Social Media and what bugs me about the so called experts.

Recently I read a blog about LinkedIn and how silly people are sending random sales pitches. I read at least once a day blog posts that tell us this is how to use LinkedIn and other social media. These blogs are telling me the etiquette that is LinkedIn. I am not sure where these rules and regulations are posted yet someone knows. I can surely understand ideas and concepts when the birth of LinkedIn was on the horizon. However once that birthing day arrived rhymes and reasons have evolved and changed where I am not sure anyone can impose their will on what is right and what is wrong concerning the use of social media..

By no means am I suggesting there are no rules to play this social media game. However whose rules and regulations will we follow? Who gave that person, place, or thing the ability and authorization to play with those suggestions and make up their own guidelines? Will you be informing me what perfume I can buy before I type or what cologne to wear before I send a post or email to whomever? Can I type in boxers or do they have to be briefs?

I believe people are on LinkedIn for a variety of reasons. To expect someone to play by my rules seems odd and obnoxious. In my world each person is different and each person is treated slightly different including customers and or potential customers. I also give leeway differently to different people. Nothing is ever equal my friends. I have never met any person where their skills and ability were equal. Perhaps similar but never equal. To think or expect people to be on social media for the exact same reasons you are is living on your own island.

I wish LinkedIn was setup for 1 specific reason that would make it ideal to use and simplify all of the dos and don’ts that drive all of us wacky. Some of like water, others beer, others wine, still others want bottom shelf scotch and others top shelf scotch. Some will put water with whiskey and still others think that is polluting the whiskey and instead put ice or drink it plain. LinkedIn is like a drink.

When I first entered LinkedIn I wanted exposure. I located as many peers as I could in my industry. Then I decided that I needed an education. I started to follow the people that I thought were brilliant and have taken in quite a bit of knowledge. It was at this time I started to join a ton of groups to gain as much knowledge as I could possibly grasp.

Then I decided I wanted to referrals a great distance and hooked up people from different states with one another to conduct business together. Wow amazing things happened. I connected people without expectation of anything in return. What I discovered is this planet is exceptionally small. I connected with people in different states and Canada that had small companies or winter homes in my area. Karma is a powerful tool.

Then I wanted to see how powerful of a tool it is for our company. The quantity was pathetic however the quality was 4-5% of our operating budget. All this for free. Well not exactly free it meant I must join local groups and participate. Our company then had to deliver on our words and our staff did give over the top experiences and service. These are just a few changes that have occurred with my reasons for LinkedIn.

Before we demand people play by our rules wouldn’t it behoove us/me to discover what rules they are playing? Shame on you for not discovering the rules before you played. When I step in mud or trip on a crack in the floor I look around. Not to see who is there but who pushed me. Most of the time the only person there is me. But when I see a person 15 feet away from me and I ask why you pushed me with a smile of course, we have started to a conversation. Don’t hate, educate

Next I do have the power to choose whether or not I will read an email sent to me. It does not matter if it is an invite to connect email or regular email. I also have the ability to investigate and research whether I want to respond to that email. I can look at the person’s profile. Hopefully I have enough sense that I can just about tell or judge why this person wants to connect. If I do not want to read or connect it disappears quickly with the delete button. If I could I would like to ask LinkedIn for an ignore button. This would allow me to ignore certain people and not have to suffer reading their ranting’s.

You have a choice. You can be bothered by what people write and send to you or you can say bye. It is all your choice. Why give others the power to make you feel something you do not want to feel? We al want free speech and all that jazz. Claiming free speech when you are trying to censor another person’s reason to have their own social media is the pot calling the kettle black isn’t it. Yep you have the right to write how you feel. How you feel and what should be done are entirely 2 differently animals or birds of a feather.

Find other people that believe 100% into your beliefs and you will never have to try and understand why someone does something different. I love to discover why people do the things they do. When I get invites to connect and a sales pitch at times I have sent an email asking why they believe this sales tactic will work. I have heard a lot of reasons from; hey it worked a couple of times to I am extremely frustrated.

I get a chance to read every morning these words in LinkedIn: how can I or may I help you today. The words above I am extremely frustrated gives you a real rock star way to help someone. Why are you feeling frustrated can lead you to help that person and thinking larger that company to help educate their staff. Start a conversation 100% spot on. There are all kinds of ways to start a conversation. The worst way is to pick a fight, the better way is to discover why a person does what they do.

Don't give up


Where did that sale go?


Where did that sale go?

From time to time a sale can be as elusive as the bug hovering around the windshield distracting you as you drive. You whack at it a few dozen times deliberating that you have made the insect part of the windshield multiple times. Yet the windshield is clean and clear of the bug and with exception to the hand prints on the glass. A sale is the same with only the handprints left as evidence indicating there was ever a chance.

Like the sand in the hour glass you may know why the sale disappeared or you may not think you know, and still; sometimes the client disappears like a thief in the night without rhyme or reason. However some telltale signs of why it went south are your words: The price is the price ,that is the price in the book, that’s our price are rock solid indicators expressing and illustrating why the sale is with another sales person instead of you.

Those 3 and many others are a signs of frustration by the seller. They believe there is no other place to go and placing an ultimatum to the customer saying it stops right here is the best option. When in fact it never is a best option including as a last ditch effort.

Some questions to ask, you the seller are: why are you here? What made him or her call you today? Why is the customer acting and reacting to you like this? What is the buyer comparing your solution to? What is preventing the buyer from moving forward with you?

