29. Be An Expert.

Our customers expect us to not only offer quality products, services, and solutions, but also to be technical experts. Take the time to learn everything you can. Ask questions and do research to make yourself an expert. Be a lifelong learner and take ownership for your personal development.

Joel's Message:


One thing I like about our Famous Fundamentals is that they rarely can be achieved without the practice and use of our other fundamentals. This one is no different. For example…

  • Being an expert at customer service means you need to (5) be a fanatic about response time, (26) work with a sense of urgency, and (12) go above and beyond to meet customer expectations.
  • Being a product expert means you need to (25) be continuously improving your knowledge on what is trending and (24) be ready to change the way the industry, building codes, or D.O.E. is going. An expert in water heaters in 1990 is not an expert today if they have not applied these two other fundamentals.

“Being an expert” is something I believe many people want to be or achieve in many aspects of their lives. However, many do not want to put forth the effort that it takes to become an expert. It takes hard work and diligence to earn the place of being an expert. It means you are willing to accept the challenge before you and make the most of the opportunity.

Things that have helped me in my life on this matter are…

  • Learn from your mistakes. We all make them. We all must learn from them as to not make them again.
  • It takes experience to be an expert. Sometimes that means you jump right in and learn as you go to get experience. Having an opinion on a subject matter does not make you an expert. An arm chair quarterback is not necessarily an expert. Just someone who has an opinion with no experience on the field of play.
  • An expert stays humble and listens to very important people like the installer/technician in the field to ask questions and better understand the day to day challenges. An expert will reach out for help when it is there to learn best practices and does not try to go it alone.

A person that exemplifies being an expert at Famous is Eric St. Clair. Throughout every day, Eric is asked to help in many different ways. Internally it could be a billing or an operations question. Both our customers and Famous associates know they can come to Eric with their request and he will earnestly take care of them. Whether it is a plumbing, heating, or building products customer, Eric personally makes sure they are taken care of. If the request is out of his comfort zone, he is ready to reach out to our other specialist or vendor reps to find the answers he needs and properly follows up.

I love how Famous and our leadership team do not just want to win and grow today, but is actively looking at how to win and grow in the years to come. Our business today is actively changing and it is easy to accept and complain about the “Monsters in our Markets” (Amazon, Box stores, on-line sales, etc.). Remember they are not the experts. We are, and it is not without hard work and diligence on our part to stay in this position for our customers.