.

When you are prepared you can make sense of things and help the customer understand. It will also help you prepare a different way to present the solution that makes more sense to him or her to move forward today. Be ready for anything that a customer may say try to get you to say.
Power-of-Words
Communication is key when others in your company are not following the procedures outlined by company policy. Creating conversation as a peer versus keeping stations set where one is set in a higher capacity is always a dividing feature.By following the procedures in place you can help start developing the company culture that can and will enhance your abilities to reach success at prenominal heights.

Mrs. Client I can make sure to put a note on our computer that will inform any of our staff that visits you to follow protocol. I will also make sure there is a note to give me a call before they visit you. I wish I was as perfect as I sometimes think I am. However I am only human and am prone to making mistakes. It is good to have someone follow me to pick me up when I am not feeling exactly up to snuff.

Mr. Client each person is different. This faucet when new worked with a single finger being able to open and close the valve. I believe the valve should work with the exact same ease as when it was new. Another plumber may feel as if you can have your whole hand wrapped around the faucet and pull it on. The best thing is our service agreement is designed to give you information that is preventive in nature and gives you the opportunity to act proactively. It is your choice and you know what to look forward to and budget for in the future. Sound good to you?

Neither of these ways burns you or your company and informs the customer that from now on out the right thing will be done. You are going to make sure that it happens. Whenever I ran into this problem I made sure my office would write special instructions for the next plumber. Those instruction are treat the customer as I would or they will call me.

Start communicating with your customer and watch what you say. Even the best if intentions can give off bad vibes to a customer. Your words should carry your actions and define who you are. Watch your words as they define your character.

Crossroads Yesterday Tomorrow dreamstime_16469710

If you cannot explain it simply enough: you do not understand it enough.


Define success
If you cannot explain it simply enough: you do not understand it enough.

October 8th a picture of this statement was located in my feed section of LinkedIn. I looked at it and smiled immediately. My thought is how true this statement is and how it cuts right into the problem that most sales people have with their products, service and most importantly mission statement. The simple yet effective statement is: and I quote “If you cannot explain it simply enough, you do not understand it well enough”. I wish I knew who to give credit to for the statement, the person that posted it never gave credit.

A core belief that I share with sales people in the construction trade service communication is at the center of all misunderstandings. These misunderstandings look like debates, us against them, indifferent, a duh look, argumentative, wrong, walking in a wrong door, or just get out of here. It can mean the customer believes you do not understand their issue.

Frequently the service provider has this mentality that the customer is about to rip them off, or trick them into lowering their price. It may appear that the customer is questioning their intelligence or ability to perform the work. There are a number of ways a customer can make the service provider feel as if they lower than the customer or not as smart.

It can be as simple as using I think this should take care of the issue you are experiencing. The customer looks at the service provider thinking if they only think that can take care of the problem and I am spending 500 dollars why would I want to take that risk. So the customer tells you that you are insane and that is too much money. You become defensive and tell them they are a goof ball. There is a statement in Cool Hand Luke that states there is a failure to communicate. This is exactly what the problem is between buyer and seller no one is asking the questions that are floating in each other’s mind and I must point out aimlessly or without purpose.

If you cannot explain it simply enough, you do not understand it enough. When we break down this simple deal breaker sentence you should understand exactly what your responsibility is as a seller to the buyer.
If you cannot explain it simply enough =
You must be able to break this down where the customer and any other person listening can understand exactly why you do what you do, what you do, and finally how you will be doing it. Defining this in simple terminology you must use terminology that the customer and those who are listening understands and there is no ambiguity in your words. There is no doubt your solution is the right solution and is the customer’s best choice. You have taken the time to explain in terminology the customer understands why the product broke down. Then you will explain exactly how to prevent it from happening in the future.

You do not understand it well enough =
This does not mean you as a service provider does not know or understand the solution. Frequently service providers believe the customer is questioning them on the solution provided. The reason they are thinking in those terms is due to the customer asking or stating statements that are often out there in space somewhere and has nothing to do with the real question. What you are misunderstanding is the customer and their thought process.

Due to the service provider getting defensive and thinking the customer is second guessing them, the next step is a step of not wanting to help the consumer. Discover why a customer makes the statements they make and you will discover a conversation did not take place that was easily understood.

Decide today to start holding a conversation with a customer. Start asking questions that have a purpose and will give you answers covering or unearthing the customers wants needs, what has happened in the past and what they would like to get accomplished today. We waste the customer’s time by asking questions without a purpose and questions that bring us no closer to finding out more about them or how they use a certain product. They are what I call time killer questions.

Decided today to find a way to ascertain the customers life style and what they would like from their products by detecting the way they use the product and then give them a product that will serve them so much better than the one existing.

Once you understand why a customer is acting and reacting a certain way you can now control the situation and circumstance with answers that make sense to the consumer. There are numerous ways to explain choices the customer has and help them make the right choice.

Decide today to explain it simply well enough due to understanding it enough.

Retention 2

Practice Better Business

Why is the construction service industry in the shape it is?


Why is the construction service industry in the shape it is?
complacent
The plumbing industry has lost its strong reputation it once held. Plumbers were once held in high esteem. The question is how the plumbing industry lost that esteem. Here is 1 reason and we will cover others that need addressed and repaired before the industry can change the perception many consumers have of the construction trade service industry. Last week I experienced this very example and it is mind boggling that other plumbers have no sense at all and will tear down the very industry they are trying to make a decent living.

