Death by Paperwork

One of the biggest issues I see that limits face time with customers is the avalanche of paperwork it takes to process a deal. Whether order forms, POs or contracts, staring at printed paper for hours on end locks good sales personnel behind a desk. Usually these forms have been developed by an administrative mind […]

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Building an Increase in Sales

What company or individual isn’t looking for increases in sales or profitability? I work with companies with many differing philosophies on how to sell. The one thing each of my clients have in common is they’re constantly building upon their sales foundation. That foundation starts with a developed sales philosophy followed by a cohesive marketing […]

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Why People Sell by Price

The biggest training challenge I face around the country is convincing people they really don’t have to sell by price. In a recent webinar I was asked a tremendously insightful, simple question; “Why do people gravitate to selling by price?” Profound in its simplicity. Well, there’s a simple answer. It’s easy! Yup, that basic. It’s […]

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Price Selling? Not in My House!

There’s a commercial currently running for a major insurance carrier featuring Dikembe Mutombo, formerly of the NBA, appearing out of nowhere to block any thrown object. One of his patented lines is; “Not in my house!” I love it! It’s the same philosophy for me when it comes to pricing. One of the basic commitments […]

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Every Little Thing…!

The Police were exactly right back years ago when they sang “Every little thing you do is magic…” In sales it’s right on the money! Doing the small things that can separate you from the competitor can make or break your sales efforts. I regularly run into customers and clients of contractors that tell me the little mistakes their contractors make in the sales process. Some of them are down right ridiculous. It always amazes me how meticulous a contractor will be on a project or design and just blow it on some small sales detail. Being conscientious in sales is just as critical as project design. Missing some small aspect is virtually unforgivable and at least inexcusable. What are these minors that can become majors? Let me tell you.

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Fear Itself

President Roosevelt was right, we really only have fear to fear. With markets getting severely competitive many firms are getting soft on the underside. They are allowing clients to walk all over them. People are refusing to educate their customers on the pitfalls of driving price so forcefully. Most customers think they’re generating the best financial opportunity for their own companies. In reality they are backing themselves into a dangerous corner. We have the responsibility to inform them of the negative consequences of taking an inferior bid or sub standard contractor. We worry that we’ll anger them or make them uncomfortable so we give in and perform pricing contortions to try and win the bid. Estimators are turning into mathematical acrobats as opposed to trained bidding experts.

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Ramp Up or Stay Put?

Is My Business Development Person Any Good?

Great question isn’t it? How do you evaluate whether the person that’s responsible for the growth of your sales efforts is effective or not? If you are the individual responsible for this in your firm, time to measure yourself. As I consult contractors I spend a great deal of time evaluating current personnel. I consistently see patterns that damage the corporate sales effort. Employees that are in charge of developing new business are routinely violating basic sales practices. The biggest issue is balancing being out with the clients with taking care of office work. This is HUGE! The office can be a tar pit that sucks even good outside personnel in to a mire of spontaneous meetings, phone calls or paperwork. The best place to develop business is out with the client base.

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Do You Have “Sales Chops”?

As the markets tighten even further in the construction industry, owners, presidents and managers are beginning to wonder who in their company can really bring home the bacon. While most leave it to chance or pricing aerobics, having personnel with good ol’ fashioned sales ability can give a firm the edge. Having project managers, estimators or flat out sales personnel that can win business is essential to surviving a tough market condition. What makes up a good “sales” agent? There are some basics that need to exist.

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Consultants, Consultants Everywhere!

Okay, I know I’m swimming with sharks here. Also, I promise not to self promote. (At least not blatantly.) I do have to say something as I watch firms in the construction industry shell out big bucks to hire consulting firms to help them get an edge. This opens them up for huge costs and abuses. Some, in their desperation, sign agreements that the devil wouldn’t even offer. I’m going to try and give you some perspective as I’ve heard the horror stories told at the consultant watering holes. I will probably completely alienate myself from my own peers but hey, right is right! Right?

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Where’s Your Competitive Difference?

Did you leave it at the house? Is it under the couch? Where could it be? What am I talking about? Your competitive difference that’s what! Many of the contractors I assist assume they’re better than their competitors.

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