Despite an untimely blizzard that weather experts said affected more than 30 states including the Midwest and Northeast, National Pavement Expo posted its most solid event in the last few years Feb. 2-5 in Nashville.
All exhibitors made it through a belt of snow and ice, and more than 1500 contractors visited Nashville to take advantage of a robust conference program, expanded exhibit floor -- and Nashville night life.
Among the most buzzed-about of NPE’s sessions were:
• “Twitter, Facebook, and Blogging.” Jeff Korhan, True Nature, provided an introduction and overview of the changing media marketplace
• “Increasing Efficiency in the Field.” Grow Consulting’s Guy Gruenberg presented this much-requested session for the second year in a row, offering tips on how crews can save money each time they go into the field.
• “The Profitmaker’s Toolchest.” In this 3-hour workshop, co-sponsored by NAPSA and Tymco, Kraig Kramers, CEO Tools/Corporate Partners, outlined more than 100 “plug-and-play tools for rapid profit acceleration”
• “From Field General to Business Manager: Steps Busy Owners Need to Take.” Vinny Engongoro, Roccie’s Asphalt Paving, suggested steps and systems to put in place to help owners and supervise move from hands-on work to overall manager.
PCTC Draws Crowd to Sealcoating Regs Session
Years ago a seminar on sealcoating regulations could have been held in the cab of a pickup truck, but “Sealcoating: Regulatory Challenges and Industry Initiatives,” presented by members of the Pavement Coatings Technology Council, drew almost 200 people.
Mike Juba, Koppers Industries; Bob DeMott, DABT Environ; Kirk O’Reilly, JD Exponent; and PCTC Executive Director Anne LeHuray did a great job of distilling and simplifying the complex science and regulatory issues faced by the sealcoating industry and outlined steps PCTC is taking to fight unfair regulation.
To get the message out to as many contractors as possible PCTC subsidized the seminar -- and that effort really worked. Attendees as the seminar received a DVD of the importance of sealcaoting and sealcoating best practices. That video is available for viewing at www.pavementonline.com.
Stokes Offers Strategiesfor Successful Sales
Jeff Stokes, Next Level Contractor System, warned contractors that selling shouldn’t just be an after thought. In his workshop, “Successful Sales for Pavement Maintenance Pros,” Stokes encouraged contractors to create a sales system and train their sales team. “You wouldn’t put your pavement maintenance crews out on a job without training them and giving them the right tools, and you should be doing the same for your sales team as well,” he said.
Included in his sessionare these 10 tips:
1 Communication is always important
2 Develop a sales system or process – Without a process each sale is approached completely different and a contractor or sales associated can never know what works and what doesn’t.
3 A sales systems starts even before you meet with the client. The system helps “funnel” which clients you should pursue and which are better left for someone else. Qualifying your customers starts before the first meeting.
4 Always be prepared for the first meeting. Have all the materials you may need to help educate the customer. Memorize questions to ask them and know how to follow up and which direction to go once you get an answer.
5 The objective of the first sales call is to make a good impression, not necessarily to get the sale then and there.
6 Building relationships takes time. It may take multiple “touches” before you reach a relationship status where the customer is ready to buy your services. Make sure you cover all the bases with the client. It is important to be seen as an expert, and writing articles or white papers for local publications is a great way for customers to see you as an expert.
7 The faster a possible or current customer can see you as someone of value the better.