August 3, 2010 AsktheBuilder Tips And News
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Two weeks from today, the moving van will be here at my Cincinnati, OH house. The tempo is picking up with respect to the move. I made it back safely my last drive from New Hampshire thanks to the New York State DOT. It's a good thing they ground those rumble grooves into the side of the road that wake drivers who fall asleep. I can tell you they work.
This is a somewhat abbreviated newsletter because of all I have going on surrounding the move. I'll have much to share very soon. Next week, I'll be at the Delta Faucet headquarters in Indianapolis, IN for a one-day editors conference. I should come away with tons of new information about Delta faucets.
This is the first editors conference I've attended since shivering down in Florida 19 months ago. A Sears Lawn and Garden event was planned for a respite from cold weather in sunny, warm Florida, but a massive cold front swept all the way down from the Arctic to Miami and it was COLD at the central Florida location, believe me.
If you're in the public relations business, I can tell you these editors conferences get results. You should convince your clients to do them. I learn so much in such a short time and then can share it with all who I come into contact with.
USG, long considered the leader in gypsum panel technology, recently announced a new light drywall. They say it's 30 percent lighter but has all the strength of traditional drywall. I've not yet tested it, but could have used this just last week when I was carrying three sheets of drywall down the outdoor steps at my New Hampshire house. USG has always made great products in my opinion. Plus, they're made here in the USA - you've got to love that.
In our Cincinnati house, Kathy showed me some discoloration that was happening inside our Viking dishwasher. It has a stainless-steel interior. I said that it had to be the dishwasher detergent. Sure enough, when you looked very closely at the back label, you could see it contained chlorine bleach.
Chlorine bleach and stainless steel don't play well together. She had switched detergents because she saw new labeling that promised it had Shine-Shield formulation.
The brand was Cascade. There was nothing on the front of the bottle stating that it had chlorine bleach. If you have a septic system, you don't want to use anything that contains chlorine bleach as this chemical kills the beneficial bacteria in the septic tank.
Cascade makes another blend that is chlorine-bleach free that we had been using. We switched back today.
I'm having a blow out garage sale this Saturday, August 7, 2010, from 8:00 until Noon. I'm selling all sorts of tools, supplies, an awesome new never-used Rheem water heater (a model you can't get anymore), antique wood TV cabinets that have those two doors that open to the tube, an antique gas space heater, etc.
A *partial* list of what's for sale is in this pdf document. Bring cash. If you live within 75 miles, it might be worth showing up.
Please don't come early. I'll open up at 8:00 am sharp. The sale happens rain or shine.
This morning I received an email from Randolph. Here's what was on his mind:
I wonder if I am the only subscriber that feels very frustrated by the contractor closing technique of incrementally significantly discounting the price if you decide on the spot to sign with them at the first meeting. Siding job price went from $34K to $19K over course of 20 minutes of me trying to get him out of house at 10:30 PM after 3-hour pitch. Such a discount seems to mean he was really trying to rip me off with first price. Am I wrong to feel this way about this apparently common practice?
R. B. Wehner
Randolph, it's a very common tactic. And I have to tell you it gets results. The sad thing is that some consumers succumb to the initial price and indeed pay too much.
The best defense, when faced with this situation, is to take control of the sales situation. In my opinion, you made the biggest mistake by allowing this person to be in your home longer than 45 minutes. In the future, you tell any in-house salesperson that you can only devote 45 minutes to the presentation because you're a BUSY person. If they can't deliver the message in that time, it's too complex. After all, how long does it take to talk about siding, roofing or whatever?
At the beginning of the conversation, you take control by telling the salesperson that the first price out of their mouth must be their lowest price. If they lower the price at the end of the meeting, you'll consider them dishonest and absolutely will not do business with them. You also tell them that you'll NOT sign that night as you want to think about it. Remember, do this at the beginning of the presentation.
You can also take control of a sales situation like this by using one of my checklists. Let's talk about an exciting new project you're going to love.
For years, I've sold checklists that allow you to spot the professional contractor that's going to give you the best Value for each dollar you spend. I had a massive sale on these back in March.
I've decided to expand the checklists and customize them for you. How you might ask? Well, here's what I'm going to start doing in September.
I'm going to feature either a new or revised checklist every two weeks. If it happens to be a checklist you want, after you purchase it, I'm going to do a FREE LIVE telephone seminar on the topic. Using feedback from you, I'm assembling and answering the top questions submitted to me about that checklist. Your question(s) may be among those I talk about on the phone!
Let's say you can't make it on the call for any number of reasons. No problem. Because you purchased the checklist during the special promotion, you'll be able to download the audio seminar. It's all part of the deal and it's going to be tons of fun, just like the 12 years I did my two-hour call-in radio show. Imagine how much ground I can cover in an hour of conversation. From past experience, I can tell you it's miles and miles.
Here's where I need your help now. Can you please go to the following page and look at the list of my current checklists. Select just one of all of my checklists that's most important to you NOW. You only get to pick one. After you select one, then tell me in the box at the bottom of the survey page the TOP THREE questions you have about that topic. Write short questions please.
When I see what the top checklists are, I'll start revising those immediately.
This survey has closed. Thank you to those who participated.
Last issue, I gave away a DC Metro card to a subscriber. I thought that I'd get maybe ten requests for the card. WRONG!
First, the winner claimed the card four minutes after the newsletter was sent. That's FOUR minutes, not forty. I then went on to receive over 159 other requests! WOW!
Here's what the winner send back to me after I sent it to him in the mail:
The DC Metro card arrived in the mail. THANKS! I will use it Monday.
I was invited to the unveiling of the "All New" Ford Explorer. Will be having b'fast & lunch with the CEO of Ford. Lucky me - I am merely a peon whom the local Ford dealership appreciates and invited me to attend. The new Explorer will be based on a "car" chassis - vs its current "truck" chassis and supposedly get 30% better gas mileage. We own three Fords: F-150, minivan, Escape Hybrid.
I respect Ford for their "thumbing their nose" to the O'Bama admin's attempt to take over the US auto industry.
I read the "about me" info on your website. Impressive.
I was elated to see your comments regarding your support of the 2nd amendment. Please keep it up. Are you an NRA member? I hope so.
A little about me: Married, 2 kids/college grads. I am a Virginia Class B Licensed contractor and a retired US Army aviator.
Thanks again for the card and have a great summer. I am sure you will enjoy your new digs in New Hampshire. If you return to DC, maybe we can link up for a cup of Joe.
Mac, congratulations for winning once again and Thank You for your service to this great nation!
As insane as this sounds, Christmas is not that far away. I'm starting to get press releases about new tools and will be testing many in September and October. You want to open all future newsletters so you don't miss these reviews. Some of the tools are going to be fantastic. I can already tell by the description I get from the PR folks.
Wish me luck on the move. I'll get plenty of sleep the night before we drive to NH. No need to repeat what happened to me two days ago.
100 Swain Rd.
Meredith, NH 03253, USA