Marketing and Business Converge at the Contractor’s Sales Academy

Published on June 29, 2017

Bart Combs Contract Sales Academy
Bart Combs speaks about the mindset for success.

POND Trade was invited to the Mountain Top Marketing Mastermind seminar, and I took them up on it. After all, a trip to Colorado in April? Sure, I can do that. The seminar was run by the nice folks at the Contractor’s Sales Academy (CSA). The day was loaded with useful information about how to market your company in various creative ways.

Not Your Average Seminar

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in Manitou Springs — a picturesque town near Colorado Springs — was that this was not a typical marketing seminar. The CSA is comprised of a close-knit group of business owners from around the country who seem to be in it for more than just a trade membership with occasional informative conferences.

Atlantic Oase Reward Program
 These men and women truly seem to know each other well and actually like each other, and it shows in how they operate — almost like a support group. They attend several seminars like this one each year, but they stay in touch on a weekly basis, holding GoToMeetings every Tuesday to bounce ideas off each other, talk through difficult business situations and even role play to help each other through the ins and outs of running a business.

Tom Reber, the creator of, and Steve Shinholser, the owner of Premier Ponds, are the experts behind the CSA who organize, motivate and hold accountable the members who seek to increase their bottom line, optimize their time and improve their mindsets to better ensure profitability and success.

Marketing is Business

Presentation youtube keith kalfas
Keith Kalfas dives further into YouTube.

One of the main takeaways for me that essentially summed up the seminar was the idea that if you own a business, you are a marketer. So when these folks use the term “marketing,” it encompasses a variety of capabilities, from operations to employee relations to time management.

After the welcome dinner Friday night, the seminar kicked off bright and early on Saturday with a marathon of guest speakers, small-group workshops and open forums that covered the gamut of operating a business for the approximately 50 CSA members in attendance.

Neil Kristianson, who owned a remodeling company for 13 years, led off the conference with a talk about how to generate quality leads. He discussed many different ways to market yourself and optimize your time to help close sales and generate referrals.

The rest of the morning focused on using video to enhance your business. Stan “Dirt Monkey” Genadek discussed the importance of generating YouTube content and tagging it so that it appears in search engine results. Phil Sarros then focused on how to purposefully and responsibly navigate your sales pipeline to generate proposals that lead to sales in the shortest amount of time. Keith Kalfas rounded out the morning with tips on how to personalize and target your online videos to draw in new customers.

After a working lunch that included a special presentation by SOLKOA President Bart Combs and some small-group workshops, the afternoon featured presentations by Art Snarzyk on the psychology of marketing and how to utilize the psychology of consumer behavior; a talk by Logan Shinholser about the importance of having a solid Facebook page; and discussions led by Laura Reale, Jake Harris and David Nelson about diversifying your leads and being patient when it comes to waiting for marketing payoffs.

Neil Kristianson talks about the customer journey.

Breakout sessions were scattered throughout the day, featuring some smaller-group, question-and-answer consultations and personalized analyses of Facebook pages and marketing material.
Overall, it was great to be invited to this unique event and witness how this intimate group of colleagues leverages their personal and professional relationships to excel in their respective lines of business. Members of the CSA demonstrate a high level of commitment and certainly seem to reap the benefits of frequent interaction with a group of dedicated, passionate peers who are looking to optimize their businesses.

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