Once again, the BSCAI put on another fabulous event in Miami this past weekend. For those of you who are not a part of this association for commercial cleaning contractors, I highly encourage you to join. And NO, I’m not being paid. In fact, my grandparents who started my company back in 1985, joined the BSCAI before they had any employees. Much of the success we had in our early years was due to the relationships and education brought about by the association. So for those who were unable to attend, let me give you a brief recap of the Executive Conference in Miami.
The biggest benefit of the BSCAI events is networking. Rarely can you sit around a table with the best of the best in the industry and learn from one another. It is amazing to me how friendly and helpful other leaders in the industry really are. On Thursday evening the NSA put on a dinner cruise that was packed with food, drinks, and fun. Friday featured networking roundtables, opportunities to connect with vendors, and an opening reception for all those in attendance. I met several new contractors, connected with some old friends, and had some great conversations with many of my immediate competitors. Perhaps the best part of connecting with your industry peers is the excitement and energy you get and take home.
The Educational Sessions
There were two primary education sessions and I want to give you one key takeaway from each.
The Marketing Session
The business landscape has changed from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. By that I mean that buyers are in charge because they have the information they need to make a buying decision long before being approached by the seller. Therefore, to avoid parity, we must find ways to stand out from the competition and not compete on price. **And it cannot be the tired, worn out phrases such as “our people are the best,” “our quality is high,” or “we value integrity.”** You must be unique, rememberable.
The First Impression Session
Patti Wood taught us that we all make first impressions in less than 1 second. We learned how that process happens and how we can give better first impressions to others. Additionally, we learned how to read others and adjust to ensure a better initial relationship. Let me give you one tip I learned. When you go to shake someone’s hand, first make eye contact, raise your eyebrows, then immediately put out your hand for a nice firm handshake. The eye contact and eyebrow raise has been show in studies to make people feel more connected to you and welcomed by you.
I hope to see you at the next BSCAI event in Dallas.