As an organization of professionals, Contractors 2000 is working hard to advance the image of the service and repair industry as a whole. Right now, Americans have come to take clean drinking water and indoor comfort systems for granted, and there is a negative image surrounding service and repair contractors.

So at the C-2000 Super Meeting XIX, March 8-10, "professionalism" was the word of the day. It was reinforced through the multitude of educational programs offered to help members take their businesses to the next level. More than 330 people from 180 member plumbing, HVAC and electrical companies attended the three-day event held in the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Irving, Texas.

Over the three days, there were 17 different business workshops, two keynote speakers, great idea contests, plus a vendor participation night.

Here are some show highlights:

  • "Selling To Women And Couples" by Sharon Roberts contained several "common sense" tips about the role women play in finding and hiring contractors, as well as some more obscure facts. Did you know that a woman's body typically fluctuates between 3 and 5 degrees F? A temperature change that a guy would hardly notice has a greater effect on women. What could this mean to all you heating contractors?

  • In "Stepping Stones To Success," by Ahron Katz, many tips and personal anecdotes were shared about the speaker's phenomenal climb from a small company on the verge of collapse to a powerhouse in its market. Katz helped illustrate that even when a client (which means "customer" in professionalese) is wrong, they must still be made happy because of the power of their referrals. A client who is happy right away may be moderately impressed by your company. However, if a client is originally unsatisfied and because of your excellent customer relation skills that same client becomes satisfied, he is much more likely to tell his friends about your company.

  • Dr. Jim Harris presented "Finding And Keeping Great Employees," which is based upon his and Dr. Joan Brannick's book of the same title, and has been honored as a Fortune magazine "Best Business Book." Case studies of many of America's most successful businesses, including SouthWest Airlines, Microsoft and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream were examined to find exactly how they managed to be the kind of companies that people want to work for.

    The top two reasons to join a company are personal and professional growth, and the culture of the company. The top two reasons to leave a company are the employee's direct supervisor and the culture of the company. What does this mean? Harris says you better know your company's culture and align everything else toward that. Once you realize the culture of your company, everything else becomes clearer. It will be easier to spot a person who will fit with your company, not to mention knowing the advantages your company offers over your competitors.

  • In a surprise event, Jack Simonson addressed the members of C-2000 detailing the climb his company made to the top before being bought by ServiceMaster and the role C-2000 played in that climb. "I couldn't have done it without the support of the guys here," Simonson said before naming a list of people including Frank Blau, James Potts, George Brazil, Alex McNeely and many others.

    It is the goal of Contractors 2000 to increase the standards and success of the industry as a whole through education and sharing of information. Super Meeting XIX was in line with that goal, according to Greg Niemi, President and COO of C-2000.

    Contractors 2000's next Super Meeting will be held in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 18-20. For information regarding C-2000, call 651/426-2000.