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Learn How Leadership Can Improve Sales Of Kitchen Remodel Projects

We all know that having a great leader in an organization can make the difference between success and failure. But what does leadership have to do with home improvement sales?  In this podcast Andre Boykin will show you how leadership has impacted his own connections with customers, and also share tips for building your own strong leadership skills.

Topics discussed on the podcast about how leadership can improve sales and corporate culture

  • How leadership can influence your company’s culture.
  • How to turn great customer service into customer advacates
  • 5 top tips for motivating sales people
  • How to get Andre leadership system guide: https://andreboykin.com/framework
More about this podcast
Audio Transcript

Hi, this is Mike Goldstein with the crushing it with kitchen remodeling podcast and today we are so lucky to have with us Andre Boykin, who’s going to tell us all about how leadership and effective leadership can really drive sales and can improve your kitchen remodeling company and that’s all going to happen right after this. Are you looking for some fresh ideas to jump start your kitchen remodeling business? Welcome to the crushing it with kitchen remodeling podcast, your host, Michael Goldstein, founder of Kitchen Remodeling, etc. Oh, the digital marketing agency, working exclusively with kitchen remodeling contractors and also the author of the ultimate internet marketing guy for kitchen remodeling contractors will provide insights on proven tips and strategies from top experts in this space so that you can take advantage of industry best practices.

 

Your host Michael Goldstein join Mike as he shares his knowledge each week with an insightful interview or educational segment about how to turn your online marketing efforts into more kitchen remodeling leads and sales opportunities than ever before. Well, again, this is my Goldstein and I’m going to bring in with us today, Andre Blinken, who is going to tell us all about how leadership can really enhance your kitchen modeling home improvement company. Mhm Hi Andrea, how are you? I’m fantastic, Michael, how are you doing? I’m doing? I’m doing great, thanks for asking.

 

So andre um you know, a lot of the people who are subscribed to the podcast here, they run kitchen remodeling home improvement, some some sort of design type of companies um and a lot of them, they’ve got, you know crew behind them, they’ve got sales staff and what not. And I think one of the challenges that they really have is that they don’t understand proper motivation, proper leadership and how much that can actually affect the bottom line. Um, but before we get into all of that, I know that you’ve spoken at a number of industry events, I’ve actually seen you at the National Kitchen Bath Association um, and what not, but for those who don’t know, you haven’t seen you before, just can you get just a little interest what it is that you do and how is that you help kitchen remodeling and home improvement companies?

 

Well, I have been forced it to present at the National Association conference and convention. It also has several chapters as well for N K B A. And my background is from corporate America and I worked for a long time for a company called Ryder System Incorporated. And after leaving that company, I formed a capital idea with my partner who is now my wife and we work with individuals and organizations to increase the effectiveness of their leadership. And that’s the sole purpose of our existence is to help leaders be more effective in achieving the goals and objectives that are purported to them.

 

And we have been doing that since 2002. That’s, that’s fantastic. I mean it sounds like you’ve been at it for quite a while and obviously, you know, you’ve got some great tips, I’m sure that, that you can share with with our listeners. Um you know, one of the keys to running a successful home improvement company, you know, it starts at the top or a lot of the keys really start at the top, I should say. So with that in mind, how can effective leadership really? Um you know, improve sales for home improvement company?

 

Well, consider that the speed of the group is always going to equal the speed of the leader. The group will never outpace the leadership. And so when we look at it from a sales standpoint, great leadership involves a couple of things. # one is setting the direction so that the team knows what are the goals objectives, what are we trying to achieve? And then also to there is the setting of, well, what are the values, the rules of the game that we’re going to operate inside of? That’s a function of leadership and that’s what determines your culture.

 

So if you want to have a culture of accomplishment, a culture of really going out and making a difference in the marketplace, a culture of can do, then that comes out of establishing the core values and that’s the leadership role. So the leader actually creates the environment for their team to step into to be successful. I don’t really believe Michael that a leader can motivate anyone. However, I do believe that leaders can create an environment where people can motivate themselves and that certainly goes for the sales team and not just the sales team, but everyone organization, That makes a lot of sense.

