World Fence News

February 2015

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50 • FEBRUARY 2015 • WORLD FENCE NEWS World Fence News, e Fencer's Almanac and World Fence News Online – Your Most Dependable Sources of Fencing Information! THE HUMAN LINK by Jim Lucci Management Motivational Associates continued on page 52 Last month we covered several of my reflections and impressions re- garding changes that I have observed over my 30 plus years in the industry. We covered a gamut that spoke about the loss of the friendly compet- itor's concept to the changes in con- sumer tastes that included the various developments in the residential mar- ketplace from plain galvanized chain link to the rise of vinyl and ornamen- tal metal, etc. We also spoke of the consumer being better educated as a result of the internet and how this has creat- ed a much more difficult sale for the fence contractor on the one hand, yet it has also had a positive effect on how the contractors sell to the consumers through the internet as well. One thing I didn't mention in this past column is the growth in the num- ber of web sites in use in the industry, and their importance as a sales tool. Over the past several years, I have paid a lot of attention to the web sites that have been created and noted a wide divergence from company to company as far as styles, techniques, and information displayed. Some are more functional than others; some are more informative than others; while some are "pretti- er" than others. However, regardless of what your web site depicts and uti- lizes, it clearly has to help you to in- crease sales, regardless of the scope of your work. I would encourage all of you with web sites to constantly look for ways to upgrade your sites in an effort to draw even more traffic. For those of you who have not yet created a web site, I strongly urge you to do so ASAP. Most everyone I have talked with admits that it's a necessity to do business in the 21st century, and the ones who haven't done it yet are apparently still making up their minds whether or not they want to grow their business to higher levels than they are currently enjoying. The suppliers, on the other hand, absolutely depend on their "visibili- ty" through the internet and in many cases have increased market share for their products or services. At this point, I want to spend a few minutes recalling the "fear and trepidation" that most of the contrac- tors that I spoke to several years ago were feeling with the arrival of the big box stores in their marketing area. I remember getting calls from some asking "What should I do?" "Are they going to put me out of busi- ness?" "How can I compete?" And so on. About the time this was impact- ing the fence contractors, I was also the executive director of the Decorat- ing Products Dealer's Association of New York, which consisted of several hundred independent paint and wall covering stores here in the great- er New York metropolitan area, and the same questions were being raised there as well when Home Depot came to New York. (Other big boxes came into being as time went on like Menard's, Lowe's, and others, but I focus on Home Depot because of the commonality of the situation for fence contractors and paint and wall cover- ing dealers as well.) I can recall asking members of both industries if they were planning to visit the store to see what they were "up against." Very rarely did I get an answer that said yes or anything amounting to what I considered to be paramount in dealing head-on with Through the years.... Reflections – Impressions – Opinions – Observations 866-707-1808 Pushing the Boundaries Multi-Pro ™ Gas Powered Driver Visit Us at AFA Booth #405 Powerful Pro-Series Gas Powered Drivers and Air Operated Post Drivers from Rhino Tool Company to see the latest fencing technology and our full line of tools for fence installation professionals. Visit our website to locate a dealer near you! Fence Pro™ Gas Powered Driver PD-55 Air Operated Post Driver Manufacturing Quality Post Drivers and Post Pullers in the USA Since 1977

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