Precision in Every Cut: A Guide to Handling Manufactured Stone Veneer

CruxLon Training
Cultured Stone

Precision in Every Cut: A Guide to Handling Manufactured Stone Veneer

Cruz Leon is the founder of Crux Lon Hardscape University, based in South Elgin, Illinois. His award-winning program helps masonry professionals hone their craft with dozens of class offerings like the Outdoor Living Bootcamp, the Masonry & Outdoor Kitchens Workshop and the 2-Day Hardscapes Hands-On.

Leon began working with hardscapes as a high school student in 1999 before starting his own business six years later. At the encouragement of colleagues who told him he had a knack for teaching the trade, he launched the University three years ago. We asked Leon to share some tips and insights for cutting manufactured stone veneer (MSV) products.

Pay Attention To The Details 

To Leon, great cuts are less a matter of technique than they are a state of mind. Finesse takes time. However, masons often feel the pull to finish a project as fast as possible and start their next paying gig. As long as the work looks passable, they’ll consider it done.

“It’s all about how you do your job,” Leon said. “I know some guys just want to get it done and move on to the next job. We’re different – we want to get it done as perfectly as possible.”

Leon is a believer in going the extra mile make sure that no stone is crooked or sticks out awkwardly from the rest. If a corner doesn’t fit perfectly, he’ll take the extra time to sculpt it.

In the end, this attention to detail has been more worth the while. His reputation as a mason who demands quality work of his crews has spread through his area, and he is now frequently sought after and recommended for lucrative, high-end projects.

Plan Ahead

Leon always likes to lay veneer pieces on the ground first to arrange how they’ll look on the surface. While some products come pre-sorted to speed the installation, he prefers the process of mixing them up.

Even when the stones are arranged by the manufacturer, installers will usually face decision points when they’ll have to deal with gaps in the pattern. For example, while installing veneer around a fireplace, a mason needs to get creative about which stone colors to use and how to cut them while framing the opening. When making cuts in situations like these, Leon likes to chisel the edges to make them look as rough and natural as possible.

Keep it Clean at the Top

Especially when working with veneer panels, Leon prefers to avoid cuts to the upper sections that are most clearly in view. He’ll start by placing a level piece of wood near the ground to guide a first row of panels or stones and then work his way up. Once the top has been reached, he’ll infill the bottom portion, where any pieces of stone that needed to be cut are not visible as prominently.

When installing individual stones, Leon acknowledged that it’s not practical to check every piece to make sure it’s level. Instead he likes to draw marks on the wall every four inches or so and follow them to ensure the stones stay on track. After finishing every 2-by-2-foot area or so, he steps back to take in the full picture, and make any cuts or tweaks needed to make it look right.


A Measured Approach

Since cutting stone is time consuming, Leon likes to figure out ways to do fewer of them. At the start of any job, he recommends taking some extra time to scan the job site, think through your strategy, and take measurements that can help you avoid mistakes later.

When using veneers or pavers that come in large sizes, Leon doesn’t believe it looks good when the pattern abruptly ends with a bunch of small, cut pieces. To avoid this, take measurements at the beginning to determine how you can use cuts that are as large as possible on both ends of the rows.

Keep Learning

Years ago, Leon used to hear complaints about masons working too fast, too shoddy, and depressing the value of everyone else’s work by not charging enough. So he decided to do something about it.

Leon started the Hardscape University with the aim of providing a fast, affordable way for masons and workers who wanted to transition from fields like landscaping to get a formal education on the craft’s finer points. Whether you need a primer on cutting stones or operating special machinery, he recommends masons of all experience periodically set aside time for professional development at programs like his.

Years ago, Leon used to hear complaints about masons working too fast, too shoddy, and depressing the value of everyone else’s work by not charging enough. So he decided to do something about it.

Leon started the Hardscape University with the aim of providing a fast, affordable way for masons and workers who wanted to transition from fields like landscaping to get a formal education on the craft’s finer points. Whether you need a primer on cutting stones or operating special machinery, he recommends masons of all experience periodically set aside time for professional development at programs like his.

“I feel like our trainings are elevating the industry by helping people understand why the job needs to be done right,” Leon said. “Once they understand that, they’ll figure out how to charge what needs to be charged – sometimes they don’t know any better. If they educate themselves, it’s good for everyone.”

Need a special cut that you don’t have the tools or background to handle? Reach out to Instone’s Fabrication and Design Services. Our team can work with you on custom cut-to-size hardscaping and partner with you in the design of large-scale projects and sourcing of stone products.