What is it that is confusing the buyer?

It is the indecisiveness of the service provider with their solutions. It is the service provider providing solutions that do not fit the customer’s lifestyle. The service provider did not take the necessary time to discover what it is the customer would like for the new product to do for him or her. Lacking the proper training has placed the service provider in an auspicious position that lends a helping hand to failure. They are placed in a position of the deep dark night where fears tend to slowly reposition into nightmares. Leadership has failed.

Simple questions that gain the customers confidence that you will take care of their problem by addressing their concerns is all it takes to show him or her you have their best interest at heart. These questions get to the problem and then address what the customer wants to happen in the very near future. It starts with options that fit their lifestyle. It has nothing to do with the service provider’s wants or needs.

You must discover how the consumer buys. It is essential to understand how your customer buys in order to supplement his or her needs and or wants. What are the driving factors in the decision making process?
Why did they call you what do they like about you and your company that made them call? What points will enter the buying decision and how can you make a call to action that inspires the customer to move in a positive forward motion. What kind of words can you place in front of the customer that will engage him or her? How will you make her feel? Why would she want to move forward with you?

Stop making your customer adapt to your personality. This does not mean you must change or alter your personality. I am not sure I know or would like to know let alone work with an individual that can change their personality. However you can change your tone, how you act and react to your customer actions and reactions. Decide the type communication style you will employ with each person. Make sure you are not faking it as people in general can see right through a person that is trying to change their persona.

You should be able to predict the terminology that you can use in order to communicate effectively with each person you wil have a conversation with during your daily activates. I will have a different style of communication depending on the person I am conversing with and as an example I speak differently with a sales person then I will with a customer. I will tell a sales person too speed it up and get to the point as I am limited on my time and they are infringing on my space.

You will never tell a customer they are infringing on your space. Take as much time as necessary for the customer to understand their options and permanent solution. Customers do not mind taking a little longer when they see and understand your difference. Your difference should be outstanding customer experience. Consumers are not expecting much due to their past experiences with other service providers. This is a fact otherwise the last service provider would be there instead of you to take care of their needs. Something was missing? What was missing? Isn’t it your job to discover the missing link and provide it to the customer with over the top service and outstanding experience?

I want my customer to dance across the porch with so much excitement that has them wanting to refer me to their friends, neighbors, and relatives. The only way I can make profits and be in business in the community for years is to deliver the intangibles. The perceived must become real and the customer must want to use me.

It is time to start having sales that are solid and not elusive like the bug dancing across the windshield. Increase your ability by communicating by painting a picture that asks for an action.

Practice Better Business

Why the Indifference? Customer is standing their ground.

Don't fear change,change fear
Why the Indifference? Customer is standing their ground.

Start taking more upfront time. You’re experiencing buyer’s remorse. The reason the customer is feeling indifference. You arrived, looked at the job, priced it up, started work and collected and left. Badda bing customer has no reason to trust you and wants to call around and check your prices.

Up front time is the time you take to discover stuff out about your customer. It does not necessarily have to be about the plumbing issue, it can be personal stuff. If you’re unwilling to do this be sure you are able to talk to them about their home. Give them tips on how to prevent certain things from happening over and over.

Not everybody can discuss personal stuff. I would propose that you discover how to do this and then become comfortable doing this. My customers know they can tell me anything and frequently do. I can then also talk to them about what is going on in their life or what has gone on in their home in the past. This way I become knowledgeable with their home. They are MY customer and I am their faithful advisor. I understand and know what they want with repairs or replacements, I know what they will spend and how they will respond and react.

Very rarely should you have customer’s that price shop you after the job. Why: there is no reason to do that even though you may be in the top 5% of service providers. What the client receives is overwhelmingly worth more than the dollars he or she has spent in the past with others. Giving excellent service with solving their problems, better than that become fantastic at having people feel great after you leave. Customers do not care that you are a genius. Most of the service providers are and that explains exactly why a lot of plumbers/service providers lose jobs to home centers, handymen and unqualified unlicensed people. That is exactly why people question the prices a lot of plumbers give them before and after the job is complete. That is why people question the amount of time it takes instead of congratulating you on the skill and knowledge you possess. By the way when you lose jobs it is generally due to: things we do, don’t do, things we say, and don’t say. You do not lose the jobs to those other places and people, they do not take the jobs from us, and the job is lost by you. It is much easier to blame other than take responsibility.

Another reason why customers have issues with their service providers is the service provider did not listen or comprehend what they have read or heard. Then they refuse to confirm what they have read or heard. The other day I posted a picture of illegal work from an unqualified person that installed a water heater improperly. In the very first sentence I stated that code required an electrical upgrade that by law requires a qualified licensed Electrical Contractor. In the post was a shameless plug for the electricians company.

A plumber thought it was his business to post I would have at least installed an electrical piece on the water heater. Trying to pound his chest saying you did not do it correctly either. If this is done in a conversation with peers then it certainly happens when speaking to a customer. Here are the problems with the post. The piece was not enough to bring the connection to code, 2nd it as not about that plumber the article was on illegal and unqualified people doing illegal work. 3rd the first post said an electrical contractor was hired to bring it up to code and pull a permit why would a plumber do something with the electric when a licensed qualified electrician would be there to complete the work? Understand what you have heard or read and then make serious suggestions for the solution to the customer. A customer knows when you are not sincere or trying to aimlessly pursue conversation to try and convince him or her to move forward.

