July 7th, 2020
Staying Organized and Staying Positive
I have received lots of calls and emails over the past few weeks asking how things are going for me and my role here at Zen Windows. I must admit, when I came to Zen Windows in March, the coronavirus became front page news and it made me question things. But after a few weeks, it became clearly obvious that this was the right career move for me. One of my objectives is to spend more time with my family and by various shutdown mandates, the family is forced to spend more time with me too!
I want to share some discoveries and observations I have made over the past four months on the retail side of things. These observations may seem obvious to everyone but putting them into real life practice may be another matter.
First, the model of selling online works and works very well. Many large retailers confirmed this as they were forced into this model during the coronavirus shutdowns. Most retailers have since evolved back into their tried-and-true methods of selling face to face. My observation here is simple: You need to do what works best for your own business model. There is no right or wrong way to run a retail organization. It really comes down to the methodology you are most comfortable with and trying to force a different model is not going to work long term. However, having the ability to be flexible when the situation dictates is very important.
Second, being organized and disciplined is so important. You cannot count on your memory to recall things. You need to find a ‘system’ that works for you. I have multiple systems or “built in traps” that help me to stay organized, focused and to remember specific tasks. However, the best method for me is to simply write things down. For whatever reason, this helps me organize my thoughts better. Do not get me wrong—I am still a tech geek and I use a couple of different organizational programs/calendars to stay focused, organized and task oriented. My advice is to find what works best for you and stay with it. Discipline is a daily commitment and if you let yourself slip, it can quickly evolve into a bad habit.
Finally, one thing that I have always prided myself on is being positive and selling with a positive manner. In the retail channel, I do not find this to always be the case. I cannot tell you how many opportunities I have earned simply because I said the other company “is a good company, too,” or, “You won’t make a bad decision going with either one of us.” It seems to be a bit of fresh air for the consumer to hear this and for it to be genuine. I have lots of competitors and many of these competitors are friends and former customers. They have earned my respect over my decades in the business. They have always implemented the things I have mentioned in this blog. I enjoy selling positively and doing what is best for the customer, which sometimes means not selling them windows. Many times, I offer alternative solutions that are better for them than buying windows. I enjoy working this way and customers appreciate it as well.
To sum up, I know none of the things I am suggesting here are “aha” moments. It all seems very matter of fact and obvious. But my observations are that staying true to your methodology, staying organized and staying positive can be elusive for many. I have always said there is a fine line between being mediocre and being great. If you have your disciplines down and follow them every day, most of the time, you will end up being great!