Many Residential Home Service Companies get to a point where they see a drop in conversions, average sale, and profit (C.A.P.). This often happens when you add or change people who have sales responsibilities, including CSRs, Techs, and Salespeople. Understanding what you have, what you’ve lost, or what you’re missing is essential in increasing your C.A.P., and thus, your revenue and profits.
But there are also aspects of your business that you have built with the best of intentions for motivating and inspiring your staff that are actually a problem. These policies, models, strategies, and processes may be going against your best efforts to get out of the way of revenues and profits.
When you are building a Selling System™, you are systematically reducing or eliminating friction for your employees and your customers. Friction points affect your employee’s mindset and motivation. Friction points make it difficult for customers to say yes.
When you reduce friction in your business, you are taking an active role in protecting and defending a happy, healthy, wealthy culture. Reducing friction will help you make more money by helping your employees win in a trustworthy and grateful manner.
Friction is what causes frustration. Friction is what slows down the sale. Friction reduces appointment conversions. Friction converts fewer sales on the first visit. Friction cause doubt. Friction loses employees. Friction loses sales.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest factors that are causing friction in your business, but first, let’s discuss what a Selling System™ entails.
What’s a Selling System™?
A Selling System™ is your entire sales ecosystem. These are the policies, processes, principles, and procedures that help you sell your goods and services. Your Selling System™ includes your sales process and training, but also your marketing and your culture.
A Selling System™ loses efficacy without dedicated leadership. Essentially, a Selling System™ is a single unified system of communication. When all of your signals, symbols, rituals, intentions, and values speak the same language, you improve your communication influence quotient. Your Selling System™ is built and championed by leadership. But it’s not just about what you preach, rather it’s what you tolerate.
When building a business, the primary goal is to generate sales. By focusing from a sales perspective, you can build a company that prioritizes your systems to optimize revenue and profit. Therefore, creating a unified policy and process that improves focus and removes friction makes it easier for sellers to sell, and buyers to buy.
The Most Common Friction Points
Training & Development
As a definition of terms, let’s agree that training is something that a person learns for the first time, while development is the evolution of training. If a person does not follow a specific training schedule, the information is largely lost and has to be retrained. Development is about deepening the training with more complex concepts and the opportunity to grapple with these concepts to elevate retention and recall.
That means there is a huge difference between an employee handbook collecting dust on the credenza in your office and memorable training and development. Once a person is effectively trained, they must continue to explore the same information from a variety of different angles of approach every 90 days.
When a concerted effort is made to embrace a perpetual learning mindset, the goal becomes coming up with a consistent, repetitive training schedule that pursues the most critical information in a fascinating way.
Knowing your C.O.R.E. Discipline will make all the difference when trying to build an effective training and development program. An Experience Excellent company relies more on attracting, selecting, and training highly skilled people, while an Operational Excellent discipline leans more on training well-designed processes with people who have the right attitude and aptitude.
Policy & Process
Your policies and processes clarify everything you do to generate sales. Policies articulate the rules of the game, while processes are how you run the plays in the game. Policies should be simple and clear, focusing on helping your people win in a trustworthy and grateful manner.
Processes are how you get more complex things done in the most effective and efficient manner. Processes are designed to help walk new people through how to do things right and seasoned staff how to stay on track.
Policy and process are where most companies fall short. A lack of clear communication leave room for mistakes, misinterpretation, and employees going rogue and making up their own rules of engagement. The most successful companies follow their processes as rituals, not just as guidelines. This allows leadership to identify where things fall apart and how to get things back on track. A great process will increase the success rate of any given action.
Policies and processes should be incorporated into training and development in an interesting and supportive manner that optimizes buy-in and morale. Done with religious consistency, you will embed the process into echoic retention, and your people will be able to automatically execute them in the face of any adversity.
If you hope to improve your communication influence quotient you must have great policies and procedures that are delivered in a meaningful way.
A lack of clear direction will only frustrate both management and employees alike. With no clear direction, your employees will default to the path of least resistance which erodes revenues and profitability.
Compensation is considerably more complex than just payroll. Money is only 1 of 6 factors in motivating your employees to stay productive and deliver results. Many compensation plans don’t garner the results you would expect.
Compensation, like price, is often a test for employees. How much you pay often depends on how terrible the job is, what the market rate is perceived to be, and how it compares to other, easier ways to make money.
This is why understanding motivation is so critical in attracting and retaining top talent. When you can craft a compensation plan that delivers the six motivations, you will have deeply loyal employees that will be very difficult to lure away with a promise of more money.
