Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Spotlight on Membership - DeGorter, Inc.

DeGorter, Inc. logoCelebrating their 90th year of operation, DeGorter, Inc. has been instrumental in the development and growth of many glass businesses. As one of the oldest companies operating in the North American glass industry, DeGorter is able to use a vast base of knowledge and experience to bring solutions that are not only effective but also ensure the value of their clients' glass products.

The growth and success of DeGorter did not come without the help of many. A key relationship DeGorter finds invaluable is with the National Glass Association. The NGA has been involved in the success of DeGorter by being able to assist in securing important resources and information. "The resources of the NGA have been instrumental to the success of DeGorter" stated Dan DeGorter, President of Sales at DeGorter. As a contributing member to the NGA since its inception, DeGorter has found the NGA helps in numerous ways: from discounted freight rates through FedEx and trucking companies, to detailed reports regarding various sections of the glass industry in order to determine which segments are providing the largest growth opportunities.


Left to right: Kelly Dyer, Steve Uveges, Peter DeGorter, Pete DeGorter, Dan DeGorter and Eddie Steinman

When founded in 1922 by Daniel DeGorter, DeGorter was one of the largest importers of flat glass into the United States. In 1969, with the help of Daniel's son, John, the business shifted from glass supply to the supply of glass processing machinery and commodities for processing glass. Their goal was to become a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to process glass. This was when DeGorter started their strategic partnership with Schiatti Angelo SRL, one of the premier glass processing equipment manufacturers and where DeGorter continues to operate today. With over 50 years of experience, Schiatti Angelo has manufactured more than 15,000 machines globally - many in the North American glass market. Schiatti Angelo machines are known for four distinct features: simplicity, durability, reliability and quality. DeGorter is the sole representative for Schiatti Angelo in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. In addition to the relationship with Schiatti Angelo, DeGorter represents many other quality glass processing equipment suppliers: Triulzi Glass Processing Equipment, Scholz Autoclaves and Pujol Autoclaveless laminating. DeGorter not only provides machinery by one of the top manufacturers, but they take the time to find suppliers that manufacture the highest quality products for processing glass.

Today DeGorter, Inc. is run by the late John DeGorter's sons, Dan and Peter DeGorter, and they were happy to have a fourth generation of DeGorters (Pete DeGorter, John's grandson) join the team several years ago. This family business strives to develop mutual relationships with customers large and small. This type of devotion to the client has helped their customers succeed. "By developing excellent productions solutions with professional integrity, we develop successful business relationships through mutual trust and respect," noted Peter DeGorter, President of Operations at DeGorter.

If you have not already done so, please contact the friendly staff at DeGorter to see how their products and services can benefit your operation. After all — the success of DeGorter is directly correlated to the success of their clients, and with 90 years in operation, their record speaks for itself.

Here is what others have to say about DeGorter, Inc.:

"DeGorter has been one of our most reliable and dependable overseas suppliers of machinery and spare parts for over 20 years. Their products are of a very high quality, as a result, the products we offer our customers are of the highest quality." Von White – Director, Caribbean Glass Company LTD.

"I have had the pleasure of doing business with the DeGorter's for decades. Their staff is knowledgeable and attentive to our every need. They offer high quality products and stand behind their suppliers with excellent after-sale support for both their machines and commodities. " Jon Witkin, Owner Western States Glass Products.

"John DeGorter Inc. has been an integral part of our company for over forty years. They understand clearly what our mission in the market place is." Steve Bouchard, President of Glass Distributors Inc.

"I have had the privilege of knowing the DeGorter Family for 35 years. During this time, Galaxy® has purchased several pieces of equipment among the companies that they represent, including washing, edging, drilling and laminating equipment. They have earned my business, respect and friendship over the long term." Eugene Negrin – President/Owner, Galaxy Glass & Stone®.

"I have been dealing with the folks at DeGorter for almost 15 years, now. They're always very helpful, polite, and eager to please. The success of my business is due, in part, to their unwavering support throughout the years. They actually understand that customer service is the most important part of doing business! Thank you for your support!!" Paul Bourne – Partner, Rocky Mountain Custom Glass, Inc.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Moore Glass - NGA's Member of the Month

As a self owned and operated glass business, Moore Glass of Joliet, IL, started in 1974. Owner Jim Moore began the business with his wife Sue after serving in the Marine Corps and a brief career in the glass business.

Moore Glass storefront

Jim saw a potential market in his hometown of Joliet, and with an $800 loan began Moore Glass. The couple worked as a team from the start with Jim selling in the morning and installing projects in the afternoon, while Sue answered phones at the office until her shift as a nurse. Together they worked hard to develop a client base and slowly grew their business.

Jim and Sue credit persistence for their success and embrace looking toward the future while maintaining customer satisfaction and quality standards as their top priorities.

Moore Glass has consistently upgraded to maintain the utmost in efficiency and service over the past 38 years. The business continues to evolve with new industry standards and codes to better their commitment to safety, service, and ethics.

Jim and Sue Moore

A true family owned and operated business, Jim and Sue are life long residents of Joliet. The Moores have been married for 47 years with two sons - James and Jeff. James practices medicine in Arizona and Jeff is an active co-owner of the family business. "We are so proud that Jeff will continue the tradition of excellence with a real passion for the industry," stated Sue of her partner and son. Jim and Sue recognize their business success is also due to the commitment of their "extended family" of employees who consistently uphold the high standards and relationships built with customers, suppliers, and the community.

Moore Glass and its owners embrace the Joliet community, working as ambassadors toward numerous area charities, fundraisers, and causes. As chairperson of the Joliet City Center Partnership Marketing Committee, Sue takes great pride in maintaining a successful business location in downtown Joliet for over 36 years. "Sue and Jim Moore have made deep personal and professional investments in downtown Joliet. Their never-ending commitment to both are key reasons for our success," noted Joliet Mayor, Tom Giarrante.

As their business has grown, Moore Glass now utilizes the latest techniques for auto, commercial, and residential services. The Moores marvel at their business' growth over the years. When they look back at their start, Jim would drive the same used pickup to sell and to service their customers. Now, in comparison, they have a modern fleet of vehicles used by their qualified staff.

