The above video clip always makes me burst out in laughter. Do you remember when the TV show “Seinfeld” was a huge hit on NBC’s “Must-See TV” every Thursday? I have probably watched every episode at least 2 or 3 times. The one episode that really stands out for me more than all the others is the episode where George Costanza decides he’s going to do the opposite of what he would normally do. The episode was called “Opposite George.”
Looking At the Truth Straight On
Basically, instead of always lying to himself about how good things were going in his life, he decided that he gotten to the miserable place he was now, by the actions that he had taken. He finally owned up to his failures.
The Decision To Make a Change
Upon this discovery he decided that from now on, in order to make his life change for the better, he would do EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what he had always done his entire life. Up to this point, his life was typified by economic and personal struggles. He was a man that couldn’t keep a decent job and was also dismissed by every woman he approached as a schmuck.
He decided to break from the past by doing the EXACT opposite of what he normally would do to see if it would make a difference in his career and lifestyle. He began his “opposite” theory as he was sitting in the diner with the gang. That’s when he sees a gorgeous women sitting at the counter having lunch who just happened to glance at him for a moment. Normally he would never approach a woman like this because of the obvious rejection he would suffer.
Instead he does the opposite and walks up to her and states the truth emphatically. “Excuse me, I just happened to notice you just looked at me.” he began chatting with her. He went on to simply state that he’s a short, bald, out-of-work guy who still lives with his mom and dad. What do you think the result was? She immediately introduces herself to him and decides that she wants to go out with him. Finally he has success!
Later, George uses this same technique of “do the opposite” to land himself a sweet job with the New York Yankees. During the interview, instead of kissing up to Owner, George Steinbrenner’s rear, the way everybody else probably does, he instead tells his potential new boss how much the team stinks, and why Steinbrenner’s every decision has been flat-out dumb. “Hire this man immediately!” Steinbrenner screams. “That’s the kind of attitude we need around here!”
So here’s my point. Every time George did the opposite of what he would normally do, what logic and common sense would dictate, and what everybody else would probably do, he experienced “quantum leap, life changing, success.”
Change What Isn’t Working
You know what? In many ways this thinking is the same key to being a successful plumbing, electrical or HVAC service contractor. It just makes sense that the best decision to make in order to increase your sales, cash flow and profit, plus get new, happy clients to call and refer you, is the EXACT opposite of what your competitors are doing now that brought you to this point.
For instance, let’s say that you see your buyer could really use an extended service plan that you offer. You know they currently neglect their system and you want to see if they would have any interested in hearing about it. Let’s look at the different ways you could approach the buyer with this.
The Way Everybody Does It – Ask if they WOULD be interested
YOU: Hey Bob, would you like to hear some information about our extended service plan? It offers some really great benefits that would be perfect for you.
THEM: No, I appreciate your offer, but not right now because money is tight.
The Way “Opposite George” Would Do It – Ask if they WOULD NOT be interested
YOU: Hey Bob, I noticed that you chose not to purchase the extended service plan even though it would have saved 15% over the past year. I just want to confIrm that even though it would have paid for itself last year, you have no interest in this?
THEM: What are you talking about? I never even heard of this. Could you fill me in on what this program is all about? (Success at last –You have created interest by doing the opposite!)
The Paradigm Has Shifted
As you can see by this small exchange above, George was actually genius in his approach. Doing the opposite can make a big difference. How can this approach apply to lowball competitors? Can it really apply to buyers who want cheap prices? Will it change your thinking about your marketing, managing and presentations? In short, you bet it will. This principle applies to every part of our business.
Can you really argue with the simple truth that if you follow along and simply do what others who struggle are doing, you will get exactly what they are getting? Why not pull a “Costanza,” do something different and join us along with the most successful contractors in the country?
There are contractors who are actually MORE profitable in this down economy as they pick through the bones of contractors who have failed. That’s right, after the dust has settled they now attract the ex-customer and ex-employees of those companies who are bleeding or who have fallen.
Ultimately where there are problems there are opportunities. Isn’t that why you started a business in the first place? I hope to see all of you this spring who are bold enough to take action and walk the road toward success.