Guest Interview: Jason Phillips of Phillips Home Improvements “People Make Dream Businesses” Series: Episode 3

Published On: March 13, 2023

Categories: Podcast

Jason Phillips
In this series titled “People Make Dream Businesses”, Jason Phillips of Phillips Home Improvements will be discussing how to escape contractor prison and build the painting company of your dreams.  It is a 6-part series.
In episode 3, Jason will deep dive into Key 3 to escaping contractor prison, creating and implementing efficient systems.
If you want to ask Jason questions related to anything in this podcast series, you can do so in our exclusive Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast Forum on facebook.  Just search for “Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast Forum” on facebook and request to join the group, or type in the URL There you can ask Jason questions directly by tagging him with your question, so you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company.
Jason is a return guest from Season 2 of the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast.

Video of Interview

Podcast Audio

Topics Discussed:

Episode 3
– Key 3 to Escaping Contractor Prison: Systems

Audio Transcript


Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast. The show created to help painting company owners build a thriving painting business that does well over one million and annual revenue. I’m your host, Brandon Pierpont, founder of painter marketing pros and creator of the popular Pc, a educational series, learn do grow marketing for painters. In each episode, I’ll be sharing proven tips, strategies and processes from leading experts in the industry on how they found success in their painting business. We will be interviewing owners of the most successful painting companies in north America and learning from their experiences in this series titled People make dream businesses.