I enjoy real life and real world stories that illustrates precisely why our words affect and engage a customer to buy or to send you away. During a recent conversation concerning water heaters a plumber made a statement that she repaired water leaks above an older water heater. As soon as the customer started to write the check to pay for the job the she decided to replace the water heater. This plumber was bragging that she collected the repair and a brand new install of a water heater. In this conversation it was brought up that the water lines would have been included in the water heater install. The replacement heater had to be scheduled for a different day.

My question was simple, precise and concise. Why didn’t you present the replacement heater and repair at the same time and do they both that day? Next thing I knew this person responded by saying they do not use trickery and will not push a customer into making a decision. Nowhere in my question is an accusation of trickery or pushing anyone into a purchase. Nowhere in her response is acknowledgement that both the repair and replacement was given to the home owner.

This is an indication that service providers react versus thinking about a response. Then becoming defensive with their customer and over reacting. If a service provider becomes defensive like this with peers they become defensive with their customer and over reacting is normal. How you react is your history and what you practice, you are in real life. It is that simple.

What this service provider did was not wrong, the majority of service providers provide this kind of service to the majority of customers. It is what many of them were taught and have passed from 1 company to another. You learned from Joe who learned from Charlie who learned from Jim who learned from so and so. It is the way business is run and has run for many years.

Decide today to start a different process with your clients. Give them the best that you can give and start servicing your customers. You should be the best servant possible while giving the gifts that you have to the customer. These gifts are communication, smile, happy to be there with him or her. Start giving the customer real deserving solutions to their problems that prevent possible problems in the future. It is within your power to provide this to your clients


Practice Better Business

You made me change my schedule and then canceled?

You made me change my schedule and then canceled?

Many of you in the blogosphere have read previous posts of Practice Better Business and understand that several of the blogs are written on communication. I must admit there are some people that none of us will ever reach and in my case there are some who will never quite get it or see where they can improve. This is not because they are not experiencing a problem it is because they believe they can do no wrong. It is what it is and until they can accept their weak points as being weak and then stop blaming outside forces such as consumers then it will remain a weak point.

There is a plumber that posts weekly in a social media site concerning consumers that call into his plumbing company that are time wasters. These short social media posts will point out how a person wastes the precious time this plumber has available. This plumber does not realize it is a complaint about consumers and a lot of whining. Customers are noticing the complaints and most likely hesitating to call. One complaint a week is not bad until we understand he is a one man shop and may do 10 calls a week if that many. But he is not hurting financially and that must mean he is not complaining or practicing terrible business practices. (Sarcasm) Add to this this fellow and others like him have posted it on social media however it is not a complaint nor does this consumer bother them. Then why did you post it if it holds no meaning and why would you call this customer names and cheap.

I do get the biggest kick out of follower plumbers who think the way this was handled is cool. They have this core belief that consumers are bad and should be told off. There are some customers that are not your customer however the sheer number of mishaps from this group is comical to say the least. These followers are telling these few plumbers they are doing great by telling them off or not working for him or her. Stupid is as stupid does. This thread is not about helping them it is geared to helping those plumbers or service providers who want to increase their ability to service more consumers and satisfy them while delivering over the top experience and service. Some plumbers will claim victory however they will always be a butt crack plumber.

A couple of weeks ago the complaint was a customer with a water heater that was leaking. In the post it was made perfectly clear to the readers that he had other work scheduled and did not need the work. He also made it perfectly clear that he made special arrangements to “fit” this customer into his very busy schedule. He also said what a pain it was to fit this customer in. Then how dare that customer call and cancel the call as he was finally on his way. Why do people do this?

There are plenty of reasons why people do this. One reason is they found someone else; another reason could be price, another reason and in this case is what happened they paid attention to the plumber and did what they were asked to do. If it was so difficult to fit them into his busy schedule they should help him and made it easy for him. The customer located someone that wanted their work and was more than happy to accommodate. The assumption by everyone is the consumer had the job done cheaper however no one has a clue if that is right or wrong. It sure is easier to blame the customer than to take responsibility.

From the description given by this particular plumber it is fairly obvious the plumber made it sound like a huge favor he was doing for this first time caller. While at the same time not realizing that he was putting the caller off by inferring how much of a burden he or she is to get into the schedule. We as service providers never think this way until we are placed in the situation of a buyer and have been in the exact situation where we feel like a burden. How dare our buyers treat us this way? Sometimes as a know it all plumber we need to place ourselves in the shoes of our customer or perhaps place your spouse in their place and understand your spouse may not talk to you for the rest of the day if you treated her like you treat some customers.

It is time to train you with phone manners and to treat customers with respect. There are many that talk on the phone and do not realize how they sound or how they come across as condescending to their customers. Record yourself and listen to the tape. What an eye opener. It seems that some issues come across as non-verbal communication over the phone. I do know we all have an idea when we are angry how that comes across on the phone, frustration too. When you are less than enthusiastic to perform or schedule a service job for a customer that emotion comes across loud and clear to consumers. They hear your loud statement and will follow up and do what you have made known to them. That is to call your competition and blow you off. You should start realizing and understanding the nonverbal communication that you are giving off to your customers.