 

You know, I mean, I think ultimately at the end of the day, you got a lot of people who, you know, they’re, they’re motivated by different things and you know, you’ve got to find out that internal piece that really is going to motivate you and going to drive, you know, and I know for example, you know, when you’re in business school and you know, you’re learning management techniques, one of the things that will always tell you is salary is not going to be the motivating factor. That’s the last thing that you want to use, but rather you’ve got to find those internal driving factors.

 

And I think that’s really what you’re speaking to. Yeah, absolutely. And it’s not to say that money is not important because it is uh, we have to live and once you kind of get that out of the way people are looking to have self actualization in the work that they do. So they want to get something more out of it than just the money, as you mentioned, they want to get fulfillment in some aspect from the work that they do and be rewarded for what motivates them.

 

There was a book written back in 1929 called the types of men by uh springer and it talks about the six driving forces of motivators that each of us as human beings have? And so as a leader, it’s really important to have conversations with your team, each individual on the team so that you know what really motivates them and what they expect to be rewarded for in the work that they do. And when you do that, then you can speak into their motivation and cause them to take the actions that are going to generate the results that are desired.

 

That makes sense. You know, And at the end of the day, obviously, you know, business, especially when we’re talking about kitchen remodeling companies and improvement companies, you know, there are only as, you know, they’re only going to be as good as, you know, they’re the people they have under them and you know, they’re only as profitable as, you know, as the whole team is works together. So with that in mind, if I were to ask you, what are your top five tips from motivating a sales team outside of just paying them a higher commission or or a larger salary, what would you say that?

 

Well, I would say a couple of things, number one is that people need to be clear on their goals and objectives. I think that’s the what the very worst thing that people actually have to know is, well, what am I shooting for? What am I striving for? What am I trying to attain? The next thing from a leadership standpoint is to say, well, what are the barriers then that keep this individual or my team from reaching those goals and objectives and to be willing to knock down those barriers that exist also to to provide the resources that are necessary for the members of the team to be successful.

 

And when I say resources that could include resources that are generated in house if you will, such as computers and all of those kinds of things. But there could be resources that are external to the organization, such as development needs and those kinds of things that’s going to allow not only the person at the individual level to improve because that’s necessary. Consider that what got you to where you are is not good enough to keep you where you are. So there has to be this ongoing development.

 

So having those resources, both internally and externally are key to individual success and that’s the leader’s responsibility to make sure that that happens. And one of the things I think that is right up there, near the top that the leader has to provide and that is create an environment of accountability. And what it means by accountability is that environment where people do what they say they’re going to do and when you as a leader create that environment of accountability, it acts as a support for the team members, consider that when your team members are your your team is out there, the marketplace and the generating sales and they’re working toward, uh, those goals objectives.

 

If they have someone that’s holding them accountable, it acts as a support for what they want to do. So often we have this thing accountability, like it’s a four letter word or something like that, and it’s not for letter word, it really is a support if you think about a time when you really wanted to do something like really, really wanted to do it, and it was important to you that you do it and you didn’t do it. Now you think if you had someone holding you accountable to doing that thing that you wanted to do, do you think it probably would have increased the likelihood of you being successful in doing it?

 

Well, probably so. And so that’s why the leader is pivotal, pivotal, profitable in holding the team accountable for generating the results. And this accountability occurs to the team member as support. It’s not about finding fault or looking to blame someone. Or as far as essex are looking to open the commodity to see what, what’s wrong with somebody, it really is about support helping them do what they want to do. Yeah. You know, I think one of the big issues that I’ve seen, certainly, you know, in the field, and even with my own team in the marketing room, is that accountability doesn’t mean that I’m only want to look at what you’ve done wrong, but it’s also to point out, you know, some of the positives, you know, for example, I have somebody who now they take an initiative and they go out and start a new campaign on their own and they find a way to be, uh, more ingenuity of, to, to reach out to a certain prospect that we would, we didn’t know how we could get after using our existing processes.

