When I was asked by Eric & John to write a blog for The Hub, I tried to think about everything that I do know that hasn't already been said. That's probably not much, but I have never been accused of not trying!
First off let me introduce myself, my name is Andy Mickelson. I am the owner and sole employee of Mickelson Plumbing & Heating, which I started 1-1-11. I began my “entrepreneurial seizure” as it's been called, after a successful 13 year career one of the larger local plumbing and mechanical shops, where I learned what I thought, nearly three years ago, was everything I needed to know about the plumbing & heating trade. Boy was I wrong! I have learned a few new tricks that have helped my business and my professional services become more valuable. So I'd like to share a few of them I like to believe has lead me and mine to relative happiness.
First off, set a goal. If you don't have anywhere to go, it's pretty difficult to get there! Be it financial, educational or whatever, give your business or mind somewhere to dream about. I have set large goals in the past, some of them have been met, others simply back-burnered. The thing about goals is that they are yours; if they need to have a extension added, so be it. Don't fool yourself by extending too often, though; rather break the goal down into phases or steps. If you never reach your goal, it becomes a lot less interesting. If at any point you find yourself thinking that it is not possible, STOP. Reevaluate, and restructure the goal. For instance, let's say your goal is to sell seven figures in the first year. It may not be a realistic goal, but what the heck! Try it out. If you only set small very easily attained goals, they also will become less interesting. The whole point behind setting a goal is to allow yourself somewhere to go. So go set the bar!
The second skill — I have always strived to achieve is confidence. This is not an easily learned trait, rather it seems to be experienced. It may be as though you will struggle along without it, then a little success may show up and WHAM there it is. You just picked up some confidence. The thing I have learned about being confident is that it is completely relative to the task at hand. Therefore, in order to be more confident, you need to know what it takes to be successful at the task at hand. Kind of a catch-22 right? I find that in order to be successful, I need to know everything I can possibly know about the task at hand.
Let's take selling a mod/con for example. In order to be successful in the sale, you should probably know what it looks like, right? Maybe even understand how it works, or how to fix it when it doesn't work. How will it work if I use method “A”? What will happen if “X” happens? You really should work through each scenario for each and every job. That's why we are getting paid. If you don't know, find out. The first place to look is that funny stack of paperwork that comes in each box. Surprisingly, that stack of papers will probably answer most of your questions. If not, I am betting that the manufacturer has someone around who can. By the way, that's why their phone number is usually on the back page; after you have read it, you can call them with questions. In any case, if you can explain to yourself why it will work, it'll be a lot easier to help the customer understand why it is a good investment for them. It will certainly not hurt anyway. I haven't found any one case where I knew too much about what I was doing. Some days I 'm not sure I know much about anything, but then again that's why we have goals. Set another one.
It may take some trial and error, a little fine tuning and some book work in order to turn your sales into success, but the outcome will hopefully bring along confidence and ultimately a profit! Good luck!