Hamburgers, fries and shakes. Hamburgers, fries and shakes. Hamburgers, fries and shakes. When you pull into a McDonald’s drive through, that’s what you see on the sign. Hamburgers, fries and shakes.
Until you don’t.
The other day I saw a sign that read: 8 lb Bag of Ice for $1.29.
Neural pathways form in our brains when we’re exposed to something different. It’s how we begin to learn. Otherwise when we’re exposed to the same-ole same-ole, the status-quo, the neural pathways just channel a deeper rut. Hamburgers, fries and shakes.
As a contractor, are your vendors serving you hamburgers, fries and shakes? You know, the likes of value pricing, inventory control and just-in-time delivery services. Or whatever else is the fashion of the day.
A few months ago I engaged in a conversation with Marc Freund, Director of Marketing for dESCO, the field service software management company. The first thing I heard from Marc was an 8 lb bag of ice: “How might we educate contractors to become better businesspeople?”
It wasn’t “We do this, buy from us, We have the best pricing, buy from us, or We’ll provide free training to help you sell our products, buy from us.”
Marc believes when the business partner / vendor helps a contractor to become a better businessperson, that contractor will become more effective and, recognizing the education’s source, either increase her business with her partner or consider doing business with them in the future.
Around the same time of my conversation with Marc, I spoke with Tom Piscitelli of T.R.U.S.T. Sales Training and Coaching. Along with John Sedgwick, Tom literally wrote the book on how a vendor’s Territory Manager can help his customers become more effective businesspeople: Proposition Selling: How to Create Extraordinary Success in Business-to-Business Sales. Tom has spent over forty years in the industry living, breathing and having success with what Marc Freund and dESCO are going to market with.
Proposition Selling is a roadmap to thriving business. It’s designed for the person or company that provides services and or products to contractors as well as contractors operating in a commercial market.
There’s another market out there that, while not being specifically targeted to, have the potential to reap significant value from Proposition Selling: Residential contractors.
Creating New Neural Pathways
8 lb bags of ice will appear to residential contractors as they read Proposition Selling. Why? Because they are reading a book directed towards business to business sales. Or in other words they are in a drive-through lane waiting to order hamburgers, fries and shakes. All of a sudden they read:
“...it is about your ability to read people, to relate to them, to earn their trust, and, ultimately, to provide value to them…”
Bam! 8 lb bag of ice.
While many contractors have heard information like this from our industry’s fine teachers and consultants, it becomes a bag of ice because they’re learning it through the prism of a commercial market and not expecting it. Suddenly, bam! Not only a new neural pathway but connections that add to the vitality of existing ones (not channel them deeper): How might we run with this in our residential business?
Another value for residential contractors is they can use Proposition Selling to help vett out undesirable vendors. One theme that courses through Tom and John’s work is: Focus on the customer, don’t focus on the products.
Are your business partners focusing on you like Marc Freund and dESCO or are you getting a steady diet of hamburgers, fries and shakes?