 

Well, that, I mean, I think there’s some accountability to that too. And it’s like I said, it’s not just the principal at the high school who’s sitting there wagging the finger and you did this, You did. That’s not our accountability is, it’s really much there’s more of a totality of circumstances to take into account. Yeah, Michael, I thank you. That was the next thing I was going to mention is also creates an environment where people feel free to be fully self expressed, which leads to innovation. You know, we have that saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, don’t fix it.

 

And and I think, yeah, I think we want to look at and say, well, if if it’s not broken, how can we improve it? Because the marketplace is continually shifting and changing. There’s new competition. I think the buyers are more informed than they ever have been before. Competition is keener than it’s ever been before. And so what is going to differentiate your firm, your organization from all the other organizations that are out there? Well, consider that the leadership is the key to doing that because the leadership sets the tone and, and this is what I call a tight talent economy.

 

Michael, hiring the right person now is more critical than maybe at any other time in the history of business. And there is a fight if you will for that top talent. So when you look at the role of leadership, how can the leadership create their organization as being the employer of choice so that they can attract the top talent? That’s no absolutely, that makes a ton of sense. Um, and you know, it kind of reminds you at the last um, N K B a conference, remember you, I saw you talking about going beyond customer satisfaction and kind of creating customer advocates where, you know, it’s, it’s a whole just system and a whole, you know, environment and culture.

 

Um, kid, I mean, just expand a little bit on that. How does creating becoming, you know, an advocate from, with your sales team, for example, how does that help, you know, generate a better work environment? Yeah. Well, when, when you look at sales and you look at your team that’s going out there generating sales and you look at where sales comes from while sales comes from advertising, it comes from word of mouth and it comes from many different places and when we think about creating customer advocates, some of the best salespeople for your company are your previous customers and also to, they allow you to penetrate markets that you never would be able to penetrate through advertising.

 

This let me give you a quick example of that. Let’s say that you have a customer that’s extremely satisfied with the work that you have done. So you’ve gone beyond then just customer satisfaction when they’re at a party or they’re at a social gathering and they’re having a conversation with their friends about remodeling or doing something. They’ll recommend your firm. You never would have had the opportunity maybe to reach that audience that that customer is reaching. So now that customer is an advocate for your firm and that’s not only for customers, that kind of, that’s also true for vendors.

 

That’s true for employees and anyone can be an advocate for your company, your business, your organization. If you have in place this whole idea that our goal is to go beyond customer satisfaction to achieve customer advocates and there are a couple of things that need to be in place in order to do that, we can discuss that more if you like. Yeah, absolutely. You know the way you’re talking about that kind of reminds me of our approach to reviews. Um, you know, if if I go out and I’m selling cabinet, we’re facing a new countertops and, and somebody comes to me and they want, they want to know what I can do for them, I’m gonna tell them I’m going to give them my spiel, I’m going to go through the elevator pitch and the whole deal.

 

But at the end of the day, why would they trust me? Why would you know, I, I clearly have, you know, an incentive. I’m biased to say that I’m the best of what I’m doing because I want to sell you something. But rather if I have 10 customers who have all posted reviews on google reviews and facebook reviews, you know, you’re gone on and a video testimonial, you know, especially if it’s somebody in the, in your town. So maybe you even know particularly we’re dealing with a lot of local contracting people here who are within when on community.

 

I mean, I think that third party validation just goes so far. And the only way you’re gonna get that really is to become, you know, go beyond just let’s just get it done and do you know, do what we need to do to get out of here and get paid. But really, you know, let’s let’s turn this customer into our salesperson. Yeah. I think the leadership is so key in causing this to happen because customer needs, you know, expand our exists across the entire organization from the we call the points of connection and every point of connection you want to have in your firm that it elicits a positive behavioral response from the customers.

