D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — “Yes We Can!”: How a Can-Do Attitude Can Propel Your Sales

© 2009 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Spring 2009
Author: Scott O’Neill
Page 56


“Yes We Can!”
How a Can-Do Attitude Can Propel Your Sales
By Scott O’Neill

Barack Obama sure came up with an effective catchphrase for his presidential campaign. And in these challenging economic times, perhaps the garage door trade should adopt the same attitude.

After all, we’re not alone. All trades are experiencing unprecedented challenges in this economy. In the Bay Area, we’ve had auto dealers, builders, and other long-term businesses suddenly disappear.

The Recovery Starts With Me

But enough of the negative stuff! I say let’s change our entire attitude and practice what we preach.

That’s exactly what I did. I did my part to jump-start the economy. I purchased a home right in the middle of the economic crunch. Better still, I decided to add a new garage door and take the advice I’ve been giving for so many years.

In years past, I had to make the sacrifice of buying “just to get the job done” since my previous homes didn’t require much more. But my new house may be my “forever” home. I wanted something special.

The house is also very small, and the garage door is a major visual component of the house. So I wanted a garage door that would match the style for now and the future.

Practicing What I Preach

I’ve often told my customers about the beauty of wood garage doors, but I’ve never had the experience of buying my own. Now was my perfect chance.

This little cracker box of a house has only 815 square feet, yet it has an enormous yard with dozens of trees and a private, park-like setting in the back. It needed a face-lift, so I decided to add the richness of a natural wood tone with some decorative elements to help break up the existing bland garage façade. After staining the door, I was elated with the rich tone.

“Good, Now Go Sell One!”

By coincidence, a contractor called me out the next day to view a job he was starting. He needed a door to match mahogany windows for his client’s home. The home’s architecture was modest—a small home in Berkeley with minimalist styling.

“The client doesn’t have a lot to spend, naturally, with this economy,” he said.

As we talked on the way to the site, I asked, “How prominent is the garage door on this house?”

The house was on a tiny lot, he said, and the garage door made up 50 percent of the front. Since I happened to have the picture of my house in my digital camera, I showed it to him upon arrival.

Talking Design, Not Dollars

He soon summoned his client over to see the photo. She was immediately impressed. The discussion that had been all about dollars suddenly turned to design.

“I could see using the same approach with the vertical lines on my home,” she said, as she pointed to the board and batten siding. Since her house was so small, this garage door purchase would significantly enhance the architectural design.

The fresh experience of my own purchase decision helped fuel my enthusiasm while pitching her. And my new “Yes We Can” attitude seemed to be infectious. You can imagine my excitement when she ended up buying a custom-faced cedar garage door.

When she called to place the order, she summed up the scenario perfectly: “I was going to get a basic steel door and just paint it brown, but even if I’m spending three times the amount on the door, it will make my whole house look 50 percent better!”

I couldn’t agree more.

Scott O’Neill has been in the garage door business since 1986 and a sales manager since 1992 at Madden Door, Martinez, Calif.