I am amazed how long it took me to realize an obvious fact.  If a company doesn’t make a profit, they won’t be around very long.  For years it seemed as though we were chasing our tails and constantly losing money on jobs.  Whether it was because we under quoted the job to get the work in house, or allowed the project to experience massive “Scope Creep” and when it was all said and done … we would either break even or lose money.  The interesting thing is that the “embarrassment” to make a profit didn’t kill us!

I am a creature of habit and therefore have many companies with which I consistently transact business.  I develop relationships with the people at these companies and enjoy the interaction I experience.  I know they are making a profit from my loyalty and when I stop to think about it … I am glad they do.  I know the better these companies are doing, the better the chance they will be there to take care of me for the long haul.  Once I develop a trust in a companies ability to provide me with consistent service, I want to protect that relationship so I don’t have to go through the painful task of finding a replacement.

I believe our client’s feel the same way!  They chose us based on the belief that we could deliver a solution for an existing problem they were facing.  I believe they also made the decision to do business with us because they trusted we would be here for a long time to support them with any future needs.  We owe it to them to give all of our clients a fair price and a quality product.  Most importantly, we owe it to our clients to make a fair profit so we can continue to be there for them when future needs arise.

Remember:  There is no need to fear profit!  Companies DO NOT exist long term unless they make a profit and if they aren’t practicing profitable habits, they won’t be there to support the work they are proposing for you anyhow.

Alright, I have to be the first to admit I am not the happiest person in the world when sales people come knocking on my door. Sometimes I feel like a hippocrate since I have been selling in one form or another for the past 20 years, but when I stop and think about my attitude towards the “door knockers” I see it pretty clear.

The times in my career when I’ve felt the best about selling is when I took the time necessary to fully understand my potential client’s business and determined exactly what they wanted to accomplish … and then figured out a solution! There is no reward in working hard to spit out all the correct sales closing techniques only to convince someone why they should spend money with you. There is no reward in pressuring someone into finally saying “ok, ok, ok … I’ll give you my business.” You may say, “There most certainly is a reward … you get a commission for getting a yes.” Let me repeat … THERE IS NO REWARD IN SELLING!

I’ve reviewed hundreds of books and tapes and attended many seminars, and always seem to get the most excited when I find someone that gives a new technique on setting goals. I am sure all of us think we have goals, but how many of us truly do? How many of us begin each day working toward a clear, tangible reward by taking action steps which will surely help us arrive there.

I get excited when I meet with a company that has a true idea of what they want to accomplish. When I am presented with this goal, I enjoy nothing more than sitting down with them and putting our heads together to come up with a solution. I obviously could never know their business as well as they do, and conversely, they can’t possibly know my business as well as I do. This combination can be powerful if the two of us approach it with the goal of not only defining the end result they would like, but also by defining an action plan to get us there. If this is the approach taken, there is no selling! The two companies simply combine the existing knowledge from their own points of view, and determine a strong solution!

To all you “door knockers” out there…

Take the time to find out what I want to accomplish and use your expertise to show me how to arrive there with your product or service. I am sure there are many people out there that feel the same as I do and I’d love to hear from you!

We just arrived back in the office from our annual Christmas trip. What a great time! We began this tradition four years ago following a trip I took to Anna Maria Island, Florida with some friends of mine. While I was there I fell in love and began thinking how cool it would be to share it with the other guys who were back working hard in the office while I was playing. The more I thought about it … the better it seemed and by the time I was catching my flight home I had our plans made and tickets booked for a trip a month later. What a trip it was! When the only interaction you have with your fellow workers is in the office you don’t truly get to know someone. While on that initial trip there was a strong bond and memories that were created which are still talked about today.

As the company has grown we’ve continued this tradition but haven’t been back to the island since 2005. We were at lunch a couple months ago and were yet again chatting about the great time we had on previous trips and decided to make the trek back to the island! What a trip it was!

Brainstorming on the Beach!

The picture above was one of our many “brainstorming” sessions we had on the shores of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. As you can probably see we worked very hard. 🙂

Walking to dinner

It was extremely difficult trudging through the sand on our way to dinner when we arrived on the island. Whew! As you’ll see we did make it though.

Our Favorite Island Dinner Destination

This restaurant is incredible! It is run by a husband and wife who moved here from the Italian Alps 15 years ago and they have owned this restaurant for 10 years. All the food is made COMPLETELY from scratch and is awesome. I am getting hungry again just thinking of it!

Our own beach house bar

We didn’t even need to leave the beach house for fun since we had a cool bar right in the house. It was very cool and in fact with the decor of the outside of the house, we had someone walk up to the house and tell us he thought it was a bar and was looking for a drink. 🙂

Beautiful Surroundings

It was tough dealing with all these beautiful views all day every day, but even tougher dealing with the macho contest! 🙂

All I can say is WHAT A TRIP! We went boating for a day and had dolphins swim up within 2 feet of our boat and we were floating right next to the Skyway bridge. I could put a million pictures on here since I think we took about that many, but I need to get all my work done since returning.

If you ever have an opportunity to travel with your company for bonding I would HIGHLY recommend it. You will create memories and a bond that will make it much easier to deal with the difficult times in the work place.