 

So from the moment that that customer or potential customer calls in, you want to make sure that they have a really great experience. So you have all these points of connections and you’re trying to elicit a positive behavioral response at each of these points of connection. And yeah, that makes the job of the salesperson somewhat easier when the entire organization is focused on creating that environment where the customer feels like they are being well taken care of. And so the leadership then has to create that environment so that the sales part of the organization works very well.

 

And then if the sales department works very well, then that’s going to generate other opportunities obviously for the rest of the firm because, you know, sales are the lifeblood of any business. Sure. You know, I think, you know what you’re talking to just goes to the overall customer experience. Um, you know, and I know we have one of our clients um for, for my company up in the Detroit area, they have this thing, they call it the seven step process to a first class for model and ultimately behind the whole thing is how do we remove stress and how do we make, you know, your whole experience?

 

The most enjoyable experience. We can, you know, considering the, you know, what we’re doing is coming in and disturbing your life and, you know, putting putting your home in a state of disarray and it’s, you know, that starts right out the owner of that company, he was out there, you know, and he’s saying listen we need to make sure that we can do this as stress free as possible. And he knows that he has training for all of its dollars. He has training for sales folks. You know to these are the things are things that can cause stress in a homeowner’s life, let’s be able to identify those and eliminate them before they become issues.

 

And I mean that’s that’s I think a perfect example of, you know, exactly what you’re talking about in terms of, you know, they’re going to take those customers and they’re going to become at the kids for them. They’re gonna tell everybody, you know, and you know, and especially in the home remodeling industry, you have people come in your house, you know, and they said, oh did you redo that? You should see the guy who did, you should see the gal who did this. And I mean you’re right, it’s you’re basically taking your customers and turning into a sales force.

 

Yeah, absolutely. And in order to really make that happen, you mentioned about the customer reviews. You have to listen to the voice of the customer and there are many, many ways to do that. A lot of people use surveys and things like that. When I say listen to the voice of the customer though, it’s not just taking in the information is also doing something with the information that you take in. Yeah, I tell people all the time. I’m doing workshops and I present this uh, this workshop on going beyond customer satisfaction to create customer advocates.

 

Uh, I tell them all the time and I travel and I can tell you what I check out the hotel. The first thing they’re gonna ask me with is how was your stay? And and they ask it in such a way where I know that they don’t really care how was my stay. It’s just like, okay, I can check that off the box that you know, that I asked him that question. So nothing is really being done with that. And to be effective though, in creating customer out because you have to take that information and actually do something with it in a positive way, that’s going to make a difference for the next customer coming down the pipeline.

 

I definitely, you know, it’s funny that you say, you know, the voice of the customer and how how do you have to listen to one of the things that I’ve always promoted with digital marketing at least is you might have the greatest ally in the world to figure out the voice of your customer. And that’s that’s called google because nobody lies to google. You know what you you can figure out what people are searching for and you say you can figure out what kind of terms they’re using and you know, and that’s that’s a great thing that you can do, not only that, but you can look at these reviews and you can see people.

 

And the interesting thing is I find that the more aggravated somebody is, the more likely they are to place a review. So you need to put in a system to not only get that, but to get, you know, what did I do right out of this, you know? And I think that if, if you just walk up to somebody, you know, you finish the job, hey, what do you think? First of all, you have, the shock of this is all different. You know, you have the confrontational one on one piece.

 

Uh well, I’m not going to tell us this person that I don’t like something. I mean, maybe you will, there are people out there door who thrive on that, I guess, but ultimately, I think, you know, when you get someone going on to google and facebook and kind of having that protection of the screen, the keyboard, they do give you the truth and there’s a way that you can use that to your advantage. Yeah, absolutely. And one of the things to keep in mind from a leadership perspective and regarding creating customer advocates and and having great, great customer interaction is that one bad experience by a customer that goes unresolved.