Moore Glass relies heavily on the tools and information provided by the National Glass Association to stay current and uphold standards in safety, service, and efficiency. "The NGA Guide to Glass and Glazing Requirements of the Model Building Codes is invaluable to our business," said Sue, "as is the association's reliable support in any situation to help understand and uphold quality standards among clients."

From humble beginnings to great success, Moore Glass illustrates the growth and promise of a true "mom and pop business." "Keep moving forward," stated Sue about her goals for the future. Jim remarked regarding the business's goals starting out that they hoped to "keep looking ahead [as well], never look back, and do a job well for our customers...the rest will come."

Celebrating 38 years in the industry as a dedicated full line glass shop, Moore Glass has succeeded in building loyal relationships, a solid reputation, and true success in the glass industry.

Moore Glass is located at 559 North Chicago Street in Joliet IL. Phone 815/722-7007 Fax 815/723-8979 Web www.mooreglassjoliet.com

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Glass Guru - NGA's May Member-of-the-Month

The Glass Guru (NGA member since 2007) was established in mid-2004 in Roseville, California. Pioneering new window restoration technologies, The Glass Guru was the first in the U.S. to offer the groundbreaking service of moisture removal for failed dual-pane windows. With over 25,000 windows successfully restored, the process has saved their residential and commercial customers millions of dollars in replacement costs and has prevented thousands of windows from going to landfills. With locations in 26 states, 2 Canadian provinces and growing, The Glass Guru is only U.S.-based national organization currently offering this green and money-saving service.

For windows with hard water staining or scratches, the company utilizes the latest surface restoration technologies to remove minor to severe damage. Over years of testing and refinement, The Glass Guru has developed advanced products and techniques that can effectively restore windows with exterior glass damage to like new condition at a fraction of the cost of replacement. When it comes to glass and window restoration, no one compares to The Glass Guru.

Offering glass and window replacements since early 2006, The Glass Guru has truly become a one-stop solution for all of its customers' residential and commercial glass and window needs. Its full-service locations also offer screens, shower enclosures, mirrors, table tops, doors and a number of other specialty products like soundproof glass and custom pet doors. “We are always looking for new and innovative niches we can capitalize on that are complementary to our other products and services”, says company Founder and CEO Dan Frey.

After years in development, The Glass Guru launched its franchise program in January 2007. Offering the best of its cutting-edge restorations as well as the more traditional replacement services, our franchise program is a uniquely bundled full-service concept unlike any other. With a positive growth forecast for the glass, window and door industry in the coming years, the Glass Guru Franchise program offers entrepreneurs from any background the opportunity to open their own glass and window restoration and replacement business, utilizing a proven business plan, marketing tools, training and experienced support team to help them achieve their goals.

With over 65 locations across North America is just 5 years, The Glass Guru is one of the fastest growing franchise organizations in the home services industry today. Recently recognized in Entrepreneur Magazine as #12 on their list of the Top New Franchise Companies, the company expects to continue its rapid growth with the goal of becoming the largest, most recognized national brand in market. More information about The Glass Guru can be found at www.TheGlassGuru.com or by e-mailing info@theglassguru.com.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

26 Ways to Use Recorded Calls at Your Business

One of the many features that makes LogMyCalls such a powerful tool is call recording. LogMyCalls can record every customer call at your business. But, how could a business use recorded calls? Here are SOME answers: 
  1. Get Answers – Your numbers aren’t improving. Your rep sare working hard, they’re on the phone constantly, but nothing’s getting better. Do you know why?
  2. Increased Accountability – Tracking sheets and close rates are one thing, actually hearing how your staff sounds on the phone (and allowing them and maybe even their colleagues to hear it) is quite another. You can’t hide from or make excuses for a recorded conversation.
  3. Training – Play the calls back for the employee and use those calls to get better. What did your employee do well? How can they improve?
  4. Compliance – Ensure that your reps are not misstating company policy or procedure when they’re on the phone.
  5. Company Focus – Determine if your employees are effectively communicating what your company is all about. What is your 'big idea?' Do your employees understand that and convey that well? The only way to know for sure is to hear them try to communicate it to an actual customer.
  6. Support for Employees – If a customer has a major dispute with an employee or with the company; guess what? The conversation in question is recorded and easily accessible.
  7. Teaching Tool – Use the recorded calls in group settings, team meetings and conference calls to demonstrate what to do and what not to do.
  8. Feedback in Real-Time – Forget the customer survey. Hear your how your customers react to things your employees say in real-time. Listen to changes in tone and words to gauge how your customers are reacting to your products and services.
  9. Unfiltered Feedback – Hear feedback straight from the horse’s mouth. You have the recording when they called to complain. What were they really upset about?
  10. Trends – Using our state-of-the–art analytics tools you can data-mine into calls themselves. You can see which reps are closing more calls. You can see why they’re not closing calls. You can even see which elements of the calls are going well and which are not.
  11. Competitor Mentions – With LogMyCall's customizable, searchable call tagging features you can dig into the recorded calls and easily find out if your customer is comparing you to competitors and, if so, on what grounds. Are they saying that their pricing is better? Or find out how the customer is using your competitor’s name in the phone call
  12. Product Mentions – Ensure your staff is pitching the right products to the right people at the right time. Are they mentioning the special of the month or the week?
  13. Understanding Objections – Why aren’t people buying from you? Using LogMyCall's in-depth analytical tools you can isolate calls when the sale didn’t close, and then figure out why it didn’t close. Perhaps there is a pattern to the objections?
  14. Upsell – You can isolate calls where you were able upsell a client. Is there a pattern? Why are these calls more successful?
  15. Close More Calls - Isolate calls where there was a closed sale. Are those reps doing anything different? Why did those calls close and others didn’t? You can search the data and easily, in moments, find out.
  16. Operational Issues – Based on what the client and your sales rep says you can determine what operational or technical issues are recurring (and again, all this is searchable).
  17. Questions on a Call – Are your sales reps asking questions on the call? Are they trying to build a relationship? Or are they just talking?
  18. Marketing ROI – You can not only see which ad sources are effective (using LogMyCalls tracking numbers) but with the recordings you can hear from the customer why they are effective.
  19. When Did They Call – Using basic reports in LogMyCalls you can tell when someone called, see patterns in the time of day, day of week and time of month. When is marketing most effective for you?
  20. Where Did They Call From? – So someone say your ad, where did they see it? Determine if there are certain areas of your market where certain marketing tools are more effective.
  21. Advertising – You record your customer service calls. This makes you different! This means you can guarantee an employee has to say ‘have a great day’ or offer a specific discount in every call. If they don’t the customer gets a free _______. Advertise that! Advertise that you will hold your employees accountable because you record the calls.
  22. Saves Time – There is no need to go back through notes from a conference call or sales call again. Heck, there’s no need to take notes in conference calls or sales calls anymore, you have the call right on your computer. (And LogMyCalls appends the calls directly to a customer record in your CRM).
  23. Maintain a High Level of Customer Service - Randomly audit calls. Hold your employees accountable if they aren’t treating your customers well enough.
  24. Scoring – Based on industry best practices (or whatever you want to measure) you can score a call for it's effectiveness. We can score the calls for you or you can score them yourself within LogMyCalls. You can score individual elements and sections of a phone call.
  25. Call Analytics - Drill down into any data you want. Find out which reps are scoring better than others. Compare reps against each other. Compare locations or departments or against each other. See who's struggling and who's doing well.
  26. Hear What Your Customers Hear - What do your reps sound like to them. They're the reason you're in business right? Shouldn't you know what they are hearing?

