Taylor Steinberg: Adapting the Self

Self-Development = AKA adapting to the current market utilizing all of those tidbits of information learned through the decades. For every one of us to succeed in an ever-changing market, let us review those successful activities some of us have grown accustomed to using on a daily basis. Having created solutions in the farm equipment industry for eighteen years and the truck equipment industry for thirty-seven years, I have lost count of the number of times the markets continued to change dramatically. By maintaining a series of core values reviewed in this article, I have enjoyed the ride, the results created and all of the relationships.
POSITIVE ATTITUDES – Start every day with the passion and desire to be happy and thankful. Never quit smiling, keep saying please and thank you and never cease to be thankful for everything life has made available to you.

RELATIONSHIPS – Continue to build strong and positive business and personal relationships. The more business customer relationships, the better the chance for a quality referral when one of their friends needs the solutions – both vehicle and upfit products you can provide to fit their work environment.

CREATE IMMEDIATE SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR CUSTOMER’S NEEDS, CONCERNS AND PROBLEMS – often times before the customer realizes their need. You may accomplish this by having a full understanding of your available products and the solutions they provide to your customer’s industries. Accomplish this by “Walking a mile in their shoes”. How? Take some of your days off and ride with a customer working in industries where more operational knowledge is required. Getting a little grease or dirt under your fingernails never hurts.
Once you have worked around individuals and their industries, you will understand their protocol and the projects they are working on well enough to provide the needed chassis, truck body, van or tools for the next stage of the service call or repair. While working on a mechanical project, my son and I will often hand each other the next tool needed, before asking for it.

UTILIZE ALL OF THE INTENSITY, PASSION AND DESIRE ONE CAN MUSTER TO MAKE YOUR CUSTOMERS SUCCESSFUL. Once your customer understands your desire to accomplish this, delivery becomes the norm rather than the exception.

ENTHUSIASM continues to be part of my everyday routine. As my father told me as a child growing up on the family farm, “never walk when you can run”. I continue to use this philosophy when possible at my age in all that I do.

THE JOY OF HELPING OTHERS – A close friend was cleaning the carburetor on his pressure washer and accidently sprayed carburetor cleaner into his eye. Yes, safety glasses would help, but they were in the toolbox. I heard about it while he was seeing a doctor and an ophthalmologist in the hospital emergency room. Fortunately, his eye had no damage. Two days later, I purchased and delivered a new one-gallon can of 94-octane four-stroke fuel with no additives to eliminate the carburetor from ever being gummed up again. Having used this type of fuel for years in my farm chainsaw, weed eater and leaf blower, I have never had a problem with starting any of these small engines, even after six months or more with no use. The new fuel was expensive; however when used as the only fuel, there should never ever be another need to clean out the carburetor on any of his small engine driven tools.

My friend was very appreciative of the gift and I had a great deal of satisfaction delivering a solution to him before he realized there was a need. My goal was to eliminate the need to ever use carburetor cleaner again.

STAY HEALTHY AND FIT – One day last week, after working hard for a full day at our family farm, I stepped on the scale and weighed the same as when I graduated from college 55 years ago. Understand and implement healthy eating habits, enjoy well-balanced meals and get plenty of exercise. Our longest one-day bike ride last year was 49 miles on a conventional bike, not electric assist.

RETIRE WHEN YOU ARE READY – you will know when. My year has come, along with a few other senior citizens working at Knapheide. Visiting with one of those colleagues this morning, he tells me that ten of his friends in this retirement group contributed over 421 years of service to Knapheide. Handing off your position to the next generation will be a pleasure as they have already demonstrated their abilities to do a great job. Plans are to complete the “End Users in the Field” article as my final contribution to FordPros as the next generations at Knapheide are handling the Ford Pros articles very well.