Jason phillips of phillips. Home improvements will be discussing how to escape contractor prison and build the painting company of your dreams. It is a six part series. In the first episode, episode one, Jason discussed key one to escaping contractor prison, true leadership in your painting company. In episode two, Jason covered key to to escaping contractor prison building a highly effective team. In episode three, this episode, Jason will deep dive into key three to escaping contractor prison creating and implementing efficient systems. In episode four, Jason will discuss how your painting company needs to market itself for long term and big time growth.
In episode five, Jason will elaborate on the disc personality assessment and how to use it to ensure you have the right people in the right seat and in the final episode of this series, episode six, Jason will take a deep dive into motivators, how do you get everyone excited and motivated to help your painting company grow and succeed if you want to ask Jason questions related to anything in this podcast series you can do so in our exclusive painter marketing mastermind podcast form on facebook. Just search for painter marketing mastermind podcast form on facebook and request to join the group or type in the U. R. L. Facebook dot com forward slash groups forward slash painter marketing mastermind Again that you are l.
Is facebook dot com forward slash groups forward slash painter marketing mastermind. There you can ask Jason questions directly by tagging him with your question so you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company. Jason, welcome back. Welcome to episode three man. Hey Brandon, I’m glad to be here today, thank you for thank you for having me back. You know uh you’re talking about the painting, the painting company of your dreams. You know when I was when I was a wee, when I when I was a wee child, I used to dream of having a painting company.
No that’s not true. Who nobody does. That sounds like that. You’re the first person I’ve heard man, I watched Cannonball run back in the day and ever since then I could I could only dream of driving a Lamborghini. Yeah so uh yeah I don’t think anybody dreams of having a painting company but I soon realized that there’s a lot of things in this world you can do to add value and receive value and uh make a great life and I’m just, I’m thankful for the painting business and that’s that’s been a vehicle I’ve driven here for a good while.
Yeah, I love it man. So yeah, we’ve we’ve covered up to this point leadership, you know what that looks like, what it really means. It’s kind of a vague term for a lot of people and how you’ve, you’ve deep dived into how you’ve had to kind of recreate yourself. Experience a lot of personal growth, talked about team building, what that means. You know, hiring special specialty people really building yourself out of your business and the mindset that goes into that. And now we’re gonna get really, really technical with this.
We’re gonna, we’re gonna get get nitty gritty into systems. Systems, makes this all work systems, makes all the the pretty words and the mindset and everything, it makes it function right where the rubber hits the road. So how do you, how do you want to approach systems? I know you have a, you have a pretty structured way that you want to go through this. Well, um let’s let’s talk here for a second. You know, most of the painting contractors that I meet, I know exactly how they’re going to wash a house prep a house, do the, you know, mask it, how they’re going to apply the paint, how they’re gonna clean up and they have a very specific way that they want to do that time after time after time.
But when it comes to uh managing people, marketing, appointment setting, appointment, confirmation sales, all of those other things, uh they don’t have them systemized. And you know, if you look at this, we’re in the people, business people run our companies, people represent us to the public, to our clients and we’re in the people business. And I want you to want to get this picture in your mind. People working without a system are like someone trying to dig a hole for a road through a mountain with shovels.
And when you give them a system, it’s like giving them a huge uh caterpillar tractor with hydraulics that can move tons and tons of dirt in one scoop. And that’s that’s one of the, one of the beauties of systems. And you know, that’s, it’s kind of a buzzword these days. All systems, this system is that, you know, we hear that everywhere, but in reality, what is a system. And a system is in its simplest form is is a collection of processes. Oh boy, A collection of process. Okay.
And like what’s what’s a process? Okay, so let’s let’s take that for just a moment. Let’s take that example of painting an exterior. And you might say this is our pre job start checklist and running through that checklist. Let’s see, We’re gonna put a yard, we’re gonna put a sign in the yard, we’re gonna make sure our vehicle doesn’t leak any oil in the customer’s driveway? All of those little things. And so that’s maybe a process. Is that piece of it. Here’s what we’re gonna do when we, when we roll up to the job before we start working.
And, and that would fall into the, you know, the, the exterior painting system. So to say so there there’s some, there’s some benefits. There are some benefits to systems. Okay. The benefits are that uh, new people can get up to speed much quicker. And another benefit of, of systems is the best of us. We forget things, we forget obvious things. Matter of fact, if you want to dive a little deeper into this, there’s a, there’s a book I might recommend to you um, called the checklist manifesto.
It is a wonderful book. Wonderful book. And you know, a system uh, in in our we’re running small businesses guys, we’re not doing brain surgery here. And the system is supposed to make things simple for people to do. Now I call Simple systems. I call them able systems. Why Abel Abel Systems. Well, simple system um, means that a process, the processes in that system are repeatable. You know, for instance, if one, if you’re a salesperson or let’s say you’re you’re whether you’re an owner and selling or you have a sales person.
One of the worst things to happen when you go out for an estimate quote is, you get halfway through it. And the client says, hey, can you email that to me? I’ve gotta, I’ve gotta run and pick up the kids and there’s no chance that you’re gonna sell that project right then and there because you didn’t even have their attention, you know, they’re distracted and they get to run out the door. You don’t have the time or attention. And so system izing the way in which the inbound calls are handled and appointments are handled means that you can increase the frequency by which you have a quality appointment and decrease those terrible appointments.
