get to work!
Congratulations to both Barack Obama and John McCain for
engaging in an historic, exciting, and challenging election to become the
44th President of the United States.
Regardless of who you voted for, there is an important
lesson from the election that has nothing to do with winning or losingóit
has to do with community building. Analysts and politicians from both
sides of the aisle agree that President-elect Obama executed a highly
strategic campaign and accomplished something extraordinary in the way he
mobilized people, offered them a vision of hope, and created a strong
community around him. He motivated people to use their voices to affect
change in an unprecedented way.
With the future leader of our
country established, itís time to put partisanship aside and follow the
precedent that has been set with this election. Itís not enough to talk
about the change that we want for our future. We heard from both
candidates last week that change wonít come from government alone. We must
proactively create it ourselves.
I ask you to join us, Green
Builder Media, to create the change that we truly need in this country.
Letís not allow the sound of our individual voices to fall silent this
Novemberólet us capitalize on this atmosphere of change and use the
strength of our collective voice to beckon our government and corporate
body to move towards greater sustainability.
One of the most
effective ways that we can do this is by opening the highly subsidized oil
economy to create price parity for clean technologies. Right now, large,
risk-adverse corporations, investment banks, and other investment groups
donít have the proper financial incentive to invest in clean technologies
because fossil fuel-based systems have a clear financial advantage. With
unpredictable oil costs and increasing environmental concerns, these
advantages are shrinking, but we need more action. We need government
policies that open the market, stimulate demand, and mitigate the risk of
sustainable systems. By doing this, large and small organizations alike
will be able to compete to deliver cost-effective, environmentally
appropriate technologies that successfully address the problems of our
We are on the verge of a new, virtuous business cycle
in which sustainable thinking begets sustainability. Only by using our
voices to stimulate government action, corporate responsiveness, and
market demand can we reach the critical mass that we need to shift the
supply/demand curve towards greater sustainability.
President-elect Obama said in his speech last week, ďa new dawn of
American leadership is at hand.Ē We are that leadership. Let us join
together and use our collective voice to create the change that we want to
see in the world.
CEO & Publisher
Ron Jones Speaks About Managing
This video is designed to be viewed in
Windows Media Player. Download the free player here.
Each month Green Builder Media will bring you
a video of important information about green building. This month
Ron Jones talks about the importance of managing moisture in durable
Differentiate yourself in your market place
with a Green Builder Certification from Green Builder College
Better Sales 101
Got a sales force? In a slowdown, its important to
keep things upbeat. Heres some advice to keep them going.
Salespeople nationwide are anxiously trying to
hold on to their jobs in the face of a downward spiraling economy.
Whats the best way to stay positive and survive these trying
Rick Davis, president of Building Leaders and
author of Strategic Sales in the Building Industry, shares
answers to several questions he has recently received from stressed
out sales people who are eager to grow during the economic downturn.
Q: I'm getting shot down a lot right now because of the
economy. It's so bad that it's hard to motivate myself to keep going
to people and asking for their business. Any advice on how to stay
"up" during these "down" times?
A: An athlete continues to fight
through tough times and puts forth the best effort possible by
staying in physical shape and continuing to do the right things with
the faith that good results will eventually occur. Keep your mind
focused on performing the right tasks without becoming overly
concerned about short-term results. Remember that your results are
relative to others in the market place and your true benchmark of
success is market share and not total sales volume. Keep training
your brain to continue doing the right things.
Q: Every day I
see sales people get cut from our company payroll because of the
economy. What extra things can I do to enhance my value to my
company so I'm not next on the cut list?
A: There are three types
of employees: vacationers, prisoners, and contributors. Do more than
your job definition. Too many people are trying to get by or feel
stuck. I call them vacationers and prisoners. The most valuable
people to any organization are contributors. Those are the people
who realize they are virtually subcontractors and their value to any
organization is assessed only in the value they bring to the table
above and beyond their compensation.
Q: I'm getting beaten up
on pricing during every sales call. Of course, it's the economy and
pressures people are feeling. How can I combat the pricing message
to close the sale?
A: First, slow down. One of the reasons that
price negotiations become combative is that a salesperson has not
taken enough time to understand the situation. There are certainly
times, particularly during economic downturns, when you may actually
need to offer price concessions. But first strive to understand the
situation and, before reducing your price, consider offering
additional services or benefits as concessions to increase the value
of your proposal rather than reduce your price.
Q: My company
has almost completely eliminated advertising due to the economy.
That means, when I go to make a sale, I'm struggling against the
economy and explaining to customers why they don't see us promoting
our products. Any advice?
A: You are the marketing of your
company. Sell what your company is about by using literature,
testimonials, and samples as the means to promote your company. Of
course, let your customer know that, in order to provide those
customers with the best possible service, your company is stable and
reinvesting money in people and service rather than marketing during
the economic downturn.
Q: I go to sales seminars, read the
books, refine my presentation and still, my sales are down. The
industry is just dismal. What can I do more to improve my selling
skills during these tough times and snag the sale away from my
A: Even as a sales trainer and consultant, I still
keep listening to different speakers, read books, and attend
seminars. Dont stop this excellent practice you have begun. The
message will continue to sink in. The problem for most people is
that they expect golden bullets that will solve all their problems.
