The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), St. Louis, recently introduced new business development tools created specifically for contractors. The Profitable Project CD Series is designed to help contractors improve business operations and increase sales. Featuring interviews with contractors and industry experts, these CDs are targeted primarily to contractors looking to grow their companies and improve marketing, sales, and operations skills.

The goal of the CD series is to help contractors increase profits while encouraging the team approach to selling, according to Sandra Rosecrans, past vice president of NAED's Eastern Region Council. The council initiated the Profitable Project CDs and has provided guidance and feedback throughout the program's development.

“Our intention is to help contractors become more profitable,” said Rosecrans, president of City Electric Co., Inc., in Syracuse, N.Y. “We want everyone in the contracting company to think like a salesperson and be able to present product upgrade options — especially the field people who are at the job site and in the position to identify upsell opportunities. Customers want to improve their lives, and electrical contractors can help customers by identifying electrical options for better living.”

NAED's Eastern Region Council selected a CD format because of its versatility, allowing contractors to listen as they travel from job site to job site. Topics include: “Understanding Financial Statements and Managing Your Bank Relationship” (now available), “Growing Gross Margins With Premium Products” (now available), “Getting Your Field People to Think Like Sales People” (available January 2008), “Create Demand Selling — A Whole Team Approach” (available in May 2008), and “Exploring the Upsell Opportunity with your Customer” (coming September in 2008).

The Profitable Project is available as an online course as well. To access the online program, contractors need a user name and password, which can be provided by the distributor. For more information on the Profitable Project CDs, call (888) 791-2512 or visit To view the resources available to contractors, visit the Profitable Project Contractors Web site at