How to Achieve Superhero Status With Clients & Boost Sales

Blue Mist Granite
Blue Mist Granite

How to Achieve Superhero Status With Clients & Boost Sales

We all know that spring signals the start of a busy season for those in the construction, masonry, and hardscaping fields. Homeowners are eager to kick off their long-awaited renovation projects. This is an excellent time to lay the groundwork for a successful sales year.

Achieving success goes beyond simply providing top-notch materials. It demands a strategic approach that prioritizes quick and efficient service, outstanding product quality, and, most importantly, the satisfaction of your clients.

This guide is designed to arm you with actionable advice to enhance your interactions with customers, ultimately helping you secure more contracts and boost your sales.

Prompt & Accurate Quotes: First Impressions

The first step towards a successful spring should be no surprise: communication is key. Many homeowners will shop around when starting a large home project. Swift, detailed, and professional quotes are essential and do more than provide numbers; they showcase your engagement, dedication, and professionalism.

You can influence their hiring decisions from the start by ensuring your quotes exude clarity, accuracy, and a comprehensive outline of expectations and deliverables. A messy quote can come across as unprofessional and unbothered and be seen as a reflection of your work on the job site.

Use tools like the Toro Stone Calculator to help you estimate how much stone and other materials you need for a project. Additionally, Instone dealers can easily log in, create a quote in minutes, save the quote, and send it or print it for the customer, ensuring a professional-looking quote is provided instantly. Of course, you can always reach out to us for swift and detailed quotes as well. A precise quote reflects your professionalism and can be the deciding factor for potential clients. 

Advise on Material Choices: Quality Meets Budget

While some homeowners will have researched materials independently, many only know what they want the final product to look like — but not how to achieve it. You can help guide homeowners through a maze of options to find what suits their desired aesthetic best. Your expertise can help them make informed, budget-conscious decisions. This is where you can highlight the value of investing in Instone’s premium materials for lasting satisfaction and peace of mind.

Incorporate Innovative Techniques: Building for the Future

Stone masonry is an ever-evolving art that shifts as innovative new techniques and tools emerge. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of — and to quickly incorporate — industry-leading building techniques, like new moisture management systems, into your work whenever possible.

It is important for you to educate homeowners on the benefits of using these industry-leading systems and solutions in their projects. Understanding these long-term advantages ensures that their investment is not just for the present but a contribution to their home’s future. Plus, it helps build your authority as an industry leader.

Promote Upselling Opportunities Wisely: Enhancing Value

Any upselling must be done strategically for the homeowner’s benefit and must align with the homeowner’s budget and expectations. This approach not only improves the outcome but also enhances customer satisfaction.

Here’s how you can apply this strategy effectively:

Offer bundled product options that enhance the overall project—like combining landscape stone with stone veneer for outdoor kitchens or fireplaces. This not only simplifies the purchasing process for your clients, making your shop a one-stop solution but also enhances their space’s aesthetic and functional value.

Utilize Visualization Tools: Seeing is Believing

Looking for ways to stand out from the competition? Elevate your proposals by incorporating visualization tools. These innovative tools can transform your quotes from simple documents into engaging visual experiences that better communicate the value and vision of your work. By allowing your clients to see their projects’ potential outcomes, you’re enhancing their understanding and excitement and establishing your commitment to transparency and quality. In a market where first impressions are crucial, leveraging visualization tools can be a game-changer in convincing homeowners to choose your services over others.

Maximize the benefits of this approach with the Instone Visualizer, a powerful tool designed to bring your client’s vision to life right before their eyes. Here’s how you can integrate this tool into your sales strategy:

  • Interactive Kiosks: Establish interactive kiosks at your business locations where clients can actively engage with the visualizer. This allows them to visualize the impact of different stone and color combinations on sample home exteriors, interiors, and patios, enhancing their decision-making process with an immersive, hands-on experience.
  • Staff Training: Ensure your staff knows how to guide clients through the visualizer. Well-trained employees can assist clients in exploring a variety of design possibilities, helping them reimagine their spaces from creating feature walls to transforming patios.
  • Website Integration: Embed a link to the Instone Visualizer on your business website, giving clients the convenience to start their design exploration from home. They can effortlessly modify wall colors, trim and compare different stones to ascertain which aligns best with their aesthetic preferences.

