How to Use Texting to Grow Your Contracting Business

BY: Julie Crisara

In the contracting industry, you use the latest tools to make your efforts the most effective. It’s all about taking advantage of the best technology. Why should marketing your company be any different? The basic principles of marketing may remain constant but the platforms we use change over time, and sometimes rapidly. It wasn’t all that many years ago, that Internet advertising seemed like a wild new frontier. Many folks in our industry questioned this weird, far out “World wide web,” saying that they would stick with the old tried and true methods like newspaper advertising in the Yellow Pages. Nowadays, what contractor working today doesn’t have a website, and how many established contracting businesses only spend their advertising budget online?

We’re in the same kind of evolutionary period right now with another cutting-edge technology- texting. That’s right, the same text messaging you use to send notes to friends and family from your phone can be used to significantly improve your contracting business!

The first thing you need to know about text messaging (technically known as SMS) communication is that you need to make sure that those receiving your messages have subscribed to your marketing list. They need to have “opted in”. Don’t just blast text messages to any and everybody because besides being highly frowned upon, there are actually laws against this.

To start building your text message marketing list, include a brief opt-in code, or “Text ‘Start’ to this number” on all your existing marketing and customer communications- flyers, print ads, business cards, invoices, receipts, coupons, in-house signage, vehicle signage, website, emails, social media, etc.   Continue reading “How to Use Texting to Grow Your Contracting Business”

App will tie homeowner to service contractor

BY: Julie Crisara

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A new software offering and app from Joe Crisara and the folks at ContractorSelling.com comes with what will be an increasingly important feature in the near future — they give the homeowner at least the illusion of being in control of a service call and allow the homeowner to customize his service experience. Moreover, the app, which will be custom-branded to the name of the contractor, will tie the homeowner to the contractor for repeat business.

The package, called jobi (rhymes with Bobby) can run on a smart phone, tablet or desktop and is scalable from a one-man shop up to multi-million dollar contractor.

By using the software contractors can:

  • Schedule service calls and dispatch opportunities.
  • Track technicians in the field and find the fastest route via GPS mapping.
  • Get their own branded homeowner app to stay connected with customers.
  • Create premium, mid-range and economy choices in one click, proven to boost sales.
  • View sales by technician, department or task on the real-time dashboard to set goals for growth.
  • Record audio during service calls for training purposes and to improve customer satisfaction.
  • Scan credit cards using the camera on their phones.
  • Capture signatures all in the app, no paperwork.
  • Import and export to QuickBooks to keep all transactions in sync.
  • Create on-the-fly digital invoices for individual products and services.
  • Customers can track service plans, warranties and service history right from their phones.
  • Make remote presentations and share with all decisions makers.
  • Easily track purchasing trends on the real-time results dashboard.
  • See key performance indicators such as closing ratio, total calls, average invoice and billable hours.

Joe Crisara, the founder of ContractorSelling.com and a former contractor himself, said that ContractorSelling.com has 3,800 users and about 100 of them have beta tested jobi.

Continue reading “App will tie homeowner to service contractor”

Dead Man Walking: 5 Ways to Become an Ex-Employee

BY: Julie Crisara

Everybody has a dream, and some people’s dream is getting fired. Ya know- canned, pink-slipped, see ya later alligator! Okay, I don’t know positively for sure that being let go is their dream, but observing some sales managers in the home contracting industry, it sure seems like it. I mean, if these guys weren’t trying to get cut loose then they just coincidentally happened to be doing the very same things that’ll send you out the door and down to the Unemployment office faster than you can say “Invoice attached.”

I don’t want anyone to get fired, especially if they actually like and want to keep their job. I have a special soft spot for people in the contracting industry, because I’ve spent decades actually working in that field and also as a consultant helping other contractors improve their business, using the things I have learned and observed over the years. But I realized that it’s so easy and so common for seemingly bright and well-intentioned contracting sales managers to make decisions that were really detrimental- and self-destructive- in the long run without even knowing it. It turns out, a lot of this stuff is NOT just common sense!

Instead of telling you- a current or aspiring sales manager or other supervisory position in the home plumbing, HVAC or electrical contracting field- what to do to keep your job, I’m going to tell you what to do to get fired. If you don’t want to get fired, just use reverse engineering. Continue reading “Dead Man Walking: 5 Ways to Become an Ex-Employee”

The Power of the Introvert – Go From Shy to Shine

BY: Julie Crisara

The word “shy” seems to be a rather easy, catch-all term, all too often applied in sweeping statements to justify or at least explain away various potentially problematic behaviors. That child who freezes up and runs away when spoken to by a safe and friendly stranger? “Shy.” That friend you go to parties with who seemingly won’t initiate or act on any social situation, no matter how potentially beneficial? “Shy.” That person you try to network with in a professional manner who leaves you hanging with awkward, icy near-silence? Also, just “shy.”