Every NGA member can receive a FREE 1-year subscription to LogMyCalls.com!* LogMyCalls is a tool created by ContactPoint with the glass industry in mind. It allows businesses to track which marketing methods are generating phone calls and which are not. It also records calls and allows businesses to score calls on customer service and sales performance.  To sign up for your free LogMyCalls account visit logmycalls.com/nga or contact Jimmy Lea, sales@contactpoint.com, 866-811-8880.


*The account is totally FREE for 1 year, but you will be asked for a credit card number during sign up. This is in case you go over the 150 minutes allotted, you will be charged up to 6 cents a minute. You may cancel at any time. Only NGA members who are Main Locations qualify for this offer.

Monday, April 23, 2012

NGA Member Service Announcement - TransWorld Receivables Recovery

It's the start of another month, time to review your aging report and your past-due receivables and do something to collect them before they become old debts with a lower likelihood of recovery. After all, consumers move, businesses get sold or go under, customers memories of what goods and services they purchased and their satisfaction decline over time. The same customers who expressed satisfaction with your products and services at time of sale will often tell you months later (when their bill isn't paid) that they were dissatisfied.

It's a strange human phenomenon.

So, why wait? Receivables depreciate at 15% per month in recoverability. What kind of recovery rate do you want? Are your customers spending the money that is rightfully due you by paying other creditors bills first because your bill is a lower priority to them? Let Transworld help you prioritize your bill to the top of their pile so you get paid next. Don't chase them for weeks or months more, it costs you too much in time and opportunity cost.

Transworld Systems has been in the business of recovering hard earned overdue money for over 40 years. You are in total control, you choose the approach between Pre-Collections, Soft Collections and Hard Collections. All the money is paid directly to you and we collect in a diplomatic manner so you can maintain a good relationship with your customers.

We also provide comprehensive reporting so you can see exactly what is being done on your accounts.

Transworld charges only a flat fee that averages about $10 per account regardless of the balance owed. Be sure to ask about NGA member preferred pricing.

Please visit www.TransworldSystems.com for more information.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What’s the Deal With This FREE NGA LogMyCalls Account?

Perhaps, you are aware by now that all NGA members are receiving a FREE LogMyCalls.com account and free phone number*. You get this free account simply because you are an NGA member. LogMyCalls allows you to track the effectiveness of your marketing, determine which marketing methods generate phone calls, and then actually listen to the calls that come into your business. You can hear how you sound on the phone, hear how your employees handle calls and hear real-time customer feedback.
 
What Do You Get? 
  • A FREE toll free phone number or local number with 150 recording minutes
  • Vital marketing data that shows you which campaigns are generating phone calls and which are wasting your time and money.
  • Free call recording to gauge customer feedback in real-time and improve your ability to sell and book appointments over the phone.
  • Advanced Call Routing – This feature allows you to take business calls at home, or on a cell phone, during the evening and on weekends. Additionally, if you have multiple locations you can automatically route callers to the location nearest them. (Cool, huh.)

The most important things you should know:
  1. Your new phone number sends calls directly to your business phone number. You specify during sign up where you want new number to ring to.
  2. You have to market your number to utilize LogMyCalls. You won’t see any value from LogMyCalls and this free NGA program if you don’t market the phone number. There won’t be any calls within LogMyCalls.com to measure, to record or to route. You could put the phone number on your website, on your fliers, on your Facebook page, on the radio, in the yellow pages or, especially, on your Google Places account. You have to get the number out there where people will call it.
  3. This is normally a $29 a month package that you are getting for free for 12 months. This is a gigantic value-add for your NGA members. We hope you will take advantage of it.

Frequently Asked Questions
As we’ve rolled out this FREE NGA LogMyCalls account to our members we’ve had a lot of questions about the account, how it works and what it means for members. Here are some of our questions and the answers.
Is it really free? Yes it is really free for 12 months. The features listed above are totally free for NGA members for 12 months.
Where do I go to Sign Up? Visit http://logmycalls.com/nga or call 866-811-8880 if you have any questions.

What Do I Need To Do? You need to market your free phone number. If no one calls your new number, it won’t do you any good. You need to market your number before you can measure you marketing and hear your recorded calls.

How can I upgrade? If you want more features like call scoring, marketing planning and ROI goals, or if you need more numbers or more minutes to truly track various marketing methods and record more calls just call LogMyCalls at 866-811-8880 or visit http://www.LogMyCalls.com.


