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”

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”

The Honor of Taking Responsibility for Your Results

BY: Julie Crisara

The Honor of Taking Responsibility for Your Results

The job of a top professional is doing what seems impossible, on a regular basis. While there might be a few truly unworkable situations, the vast majority of the time solutions to the most difficult, stress-inducing obstacles really do exist- and we see evidence of this all around us.

When’s the last time you had occasion to hire, say, a great mechanic or a computer tech? You know, the type that remain cool under fire in the most seemingly “throw-up-your-hands” predicaments. The kind that patiently, methodically pokes around under the hood of your broken down car or zips through the operating system and file registry of your crashed and buggy laptop. When either machine is finally, magically restored to its perfect working order your sense of relief and appreciation can hardly be described by words.

The best performance-delivering professionals almost never make excuses, almost never give up and almost never put the problem on insurmountable external issues. It’s always on themselves. Although the problem may a challenging doozy, it’s always “What am I not thinking of?”, “What am I not seeing?” or “What angle or tool have I not yet employed?”

By the time we encounter any top professional, no matter the field, they have equipped themselves for the challenges to be faced and brought the precise tools for success. They have the discernment to know that perhaps not every single challenge can be won, but the vast majority of important ones can be, if one is prepared.

Continue reading “The Honor of Taking Responsibility for Your Results”

WHY We At ContractorSelling.com Wake Up Every Day

BY: Joe Crisara

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As the old year turns into a new one, I can’t help but stop and reflect on the hard working people who not only make ContractorSelling a healthy, thriving business – but who also do so much for our society. People like you. Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC Contractors that work beneath the surface of our homes and businesses performing the thankless tasks that others don’t have the passion or expertise to do.  This is WHY we at ContractorSelling wake up everyday.

You work hard day in and day out, making personal sacrifice after personal sacrifice to keep the power on, the air at the right temperature, and the water flowing in our homes the way it’s supposed to.

Every day, you perform the often thankless task of keeping millions of families safe and healthy. You do everything in your power to ensure that their mechanical systems are of the highest quality and are in reliable, working order.

Day to day you may not realize the significance of what you do, but I realize it.

You are the definition of Pure Motive Service, and for that I thank you.

I thank you for doing the work, for keeping all those families safe, and for allowing all of us at Contractor Selling to witness and be a part of the amazing things you do for others every day.

Thank you for inspiring us every day with your dedication, and for the world-class, customized service you give your clients all year long.

What you might not know is this…

Continue reading “WHY We At ContractorSelling.com Wake Up Every Day”

How 5 Winning Strategies From the Trump Campaign Can Benefit Your Business Now

BY: Joe Crisara

trump_post

You can love him or hate him… but regardless of which side you fall on, Donald J. Trump is our next President.

The Electoral College results were undeniable.  But on election night, a lot of people were surprised by what was unfolding in front of their eyes. Dumbfounded might be a better word for it.

The other side was certain of their victory even before the first vote was cast. But “The Donald” seemingly came out of nowhere, winning one key state after another until much of the world was left in shock, wide-eyed and open-mouthed.

What happened?  How did he come out of “nowhere” and win a decisive electoral victory like that?  It wasn’t happenstance, it wasn’t a miracle, and it wasn’t dumb luck.  It was strategy.

Continue reading “How 5 Winning Strategies From the Trump Campaign Can Benefit Your Business Now”

The One Ingredient That Can Balance Your Budget, Cut Your Overhead, and Boost Your Profits Through the Roof

BY: Joe Crisara

sales-training-2

I’m not going to sugar-coat it.

Being a contractor in this day and age is tough.

The cost of equipment, employees, marketing and just about everything else you can name goes up every year.

Not to mention that, in most markets, there’s also an increase in competition.

Yep. It’s tough alright.

But only for those who are focusing on all the wrong things.

They focus things like cutting overhead, replacing “underperforming” personnel, or running more calls.

The truth is that those things aren’t usually the issue. And they certainly aren’t the solution to any of your problems.

There’s one simple ingredient that can turn your business around, and it’s not any of those things.

Continue reading “The One Ingredient That Can Balance Your Budget, Cut Your Overhead, and Boost Your Profits Through the Roof”

5 Ways New Technology Can Make Your Business More Profitable

BY: Joe Crisara

technology

I have a question for you, and I want you to answer it honestly.

Are you a technology caveman?

And by that I mean are you one of those people who doesn’t really use technology in your business – and if you do it’s super behind-the-times technology?

