Spaghetti on the Wall

The Ultimate Skill Set

It’s actually an easy answer.


Question: “What’s the Ultimate Skill Set?”

Answer: “Knowing that you don’t know it all.”

When the drive goes away… when you’re not continually improving yourself… when you’re not continually improving your organization… when you’re not learning from others to provide your customers with the best experience possible… you’re DEAD.

Don’t Die.

The Action Commitment

What’s the point of a sales call?


To move the sales process forward!

What’s our tool to do just that? The Action Commitment.

REMEMBER: The Action Commitment (AC) is not what we’re going to do, it’s the ACTION the CUSTOMER is going to COMMIT to TAKING!

This is NOT an AC:

You: “Bob, will you pull together a list of your top 10 customers?”

Bob: “Yeah, sure… I’ll try and get that done.”

Note that there is NO commitment here… just a “yes,” and Bob really never has to do or commit to anything.

This IS an AC:

You: “Bob, what is a good time next week for us to sit down and review a top 10 customer list you’d be able to create?”

Bob: “I should be able to have that together for you by Wednesday.”

Note this time that Bob had to think things through, prob look at his calendar… and then COMMIT to a date, and to the ACTION of prepping the top 10 customer list.

Action Commitments will engage the Buying Influence, and allow us to move the sales process forward at a more efficient and effective rate.

The WOMM Manifesto!

[WOMM = Word-of-Mouth Marketing]

We’ve received e-mails (and questions via a regional trade show) this week about our passion for WOMM, where it came from, and why… I think it’s best described via Andy Sernovitz’s “WOMM Manifesto” below:

  1. Happy customers are your best advertising. Make people happy.
  2. Marketing is easy: Earn the respect and recommendation of your customers. They will do your marketing for you, for free.
  3. Ethics and good service come first.
  4. UR the UE: You are the user experience (not what your ads say you are).
  5. Negative word of mouth is an opportunity. Listen and learn.
  6. People are already talking. Your only option is to join the conversation.
  7. Be interesting or be invisible.
  8. If it’s not worth talking about, it’s not worth doing.
  9. Make the story of your company a good one.
  10. It is more fun to work at a company that people want to talk about.
  11. Use the power of word of mouth to make businesses treat people better.
  12. Honest marketing makes more money.

Sign up to the right for the book, we’ll send you a copy… and on top of that, after you read the book, we’ll sponsor ($$) a cool WOMM idea for your LYard!

Real Life Beer WOMM

[a real life WOMM submission by Carl]

Rogue LetterLast week I sat down for dinner (ok, maybe it was lunch) at a favorite spot of mine – the Issaquah Brewhouse in Issaquah, WA. It is owned by Rogue Beers and Spirits out of Newport, Oregon. I’ve been a fan of theirs for years, and know that when I’m in one of their pubs or drinking their beer, it’s going to be a good experience.

With my expectations pretty high going in, it would have been difficult to exceed them. They did, but in a remarkable way.

Immediately upon sitting down I was given a 3oz taster of a new beer and this letter:

Here’s the important part – the handwritten note, and the story connecting the taste experience with the manufacturing and the craftsman who made it:

Rogue Letter closeup

The beer was good! So was the bowl of chili and salad. I gave a silent toast to the beer makers I just read about and their commitment to their craft.

Rogue is an incredibly strong brand in the Pacific Northwest and growing nationally. In fact, it was started by a former Nike marketing guy who wanted to combine 2 passions in his life, but all along has been focused growing the brand. Here’s an excellent blog on Rogue you might find interesting discussing its branding.

Here’s a challenge: incorporate this idea of sending unexpected samples with hand-written notes into your sales day, and let us know your results!

What About Bid?


There couldn’t be a more true statement: “The value lies in the contrast.” Rigid drill costs $100, Bosch at $200; then you compare the features and benefits of each drill, and decide what type of value you get for the extra hundred bucks.

What about Bids? Builders are shopping three, four and five LYards at a time for quotes on a single job… and LYards prep their quotes, list their products, and total that bottom line $$ number… and that’s EXACTLY where the builder starts, that final $$ amount that it’s gonna cost him.

When your bottom line number is higher than the competition, how easy it is for the builder to understand the VALUE he gets for the extra monies? What if you could find a way to include a “value” column in the bid? What if you could highlight a benefit of each product on your quote, compared to the cheaper products your competition is carrying, and that value created could somehow be totaled?


Now how cool would it be to find a way to calculate total labor savings…

WARNING: demonstrating value through contrast can lead to excessive amounts of orders.

Own Your Zip Code!!!

“Happy customers are your best advertisers; if they like you and like what you do, they will tell their friends.” (Andy Sernovitz)

We had a customer looking to increase DIY revenue; rather than advertise in the local newspaper, and spend thousands of dollars at that doing so, we proposed that they engage in a WOMM Campaign.

So, we created the following Blog site (draft example) for them:

TheOCpros home page

The Concept is Simple:

  • Content geared towards DIY projects, using supplies stocked at Pro Lumberyard
  • Exclusive “Builders’ Guild” or “Ambassador” program; builders earn the privilege of author status of the blog
  • Builders able to market themselves and promote their own work, via their blog posts, a URL-link to their own site, etc. The Blog Authors will immediately become THE EXPERTS in the Community. That means more jobs.
  • Lumberyard branded as the “go-to” destination for expert advice and quality materials
  • The Empty Bin manages the WOMM 5-T process, assist builders in photographing DIY projects & writing posts

People want Local; and they understand community.

Don’t believe me? See Seth’s post here:

Get After These Guys!

Here’s a link to the Top 50 Construction Blogs:

… and a link to the Top 100 DIY Blogs:

Most of these sites are getting thousands of visitors a month! So why not get after them!!

Likely you’ll never hard-sell any of the Authors – but how about donating a new product that you’re stocking for the Blog Author to trial? Most certainly they’ll mention your generosity and professional service on the Blog Post, not mention you’re helping them with one of the most difficult things when running a Blog: content!

Even simply participating in the Blog Post discussions can be effective, just remember one important rule: you’re best to provide useful content and insight in the comments section of the post, as plugging your company is a recipe for certain failure.

Your goal should be to “join” the conversation, not to change it.