WWW.CROSSROADS.SANDLER.COM / (208) 429-9275 / JUNE 2018
FIND YOUR EDGE
A HISTORY FOR THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS PART 1 OF 2
When I was a kid, I loved everything about comic books. They had vivid characters and exciting storylines, but most of all, they had centerfolds with all the toys that you could ever want to buy. The ad was put out by a seed company, and all you had to do to get the toys was sell a certain amount of seeds. When I saw this, a salesman was born — a very mediocre one, at best.
When I joined the workforce, I found out that I was not a very successful employee. When someone gave me something to do, I thought, “That’s not the right way to do it.” It wasn’t that I was insubordinate; I just saw myself better as the person in charge. So I started my own painting business. I used what little I knew about sales and began generating revenue with those whose storylines converged with mine. That business spawned into a remodeling company, which added on a plumbing division, and then an electrical business. Soon we were generating $5 million a year. We were working hard and having fun, but work was all we were doing. I was a visitor in my kids’ lives, and it was clear I needed to make a change. I wanted to know what other people knew about business. The hard way of learning is trial and error. The easy way is to find someone who is already doing something successfully and pick their brain. When I was running our remodeling company, I bid on a project against a competitor and won the job. My price was $30,000 and his was $35,000. After we won the bid, the opposing contractor called me up and said, “Do you realize you left $5,000 on the table with that project?” I told him I had no idea what he was talking about. He explained to me, “You could’ve charged $5,000 more. Would you like to know how?” That was the first time I plugged myself into learning best practices. It started a snowball effect that eventually brought me to Sandler Training.
“ “THE HARD WAY OF LEARNING IS TRIAL AND ERROR. THE EASY WAY IS TO FIND SOMEONE WHO IS ALREADY DOING SOMETHING SUCCESSFULLY AND PICK THEIR BRAIN.”
I went door to door in the summer with hopes of turning seeds into the toys I’d always wanted. During the Christmas season, it was all about selling cards, so I made sales around the neighborhood with toys on my mind. A few years later, I started my own lawn mowing business. I can remember the first lawn mower I bought; it was a Sears Craftsman. Then I grew that business and bought a Toro riding mower. I spent a lot of time and money on that dangerous beast.
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