Author: Dennis Hohman

Why 2, 3, and 4 Star Reviews Are a Goldmine

You ever notice how proud people are of their 5 star reviews?

“We have tons of 5-star reviews! We are the best! Purchase our products and services!” they tell us over and over again.

5-star reviews are cool, I like them too, BUT the money is made in your 2, 3, and 4-star reviews.

Why?

Well first of all, 5-star reviews are often times raving fans. In a contracting business they can be loyal customers, friends, family, etc. They love you even when you screw up! It’s not like if you track mud in Uncle Phil’s house he’s going to give you a bad review right?

And 1 star reviews?

Well, often times they are just grumpy “know it all” folks who can’t be made happy.

That leaves us with all the reviews in between. This is where we need to focus our attention when we want to improve our products and services.

You see…2, 3, and 4-star reviewers like some of what we did, and disliked other things we did.

In other words, they are giving us usable feedback. Feedback we can use to improve our service.

Let’s say you get a 5-star review that says “We loved Bill’s plumbing and heating. Great company. We recommend them!”

Not much we can do with that huh? Sure it feeds our ego but that’s about it.

What if instead we focused not the 3-star reviewer that wrote “Bill’s plumbing and heating came to our house and fixed our furnace. It was a little frustrating when they gave us a 4 hour window for their arrival and we had to take off all afternoon but at least it’s fixed.”

Now we have something we can improve! Especially if you notice the same problem time and time again show up in your reviews.

Start looking at your reviews in a different way. Don’t just focus on the great reviews, look at the others in order to learn from your mistakes and improve.

 

Brain Dumping and Def Leppard

In 1986 the legendary rock band Def Leppard was finishing up recording their soon to be released Hysteria album. (One of my favorite albums of all time).
Their producer on the album was Robert “Mutt” Lange. He had helped the band write and produce 11 songs for the new album but he was restless. Lange knew something wasn’t quite right.
He new something was missing. The album wasn’t complete….not yet.
I’ve been hard at work creating my new LEGEND platform, which includes a program that will be the most complete business building program for contractors on the planet.
Strategy
Sales and Marketing
Operations
Systems
People
Finance
Mindset
It’s got it all, but I was having a Mutt Lange moment. As diverse a program as I had created, I knew something was missing. I just didn’t know what.
I looked time and time again at the offerings in my program but I couldn’t find what I was missing, but I knew it wasn’t complete.
Enter the brain dump….
A brain dump is a process I use in which I just write out everything that comes to mind. It doesnt matter if it seems useless, stupid, smart, or worthwhile, it gets written down. (I use a big white board in my office for my brain dumps).
A brain dump is designed to get everything out of your brain so new ideas have an opportunity to enter our thoughts.
I wrote and wrote for over an hour. Everything came out (most of the ideas were bad) but finally, low and behold, I discovered the hole in my program….
No, I’m not going to tell you what it was right now, but I will soon enough!
I will however fill you in on what happened with Def Leppard, Mutt Lange and the Hysteria album.
As Lange walked through the studio ond day he heard Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliot playing a certain guitar riff. He approached Elliot and asked what it was.
“Nothing. Just something I was kicking around.” answered Elliot.
“Well,” said Lange “that is one of the best guitar riffs I’ve heard in years. We need to write a song around it”
Lange knew this song would complete the album.
One week later the massive hit song Pour Some Sugar On Me was written and recorded. When that song was later released as a single it helped sell 600,000 albums in ONE WEEK. The album has sold 25,000,000 copies overall.
Where is the hole in your company? Do you know you problems or a hole in your business but you can’t figure out what it is?
Try a brain dump. Figure out what you are missing. Put in the work and the solution might become apparant.
or you can get with me and we can solve it together.
https://dennishohmanschedule.as.me/

Your Current Mindset Will Lead You Forward

Remember when we got to leave the house and ….. do stuff?

Ahh, the good old days!

This pandemic isn’t just changing the way we act now…..it’s society changing forever.

Will you ever be in restaurant and view someone sneezing or coughing in the same way?

