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Continuing education

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I’m down in rural Alabama this week attending the fourth-annual Green Industry Grad School. It’s a three-day development program put on by Agrium Advanced Technologies for about 40 LCOs from across the country. Thankfully, they put me up in a cabin with wireless, so I’m not too far off the beaten path.

L&L columnist Marty Grunder works with AAT, and he opened the event last night after dinner with his talk, “Outdone! 11 Ways You Can Outsell, Out Service and Outdo Your Competition.” Regular readers of his column and L&L will recognize the talk, but it’s got great, easy-to-implement messages for any company as you head into the off season.

Here are my favorites from last night.

1. Offer great customer service.

This one sounds like a no-brainer, and it is. But think back on the last week of interactions you’ve had with other service companies. How’d they treat you? “The competition can’t copy how you treat your clients. Don’t give them a reason to go anywhere else,” Grunder says.

4. Have a team atmosphere

One of the complaints I hear most often from readers is that they can’t find quality employees. One of the best ways to attract good people is to take care of the folks you’ve already got. People talk, and you’ll become a magnet for solid hires.

“For someone to feel like they’re part of a team, they have to be valued – they have to be loved,” Grunder says.

7. Set objectives and 11. Have a plan

These two are closely linked. This winter, write down where you are now as a company, and where want to be in 12 months.Then just connect the dots. Once you do that, tell everyone on your team what the plan is, and stick to it.

9. Learn

Not everyone can attend GIGS, but there’s a world of resources at your disposal. I’d hazard a guess that if you’re reading this, you have access t the Internet. Or, attend one of the hundred regional trade shows that take place between now and March. Or read a book.

You can read the full list of Grunder’s 11 tips here. Stay tuned for more coverage of GIGS.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

December 6th, 2011 at 12:38 pm