[00:00:07.370] - Chris
Welcome back to the Head Heart and Boots Podcast. I'm Chris.
[00:00:10.810] - Brandon
And I'm Brandon. Join us as we wrestle with what it takes to transform ourselves and the businesses we lead.
[00:00:17.590] - Chris
Man, I love this industry.
[00:00:20.930] - Brandon
Christopher Nordike, you beat me to it. Yep. You're in trouble now, my friend.
[00:00:26.600] - Chris
Put my hanky away full.
[00:00:29.610] - Brandon
You're a hanky.
[00:00:30.500] - Chris
It's cold. A little bit of getting boogery, little snottiness.
[00:00:34.690] - Brandon
Getting a tad bit buggy.
[00:00:36.070] - Chris
[00:00:36.650] - Brandon
So, I have really, I think, a fun topic today that I want to get in with you. I want to get into this whole relationship with our client and with our business. Right.
[00:00:48.100] - Chris
I thought you were going to a different direction there for a second with leading, with relationship.
[00:00:51.560] - Brandon
[00:00:52.280] - Chris
Maybe this was a marriage episode or something.
[00:00:54.120] - Brandon
Well, I am going to use the word love, though.
[00:00:57.970] - Chris
I'm excited about that, man. I like love.
[00:01:00.660] - Brandon
Well, and actually, I wanted to have this discussion today because it's not your go to.
[00:01:06.260] - Chris
I knew all the time.
[00:01:07.720] - Brandon
So your wheelhouse good.
[00:01:09.820] - Chris
Well, let's do that.
[00:01:11.510] - Brandon
Yes. You know where things are going.
[00:01:13.910] - Chris
So I'm going to start with CNR magazine. Anybody notice? Well, you can't. It's not quite as a ram. Let's hear the reveal.
[00:01:19.920] - Brandon
Look at that.
[00:01:20.780] - Chris
Yeah. CNR. I mean, listen, you know a company by the quality of their swag.
[00:01:29.310] - Brandon
[00:01:30.350] - Chris
CNR is quality. Michelle and Sarah and the rest of the team, quality folks. They're great at scooping stories. CNR is the place to find out about what's going on in the industry, period. Including the fact they do free press releases. So you got a fancy new hire for your company, like Floodlight just did recently.
[00:01:48.750] - Brandon
[00:01:49.240] - Chris
Submit that press release and they'll push it out and the whole industry will see it. Great place to advertise. We're advertisers and we're big fans. So if you're not yet a subscriber, you should be. I mean, why not? It's free. Yeah.
[00:02:02.950] - Brandon
It's full of opportunities, of course, value and resources.
[00:02:06.960] - Chris
So check it out. Go to C and R magazine. You got to spell it out. C and Rmagazine.com and subscribe you put it in your email and they'll send you updates whenever all the new stuff comes out each week. And it's great.
[00:02:19.370] - Brandon
It's good stuff. It's not spammy. It's super pro.
[00:02:21.230] - Chris
It's really good stuff. In fact, I shared an article that was on CNR's website this last week by Zach Garrett, the CEO of Liftify, talking about the importance of Google reviews. Great little article.
[00:02:33.030] - Brandon
Yeah. Well, speaking of Zack and Lyftify, obviously another key sponsor of the show, and.
[00:02:37.780] - Chris
We timed this perfectly.
[00:02:38.970] - Brandon
[00:02:39.330] - Chris
That was like it was all set up.
[00:02:40.610] - Brandon
Yeah, it was like set and spike, man, I don't even know if that was right. Terminal volleyball term. Yeah, I think so. That's kind of a quasi anyway, Zack Liftify, obviously, we use them guys. They generate and run our review process. Our Google review process. Post training events and 31 accounts, all the things yeah, that's right. And then we have just been addicted to suggesting them to our clients and setting up demos and getting them connected because we just see the result. The team at Lift Device producing again, we've said this a lot, they're probably in that 2020 5% return range on their effort in terms of securing Google reviews. And then of course, Zach, just in terms of a resource, a knowledge based resource around our SEO Foundation, around organic search activity, like just that one tool and being consistent with that, getting relevant, new and consistent reviews. It literally has the most profound effect on your organic search. And it's cost wise, it's silly. It's an easy decision to make, so go check them out. Lyftify comfloodlight should be live, and you should be able to see some of the discounts and some opportunities associated with that.
[00:03:51.440] - Brandon
And it's just good for your business, guys, if you don't have a system put into place that's consistently giving you that level of return on reviews, just do yourself a favor and make it happen. It's fire and forget now, essentially, post a job. They are notified through their system, they send out that request and they chase it until they get it. And they use a series of different methods to do that. It's been valuable. So thanks, Lyftify, for your support and show and check them out, guys. Okay, this topic. So you and I are prepping for a book club session tomorrow with the blue collar boys. So whenever you get this, it'll be a couple of weeks away, probably before that comes out. But as a team. We've been reading this book by Keith Cunningham called the road less stupid. And first off, I just love the title because I think it's fun when guys are gals that have been associated with hierarchies, like big corporations and stuff, when they use language that's just down to earth and approachable, I can appreciate it. And this guy's book in general, I'm becoming a fan to the point where I feel like it's a little bit of a leadership playbook that I need to have on the nightstand so I can refer to it on a consistent basis.