*The account is totally FREE for 1 year, but you will be asked for a credit card number during sign up. This is in case you go over the 150 minutes allotted, you will be charged up to 6 cents a minute. You may cancel at any time. Only NGA members who are Main Locations qualify for this offer.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vos Glass is NGA Member of the Month

Vos Glass, Inc. Knows the Value of Active Participation and Continuous Learning
Vos Glass, Inc. was founded in 1982 by my parents, Jake and Barb Vos, with partners John Merryweather and Nelson Veltman. That same year their fledgling company joined the National Glass Association and the Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc., West Michigan Chapter. They recognized that active participation in trade associations would be helpful to the firm.
During the past thirty years, Vos Glass, Inc. has expanded from commercial projects to offer residential and automotive glass. Our company continues a journey that has always been rewarding, taking us to new levels of achievement and expertise. Participation in trade associations is an important part of our story.
In the early 90s, I believed it was necessary to rally the glass companies in Michigan to tackle issues that faced the industry, specifically pertaining to automotive glass. These actions led to the formation of the Michigan Glass Association (MGA).
At that time, automotive insurance companies imposed restrictions limiting where customers could go for auto glass and collision repairs. This was a key issue for auto glass service providers and body shops and it left customers with a narrow range of options. In 1994, with the help of the MGA, I began a ten-year campaign for state legislation that would ban this practice. Our efforts were rewarded in 2004, when Governor Jennifer Granholm signed the bill into law.
This is an example of the power of a trade association to represent and advocate on behalf of its membership. Working with the MGA, I had far greater impact than I would have had as an individual from a single small business. A strong trade association represents its members to legislators and policy makers. By uniting the voices of the industry, it can accomplish much more than any one person or company.
Trade associations also:
  • Represent their members to the public, speaking for the industry about relevant events or emerging trends.
  • Enhance the perception of your company as an established, reputable organization, and give you and your staff credibility as professionals who know their stuff.
  • Offer you the opportunity to network with and learn from fellow members.
  • Open the door to professional development. 
The glass business is increasingly complex, so trade associations help us keep up with the latest developments, legal issues, bidding, new construction techniques and materials, legislation, and business issues. In addition, another organization we are active with, American Subcontactors Association of Michigan (ASAM), hosts an annual Business Practice Interchange, where we have discussions, led by experts, about topics that are of vital interest. 
At Vos Glass, we never stop learning. Our employees receive ongoing education to ensure that every person can bring top-of-the-line skills to his or her job. Our many awards for safety attest to our commitment to a carefully planned program of safety training.  
Trade associations also open up ways to give back to your community and your industry. We’ve recently become involved in ASAM’s Hard Hat Development, an initiative designed to train the next generation of construction workers.  
Linda J. Vos-Graham, president, Vos Glass, Inc.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chapman Windows & Doors is WDDA Member of the Month

Chapman Windows & Doors began in 1994 as a window and door replacement company. Our business quickly expanded to full-service remodeling, including additions, kitchen and bath, etc.

We found the full-service business unwieldy with costs hard to control. There wasn’t enough repetition to permit economies of scale to develop. Having to contract with plumbers, electricians and HVAC personnel were problems when customer homes were disrupted and they didn’t show! This made us re-evaluate and move back to windows and doors where we could exercise full control with fewer “surprises.”

We opened a showroom so we could give prospects a hands-on “Windows/Doors 101 course”. Our customers can make decisions based upon knowledge instead of advertising. We have several lines of windows and doors on display, along with a wide selection of hardware. We sell no “builder grade” products, but can go from value driven to high-end, luxury products. We offer custom painting or staining of all products we sell. Our customers can purchase a house-full of windows and we will do everything, including re-hanging the drapes.

We extend the use of our showroom to contractors that may want to either send their clients or accompany them. We measure and provide instructions for a DIY’er, if requested. And, we offer installation and repair services for all our products. We will repair products we haven’t sold, under certain conditions.

Our success is driven by a high-level of customer service before the sale and after. We do not pressure our prospects in any way. Instead, we depend on our knowledgeable sales people and reliable products to make the sale. Every job is followed-up with a survey and we offer rewards for referrals.

We are charter members of NARI in this area, but they are more full-service oriented and we were happy that WDDA has come on the scene to give us a voice in those matters specifically oriented toward the windows and door business. Those not in this industry are unaware of the constant changes in both products and legislation effecting us. We need an organization to monitor these changes and represent us.

Mark Chapman
Chapman Windows and Doors

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

4 Ways to Lose a Lead

As we prepare to launch LogMyCalls we are reaching out to various outlets to discuss marketing and advertising opportunities. We are focused on reaching out to marketers and are looking for outlets that can easily get us in front of the correct audiences. Long story short: we are looking to spend money. We want someone to sell advertising to us.

In some cases thought, stunningly, that isn't happening. In one case we have made a decision about moving forward and are ready to buy but a sales person won't respond to my emails. Now, I'm second-guessing whether to advertise through this outlet at all. Here's how they lost a lead (us) in 4 steps.
  1. They were very slow to respond. I emailed the sales manager of a large marketing publication indicating my interest in buying advertising from them. I sent the email early one morning. I didn't receive a response until the following day. It almost seemed like they weren't interested in talking.
  2. Assumed I wasn't interested. When I finally spoke to the sales rep she made a false assumption. She had viewed our corporate website (which brands us a Sales Training company) and assumed I was mistaken when I reached out to her. I wasn't. She failed to look at LogMyCalls.com which firmly positions us as a marketing analytics and technology company. Because she made an assumption, she could have lost the sale before she had a chance to make it.
  3. Shot me down. After we talked about their products and pricing I asked if there were volume discounts (i.e. if we bought a lot of advertising would that lower the price). I was told unequivocally that, no, there weren't volume discounts. There was no negotiation, no 'I'll check with my boss' or 'I'll see what I can do.' There was a flat 'no.' That annoyed me.
  4. Failure fo Follow-Up. I sent an email on Friday morning saying that we were interested in moving forward. It is now Monday afternoon and I still haven't received a reply.
Is she trying to lose the lead?

