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”

3 Crucial Rules All Successful Contractors Follow

BY: Joe Crisara

3-crucial-rules

“I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care. You’ve got to make a sincere attempt to have the right goals to begin with, then go after them with appropriate effort, and remember that you can’t really achieve anything great without the help of others.” – Lou Holtz

. Continue reading “3 Crucial Rules All Successful Contractors Follow”

Happy Holidays! Your Price is Too High!

BY: Joe Crisara

price-is-too-high

 

You know how they say that nothing is certain except for death and taxes? I’m not sure I agree with that.

Because every single year as we approach the holidays, I get a flood of phone calls and emails from salespeople and techs saying that the holiday season has caused the number of price objections they get to spike.

Now, honestly, I wonder if it’s really the customers objecting more around the holidays, or if it’s just something the salespeople and techs subconsciously expect – and therefore get.

But either way, it seems to happen every year, so it needs to be addressed.

So how about this year, we get prepared to deal with all those “price is too high” objections ahead of time?

Continue reading “Happy Holidays! Your Price is Too High!”

Does Higher Price Raise Perception Of Quality?

BY: Joe Crisara

Consumer Shortcuts

Let’s face facts. Most of us take shortcuts when making a purchase that we are unfamiliar with. For example when we buy a flat screen television, new car or purchase a service we rarely use turn to price and reputation as a “shortcut” to tell ourselves about the quality of what we are purchasing. For instance if i said I was selling a car for $95,000 most people would envision a Mercedes Benz or Lexus loaded with all the trimmings.

Does this same effect happen when people buy hvac, plumbing and electrical service fron our company. Well I guess that depends on how your company positions itself in the market. Are you perceived as high end or a budget? Continue reading “Does Higher Price Raise Perception Of Quality?”

Doggone Good Sales Advice: The Cesar Millan School of Selling

BY: Joe Crisara

doggone

Have you ever watched a guy on TV named Cesar Millan? He has two shows you might have seen: The Dog Whisperer and Cesar 911. I admit it. I find myself kind of addicted to watching him work.

It’s a reality show, so each week you get to see Cesar go out to families with “troubled” dogs and fix them.

This guy is really skilled at dog training – but what’s incredible to watch is that he’s even more skilled at training people. In fact, At the beginning of each show, he says, “I rehabilitate dogs… I train people.”

He uses his vast knowledge of dogs to teach dog owners how to relate to their dogs in a way that is most meaningful to the dog. And the results are phenomenal.

Think about it… do you know anyone who goes out to see families with “troubles” on a regular basis?

(Hint: check the mirror!)

And do you think that person in the mirror would be even more successful if they used their knowledge and expertise to relate to their customers in a way that is most meaningful to the customer?
Continue reading “Doggone Good Sales Advice: The Cesar Millan School of Selling”

Your Customer Wants Your Stock Solutions Like They Want a Hole in the Head

BY: Joe Crisara

hole-in-the-head

I consider myself a positive guy, so I usually try to focus on good news.

But today I’m afraid I have to share some bad news with you… for your own good. Here it is…

You have a popsicle’s chance in a heat exchanger of getting your clients to buy anything other than a minimal repair from you if you’re making this one very common mistake.

The bottom line is that your customers aren’t going to listen to you or choose your best solutions if you run your calls the way most techs and salespeople in this industry do.

And unless you’re a veteran of our Total Immersion training, that’s likely exactly what you’re doing.

Continue reading “Your Customer Wants Your Stock Solutions Like They Want a Hole in the Head”

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”

Why Your Mom Wants You to be a More Assertive Salesperson

BY: Joe Crisara

yourmom

Do certain aspects of the selling process make you feel like you’re being pushy?

Do you leave parts out of the sales process because you worry some of that stuff might make you look like a (oh no!) salesperson?

A lot of people in our business feel that way at one time or another.

Now, it’s not going to surprise you to know that yours truly, The Contractor Sales Coach, is going to tell you that’s the wrong attitude to have.

So instead of me just telling you to “stop it”, I’ll share a story with you that illustrates my point.

Continue reading “Why Your Mom Wants You to be a More Assertive Salesperson”

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”

How to Turn Your Team Into a Referral-Generating Machine

BY: Joe Crisara

generate referrals

Pop quiz time!

What makes the absolute best business lead imaginable?

How about someone who already has a positive impression of you and your business? Better yet – maybe someone whose friend or family member has already told them they’d be nuts not to call you and has pre-sold them on how wonderful you are.

Obviously, I’m describing a referral, and I don’t think it’s new news to you when I say that they’re a gold mine. No doubt about it – referrals are the easiest and most profitable type of lead to close.