The Instone Visualizer allows clients to use sample homes for their design endeavors and allows them to upload their own photos for unique customizations. This tool simplifies decision-making by providing a realistic preview of the finished project. Clients can share their designs, print reports and even access tutorial videos on how to use advanced editing tools within the visualizer. With these capabilities, designing a home with stone has never been easier or more accessible, making the Instone Visualizer an essential part of your sales and marketing arsenal.

Maintain Clear Communication: Building Trust

Trusting someone to work on or in your home can be a challenge. Reliability and trust are built through clear and consistent communication. One way to do this is to regularly update homeowners with project timelines and delivery times. This demonstrates your commitment to meeting their needs and provides them with a sense of comfort, as they aren’t left wondering about these details.

Understanding the importance of prompt service is why we offer optimal lead times that can be conveniently checked on our website—just enter the quantity for an approximate lead time. This feature allows homeowners and dealers to plan precisely, knowing when to expect their materials.

Our commitment to efficient service delivery is a testament to our dedication to ease and efficiency. Our route truck delivery system is designed to simplify the delivery process, removing any uncertainty by utilizing pre-scheduled weekly lanes that service our dealer network from one of our three distribution centers. It’s a testament to our dedication to ease and efficiency—when you need the product now, we make it easy.

By integrating these logistics details into your communication strategy, you promise reliability and deliver on it. This reinforces trust with your clients, ensuring they feel well-informed and confident in their choice to work with you.

Respect the Workspace: A Reflection of Professionalism

It is essential to remember that your ‘workspace’ is someone else’s home. Keeping this in mind and respecting their personal space will go a long way to making for a happy homeowner.

No matter how good the results are, a disrespectful contractor will likely cost you work in the future, while a well-executed job done by someone respectful can lead to good word of mouth and more jobs.

Document Your Projects: Showcase and Inspire

Visual storytelling is a powerful tool that should not be overlooked. Keep homeowners engaged with your work with pictures. Document the various stages of your projects and use them to enhance your social media and website presence.

The adage “seeing is believing” rings particularly true here; providing tangible examples of your completed work highlights the quality and diversity of your offerings and inspires and attracts potential clients. In today’s digital age, a visually compelling portfolio is indispensable for standing out in a crowded marketplace and fostering trust in your craftsmanship.

Leverage Social Media: Build Your Brand

Social media platforms like Instagram are invaluable because they are indispensable extensions of your professional portfolio. These platforms serve as a vibrant showcase for the photos you capture while documenting your work and the testimonials you garner from satisfied clients. Social media amplifies your visibility and significantly enhances your credibility in the eyes of potential clients. A robust social media presence does more than just display the quality and scope of your projects; it also creates a dynamic platform for attracting new clients and engaging with your community.

By actively sharing updates, progress shots, final reveals, and client testimonials on social media, you effectively broadcast your commitment to quality, transparency, and customer satisfaction. This ongoing dialogue with followers and the broader community fosters a sense of engagement and belonging, transforming your social media space into a lively forum for exchange and inspiration. Plus, social media offers an easily accessible avenue for prospective clients to discover your work and envision the potential transformation of their own spaces.

Consider creating events like a customer appreciation day or an open house to thank your existing customers and also entice potential clients. Promote these events through your social media channels and feature highlights and updates on your website to showcase your active community involvement and commitment to customer service.

Keeping Your Website Updated: A Digital Storefront for Your Brand

Speaking of your website, remember it’s the digital storefront of your business and is just as crucial as your physical location. It’s the hub where potential clients land to explore what you offer and make decisions. That’s why regularly updating your website with your latest offerings and ensuring that the digital reflection of your brand is current and comprehensive is valuable time spent. This step is vital and often missed, which can be a significant oversight in a digitally-driven market.

By consistently refreshing your website content with the latest product information and updates, you’re not just aiming for more sales; you’re enhancing the value and experience for your clients. This dedication to providing up-to-date and accessible information aligns with client needs and reinforces their decision to choose your services. A well-maintained website, paired with a vibrant social media presence, builds credibility and solidifies your position as a forward-thinking and client-focused leader in your industry.

Looking for assistance to keep your website fresh and your marketing on point? Instone has got you covered. Our dealers have exclusive access to our wide array of resources from web developers to social media experts, ensuring your marketing stays updated and search-friendly.

Obtain Certifications: The Power of Education

​​Securing a competitive edge in the construction, masonry, and hardscaping industries is crucial for winning contracts and building a reputable business. One strategy to achieve this is through a commitment to continuous learning and professional development. This commitment to professional growth does more than just elevate your technical capabilities; it signals to prospective clients that you are a forward-thinking contractor who values innovation, safety, and the highest standards of quality.

