December 29, 2008
September 16, 2008
The Mark of Excellence Remodeling expert services are customized for your home's needs while securing its integrity and value for the future.
August 2, 2008
2008 (Fort Atkinson, WI)-
July 17, 2008
EDUCATION: I attended Rutgers University; I don't have a degree from them. I did my training and certification from industry groups, The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI). I've continued my education, and I'm going to receive a green-building certification this month through NARI. For home remodeling, there are no colleges that really offer training or education. So the building and remodeling associations create their own criteria and certifications.
EMPLOYER: Mark of Excellence Remodeling, West Long Branch, NJ
JOB DESCRIPTION: My job is to develop, design and budget home improvement projects for homeowners that we ultimately produce for them. I meet with them at their home, and we talk about their needs and their wants, as well as their wish lists.I create a detailed estimate for them to cover all the phases of the project. After that, they'll come back to our office to our selection center, where we will review some CAD designs, which are computer-assisted design renderings; they're computer drawings of their proposed projects, whether it's a kitchen or an addition and so on. We work on the design together. Between me and the homeowner, we'll place where the cabinetry is going to go, or how the outside is going to look. We do kitchens, bathrooms, additions and exterior patios. This computer design program allows us to do so much. Imagine being able to take a blueprint, and add colors that the customer chooses, wood colors for cabinets, exact countertop colors, and add all of that into the detail of blueprint. We'll actually put wine bottles on a table for somebody. We can actually put their furniture placement in to make sure if we're building an addition that everything fits and flows. Our company is pretty much the design end. And then we have a production staff with project managers, carpenters and helpers who actually produce the projects. Once I've met with the clients, and they have made their product selections, we handle the permit application process. Once all of those things are finalized, we have an internal meeting with design and production to coordinate the project. About a week to 10 days before the project starts, I come to the homeowner with the project leader. It gives them the opportunity to now meet their project leader, the guy that's going to be there every day. We use an outside architecting firm, Alan Zimbler Architects, based out of Freehold. But if a client has his or her own architect or blueprint, we'll work with them. I physically don't do the construction end. But our guys that do the carpentry work and manage the entire process. So we handle the project from the (cost) estimate all the way to the (cleaning) service we bring in when we're done. So we go from beginning to end.
WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR JOB? The only thing that I would change about the job or the industry in general is that there are tons of guys out there that don't have the right licensing or insurance, or they have bad business practices or bad work ethics. They create horror stories for some clients. Unfortunately our industry is stereotyped by those guys.
July 14, 2008
Please pass along to anyone that might fit the bill.
Monmouth County Home Remodeling Company
Tough job - great opportunity:
· Aggressive commission plan
· Commission only
· Gas allowance
· Be Highly Motivated
· A Great Communicator
· Live Locally
· Have a presentable, reliable vehicle
NOTE: we do drug testing and background checks
June 3, 2008
June 2, 2008
May 20, 2008
Brian's submission also references listening. Good listening skills along with keen observation often seprate the average from the above average reps in the same team. These skills can not be utilized unless your are comfortable and well practiced in your presentation. If you have to "pay attention" to what YOU are doing and saying there is little chance that you will hear or see the messages the client is providing.
Thanks, Brian! Happy hunting!!!
All the top salespeople ask good questions and listen carefully to the answers. One of the most important skills of listening is simply to pause before replying. When the prospect finishes talking, rather than jumping in with the first thing that you can think of, take three to five seconds to pause quietly and wait.
Becoming a Master of the Pause
All excellent listeners are masters of the pause. They are comfortable with silences. When the other person finishes speaking, they take a breath, relax and smile before saying anything. They know that the pause is a key part of good communications.
Three Benefits of Pausing Pausing before you speak has three specific benefits. The first is that you avoid the risk of interrupting the prospect if he or she has just stopped to gather his or her thoughts. Remember, your primary job in the sales conversation is to build and maintain a high level of trust, and listening builds trust. When you pause for a few seconds, you often find the prospect will continue speaking. He will give you more information and further opportunity to listen, enabling you to gather more of the information you need to make the sale
May 10, 2008
Jason, about to leave to go get a contract signed, finds his keyboard does not work. It has something to do with loading a driver for a wireless keyboard. Turns out the wireless keyboard works without the driver that it came with. Why do we even bother?
Remember when it was just clipboards and tape measures? Beepers were the hot technology to have! Oh, I miss those days...and a 32" waist.
Speaking of sales...what does it really come down to? The system doesn't change, just the associated tools, props and displays. What is there in every appointment? YOU. That is the constant. The only thing you can count on. The only thing that you can control. Speaking of control...I feel that is the number one reason for not getting a sale - loosing control of the appointment, the client and the sales system. The system never fails, only we fail the system. Here are the items that need to be present at every appointment to maximize the odds of successful results:
- Pre-call preparation
- Energy and enthusiasm
- Listening skills
- Observations skills
- Follow the proven system
If any of these six are not included or are not fully in effect, the others are not successful and the likelihood of failure is on the rise.
