BROADVIEW, Ill. — If marketing tells a customer why they should choose a particular service, product, or brand, then customer service is what keeps the customer coming back — or not. In today’s digital world, both creative marketing and exceptional customer service must work together to help businesses increase potential clients and sales.

Recently, The Unified Group hosted a Sales Forum in Houston, with more than 25 members in attendance to share best practices on everything sales-related — from making the first impression, to marketing strategies designed to bring in new maintenance contracts. Members also shared the technology they use for client relationship management (CRM) and estimating jobs. Participants left the session with a wealth of information to implement within their own sales process.

“If I didn’t attend the meeting, I would have missed the connections with other member companies and the ideas shared that I will bring back home to make our company better,” said Logan Downing of Glassman Corp.

On the first day, Fred Reggie, executive development coach and speaker, delivered an engaging presentation on shaping a company’s success through its mission, vision, and values. He emphasized the importance of knowing and sharing your organization’s history, and what differentiates you from your competitors. Reggie also discussed that customer service is not a department; it’s an attitude. When companies begin to incorporate a service-first culture, they’ll build better client relationships.

The second day began with Chris Reiter of A&G Piping discussing first impressions by posing the question: Would you call yourself back? The group then shared their marketing efforts designed to bring in new maintenance agreements. John Duggan of VHV Co. facilitated a discussion on handling new leads from start to finish while moving forward with company goals. Later, members reviewed the pros and cons of four different CRM software programs.

“The meeting was a great way to meet and network with other contractors who share the same challenges, and make new contacts,” said Joe Zufelt, Johnson & Jordan Inc.

On the final day, Air Comfort Corp.’s Mike DeVito presented on marketing and estimating full coverage contracts, followed by a group discussion facilitated by Tim Smerz of The Unified Group on estimating small jobs and closing the deal. The meeting closed with the benefits and business opportunities offered by The Unified Group as a national association.

“Business opportunities, like sharing experiences, learning from other members, and collaborating as we all move forward, are an extension of what The Unified Group is all about,” said Chris Schmich of Intech Mechanical. “I hope I have a future opportunity to pay it forward and help someone out in their market.”

Publication date: 3/20/2019

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