Donald Sylvester has over 35 years’ experience working as controller and CFO for
over 15 different companies and their different locations throughout the U.S. and
Canada. He has worked in automotive (steering wheels, rocker arms, trailer
hitches), book manufacturing (textbooks, reference books, childrens’ books), oil
and gas supplies and equipment manufacturing (mudpumps, drawworks,
perforation guns, fracking sleeves), beachfront real estate development and
hazardous waste treatment and engineering (chemical treatment and incineration).
Remembering several past firms that experienced phenomenal sales and impressive
net profit growth, he believes firmly that the one main unifying thrust for all of
these totally independent but successful business stories stemmed from one simple
attribute. Questions.

Sylvester says confidently from experience, “If you want to be successful and get
to the heart of the matter, learn to first stop and listen. Ask lots of unassuming and
specifically vague questions. Do not taint the answers. Let your employees but
more importantly your customers tell you what your problems are. Do not say
anything and listen.”

To all aspiring managers seeking to increase their company’s bottom line and
ultimately their own paycheck, he adds, “Be careful. Remember that if you think
you already know the answer, you probably do not. Start asking questions of those
around you, be quiet and listen.”

Great Profit Ideas volumes are each a collection of short articles describing
different methods to improve your bottom line. They are all independently written.
You can do this by cutting costs, increasing sales, improving the mix of your sales,
improving service which improves sales or any number of business ideas that
ultimately are designed to improved your bottom line.