People buy from those that they like and trust. People respect people that they like or want to be like. How does this happen? Luck? No, it comes from the constant focus on having those six items present and in effect at all times...with or without a laptop, PDA or any other technology or prop.
May 4, 2008
Jason was on an appointment last week.
Two thirds through the presentation...
CLIENT: "How much money do I owe you today?"
JASON: "Nothing today"
After the $72K price presentation...
CLIENT: "Okay what happens now?"
JASON: "You give me a check for $4K and then we start designing and drawing your new kitchen."
CLIENT: "I thought you said I don't have to give you any money today"
JASON: "You don't HAVE to give me a check today, but if you do, you will have your new kitchen sooner and my wife and children will be very happy tonight!"
CLIENT: "Okay. Who do I make the check out to?"
Now why didn't I have that appointment!!!
Kitchen renovations continue to be a common request by homeowners across the country. Hanley Wood Publications does a comprehensive annual study of remodeling projects nationally and by region. The article is printed in its Remodeling Magazine and named “Cost vs. Value”. The study reviews typical projects and the average investment amounts for a midrange and upscale options. The midrange kitchen remodel is listed to have an average national investment of $55,503. The upscale version for a 200 square foot kitchen, which includes stone countertops, cherry wood cabinets, gourmet appliances and an extensive lighting package, is valued at $109,394. Every project is individualized for each client and home, therefore pricing and options vary tremendously. While not the definitive price list, “Cost vs. Value” has served as a helpful, planning guideline for homeowners for the last twenty years.
Neil Parsons, VP of Sales and Marketing at Mark of Excellence Remodeling, has seen many remodeling requests and trends evolve through the years. Kitchen remodeling is no exception. Neil lists five items or features below that are being incorporated in today’s kitchen designs that were usually not included or even discussed as recent as ten years ago.
One item is a convection oven. Convection ovens utilize fans to force heated air across the food. The forced air breaks the thin insulating layer of air that surrounds food. This process decreases the cooking time or the temperature required for the food preparation. Convection ovens are typical the second oven in a kitchen as part of a double wall oven unit or as microwave-convection oven combination.
Beverage centers can be found free standing or built into base cabinets. Beverage centers are smaller refrigerators designed to store wine, beer and soft drinks. The more expensive units have the ability to set separate temperatures for each shelf making the multi-use beverage storage possible and enjoyable for all tastes. It cuts down on the use of the much larger main refrigerator. Sizes, features and prices will vary. The price range is typically $200 to $2,000.
If the room or area permits, fireplaces are on the wish list of many families. Direct vent, natural gas fireplaces are the common choice. The options here are plentiful. Free standing, simulated wood-burning stoves require only a small area and are reasonably priced. Built-in units with a stone wall, hearth and a wood mantel can transform any room.
A generation ago every kitchen had a telephone on the wall with a phone book and note pad in the closest draw. Today cabinet layouts often contain a work station. A place for a chair, leg room and counter space. Yes the telephone is still there but it is usually accompanied by a personal computer, laptop or PDA, therefore the phone numbers are stored electronically or located on the internet. These work stations are a convenient place for note taking, children’s homework and home office use.
Now what room is not complete today without a television? Yes, televisions are on most kitchen design surveys and many families want to see them included in the final plan. While placing a television in the kitchen is not completely new the difference between placing a portable unit on the counter with cords and cables dangling and having an under-cabinet unit with a flip-down flat panel screen is vast. These built-in televisions often have other media or internet capabilities. When working in the kitchen cooks can by companioned by the news, soap operas and of course the Food Network.
Mark of Excellence Remodeling has been Appreciating Homes Since 1987. The New Jersey design + build remodeling firm has been honored with several awards for its projects and business acumen. The company has been featured in various national publications throughout the years.
One of Neil Parsons’ kitchen designs, currently being built in Monmouth County, incorporates four of the five features listed above. The addition and kitchen area has been referenced to as the “Gathering Room” from the onset of the design and development. If you would like pictures sent as the project progresses and completes send your request to info@MarkofExcellence.com or visit the website www.MarkofExcellence.com.
April 20, 2008
Here is Brian's from yesterday:
Here's a good one. I was on a lead today that I sold in union. It was a roof sale for 9k. As I was putting my stuff away in my truck I casually placed the folder containing the measurements, signed contract and check for 2k..... On my bumper. -- Of course my phone rings at that point and I drive off leaving the folder on my bumper. I proceed to Springfield feeling proud of myself for selling another job. I arrive for my lunch that I was so looking forward to and I realize. "OH SHIT!, WHERE'S MY DEAL?? DAM IT!!". So I backtracked back to Union from Springfield..... Then I started the route I traveled from the customer's house to Springfield. When I got all the way back to Springfield, at the intersection of Springfield Ave and Morris was when I found evidence of the folder. First I found the measuring sheet., then eventually the yellow copy of the contract which was great. But still no $2k check. I continued to search and search for my lost check. And finally, there it was in the middle of Morris Avenue at Meisel.... But oh nooooo! The light was turning green..... I wasn't going to let my check get run over by anymore cars so I dashed out and rescued it. I definitely earned my commission on that one. I endangered myself in traffic today to save a deal. Literally.