So, so a good system or a good process is repeatable. It’s also easy to hand off to someone. It’s teachable and, and it’s not just teachable. It’s done in a way where you can hand it to them like a baton and they can run with it and they can own it. And another, another able part of this is there measurable. For instance, if something’s not going right in our, in our sales system, Okay. We can, we can diagnose any opportunity and find out where it went wrong.
We have, you know, several steps, a number of steps in our selling system. We use a step selling system and mhm One time recently we’re going through, hey, why don’t we close this deal? Well, it turns out we could not nail the client down. We could not get them to agree on what they really wanted their speaking work to be, How can they buy something if they don’t even really know what they want. And so we we get a, you know, a commitment to what they want or need and and just helping talk them through that.
But so we can say, well here’s, here’s what I missed. I couldn’t get them to really agree on what they needed. Okay, so that’s the part we go work on and train on and get better on. And so there’s all these steps in the system so you can measure pieces of it and you know exactly what to work on. Another example. I’m definitely no professional baseball or softball player. Okay. But I do know that when you are most great players have a batting coach and the the answer to getting a better batting average has never worked harder.
Try harder. And it’s not even really concentrate, they break it down into the simple pieces. Will how are you standing? Which were your feet facing? How about your hips, where your elbows, how you’re gripping the bat? Where are your eyes? How do you swing through? How do you finish all of those things? And if you it’s it’s really not rocket science, it’s boiling it down in some very basic things. And what we do in business, um is, I don’t want to say that it’s definitely not rocket science, but when you put it all together, there’s a lot of it and and if if you’re, you know, if you’re almost a solo preneurs or you’re you’re an owner operator, you’re like in a way a genius and you have all of these things going on in your head at the same time but getting them out of your head and handing that baton to your people so that they can run with it is where so much gets lost in the translation, the baton has dropped, the ball is fumbled so many times and then people are just left with doing the best that they can.
Yeah you you kind of pass it off, you instructed. You might even think that you’re being clear in the in the instruction that you’re providing. But odds are you have certain assumptions or knowledge or know how in there that that’s not being transferred for you. It might be obvious, might be. Yeah of course. You know of course you would do. Why would you why would you possibly park in the in the customer’s driveway? Why did you I said you know park right present a professional appearance, Make sure you’re dressed the right way, make sure you you know here’s how you’re gonna interact, here’s how you’re going to introduce yourself to the prospective customer.
Why did you pull up to the front door? Well they pulled out the front door because they didn’t know not to write for you. It might be obvious. Your your policy is always park on the street, don’t park in their driveway could block a car, not professional, things like that, But they didn’t know that? So there’s an example of something that got lost in your head because you didn’t document it and pass it on. And I really like your point, Jason about how if you’re running a business, you’re kind of a genius and I don’t like it because then we can all feel good about ourselves and how smart we are and we’re all geniuses.
But it’s actually insane when you think about the number of things you do, especially as a solo preneurs, someone who’s doing, I mean, you’re doing the accounting, you’re doing the finance, you’re doing doing projections are doing the operation. So you might be doing the fulfillment. You might be actually painting, you’re doing the sales, you’re doing the marketing. I mean, it’s, it’s phenomenal. The amount of jobs that you’re doing odds are, you’re not knocking out of the park on really any of them, Maybe one. But once you can actually take that systematize it by, by breaking down, like you said, systematized into processes, processes are sort of documenting all these, all these steps, then you find people who are going to actually make it better for you find people to go and do it and then ideally that person is actually gonna find room for improvement and come to you and say, hey, I know you have let’s park here.
But what if we, what if we actually parked? I don’t know closer to the next house so that people would actually see the rap band. What if we made that as part of the S. O. P. There’s a lot of times we’re actually not really parking in a very visible area. Something along that you know take take for an example, let’s just say that you’re an amazing driver and mechanic and you’re gonna you’re gonna do a cannonball run, you throw some tools in the trunk and you start blazing across the country down the road and if your car breaks down you can you can stop, you can fix it, you can get back on the road quickly.
Okay well the the issue is your people they may be great drivers but they’re not great mechanics. And that car is the system you you would rather they will not have to uh you would rather than work a dependable system that’s not going to break down. And in in most cases when we are as business owners um slow and steady, the tortoise will win the race over the hair because we’re gonna as as business owners, we get busy doing something else and we were distracted and we need that process to not be broken.
I would rather have a process that keeps going rather than a fast one that keeps breaking and if it’s breaking then all of a sudden I’m no if I’m the only one that can fix it Then it’s all of a sudden 25 on me and again you double your business, you quadruple your headaches, it’s that’s not the way it needs to be. I want something that’s gonna be like clockwork like a metronome and never misses a beat. And so you know when it comes to your systems we we tend to make the mistake of writing out every minute detail.