[00:04:58.210] - Brandon
But anyways, one of the sections I was getting into again, because I've gone through it once and we're working through it again, but I was getting into this section where he was talking about how a lot of companies will fall in love with themselves. And that sounds weird, but I mean, they become very passionate around this thing, this thing, this service line, this product, and they really get so focused on the love for the product or the thing, the business, that they forget that, really. It's about falling in love with the client and then working backwards to ensure that your service, your process, your product meets or exceeds that need. One of the things I found very interesting about that was he was just hammering on the pain solution thing. He didn't use the language in a lot of ways. Yeah, but he's in it. He's like, look, people want to get out of pain. Your product, your service, needs to be addressing a pain point. Right? And we talk about all the time how important that is. And he's basically just reaffirming this drumbeat that you and I have been hammering on with, which is, let's learn about their experience.
[00:06:11.640] - Brandon
Let's determine where the pain is, and let's identify the way our team is going to work and respond to help them meet that need or get rid of that pain. So here's what kind of everything comes in cycles where these experiences add up. And then I'm like, okay, we need to talk about this on the show. Well, we had an exchange with the team yesterday, and they were just talking about how sometimes they get frustrated when working with a multi family client or environment because there's this tension between what we want to do as an IICRC certified firm.
[00:06:47.710] - Chris
[00:06:48.590] - Brandon
Our conviction, our passion about quality of work and doing it the right way.
[00:06:53.190] - Chris
All this stuff.
[00:06:53.750] - Brandon
Yeah. And then there's this, at times in conflict, what my client really wants right.
[00:07:01.750] - Chris
Or I think, a suitable way to say it is or requires sometimes the business requires that we handle that situation differently.
[00:07:10.610] - Brandon
Right. What we see often, and this is very common I mean, we have lots of clients in our roster that look, their pride is on the line. They care deeply about their brand and about them doing it in such a way that protects them from liability and risk, protects their personnel. They're all very valid reasons that back up this stance of, we only do work this way, period. And that always kind of sets me off a little bit, because I've just learned over the years, as you have talked about, that our clients are going to require some flexibility, professional flexibility on our part. And I want to get into that some more. But I think what was really interesting about Keith's perspective as he's talking about it in his book, is this focus on we lose. We get so wrapped up in this stance that we take, and it can take different forms. For this one particular company, it was about doing the right thing all the time. I get it. For others, the product is the best product. It's the best brand. We are the best. We do elite, blah, blah, blah. And we just forget, like, that's great.
[00:08:24.130] - Brandon
And the client really doesn't give a shit if they're honest. They don't care what you're passionate about. They really don't. They don't really care that you follow IICRC standards and that you're a certified firm and you do everything XYZ we talk about it like they do, but when we honestly dig into it, most of them can and would articulate. They really don't give a flying fart because unless it has a direct impact on the way that they want to make a decision based on how it will influence their business, their priorities, whatever, they really just don't care. And so we can fall on this sword of we are this business and we are so passionate about our quality of work and what we do, and we just forget, like, those are good standards to have internally, but it's not necessarily what grows the business. What grows the business is focusing on what does my client need and can I work backwards and create a system and a process that still protects my brand and my firm, but gives my client what they want? Capital th e y right. They like, not ours.
[00:09:36.770] - Chris
The timing is great. And it's funny how you and I, we mind melt like this sometimes. Like you happen to be reading this and thinking about it. This morning I was invited to come speak to a networking group, facebook, private Facebook group thing via Zoom Call. It was basically a group of really young restorers. Well, a lot of these people had only been in the business for one, two, three years. Most of them were under a million bucks. And I decided to talk about sales. I think a lot of them were expecting kind of some whiz bang tips on what to say to agents and stuff to hand out and how often you should drop in and all that kind of stuff. And I just kind of took all that off the table. And to your point, we already know this, and we've talked a ton about how route marketing, in the form that most of us understand it, is dying off because it's become noise, it's become a distraction, and then there's a whole bunch of other factors why. But as I was talking to this small group of restorers, the reality for them, many of them have like three trucks and they have two people and a part time marketer.
[00:10:53.230] - Chris
And I asked them the question, I said, hey, if you're going to sell features and benefits, you're going to go in and talk about your scope of work. They ask you about your team, you tell them about your team and you get into this whole features and benefits conversation. How in the world do you think you're going to compete and win against the Serve Pro Service Masters bell Fours BMSs first on Sites Blue Skies of the World? If you're going to sell features and benefits, what we do, if you're going to talk restoration, how in the world do you think you're going to compete with them? And I just let that question hang there for a bit.
[00:11:30.570] - Brandon
The dramatic pop.