As long as I didn't have to explain the missing check to the customer I'm happy.
April 5, 2008
Mark of Excellence Remodeling, Inc. of West Long Branch, New Jersey is proud to announce that it has won four “Innovation in Construction Awards” from Remodeling News magazine. The exclusive winners for each category are selected amongst hundreds of annual award entries from architects, designers, builders and remodelers representing various states. Mark of Excellence Remodeling won the following categories: “Best Design and Room Addition under $100,000” for a project in Oceanport, “Best Design and Room Addition over $100,000” for a project in Sea Bright, “Best Bathroom under $30,000” for a project in Tinton Falls and “Best Marketing Program”.
March 29, 2008
Never forget that:
People ONLY buy from those they like and want to be like.
How does that happen? Where does like and then trust come from? TRUST is ultimately displayed by placing an order. Like and trust are based upon many small factors - appearance, timeliness, professionalism...etc. In my opinion, the biggest factor comes from the dynamic of the overall presentation. Are you there to give a performance and monologue? Or are you there to get involved with the people on their level, interact and start a relationship?
People do not want to be sold, they want to buy.
They want to draw their own conclusion and not just blindly accept what you tell them.
If you say it, they will doubt it.
If they can see and feel it for themselves they will believe it.
If you get the client to say it, they will buy it.
Make sure to involve as many senses as possible. While possessing all, people are either mainly visual, auditory or kinestetic with the dominant trait being the crux of decision making. If you can not determine which your client is...make sure to employ each as part of your presentation.
March 27, 2008
I have too many to count but here is one of my favorites:
About an hour into the appointment, which was going great, the clients were happy and friendly. As I was setting up my laptop, I asked a few background questions. One was "what is your email address?" The husband said he didn't have one. The wife said, "You can write mine down". At that part, the storm rolled in. The mood changed abruptly. Happy and friendly flew right out of the window. The husband stared down his wife and sternly said, "You can't give him that email address. He's making a permanent record of it." The wife shot back, "Well it's true!" Having managed many tense situations in the past, almost to the point of qualifying as a certified marriage counselor, even I could not subside the wave rapidly heading to shore. She turned to me and blasted out, "myhubbyisacheat @~~~~.com". After peeking out from my safe hiding spot behind the laptop screen, I watched as husband and wife (in name only, I guess) exited the kitchen in opposite directions. Less than 20 minutes later I was packed up and on my way, with no deal of course, just another memorable story.
Okay it's your turn. Let's hear your sales story....(please keep it clean!)
Many in this sub-culture have fragmented lives, do things outside the norm and don't understand the banality and stability of the 9 to 5ers. So why is this the career path we choose? Is it the money? Is it the Independence? Is it the thrill? Or is it the pride of fulfilling a client's wants and needs?
Share with us...bare your soul, that's if you haven't sold yours yet.
What's your favorite part of the job? It's funny that I actually just referred to it as a job, because I often say that at 46, I've never had a "real job" in my life...LOL.
Now while I'm interested in hearing from ALL, I will not tolerate the impostors. I've met many that claim that they are million dollar producers and expect to make six figures by September. This is not an elitist blog, all are welcome, but don't make claims you can't back up...THANKS
On the other hand, if you're looking for tips and tools you just might find this blog a great platform. As "Ed" said once, "I learn more outside the meetings and training seminars when i just hang out with true sales people at a bar". Just ask our spouses or significant others, who all hate us, all conversations lead back to sales - sounds boring, but I assure you - we ain't!
"Someone always gets sold. It is either the client or the sales rep"
When you leave the that call you want to leave with a check* or a "no". Maybes are way too expensive. If you don't know what that means, you are either a novice, not successful or someone looking to enter our sub-culture.
* "It is better to bring back a check with no contract than a contract with no check"
A contract without a deposit is not much better than a written estimate....also known as a "maybe"
"The system never fails. Only you fail the system"
Following the system is a product of a few items:
- Knowing the system inside and out, forward and backward
- Keeping control of the appointment and not allowing people or situations to derail you from the system
- NEVER cut steps out of laziness, poor attitude or a pre-judgement of the client or appointment
The first comes from effort, practice and a commitment to being a success. The second comes with confidence and fluency in the system. Novices allow themselves to get derailed and feel they can blame someone or something else for NOT selling, when the MAIN reason is the sales rep. The third is unfortunately very common. How many times have we been on an appointment and feel like it's not good and we can't wait to get through and get out. Then, out of the blue, something changes or things are revealed to make a seemingly bad appt. a good one. Now, those steps you left out or cut short are long gone and there is no going back. Then all of a sudden you realize your effort was sub-par and not good enough to close the deal. You wish you could have a do-over. No such luck. A deal and a commission check squandered!
"The natural conclusion to a professional sales presentation is the SALE"