As a kid, I used to love playing with magnifying glasses and trying to start small fires. I’d hold up the magnifying glass above the pavement, get the angle just right, and then focus the laser beam of light on a leaf (or poor unsuspecting ant) for a few seconds before it started smoking.

If the angle of the magnifying glass was slightly off, or the distance from the pavement was not right, the beam of light would be a large unfocused, lukewarm circle and completely ineffective.

That beam of light reminds me of how many contractors approach their business.

Most are trying to start fires (make profits) with an unfocused beam, and it’s no wonder.

The problem these days is not that you don’t have the right educational tools — it’s that you have far too many. You’ve got 50 or more new tools coming at you every single year.

Couple that with the 50 or more from last year and the 50 or more from the year before that, and the year before that … it’s an ocean filled with so much education year after year. The information overload is when I see contractors chasing the shining object and not being laser focused on the ABCs.

You don’t need to have all the newest information. They may be great courses, but you only have so many hours in a day. You need to focus on the vital few, not the trivial many.

With the right focus on external, but more importantly internal, customers and conversion method, getting to sales goal plus per month is not that hard. But you do need that tiny, bright circle of hot light first.

I’m constantly saying in my coaching sessions: “You can meet all your financial goals in your business with just one laser focused method. So don’t even think about learning a second or third until you consistently are hitting your current targets.”

Let’s look at your marketing as an example: It could be TV, direct mail, radio, flyers, Yellow Pages, Facebook. It doesn’t really matter which one it is. What matters is you become competent at one before you throw money at another. None is necessarily better than the others — it’s all about the execution. You will need to employ several marketing tactics in this business, but first do the first tactic correctly and build upon your message from that tactic. Congruency in marketing is your brand. Don’t be wide with your lenses, dial in the magnifying glass for laser focus.

Conversion process stretches into operations as well. Otherwise, you will waste all your marketing dollars.


Don’t settle

Increase call center conversion by creating a script that delivers your technician/salesperson to your customer’s home or place of business. Dial that script in, and you’ll have laser focus on 100% conversion rate. Remember, 100% is the goal; don’t settle, focus! Burn the ant, so to speak.

Increase technician/salesperson conversion by focusing on one conversion process. Stop listening to all the gurus. Pick one. Master it! This is where I see managers/business owners shoot themselves in the foot. Stop chasing everything; laser focus on one thing. Burn the ant.

The old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none,” rings true if you take a broad stroke at your processes. Get really good at one conversion process. Then, you can start improving the next process. 

The first marketing tactic I implemented was door hangers. Every morning, I would personally walk the residential subdivisions near my place of business. Each day while passing out the flyers, I would receive a page with my first call. I did this for three months until I started to have a backlog of business. 

At that time, I hired my first plumber and when we ran short of calls, we both walked the subdivisions passing out door hangers. Not sexy, but it worked. That process worked because of our laser focus. We probably stepped on many ants in those days. 

After mastering that one tactic, the business took on more tactics. We measured everything, kept the winners and eliminated the losers. 

Throughout my career, we never stopped passing out door hangers. Why? It worked. 

I remember my first training at a PHCC convention many years ago. Back when the KC Royals won their first World Series title (I had to get that in here somewhere). I came away thinking, “This is cutting edge.” However, at the time, I was a new construction contractor and it really didn’t pertain to me, but it stuck in my head. I wish I could remember who the presenter was to give him a shout out. 

Fast forward five years and I ran into Frank Blau at another PHCC convention. This guy is hard to forget! If you meet Frank, you know you’ve met an industry guru. I was standing behind several people while he presented his “Business of Contracting” seminar. I was then overhearing his technicians’ sales training approach. Well, I was already blown away by his seminar, and now I’m overhearing how to close sales as a service tech. The best convention I’ve ever been to, up to then. At that moment, I knew I was going to jump in head first into the service business. The heck with new construction projects.

I went home and got laser focused on developing my correct sales price. I got laser focused on how to communicate with my customers as a technician to maximize sales.

So when you break it down:

  1. Sell at the right price;

  2. Master the process of attracting customers, one step at a time; and

  3. Master the art of communications with your customer. 

Looking back, I want to thank PHCC for recognizing Frank as a speaker its members needed to hear. I want to thank Frank for his unselfish passion to teach a slug like me. And Nexstar Network (an organization Frank founded) for kicking it up a notch with high-powered, laser-focused business training.

I remember Frank, as my mentor, telling me over and over: “Jimmy! Stop listening to what other people are saying and doing. Do what I tell you to do, and you will be abundantly successful.”

It was hard medicine he was dishing out back then. I put my blinders on and focused strictly on his message. Today, looking back, it was the best thing I’ve ever done in my business career. Frank was laser focused and passionate about the processes and his message to other contractors willing to listen. Still today, Frank’s message is sound. If you haven’t read Frank J. Blau Jr.’s book, “Soaring With Eagles,” pick yourself up a copy on Amazon today, and go burn up some ants!