The certifications and knowledge you acquire become powerful tools in your marketing arsenal, allowing you to confidently articulate the value you bring to every project. Plus, staying on top of the latest industry trends, techniques, and materials ensures that you can offer cutting-edge solutions that resonate with homeowners looking for modern, durable, and aesthetically pleasing outcomes.

​​Enhancing Your Expertise: Instone’s Educational Resources

Deepen your knowledge of stone masonry by leveraging Instone’s comprehensive suite of educational and training resources. Videos covering state-of-the-art stone veneer techniques, on-site installations, and specialized instructional content are just a click away. Gain valuable insights into our premium natural stone collections, like the Aura Natural Landscape line and Pangaea Natural Stone veneer, and learn to confidently recommend the best solutions to clients. By subscribing to our YouTube channel, you ensure you’re always at the forefront of the industry, ready to deliver excellence to your clients with the best-in-class materials for veneer, hardscaping, and fireplaces.

Spring is all about growth and opportunity. You can achieve sales and build long-term relationships with your clients by providing prompt service, utilizing high-quality materials, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Let this season bring you to new heights of professional excellence and customer delight.

How To Use Instone’s Game-Changing Virtual Home Design Tool

Visualizer Tool Example
Visualizer Tool Example

How To Use Instone’s Game-Changing Virtual Home Design Tool

TAKE THIS …

Choose the perfect stone…

GET THIS

With the Instone Visualizer, you can complete a wall-to-wall virtual home makeover in a matter of minutes. The free online tool allows you to simulate what a home or property would look like after a renovation with any combination of stone products from Instone’s expansive catalog.

Powerful yet simple, the Visualizer offers installers and dealers a way to show clients renderings of projects that can be used to assist with sales, and homeowners a way to browse their options for veneers, pavers and other stone products. Users can upload photos of a job site and redo a wall or patio area with new masonry in a couple of clicks. 

Instone Vice President of Natural Stone Products Justin Alicandro said the Visualizer has made the need to assemble stone samples or create mockups for clients obsolete. 

“This is so much more efficient than the way we used to do things,” Alicandro said. “Homeowners can come out of a session knowing pretty much what they want, and if they don’t like the products once they see real samples, they can tweak the project again in the Visualizer and try a plan B. The Visualizer is such a great tool.”

How It Works

To get started, find or snap a digital photo of your project area and add it to the Visualizer. (If you don’t have an image available, you can browse our samples for one that resembles your property.) Photos should be at least 1600 pixels wide and not exceed 16 MB. A standard camera phone pic will do nicely. 

With the photo now online, the Visualizer’s AI will scan its features and automatically identify areas most likely for stonework. The technology will also recognize features like windows and doors and omit them. If it misses a wall or ground section you’re interested in, don’t worry – you can draw a polygon to highlight the area manually. 

You can then click on any of these areas and choose the interior or exterior Instone masonry product you’d like to see applied there. Once it appears, you can try different brands, profiles, and colors to see how they look, and even change the stone sizes on the fly. The images you create can be saved, shared, and easily edited later. 

Fine-Tuning

The Visualizer has multiple editing tools to help fine-tune your renderings and make them more realistic. You can adjust the opacity of the masonry to totally block out the surface beneath it or to allow important features to peak through. Another tool allows you to adjust the perspective, which can realign the stone if it’s not quite level or doesn’t track the angle of the surface accurately. 

For the best results, we recommend taking your photos facing straight ahead toward the surfaces that will be clad. If possible, it’s best to move any furniture or other obstructions out of the way.

The Visualizer will even help you simulate the appearance of non-stone upgrades. You can apply paint colors to your banisters and doors or try out new shingle styles and colors on the roof. These features can be combined with the stone improvements to give you a full picture of how all of the materials will look together.

visualizer editing tools
Before and after using the Instone visualizer with Pangaea® 3 Course Ashlar Oxford

Share & Create a Report

The Visualizer offers a range of options for sharing before and after images with clients or anyone else who may be interested in giving feedback. You can quickly export the renderings as JPG and PNG files or use share buttons to email them or post them to Facebook, Twitter/X or Pinterest. 

Of high value to masonry professionals, the system can generate attractively formatted reports showing the finished home and thumbnails identifying all of the products featured in the project. 

“For a contractor trying to win a job, price is obviously important, but if you can demonstrate for a homeowner what their house is going to look like when it’s complete, that will definitely set you apart from others trying to quote the job,” Instone Chief Operating Officer Rob McKay said. “Ultimately, a lot of people will still want to see a sample and feel it in their hands, but the Visualizer is a great tool to help them narrow down their choices.”

