Staying Focused on Results

By Lizette LaForge, Window & Door Dealers Alliance
August 1, 2012
COLUMN : Dealer Perspectives | Management

How do we accomplish everything we need to do to keep our businesses on track and running smoothly? That’s a pretty big topic you could write volumes on. We use a number of strategies to keep our pipeline filled.

Networking: There are lots of ways to network. The most important thing is to actually get out there and do it. We are members of a local Business Networking International, which allows one seat per profession per chapter. This allows us to interact with non-competing businesses that have similar client targets.

The beauty of this is that these other businesses can do a stellar job of promoting you when they interact with their clients, resulting in a warm and highly closable referral. We have found BNI to be one of the most effective networking tools for our company. However, we are also involved in other networks including local Chamber of Commerce organizations and some women’s groups.

No matter what groups you choose to be involved in, jump in and become active. Don’t be a lump on a log when you are there. Help out, volunteer for leadership roles and generally go into the room with the intention of giving without thought of receiving. Bring referrals and actively seek referrals for others and you will be surprised at the overflowing abundance you will receive.

We are even involved in groups that have competing members. In those venues, we typically look for alliances with competing members to see if we can help one another grow business in areas or products we may not compete heavily. Just think of yourself as a bee and everyone you meet is a flower. What can you do to benefit that flower? Look at the synergy of a bee hive, the cultural of working together as a team to develop honey and pollen, which in turn benefits not only the hive, but also all the flowers. That is networking at it’s best.

Get Educated: We all know we have to keep up our CEUs for our licenses, but how many of us are working on education for things like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media madness? What are we doing to stay cutting edge with regard to new business strategies, using new technologies like mobile apps in our businesses?

With today's fast pace, how do we keep up with some of these newer technologies that can really help our businesses expand and blossom? One way we have done so is to take advantage of digital learning. You can enjoy learning on nearly any subject from the comfort of your nearest mobile device or computer. Webinars and teleseminars abound with quality training that allows you to assimilate the information at your pace. Digitally available learning materials tend to pack a lot of information and value in for a very reasonable cost.  Because they are digital, there is nothing to pick, pack or ship–thus providers can afford to give us high value for extremely reasonable prices.

One of my educational and networking goals this year is to assist the Window and Door Dealers Alliance to create a place where we as dealers can come for quality training such as webinars and downloadable products that focus on helping our businesses succeed. This gets back to if you are going to network in a group, be proactive and do something to help others first. So I look forward to helping all of your businesses grow.

Lizette LaForge is owner of Beacon Windows, a dealer based in Saint Petersburg, Fla., offering residential window and door replacement, sliding glass door repair, and hurricane protection products.  A member of the Window & Door Dealers Alliance, she is active in its efforts to develop educational and training programs and tools and welcomes suggestions from dealers at