[00:11:31.980] - Chris
[00:11:33.230] - Brandon
[00:11:33.700] - Chris
And I said, the way you're going to compete is through relationship. The way you're going to compete is through relationship. And how do you build a relationship with somebody when you're a small little mom and pop. I'm addressing the small mom and pop kind of chuck in a truck. And I say that affectionately, by the way. That's where a lot of us started, right? So if you're going to try to compete, gain market share, build your business, you got to find a different way. Because if you plan on doing the whole smiles and candy thing and just Google PPC and that kind of stuff, it's going to be a long road for you to get where you want to go for most people. So figuring out how to sell intentionally and get out there and have the right conversation with people is really important. I told them. I said, look, the only way that you're really going to win, especially with commercial accounts, is to get in there and find out what their experience has been with other companies. And I walked them through our whole pain solution selling kind of model, and they were in awe.
[00:12:27.620] - Chris
I mean, I was the star of the show. It was really fun, felt great. But I think the reason why they knew, like, man, this is right on, I have to switch gears, is because it's the way all of us like to buy. All of us have pain points, and we've all experienced those salespeople that are just doing the whole promotional selling gig, dropping off swag, badgering us with follow up calls that have no substance to them, taking our time, interrupting dinner with the door knock, whatever. And so we all intuitively know that that relational, curious, humble process is how everybody prefers to be treated. And so it was a fun conversation because a lot of them were just so accustomed to, this is how you sell in our industry. You go, you take your flyers, you take your notepads, your mouse pads, mugs and all that kind of stuff. And that's the thing that's going to open the door. And I think by the end of the conversation, they're like, no, I may not even need any of that stuff if I get into the right conversation with people.
[00:13:27.490] - Brandon
Well, and I think you're kind of landing on something that, in general, I don't want to take all the gas out of tomorrow's conversation about the book, but I think what I've really appreciated in my reading of this, is that Keith is so focused on trying to get us out, trying to prevent business owners and business leaders from falling into the trap. That's, like, age old. It's the same trap that so many businesses entrepreneurs fall into of they fall in love with their product or their service, and then their goal is to try to talk about the value of their product and service to the end user in hopes to convey to them the value that you see in it. And then hopefully, they'll cross that, which.
[00:14:09.410] - Chris
Is exactly how it's the opposite. It's the opposite of how really sophisticated, like technology companies that a lot of us really admire.
[00:14:17.790] - Brandon
It's exactly the opposite approach.
[00:14:20.070] - Chris
What technology companies and some of the real sophisticated leading companies in the world do is they first establish product, market fit, what is the market need and want, and then let's build a product or service for that. And that's exactly what we're teaching is. Once you get into a conversation like, hey, what's your experience been with restoration? And they say something like, oh, my gosh, two months ago we had this thing with XYZ. It was horrible. It was terrible. Once we ask the question, hey, what was it? Hey, I hear that all the time. This is a difficult industry. We're not perfect either. But what was it about their people or their process that made it the hardest for you and your team? The moment we get those answers, that becomes the product that we're offering. Because they don't care about anything else. No, they just told us, hey, the communication frequency was terrible. We're always chasing them down, trying to get updates for our owner clients or our owner clients are breathing down our neck and we can't ever get information from our PM. They just told you what product they want to buy.
[00:15:29.590] - Chris
That becomes our product. And one of the things I said to these owners that were on this call, I said, and don't get into the frame of mind that this is just a tactic, a sales tactic. This is a way of doing business. The whole pain solution selling model is a function of how you do business and how some of the best companies in the world do business is the more intel they gather about what pain points their customers have, the more products and solutions they create to sell to that.
[00:15:59.110] - Brandon
Yeah, to meet that need.
[00:16:00.050] - Chris
They don't I mean, outside Apple is kind of an anomaly, right? Because he's sort of famous for providing a product that nobody knew they needed.
[00:16:07.190] - Brandon
And however, though, what do they do is they are hyper focused on the customer's experience with the product, user experience, man. That's what they're selling. That's what makes them a beast. That's why they can charge. What they charge is because they're so keyed in on what does my user experience, how do they feel, how does it make them stand up or get engaged? And that's what they're selling to. And that's why they're very few of.
[00:16:34.940] - Chris
Us are ever going to have the intuition of a Steve Jobs, right?
[00:16:38.180] - Brandon
[00:16:38.690] - Chris
And so the way we find out what people want is by asking them about what they've experienced with the current product or solution or company that they're using. And so I told them, I said, especially as an early company, we have some people that listen to our show that just have it's just them. They have a water extractor. They got a few dehus and some fans, and they're just starting out. And for you, I would say this sales approach is really important for you to embody as well. Because whether it's talking to agents or plumbers and trying to get plumber referrals or you're going to property managers and trying to build a relationship, it's still important for you to deploy this, even at that small scale, because it's going to teach you the kinds of systems, the kinds of team members that you're going to need to hire as you grow. It's going to tell you what kind of business you need to build as you get more and more customers. The customers are going to tell you what they want, right? They're going to tell you what they want. And one of the things they may tell you is, hey, we don't want call centers.
[00:17:36.490] - Chris
We don't want your $499 call center that you use to take all your calls. We want to talk to a real person. And so then, you know to prioritize hiring a receptionist as one of your first key hires to take those calls and provide more of a personal experience. I said, but the customers will tell you. They'll tell you what their pain points are in your market. And then in some cases, you may not have an answer and you're going to have to build it, right? They say, yeah, the project reporting, we never knew what the hell was going on. Okay, well, that's your cue to say daily reporting is probably important for my commercial clients. I'm going to need to put a process in place and expectation on my PMS to implement that, because right now, my solution is no better than the crap they're getting from the other company. And that's what I told them. I said, the reality is, as you start talking to clients, there's going to be some moments where you're like, oh shoot, that thing they're complaining about, about XYZ restoration. We're likely to I'm just as crappy as that.