 
ContactPoint NGA WDDA

Monday, March 26, 2012

NGA Webinars Have Value: Marketing

Frank Reed, Managing Editor of leading Internet marketing blog, Marketing Pilgrim, led a webinar for NGA members early this month.  This webinar was free to all members. Frank went over the basics of social media for local business and ave an overview of the social media landscape including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and location based services like Foursquare.
NGA members can view Frank's session anytime! And can attend the NGA member webinar series for free. https://www.glass.org/education-training-webinars.html
  • If you would like to watch the Social Media webinar, click here and enter the password ngamember.
  • If you want to learn more from Frank, you can download his July 2011 webinar: Maximize Your Local Marketing Efforts with Google Places. Click here and enter the password ngamember to download the recording.
Visit www.glass.org/education-training-webinars.html to view a webinar schedule. These webinars and are only available to NGA members. Webinars are just one of the benefits you get by being an NGA member. Learn more about your NGA membership benefits.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NGA Members Receive 1-Year FREE LogMyCalls Account

NGA is excited to announce a partnership with ContactPoint, to offer every NGA member a FREE
1-year subscription to LogMyCalls.com and a FREE local or toll free phone number. An account of this nature is normally $29 a month, but all NGA members will receive it for free for 12 months*. To sign up visit
http://logmycalls.com/nga.
 
LogMyCalls is a tool that allows NGA members to track which marketing methods are generating phone calls and, conversely, which are wasting money. LogMyCalls also records the calls and then allows NGA members to listen to the calls, just by logging in.
 
What You Get With Your FREE NGA LogMyCalls Account:  
  • FREE 1-year subscription to LogMyCalls.com
  • FREE local or toll free phone number with 150 recording minutes
  • Vital marketing data that shows you which campaigns are generating phone calls and which are wasting your time and money.
  • FREE Call Recording to gauge customer feedback in real-time and improve your ability to sell and book appointments over the phone.
  • FREE Advanced Call Routing – This feature allows you to take business calls at home, or on a cell phone, during the evening and on weekends. Additionally, if you have multiple locations you can automatically route callers to the location nearest them.

To sign up, you simply visit http://logmycalls.com/nga. This is a sanctioned NGA website created exclusively for you.  If you have questions just call 866-811-8880.

*The account is totally FREE for 1 year, but you will be asked for a credit card number during sign up. This is in case you go over the 150 minutes allotted, you will be charged up to 6 cents a minute. You may cancel at any time. Only NGA members who are Main Locations qualify for this offer.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Harness the power of earned media

It's harder than ever to break through the competitive clutter.  Traditional advertising is becoming more and more expensive, and less and less effective.

Many companies have learned that a sophisticated public relations campaign -- designed to generate news coverage of their people, their company and their products and services -- can provide a much bigger bang for their buck than advertising.  Positive PR can give a needed boost to your next product launch, generate new customer leads, increase your top-of-mind awareness and dramatically improve your search engine visibility. 

Champion Management specializes in providing marketing and public relations support to small- and mid-sized businesses that don't have the internal expertise or resources to do it themselves. Champion has designed a package of public relations services exclusively for WDDA and NGA members. We can also customize services to address your unique market challenges, starting with a strategic assessment of your marketing/public relations approach. All consulting services will be discounted at least 25% for NGA and WDDA members.

Contact us to get started today, and be sure to tell us you're an NGA or WDDA member for your special rate.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Ladd Biro, President
Champion Management
WDDA  NGA
lbiro@championmgt.com
972/930-9933

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

News & Links for March 2012

Here's what's happening with the NGA and WDDA this month.
  1. Lee & Cates is NGA’s March 2012 Member of the Month!
  2. NGA is now offering free training to veterans on MyGlassClass.com.  All NGA member companies qualify.
  3. Sign up to exhibit for GlassBuild America!  View 2012 floor plan and Exhibitor list or learn more in the Road to GlassBuild America.
  4. What is Call Tracking? NGA and ContactPoint are announcing LogMyCalls for NGA members next week.  Watch your inbox for details!
  5. All new NGA members in 2012 qualify for a free subscription to MyGlassClass.com! Take advantage of either Auto Glass or Glass Installer training - a $350.00 value! 
  6. Check out the NGA blog for tips and tricks for your business: High Expectations for Strategic Plans
  7. Upcoming NGA Chapter Events: Glass Texpo April 12-13, Glass Day New England April 27, and Mid-Atlantic Glass Association’s Glass Expo May 2.
  8. Nominations for the Glass Magazine Awards: The People, Products and Projects are due April 16. 
  9. Free Member Webinar April 2, 2012 on Transportation Costs & Shipping with UPS. Sign up today!
  10. Welcome new NGA members!
  11. Evotech Industrial Coatings, Infinity from Marvin to Sponsor 2012 Window & Door Dealers Forum.
  12. Beacon Windows is WDDA’s March 2012 Member of the Month.
  13. Window & Door’s Dealer Perspective: Benchmarking for Success.
  14. Senate Bill Would Pare Back LRRP Rule.
  15. FTC Reaches Settlement with Five Window Sellers.
  16. Attend the Window & Door Dealers Forum and you can participate in WDDA benchmarking for free!  Early bird registration starts May 1!
  17. Better customer service can help you save.  Here are 4 ways you can lose a sale.
  18. Train your staff with industry best training on MyWindowClass.com.Welcome new WDDA and NGA members!

Monday, March 12, 2012

High Expectations for Strategic Plans

In establishing Action Plans with employees make sure to guard against ones that are expected of them in the normal course of doing their jobs. Here are some examples:
  • 100% to Sales Plan is Expected
  • 100% to Profit Plan is Expected
  • Living within Budget should be a Given
  • Good Quality is Expected
  • Good Customer Service is Expected
Rather than establishing Action Plans that are expected, establish Action Plans that make it happen. For example:
  • Meet face-to-face with general contractors after bidding projects. (That will increase sales.)
  • Identify cost savings in my job. (That will contribute to living within budget.)
Both the employee and manager should have high expectations about completing Action Plans. Here are some guidelines on making it happen:
  • Added Initiative may be Necessary
  • Make Action Plans Challenging
  • Avoid Setting “Artificial” Action Plans 
  • Think Positively
  • Talk Positively
  • Make it Known that Results Count
  • Have High Expectations for Yourself and Employees
  • Have High Expectations for Completing Action Plans
Interesting in learning more about strategic planning? Contact me at rdvoreis@mindspring.com.  You can also view the presentaiton I recently gave for NGA members:  Management System Self-Evaluation Seminar.
 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What is Call Tracking?

