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Are You Searching For Excellence?

When asked to write an article on excellence for this publication, I immediately thought of Tom Peters’ best selling work of 1982 “In Search of Excellence.” It’s hard for me to believe it’s been 25 years since my dad presented this book to me,

an aspiring young sales rep, telling me, “You need to read this…this guy Peters really gets it!” Well, it’s 2007, and while many of us continue to strive for excellence, it seems few actually achieve it. Or do we?

I have learned that excellence is attained most often not by a resounding victory or a large margin of superiority, but instead by a very slight edge. Take an example from our sports culture. Tiger Woods is the number one golfer in the world. His average number of strokes per round in 2006 was 68.11. For this feat and the achievement of win¬ning 8 PGA Tour events, Tiger earned $9,941,563 in purs¬es. Know who was number two? Jim Furyk, with a 68.86 stroke average. That’s just 0.75 strokes per round more than Tiger. Talk about a slight edge! But that one stroke per round earned Tiger $2,731,000 more than Jim. So if excellence is a very slight edge, why don’t more of us achieve it?

I believe it’s because we view excellence from the wrong side of the definition. I challenge you to think of excellence not as a standard set by your peers, your customers, or our society, but instead by yourself. Excellence starts with our attitude and beliefs about ourselves and our company. From my sales and management training experiences, I’ve learned that we can only perform in a manner consistent with the way we perceive ourselves. Let me say that again you can only perform as well as you see yourself performing. If you want to be excellent, you have to envision yourself that way. You have to believe that you offer an excellent service. How do you see yourself? Your business?

The fact that you are reading this article should reinforce to you that you are striving for excellence. As a member of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA), you value the benefits of this association. You have made an investment to learn the techniques and best practices to be excellent in your business. You become an Accredited Member of the PDCA, not only because your customers will value it, but because you do.

Take a hard look at your business. Now that you have committed to following the best practices suggested by the PDCA, does your company image line up with your quest for excellence? Do you portray excellence in everything, no matter how big or small?

  • * How do you and your crew dress?
  • * what does the condition of your ve¬hicles and equipment say about your firm?
  • * How do you tidy up after a job?
  • * Do you return every call within 24 hours?
  • * Are you on time for every appoint¬ment?

Additionally, how do you position your company? Every time you represent yourself to the public, remember to maintain the attitude of a quality provider. This also goes for the media in which you advertise. If you’re only marketing in low price mailers, you shouldn’t be surprised that you are attracting price shoppers looking for a deal. Have you explored higher end publications, where value of service may be better recognized?

Excellence is usually associated with some type of standard, be it the Academy Awards
or a 5-Star rating. It is our goal to have PDCA Accreditation be the standard by which professionals in our industry are judged. The PDCA seal on your advertisements, your equipment, or your paperwork represents quality. But as you know, one does not achieve excellence with a seal. You must have the desire, the mindset, to be the best… to strive for the extra stroke per round.

Congratulations on being the standard of excellence in our industry. For those of you in the process of Accreditation, I encourage you in the journey. Continue to seek out your peers and the PDCA experts to help you along the way. Our mission is to continue to raise the bar on excellence and we need your support.

By the way, if you haven’t read In Search of Excellence, I highly recommend it.

Good Selling!

By Pete Brown

1 comment

  1. Joes Blog says:

    Hi Pete,

    Thanks for posting this very important information for all of us to read and implament into our own business. Please post here often as we are always in search of intresting articles that pertain to our trade….

    Joe Pullaro

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