A rock solid way of discovering and holding a conversation with a consumer and your day is full is to ask questions. The first few questions are spent asking for the contact information and how they found you. Once I know how they found me I ask what they were told, read, or heard that they liked. Asking if the leak is contained is a valid question. Ask how long it has been leaking. Personally I like to ask if a certain day and time is ok with him or her. I have never found it necessary to say I have no openings or I am booked up. If it is Monday, perhaps ask if Tuesday between 9- and 11 is fine and I also repeat what they told me about why they chose me. If the consumer states that is not good ask what is best for him or her. If today then do what you can to fit him or her into the schedule without broadcasting how difficult it is to fit them into the schedule.

The concept is to make them feel like part of the family not how unreasonable or difficult they are being. Remember they are in a situation that most people have not face often. However you the plumber have faced leaky water heaters many times and typically they are not devastation for you. Add to the leaky heater, having kids that need to get to school, the homeowner needing to get to work.

Ahh the customer is being unreasonable because they have to get to work. Imagine how upset you gte when your truck breaks down, or you’re sick and the work load is building up. Quite possibly bills are adding up and you need to get t that job in order to pay that bill. YET we think our customers are being unreasonable and a pain in the rear because they must be at work. How dare they not accommodate you?

We then make statements that rub the customer the wrong way. What is the worst thing about the statements is we are not understanding why the customer is feeling the way they are feeling. In our minds the customer is unreasonable, hard case, illiterate, and quite often plumbers are thinking the customer is plotting against them to cheat them out of hard earned income. It is time to start to think as a home owner in trouble before you open your mouth and say something not relevant and disengaging. It will make your life much easier and less stressful.

There is more than 1 way to handle any and all situations. It is our job to discover the best way to work with our customers and engage them in conversation and a call to action. Find it and start helping more customers.

Are you Reasonable?

Are you Reasonable?

Behind the 8 ball

A consumer inquired of a trade’s person before hiring his services asking this question, are you reasonable. This insulted the trade’s person. Frequently those in the trades have a wild imagination and ponders that this consumer is scheming and maneuvering against them or only wants cheap. In this illustration this is the trade’s person’s reply: I’ve learned instead of trying to change them. To just not do business with those types of people. It usually does not end well.

Revolutionize your mindset! It doesn’t end well because you have branded and pigeon-holed the consumer and have set your expectation to anticipate difficulty. When you expect trouble your answers to questions, facial expressions and nonverbal language is off setting to the customer. It cannot be avoided you have set the tone. Any question that may sound out there, whacked, or attacking, you become defensive in your response.

Here the trade’s person has labeled them as “those people”. What do “Those People” look like? What are the habits of “those people”? That statement belongs in the category of” are you reasonable” as a question that is labeled as out there and meaningless. How can you label a person by 1 statement that holds no value and when you have no experience with this person?

Revolutionize your mindset!

Are you reasonable is an invitation asking you to tell them why they should hire and pay you what you want? This particular trade’s person also made this statement: quote” I just had a guy ask me if I was “reasonable”. I told him “I feel like I’m worth it and you get what you pay for” lol, never understand people that only care about price”. Please explain to me anywhere in this reply that would inform any person to use you? There is no reason to use you. I think or I feel I am worth it. I do not want you to think or feel you are worth I want to know that you are worth it. If you don’t know for sure how in the world will I know that you are worth it at the end of the day? It is time to get out of the land of I’ve always done it this way and I am not going to change for any person place or things.

Are you worth it? (Me) Tell me more Mr. or Mrs. Consumer? Have you had work in the past performed by other service providers? If so what was your experience? In a very whiney voice (from trade’s people) this sounds like a used car sales person. Who cares? I want to know why they are asking if I am worth it. Obviously they have had people in the past that were not worth it to them or people they have known. Throw “those” people to the competition. Someone must do their work why not you? Frequently this customer will become the person that gives your name out to everyone they know. And is your prime customer. You just need to answer their original question of tell me why I should use you.

Know this trade’s people, a customer will spend 6-7 thousand dollars over the life of the relationship with a service provider such as a plumber/HVAC professional. Learn how to hold a conversation with them before you think they should be thrown to the wayside. By the way, stop thinking and start knowing the facts.

Are you reasonable? (Me)Please tell me what is reasonable? Then I will listen to the customer until they are done talking. Then I can answer him or her if in fact it is a question. Are you reasonable is not and never has been a statement. It is a question. Treat it as a question and then answer it in a positive way. When you answer it positively you get positive reactions and responses. Answer it defensively or as if you were attacked and you will get a defensive response. I am not sure why work should be different then the way life is and how people interact.

Are you reasonable? How do you know that your price does not fit into their category of reasonable? You assume that you are too high and that places this customer out of your random thought of I only work for people who can afford me. If I heard this from a customer my thoughts are: that is exactly why you need me to finally make this a thing of the past for you. I am now your plumber and would you like to know why? Then I would list many items customers have told me why they have chosen me for this very job in the past.

I definitely would stay away from utilities are expensive, gas is expensive, vehicles are expensive, tools are expensive. Those are your problems stop passing them onto your customer as a problem. Too often we complain to the customer that the cost of doing business is tough. If it is that tough stop working for yourself and start working for someone else. Your cost of doing business is your fault not the fault of the customer.

Finally; change Are you reasonable to why you are reasonable. These are viable reasons why you are reasonable. My list would be: I started in plumbing in 1972 and have experience that will deliver you a permanent solution to any and all of your plumbing issues. Due to the experience no job is too large or small and will take very little time at all to complete. We will deliver on our promises to you and get to the cause of the issues that will allow you to get rid of the problem.