[00:18:30.400] - Chris
I need to do some of that if I'm going to make progress in this market. Hey, friends.
[00:18:36.820] - Brandon
[00:18:37.610] - Chris
We're doing something a little bit different with our ads. So you've been accustomed to hearing some ads with our favorite partners and companies in the industry. Now we actually have a product page, our partners page, on our website. So floodlightgrp. Compartners. I want to give you a quick rundown, though, of the people that we're partnering with and we believe in as really go to resources in the industry. The first one is restoration erp.com, right? ERPs are an important part of our sales process, our customer development process. And why reinvent the wheel? The restoration ERP platform is awesome. It can be customized to your business, branding and all that kind of stuff. It has all the components to really create a value add for your commercial client. Accelerate job management software. Everybody needs job management software. And we have just found Accelerate. Not only is their team just really great to work with, when they get ideas from customers, they throw it into the product roadmap and they implement it. They're really advocating for the contractor and trying to create a software solution that works for them. Actionable Insights. We recommend actionable insights all the time, right?
[00:19:40.680] - Chris
All of us, as restoration operators, are looking for turnkey resources and training solutions that we can take our team to the next level and AI, when it comes to estimating and matterport and a lot of the other essential tools we're using, they're an awesome resource and they're always coming out with new great stuff.
[00:19:58.880] - Brandon
Super influential in the industry. Super Tech University soft Skills Development training for your technicians, for your frontline personnel. Let's face it, frontline personnel are the heartbeat of our company. They are the ones that connect with our clients and create the customer experience. There's no better investment than investing in the ability for those individuals to represent themselves, our clients and our brands well. So super. Tech University. Surety. They essentially are cutting down this life cycle between delivering service and then getting paid, stepping in, removing the middleman in terms of mortgage companies, refining that pipeline, making sure that there's at least friction as possible so we can go out and do a great job, and then our businesses don't suffer while we're waiting to get paid. The money is coming and it's coming quickly. And then the last one, guys, is Liftify is kind of a newer entry to the industry. They're driving Google reviews, so they're a turnkey partner that we can literally go out, provide a great customer experience, hand that name off to our trusted partner in Liftify, and have them go chase.
[00:21:02.280] - Chris
That Google Review 25% conversion rate, which is industry wide. People tend to average 5% of the people you ask for review. Actually convert lift. If I bumped that to 25, we were such a big believer. We are a customer and they've been generating all of our floodlight reviews. And in a matter of a week and a half, or up to close to 15 reviews in just a short period of time.
[00:21:21.930] - Brandon
And I think people just underestimate what happens organically with your SEO search activity when you're getting these new and active five star reviews from our clients. And we just can't let the pedal up on that because of the effect on our businesses long term.
[00:21:35.480] - Chris
Big deal. So check it out. Check out our partners page. Do business with them. You won't regret it. We're confident in that. Floodlightgrp.com partners.
[00:21:44.200] - Brandon
Thanks, guys. No, I think you're hitting on something really interesting there. I think what this reminds me of is it almost takes me back to this place of how are we considering and problem solving as a company, as an institution. And I think that when we get caught up in this love affair with our own brand, our own company, are passionate about our business, we lose being connected to the thing that we should be using to problem solve from. And that is, again, it's our end users experience in mind. And for us as a service brand, it really is less about product and far more about experience, right? So what are we doing? What are we focused on? Here are some things that remind me of. One is we got to stay out of this danger zone of problem solving the wrong problem, right? And when we are constantly looking at our business through the eyes of what we're passionate about, what we care about, what our brand says, what IICRC says, we're going to run the risk of never actually solving the problem or creating systems and processes that support what the client wants to buy.
[00:22:50.330] - Brandon
And so you can put all this effort in, you can spin your wheels, you can dedicate all this energy to something that at the end of the day that the value that's perceived by your client actually doesn't change much. It just doesn't actually create what they want from an experience. The other thing that I see with this is that think about it again, like these two stances almost and again, don't hear me wrong when we're talking about this. I'm not saying we forgo quality. I'm not saying we forgo brand protection. I'm not saying we forgo following and adhering to IICRC standards. That's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying that those are like baseline foundations for having a professional company. But what we're developing is a system and or processes that meet or exceed our clients want.
[00:23:36.500] - Chris
Yeah, that works for them.
[00:23:37.770] - Brandon
For them. That's the goal. Right? This other stuff are standards we have to uphold because we're professionals. But how do we grow our business? We've got to tell a story about an experience our client wants, not what we think they want. So anyways, here's my thought on this. And I don't know how accurate this is. I'm just kind of thinking out loud, right? As I've been considering some of this. Let's think about these two stances. I've got one camp which most of us are probably in, of, hey, I'm building a business. I care a lot about it. I'm passionate about this business. I want to be safe, secure and have a healthy future. Great. Then there's this camp of that's kind of foundational. I'm very passionate about my customers experience. I'm in love with my client. I want to be focused on and build a system and or a process, a service line that thrills my client. You can hear if you're listening to this, there is a distinction between those two. Now let's ask ourselves a question about some of the processes or internal employee systems that we like to mirror. After action review.
