When the engine blows

‘Hey – I’m on GoToMeeting – are you still able to meet?‘, I sent that text after waiting on the screenshare/conference line for a client.

Sorry!‘, she replied, ‘Need to reschedule. Just got bad news. Diesel truck needs a new engine. $10k would be getting off easy.

Ugh.

Crap happens.

Reminder: Work is plentiful for a lot of the industry right now and (hopefully!) you’re making good money with the work you’re doing – now is the time to build that nest egg.

Check your expenses – anything to shave off?

Also, be more purposeful with building up your business savings and get a good, solid cash balance built up.

Nobody knows when things might slow down a bit, but they will. Maybe 6 months, 2 years, 5 years – not sure…

Now is the time to pay off debt and get a solid savings built.

The engine will blow – crap will happen!

Make sure you have a solid security net to fall back on.

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One other thought for you…

When’s the best time to market? When’s the best time to get a system set-up to manage your sales pipeline, improve your sales process, and implement a solution to stay-in-touch with previous clients?

Option 1:
When you’re slow and desperately need leads/work?

Option 2:
When you’re busy and don’t desperately need leads/work?

Just like saving money is easier and better when business is going great – getting your marketing and sales process in place is easier and better when you have a backlog of work.

Is now the time to get Remodelers AutoPilot implemented in your business?

My team and I do most of the heavy lifting – so we’re able to get it in place even if you’re short on time.

Let’s get more added

I was talking with one of my Remodelers AutoPilot clients last week and we were going over the results he was seeing from the monthly email that we’ve been sending out consistently each month to his email list.

(It’s going out consistently because it’s all professional written and designed for him and he just has to review and give his thumbs up to send it – 2 minutes of his time!)

The last one he sent resulted in:

  • A prospect replied back to the email. He got an update on their project and that they will be ready to move forward with it in the coming month!
  • A previous client that he had done some repair work for called him. ‘I read your newsletter – it reminded me to give you a call!’ – He’s going out to look at adding a nice roof over the client’s patio

Good stuff, but it could be better.

He’s only sending his email newsletter out to 90 people. That’s how many email addresses he has in his Remodelers AutoPilot system.

What we discussed was how we can build that number up. The more people on his email list the better.

How about adding trade partners, friends/family, and strategic partners? Keep you and your business top of mind with them. Give them something they can easier forward to a possible referral they have for you.

What clients do we have in the system that we don’t have an email address for? Shoot them a quick text to say hello and request their email address.

If he can find several people a week to add to his list (many of those he will already have a relationship with) – he’ll have a couple hundred people on his list later this year.

My clients who are sending their monthly done-for-you email to their list of 300 or 400 or 500 get more replies, results, and leads.

Action Steps for you:

  • If you don’t have an email list of your previous clients and prospects – start to get one organized. It’s an extremely valuable marketing tool
  • You can use a free email marketing tool like Mail Chimp – it’s a decent program to help you get started marketing to your previous clients
  • If you want something even better (and set-up and done-for-you each month) consider Remodelers AutoPilot

Wishing you a wonderful week – be productive – focus on your most important work (not just on staying busy).

Reach out anytime.

What’s on my mind. I hope you like this

My stream of consciousness right now – a variety of topics – please grab something out of it that resonates with you:

What friend have you not spent time with in a long time? Even if you plan it for a couple weeks out – call or text them today and set-up a breakfast or lunch. Get it on the calendar. It will give you balance and it will recharge you.

Have you (lately) told your spouse/significant other/or a family member thank you for everything they do for you?

I was reminded during a coaching call this week that achieving financial success is not what this life is all about. The person I was talking to – their business is more organized and profitable than it’s ever been – and he’s never been more empty. If you’re experiencing this – talk to someone about it (reach out to me if you aren’t sure who you can talk to.) If this isn’t you right now – take a little time to make sure that all of your energy and view of success in life isn’t just tied to your business and money. (I’ve had this conversation more than once with folks the last couple months – so that’s why I’m sharing it with you.)

Struggle with getting things done? Join Remodelers One A Week – set a clear S.M.A.R.T. goal each week and have a group of people (including me) encouraging you and holding you accountable.

Macro Patience. Micro Speed. What this means is in the macro – the long-term – be patient. Good things take a long time to make happen. But on the micro – be fast. In your day-in and day-out work – work fast, hard, and get things done. Pulling hard from both of these ends – (Micro speed and Macro patience) is how a great business gets build (hat tip to Gary V for this lesson.)

What are you reading and learning about right now? If the answer is nothing – change that. You need to keep learning and reading in order to continue to grow (as a person or in business.)

To go from not working out to working out sucks. But we all should be working on our health in some form/fashion, right?

Why do your clients choose you over others? Just spend a little time thinking about that and getting clear with it. If you don’t know, ask your clients. This is helpful to keep top of mind during your sales meetings.

I watched a little one minute video from a speaker yesterday. He said, ‘Right before you get on stage repeat this three times: I love my audience. I love my audience. I love my audience. A little corny? Yes – but it gets your mind and focus where it needs to be.’ I think a variation of this is smart to do before you head to a new prospect meeting or existing jobsite visit.

I think it’s foolish that a lot of clients don’t find the time to dig into their Job Costing like they should. Spend some time looking at your Budget vs. Actual on that job you just completed. So much to learn by doing this!

Remodelers AutoPilot is very valuable for a residential remodeler who focuses on kitchens, bathrooms, and additions. Saves time, makes you money, differentiates, helps you follow-up, solves your stay-in-touch with previous clients. It’s good. And I’m working hard to continue to make it better. I’ve also set it up in a way that it doesn’t require a ton of your time get customized and ready to roll for your business (myself and my team do 90% of the work.)