Watch Our Full Tutorial

For a full demonstration of what’s possible with the Visualizer, watch our training video (“Pro Tips for Selling With The Instone Visualizer”) above. You can also check our Visualizer page for FAQs and a series of shorter videos with tips and demos focused on specific Visualizer questions.

Precision in Stone: Navigating Complex Cuts with Instone’s Fabrication and Design Team

Fabrication and Design Team
Fabrication and Design Team

Precision in Stone: Navigating Complex Cuts with Instone’s Fabrication and Design Team

The Instone Fabrication and Design Services team turns big ideas into reality. Whether you need a tricky stone cut done for a single stair tread or guidance for a large-scale design-build project with elaborate outdoor amenities, Instone has you covered.

Fabrication and Design Services offers project management solutions including value engineering, estimating, and global sourcing of natural stone materials. Its fabrication pros can provide any stone cut or finish needed to complete a project or achieve your target aesthetic. 

“Not everything drawn on paper by a landscape architect is always possible for a mason,” said Design Services Manager Zach Beaulieu. “We take the concept they’re shooting for in their project and help them physically create it.”

Among the highlights of Instone’s state-of-the-art fabrication shop in Plainville, Massachusetts, are:

  • A Jaguar bridge saw with the capability for profiling (designing unique edge finishes, slopes, etc. with software).
  • Tools used for edge treatments, bullnose cuts, and leathering stones.
  • A sandblast room for giving a variety of finishes to stones.
  • A dust booth where stone fragments produced by grinding are extracted, ensuring safe air quality.

Instone’s fabrication capacity is not limited to this one shop. The company has access to a vast network of partner suppliers, vendors and quarries that serve as an extension of the Plainville facility. If necessary, any of these specialized or larger facilities in the U.S., Canada and abroad can be tapped to handle big jobs faster and cheaper.

Scroll below for a glimpse at some projects which exemplify what the Fabrication and Design Services team can do.

Contemporary Pool

Beaulieu views high-end outdoor residential renovations like this one as the Fabrication and Design Services team’s specialty. “This is an example of a project that was designed to the nines and we really needed to help detail that out for the client,” Beaulieu recalled. Instone cut all the steps, walkways and pool coping to complete the architect’s vision. Instone also assisted with the outdoor fireplace’s Blue Mist granite hearth.

Courtyard

The signature feature of this courtyard, constructed for a private high school in Massachusetts, is its large, semi-circle seating wall. “Anything radial is a challenge to do,” Beaulieu said. “There’s a lot of computer software programs that you need to work with in tandem with a saw. You also need a skilled fabricator to finish the stone accurately.” To achieve a cost savings for the client, Instone had the granite blocks cut and given their thermal finish by a network partner in Canada.

College Campus

Instone supplied all of the veneer to clad these two buildings on the campus of Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. Fabrication and Design Services also handled the stair treads and radial wall caps, designed for students to rest on between classes. Beaulieu recalls this as a massive project, with 30-40 containers worth of material needed to complete it over the course of a year. Since it takes time to accumulate that much finished stone, Instone had containers delivered as soon they were ready to keep the project moving.

Rooftop Terrace

Fabrication and Design Services handled the stone cuts for this firepit, the focal point of a Boston apartment building’s rooftop hangout. The gray center ring is made of Stanstead granite with a honed finish. Beaulieu said such one-off stone cuts can be complex and expensive, but have the power to make nice projects into special ones.

Learn more about the various places where your outdoor design may need custom fabrication and what’s possible here.

A Cut Above

Visit our Fabrication and Design Services page to view our catalog, meet our team and learn more about how our team can help you accomplish your goals. You can also use our online form to contact our team with questions or get started. Turnaround times for services can vary based on factors like workload, time of year and material needs, but our team will always respond promptly with answers and estimates. 

“The goal is always to give the quickest turnaround time for the best price possible,” Beaulieu said.

7 Ways Instone Makes It Easy for Dealers to Succeed

Instone team
Instone team

7 Ways Instone Makes It Easy for Dealers to Succeed

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“We Make It Easy” isn’t just our motto, it’s the very foundation that Instone was built on. But we’re going to let you in on a little secret – making it easy for our dealers to get the products they need for their customers faster than other outlets isn’t actually easy. We’ve spent the past 30 years building a nationwide network of warehouses and distribution centers, creating a digital system for faster service, and helping dealers build their businesses.