[00:24:43.690] - Brandon
Think about our stance. Again, I'm in the camp of I'm so passionate about my company, my brand IICRC standards, right? Or I'm in love with my client. Okay, we do an after action review. If I'm doing an after action review from the perspective of, I'm just trying to create a better customer experience. What is my posture like when we poke holes and or poke at that existing process? Versus, I'm in love with my brand, I'm in love with my company. We're so passionate about what we do. When you have an A from that perspective, how often are we actually defending the process that's in place? Right? Because we've already determined internally, well, this is the process we have to follow because it meets our needs internally, versus we're designing processes that meets the need of the end user. Right? And we can always have that professional backdrop of we can't just take someone's opinion or want and throw our entire established system and certifications out the window. But just your posture to learn is greatly different than if you're trying to protect what you love versus working towards what your customer loves. Right?
[00:25:58.820] - Chris
Here's an example. We were in Idaho Falls this last week, and I love one of the things I really enjoy about off sites is I get to go out and cold call with sales leaders. It's really fun. And I think part of what we're talking about here is there's an element of delayed gratification sometimes that we just have to really own and value. What I mean by that is me and the sales leader went into a senior living, a brand new senior living prospect. 80 beds. Not a huge property, but a cool prospect. And we introduced ourselves to the maintenance manager, and I did what I always do, which is I said, hey, this is what we do. Facility partner, disaster restoration, et cetera. This particular company also does carpet cleaning and stuff like that. And I said, but how do you manage your facilities here? What vendors do you also work with? How long have you been here? She's like, oh, we just took over this property two months ago. I've been trying to get my arms around all the vendors here. It was basically a distressed sale, so we weren't given any information about our HVAC equipment or any of that stuff.
[00:27:10.250] - Chris
And we've just been scrambling, trying to address things and get things tidied up and get things in deferred maintenance and all this kind of stuff. As I'm hearing her say that, I'm realizing, okay, this is not the moment for me to pitch carpet cleaning, which is one of the tips of the spear this company uses to get in, and they clearly needed it. But her sense of overwhelm with what she's been asked to do with being a brand new maintenance manager, a building that was just acquired, it's the first senior living property in this guy's real estate portfolio. And so they're just figuring it out as they go. And so in my mind, I'm thinking, okay, I could probably sell some carpet cleaning right here, or I could be the hero, and I could help. This person get their arms around what's happening in their facility. So we entirely shifted gears. And I took that sales rep and that maintenance manager said, you know what, do you mind just showing us around the property some of the things you've been working on and what stuff is frustrating you right now? And she walked us around and they got some air ducts cleaned and the guy wouldn't touch their actual HVAC air returns because they weren't sure what model it was or how things were connected.
[00:28:20.340] - Chris
And that's become a thing that she's had to chase down. And they need their exterior building wash and windows done and they can't find a vendor that will respond to calls to come and do the work. And and they have a hardscape landscaping thing they want to put in. They can't get anybody to come out and give them bids and the laundry list of stuff, none of it related to restoration. And we got out of the meeting with a meeting for the next week to bring one of the division managers with the sales rep to come collaborate. I'm walking through, introducing them to some subs and some contractors that that company has worked with, a bunch they've vetted. So not only are we taking an opportunity to introduce some of our subcontractors and partners to a new prospect, but we're helping a new prospect figure out their business.
[00:29:09.150] - Brandon
Yeah, the present pain, the present pain.
[00:29:12.260] - Chris
The present pain of the overwhelm of yeah, carpets need to be cleaned, but there's all this other stuff tugging at her sleeve, giving her anxiety. She's brand new to the industry. She doesn't know any of the jargon in senior living. They just had their first inspection and she's brand new to the industry and she just had a state inspection. I mean, she is reeling from all of the newness. And we just set her up as a partner. We're going to be a partner for her. Now, what we found out afterwards, we did some due diligence on that account. She is connected through this other owner to a whole system of mental health clinics throughout the region, a whole portfolio of commercial grade A office space. So once we help them solve their problems, how likely are they to introduce us to the owner of the portfolio so we could potentially help out other properties that he's onboarding?
[00:30:08.670] - Brandon
Right. What will that turn into?
[00:30:10.040] - Chris
Yeah, where's the big win? I think that's part of this thing, too, is as we prioritize the customer, we get an opportunity to tap into, in a lot of cases, a much bigger win. Whereas we tend to be hyper focused on the water damage event, the roof leak. They called us on whatever, whatever. And it's like, wait, hold on, let's step back and see who are we talking to?
[00:30:32.940] - Brandon
[00:30:33.640] - Chris
And what do they really need?
