If there’s one thing I’ve learned about success -- it’s that it’s something that you continually practice. You don’t “make it” and coast… you fight like hell to stay there and keep going!
This can mean changing habits that no longer serve you, letting people go who don’t belong on the bus, and most of the time, getting out of your own way.
Recently I had the honor of helping Stephen Gordon, the president of one of the country’s top remodeling companies, write the keynote for his presentation at Remodeler’s Summit.
We spent several days together -- remotely on Zoom video calls, in-person at the Ramblin Jackson office, bingo-bango-bongo on the golf course, and then in-person at the Remodelers’ Summit in New Orleans.
At one point, Stephen casually mentioned something to me that really resonated. I had to come back and ask him about it!
An Interview with Stephen Gordon - President of InSite Builders - One of Remodelers Advantage’s Most Profitable Remodeling Companies
Jack Jostes: Hey, guys, Jack Jostes, here, author of Get Found Online, the Local Business Owner's Guide to Digital Marketing, and CEO at Ramblin Jackson. Today I'm with the president of InSite Builders, a remodeling company in Bethesda, Maryland. And if you own a local business, watch today's video to learn an important but simple management tip from Stephen Gordon.
So recently I had the honor of helping Stephen write the keynote for his presentation at Remodelers Summit, which is one of the top remodeling conferences in the United States, because he runs one of the most profitable remodeling companies in Remodelers Advantage.
Stephen Gordon: That is correct.
Jack Jostes: I learned a ton, just in the process of working with you. And one of the things that you said was, "If it happens three times, it's a problem." So tell us a little bit, what does that mean, and where did you learn that?
Stephen Gordon: Well, when something happens three times, you have to think that something must have gone wrong, or something went very right. But in this case, something went very wrong. We were in just a normal week of sales, and I had three jobs that actually presented contracts to people. Each one of them was a unique situation. They weren't similar in any way. They were varying in price, varying in scope, and at the first meeting that I went to on a Monday, at the end of the meeting I got turned down. And I don't get turned down much on the pricing things. So I was kind of a little bit shocked, and I was a little put back that the client actually wasn't going to go forward with us.
Then on Wednesday, I went in, made my second presentation of the week, and damned if the same thing didn't happen again, and it really shook me. It shook me a lot. The second job was a fairly large job, and I was counting on both these jobs to start within 60 days.
Then when Friday rolled around, and I presented for the third time in a week, and I had something else go wrong, I said, "Hmm, I've got to go back and evaluate where I took a misstep."
What I realized was for years I was able to upsell our clients. Not in a bad way, but basically I let the client design their project, and we had scope creep. Scope creep can get us in trouble. What I realized was, "You know what, I can't sell the way I've been selling for the past 20 years. I have to do something different." That was a big wake up call for us, and so I decided that, or we as a company, decided that I would take a salesmanship course. It's called Sandler. It is an eye-opening experience. It's selling in a very different way, and it's very effective. I realized that I couldn't continue to do what I was doing and make the same mistakes over and over again.
I started Sandler. I took it for about a year, a year and a half. Even today, we still use all the Sandler techniques, and we practice Sandler in the office before I have a meeting. It's that important.
Jack Jostes: What else do you see in running your business does, "When it happens three times, it's a problem." When else does that come up for you as a time to make a change?
Stephen Gordon: Oh, it can happen in the production of some of our jobs. We could make the same type of mistake three times, and by the time you see it the third time, you've seen it in the field. You've seen it in the production meeting, and then we see it financially, how it's hurt us. All I can say is if something happens to you three times, I would suggest that you all take a serious look at what caused the problem, and then rectify it, because it's going to hurt you in the long run.
Jack Jostes: Cool, well thanks so much, Stephen, for sharing that with us, and hope you guys enjoyed today's video. If you did, be sure to like it, subscribe, and download a free chapter of my book at FoundChapter.com, and thanks so much for watching.
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