Vanguard in Vegas

Remodelers Advantage Business Summit 2013 outlines sales strategies.

November 14, 2013

The goal of the Remodelers Advantage Summit, held every three years, was to bring fresh ideas and information to the members, which is made up of remodelers that are focused on leadership, culture, and productivity for their business.

Enthusiasm and energy were at the core of the Remodelers Advantage 2013 Business Summit event in late September as more than 350 remodelers made their way to the Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, Nev. The remodelers who attended the event were engaged from the outset of the event.
“The energy in the room was incredible as they networked with each other and with representatives from top building product companies,” said Victoria Downing, president, Remodelers Advantage, Laurel, Md.
The goal of the Remodelers Advantage Summit, held every three years, was to bring fresh ideas and information to the members, which is made up of remodelers that are focused on leadership, culture, and productivity for their business.
“We’ve had great reviews on the speaker lineup and the overall atmosphere of community, openness, and mutual appreciation,” said Downing.

Finding leaders within your company
Leading off the formal presentations, Alexandre Havard, author of the “Virtuous Leadership System” and founder of the Havard Virtuous Leadership Institute, spoke to remodelers about the leadership qualities that are consistent with the highest demands of human nature.
Havard asked attendees, “What do you have to do to be a leader?” He went on to detail a conversation with Francois Michelin, the former CEO of Michelin Tires, about one of Michelin’s greatest employees, Marius Mignol, who started at the company as a typographer. Following a transfer to a commercial position dealing with export markets, Michelin approached Mignol after he noticed a slide ruler on Mignol’s desk. Mignol invented the tool in order to quickly convert exchange rates. Following a demonstration of the tool, Michelin touted Mignol as a genius for his invention and transferred Mignol to the research division. From there, Mignol designed a “fly-cage” for tires to prevent them from overheating at high speeds. Mignol then proceeded to design a tire with sides that were replaced by radial metallic cable. As a result, the radial tire was born, forever changing the tire industry. 
Mignol’s inspirational story was the basis of Havard’s presentation on leadership. According to Havard, prudence, self-control, courage, and justice combined with magnanimity and fraternal humility make up the human virtues that can allow your employees to achieve success.
“Leadership is about people management and getting incredible things done through the transformation of humans,” Havard said.

Onboarding your sales team
Challenging your sales team to be successful starts with hiring the right people who can manage their time effectively while also being self-motivated to go above and beyond their sales goals. How do you successfully motivate your salespeople to take charge of a selling situation?
“Don’t hire sales people to save your company; hire them to follow up on the leads you cannot respond to quick enough,” said Chip Doyle of Sandler Training, who led the presentation “Onboarding Your Sales Team.”
Doyle outlined three systems for effective selling that include prospecting and marketing, qualifying and selling, and finally a progress template. Onboarding a sales team also starts with these six key elements, according to Doyle:
1. A prospect list that defines as many interactions for a sale as possible.
2. A sales “cookbook” that includes a recipe for success through prospecting.
3. Diagnostic questions to get information from a prospect, rather than just presenting information to the prospect.
4. A sales template that has value.
5. Rewards and repercussions—what happens when the sales team is successful and when they do not meet their goals.
6. A review schedule with the sales team, ranging from everyday discussions with a new employee to weekly discussions with experience team members.
Doyle detailed how as a business owner you should manage the expectations of your sales team as well as effectively coaching your team prior to a sales meeting. He also discussed how to outsell the competition—not by putting them out of business but by being more selective with your sales leads.
“Don’t take customers away from your competition; give your competition the difficult customers to sell,” Doyle said.

Customer service lessons
Taking a page from Havard’s theme on maximizing the potential of employees by finding the most effective position for them within your company, Jonathan Wolske detailed his unique career path at Zappos Insight.
Wolske, whose title is culture evangelist, started in the customer service call center at Zappos and eventually evolved his career by presenting to groups of visitors and leading a team of Culture Guides who host tours of the Zappos corporate offices in Henderson, Nev.
Wolske’s presentation focused on company culture, customer experience, and why a positive customer experience is such an important part of the success of Zappos. Defining a positive culture within your company is one way to ensure a positive office morale that results in a better customer experience, according to Wolske.
“You can inspire passion and enthusiasm by looking outside of your business for inspiration,” Wolske said. He went on to discuss the “10 Core Values of Success” that have been incorporated into their business model. “Of the top 10 core values, company culture is the most important. Hire with culture in mind,” Wolske said.

WIT Talks
Craig Durosko, founder and chairman, Sun Design Remodeling Specialists, Burke, Va., and Ty Melton, president, Melton Design Build, Boulder, Colo., were the featured presenters at the Remodelers Advantage popular WIT Talks. WIT (Wisdom, Inspiration, Trust) Talks are short presentations that offer insight from the remodeling industry’s leading professionals. Durosko and Melton delved into a number of topics generated from audience members via a live Twitter feed, including transferring lessons learned to the next generation of remodelers, effective succession plans, and creating a business model that supports you and your business.

Increasing productivity and efficiency
Staying organized, productive, and efficient in today’s 24/7 business culture can be daunting. Mike Song, author of Zip! Tips, offered attendees a crash-course in technology management.
According to Song, the technology and software you use everyday have loads of timesaving features, and most executives have no idea how to use them to their advantage. Song reviewed dozens of timesaving applications for Windows, iPad, iPhone, and Google that can help your team boost their performance in and out of the office. Some of the tips Song offered included timesaving templates, email management, effective smartphone home page design, and a series of “one-click wonders” that allow for single-step document management.

Remodelers Advantage 2016
“We were thrilled with the response to this year’s summit,” Downing said. “Not only was it the largest, the reviews have been fantastic, from the speaker lineup, to the beautiful venue, to the overall atmosphere of energy, optimism, and community.”
The next Remodelers Advantage Business Summit is scheduled to take place in the fall of 2016. For more information on the 2013 Summit, visit PR

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