You will receive all information to make the right choice both for and against any product or service. This will give you the opportunity to make an informed decisions based on your budget, wants and lifestyle. By having this information you can choose any number of options that will enhance and make a difference in your experience with the product and service.

The customer service you will receive will give you a new experience to start expecting more from us and any other service provider that you call into your home. With information will come a new found ability to understand how your plumbing system works in your home and an understanding of why things happen and then how to prevent them from happening again in the future? By understanding these things you can prevent me from visiting you as often as other service providers have visited in the past. The information you receive from us is more information than any other service provider has given you in the past.

You have experienced our office staff and how personable they are with you and the ease of setting up a service call. There are ways to set up a service call in the future easier than you experienced. Being Tech savvy you can use our web site to schedule a service call or ask any question, you can sue our email, Facebook, Blog, or twitter account as well as old faithful the phone call. We also provide a 24/7 emergency service specifically set in mind for you and any service you may require after hours. Our focus is to have any service you require as easy as possible for you.

Customer: why are you so unsure?STOP_THINK_OBSEVE_PROCEED_sign
Customer; I can’t believe that your prices are like they are. How in the world can you be so different than anyone else? How in the world can you charge me to come out to give me an outrageous price? I had someone come out for free and their price is way less than you and I have contracted for them to come out. They were supposed to come out Monday. (it is now Wednesday and they still have not showed up) These other guys (this is how the customer described the other company) explained much better than your plumber explained.

Granted many plumbers have a very difficult time with descriptions that paint a rosy picture of ownership. Even less know and understand the ins and outs describing why a product and service is better than the competitions offer. Frequently it is the difference between presenting a product and service and recommending a product and service.

There is more than producing a price, picture, and saying pick one. There is more than giving 1 option. In this case the competition did not spend time on product and service due to knowing and understanding they cannot compete on product and service. Instead they decided to put the main attraction and focus on the plumbing company and the customer’s emotional being that was in search of cheap price at affordable rates. What they did was bad mouth the competition with lies and how high priced the company is. They cannot compete on quality, products, or service and the only way they can do is keep the badgering on price. These companies will always be the dirty, smelly, and never show up and difficult to find company’s and will try to satisfy on price that can never be matched.

How can you prevent this from going that far?

I am glad you asked that question. What are you willing to learn in order to prevent this from happening in your sales process? How much are you willing to invest in yourself in order to learn a different strategy and implement this new strategy?

I have met many plumbers and Hvac technicians that will try to debate the merits of doing something different when it is clear that the strategy they have employed is not working. They will argue until their last breath that there is no need to change what they are doing to try something different. It is working just fine. Then why are you complaining that this happened and happens a lot? Quit it. Accept that something is broken and fix the problem, quit dreaming that something will change. The miracle pill is to admit that you can change and try something different. What if you get the same results? Try something else that is different. Pretty simple solution.

So many people in the construction trades think there is a difference between a face to face conversations or through a phone conversation with a customer as in a landlord tenant situation. Truth be told whatever you feel it is. However it does not have to be that way. When you are comfortable it will not matter if it is face to face or via a phone conversation. You must do what you do in both situations. Your phone conversations should be exactly the same as your face to face conversations. I am not so sure why anyone would change what they do.

What can you do to prevent this from happening to you? The first thing you must decide is this service call is worth my time and effort and I will do the best that I can do to deliver my product and services to the customer.

Ask all kinds of questions of this customer especially if they are a first time customer. The more questions that are designed to give you information to give the customer the best possible choices. In this case the problems were : leaking disposal, water closets not flushing and bolts rusting which made the tank loose, lavatory drains all missing the stopper ,no volume and pressure in the shower head, and a smell at the kitchen sink due to a AAV not sealed by someone else and washing machine leak.

You can ask the same questions of each issue the customer is experiencing. Has this happened in the past? What did you do last time? Do you remember why you chose that decision? What are your expectations for today? Would you like to a have different result than you have today?

The reason you ask these questions is to discover where you and your customer sit. Are you both on the same page or will you have to give more information in order for the customer to make the best choices? I will take the time to explain the difference between my product and the products that are being offered by others. That difference is what separates me from the competition. This information must be understood and be clear and concise to the customer. If they have any doubts then I must be clearer and give them more information explained differently than before.

I must explain the benefits to the customer and then how that directly affects him or her. Whenever you tell a benefit add this “which means” then give information to the customer describing what the benefit means to him or her. The larger flapper on this water closet allows a greater volume of water for a better flush which means it creates more force to flush the bowl in a scouring motion. Which means it cleans the bowl due to the force and circular motion of the water being flushed through the water closet, which means more paper and waste can eb flushed at 1 time which means less stoppages occur inside the toilet which means a savings for you by not having to call me out so often which means you can spend more time and money on the super vacation you have talked to me about in the past. I could keep this going on for as long as the customer needs information.

Start giving your customer more formation than any other person or company. Remember you are the best person and company to take care of that particular customer. I know my competition cannot help my customer better than me. Getting work, product and service completed at cut rate pricing will never equate or be equal to getting it done better. This is what we must start to understand. There are always cheaper companies. Don’t be that company. Be the company that gives consumers over the top customer service and exceptional customer experience that they can never forget and will not want to forget. Become the exception and what the market is compared to as being the expert.