For the first time, our Chief Operating and Marketing Officer Rob McKay shares the secrets behind Instone’s success in delivering for our dealers – and their customers.

Secret #1. What You Need When You Need It

It all started in the mid-1980s when Instone founder Gordon Strout started buying Cultured Stone and realized how difficult it was to get it from where it was manufactured in California to the East Coast. He designed a truck routing system that’s still in place to this day. 

“The dealers tell us what they want, and we get it to them,” says McKay. “That way, they’re not sitting on inventory, taking up space, and tying up cash. They just buy what they need when they need it,”

The route trucks take the guesswork out of deliveries with pre-scheduled weekly lanes servicing customers from Instone’s distribution centers. Dealers get their product within days, not weeks.

Secret #2. What You See Is What We’ve Got

Every company these days has a website. But it’s what’s on Instone’s website that makes the difference: inventory information.

“We show our inventory availability without having to log in. So, when a sales rep gets a request from a customer, they can look at our website and see what we have in stock. They can order it today and get it tomorrow. It’s super easy,” says McKay.

And an upcoming site update will tell dealers when the next shipment of a particular product is coming in. “If we don’t have enough of something in stock that day, you will know when we will,” he says.

Secret #3. A Digital Organization System

We know that the faster a dealer can get a product, the quicker an entire project can go. That comes down to knowing where the product is in the first place. And that’s why all of Instone’s products are barcoded and entered into a digital system.

“We can put anything anywhere, and the system will tell us where it is,” says McKay. “We can utilize space differently and store more materials and diverse products to serve our customers better.”

Nothing is more annoying than wasting time looking for something, other than not finding it at all. And companies without a robust digital system like Instone’s run the risk of losing track of what they have, where it is, making it impossible to get it to you.

Secret #4. Offering Way More Than Thin Veneer

As a product fulfillment company, inventory in multiple locations across the service area is key for fast delivery. Instone recently expanded the number of its warehouses by acquiring sites in the Ohio and New England areas to allow for more diversification of products.

“We started as a strictly thin veneer company. Now we’ve become more valuable to our dealers by having a broader offering of products,” says McKay. “And we’re always looking for new products within those product lines and the next big product itself.”

Secret #5. Information At Your Fingertips

Instone is proud to offer support that goes the extra mile to dealers. One of the ways we do that is through the information we include on our website.

“The dealers don’t have to be experts on every product,” says McKay. “They can sit at the counter, have our website up and know everything there is to know about the product. They have all the technical information and what’s in stock.”

We know that if people don’t feel knowledgeable about a product, they can’t sell it. “You can feel comfortable selling our products compared to other products that you’re not as familiar with and shy away from. We’ll make you look like a stud!”

Secret #6. Here to Help You Sell More

We believe customer service isn’t just about getting the dealer what they need; we want to help them build their business. Our competitors have a lot of inventory, but it’s just a pile of goods and that’s it. We’re here to provide any training, education, or support that you need to take your business to the next level.

“We want to help dealers sell the product,” says McKay. “We want to educate them so they can get more business. We want to bring them leads, get them involved and trained. We’re always doing training sessions. Our sales team partners with the manufacturers. We want to ensure everyone who comes in contact with the product is comfortable knowing how to sell it.”

McKay says the next step is teaching the businesses we work with to market themselves. A lot of these businesses have been family-owned for decades, and the dealers are great at what they do. But they’re not marketers. They want to do more, but they don’t know how. We’re here to teach them how to do marketing so they can grow their business.

The Instone Team Having Fun

Secret #7. We’re Not All Business

The Instone team enjoys coming to work because of the environment we’ve created.

“We’re very inclusive, and we treat everyone like a winner,” says McKay, who stresses that we value everyone’s ideas because we’re all part of the team. Even the idea for our brand of beer came from an employee. “That came from one of our customer service reps. He said, ‘Hey man, we should have a beer!” And we made it happen.”

This attitude includes how we interact with dealers and customers.

“We have an openness here, and that makes people relaxed. They can be real. But we’re all working our tails off!” says McKay, who adds the company has a “Work Hard, Play Hard” approach.

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“We like to have fun. We have lunches together, and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. And we invite customers to sit in with us at meetings and offer feedback. Those relationships are important to us. That’s just who we are.”

Partnering with Instone means having access to all these benefits and more, giving you and your business the tools you need to grow. So why wait? Contact Instone today and see how easy we can make it for you to succeed.