Plumbing Marketing Podcast

BY: Julie Crisara

Plumbing Marketing Podcast – Tips, Ideas & Strategies for Marketing your Plumbing Company Online by Plumbing Marketing Podcast

Interviews with the nations leading plumbing businesses. Discover what marketing efforts actually work and how you can grow your business to the $1M + mark & beyond.

To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/plumbing-marketing-podcast/id567572017?mt=2

7 Mistakes Of Bad Sales Managers

BY: Julie Crisara

By: Joe Crisara Contractor Selling

Being a sales manager or anyone who is accountable for the results of your sales team is one of the hardest jobs in the world. It requires a thorough knowledge of marketing, sales techniques, pricing and above all profit. In the end, the manager or owner is ALWAYS to blame when results are poor and never get credit for success.

Who would take this job? I thought it might be helpful to provide some advice for sales managers that I have learned in my travels.

Here is the list of the biggest mistakes that sales manager make when trying to get and maintain good or great results from their team:

MISTAKE #1: The Customer Is Always Right – This long standing myth is completely untrue. I know the customer IS important but can they always be right? A manager can overlook when their employees are right to NOT take a job from a customer when the situation is not favorable to the company.

After all, the employee is the contact with the customer and is responsible for maintaining the customer relationship. When customers learn they can bypass the employee and get what they want by going to the manager, you will lose the credibility of your pricing structure with your employees. You can’t enter every negotiation starting from the point that the customer always gets everything they want before you even begin.

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Joe Crisara: ‘Build It And They Will Come’? Not Without Marketing

BY: Julie Crisara

 

service-marketingWhen it comes to marketing, companies too often focus on promoting their products but neglect to highlight their services. It’s a huge mistake. We spoke with Joe Crisara, a longtime service contractor and CEO of ContractorSelling, about why marketing must be the No. 1 priority of every service organization, why word-of-mouth advertising falls short and how easy-to-use online tools can attract customers and provide valuable insights into a company’s marketing efforts.

What is the value of marketing for field service firms, and why should they spend time and money on it?

There are really three parts to every growing company, and two are the most important. Marketing is No. 1. It’s important to make promises to the community about what your company does better than other companies. If you don’t market, there’s no reason to be in business. No. 2 is the ability to execute on those promises. No. 3 is the operation of the company. A lot of times companies grow the wrong way by putting operations first and thinking that if they build it, customers will come. Once the initial blast goes through friends and family, they realize that marketing is extremely important.

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10 Tips You Can Do To Expose Unlicensed Work

BY: Joe Crisara

Shed Light On Dishonesty

I want to start by saying that I am against government interference in the contracting industry as much as anyone.  It is certainly hard enough to profitably operate an HVAC service contracting business without another partner who is guaranteed their profit before the contractor owner has to pay all of the bills associated with each job to reveal if there even IS a profit.

However, one of the places where local government and some dishonest people in the trades makes a mockery of the statutes and laws, is in the area of licensing and permits. The reason for licensing and permits is to protect the public against unsafe work being performed. There is also an element of consumer protection.  Local government has registered and tested licensed professionals to protect against unsavory characters that are posing as legitimate service contractors. Continue reading “10 Tips You Can Do To Expose Unlicensed Work”

Plumbing Sales System : Q & A with Joe Crisara

BY: Julie Crisara

I’d like to give a heartfelt thanks to Joe Crisara for giving his time to answer some of my questions. Please take note, Joe is extremely generous with his time and helping contractors is his life’s work so don’t be afraid to reach out to get a hold of him if you’re looking for guidance. If you follow his systems sales will improve. I hope you enjoy his unique perspective on life in the service business. So Joe “What should we do?”

Three Industry Sales Experts Share Secrets To Success

BY: Julie Crisara

Today’s customers are not the same as they were five or 10 years ago. The Internet has changed the game, making more information readily available to them.

So, what are contractors supposed to do to stay ahead of the sales and marketing curve? In January contractors from across the country headed to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to learn techniques, tips, and a few tricks on how to stay ahead from some of the top sales professionals in the industry.

Three of these professionals chatted with ACCA to share some of that information with everyone who couldn’t attend the event.

How Have Sales & Marketing Changed for Contractors?

The only thing all the trainers agreed upon was that sales and marketing has changed rapidly in the past decade, and even in the past two years. The economy has been tough since 2008 and customers are looking to save where they can.

Joe Crisara of ContractorSelling.com

“Homeowners are now making a decision between quality and price,” says Joe Crisara, CEO of ContractorSelling.com. “To help customers realize that the quality is more important, contractors need to differentiate themselves clearly from the low priced provider. More and more contractors are realizing that customers need a reason other than efficiency or money to upgrade their units and have come up with unique ways to show the value.”

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Making Sure the Customer Is Actually Right

BY: Julie Crisara

Legend has it that, at the turn of the 20th century, the Chicago department store magnate Marshall Field instructed his salespeople that the customer is always right. Coincidentally, across the Atlantic, French hotelier César Ritz was telling his staff, “Le client n’a jamais tort”—“The customer is never wrong.”

So, for the last century, purveyors of products and services have grappled with the implications of these pronouncements that have become deeply ingrained in the consciousness of their customers. The problem is electrical contractors sometimes must decide when and how to tell the customer he or she is not necessarily exactly right.

“The customer is generally right about wanting to get an electrical project completed or a problem solved but probably not right about what information has to be exchanged and how the job should proceed,” said Joe Crisara, president of consulting firm ContractorSelling.com. “A given customer calls in an electrician perhaps once every five years or more, but an electrical contractor is handling 400 to 800 calls a year. So who is most likely to know the right way to make a sales call successful and get the project moving in the right direction?”

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10 Things You Should Never Micromanage

BY: Julie Crisara

By Darren Dahl

Hey, go-getter. Yes, you could do it all, but there are times it’s best to step back and stop stifling your team’s productivity and creativity.

By their very nature, entrepreneurs are doers. While other people may scheme or dream up ideas, entrepreneurs prefer to take action. That’s how companies are born. The rub, however, is that the drive to do things can often become a hindrance for an entrepreneur over time. “As companies grow, many entrepreneurs have trouble moving from the doing phase to the leading phase,” says Stephen Harvill, founder of Creative Ventures, a consulting company in Dallas, Texas. “It’s understandable since many times the small business person did just about everything to get the business started. But, as the business grows, they don’t shift their mindset from doing to leading.” In other words, many entrepreneurs get stuck micromanaging tasks that should be delegated to others inside or even outside the company.

A case in point is Mike Faith, CEO of Headsets.com, an online retailer based in San Francisco, who says that giving up doing things can be like breaking a bad habit. “Many entrepreneurs have an addiction to making sure things get done ‘just right'” and there’s no reason to give that up, says Faith. “That’s often how they became successful, by having higher standards to get things right than others around them, sometimes even obsessive standards. I’m one of those people.”

The truth is, however, the more a CEO micromanages his staff and subordinates, the less productive everyone becomes – which can lead to a death spiral for a nascent enterprise. The answer, then, is to hire the kinds of people you can trust to get the job done all on their own. “Employees need to be given responsibility and continually challenged to grow so that their jobs do not become routine and so that they personally feel invested in their role and the organization as a whole,” says Ryan Peterson, founder and CEO of OCZ Technology in San Jose, California. “It is important to start delegating tasks immediately and just as critical to make sure that the right tasks are begin delegated.”

In that spirit, Inc. asked dozens of entrepreneurs and small business experts to list what they thought were the top 10 items that, despite every temptation to do so, they should not micromanage. Here’s how they responded, in no particular order:

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