Stop having the customer state I can’t believe you were so high and start having them say I am glad I called you thank you so much for taking care of me. Give them a reason to want to say thank you for the great service and tell their friends and neighbors.Make_a_Difference2

We must accept the consequences of our words

images of words
We must accept the consequences of our words

Have you ever experienced something that just pulled at you until you finally gave into it? This past week I have experienced just that thing. All week there has been something that has been pulling at me and screaming until I finally paid attention to the screams. Finally the deafening screams became loud and caught my awareness to put an action with the screams.

The original concept came to me when I heard a “you tube” video go viral on Victoria Osteen. She was explaining joy and you. I do believe her worlds got caught up in the frenzy. My interpretation of what she was expressing is God is joyful when we are joyful. God loves it when we are joyful; when you are joyful you can do amazing things. However it came out do it for you and not for God. Come to church for yourself and not God. My thought is if you go to church God is present and will find you. Any reason you go to church is fine with me as God should be present in a God based church.However some people are going off on her words and they should know better. I also know that we must take responsibility for our words. We must also be ready to accept the consequences of our words.

After I observed the video and then started to see the reaction towards Mrs. Osteen there was a natural obsession to want to know and learn more. I posted on Face Book and then I posted on LinkedIn. Amazingly on LinkedIn a poster told me I was not being professional for posting this on that site and that it could blow up and it did not belong on LinkedIn. It belonged on Facebook. As if LinkedIn is above reproach. There is far more drama and garbage on LinkedIn than a question asked about your thoughts on Victoria Osteen’s statement.

During the week a plumber asked a question concerning buyers’ remorse. Every plumber that responded with expectation of one and that 1 is me thought it was the customer that was off their rocker. More than 1 plumber has a belief that people are evil and conniving. Some of the plumbers believe that consumers plan this stuff out and are all about cheating the plumber. Not 1 of the other plumbers think it could have been what they had said or what they did not say that caused the buyer’s remorse. Anyone that has ever dealt with buyer’s remorse with customers will know that it is typically words that are spoken both verbally and non-verbally by the sales person/service provider.

Sunday the sermon spoke on how the tongue is powerful for such a small thing. It has the power to tear down, the power to start wars, the power to destroy reputations, the power to influence, start arguments, separate families, and hurt people emotionally. Amazing how words used can turn destructive without anyone knowing why or understanding words are the cause.

Every wonder why?

My beliefs are words are small, the tongue should not be taken so seriously but sadly it is. However it is not believed by people to be that powerful until it is researched and found to be the cause. I am amazed at how many people fear the spoken word from people. Many are afraid to speak out against other people’s words for fear of repercussions that can be hurled their way. These words can damage and destroy and most people do not want anything to do with the end result right or wrong. Words casn tear people down. It is extremely difficult to control a tongue given free reign.

The next thing that screamed at me to write something: faith with works. I can have silent faith and how will that witness to others that I have faith that works and performs those works? By letting it go and just sitting on the sidelines without getting in the game will not show my faith with works. Sitting on the sidelines, what does that project about me? How can I feel the way I do versus when I am in active and my works align with my words?

Your words have power. It can move people, motivate them to do things that they normally do not do. Your words can change minds. It may open a person’s mind to different possibilities. It may motivate some to think outside of their comfort zone and change direction. Words create your character. Words will back up your actions. Words can change the first impressions. Words can build people up.

Our words create followers that will become leaders of other people due to their words. I am positive that I do not want people to lead others that use their words to beat down and defeat another person. I want leaders that can say: the words spoken have meaning however the way it came out may not be the way that is exactly what is right and good. Give the benefit of the doubt when there is wiggle room for the benefit of doubt due to works in the past. At 58 years old I have experienced a few different decades that definitely showcased different ways to express behaviors that are were not acceptable behavior patterns. I used to say you are wrong and that would not hurt feelings but the way society babies people you must watch what you say and how you say it. He meaning of what you are saying is not caught but what you are doing and how it is done for some reason becomes the focal point versus what someone has done.

Words of Condemnation are harsh especially when it is over words having been: misspeak or a mistake. Become a builder instead of a destroyer. Explain and give the right information in order that a learning experience is now possible to lead to a better life and decision. Choose to change a life for better.

As easy as it is to have words change direction on a daily occurrence with any person at any time why is it so far off that this will happen during a sale with a consumer? As often as this happens I amazed that it does not happen more often in the service industry. Oh wait it does happen however most sales people will not recognize it as an occurrence and that qualifies customers as idiots. Imagine this you become a customer at some point and time and must be qualified as the same. It is time to start treating your customer as an intelligent honest trustworthy consumer that deserves your respect and start having a conversation and share information. It is time to start listening to the customer and hearing intent, content, and in the proper context.

It is time to open your mind and eyes and start to take notice that the majority of times that a sale does not go forward, buyer’s remorse, or any other excuse that we give for a consumer not to move forward. Is it possible that communication may be at the core of the resistance? Everything is ok until it’s not is a lyric from Michael Stanley and it is time to recognize that it is perhaps you that prevents the sale and the customer is waiting for you to tell them why you are correct.

Words are the cure. When you are searching for the truth, do not look inside yourself. Remember you are the one that is confused.power-of-words1


Practice Better Business

Get a system and stick to it.

Don't fear change,change fear

Get a system and stick to it.

I just love back handed compliments when people do not share the same opinion. There is a person asking about relationship selling and it is obvious that she does not share in the success of this type sales strategy. There are 2 questions she wants answered or addressed. There is a person asking about relationship selling and there are 2 questions she wants answered or addressed. The 2 questions are: “ Do you assign them a relationship quota or do they have to actually close deals and make it rain? How do you evaluate a sales rep that comes empty handed but tells you: “Hey, I made a lot of friends this month”? I look forward to hear all your opinions and insights”.

