I grew up in a family business. And the lines between family time and work time were very blurred at best.
I grew up in a family business. And the lines between
family time and work time were very blurred at best. Talk around the dinner
table was always a mix of the state of our NY sports teams and the pros and
cons of the latest jobs at work.
If you just landed from space at
our dinner table and overheard the chatter, you’d surely be confused. I think
even we could get lost in mid sentence. But, I assure you the discussions were always
heated and full of passion whether it was about sports or work. Sometimes,
passionate discussions turned into shouting matches and insults, but it was
normal….after all we’re an all American family from NYC.
My oldest brother and I were - and
continue to be - avid Yankee and Giants fans but the middle brother, who we
think was adopted, was and continues to be a Mets and Jets fan.
To say the arguments about sports
were heated is like saying jalapenos are just like ketchup.
The arguments about how to do our
work and what products we should be selling also spiced things up. It’s tough
to get three brothers to agree unanimously about anything. And when there’s
money and potential headaches on the line it’s bound to get heated.
My dad was the arbitrator between
the three of us and he typically had a cooler head. But, that didn’t mean we
wouldn’t take him on if we were passionate about the way we were doing our
work, the people at our company doing the work for us and the way we were going
to the marketplace.
Many years ago, I was lobbying
for the right to sell European high-end technology and build a niche business
vs. selling the same things my competition were trying to sell which was the plain
vanilla products installed at the cheapest price.
After a long discussion between
me and my dad about selling this new way, he tells me, “Al, I know you love
this stuff but nobody will pay more for something they think of as a commodity.
Frankly, if they can’t drive it, wear it or show it off to their friends they
won’t go for anything more than they have to.”
Well, I had returned from Europe
armed with a new vigor and a determination to sell the superior products.
Here’s the great news. People
bought the higher-end higher priced equipment from me. I believe they could see
the logic of my arguments about energy savings, comfort and safety. But what I
believed even more is they bought my passion.
As luck would have it, I received
a letter from a customer after doing an extensive installation job. And I kid
you not, here’s what the customer wrote:
“This is the best money
I ever spent that I can’t drive, wear or show off to my friends!”
It was a lovely moment!
And when I shared this letter
with my dad, who was always a good sport, he looked at me smiled and said, “I’m
happy to be proven wrong.”
So, what are you thinking that
you can out cheap your competition on? Do you want to sell a commodity and make
no money or a niche product for more profit?
Find something that’s better out
there in your market and get yourself fired up about it. I bet you make more
sales and more profits than you could have ever imagined on something most customers
“can’t drive, can’t wear or show off to their friends.”
Can't Drive It, Wear It Or Show It Off To My Friends
By Al Levi
Al Levi has been helping plumbing, HVAC, roofing, remodeling, electrical and carpentry businesses solve problems, turn greater profits, and help owners get their lives and free time back for over 7 years. This is all based on his 25-year career at his family-owned and operated contracting business. For more information, visit www.60minuterecessionsolution.com.