[00:30:36.010] - Brandon
It reminds me of our chat that we've had. Well, our two part chat actually with Joey Coleman and just this idea of client onboarding that process. And what this reminds me of is how he's so focused on the fact that we've got to give our prospect an opportunity to see what it's going to be like to work with us even before they formally work with us in our industry, specifically the way that we sell. We have to do this because it's one of the only ways we can keep that relationship healthy and moving forward. Because we can't control when the call happens, we can't control when that event actually strikes their property, but we can give them all sorts of experiences to show them what it's going to be like to work with our company even before they've worked with us. And that's a great example and I think that's what the power is in making this mental shift. It's funny because I feel like a lot of these things are kind of in contrast to each other. Like example, we hear all the time, business leaders and we've talked about the value of this is don't worry about the client, focus on your employees and we buy into that.
[00:31:42.020] - Brandon
I think it's just the context, right, is where we're coming from. The idea is if we have happy, engaged, qualified, trained and competent people ultimately, then what will our client experience? So it's not a different perspective, right? It's just like in action, where are we going to invest the energy? The energy is going to go into developing our personnel to create a different customer experience. But the point of that still is driven by love for our end user. We're going to equip our people to create the kind of experience our clients want because we're focused on that. We want our brand and our service to meet and exceed our clients needs. I know sometimes this stuff feels a little bit like it's in conflict with each other, but it's really not like you just can't go wrong if you start from this position as a team. This is all the way down from frontline tech to owner of Listen. Our primary focus is to learn our clients and customers needs and then to back work backwards to create a system, a process and hire the kind of people that will then deliver on exactly what our clients looking for.
[00:32:55.830] - Brandon
We will sell. You will sell. When you do that, you get into a commercial environment, just like you said, with this kind of individual and from the gate, you're focused on what they need, not what you're trying to sell because of what you're passionate about and quotes. You do that, you put that effort in, it's the PMAT, it's the whatever, you prove to that person what it's going to be like to do business with you, especially in the face of there's no monetary return. In that moment. They see that, they take note of that and then what happens they tell people about your business, not because of your certifications, not because of your logo style, not because of your colors, and not because of the type of equipment you use. They do it because you created an experience that met their need or removed their pain, and they will literally move mountains for you.
[00:33:44.860] - Chris
[00:33:45.180] - Brandon
[00:33:45.500] - Chris
Let's go back to the senior living example. Right. Like, the obvious move, I think, to a lot of US. Salespeople in our industry. When we start hearing overwhelmed, we're new to this property, we can't figure out what's going on. We're figuring it out as we go. A lot of us would jump right to emergency response plan or whatever you call it in your business, or emergency preparedness plan, whatever. A lot of, oh, oh, they need an emergency response plan. They're all dysfunctional, and they don't know what the hell is going on in their property, and they would miss the bigger opportunity with the emergency response plan of, let's get a win for them. Let's build some trust. Let's help reduce that overwhelm. Then we can point back to the ERP and talk about how this will further reduce their anxiety and help them be more prepared next time they have something, because we've freed up some mental space.
[00:34:41.440] - Brandon
[00:34:41.840] - Chris
I think that's a mistake I've made so many times in my outreach to prospects is I'm hyper focused on as soon as I hear pain and we talk a lot about this. Pain is what we sell to. Right. So I can get hyper focused on the pain that they share with me and then very quickly pull out my gun and shoot. The solution, Adam, without thinking about, is that the pain point that we really should be addressing first?
[00:35:06.280] - Brandon
It's almost Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Right. Like, if they don't have the mental or emotional bandwidth yeah.
[00:35:13.350] - Chris
To that customer, they're just trying to prepare for the second half of their state inspection, and they don't even hardly know where to begin.
[00:35:20.150] - Brandon
[00:35:21.430] - Chris
So the pain wasn't the dysfunction and the disorganization and the chaos. The pain was actually, holy shit. We have the second half of our state inspection coming, and if we fail it, we're screwed. My boss, the owner who just bought this property, is going to be upset, disappointed, mad, and I'm not even sure where to begin. Well, solve that problem first, even if it means nothing to you in terms of revenue or opportunity in the moment. Because I guarantee once you solve that problem, it'll be so natural, it'll be so obvious to say, now that we got that inspection behind us, we should do a little bit of intentional pre planning so that you guys don't ever feel out of sorts. We don't have to go through this chaos again next time. We can outline who your service vendors are and contact numbers and model types for your HVAC system, and we can get all of that in one place so that you and your executive director and your owner can have access to that data on the building. So next time you need to bring somebody out, it's all there. People know where to park.
[00:36:27.890] - Chris
People know what the access codes are. People have a phone. Right? All the things that's a much easier conversation once we've gotten a win under.
[00:36:35.810] - Brandon
Our belt or the value has a better landing pad, 100% clients going to be able to connect with that value prop.
[00:36:42.100] - Chris
They'll be able to hear it because they don't have all this other chaos tugging at their sleeve. Yeah, that's all they can think about until the chaos is mitigated.
[00:36:50.390] - Brandon
I think one thing I'd just like to probably chat about briefly before we wrap this up is I want to think about how do we message this then with our team? Like, what do we do with this? So, first off, I think it's important that as owners are a key leader, right? Wherever you're at in the business, you could be a salesperson, be it a department head, be a project manager estimate. It doesn't really matter. Just think about your part of the business, right, and just ask yourself this question, like, as Keith would say, get some thinking time in, right? That invaluable time, that priceless time that none of us prioritize, but get some thinking time in and really ask yourself the question, how consistently am I, my team or our company? Really asking ourselves the questions, really connecting with our client, getting feedback from them, having dialogue around their wants, their needs, how this process affects their business, from their insight, from their perspective. And then I think as a team then, is to begin to share those stories in your team meeting, in an all company meeting. It's educating our teams how to think and prioritize our clients experience over everything else.