Lower than necessary birth rates and limiting immigration policy have left America short 11.1 million employees in the job market. This means we will never have the number of people necessary in this lifetime to fill all the empty roles needing to be filled.
Pair this with the added challenge of appealing to a more leisurely sentiment over the requirement for learning a complex skill and working in tough conditions, residential home services must take a proactive approach to recruiting people with the right attitude and aptitude.
Not only do you have to deliver on the expectations for a happy, healthy, wealthy culture, but you also have to be able to demonstrate this to potential candidates who are not actively in the job market. Certainly having job postings on job boards and on your website are essential 365 days a year, but now a portion of your mass media marketing should always be directed at potential candidates.
There are a variety of ways to price your products and services. Building a pricing strategy that fits first with your C.O.R.E. Discipline and resonates with your clientele is essential for accelerated growth and profitability.
While you are most certainly making money right now, fine-tuning your price strategy will make it easier for your sellers to sell, and your buyers to buy.
Here are 8 of the most common mistakes we see residential home service companies making with their price strategy:
- You’re not charging enough and leaving revenue on the table.
- You’re charging too much for the value you are delivering.
- You’re not capitalizing on the incremental profitability of bundling.
- You’re making the price too complicated.
- You’re creating price sensitivity unnecessarily.
- You’re discounting without a really good reason.
- You’re not discounting strategically when it could earn you the business.
- You’re not leveraging your price strategy to increase club membership sales.
- You’re not being forthright with your price to demonstrate trustworthiness.
Choosing the right inventory will make a profound difference in your sales opportunities. Identifying the core products that you believe in most will make for an easier sale. Curating a broad selection of upselling/cross-selling and product walks are also essential for making the sale easier for buyers and sellers.
More frequently than not, we see residential home service companies avoiding the unpleasurable products and services of their industry, leaving a void in their potential revenue stream. For example, HVAC companies are well-positioned to sell air filters, duct cleaning, and dryer vent cleaning. Plumbing companies are well-positioned to sell water filtration systems and biofilm removal.
Depending on your C.O.R.E. Discipline of choice, your selection will vary immensely. An Experience Excellent company will have a wide variety of unique products and services to provide detailed custom solutions. An Operational Excellent company has a much tighter selection of goods and services that can be customized to an extent but stay within more pre-defined solutions. This is known as mass customization.
Humans have a compulsion to measure things. When left uncomplicated, key metrics can be a way of staying on track and catching problems before they become catastrophic. Where performance metrics go awry is in which metrics matter, which metrics motivate results, and which numbers are a red herring.
The metrics that matter most to management and leadership are the company goals and KPIs. These numbers are forecasted based on past performance and industry benchmarks, allowing leaders to create a plan for growth and profitability. Where most leaders go wrong is assuming that their employees give a shit about these numbers they made up in the conference room.
Employees ultimately only care about the things that are within their control. For example, nobody has the ability to close the sale at a specific percentage, but they have complete control over the actions and behaviors that help them meet or exceed that goal. As long as management delivers on the things like leads to take the necessary actions, employees can do the things that matter to generate revenue and profit.
Particularly when things are slow or unprofitable, people have the urge to overanalyze and dive deep into the data looking for ways to improve the numbers rather than focusing on the best actions and behaviors. This is a comforting mistake that frustrates employees and irritates bosses. This leads to looking at information that only confirms preconceived biases, or taking unnecessary steps to correct a result.
The three most critical KPIs are conversions, average sale, and profits (C.A.P.). All other KPIs are secondary to these three measures of success, and if necessary, a deeper dive will help explain a historical result.
All KPIs are lagging indicators, not future predictors. They do not tell you what is happening today and are often measured with far too small a sample size or huge standard deviations. This means that the numbers being assessed are grossly inaccurate and misleading in what is happening in the present with actions and behaviors.
Focusing on the metrics that matter makes a huge difference in employee morale and manager stress.
Your Selling System™ and Culture?
When you curate a single unified Selling System™ you are investing in your culture. Culture is the employee experience, and the better it is, the more you will sell. This is why it is your duty to protect and defend a happy, healthy, wealthy culture with your life. It is your lifestyle – your financial freedom – that you are investing in when you do.
Companies with a great culture are companies that deliver a world-class buying experience. And it is a world-class buying experience that drives exponential profitable growth. And it’s these world-class buying experiences that your customers talk about in their 5-star reviews, with their friends and family, and you celebrate in your marketing.
Strategy doesn’t eat culture for breakfast.
Culture is the strategy.