However here are some simple volleying questions back to those 2 questions and they are: 1.Why would it be any different than any other sales model out there? 2. Trying to discredit something while you want an explanation discredits that person and their real aim.3. Do you know what a company’s true purpose is in order to stay in business? If you did know and understand what a company’s true purpose is to stay in business you would know the 2 questions asked are not relevant or hold any truths.

Is there a quota? Absolutely, the majority of companies have quotas for their sales teams to meet and or exceed. Why would they not? All Businesses have costs to do business called overhead and when they are not met it is extremely difficult to keep people employed and keep the company in business without going bankrupt. Your sales and marketing should be relentless in the pursuit of profit in order to remain in business if not then you have the wrong idea and need to get in the game and be competitive.

A sales rep that comes in empty handed, why in the world would this be any different? Once again why would this be any different than any other sales model or business practice? Why did the sales rep come in empty handed? Why did you as a sales manager, manager, or owner allow this to happen? Who is running the company the sales rep or the people managing the company? I would have to pull the manager into my office and ask how they could have let someone slip all month without discovering where they needed help and give it to him or her. Perhaps it is time for a new direction and management.

Putting this in perspective the concept of business is to turn a profit. What is the best way to turn a profit? This is where it starts to get dangerous for some in business. It is extremely difficult to decide on the right strategy that will deliver profits that you need and or desire due to so many different strategies being presented to you all the time. Frequently the problem isn’t so much how or why to implement this or that, the problem is many people have businesses without having the proper education to run the business.

Many start up by learning what their boss did and how they ran the company. This is easily recognized by similar business practices, same invoices, same billing practices and even pricing structure. At other times it is determined by what they have witnessed in the past by other companies or what someone else is doing that seems to be highly successful. The knowledge is limited at best and it seems like a game of tag is always being played. This equates into a feeling of starting the game over time and time again. Who do you believe and who do you listen too? It is a tough choice to make. All too often the choice is made due to hearing the same old tired practices over and over and something new to you is thrown to the side

Everything is right until it is wrong. I have a certain way I do things does not mean I am spot on and right and others are wrong? No it does not mean that at all what it means is I have been successful at what I have done. I will defend what I do especially if I know something is not right that someone is stating it is the right thing to do or someone is trying to manipulate others into thinking it will not work. I will also give the information I have gathered and pass it to others to try and give them an opportunity to reach higher quicker and to by-pass the obstacles in the road way. It is your choice to accept or take the bumpy road to success. Eventually some will reach the road at their pace. You will reach it when you are supposed to reach the proper height.

To get back to the original questions if you run the business lousy, you will receive lousy numbers in return. It actually is a very simple formula with business. You must have a plan laid out and approximate view on how you want to get there and a separate plan when you must change the original. You must have a budget to know what you are spending and when and if none exists you are on the verge of a long kiss goodnight.

Finally no customer = no money which means= no profits=which means Going Out Of Business Sale=which means looking for work

Whatever sales practice you choose do it well and commit to it as a business practice.

Finally no customer = no money which means= no profits=which means Going Out Of Business Sale=which means looking for work


I am not sure what to call this article!

I am not sure what to call this article!
Silly statements and why

Frequently service providers have difficulty with customers that list on Angie’s list due to price. Many of the customer’s complaints and bad reviews on Angie’s List against companies on Angie’s list when investigated or researched you will discover it is more than a customer wanted to pay. Quite a few people will try and hold reviews against a company as blackmail. If you do not give me money back I will write a horrible review.

What I have noticed with the complaints is the job was completed by a well-mannered, intelligent, informative skilled professional. The consumer liked the individual that was sent by a company however the big bad company is evil. Keep in mind the service provider is a skilled professional where many have attended schooling to get their license. The cost of doing business is higher when you have a shop, multiple employees, and higher standard of living. The way a company conducts itself is also a cost of doing business. Great service is not for everyone yet everyone wants great service at the lowest possible price. Great service, high quality products, highly skilled professionals should never equal low price. Low price will equal going out of business after years of suffering chasing every dollar.

During a discussion concerning Angie’s list a couple of plumbing companies are defending Angie’s list and their defense is I have not had any issues with price and customers. Hello McFly, would you like to know what that means? It means you are one of the low priced companies and meet the low balling, prices that a vast majority of Angie’s list wants to pay. Included in the low balling price is the service fee which is low compared to others in their area? One of the companies I know is teetering on the edge of low ball due to some of the pricing they have divulged.

Researching reviews on yellow pages, Google, and other places will back up that price is a factor to many after the job has been completed. The reason price is a factor is value was not given by the seller where the buyer thought they were getting a deal. Some of the buyers will never be happy unless the product and service was given to them at the lowest price possible and nothing will make them happy. That is my job as a seller to discover this quality the buyer possesses. When the seller cannot unveil this quality or characteristic of the buyer both will be in for a long visit.

Plumber’s costs on materials do not vary much from 1 area of the country (USA) to the next from manufacturers. Shipping is relatively the same across the country and the places the manufacturers ship from maintain closeness to regions. What will vary are materials and their advertising strength. When I was in Ohio Delta Faucets were strong, in Florida Moen faucets had the market share. However the costs of the faucets are relatively close. The purchase price of products is similar across the country. Costs on materials will not vary however the main issue will be on labor and how companies pay their people. It drives me over the hill when people think it is ok to starve their help and expect more than what they can give because of the low pay. Your people deliver your value and when you devalue your employees how can you possibly expect them to deliver value to the customer?