Will you ever really WANT to stand next to someone or HUG people again the way you used to?

What happens the next time this happens? A rumor of a new virus coming out of China, Africa, or anywhere else in the world? Are are going to immediately shut everything down and go into hiding?

We actually might do just that. The mindset you have developed because of COVID-19 might continue to infect you in the future, when this happens again.

But should it?

The mindset you develop during these times will be duplicated again and again.

Do you want that mindset to become a virus or a remedy?

Are you going to evolve into scarcity? Powerlessness? Fear?

Or something different…

How about evolving your mindset into something different than what the media wants it to be? The news wants you watching their broadcasts, reading their sites, focusing on fear, and watching their commercials.

How about you turn off the virus that is the news? It’s probably worse for you than Coronavirus anyways.

Why don’t you take the opportunity this time has presented you?

How about learning something?

Maybe rediscover yourself and what you want.

Redefine your spiritual connection.

Reset your business, your marketing, and your goals.

Take this time as an opportunity to grow yourself mentally.

This is a test my friends. A test like we haven’t faced in generations. Its a test of what you will do the next time it happens.

 

 

Stop Telling Me To Stop Working!

I have something to say on a subject that, well, pisses me off!

Have you ever noticed when you are busting your butt building a business there are those people out there that start giving you their opinion on how hard you work?

“You shouldn’t work so hard”

“You need to take a break”

“Work isn’t everything”

Now I’m not saying that someone should work 100 hours a week and never sleep but since when did it become so horrible to put in a little work in the evening or on the weekends? I mean, if you enjoy what you do why not work?

I think it’s because of that word, “work”. People who hate their job think everybody hates their job. They probably don’t understand that some of us do like what we do for a living.

Here is the thing, if you like what you do, do it whenever you can and whenever you want.

If you’d rather work than say, watch TV, good for you!

Guess what I’m doing today? I’m working during the day and even some tonight.

Why?

Because I love it!

What you think you know about your competition is WRONG!

I’m constantly learning new lessons when it comes to life and business.

Even on Labor Day when I’m supposed to be relaxing….

So there I was this morning jumping on my Peloton bike (If you don’t know what a Peloton bike is look it up, they are awesome) to get in my cardio workout. I love this machine! You can just enjoy a ride by yourself or get competitive.

I choose the competitive route….those who know me are saying “we figured that Dennis”

When you get on Peloton and start your class you have a feature called the Leaderboard in which you can see all the riders that are currently in the class. It’s called the “here now” button. It’s a way to compete against riders in other parts of the world in real time. 

Fun huh?

It’s actually really interesting when you start a ride at the exact same time as another rider, like I did today…

In the Peloton system you have a user name, mine is “The80schild”. Yes, I grew up the 80s and yes I unapologetically love 80s music! 

Underneath the user name you can see the rider details. Mine says M 50s Colorado. (I said I GREW UP in the 80s, not that I was BORN in the 80s!)

The rider that started at the same time as me was a M 20s Salt Lake City. 

(Uh Oh)

So if I want to be all competitive today I get to race against somebody 25 years younger than I and riding at an altitude 1,000 feet lower. 

Nifty….

Guess where my mind immediately went? Yep, I’m picturing a 25 year old, 6 foot tall, ripped, athletic, cycling machine of a man that’s in such good shape he doesn’t even sweat for the first 20 minutes of the ride. 

The ride started and sure enough, he rockets out to a lead over me. Screw it, maybe I should pick on somebody my own size. Is there somebody in their 40s on this ride?

That’s where my mind ALMOST went…

Have you ever noticed we tend to always have a picture in our mind of our competition? And have you noticed that picture is always some something bigger, badder, and stronger than us?

In my Peloton class today it was a 25 year old cycling behemoth in which I stood ZERO chance of defeating. 

In the business world we also picture our competition the same way. We build them up and we don’t really know them. 

The competition has more revenue that we do.

They have better employees.

They have a bigger advertising budget

They are more profitable. 