At its most basic level, call tracking tells an organization which marketing methods and advertising campaigns are generating phone calls, and which aren’t.

Many businesses market and then hope…maybe assume, that their marketing is working. But they simply don’t know which advertising campaigns, or which forms of marketing, are generating phone calls. They don’t know if potential customers are calling because they found a listing on Google, if they’re calling because they got a flier in the mail, clicked on an Internet banner ad or because they heard an ad on the radio. They just don’t know which form of advertising generated that phone call.

Call tracking allows businesses to know that information for sure, and stop wasting money on marketing that isn’t working.

Well, let’s look at the most basic exampleof how call tracking works. You’re a medium sized business. You do occasional direct mail ads, you do radio commercials, you are listed on an online directory, you do banner ads online and you have a Google PPC campaign.

LogMyCalls assigns a unique phone number to each of those elements and then shows you which phone numbers are generating phone calls and which are not. There is no tracking ‘code’ to enter after the call is connected, or coupon to bring in to the store. You put tracking phone numbers (available on LogMyCalls.com) on various pieces of marketing and advertising and then, wait and see what’s working and what isn’t. And all NGA members can sign up for LogMyCalls for Free!

To be frank, if you’re not tracking your marketing in this way, you are almost certainly wasting money.
If you’ve ever received a call from a potential customer or a current customer—ever—you could benefit from call tracking. Some of your marketing spending is going to waste, you just don’t know it. LogMyCalls will show you exactly what is working and what isn’t. Let me be clear: you are wasting money if you don’t know where your calls are coming from.

LogMyCalls is replete with charts and graphs and lists that show you which tracking numbers (thus, which marketing campaigns) are generating phone calls. You can see full caller ID information, the time of day people are calling, peak call times, peak call days, average call length, total calls, missed calls, repeat callers and unique callers. You can even see how many calls you are generating from each zip code, area code and state.

Here are features of LogMyCalls—in addition to the standard call tracking stuff I mentioned above—that will change the way you market and save you money. It’s that simple.
  1. Call Recording – LogMyCalls records every call that comes into your business. How You Could Use It – You can use call recording to gather real-time customer feedback, hold employees accountable, improve customer service, improve sales skills and performance, and gather valuable marketing data.
  2. Call Tagging – In addition to recording calls, LogMyCalls allows you to tag (label) calls based on marketing lead quality. For example, if a caller is just interested in checking price or getting information but isn’t very interested in buying, you could tag the call ‘cold lead’ or ‘far away from sale.’ Tag it anything you want. Later you can group calls and sort them based on the tags. How You Could Use It – Let’s say that one tracking number associated with a direct mail coupon is generating 77% of your phone calls. That’s great! But then you start tagging your calls and you notice that only 2% of those calls are actually hot leads. The rest are garbage. This information tells you that, perhaps, this great direct mail ad that is generating 77% of your phone calls is not so hot afterall. The leads that come through the number stink!
  3. Lead Scoring – LogMyCalls also allows you to score every call on specific criteria that you choose to measure lead quality. How You Could Use It - You can measure whether or not the person is ready to buy in 30 days, whether they have the money to buy now, or if they are just gathering information. LogMyCalls will show you these scores for each tracking number so you can know precisely which advertising campaigns and marketing methods are generating high quality leads and which aren’t.
  4. Goals and Alerts – LogMyCalls allows you to set goals for campaign ROI and even individual call value. How You Could Use It – Set a goal to make a certain amount of money from a specific ad campaign. Or set a goal to close a certain number of calls from a certain campaign. LogMyCalls will track this for you and even alert you via email or text message when your deadline is approaching or when your goal has been met. Talk about holding your advertising accountable! You’ll never waste another penny on advertising that doesn’t work!
Find out more about the NGA and ContactPoint. To sign up for your free LogMyCalls account visit logmycalls.com/nga or contact Jimmy Lea, sales@contactpoint.com, 866-811-8880.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lee & Cates Glass is NGA's Member of the Month

Lee & Cates Glass was founded in 1926 by the brother-in-law combination of Thomas Lee and Raymond Cates. We are celebrating our 86th year in business this year with many fourth generation individuals involved in the operation of the business. We currently have fourteen retail locations providing a full service product line of auto glass, residential glass & mirror products, and commercial replacement and repair. Along with the retail centers we operate a central mobile auto glass division, a commercial glazing division, and a flat glass fabrication plant serving that all serve the Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia markets.

Our involvement in the National Glass Association goes back as far as I can remember. My guess is some 50 years or so. I readily remember my father attending the glass association national meetings in such glamorous locations as Detroit, Michigan. My father’s active involvement in the association was a precursor to my getting heavily involved including a stint on national board of directors. The NGA offers a tremendous line of products and services to member glass companies along with the annual trade show now called Glassbuild.

All the good programs aside my biggest gain out of the association has to be the friendships and contacts I have made along the way. The ability to call a friend in Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, and many other states is invaluable not only as business confidants but friends as well. We all have the same issues it is just a different magnitude depending on the sizes of our markets and businesses. Conversations may have lengthy time spans in between but when they occur it is with the knowledge that we are trying to give one another quality feedback. This not only helps me professionally but more importantly keeping my personal life in check. With this roller coaster of an economy and all its happenings a faith in God along with good friends and family will get you through times that are not for the squeamish.

Tom Lee, III
Lee & Cates Glass
40 Year NGA Memberwww.leeandcates.com

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Beacon Windows is the March 2012

BEACON WINDOWS - WHERE BUSINESS IS ON A ROLL!
What an honor chosen as the 3rd  WDDA Member of the Month!  Relatively new to the industry, Beacon Windows started in the midst of one of the most challenging economies many of us have experienced in our lifetime.  As a new business I was thrilled to find out about the WDDA. To me, the WDDA represented solidarity of purpose, a voice in a crowd that could speak for us as dealers. 

Beacon Windows History: My history in the window industry began 8 years ago as a sales rep for others.  5 years ago I became sales rep/project manager for another company and singlehandedly completed over 1.5 million in sales/project management within an 18 month period of time.

