It’s not to late to attend Pavement Live. This new concept for asphalt maintenance and paving contractors includes 10 live demonstrations, conferences and an exhibit hall with the latest equipment. I am proud to be delivering five presentations starting on Wednesday thru Saturday. Their will be an array of industry experts conducting many different classes.
I will be teaching the following classes at this year’s event:
Wednesday, November 30 9:00am – Noon
W4 Developing a Hands-on Strategic Plan for Pavement Maintenance Contractors
Wednesday, November 30 3:00pm – 4:30pm
A5 Repeat Sales: The Secret to Long-term Success
Thursday, December 1 8:00am – 9:30am
B10 Increasing Efficiency in the Field
Thursday, December 1 10:00am – 11:30am
B14 Profitable Pavement Maintenance Job Costing
Saturday, December 3 8:00am – 9:30am
D25 Gotcha! Attitude is Everything in Sales
Complete details are available at www.PavementLIVE.com or by calling 800-827-8009. I’m looking forward to seeing you!
I look forward to seeing you there!
Have you read our newsletter this week? Ron wrote about how the relationship between engineers, general contractors and subcontractors have dramaticaly changed over the lst several years. I consider it A MUST READ!
If you haven’t signed up for our free newsletter what are you waiting for? It is Free with no strings attached!
I think we were the first consulting company to develop a program of minimizing the impact and even taking advantage of the economic down turn. We can argue when it started, depending on the industry you’re in and your geographic area. Michigan and Florida were two of the first states to feel the dramatic effects of the financial crisis.
“How To Survive and Prosper During The Current Economic Times.” is a unique presentation that identifies the problems for contractors and presented great solutions to deal with the crunch. One of the first suggestions we gave was to stop watching television and reading the newspapers. They were all filled with bad news.
At first it was meant to be a little sarcastic but soon I began believing and preaching it more. Most of our clients put themselves into a bubble to insulate them from all the negativity that was being broadcast and published. It helped them focus on the important tasks at hand.
Our clients that identified the crisis not only survived but have had some of the most stellar performance in their companies’ history. It’s not too late to put yourself in this group. Call us today and we can share these innovative strategies with you.
Recently I have experienced more frustration with companies that I do business with.
Both Ron and I had recent flights on Northwest Airlines. We both had separate and deplorable customer service experiences. Ron can tell you about his if you ask him to, I think it is even worse than mine.
Let me share with you what happened on a recent trip back from visiting a client in Minneapolis. I needed to leave a little earlier than expected to tend to some work at our Chicago office. So I called Northwest’s call center and the agent told me that if she did the flight change it would add fifty dollars to the cost of my ticket. She advised that if I went to the airport and flew standby (she assured me their were plenty of open seats) their wouldn’t be any additional charge.
Guess what happened! When I got to the airport the agent told me I still had to pay the $50 per seat. Oh, I forgot to tell you I was traveling with my significant other and soon to be wife Sandy. Now for those of you who know me I wasn’t going to the electric charge chair without a fight. So I went to talk to a supervisor who hit a bunch of buttons on a computer with no better results except a rude explanation that the phone agent stated an incorrect policy.
Simultaneously I was on the phone trying to get a hold of the agent who gave out the bad information. Again to no avail. So I paid the extra one hundred dollars for the ticket changes and the extra thirty dollars for the two bags that needed to be checked.
The ticket agent assigned Sandy and I different seats at opposite ends of the airplane and when I nicely requested for the gate agent that we be able to sit together they put us in those two seats in the last row of the plane that don’t recline. I guess they think they were punishing me for complaining. Since I travel over 200 days a year I wonder how much business they will loose from me alone in the next several years, not to mention Ron and everyone else I tell. Remember bad news travels fast!
It is no secret that Southwest Airlines will soon be serving the Minneapolis market. Much better prices and friendlier service. No charge for extra bags or switching flights. Guess who will get my business? Not honoring a promise would force me to drive an extra fifty miles in the future to another airport just not to have to fly Northwest again! In matter of fact I hope they rename the whole terminal. They only have to eliminate the name North and add the word South instead.
In these tough economic times it is important to keep or raise your level of customer service. Strengthen your customer relationships so clients fly your contracting company. Bend over backwards to keep your word, honesty and trust are huge deciding factors today. Continually ask clients what you can do to serve them better and implement reasonable suggestions. Communicate this to everyone in your organization from field to office personnel. This will separate you from the rest of the pack
And by the way if you haven’t guessed it please don’t fly Northwest Airlines, If you must, the first person that asks can have my never fly that airline miles.
I was thinking about this discussion between Ron and myself when I realized that most often we know when there is a “weak link” in the organization. Now the question becomes what o we do about it?
How much time and effort do we put in to try and convert the individual to a strong team member?
Unfortunately I think part of the answer lies within how important the person is to the organization and how detremental is the behavior? A salesperson that sells 2 million dollars a year in profitable work, the brother of the owner who has a silver platter mentality and a field laborer will probaly all be treated differently.
I have a strong belief that when the meeting on that fateful day when you must separate the indivdual from the organization arrives it should not be a surprise to either party. That goes for the salesman, brother and field worker alike.
Therefore it is essential to clearly communicate reasonable performance expectations and when they are not substantially met the situation needs to be adressed in a very timely fashion.
Ultimately the employee should be placed on a defined personal improvement plan for 30 -90 days. This is when leading turns into managing because now the supervisor needs to meet with the individual on the PIP once a week to discuss progress on short and medium term expectations. With a positive attitude towards change from the employee and proper management of expectations and results, often the person can be turned into a valuable human asset of the corporation. If the PIP fails to produce results then it is time to make a change for that position.
The benefit of this process is that you have documentation along the way that reinforces either decision. If you would like more information on personal improvement plans or you need help coaching difficult employees feel free to contact Guy or Ron.
Ron I think we are on the same team playng doubles. Your Serve!
You may think we’re kidding, but we’re not.
Guy and I are constantly instructing our clients to “Just ask.”
Wondering whether your clients have more work on the horizon?
Wondering whether the prospect is married to your competitor?
Wondering why your employee isn’t getting more done?
Can’t figure out how to close the sale?
Just ask (for it).
Guy and I advise it so frequently that it has become almost a running joke between us. You’ll be amazed how often people will tell you what you want to know if you “Just ask.”
Give it try.
Best of luck with your business.
Ron & Guy