Here’s how you can tell if I’m describing you or not…

Continue reading “5 Ways New Technology Can Make Your Business More Profitable”

Job Descriptions: The Overlooked Key to Running a Profitable Contracting Business

BY: Joe Crisara

job-descriptions

In business, there’s a huge game-changer that most bosses totally ignore. In fact I’ll bet you have one stuffed in the bottom of your desk drawer or in the back of a filing cabinet right now… that is, if you even bothered to make a hard copy.

What if I told you that one simple sheet of paper could make your hiring, onboarding, training, managing, and coaching multiple times easier and more efficient? And what if that same piece of paper could cause your employees to do a higher quality, more profitable job? Continue reading “Job Descriptions: The Overlooked Key to Running a Profitable Contracting Business”

How to be Productive: The 7 Rules of Right Action

BY: Joe Crisara

right-action2

There are a lot of moving parts to this business. No doubt about it.

When the jobs come, they come fast and furious, and each call brings an element of the unexpected.

Your phone is ringing with calls from your techs, bosses, coworkers, or customers – and before you know it, you brain shifts into, “just get it done” mode.

You started the day committed to world class customer service. Your intent was to take your time, get to know your customer intimately, do a thorough diagnosis of the system, and deliver high-quality solutions to them.

But with each added task – with each additional phone call from someone wanting something else from you, your mind begins to drift away from “What can I do to provide the highest quality experience for this one person in front of me right now?”

It begins to drift more toward, “What can I do to cross off all this crap that other people keep adding to my to-do list before the end of the day?”

And once you get to that place, I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re done for.

Your close rate will go down the tubes (along with your attitude), your customer’s experience will diminish, and ultimately your income will suffer.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Continue reading “How to be Productive: The 7 Rules of Right Action”

25 Genius Ways to Keep Referrals Flowing All Year Long

BY: Joe Crisara

 

REFERRALS

We’re in a cyclical business, and those “in-between” months can be tough going for a lot of contractors. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In my last article, we covered why most shops are leaving tons of money on the table by not having active referral programs. We talked about how a good referral program benefits the company, the employees, and the customers.

I even gave you some talking points to use with your people to get them enthusiastic about seeking referrals.

Today, I’m going to give you 25 great ways to get the referrals flowing and keep them flowing all year long. Some of these are super quick and easy to implement, and others may take some setup, but I’ve personally witnessed each and every one of them work over the years.

You’re going to want to save this one!

Choose the ones that will work best for you, and start booking all those referral calls!

Continue reading “25 Genius Ways to Keep Referrals Flowing All Year Long”

The Value Of Celebrating Success & Failure Evenly

BY: Joe Crisara

Celebrate succes failure

Think about one of those crazy hectic days at your shop. Your schedule is full, the phone is ringing, dispatch is buzzing, and all the trucks are rolling.

On a day like this, when everyone’s insanely busy… outside of a scheduled meeting, what sort of event would normally cause you to stop what you’re doing and talk one-on-one with one of your people?

If you can’t come up with the answer right off the top of your head, don’t worry.  Because it’s something that’s really easy to miss. Continue reading “The Value Of Celebrating Success & Failure Evenly”

Add Your Free Listing Now to UNCLE JOE Service Pro Directory

BY: Joe & Julie Crisara

Dear Plumbers, Electricians and HVAC Techs,

As you know, Julie and I have been in the service industry 30+ years, we’ve coached thousands of contractors in the past decade. Our goal is to always bring you tools and techniques to grow your business.

And, our tech team here has a great background in technology with 20+ years experience, helping build companies including Google.

So we approach solutions for you with a blend of contracting expertise and technology prowess. New tools, new solutions. Better ways to grow your business.

With that we’re excited to debut UNCLE JOE. A place where contractors can list their services free and customers can find reliable ones quickly and easily.

UNCLE JOE site

Continue reading “Add Your Free Listing Now to UNCLE JOE Service Pro Directory”

4 Awesome Benefits To Walking Out On Your Business

BY: Joe Crisara

BurnoutAs a business owner, you feel the daily weight and responsibility for the success of your business and your life.

So on most days you power through, endlessly pushing yourself to get more done, meet deadlines and manage fires to keep your customers happy.

You keep going even as the pressure, stress and overwhelm builds and then it happens…

Your productivity begins to wane, your creativity begins to suffer, your resilience starts to falter and…

You burnout. You’re done. Toast.

And when you burnout, you cause a stress damaging ripple effect that negatively affects your employees, your customers and your bottom line.

You’re no longer present in your business. Your employees are weary of interacting with you. You’re tired and frustrated and your customers can tell.

Then where is your business? And what happens to the life you are trying to build by being a business owner?

Continue reading “4 Awesome Benefits To Walking Out On Your Business”

Beyond New Year’s Resolutions & S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Part III Discovering Core Values

BY: Joe Crisara

Beyond New Years Resolutions-Part-IIIValues are who you are.