Their vehicles are better looking.

Their company name is better.

I can’t hope to compete so I’ll just use that as an excuse to not try. 

Let me tell you something straight up, this thinking is complete and utter BULLSHIT! Just like me on my Peloton ride this morning, I built up my competition and I actually had no clue whatsoever who that 20ish year old in the class really was. 

I’ve seen small contractors that are a mess and small contractors that have their stuff together. 

I’ve seen large contractors that are a mess and large contractors are a well oiled machine.

You might ‘think” you know your competition but I’m telling you right now you don’t. You might think Big Cheese Heating and Cooling is this dominate company in your town and the only hope is to get the crumbs of business they leave behind. 

More than likely Big Cheese Heating and Cooling has the same employee problems, profitability concerns, supplier issues and homeowner complaints as you do. 

You need to stop looking at your competition and start working on YOUR business. You can control that. You need to mind your own business, not your competitors business. 

Now, back to my Peloton ride……

After my mind briefly pictured the 20ish year old as some dominate force of nature I decided to just do my thing. I pushed myself as I normally do and just focused on my ride, not his ride. 

After the 30 minute ride I checked the leaderboard. M 20s Salt Lake City finished in 19th place out of 93 riders. 

I finished in 8th place, well ahead of my “unbeatable” opponent. 

If you’re a contractor that thinks your business can’t compete with the big boys in your town you’re wrong. 

Stop thinking your competition is all that, they probably aren’t.

Business Lessons From Steven Seagal

I don’t do it very often but occasionally when I want to “turn off” my brain and enjoy some aimless (stupid) television it usually ends up being a cheesy 80’s or 90’s action movie.

At least I admit it!

Hey, you can judge me if you want but an evening with Arnold, Sly, Jean-Claude, or Steven Seagal can be liberating. (I can hear the judging happening right now…)

As cheesy as these movies can be, there are lessons to be learned…..even business lessons.

In the 1995 movie Under Siege 2: Dark Territory Steven Seagal plays Casey Ryback, a stud former Navy Seal counter terrorism expert. In one scene he is shot in the shoulder and falls off a moving train and is presumed dead.

You ever notice in action movies people always manage to destroy invincible cyborg Terminator’s and aliens with superior technology but nobody can figure out how to kill normal human characters John Rambo or any character Seagal plays?

In fact Seagal never even gets dirty….but that’s another story.

One of the lower level bad guys in the movie reports to the evil mercenary leader Marcus Penn that Ryback is dead. He was shot and fell off the train. Penn asks if he actually saw the dead body. Bad guy Jr. answers that he didn’t see the body, he just assumed, to which Penn responds…

“Assumption is the mother of all F— Ups!”

Businesses lose thousands each year due to assumption. I hear this ALL THE TIME from my clients.

“The customers in my town  can’t afford an expensive modulating furnace”

“Customers want basic air conditioners, not deluxe units”

“People don’t want to pay for indoor air quality options”

“People are cheap and want me to fix the broken unit. They won’t be interested in a new one”

“They have a junky car in their garage, that means they don’t have any money”

These are all assumptions. Having a preconceived notion of what a prospect does or doesn’t want BEFORE you even start your sales call is a massive mistake.

The fact is, people WILL buy upgraded products and services IF THOSE THINGS ARE OFFERED.

Frankly, it offends me if people DON’T offer me options. I want to be shown the best products and services businesses have to offer.

Put away your assumptions and offer your upgraded products, options and services to EVERY prospect you meet. I guarantee you it will pay off.

Oh, and Casey Ryback killed all the bad guys, saved his niece, didn’t bleed (even though he was shot) and none of his clothes got dirty or ripped.

God Bless action movies.

 

 

 

 

It cleans the air! Everybody knows that!!

“It cleans the air Dennis! Everybody knows that!!” explained my frustrated client.

Let me backtrack for a second….

My client (a heating and cooling contractor) had a problem. He had plenty of leads, that wasn’t the issue. He also was selling air conditioners right and left this summer.

