Coming off of the well-received Owners’ Spotlight event in March, Nexstar Network focused on specific, actionable business practices for this year’s Super Meeting, held Sept. 28-30 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. The meeting was attended by nearly 600 Nexstar members — independent plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical contractors from around the U.S., Canada, and the rest of the world.
At the meeting, Nexstar unveiled its “Eight Laws of Daily Focus for Double Digit Profits,” which are key behaviors that owners and managers should follow for business success. The laws build out these concepts: “Work the Model,” “Win the Day,” “Communicate in Rhythm,” “Achieve the Call Goal,” “Dispatch to Maximize,” “Be the Right Price,” “Live the Six Steps,” and “Build Long-Term Relationships.”
In an interesting twist, keynote speakers shared emcee duties with a CGI character named “Allen Wrench.” Operating from a TV screen on the stage, Mr. Wrench would interact with hosts and provide comedy relief.
“The intent was to give some comedic relief to some very heavy operational content,” Nexstar Vice President of Operations Julian Scadden said. “Some of the processes in the eight laws were sure to create questions in the attendees’ minds, so we had Allen voice some of those questions and thoughts from our membership so they could be addressed while the content was being presented.”
Keynote speaker Gino Wickman, author of “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business,” brought the eight laws into the context of his Entrepreneurial Operating System, reminding the audience that the day-to-day is extremely important, but they must know how those tasks fit within their company vision.
“Companies that have endured for decades have this habit of setting long-range goals,” Wickman said, emphasizing the use of data to drive key decisions in a business and knowing the numbers as key to success. He also stressed that entrepreneurs should have a willingness to let people go if they don’t share your vision as a business owner. You should do your best to put the “right people in the right seat,” Wickman added, but at the end of the day, if they don’t buy in to your vision, they — and your company — will benefit from them working elsewhere.
Nexstar master trainer Dan Friesen brought members through laws two and three, “Win the Day” and “Communicate in Rhythm.” As a manager, you must know and communicate the daily goals to your team, which gives you the tools to hit company goal and “win the day.” Member trainer David Boduch followed Friesen with laws four and five, “Achieve the Call Goal” and “Dispatch to Maximize.”
Scadden led day two of the meeting by taking the members through laws six and seven, “Be the Right Price” and “Live the Six Steps.” The “six steps” refer to the Nexstar Service System. Scadden told members that, regarding price, if you are worried about what other people are charging, then the price will dictate your life. Contractors should believe in their price and know exactly why they set it. “When we know it’s right, we can stand rightfully with it,” Scadden said.
The eighth and final law, “Build Long-Term Relationships,” was presented by Nexstar training director Keith Mercurio. At one point, Mercurio came out in a technician work uniform in favor of his suit and demonstrated the right way to end a service call with Scadden, to emphasize some of the best ways to build those long-term relationships with customers within a home visit.
Dr. Paul Scheele, founder of Learning Strategies, took the last few hours of Super Meeting to help members learn ways to better retain information. He said that, on average, at events like the Super Meeting, people only retain about 11 percent of what they hear. He also explained that humans have a natural resistance to change.
“We are more willing to accept a familiar problem than an unfamiliar solution,” Scheele said.
In order to capture more of this and actually affect change in their businesses, members must actively and dynamically steer toward the future, and one of the ways to do this is to build habits through “cue, action, and reward.”
The preceding information is courtesy of Robin Turnblom, communications specialist for Nexstar Network. For more information, visit www.nexstarnetwork.com.
This article was originally titled “Laying down the law” in the December 2016 print edition of Plumbing & Mechanical.
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