Here’s the gut-check question…

How many referrals has your team closed this week? Continue reading “How to Turn Your Team Into a Referral-Generating Machine”

Selling the Brand of You

BY: Joe Crisara

selling-the-brand-of-you

If you were around in the 80’s like I was, maybe you remember the “generic brand” at your local grocery stores.

I’m talking about the plain white packages with only black block letters and a bar code on them.

Those black block letters spelled out things like BEANS, BEER, COLA… and who could forget LUNCH LOAF.

It’s not the most loafappealing product name, but you could probably argue that “Lunch Loaf” is no less appetizing than the word “Spam.”

A far cry from all the cool brand names and catchy slogans we’re used to, the marketing strategy behind the generic craze back in the day, was simply to be cheap.

That’s it. Low price. That was the only goal, and it was also the only competitive advantage this brand had.

Today the generic brand is gone, but in its place are numerous private label store brands. And if you asked most consumers, you’d find that the majority of them believe that their local grocer’s  “private label” store brand is of equal if not better quality than the national brand.

Many recent studies have shown that private label products are growing at a steady pace, and in the grocery business, private label brands now account for a lion’s share of the grocery business.

Think about how you shop. When you buy eggs, do you feel like you have to buy a major brand? Or are you just as happy with the store brand? If you’re like most people, you’re perfectly happy to buy the eggs with your local store’s logo on it instead of the national brand.  In fact, because it’s local it may be MORE trusted as well.

All the egg and lunch loaf conversation aside… you’re probably wondering how this applies to you as a contractor.

The same principles that have turned numerous companies in other industries into profitable private label masters can also be applied to service contractors. Continue reading “Selling the Brand of You”

The Top 5 Qualities of Super-Successful Contractors, Techs, and Salespeople

BY: Joe Crisara

salespeople

Stop selling equipment!

That’s right… cut it out.

I mean, you’re still going to sell equipment, but you need to totally change the way you look at it. It’s not your main product. Not anymore. Not if you want to thrive in this business.

In my last article I told you about commoditization, the REAL villain in the contracting industry, which is the reason for so many of our brethren’s financial struggles.

The products you sell at your business have become no different than a gallon of gas to the general public because they have tons of different places they can buy those exact products (or similar products) from.

And how does the general public decide where to buy gas? The go wherever it’s the cheapest.

If you continue to have the mindset that you sell equipment and parts for a living, you’ll be forced to continue to play “the lowest bidder” game and struggle financially as a result.

So is that just the way it is in this business these days? Should you just suck it up and accept it as the new normal?

Oh, hell no.

If you’re willing to make the change, I can tell you how to fix this problem.

It’s all about shifting your mindset from selling equipment to selling service. Continue reading “The Top 5 Qualities of Super-Successful Contractors, Techs, and Salespeople”

Why Increased Competition is NOT The Problem With Your Business

BY: Joe Crisara

increased-competition

Think about the last time you had a conversation with a group of other shop owners at a meeting, training session, or some other kind of industry get-together.

What was the “shop talk” like?

Ok, so that’s a rhetorical question because unless you were at one of my training sessions, I KNOW what the shop talk was like.

Continue reading “Why Increased Competition is NOT The Problem With Your Business”

Take Responsibility To Be Part Of The Solution

BY: Joe Crisara

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See if this sounds familiar…

You’re frustrated with the way things are going at your shop.  It seems like the harder you work, the more difficult it becomes to make a profit.  When calls come in, it seems more often than not they result in low-priced, low-level tickets… or even worse, dispatch only fees.

At times it’s hard for you to see the silver lining, and it’s even harder to imagine things improving if something doesn’t change in the near future.

Now, if that DOES sound familiar, I have two things to tell you…

Continue reading “Take Responsibility To Be Part Of The Solution”

3 Keys To Get Your Team To Take Action

BY: Joe Crisara

3 KEYS

I firmly believe that to have a successful team, you first have to understand the individual players in detail… and then use your understanding of the players to forge a winning culture.  But once you’ve taken the time to get to know each player, how do you get each individual begin to do something different, change their results and start moving in the right direction? Continue reading “3 Keys To Get Your Team To Take Action”

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”

Total Immersion 2-Day Advanced Class

BY: Julie Crisara

Remember, before you can attend the 2-day advanced training you have to be a graduate of the 3-day basic training prior to attending.  You can do this all in one week or by taking the basic training first and then return when you’re ready at anytime in the future.

Continue reading “Total Immersion 2-Day Advanced Class”

From Hired To Quit In 60 Minutes!

BY: Joe Crisara

aaa-hired to quit

My First Day At Work

Ah my first day at a new job. You breathe in and inhale all of the possibilities. Everyone in your family is excited about your prospects at your new place of employment. Even your Mom said how proud she was about you landing work so you could provide as everyone should for your spouse and kids. Continue reading “From Hired To Quit In 60 Minutes!”