The problem was he was ONLY selling air conditioners. He was having a tough time selling some of the other options he offered. As a result, the excuses started….

People don’t want options.

Options are too expensive.

My pricing from my supplier sucks.

People want something for nothing

My competition is giving stuff away.

And so on….

I asked my client to give me an example of how he offers the options to a prospect. We went with a common option, an electronic air cleaner.

“Well, I tell them I can also install an air cleaner if they are interested. I also show them a brochure and tell them how much the air cleaner will cost” he said.

“And what do they say to that?” I asked.

“They tell me they will think about it or that it’s too expensive”

“Ok. What’s too expensive” I asked digging a bit deeper.

“The air cleaner” my client answered getting a bit irritated.

“What does the air cleaner do for them?

“It cleans the air Dennis! Everybody knows that!!

“Thats why you aren’t selling any of them” I said. “You aren’t solving the problem.”

I then helped my client understand that homeowners don’t buy air cleaners or “clean air”. They don’t think they have a “clean air” problem.

“What problem can your air cleaner solve for them?” I inquired.

“It helps eliminate dust, pet dander, viruses in the air, and allergies” he answered.

“On your next sales call why don’t you see if your prospect has any of those problems and then offer to help solve those problems” I offered.

Bingo, he is selling electronic air cleaners now!

No matter what your product or service consists of people won’t buy from you until they realize you can solve a problem in their life. You have to ask questions and uncover the problem BEFORE you offer the solution.

And people might not realize they have the problem you’re solving. You need to know your prospects better than they know themselves.

Whatever product or service you’re offering you need to FIRST brainstorm every problem you are solving and THEN market the RESULT that you product will get your customer.

No problem, no sale.

Big problem, big sale.

If you have a great product or service but you can’t seem to get customers we need to connect. There are problems AND sales right around the corner. Copy and paste the link below in your browser and let’s talk.

https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=16871922

This One Action (that takes ZERO skill) Will Improve Your Sales

I was in a Facebook group the other day and saw a posting from a woman asking for help.

She couldn’t understand why she wasn’t converting prospects into paying customers. She was selling health and nutrition products. I went to her page and looked at her posts and products. The products looked pretty good. She had testimonials and things seemed fairly priced.

Then I spotted the problem….

I replied to her post and told her she needed a call to action. I told her to just say “if you’re interested in losing weight, feeling and looking better. what I like you to do is click here to order”.

No sooner had I posted my reply when another person commented that I “shouldn’t give her that advice because I don’t know her skill level”.

Don’t know her skill level? What fricking skill? That takes ZERO skill!

If you think it takes any type of skill whatsoever to say give a simple call to action like “if this (situation), I’d like you to (do this) then I guess you also think it takes skill to grow hair, create saliva and digest food.

A call to action takes NO SKILL AT ALL!

I work with contractors. They often times have problems getting their employees to offer and sell options to their customers. As I teach them, it just starts with a simple call to action.

Technician: “Are you interested in having lower utility bills when your furnace or air conditioner is operating?”

Homeowner: “Well, yes I am”

Technician: “Great. Can you check your schedule and see what a good time is for us to return and give you some options to lower those bills?”

That took no skill and if done on every service call it will produce additional leads and sales.

…and since the last thing I want to do is not follow my own advice….

If you’re a contractor that wants to increase your leads, conversions, transactions. and profits and FINALLY fix the “employee problem” once and for all, I’d like you to get on my schedule by clicking the link below 🙂

https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=16871922

I got WHOOPED upside the head!

I have this new obsession. It called a WHOOP strap

Ever heard of it? 

It’s this strap that goes on your wrist and connects into an app on on your phone and also an account online. It measures a TON of stuff going on in your body each day, including:

How many calories you burn,

How much stress (or strain they call it) you place on your body,

Your average heart rate and spikes during they day. 

How much your body recovers each day. 

And, how you sleep….this sleep part is the one in which I got WHOOPED.