Slow down. Just slow down. Whatever you’re doing – slow it down a notch or two and be a little more aware of what your doing and what/who is around you – by slowing down you’ll do better work.

‘I know I should be working on that – but I just don’t have the time’ – don’t let that come out of your mouth.

What’s a trip that you’ve always wanted to take? It’s not going to accidentally happen. Want to go out west for a month? To Europe? To Israel? To a cool hiking place? Even if you put it on the calendar 18 months from now – start saving/planning for it. Otherwise, you’re going to be 80 and it will not have happened.

Have kids? Take them out of school for a 1/2 day sometime and just do something fun. That memory will far outweigh anything they would have learned in class that afternoon. Will probably be something they remember when they’re 40 years old.

Stories sell. Tell more stories.

Your employees are very, very valuable to your business. Especially in this busy 2017. Act and lead them accordingly.

Tim Duncan was called Mr. Fundamental. Nothing fancy or flashy. And he’s a Hall of Famer. Don’t underestimate the results achieved from just doing the basics really well.

Someone sent me this recently: “I’ve heard the phrase ‘work to live, not live to work’ … no doubt I should start to take heed!”

I recently started Journaling. Hand written in a little binder. Something crazy happens when you put pen to paper vs. fingers to keyboard. Try it. Just write whatever you’re thinking about. Faith, family, business, life, etc.

If you’ve read this far – why don’t you print this out and highlight the ones you’re going to do something with or that you want to be reminded of?

If that stack of magazines/papers have been sitting on your desk for 6+ months and you haven’t touched them – Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Just pick the stack up and throw it away. Clear it off your desk and give yourself one less pile to go thru and think about. Ah, that feels better already.

Do you get busier when your business does better? Better have a strategy for that. That’s part of what I do for my clients.

The initial phone call you have with a new prospect is the most important moment in your entire business and process. I’m going to do a free training/webinar on this topic soon. I’ll tell you more about it in the coming weeks.

Never Begin The Day Until It Is Finished On Paper. AKA: Plan your day out before it begins.

“We could all use a little coaching. When you’re playing the game, it’s hard to think of everything.” – Jim Rohn – reach out if you need a little coaching and help.

All those people are right. These kids grow way too fast. There’s no way Piper is 9 already! Soak it in every day.

What’s on your mind? What was something that struck you in the list above? Shoot me a quick note – let me know you’re there.

That’s probably enough for now :)

Should you Facebook ‘Stalk’ a new prospect?

facebookOn my private (and free!) Facebook group for remodelers Remodelers Community (feel free to request to join if you’re a remodeler) – we had a lively discussion to this question:

‘Whenever I get a new lead for a project and I set up a meeting, I always Google their name to see what I can find out about them. I also look up the town information on the property. My question is this: Is it okay to mention, when appropriate, any information that you find publicly – as part of making a connection with a homeowner(s)?’

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Lots of people chimed in (including yours truly, of course!) Here are my thoughts – I hope you find them helpful:

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If you’re a good and professional salesperson – you’re going to want to do your research. It would be foolish to not find out what you can about a prospect before you speak or meet with them.

If you search on LinkedIn and find out they’re an engineer vs. a financial planner. Is that helpful information to know? Without ever saying, ‘So I saw that you’re an engineer’ and freaking them out a bit. You can just have this information in your back pocket and your selling approach may be a little different depending on their profession (I picked an engineer because I know they are [generally] very detail oriented. You need to talk and sell them differently.)

You can find out if they have worked in the same area for 2 years or 20 years. You can read their recommendations on LinkedIn – do people love to work with them? Do you have any mutual connections with them?

If you search on Google – you can go to Google Maps. See the property. Well cared for? Zoom in on Google Earth – has the home had an addition added to it? Is the home right next to the property line? Go Street View – does the neighborhood look well maintained and sharp? Older or newer neighborhood? Stop and think – do you have any previous clients in that area? That would be good information to share with them.

While you’re on Google Maps – take note of how to best get to their home (the best directions) so that you show up on time. A quick stop on Zillow to get a ballpark idea of home value wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Now, moving on to the more personal one – Facebook. I brought this up when I spoke to a group of remodelers last week. I said, ‘Look them up on Facebook before you talk to them.’ First and immediate response from someone in the audience? ‘What, so you can Facebook stalk them?!’

Everyone laughed. Let’s stop calling in stalking. Let’s call it ‘Facebook Research’ or ‘Doing What A Professional Salesperson Would Do To Understand As Much As They Can About The Prospect’ :)

I had a remodeler reach out to me a couple weeks back. I looked up their name on Facebook. Got to see their picture + 20 other pictures. I know they have kids. Are married. Celebrated a major anniversary last year. Are a big Detroit Tigers fan. Know about how old they are. Saw a couple other common interests. Got a feel for ‘how they roll’ – what their lifestyle is like. Saw some of their posts and they seem pretty friendly and polite. Had a mutual friend (an industry colleague of mine that both of us are friends with.)

NOW – here’s the key. I believe it’s wise to do this research. It arms me with information about who they are, but know this: You’re playing with FIRE! It would be foolish of me to say ‘how about them Tigers?’ That’s weird. How do I know they like them? But can I bring it up in a discrete way? Sure.

And that’s the key in this whole discussion. Be a great salesperson – do your homework. Use the tools that we have at our disposal, but use them responsibly. Don’t freak people out. Don’t make them scratch their head and say, ‘how did you know that?’

I think you’re probably a great salesperson and – as such – can elegantly figure out how to do your research and use it an effective and professional way. Would love your additional thoughts/comments!

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My private (and free!) Facebook group for remodelers can be found here: Remodelers Community – feel free to request to join if you’re a remodeler.