It’s tough to summarize the content from a two-day CEDIA Management Conference that was good as the one I attended last week in New Orleans.
However, there were two fundamental “takeaways” from the event that I would like to share, then feel free to click on the links below to access PDFs of the three daily newsletters published onsite by Residential Systems.
The big message from the opening-night keynote speaker Connie Podesta was that there are basically four different personality types in the world. Although it’s good to know which of the four you’re dealing with on a sales call, simply knowing the answer to one question will suffice. Podesta says that any given person will either prefer small talk before the sales pitch, or would rather cut straight to the chase. The more “social” among us, love to chat over a cup of coffee, learning about their salesperson, etc., and think it’s rude to jump right into business. Others (that would be me) literally grind their teeth and twiddle their thumbs during a long-winded discussion of families and favorite foods, and prefer getting to the point and then back to work.
So how do you know what type of person you’re calling on? You ask them, “Would you like to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on a few things, or would you rather stay here and get right to business?” It works every time, and you end up with a much more comfortable client who might even end up spending money with you. Remember, it’s your job to make the client feel comfortable, not the other way around.
The other big message out of the CEDIA Management Conference was delivered by my friend and back-page columnist Richard Millson, who shared his insight into how to create a standardization process for an ESC firm.
Millson, an integration professional based in Vancouver, noted that because our industry lacks standards, in general, it’s incumbent upon ESCs to standardize their own internal procedures, product offerings, and installation practices to improve efficiency and profitability.
Millson said that there are dozens of areas that can benefit greatly from standardization and only you know the specific areas within your own firm that would benefit most at this point. However, he noted, you may want to consider tackling some of the items on the following list as logical candidates for a starting point:
• Discipline Definitions
• Wire Types and Uses Standard
• Drawing & Documentation Standards
• Installation Practices Standard
• Device Termination Standards
• Product Selection Standards
• Project Process Standard
• Service Call Work Flow Standard
He said that if you are really stuck as to where to begin, one item above that makes a great starting point is what can be called a Wire Types and Uses Document. This type of document lays out, in detail, the exact type, gauge, color, and use for each wire used in each discipline that your company includes in the projects you do.
Millson definitely got the conversation rolling at the conference with his perspective, and he will address these topics further within the pages of Residential Systems.
If you couldn’t make it to the conference or had to leave early, please click on the following links to access the newsletter from each day.
Management Conference Show Daily
Click below to download a copy of the show daily