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Eyes wide open

The other day we had someone in to install a whole house dehumidifier. We need it for the cellar and for an addition that has a slab floor, but that's not why I'm telling you this.

We had a little problem with the install, and the owner had to come out to resolve it. No big deal, all handled very professionally, and he and I got to talking while the young man doing the physical work finished things up. "He's a good installer", the owner observed, "but he misses opportunity".

I knew just what he meant. When I had employees, it was the same thing: they did the work I sent them to do, but they never came back with new work, and that surprised me. When I'm at a job, I keep my eyes and ears open and am constantly looking for things where I might be able to offer additional services. Just watching what people are doing, listening to their conversations often gives you great big flags with "here's a problem needing a solution" written all over them. All you have to do is pay attention.

Unfortunately, not everyone has that skill. Offering commissions or bonuses for new work doesn't always help: some people just don't listen, or if they do listen, they don't make the connection to work that your company can do. If you don't have that ability yourself, it's something you need to develop.

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If Linux can skate by the patent and copyright issues, its growth in the corporate world will continue no matter what business dislikes about the GPL. (Tony Lawrence)

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