Monday, April 7, 2014
Trust in the snow business
'Being awarded a snow & ice management contract is really your client’s way of saying, “I trust you to take care of my property.” What a great honor that is!'
By Jim Turcan, CSP
Over the years I have listened to snow & ice management professionals refer to selling snow removal services as more than just plowing and salting. It’s been equated to such things as a risk management plan, a safety necessity and an insurance policy. While I agree those are exactly what professional snow removal services can achieve, I would like to offer a different understanding of what is being exchanged in a snow & ice management agreement: trust.
Being awarded a snow & ice management contract is really your client’s way of saying, “I trust you to take care of my property.” What a great honor that is! But “trust is not a soft skill,” to borrow a phrase from David Horsager, business strategist and author of “The Trust Edge: How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships, and a Stronger Bottom Line.”
SIMA membership has provided much for my personal and professional development, including deeper insight into the issue of trust. I had the privilege to hear Horsager speak at the 16th Annual Snow & Ice Symposium in 2013, and have since embraced his theories on the Eight Pillars of Trust (see above). Think about your best, most respected client. Why is your relationship with them so effective and so enjoyable? Now think about your most difficult client. Why is your relationship with them so strained and rigid? Now think about both of them in the context of the Eight Pillars of Trust. What’s working? What’s not?
Being trusted in this industry is critical to success, and we only get one chance to get it right. Clients trust us to make the right decisions on their behalf...always hold it in the highest regard because it’s an achievement that should never be taken for granted.
Jim Turcan, CLT, CSP, is president of Cornerstone Partners Horticultural Services Co. in Saint Charles, IL. Join SIMA at the 17th Annual Snow & Ice Symposium for this year's keynote speakers: John DiJulius “What’s the Secret? To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience” and Marc Wayshak “Championship Selling the New Economy.”