But what does the word even mean? What is shyness? When does it come out in a person’s behavior? What causes it and what can be done to change it? If you think shyness is an issue in one’s regular private life, imagine how large an impact it can have in business, especially sales.

Continue reading “The Power of the Introvert – Go From Shy to Shine”

Do You Really Offer Premium Service?

BY: Joe Crisara

It only stands to reason that a company that considers itself a premium quality company would offer it’s customers a premium quality option for any work that it would do. If you agree that this is true, then you would undoubtedly be shocked to find out the staggering number of service companies that think they are a premium quality company but then fail to offer their customers the most premium option when given the opportunity to offer their services.

Most of the resistance to offering the highest premium option stems from the fact that sales people and sometimes owners of companies “mind read” customers and assume they would not make such a purchase due to the higher investment. The reality is that many consumers prefer to purchase quality options while spending more money to avoid the hassle of making a mistake by spending too little and receiving a poor quality product or service. Continue reading “Do You Really Offer Premium Service?”

Jobi Field Service Software Connects Contractors With Homeowners

BY: Julie Crisara

If you’ve attended HVACR conferences for any length of time  — as well you should — at some point you’ve probably sat in on a presentation by Joe Crisara.

Crisara — founder of ContractorSelling.com and its many sales tools —was himself an HVAC contractor, until he transitioned into consulting and teaching.

Joe Crisara leads a training session.

Crisara learned much through his many trials as a contractor, and it was the lessons he learned as a business owner that helped he and his wife Julie transform their business to a successful enterprise.

Since 2001, Joe and Julie Crisara have  helped thousands of contractors set expectations, behavior benchmarks and profit dashboards to implement and measure the effect of the Pure Motive Process they teach. Using the process has helped scores of contractors build successful businesses using this value system.

Now, as co-founder of a new field service app called Jobi, Crisara is using technology to assist home service providers — including plumbing, HVAC and electrical contractors — by giving them real-time analytics, instant dispatching and scheduling, packaging options, online payments, and their own branded company app.

Continue reading “Jobi Field Service Software Connects Contractors With Homeowners”

Run Your Service Business from Your Phone – Interview with Joe Crisara, CEO of Jobi

BY: Julie Crisara

This is my interview with Joe Crisara, CEO of jobi.  We’re discussing the company’s award-winning service contractor app and platform.

Who are you and what does your company do?

Service Business Phone jobi Joe CrisaraMy name is Joe Crisara and I have over 35 years’ experience in the small service business and consulting industry. I started out as the owner of a contracting business, and have taken my firsthand experience into the consulting realm to train contractors in service-based industries. I spend a majority of my time educating business owners, managers, technicians and sales professionals across the country. It’s my goal to educate individuals in the “blue collar service business” on how to change their thinking and grow their sales.

Our company is dedicated to helping service contractors in industries such as electrical, HVAC and plumbing trades reach their full potential through live training, online coaching and revolutionary software. Whether guiding contractors on a live coaching call, in-person workshop, interactive video or our new custom software –  we will transform your personal economy. Continue reading “Run Your Service Business from Your Phone – Interview with Joe Crisara, CEO of Jobi”

The Uberization of the Service Industry

BY: Julie Crisara

Unless you’ve been living in a well-hidden cave for several years, you’re familiar with Uber. Press a button on your smartphone and a driver immediately shows up in a nice clean car, taking you where you’re going for around 1/3 the price of a traditional taxi. Sure, taxi drivers hate this phenomenon, but passengers love it and so do those who’ve been suddenly allowed to become professional drivers overnight using their own car!

The taxi drivers were forced to deal with this new reality. Their options are either to A) Quickly develop innovations to make rides more affordable and accessible in this modern age or B) Quit the cab company and go work for Uber. A surprisingly large number have done the latter. This same shift is happening in the house cleaning, dog walking, product delivery and almost every other service industry you can think of… including the contracting industry.

The days of customers sifting through directories and websites to find a plumber, electrician or HVAC technician are gone. Homeowners are sick of waiting on a contractor to show up and wish there was a better way to schedule time with a trusted professional. They want more options – cleaner, slicker, smarter choices for getting maintenance issues taken care of. They want instant service – a way to get the right professional for the job in a matter of hours, not days. They want transparency and automation – to know exactly who will be coming to their house and the process/ cost estimates for getting the job done.

This technology-based revolution is happening in the contracting industry as we speak. The only question is will you adapt and when?

Continue reading “The Uberization of the Service Industry”