Before I opened my wood floor business I was in the world of sales, wearing a shirt and tie every day. Now that I’m a wood floor pro I spend a lot of days covered in sawdust. When I call on customers now, I’ve noticed a huge difference in sales depending on what I wear, but it might not be what you expect. I’ve found I have a better chance of getting the job or the order if I turn up to the job in my work clothes instead of a shirt and tie or a polo.

All of the clothes we wear are branded; they look good but are still a work outfit. Now when I’m going to talk to a potential customer and try to win a job, I make sure I turn up in my work outfit. I find the way people talk to you is different when you’re in your work clothes, because they’ll ask you questions about what you’re going to do on the job, not what the workers are going to do. When you’re dressed up to sell, people are assuming they’re getting sold to, and their defenses are up. And people are getting sold to all the time—being cold-called, getting spammed with emails, and even people knocking on their doors. But these days it’s hard to get a tradie to your house—if your toilet’s blocked you’ll be waiting three days to get a plumber to come fix it. So I find that when a tradesperson shows up to your house, people don’t have a wall up and they aren’t hiding their checkbook. Instead they’re figuring out how to get you to come back.

 

Greg Ceglarski and his partner, Cairo Chapman, have a small timber flooring business in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, called Scribed Flooring. Greg’s evolution (some may say de-evolution) into installing timber floors has been unorthodox to say the least; he began his flooring life selling carpet before climbing the corporate ladder to become the state sales manager of Australia's largest flooring company, training and managing 40 sales staff before owning and running his own franchise, then finally falling into installation when a contractor cancelled on a job in the 11th hour.

Being mainly self-taught, he has always been open-minded about the possibilities when it comes to timber floors and not realising that some things could not be done (or should be done). He has had some fantastic successes and also some expensive failures.

Greg has also won some ATFA trophies, including the 2016 Pre Finished runner up and Installed Floor win and Overall Floor of the Year; he backed that up in 2017 with runner up Pre Finished stairs and a win with Pre Finished.

As Greg’s focus is on installation, he likes to live in “prefinished land,” as he thinks it’s far more challenging installing a coated floor, trying to achieve the things you usually only see in a sanded and coated floor. Challenging staircases always seem to find Greg, and over the last 10 years he has developed a secret method of “folding” timber into an indestructible stair nosing, which he is happy to make for anybody.