This weeks Idea: Can you solve this puzzle?

with Neil Godin

I’ve driven by the two buildings numerous times. But this time, I stopped. Got out of the car. Took pictures. And thought about it again. Here, look at the photos, and then I’ll tell you what’s puzzling me.

onside rest - 2 Onside Rest - 1 - Smaller Onside Rest - 1- Square

Left, Onside Restoration’s main building on Grandview Highway in Vancouver. Centre, a photo

of its second building, with a sign (right) that reads, “Training Centre.” Do they know what they’re doing?

“What’s puzzling me?” you ask. Just this: Does Onside Restoration know what it’s doing? If so they are brilliant. If not, they get the full benefit of what they’ve done anyway. And what have they done? They have differentiated themselves, beautifully, from all the other restoration companies out there, simply by making it crystal clear that they put their people through a substantial training program.

How do we know they have a substantial training program? Look at the pictures. Normally, a company that provides in house training keeps it a secret (unintentionally, of course) – with a classroom (or two) buried somewhere in the belly of a building. But Onside tells the world that they have an entire building dedicated to training. And they clearly label that building, “Training Centre” for all the world to see.

Why is this important? Because credibility and trust are crucial for success in the restoration biz, and staff training is a key marker for trustworthiness.

Your call to action 

If you provide training, let it show. Put up photos of team members, with brief biogs about their credentials – including their training, whether provided in house or not. Diplomas and certificates should also be displayed, as should photos/videos of training actually taking place. This ‘proof of competence’ material should be displayed not just on your physical premises, but on your website as well – not buried in a subpage, but mentioned with a link on your home page, or perhaps even highlighted as a navigation tab to a training subpage, if that’s appropriate for you. You may think that people buy mainly on price in this turbulent economy, but it ain’t so – what we’re all “really” looking for is competitive pricing – and a company we can trust.

Back to Onside Resoration. I’m still puzzled. Is that entire second building a training centre? Or is there just a classroom in there somewhere, with the rest of the building housing dispatch or something else? What do you think, huh?

See you next week!


Ps – If you’re in or anywhere near Vancouver on Tuesday, October 22, plan to catch my presentation to the Vancouver Business Network. My topic:  “3 Ways to Double Your Sales – Without Selling!” If you need sales, but hate making sales calls, this 60-minute program is for you. Led by co-organizers Roger Killen and Iman Aghay, VBN is now the largest business networking group in the Pacific Northwest, with 3592 members and counting. The group is free to join at  and their weekly presentations, including mine, are just Five Bucks. This is the deal of a lifetime. Sign up now and perhaps I’ll see you on the 22nd!

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