Another silly comment that should never be stated is I’ve never spoken to an unhappy customer or I’ve never heard of one of my customers that are unhappy. A few simple questions are: how long have you been in business and in business any great length of time you know the truth is not spoken. 2nd how many of your customers have not called you back for a return trip. 68% of customers do not return due to indifference a statistic that Michael LeBoeuf PHD and author of How to win customers and Keep them for life. Before you open your mouth and insert foot think of all those customers you have served in the past that have not called you back due to how you made them feel.

Service providers must learn to become better business professionals and understand their true costs of doing business and then decide how to express the true rate to their customers. We as sellers must finally stop being afraid of our customers and start asking the cold hard questions that deliver the consumers perceived value as real value. Joe what is it that you really liked about today? What was the best thing for you today? Was there anything that we did today that was different than any other service provider? If so what was it? Isn’t it about time that you really found out why your customers have decided to with you instead of Joe’s down the street? Isn’t it time to find out what it is that turns your customers on and gives them permission to tell others about you? Isn’t it time to give over the top service and a fantastic customer experience and let people know what to expect from you? Start setting the customer expectation in your community. Step off the porch and start playing like a Big Dog and quit being afraid of being seen as influential. Stop dispensing the silly stuff and become a serious player in your community.

Why you need a licensed qualified professional to do work in your home.

Why you need a licensed qualified professional to do work in your home.

The wisdom the government deemed it necessary to license construction trade professionals; to make sure you have qualified professionals working in your home. To ensure that he or she understands their trade and safety issues. These professionals typically attend apprenticeship school and go through 4-5 years of schooling to learn their trades. There are way too many accidents that have caused traumatic damage to property due to unqualified people and handymen installing plumbing, electric, HVAC systems because they “thought” they could do it. A friend of mine from New York made this statement that a license is not to protect the plumber it is to protect the home owner/consumer.

Apprenticeship school teaches a plumber their trade. This encompasses the apprentice with how to size piping accordingly, read prints, understand code, and understand drainage, pressure and water. They teach pressure ratings and how to figure and understand pressure and what products to use and what products that should not be used on the plumbing system. It also teaches the plumber the ins and outs of installation best practices. I get the biggest kick talking to people who believe they are qualified to install plumbing and ask them plumbing questions. They cannot and will not answer yet they believe they should still be allowed to install the plumbing product.

A licensed plumber will have his or her own insurance. This insurance will include workers compensation and property damage. Hiring an unqualified unlicensed handyman to install plumbing work will cost you money. He or she may say they have insurance however the insurance will not pay for work that he is not qualified or licensed to do. Remember he is working outside the scope of his basic license to have a business. Your home owners insurance will be assessed. If he were to get injured while at your home whose insurance do you suppose will be affected? Due to him working outside the scope of his license and insurance coverage you can be sued and your insurance will pay for any injuries? Because young hired him he and his family can sue you if he was to get hurt so bad that he could no longer work. Do you think it is in your best interest to compromise on quality and qualifications? To save a few dollars today are you willing to risk your largest investment to hire unlicensed unqualified workers?

If you are unsure, ask to see the handyman’s license and insurance. The license will say what he is qualified to do and will specifically say plumbing if his license will cover plumbing work. His insurance will tell you what is covered. A state plumbing license in Florida will start with CFC; older licenses for the county will start out with RF. The state of Florida requires your company name to be located on your vehicle. A telltale red flag is when there is no name on the vehicle that informs what he does for a living.

Be safe and protect your largest invest hire only qualified license professionals to do work in your home or business. Anyone can make things look good on the surface. It is what is behind the wall that makes it special and long lasting. There are many television shows that show great looking remodel jobs only to discover they fall apart after a few years and no way to get reimbursed. Holmes on Holmes is a shows show based on unqualified people doing work they should never have attempted.

In Sarasota I have seen many butchered homes and work by handymen that think they can do plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work. By the time I am involved there is some type flooding and a lot of property damage done. It frequently ends up costing 2-4 times more to fix it properly and the handyman is hiding behind some tree. I feel so sorry for people that have paid good money to people that lied and cheated them out of a qualified licensed professional top do the proper job using the right materials. At least with a licensed individual you the home owner have recourse for actions against bad work. You can go through the state insurance division, State licensing department, local licensing department, reviews, BBB, and other resources to get restitution. With an unlicensed unqualified company you have no way to collect on a bad job. They do not care otherwise they would have the proper qualifications to do the job.

When you have a person that is ready and willing to do illegal work why would this person think twice about using inappropriate materials? Why would they care about you? They lied and cheated you by allowing you’re to believe they were legally approved to do this type work. This person is working by the monkey see monkey do theory and will not have the knowledge of why they are doing whatever it is they are doing.
I have a plumbing license how about hiring me to work as a lawyer. I gave a license you know. Its aright I will only take your money and do the best that I can. I’ve watched Matlock, Ironside, and a coup-le of other shows and remember I have a license. If that license won’t work I have my driver’s license too. When an unlicensed unqualified person is hired it is as dumb as what I have written. Please be careful today with which you choose to have working in your home. Protect yourself and your home against people who blatantly lied to you to get the work in the first place by telling you they ware qualified to do the work.

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