Your success lies in the dedication to learning and the trust that
will pay off in the long term.Based in Chicago, Building Leaders
www.buildingleaders.com is a sales management
education specialist in the building materials industry. The company
offers the DriveTime Diploma Series of audio sales training and the
book, Strategic Sales in the Building Industry.
Plug and Drive
Leading utilities join forces for a plug-in vehicle
Advanced Energyin partnership with Duke Energy and Progress Energywill initiate a smart charging trial
of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Twelve converted Toyota
Priuses will be equipped with charging management technology from
Seattle-based V2Green and deployed in North Carolina and Florida.
The trial will assess the potential of plug-in
vehicles to positively impact electric grid operations, maximize use
of clean energy, and prove PHEVs are a viable alternative to today's
"This is the nation's first PHEV trial to
involve multiple utilities," says Ewan Pritchard, hybrid program
manager at Advanced Energy, the organization that will lead the
design and implementation of the charging management scenarios to be
explored in the trial. "Our collaboration will lay the foundation
for the wide-scale adoption of plug-in vehicles to deliver cleaner,
more cost-effective transportation and diminish our dependence on
Each of the Priuses involved in the trial will
be equipped with a V2Green Connectivity Module (VCM) to establish
two-way communication with the electric grid and make the vehicles
grid-aware. V2Green server software will be used to manage the flow
of electricity to the Priuses, successfully meeting the needs of
both drivers and the grid.
When renewable energy, such as wind or solar
power is available, charging behavior can be altered to maximize the
use of cleaner energy. In periods of peak demand, charging can be
delayed or slowed to avoid grid congestion and the need to provide
electricity from high cost sources.
The involvement of both Progress Energy and
Duke Energy will allow the trial to explore the billing and
operational requirements of supporting plug-in vehicle "roaming"
between adjoining utility service areas. Many plug-in vehicle owners
will charge their vehicles at home in one service area, then commute
to work and connect to the grid in a different service area.
Valuable insight into driver behavior will result from the PHEV
trial, informing future consumer programs and inter-utility
Progress Energy will operate six of the
grid-aware vehicles, deploying four in North Carolina and two in
Florida. Duke Energy will use three plug-in Priuses in North
Carolina. The University of Florida's Program for Resource Efficient
Communities, along with UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences extension service, will also participate with one
Similar to the hybrid vehicles available
today, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use both a gasoline engine
and an electric motor. The primary difference lies in the PHEV's
larger lithium ion battery that can be "plugged in" and charged at a
household electrical outlet. The battery pack functions as a second
fuel tank that can be cost-effectively filled with electricity. PHEV
technology has enabled vehicles to travel 100 miles or more on a
gallon of gas, while producing significantly lower greenhouse gas
Meeting Strategies Worldwide announces the launch
of its latest website tool, Best Places to MeetGreen."
If your company holds meetings, you should check out this
site before booking your next event. It provides two free resources:
the Best Places to MeetGreen Scorecard and Calculator,
for helping meeting and event planners to select the best green
destination for their group.
The scorecard feature ranks cities according
to the green programs implemented by the destinations convention and
visitors bureau, convention center, and hotels in the citys
conference package. The practices are third-party verified by
Meeting Strategies Worldwide and entered into a
scoring rubric for each of the areas listed above.
Visitors to the site may sort cities by total
score, city name, and city size. Listings for each city include
their respective section and total green scores, brief descriptions
of the city and its green practices, as well as URL and contact
The calculator feature allows visitors to
evaluate which potential destinations have lower estimated emissions
footprints relative to their attendee travel. Visitors enter how
many attendees they have from each region around the world, and then
select destinations where they are interested in holding their
event. The calculator provides a report comparing the attendee
travel footprint for each of the cities they are considering.
Professional Book Shelf
|Design for Water.
Water, once abundant and cheap, is
poised to become the new oil as the entire world faces the reality
of a decreasing supply of clean water.
If we are to avert a devastating shortage, we
must look at alternate water sources, both in our homes and in the
planning of new developments. This book looks at passive and active
system setup, storage, stormwater reuse, distribution, purification,
analysis, and filtration. Case studies offer builders tried-and-true
information on systems that might be appropriate for your homes. The
book is published by New Society Publishers.
Jobs From Rubble
Can green collar jobs expand in a shrinking job
One company says yes. Re-Use Consulting runs a national training program on
sustainable alternatives to demolition and has been working to speed
up building deconstruction and can now disassemble a home in three
to five days or tackle a warehouse in one to two weeks.
The key ingredient for this is hard workers
and lots of them. Lets say that the average similar demolition
project takes three people for one day, or 24 hours of labor. We
might use 240 hours of labor or ten times more jobs than
The labor cost is offset by the benefits of this
service, including lower disposal costs and thousands in resale or
donation value. The result is ten times more jobs at the same
project cost as demolition, the company claims.
To find out
more, contact Dave Bennink at RE-USE Consulting at 360-201-6977.
Also, if you are in the Great Lakes area, consider attending the 2008 Great Lakes Building Reuse Conference, November