WOW! What a fabulous turnout for the first PWRA National Convention at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. While I don’t have the official count, I can say that around 200 contractors (not including vendors) turned out for the first day of what, so far, has been an amazing show.
I have been around the pressure washing industry — on and off — for the past 20 years, and while I haven’t been to every contractor event over the years, I’ve certainly been to a lot of them! The first PWRA National Convention has the largest trade show floor of any pressure washing contractor event I’ve attended, with first-class vendors and booths, and a floor that stayed swamped from the time the doors opened around 7 a.m. until they closed 12 hours later!
The morning started with keynote speaker Curt Kempton explaining why “Money is Not the Motivator.” Curt is known for his enthusiasm, positivity and amazingly successful employee motivation and retention
program, as the owner of a “customer service business that just happens to do windows” — not to mention his love for milkshakes! If you aren’t familiar with Curt, I would recommend going to his website — www.5StarWindowCare.com — where you can get a feel for his way of doing business.
The first breakout session I attended was “Commercial Sales Tactics” by April Dodson, which was PACKED. What an impressive lady April is! As the owner of Bidslot — along with several other companies — April is smart, organized, and extremely determined when it comes to sales, and it works! April shared a number of practical tips on how to approach commercial work, including how to get your foot in the door, how to find — and reach — the right contact person, and how to make those contacts remember you — and eventually buy from you.
I personally missed the next two sessions, but picked up breakout session D with Thad Eckhoff’s “Residential Sales Domination” talk. Again, it was an overflowing room, and it was definitely worth attending. Thad mixed humor with wonderfully practical tips on the who, what, when, where, why and how to market to the residential market. Frank, funny and very insightful. Great stuff.
The last session of the day took place at 4:00, and the room I was in still had very few empty seats even after a full day’s worth of education. I chose to sit in on Guy Blackmon’s presentation on “Branding Your Business.” Guy is the owner of Pressure Kleen Power Wash Service in North Carolina, and what a sharp guy (no pun intended) he is. His company’s branding — from signs, to vehicles, to business cards, to uniforms — scream professionalism. (I’ve personally never seen a company that cleans in khakis and long-sleeved button-down white shirts before.) Through his branding, he has made his company extremely recognizable in his market and managed to create a professional persona that allows him to easily sell his cleaning services at a professional rate. Again, excellent presentation.
And that was day one. It is 6:30 a.m. and I can’t wait to see what the day holds. Watch for updates tomorrow.
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