Professionalism in Sales, and in Life

Here’s another quote from a heated debate about negotiating price on the Contractor Talk forum.

“IMO, the Ultimate Salesman, regardless of his scale or particular clientele, has one characteristic that carries over into just about all of his daily dealings, whether personal or professional. That characteristic is that he does not get into pissing contests. If he does, all of his credibility and professionalism go right out the window.”

Sure, you need to read the whole thread to understand the context. But the root of the issue raised in the quote is something seen in business on a day to day basis.

It takes a powerful person to excercise restraint in the face of criticism or personal attack. We should all try to develop that kind of power every chance we get.

A very wise person once told me, “there’s a difference between strong and tough.” In business, in parenthood, in friendship, in crisis…it would do us all some good to live by that lesson.



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Builders Focusing on Web Marketing

In a recent article from Associated Construction Publications – Reed Construction Data, Joe Dysart takes a thorough and in-depth look at construction marketing on the web.

Dysart reveals a heavy-duty list of online resources, and explores some testimonials based marketing ideas that are quite sophisticated.


Observes Paul Gillin, author of “The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media,” “Blogs, discussion boards and other forms of interactive media are the most cost-effective customer feedback mechanism ever invented. You won’t get a representative sampling of your customers, but you will get your most passionate customers.


Dysart makes an excellent point in noting that “tranparency” is king online these days, I liked some of the “testimonial” style approaches he suggests.

Although I don’t think it’s the best fit for most construction companies to create a forum-like online community, I do think some of the other ideas he lists are quite interesting.

For example,


“Another service provider driven by the keep-it-positive philosophy is Zuberance ( Rather than soliciting individual testimonials, the company specializes in building an entire cyber-community around your website, which is filled with naturally occurring “evangelists” – people who are truly jazzed about a company’s goods or services and feel compelled to tell the world about it. (Think Apple fanatics.)”

“Zuberance’s governing principal: Devote your energy to providing as many online/offline tools to enable these evangelists to express themselves positively about your product or service.”


Although I don’t think most construction companies are going to acheive “Apple fanatic” status in their proponents, I do think the idea of a new form for testimonials deserves notice.

People are tired of your standard testimonial. Everyone knows that even someone as untrustworthy as Charles Manson could have created an impressive list of testimonials on whatever twisted website he would have were he still alive. But what would a “trasnsparent” online public do with him?


Do You Offer “Nice”?

I read Seth Godin’s blog every day. I suggest anyone with an interest in improving his or her marketing should do the same.

This post entitled “How Much Extra for Nice?” hits the nail right on the head.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a builder, or a baker, or a candlestick-maker. You should create a culture of “nice” all around your business.

Do you train your employees to always attempt to be nice to your clients? You should. It’s what a marketing master would do.

You see, nice is free. Nice is easy. Nice takes almost no extra effort. In fact, it takes less effort than being guarded and suspicious. Because…you don’t have to guard. Or be suspicious.

Just be nice!

What a beautiful idea, don’t you think?


Creative Construction Marketing Idea

Check out Mike Finley’s creative and impactful new marketing idea. (Imagine having come up with this postcard for your marketing campaign!)


In case you’ve been living in a cave and missed the story, this is a picture of a strip of beach in Galveston, TX that got slammed by Hurricane Ike.

Apparently it’s a real house that was built specifically with the intent of withstanding a Category 5 hurricane.

Kudos to Mike Finley from the ContractorTalk forum for coming up with this unique idea!

Here are some more photos of the house:



Very sad about the rest of the area being destroyed. Hopefully something can be learned from this shining example of what it takes to build a house that withstands these devastating forces.

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