We don’t need to write out every minute detail, we need to write out the main points and it’s better to just start with something simple like a checklist. Okay guys here’s here’s the here’s the seven things we’re gonna do before we even knock on the front door, here’s what we’re gonna do, put the yard sign out blah blah blah. Right, here’s those seven things. And guess what you can add to that list later because it’s not gonna be a perfect list. If you wait till you have a perfect process, you’re never going to get started and you’re never gonna perfect that document and you’re gonna make it so big and cumbersome, it’s just gonna end up in a drawer somewhere or in a in a google drive or dropbox or nobody’s ever gonna read it much less be able to know it and have it at their fingertips.
So if we have, if we have checklists that are that are in their hands at any time, they can easily follow the process and here’s what’s here’s what’s also important about having even a an insufficient process is your people are uh getting into the habit of following a process that way. When you introduce a new process or update the process, it’s not rocking their whole world and in the absence of us, you know, telling people how we want things done, they’re gonna figure out the best way that they know how now.
Again, I’m not saying you don’t get feedback from the field or from your people or I’m not saying you ignore them, none of that, that’s all very important. But when you’re, you know, most of you guys and gals who are listening here, you’re willing to scale your business. So when you hire a new person, how long does it may take to make that new person somewhat productive in adding value to the team? You know, I used to, I used to put people into weeks and weeks of training before they’d even get their first appointment for sales.
Wow, I was boring them to death. I was you know, making them drink through a fire hose and only a tiny bit was sinking in and people are getting exacerbated. People want to come to work. So we need to give them some early on some skills that they can do or some tasks that they can take and and make some and have some accomplishments and get some early wins. Does that make sense? Giving people some early wins and again, that’s something that the, the checklists are going to do. Now.
There’s more than checklist. There’s, there’s scripting, you know, in my company when we answer the phone, we answer the phone the same way every time, no matter who, no, no matter what agent in our call center answers the phone, it’s answered the same way the call is handled in a consistent manner. And we have a script, it’s made to build reports made to be professionals, you know, to help help the client get a little more familiar with our, with our company to pre qualify them. That’s another thing you go out there, you’re, you know, on a sales call and you think you’re going out to look at some complete repainting and all of a sudden, you know, they need not only do, they just need their front door painted, they just need a touched up. Okay.
Those types of things you can handle all of that and, and our, our process for our appointment setting, you know, gets a commitment to the time and attention. Hey, we’re going to come out for free at your house. We’re gonna drive out there, we’re gonna spend our gas and our toll wade tollway, uh, charges and we’re gonna give you a professional opinion and give you a price as to as to what it would take to do what you want and what you need, you know, all we, all we ask for is two simple things.
One we want to meet with all the owners of the property and two we want you to set aside a full 2100 minutes whether we need it or not. Fair enough. Brandon. Fair enough. Great okay with thursday at two or friday at 22023 a.m. Work better for you. I love it. And you’re going to you’re going to disqualify people who are gonna waste your time. Yeah and most most of them that call in um it’s a lot of times it’s not necessarily just disqualifying them, it’s really about you know setting some expectations so that we can really pass the baton to our our salesperson who we call project consultants, they’re there to consult.
Not necessarily just to sell something, we’re really there to help so that they can have the time and attention of the prospect. And you know, we we also know that um it’s important that we deliver our prices are proposals or scopes of work face to face and that it’s a lot better if if you get to do that at their kitchen table rather than on their front porch. And so so we actually cover some of that in our appointment setting script. And we actually kind of, you know reinject that uh right when we knock on the front door as well, so not necessary to to dive deep into those.
But you know, implementing processes in your company does not need to be rocket science and you don’t need to document everything? I think maybe the in each department, the top four or five things and just start there. This is the this is a great example of where the parade a rule will serve you best. The 2100 1003 you 2100% of your processes. If you just document them and put them in simple scripts or simple checklists, if you just do 250% you’re going to get 250% of the result and you can improve on it and add to it later.
So I love that. Um I’m just curious, Jason this, I don’t want to take us too far off track, but but the kitchen table versus the front porch. I love that. What if you’re uh if you’re quoting an exterior project, what’s the script? How does that uh if you guys are outside, you still try to go to the kitchen table to present the proposal? What happens? Um If they don’t let you in, we say, well, I get poached. Yeah. So do you say, is there uh is it Oh, hey, you know, Okay, I’m done.
Can we go ahead and and discuss this inside or or how do you guys present that if it’s a knock and the homeowner comes out? What’s the script? Well, you’re just gonna go something, something like this. Um um Okay. Brandon Wells is uh gosh, after after after what we’ve seen here today and everything, you’ve told me. Um would you agree that’s probably uh you’re probably better off getting something, taking care of this sooner rather than later. Yeah. Great. I’ll tell you what, why don’t we, why don’t we head on in?
And um I’ll uh I’ll punch my numbers into the end of the system and I’ll get your price. So we’re gonna go in, I’m gonna sit down and I mean, I may pass you some literature to look at while I uh you know, well, punch my numbers in. Absolutely. Is there a did you guys track the percentage of people that porch you? So, yep, every time we uh after we finish an appointment, um before we drive away, uh we do something called resulting the appointment. And we answer a series of questions, you know, did we um did we give them a price?