Armed with that experience, I took my own license and in 2009 Beacon Windows was born!


Things were a little challenging at first, but throughout the learning curve of putting together a business from scratch came some amazing life lessons.  Here’s one idea I’d like to share with other window and door dealers. Consider doing some repair work alongside your installation work.  We live in a beach community area with a LOT of high rise condos and hotels.  Because of this, we have a lot of older sliding glass doors that have aggressive corrosion issues.  Due to the economy, most people are not seriously considering replacing with high impact sliders.

One day one of my commercial door buddies suggested to me that we consider repairing sliding glass doors.  I thought he was crazy until he told me how much he made in a morning all by himself.  So, with a little effort we learned the repair business.  We launched this division just over a year ago.  You could say “Business is on a ROLL!”  No matter what troubles our clients might have, we get them “back on track” and we certainly can “get a handle on it!”

The funny thing was that using the same diligence and excellence in our slider repair business that we require in the window and door installation side has had an unexpected blessing.  We have been covered up with calls for window installation.  We aren’t even advertising for this, but the word of mouth has been tremendous.  They meet us for the slider repair, learn about our window side, and the calls just come in.  Because we have established ourselves with excellence on the initial call, we have a very high probability of being the ONLY one they ask for a quote.

Another great way to establish a strong connection with the clients is to become a center of influence for them.  Personally, I LOVE connecting people to their dream referrals.  Active in several networking groups locally, I make it a point to mention this to each and every client we have.  We help them find solutions to other things they need and we do this selflessly.  This creates a sense of loyalty with our clients and many of them become friends that we keep in touch with for years.  In addition, if they have a business, I try to connect them to ways that will make them money.  One of my favorite games to play is to see if I can “make” them more money through connections I assist them with than it cost for our services.

As you can see, connecting is in my blood.  With that have come some absolutely amazing stories from clients I have met.  One just recently involved a slider repair client that has a fantastic building system.  You may be familiar with SIPs systems, but this particular company makes one that is not only highly insulated, light weight, easy to install, fire and mildew resistant, but also HURRICANE and Earthquake resistant. This was pretty awesome news for a Florida gal who needs an impact product to sell.  This one has Miami/Dade certification. What a find! All because of a little fishing on the initial call to see what connections he needed.  I have already connected him to some great developers and builders and look forward to connecting him to many others.  Keep in mind that many of these connections become additional sources of income for our company.

So let me ask YOU… what is your dream referral and how can I help YOU find it?  Let me know what you need and you never know… I might just bring it on.  I am connected to many businesses throughout the US and also have one tremendous connection that does international sourcing.  Close your eyes, turn around 3 times and point, and I can get that item made for you in volume.  If you can get me a sample, I can get you a quote.

To me, the WDDA represents a group with a common interest that seeks to help one another.  It’s up to us to pool our resources to the greater good of our industry. If there is ever anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to connect with me. 

Thank you WDDA for being there for all of us and I look forward to growing with your membership!

Lizette LaForge
President & Master Connector
Beacon Windows
727-641-8106 cell

www.SliderRepair.com
www.Beacon-Windows.com
www.SliderRepair.blogspot.com

Monday, February 27, 2012

4 Ways to Lose the Sale

After listening to millions of minutes of sales calls, and working with hundreds of clients over the past 11 years, we’ve heard pretty much every way imaginable someone could lose a sale. There are hundreds—maybe thousands of ways—to lose a sale. Here are four:
  1. Failure to Ask Questions

    Many sales reps simply talk too much and ask too few questions. They launch right into a sales pitch without first learning anything about what the client does or how the client does it. There are instances when talking is appropriate. Certainly there is a point in each sales interaction when you have to sell your product, explain its features and benefits and close the deal. But you shouldn’t just launch into a sales pitch without first learning what your client needs and how to meet those needs. You can’t learn either of those things without asking a bunch of questions first. Failing to ask questions on an initial sales call is one surefire way to lose a sale.

    One more point about asking questions: most people in sales positions understand that asking questions during the sales call is a major key to success. However, too few people are willing to ask direct questions during follow-up calls and emails. They fail to ask questions later in the sales process. Here’s an example: a prospect is talking in vague terms and rambling on about their future plans and budgets and problems. Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions about their interest level and their timetable.

    Ask questions throughout the entire sales process.
     
  2. Failure to Be Direct

    Being direct is often confused with being overbearing. I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about.

    The other day I was on the phone with a potential partner. I had asked some questions and determined their needs and I had given a ‘pitch’ about our new product, LogMyCalls. The potential partner started talking in broad, sweeping generalities about their industry and some of their partners in the past. He started using corporate buzzwords like ‘leverage’ and ‘scalable.’ I could sense from his response that he wasn’t terribly interested in the product, but either didn’t want to say it or didn’t know how to say it.
    So I interrupted and just asked, “So are you interested in a potential partnership.”
    “Well, there are circumstances that are….(blah, blah, blah),” he said for another 10 minutes.
    “Look I don’t want to waste your time or ours,” I said. “Are you interested?”
    “No, not at all,” he replied.
    I responded politely and the conversation ended.

    However, because he was unwilling or unable to simply tell me that he didn’t think it was a good fit, he ended up wasting 30 minutes beating around the bush. These 30 minutes are minutes that I could have used to find new partners. Be direct.

  3. Failure to Take Control

    Far too often
    sales reps don’t take control of the process. I say process because it is widely known that reps should take control of the actual sales call. The rep should lead in asking questions, providing answers and providing context for the conversation. That is widely understood. What is less understood is the absolute necessity for sales reps to lead in the sales process.

    What does this mean?

    It means that a prospect should never have to ask ‘what are the next steps?’ or ‘what are my options?’ or ‘can you send me more information about x?’ The rep should always be one step ahead and should always lay out the next steps clearly. There should never be any wishy-washing about when the next appointment is, or what the next step is. The rep should be in firm control of the process.