A customer calls us and tells us that her home has no water. This is a rental property and she wants to know why there is no water. She also wants to know how much all of this investment will cost her. This is a good question and is understandable given that it is an investment property. Without proper diagnostics no one can give a price without investigating the problem first there is NO plumber alive that could have given her an idea of cost without scheduling an appointment. Some super plumbers will try to convince people they can see underground and can automatically give a price, most will be wrong and in this case all of them would be incorrect. There is no way to price this job over the phone however plumbers will try and devalue their profession by pricing this job over the phone and give a low ball price that lends a hand into devaluing the profession.

Oh by the way this home is located in the county. How is that of any use? The county has potable water provided by the county and there are wells that the home owner owns supplying water too many homes in the county. You still do not know or understand why there is no water and still cannot price this job over the phone.

Our bill to the customer was 700 dollars to diagnose and get her water. 2 plumbers told her it was outrageous. How could they possibly say that without being there to diagnose the job? Oh wait they used our diagnostics to price over the phone. None of the leg work was completed by these 2 morons who just devalued the plumbing profession and helped confuse a consumer towards the honesty of other plumbers. They instead thought pounding their chests while misleading the consumer was the right way to go. Once the consumer read our diagnostics to the non-professional plumbers 1 from Sarasota and the other from Tampa, Florida they decided they could and were able to price the job.

Now remember the home owner had no idea whether she was on county water or on a well. We arrived to discover county provided the water. No padlock on the meter for lack of payment. No water at the hose faucet on the side of the home. We disconnected the main water and discovered no water prior to the shutoff valve. This told us the problem was between the curb shutoff, water main, and something in the line itself buried under ground. We then disconnected the water at the meter to discover plenty of water at that point. This means the blockage was somewhere within the 60-70 feet between the water meter and the house.

There is no backflow preventer to the potable system and none on the irrigation line that has no protection of the domestic water system. Remember those two non-professional plumbers told this customer that they would not have charged for trial and error to discover where the problem may be hiding. This is an outright lie. The diagnostics that is free for all is yes you have no water. After that the diagnostics to provide a solution start and along with the clock with charging per hour or diagnostic charges per flat rate.

We started to dig the water service up to expose the piping. Up to this point we have given the customer prices to do the diagnostics which she approved. We discovered a check valve buried under ground. A PVC check valve is not an approved safety device to protect the potable water system. The potable water system is the domestic water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking water that enters your home. In our area a backflow device is required when there is an alternate source of water. This device typically is installed 12 inches above ground and is not allowed to be buried under ground.

This home owner hired an illegal, unqualified person to install her irrigation. They installed an unapproved device underground without informing the home owner. This means this device should not have been installed underground or anywhere for that matter. There is NO reason to look for this piece installed illegally and improperly. However the 2 nonprofessional plumbing companies thought it was in the plumbing industry’s best interest to neglect informing this customer of that fact and went on to blast another plumbing company’s price to discover the problem and provide a proper solution. The problem discovered is the check valve failed and would not open. The solution to remedy the problem remove the check valve and install the proper back flow devices. The customer called these 2 idiots and gave them our diagnostics and the idiots priced the job from our diagnostics. Now all plumbers are crooks and dishonest according to these two idio0ts in the plumbing profession.

The second problem facing out industry is the willingness to hire criminals. Our industry for years pulled its work force from prisons that taught the trades to the inmates. By no means am I saying not to give people second changes. However you must protect your customers first. Instead of providing free classes to inmates we must make available training for those outside of prisons to learn the trade. It is essential that the trades enter the public school system to help promote the trades during job fair days at public schools. This is a huge problem facing our industry. This could be an article by itself.

This is huge, the industry needs to start increasing pay scales for the employees. This will attract a greater base to choose and pick the right people to visit with consumers. Increasing pay alone will not increase the ability to attract fantastic people to employ. The industry must improve the reputation of the industry as a whole. Once the industry changes the perception of the plumber or HVAC installer, electrician the chances of bringing in new blood that will generate excitement within the industry it will never change.

Our products have changed and are reaching into the 21st century with the introduction of all of the green products. We must provide a higher training regimen to learn trouble shooting that will increase the stress to learn more than what used to be considered the normal learning curve. This means thinking outside of each person’s comfort level is essential .It has been proven to be extremely difficult to implement change and education now with the changes that have taken place since 1980 in our industry.

Business acumen is a disaster in the industry at this time. Way to many owners are in business despite horrible business practices. Years past bad practices would allow a business to stay in business. Today bad practices have companies here today and gone tomorrow destroying trust with consumers and creditors. Too many suppliers would rather have relationships with consumers than with construction trades people. Consumers pay today with credit cards, checks, or cash. A new concept of having business education is fundamental with today’s companies so that they may endure hard times and still make good decisions.

Many of the companies are copying their past employers business practices as their own business practices. Thusly passing on horrible business practices without knowing they are bad for them and their company. They saw it work for their old employer. They did not see or understand how hard their past employer had to work in order to make to work. Their old employer did not tell them when they did not take a paycheck or when things were tough. They wanted to keep their guys working.

These are just a few of the items that need addressed in this profession. There are a few more that need a light to shine upon in order to force change. These items are basic to change before any other change can occur.

Time to do research and increase the perception of the industry by changing our actions and reactions. It is time for change even though you do not believe the time for action is now. Today is the day to regain the reputation that is long lost. It is time that the industry no longer cut down their peers to build themselves up. Learn how to sell yourself with a positive light.

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