[00:38:03.450] - Brandon
It's not intuitive in most cases. It's not just going to happen because we want it to, and it certainly isn't going to happen just because you think about it. We've got to take that process of thinking, asking ourselves the question, giving an honest assessment of what camp we've been hanging in. And it's okay if you haven't been in the customer first camp. In execution, you probably are verbally, but you do that, and then you start telling those stories to the team. You start talking about that and weaving it into your problem solving or your milestone development when you're creating changes in the business. So if you grab your recon team and you start breaking down your process or you want to put a process in place, you've been doing a lot of work. You do it pretty decently. There's tribal knowledge, but there's no formal process. Well, this is our opportunity to create the why for our team. Like, why do we want a client checklist? Why do we want to have a similar dialogue every time? Why do we want our estimates to have a similar Feel Vibe theme? Because we want to marry that up against our customers experience and their wants and their desires.
[00:39:10.040] - Brandon
And so if we can do that, though, if we can start by asking the self the question, are we consistently really focused on our clients experience? Are we then working backwards to devise systems and processes that protect us but and deliver or exceed that expectation our client has? And then how do we talk about that as a team in our normal battle rhythms, in our normal cadence and then weave that into the decision making and the process and system development that we ultimately engage in? Right? Those things have to happen, Symbiotically. And then the next thing you know it you start to see this shift in your personnel where they're stepping into a project customer focus. They're stepping into a new sales call customer Focus. They're stepping into a new project with this idea of what is our system going to do to provide an experience that marries up with their want and their need, not what we're passionate about. Right.
[00:40:09.270] - Chris
There is no replacement for the senior leader modeling these behaviors and this kind of perspective. And you can teach it. You can tell people, you say, hey, listen to this podcast by these guys talking about this. We know people pass around the podcast a lot, but there is no replacement for you as the senior leader modeling that. So how do you model that? I have two suggestions and one will be a lot more uncomfortable than the other, but it's incredibly doable. And that is get out with your sales team and go on cold calls with them.
[00:40:42.340] - Brandon
[00:40:42.720] - Chris
And don't worry about selling. Don't worry about having the right thing to say or scheduling meetings or getting the wins. Be there as the business owner and ask the questions that you wish a sales rep would ask you. Because listen, as an owner or a GM or a chief of operations or whatever you are, you have bullshit subs that you deal with that give you shitty service, right?
[00:41:09.620] - Brandon
[00:41:10.360] - Chris
What are the kinds of questions that you can ask to uncover if this senior living or this hotel has bullshit subcontractors they're frustrated with? Right?
[00:41:19.180] - Brandon
[00:41:19.580] - Chris
What is the kind of stuff that you deal with with your subcontractors and vendors on a daily basis? Put yourself in that mindset and just be curious about if they have similar challenges. That is the quickest way for you to connect with what your customers are seeing, feeling and experiencing from other vendors.
[00:41:38.260] - Brandon
In the market, getting on the same side of the table as you said.
[00:41:42.590] - Chris
And then bring that to team meetings. Hey, guys, we just switched vendor share this stuff. It doesn't all have to be restoration. It doesn't all have to be from the rest of the playbook. Right. Share with your team. When you swap out a subcontractor because they were consistently giving us shitty service and therefore reflecting poorly on our company. We swapped them out. We swapped such and such plumbing out with so and so on. I want you guys to know why, because some of you may have had friends that work there or whatever. Here's why we made the decision. We were seeing this pain point, this pain point, this pain point over and over again. It was tanking our profit on some things. We were irritating our clients. DA DA DA. It's just unacceptable. And we tried to have a conversation to coach them through it, and they just weren't willing. So we're swapping it out, just like we occasionally have to swap out our vendors. The people, the prospects out in the field that we're talking to, they're getting bad experience from some of their restoration company and other vendors as well. And it's our job to find out what those problems are and for us to be the solution.
[00:42:40.620] - Chris
We want to be the solution, not the problem. Just that kind of language, bring that to your people. But the way you can get that language is by going out and going out on sales calls. And don't worry about selling. Don't worry about passing on your business card. You don't need to do any of that. Just be curious as a business owner and talk to them like a peer. The second thing, too. And it sounds like a broken record, but I just really believe in it is. I think as an owner, a division manager, a GM, all of the above, I think you should call on closed jobs every single week and have a special kind of conversation with that client, commercial or otherwise, and just say to them, hey, I am, and give them your title and name I'm so and so. We just finished a job for you at XYZ Building or at your home, and I was hoping I could just take a few more minutes and just get a little more detailed info about your experience with us. And I like to lead with the question. It's just a great opener of I saw your five star Google review.