  4. Failure to Follow-Up

    The initial sales call went great. The product seems like a good fit. What do you do next? You follow-up! Too many leads fall through the cracks of a sales process far too often. This should never happen. Make sure to follow up with prospects. Be aggressive and don’t forget about them.
    FREE Sales Training eBook
ContactPoint NGA WDDA

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Free Training for Veterans

We are excited to announce a new program for our members: with support from the Coalition to Support America's heroes, we are now offering free online training on MyGlassClass.com to U.S. Military veterans!
I am excited to help members pay for training in this difficult economic climate, and I am even more enthusiastic about assisting our nation's veterans. Education and training is the main tenant of the NGA’s mission, and we are proud to train veterans for a career in our industry.
This free training will help bring glass industry training to veterans as they reenter the workforce. NGA and WDDA member companies can apply for auto glass, flat glass, or window and door training.
MyGlassClass.com was designed for glass industry companies as an affordable resource for improving worker skills, enhancing workplace safety, achieving professional certification, and complying with training requirements. MyGlassClass.com is the glass industry's single-source online training program containing world-class courseware created by leading experts throughout the industry. The 150+ courses include standards and regulations, best practices, product design and selection, performance requirements, and more.

Free training will be available to the first 100 veterans who apply. They must be employed full-time with a WDDA or NGA member.

David Walker
VP of Association Services

dwalker@glass.org

Monday, February 20, 2012

Upcoming NGA and Chapter Events

At the industry's main events, both attendees and exhibitors have the opportunity to learn about the hottest trends, see the latest products and technology, make important contacts, and show their support to the glass and glazing industry.  The NGA and our chapters host events throughout the year.

The NGA Chapters host the following events:
The NGA hosts and participates in the following events:
Check http://www.glass.org/events.html on a regular basis to learn more about our upcoming events.  Is there an event we forgot?  Email it to membership@glass.org.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 2012 News & Links

News and links for February 2012:
  1. Dandoy Glass is NGA’s February 2012 Member of the Month!
  2. Forecast: 2012 and beyond.  Industry leaders talk market conditions, growth opportunities, and why it might be 2013-14 before a recovery takes hold.
  3. Upcoming NGA Chapter Events: Glass Texpo April 12-13, Glass Day New England April 27, and Mid-Atlantic Glass Association’s Glass Expo May 2.
  4. All new NGA members in 2012 qualify for a free subscription to MyGlassClass.com! Take advantage of either Auto Glass or Glass Installer training - a $350.00 value! 
  5. Start planning for GlassBuild 2012!  View the 2012 floor plan and Exhibitor list and sign-up to exhibit today!
  6. Glass Magazine needs your input! Take the 2012 Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits Survey.
  7. Registration is Now Open for Auto Glass Week™ 2012.
  8. Free Member Webinar March 5, 2012 on Social Media with Frank Reed, Managing Editor of leading Internet marketing blog, Marketing Pilgrim. Sign up today!
  9. Electronic Data Payment Systems has been committed to providing members with honesty, integrity and excellent service since 2008 and understands that choosing the right credit card processing provider is about more than just the lowest rate.
  10. Feldco Windows, Siding & Doors is WDDA’s February 2012 Member of the Month.
  11. The WDDA welcomes Jim and Jennifer Snyder as the newest members at the 2012 International Builders Show.
  12. Connecting with the Connected Home: Consumers will soon demand doors, window and hardware that communicate with and be controlled by smart home systems.
  13. WDDA Members Save with Core Health Insurance and Smart Life Insurance.
  14. Is it time to upgrade your windows? Energy-efficient models save money and help the environment
  15. If you currently accept credit cards, or have thought about implementing a credit card program, the WDDA Credit Card Processing Program can provide you with tremendous savings. 
  16. Train your staff with industry best training on MyWindowClass.com.
  17. The Talk at Window & Door: Are Doors and Windows Taking on a New Contemporary Style?
  18. Welcome new NGA and WDDA members

Monday, February 13, 2012

Keep Action Plans Simple Stupid

There is an old saying of “Keep It Simple Stupid” (KISS) and that applies to establishing Action Plans, too. 

When establishing Action Plans with your employees, verify mutual understanding at the start of the process so there are no misunderstandings.

Also, remember a not so old saying that has application here as well: “Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.”

If no one can evaluate the Action Plan to clearly know what is being done, then who knows if the results are being achieved? Evaluating progress and completion of Action Plans is essential. 

Make sure everyone knows what to expect from each Action Plan (Employees and Manager).  Another old and wise saying you should remember: “What gets measured gets done!”

Richard Voreis
Consulting Collaborative

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Super Bowl: Keep Fighting

Sports provides a very accurate portrayal of the effort necessary for success. Case in point was the Super Bowl.  FREE - Smart Managers eBook

Six weeks ago the New York Giants were teetering on the edge of destruction. They were fighting just to get in the NFL playoffs. They needed to win almost every game at the end of the regular season just to continue playing.

Fans in New York were openly calling for the head coach, Tom Coughlin, to be fired. He had 'lost his team,' the critics said. He was no longer effective, he was too old and his methods too archaic. There were even rumblings that some New York Giants players were beginning to jump ship and quit on their coach. They felt that his strategies were too boring and that he was too cantankerous. He fined players for being late to meetings, openly berated millionaire athletes in front of the team and appeared generally unhappy.

The players were quitting. The season was slipping away. All seemed lost. But then the tide suddenly turned. There is no 'moment' when things got better. They just sort of did. It happened slowly, almost imperceptibly, but it happened.

The Giants started winning. Their quarterback, Eli Manning, who occasionally shows flashes of brilliance, began playing more consistently. The players were showing emotion and attitude. They were playing like they had something to prove. They were playing like they had a chip on their shoulders. And it paid off.

The Giants rolled into the playoffs after a mediocre 9 - 7 NFL season. They smashed their first opponent. Smashed the league's best team, the Green Bay Packers, in their second game. And then beat a very good 49ers team to get to the Super Bowl. Then in the midst of the most watched TV program in American history, the Giants beat the New England Patriots.

Why did they win? According to their quarterback Eli Manning, the answer is simple: " We never quit. We never stopped fighting."

These are, no doubt, valuable lessons to lean in our lives and in our businesses.

FREE - Smart Managers eBook

ContactPoint NGA WDDA