2010 Resolutions: Make Them, Keep Them I love the holidays — always have and always will! We had 20 people for Christmas dinner this year. What a good time we had! And, I love the start of a new year. It gives us a clean slate. In a lot of ways, we have the opportunity to start over. Out with the old, in with the new! Being a goal-oriented kind of guy, I always make a few resolutions for the New Year — and I’m pretty darn good at sticking to them. This year I have a half dozen I’m going to work on. Most are personal — but I also have a couple of business-related ones, too! So here I sit on New Year’s Eve — and I’ve just written down my 2010 resolutions (one of them is to have Supply House Times articles sent to Pat Lenius by the first of every month). Then I started thinking about my readers and what resolutions you might consider that would make you, your team and your showroom better in 2010. I am including a fairly long list of possibilities that you might want to consider for your resolutions. I’ve listed them by categories, but not in any order of importance. YOU will have to decide what YOU will need to do to become an even better showroom manager or sales consultant. Some of the potential resolutions I’ve followed with a brief description, but most are self-explanatory. Pick one, some or all — and I promise you’ll be better for it! GENERAL Be truly glad you have a job. More than 10% of the working population wishes they were in your shoes! Learn to love your job. If you can’t, find something else to do. Life is too short to be unhappy in your job even one more day! YOU are in charge of your destiny! Be the very best you can be, each and every day. Embrace change! The last couple of years have been very tough business-wise. Those that survive should come out of it smarter and better. Do what you say you’re going to do. Evaluate YOUR contribution to your business. Identify your three main strengths and grow them. Identify your three main weaknesses and improve upon them. Be loyal to your company, your fellow workers, your vendors, your family and friends. Get physically fit! It’ll help you become more mentally and emotionally fit, too! Get to work five minutes early and stay until the day’s work is done. Do something nice or special for someone else. Be honest and full of integrity in all you do. Be a better communicator. Clean out your e-mail box and keep it up-to-date. Work very hard at maintaining a positive attitude all the time. Be a team player. Help others — and the favor will be returned. Spend 15 minutes each and every work day on SELFIMPROVEMENT. That will total 55 hours a year. Help keep the showroom clean and current. Stop procrastinating. Get the unpleasant jobs out of the way as they arise! MARKETING Be sure your showroom hours are customer-friendly (that may mean being open on Saturdays and maybe an evening). Make your showroom its own brand. Identify what makes you better, different and unique — then brag about these things. Help management develop a 2010 marketing plan. Be creative in your marketing efforts. Get professional help if you need it! Update your Web site and make it the best in your marketing area. Learn all you can about social networking and how you can use it to promote your showroom. Create and use a system to say “thank you” to your most valuable asset, your customers. Create and use a referral program that will encourage happy customers to tell other folks how terrific you are. Be aggressive in collecting written and picture testimonials on projects you’ve done. Create a CD that is very visible in the showroom. Brag! Take advantage of the new GREEN phenomenon. Let folks know that you are a leader in this area. Help keep the outside of the showroom neat, clean and appealing! Diversify your products and expand beyond the traditional wholesaler products to tile, lighting, etc. Don’t give out the real manufacturer model numbers — ever! Quote YOUR net price! No more list less a discount. Be sure your discount is less to the plumber on showroom sales than it is on counter sales. Use only professionally done signage. NO handwritten signs! Update the look of your showroom on a regular basis. Use flat-screen monitors to tell your company story and show educational Cds. SELLING Make a commitment to be the very best salesperson you can possibly be. Your job is to sell products and services, not just help people select product and educate them! Meet and greet every customer with a smile and sincere enthusiasm. Learn to SELL your value-added talent. Learn to SELL your company’s value-added features. Learn to qualify your customers. Time is money. If you spend time, energy and your expertise with them, will it be worth your time and their time? Get and stay organized. This includes being a good time manager. Continually work to improve your product knowledge. Learn how to sell product features and benefi ts. Learn how to make customer concerns and objections go away. ASK FOR THE ORDER! Always! If you lose it, fi nd out why! Get all your quotes out within 24 hours. Sell value and benefi ts. It will make price become less important. Raise your margin by one full point in 2010. YES, YOU CAN! Dress and act professionally all the time. Have management help you set monthly sales and gross profi t margin goals. Then compare the actual results each month. If you don’t have a job description, write one! Ask for help from your boss. Ask management to sit with you twice a year and do a formal and honest evaluation of how you are performing in your job. Find out what you can do to become even better. Figure out what your close ratio was in 2009 and better it in 2010. Grow your homeowner sales in 2010. These remodels will be your biggest area of opportunity. Do your RGAs (returned goods authorizations) in a timely manner. You know me — I could go on and on, but I have a limit on these articles. I would be interested in hearing from my readers what their “Top 10” business resolutions are for this new year. If I get enough responses, I’ll do a follow-up article and include your replies. Let me know why you selected your “Top 10” and how you believe they will make you better in 2010. Have a GREAT 2010!
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