November 25, 2012

"The Myth of the Universal Sales Professional"

There is an old and "modified" saying that there are 3 Kinds of Sales “Professionals”

  1. The professional: The Kind That Makes Things Happen
  2. The representative: The Kind That Watch Things Happen
  3. The “not long for employment” sales guy or gal: The Kind That Wonder… “What Happened?
 Today's guest blogger, Ann Garvey, NAHB's National Associate Chairman (VP), is going to shed some light on the above saying and explain.......

"The Myth of the Universal Sales Professional"
by Ann Garvey, CGA, CSP, CAPS
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
Eaton Habitat for Humanity 
Ann Garvey
It's a myth that there is a "universal sales professional." Why is it that some building industry sales professionals are much more successful at selling than others? Often this success can't be attributed to better education or training but something less obvious.

The first  type of sales professional is known as the "Team Player." Team players are typically top performers, works well with others, and willing to try new sales approaches and techniques.  
This professional doesn’t have any problem making appointments, they enjoy getting in front of people, hunts to work out problems, needs and wants, and discussing workable solutions. They have an understanding/empathy for the customer. They can see from the customer’s point of view and want to solve their customers problems.

 The second type of sales professional is usually known as the "Order Taker."  At first glance, these types seem like the ideal sales professional because, they consistently close deals and bring in new clients. These people don’t mind talking to customers, clients or prospects, if they don’t have to initiate the call. They are uncomfort­able making appointments, and would rather have the customer or prospect come to them. 

The third sales professional is the one who always seems to be building up business. They can be great team members, by having good product knowledge, but severely lack “people skills.” They operate from a sort of “hit‑and‑run” approach.

Just as different sales professional have their own different and unique personalities, combinations and variations of these sales professional also have different skill levels when it comes to selling and servicing their clients. To be effective in sales is to pay attention to how you relate to potential clients, to others, and to the duties of your jobs. As we do, take an honest look at yourself to see where you might improve.

How do your clients see you and are you doing your best for them, hence for your company/product?   

November 18, 2012

"The Difference Between One Degree"

The differences between a sales representative and a building industry sales professional can be enormous or as subtle as a 1degree increase. Today's guest blogger gives us a well needed reminder that by giving just a little more effort you can go from one level to the next.

Wes Keller
"The Difference Between One Degree"
by Wes Keller
First American Title, Anchorage, AK

“At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train. ” - S.L. Parker  - Motivational author

We all need to remember:
  • I am responsible for my results.
  • The results I achieve are determined by the effort I expend.
  • To get what I’ve never had, I must DO what I’ve never done.
  • I only need one degree of extra effort to move from GOOD to GREAT.
  • It’s time to turn up the heat.
As a side note: This year's NAHB Associate Members Committee Chairman, Dianne Beaton from New Hampshire, has utilized the above quote as her mantra for the terrific associate volunteers on her 2012 committee. This year they boiled!

Submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP


November 11, 2012

"The Real Thanksgiving"

Veterans Day is not just a date on the calendar. It is a day that marks the remembrance of those who have served our country for the protection of all of us. Veterans have, and continue to, sacrificed so much so that Americans can enjoy the freedoms we all have. Veterans Day should not be a day; it should be a year long celebration. Whenever I see military personnel I make it a point to walk up to them and say thank you. Not because it makes me feel good; I do it because it's right, its respectful and the look in their eyes tells me its deeply appreciated.

We are a nation that doesn't look for conflicts but we will never back away from one or any that threatens our nation. We do not dictate to others and we should never apologize for any actions we have ever taken as a a country, on our behalf or the behalf of those who are oppressed.To do so would disrespect all of our veterans, from all eras.

Thomas M. Kurpiel 

My dad was a veteran, serving his country during the Korean War, and he was proud to have done so. He had 5 brothers, all veterans of World War 2. Everyone had/has a dad, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter or friend that is a veteran. If not, they absolutely know someone who has or is. Those veterans don't expect you to say thank you and we shouldn't take for granted what they have done. Hopefully, you don't.

We are getting ready in less than two weeks to have Thanksgiving Day. This is a day we give thanks for all that we have. Thank you to all veterans for giving us the opportunity to give those thanks. 

History of Veterans Day (click here)

Homes for Our Troops (click here)

Wounded Warrior Project (click here)

Build Your Career, Jobs for Vets! (click here)

Submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

November 4, 2012

"Hurricane Sandy"

(click here for Sandy's aftermath)

It has been several days since Sandy made landfall on the New Jersey shore. The real Jersey Shore. This wasn't reality TV or the punch line for late night talk show jokes. Every exit off the Garden State Parkway, which runs from the New York state border to Cape May, had towns that were deeply affected by this super storm. Our next door neighbors, the 5 boroughs of New York City and up through the coast of Connecticut, were deeply impacted.  To the south, Delaware's shores were impacted as well.

As I life long resident of the Jersey Shore I have witnessed blizzards, nor'easters, remnants of hurricanes, tropical storms and yes, even an earthquake. Nothing, and I mean nothing, compared to what just transpired this past week. The Jersey Shore has been destroyed, devastated. The aftermath brought the reality of destruction. Families who lost their homes. Businesses that lost their means to provide. Sandy also brought an overflow of memories of a youth spent going to the beach, surfing, learning to drive in beach club parking lots, at the age of 14, moving cars. Memories like sitting with a girlfriend on a blanket, at night, on the very beach that is now gone. Later, going to clubs along the shore, in towns like Long Branch (my home town), Asbury Park, Monmouth Beach and Sea Bright. All those towns, completely changed now because of the hurricane.

Towns and communities that have been hit by hurricanes and tornadoes around the country know what I'm speaking about. I could only imagine, pre Sandy, what those areas were going through. I now understand. Thankfully, I only took property damage and have an intact house made a home by  my family who are all safe and sound. Others in my community are not so fortunate. NJ is a tough state. We have a certain attitude, a swag. We are resilient and meet challenges head on, like a raging bull. But the outpouring of compassion and emergency volunteers from around the UNITED States of America has made even the toughest New Jerseyeans shed a tear. Thank you all. Within our own state random acts of kindness have been outstanding and heartwarming.

On a personal level, Facebook has been the only source of news I could receive having no power since last Monday when the outer edge of the storm took out the first transformers. In fact, I'm writing to you today from my iPad in my car. I have so many friends from around the country that have been checking in on me and I thank all of you.

From an NAHB level, all I can say is this; the Federation is a family and the association family members have been staying in touch with The New Jersey Builders Association and offering any and all assistance.

Listen, New Jersey will rebuild and we will be better than ever. Changed? Without question. But we will rebuild nonetheless and we will continue to rebuild our lives, creating new memories but always remembering this past week and the days, weeks and unfortunately years to come.

Submitted by Michael Kurpiel