They are your beliefs, morals and philosophies that serve as guideposts towards the actions you take to achieve the results you desire.

They are your internal reference points for decision-making.

Discovering, refining and understanding your core values is an integral part of business ownership and critical to successful planning and goal attainment.

The exercise below is designed for you to discover your core values as they are right now.

Discover core values through your peak moments in time

Discovering your core values takes place in two parts.

  1. The first is broad level unearthing of values.
  2. The second is condensing and refining these values to 7-10 core value strings.

Part I: Identify three special peak moments when life was especially rewarding or poignant

This is just a “moment” in time, not an entire experience but a snapshot. We are seeking experiences that are particularly rich and fulfilling. For example: closing a big sale, successfully completing a large project or completing a live event.

Ask yourself the following questions regarding each of your peak moments:

  • What was happening?
  • Who was present and what was going on?
  • What were you doing?
  • What other factors contributed to your happiness?
  • What need or desire was fulfilled?
  • How and why did the experience give you meaning?
  • What were the values being honored in these moments?

Write out as many key words/values that you felt in these moments. You will feel certain energy around the words that feel right. It is more valuable if you use your own words to describe your values.

Part II: Condensing and refining your values into strings

Use several words together to form a string describing the value. Grouping similar values together allows you to not have to find the perfect word for whatever value/emotion. For example:

  • Integrity/Honesty/Truth
  • Loving/Caring/Empathy
  • Leadership/Collaborative/Empowerment
  • Place the most significant word at the beginning, such as integrity and leadership above
  • Take your time and create your 7-10 value strings

Values can change over time

These values may take some time to flush out and fully develop but this is a great place to start to visualize and verbalize the core values in your life.

Of note, core values are usually stable, yet they don’t have strict limits or boundaries and can change over time.

For example: what was success to you when you first entered the workforce may be different now as a business owner.

As your definition of success changes, so do your core values, therefore, revisiting and updating your core values is a lifelong exercise.

Up next we start putting your plan together with a very cool vision exercise and goal setting based on your core values.

Listen, if you haven’t done your year end review click here and do that now. Doing your year end review will help you with discovering your core values, planning and goal setting.

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Beyond New Year’s Resolutions & S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Part IV Visioning and Goals

BY: Joe Crisara

Beyond-New-Years-Resolutions-SMART-Goals-Part-IV-Visioning-and-Goals“Clarity precedes mastery” – Robin Sharma

In order to achieve success you must first envision what you want.

Having finished the year end review and discovered/refined your core values, you are now ready to start vividly picturing what you desire in the upcoming year.

From this compelling vision, you have the raw materials to set your goals and put your plan together for an amazing year.

This post will take you through a simple yet powerful visioning exercise and the S.M.A.R.T. goal framework. Continue reading “Beyond New Year’s Resolutions & S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Part IV Visioning and Goals”

Beyond New Year’s Resolutions & S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Part V Achieve Success

BY: Joe Crisara

Beyond-New-Years-Resolutions-SMART-Goals-Part-V-Achieve-SuccessCongratulations!

From the previous posts in this series, you’ve discovered your core values, lined up a vision and set audacious SMART goals for yourself.

Now comes the most fun, yet challenging part of the journey: doing the work and staying on track towards success.

Where “the rubber meets the road” is the true test of your plan. Continue reading “Beyond New Year’s Resolutions & S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Part V Achieve Success”

Beyond New Year’s Resolutions & S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Part I Planning for Success

BY: Joe Crisara

Beyond New Years ResolutionsWith Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season is well underway and, if you haven’t done so yet, now is the time to plan for next year.

So I strongly encourage you to take this opportunity, before the holiday mindset takes over, to do substantive planning and goal setting to create an actionable plan for an outstanding and profitable new year.

WARNING!!! This not about making New Year’s Resolutions, of which 88% fail, but rather about creating a plan that is tied deeply to your personal vision and values with support to ensure it has the best odds of full execution. Continue reading “Beyond New Year’s Resolutions & S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Part I Planning for Success”

Download this free postcard template to remind customers @ heating tune up

BY: Joe & Julie Crisara

It’s that time of year again when Winter sets in and heating becomes very important for people. One of our more popular downloads from ContractorSelling.com is this handy TuneUp postcard that you can print and mail to your customer list. We’re offering it free here (Microsoft Publisher format).

Click here to download

The postcard prints four to a page… just load the card stock paper in your printer and mailing list and print ’em….

card

If you find it useful then please share the link to this blog page. And, if you’re not a member then maybe consider becoming one of ContractorSelling.com — it’s chock full of goodies and resources that make running and growing your service business a snap.

Happy Winter. Stay warm. Be safe.