 

They tell on average 8, 9, 10 other people. Whereas if you have, you know, one that satisfied, they don’t tell quite admitting. So it takes more satisfied customers to overcome really 11 bad experience that customer may have. So the idea is, well, let’s not ever have a customer have a bad experience. Now the flip side of that is that when a customer has a bad experience and it’s taken care of to their satisfaction statistics show that it’s almost like the bad experience didn’t happen because people are left with that. Well this happened and I was really taken care of And so, you know, I can actually forget about that because people recognize that people make mistakes because we’re human beings.

 

So when you take care of something in a matter that satisfactory to that individual, it’s almost like it never happened. But in order to have that happen though, have this environment, see this gets back to, this is what the leadership creates. This won’t happen by happenstance or occur naturally. This is something that has to be created inculcated and driven in the organization. And one of the ways to do that is just simply to have conversations about it very often, if you want to have something anything live and breathe in the organization, you have to talk about it.

 

And Michael, that’s why the rumor mill is so powerful an organization because that’s what everybody is talking about and you know, and so if you want to have the core values live and breathe on a daily basis in your organization. If you want to create the cultural accountability, if you want to create a culture of customer advocates or creating customer advocates, then you have to talk about it and continue to talk about it. You have to reinforce the behaviors that are pauses, so you have to get that uh positive feedback and you have to give constructive feedback and all that falls on, you know, the leader’s shoulders if you will to make that happen. Absolutely.

 

That’s great advice. You know, and you know, you’re giving us a lot to think about today. Um, and I imagine that, you know, you do offer coaching and you offer this advice to people who really, who really needed, you know, want someone like you to come in and educate their audience. So for those of us who are watching this and you don’t know how would they get ahold of you moving forward? Well, it’s really easy to get a hold of me. You can contact me via email as andre at andre Boykin dot com.

 

That’s A N D R E at A N D R E B O Y K I N dot com. That’s my email address Or you could just give you a call if you would like to. My telephone number is 9546660259. And either way, uh that you can get a hold of me and I will be in respond to your call or email. One of the things though, that I think would benefit your audience, Michael, is that I put together what I call a leadership success system because they’re looking at leadership For the past.

 

I’ve been working in human development since 1998 when I was working with the in corporate America and developing salespeople. one of the things that I have found is that when we talk about leadership, we think about characteristics, we think the leader is a visionary, we think the leader is charismatic, we think the leader is goal oriented, we think of the leader is being a great communicator. We think of all these adjectives around leadership. But if you look at the number one characteristic of great leaders, is that a leader gets results and a leader gets results through other people.

 

So what I look to do was to say, well, can leadership be put together as a system And Michael, that’s what I did with what I call the winning posture leadership success system, and I want to make it available to your audience. You can just simply go to andre Boykin dot com slash framework, that’s andre Boykin dot com slash framework. F R a M E W O R K and I will send you my leadership success system and I have those six areas of leadership broken down and talking about the foundational elements of leadership and then the four pillars of leadership that are necessary to be effective and you’ll be able to take that information and look at your leadership and see what’s missing.

 

That’s going to make a difference. That’s that’s fantastic. Well, for anybody who is watching the replay of this, um if you take a look right underneath the, you know, in the description here in Youtube as well as the description on our website was there’s a direct link to Andres um framework right then and there. So please feel free to download it. Um you know, and then I think that certainly, you know, reach out, you know, find out how you can take your company to the next level, how you can increase your R. O. I buy really improving your leadership and simply allow yourself the ability and the opportunity to, you know, to figure out what’s missing what what is that opportunity?

 

And Andre is one of the very best in the business at it. So with that said Andre, I do want to thank you for coming on the show today. Um we’re very quickly approaching our 30 minute deadline here and again for everybody who’s watching this is Michael Goldstein with a crushing it with kitchen remodeling podcast. Um please subscribe, please like and share if you if you like what you saw today. All right, everybody. All right, take care

 

Listen to our other kitchen remodelng podcast episodes talking about how leadership can improve sales and other business development.

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