Editor’s Note: The ‘people rule’

October 17, 2016 -  By

palmieriWelcome to the Business Planner 2017: The People Edition. We hear repeatedly from our readers that labor and personnel are the most significant challenges they face as landscape industry business owners and managers. As the market continues to improve, we expect it to remain a difficult reality of the industry, so we knew it was time to dedicate our annual business planner to this tough topic.

For example, I’m not the first to make the case that not enough people know about the good job opportunities that exist within the green industry. But are we speaking the language of the candidates who are out there and using the right avenues to reach them? Ben Gandy thinks we could do a better job, and he shares some ideas.

Within companies, somewhere in the grind of responding to clients, churning through paperwork and getting the work done, signals get crossed. What you think is implied or should be understood is never explicitly expressed, and people often fail to meet expectations. Kevin Kehoe addresses overcoming this “slog,”  and you know what? A lot of it is about communication and perception.

In the midst of putting together this package, I traveled to Austin, Texas, to attend a Sales Summit held by Bruce Wilson’s Better Than Both Peer Group. One of the speakers, Mark Adamson, senior vice president of sales and marketing for snow plow manufacturer Douglas Dynamics, said one of the biggest problems salespeople face is not adapting to their clients’ preferred communication styles. He encouraged them to think not of the “golden rule” (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) but of the “sales rule,” “sell unto others as they want to be sold unto.”

I’ve heard another adapted version of the “golden rule” as marriage advice: “Treat your spouse how he or she would like to be treated, not how you would like to be treated.” I’d argue that it extends to all relationships—your employees included. Think of the people problems this approach could prevent.

In fact, let’s call it the “people rule.” Add it to the arsenal of advice provided in the pages of this Business Planner, and get 2017 off to a great start.

Going pink

Our parent company North Coast Media continues its commitment to supporting cancer research efforts and awareness by “going pink” in October. We use pink because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, although we support cancer research in general. So many of our loved ones have been affected by various forms of the disease. A portion of this month’s companywide revenue will be donated to a local cancer research initiative, bringing our three-year total to nearly $30,000.

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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