[00:43:38.390] - Chris
It sounds like you really loved Johnny or Sally, your project manager. So awesome. I made sure to pass that feedback along to them and they were stoked. But do you mind just sharing a few more things about our people and our process that you experienced that made it a five star experience? Anything specific that you could talk about? The feedback that you get from the customer. One, when they know us, an executive leader is taking time after the whole job has been closed out, they already got the certificate of satisfaction sign. They told us we're great, the Google review, everything else. But to have a senior leader come back and say, hey, we want to improve on every single job, I would just covet your feedback and asking some really specific, detailed questions that are only really to benefit people like them to get a better service experience. And likewise, on the commercial side, what a rich opportunity to ask them, how did our service compare to other restoration companies you've had to work with in the past?
[00:44:36.740] - Brandon
Or just as important, how did our service align with what we told you it was going to do and feel it?
[00:44:41.370] - Chris
Absolutely. But don't get so focused on getting feedback on you again. It's asking these open ended questions like, hey, so first of all, I saw that five star review. I saw the cos. Sounds like the project went really well, but I'm just curious why it went well. Yeah. There are two or three things about our people or process that just really made it easier for you guys. And if you don't mind, could you just contrast for me what the experience was like compared to previous restoration companies you've used? Was there anything that you were disappointed in that you've gotten or experienced with other companies? While overall you were happy, was there any small disappointments of stuff that we didn't do that you've been accustomed to?
[00:45:21.720] - Brandon
[00:45:22.310] - Chris
And also, is there anything specific about our people or process that was different or better? Because I love to pass along those kudos, and a lot of times, if we're doing something better, we can do it even better by us focusing on that. Right. Those kind of interviews are a great way for us to gather that intel. And then, of course, the modeling part is us going back to the team, going to the morning stand, too, with your technicians and saying, hey, guys, I just want to tell you about a call I have with Mrs. Jones. Did any of you work on that job?
[00:45:49.850] - Brandon
[00:45:50.000] - Chris
Right on. Hey, by the way, Sally, they said you were just the best. You clearly created a great experience for them. But here's what they also said. Guys, the fact that you guys remember to put booties over your shoes really stood out to Mrs. Jones. Like, they've had previous companies and plumbers and stuff coming through their house. No one ever did that. And she really valued that because they have this fancy rug in their living room that she always worries about. So, guys, that's why we do it. That's one of the ways we win.
[00:46:20.750] - Brandon
With people just connecting the dots, that kind of stuff. Yeah, it's the why. It gives them a valuable why proposition, I think, for being supportive and engaged in all the changes and modifications that we do. And we see this a lot with teams that are moving from we kind of just figured it out to get here, and now we want to formalize that and make it more consistent and more scalable. Then there's always some pushback, and that wide driver is really important to get your team on board. I think maybe just if you're comfortable with this just a place to kind of land this plane is think about it this way, guys. Think about our own relationships. I think most marriage counseling, right? If you go to some experience in marriage counseling, you're going to hear how valuable it is to focus on your partner and meeting their needs and wants. And ultimately what we see happen is there's this natural reciprocation that kicks in, whereas if we're busy as a couple really thinking about the other person's needs, inevitably there's a strong chance you will end up getting your needs met. And that's because both peoples are overly indexed on worrying about the others experience versus their own net result.
[00:47:29.360] - Brandon
We both end up getting what we want. Right. And I think this is a great way for us to think about our business and our relationship to our clients is how often are you and your team approaching your systems, your process, your selling efforts, the way you behave as individuals. The KPIs the things you're monitoring, from the perspective of are we really focused on meeting the needs of our partner and in this case, being the client. Right. It even goes as far as leaders thinking that way about their own employees. Yes, because to a certain extent not a certain extent, to a very specific way. Our clients, we have internal clients, and those internal clients are employees. And often we're approaching our relationship with them from this space of how they're affecting me, how they're affecting my company, how they are a strain on me. And the reality of it is, I wonder what would happen as we put more effort into creating an experience that meets our employees needs, and then in return, what does that do for our clients and us as a business and as a brand? And so I think that's the encouragement here.
[00:48:38.870] - Brandon
We don't have all the answers, guys. It's not a silver bullet, but it's just making the shift of are we focusing our energy on the partner and filling their needs? Because if we are, it likely will give us the result that we're looking for a growing, healthy business. Right. All right.
[00:48:57.710] - Chris
It's good. Okay. If you liked it, share it. That's the rules. The rules of this new Internet. That's the Internet world. Here the inner webs. If you like it, share it. If you're interested in talking to us about one on one consulting or having one of our live workshops come to your area, just go to floodlightgrp.com, follow the links. It's pretty easy to do a little Web submission, and we'll get back to you, and we'll get a chat on the calendar. Anything else?
[00:49:21.760] - Brandon
No, that's it.
[00:49:22.470] - Chris
I think that's it.
[00:49:23.170] - Brandon
All right, pedal down. Have a great week. We'll see you next time. All right. All right, everybody. Hey, thanks for joining us for another episode of Head, Heart and Boots.
[00:49:32.670] - Chris
And if you're enjoying the show, you love this episode. Episode, please hit follow. Formally known as subscribe, write us a review or share this episode with a friend. Share it on LinkedIn, share it via text, whatever. It all helps. Thanks for listening.