I’ve always had issues sleeping. I think it’s genetic.  I’m restless and toss and turn and wake up more than once at night. But I generally wake up feeling somewhat rested…or so I thought. 

They say you should have 7-8 hours of sleep each night so I go to bed and get up 8 hours later “thinking” I got about 7-8 hours of sleep. 

Yeah, right…..

After almost a week I got my sleep WHOOP slap in regards to sleeping. 

You see, this app measures the exact time I go to bed, how long I’m awake during the night, how long I’m in light sleep, REM sleep and deep sleep. 

Of the 8 hours in bed each night I’m averaging less than 5 hours of sleep each night! In fact, one night I sleep only 2 1/2 hours! 

This was mind blowing to me! It also indicates my body was recovering at a rate of only about 30% each day. 

Ever feel run down sometimes? That’s your recovery at night and I found out I wasn’t doing much of that. What I thought I was getting in regards to sleeping was NOT what was actually happening. 

This was the slap I needed. I sat down this morning and immediately put a plan together to get this sleep and recovery thing right once and for all. 

This is important…..

You might not have issues sleeping but let me ask you this, is there a place in your business in which you THINK you’re actually accomplishing more than you are? 

For instance, if you market yourself online are you actually doing that or just spending time looking at posts?

Are you marketing yourself on LinkedIn with content of just making connections?

If you have an employee issues at your company are you addressing the root cause or just pointing fingers and blaming?

If you have a financial or cashflow problems are you working with someone to help correct those problems or just looking at your bank account?

Today I want to challenge you to look at your business and ask yourself whether you’re spending time doing the activity (sleeping) or just acting like you are (lying in bed awake).

As I’ve found out,  there is a big difference……

If you’re a business owner that is looking to get more leads, conversions, and transactions at higher prices and profits, we should talk. Click on the link below and select a time.

https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=16871922

I can’t find any good employees!

In case you haven’t noticed the growth of our economy has been on a roll the last few years. That’s actually an understatement, the economy is on fire. Unemployment rates are at record lows. New businesses are springing up right and left and it seems anyone who wants a job and can fog a mirror can get one. But there is one big, giant, HUGE problem. 

The talent pool of qualified people has dwindled to almost nothing. Business owners have a big problem and I’m seeing it everywhere.

They can’t find good people to hire for their business.

Look, here’s the cold hard truth…you can’t find qualified people for your business because your business doesn’t deserve them. Yep, I said it. Your business image sucks so the applicants you get suck. Like attracts like. 

I’m not saying you don’t have a good business. 

I’m not saying your business doesn’t make money. 

I’m not saying you aren’t a good person. 

I’m telling you this….. when qualified people that you’d love to hire look at your business from the outside they aren’t liking what they see. There are plenty of qualified people out there and some aren’t satisfied with what they are doing. You need to do something different to attract them to YOUR business.

I’m not talking about your yelp or google reviews. 

I’m talking about what your company offers (or posts) to attract elite people. In the labor market that we are in today you need to do more than offer a wage and paid vacation. You need to offer things that your competitors aren’t. 

When my clients have an employee problem we go in depth on the subject of company image and culture. I help them to create the environment and systems to attract the best possible people into their business, and more importantly, repel the ones they wouldn’t want to hire.

If you’re struggling finding good employees for your business start with your company vision. 

Most business don’t have a company vision which would put you at an advantage and attract employees that WANT to do a terrific job for you and your customers.

But Dennis, “My company name says I’m a landscaper. People should know what I do”

I’m not talking about what you do! I’m speaking about who you are! What does your company stand for? Who do you want to work with? What is your company commitment to your employees, vendors and the community?

All this goes into a company vision, and it means something. It’s what you put on your company Facebook page and LinkedIn profile. It’s what you scream from the highest mountain. It’s what the market you service and the people you want to hire notice first. Quality employees don’t just want a paycheck, they want to know they are part of something.

Look, in the workplace today you have to compete with your competitors for customers AND employees. You need to offer more than a steady paycheck to get a qualified person to come to work for you. You need the complete package and that starts with a company vision.