Yes or no? Did we sell it? Yes or no? Where did we present price? Was it on the front porch? Was it uh the kitchen table or this actually helped out a lot. If someone doesn’t want you in, we could say, well, do you have a patio? Do you have a patio table? Maybe something in the shade in texas? It gets really hot. And so we use that one a lot in covid. And again, none of this is about manipulating, but you know, you have, you have to earn a certain amount of trust with people.
And uh and when, when you, when you’ve earned some trust and build some rapport with them, you can ask them some simple things. It doesn’t have to be, it doesn’t have to be offensive in any way if they feel offended or they feel like you’re being pushy. Well guess what you’re being, you’re being offensive and pushy, right man. This is, this is neat. So do you, you guys track the closed percentage uh, when you get porch to versus when, when you go inside, It’s not something we actively track the data is there could very easily run uh report, I mean, I can tell you this that when we, uh, when we meet with both parties, you know, the husband and wife, um, our conversion rate is 50% higher than if we met with only one of them.
And additionally, but here’s the kicker. I looked at um, several years of data and, and looked at, um, the clients that were dissatisfied with our service at the end and you know, I wish, I wish I could say that we, you know, that we thrilled everybody. But we don’t, we try and some were not perfect. But I looked at uh, several years worth and Only one in 20 of the people that were dissatisfied did we meet with two parties, 19 out of 20 we met with only one party. So will you guys even do that now.
I mean, have you thought about, hey, if if, if, if both parties won’t be there and we, we know it’s a two party household that we’re just not gonna do it. No, we don’t, we don’t do that. There are many companies that, especially in the remodeling space, you know, windows, floors, doors, things like that. Um, that will uh only meet with two people and even if you commit to two people and, and they show up and there’s only one there, salesperson has to reschedule. We’re not like that.
Um, we’re, we, we do try to be a little more relational, but we also want to, you know, we want to know, uh, we want to know what the reality is. We do not ever want to be pushy. We really want to be an advisor. And, and in those circumstances, what we, what we try to do is while we’re there, we may ask them to uh, if we can get the other party on the phone or um, if we can set an additional appointment and we have a, we have a script for that.
You do. Okay. I have to imagine that the majority of the time you, you are meeting with one party, I mean, covid might have changed that a little bit, but you guys are, you’re targeting upper income households odds. I think would be pretty good that at least one person would be at work during the week. Would that be right? Yeah. So, um, currently, um, we’re only meeting, we’re only meeting to party 25% of the time. And there are there there’s a small percentage that is legitimately only one party.
We call it a solo decision maker, yep there’s you know definitely single people. And sometimes uh sometimes the interested parties are not the spouse, it could be a it could be a um a son or a daughter, it could be a parent, it could be uh you know um an aunt or an uncle or a friend or even even a designer. How do you guys how do you guys um get that information? Do you do you do research do you ask, how do you decide how do you know whether it’s a one party or two party house?
Well we we would say something like this. Um um uh Okay. Brandon will do all that for absolutely free when they ask for two simple things. One is uh we’d like to meet with all the owners of the property. Uh For most for most of our uh for most of our clients that would be a spouse or friend or family member. Who would that be in your case? Oh. Oh that that that would be Miss Pierpont, May I have her first name so we can address her properly. Great.
I love it. And you guys address when you’re estimators come out or you just first name to address? Mr and mrs how do you guys address that? You know through the years. We’ve we’ve gone back and forth on that and uh we’ve we’ve just moved to uh first name, first name. Yeah. Cool. I’m sorry Jason. I that that was not really what we’re focused on but but you you super captivated me with with the uh with the getting poached comment. So I I just had I have deep, I had to go deep.
That was fun. That was very insightful. Okay, so with the system the able systems, I want to make sure I captured all these. You have repeatable, transferable and measurable the three. They’re repeatable, teachable, trainable. It’s kind of the same thing. They’re transferable and they’re measurable, repeatable, teachable. Transferable. Measurable. Yes. And now the the the opposite of that I call fragile. And these were the first systems that I built when I was building my company, I built systems because it was just me and the painters, right? I built systems to make me a personal powerhouse, whether it was my communication, the way my computers were designed all of that and it was great uh for me.
But then when I wanted to, when I had to bring someone else on it was not so simple for them and the system would break and all of a sudden guess who’s back is the fix it guy, Jason. And then I got to this point where where I’ve got all these people and all these systems and I’m constantly the fireman fixing the systems. I know it sounds crazy but upgrading this or this communication or we need to do this better. I’m the only guy that can draft, you know, they can draft the document that knows how to do the, the scripting or the checklist or or program something in the computer or whatever.
So they’re back right right back in contract to prison, just a few floors higher, yep. And you know that then as you grow your company, once you grow your company and you have managers, okay. What do you, what are managers supposed to do? A manager is supposed to make sure that people stick to the process. Okay. And and they will never do that unless they will champion your systems. They need to champion your systems. They need to improve your systems. Guess what? Sometimes they need to make systems where there is no system and they need to ensure that the system is followed.
That means, you know, making simple checklists, writing scripts, process flows, what, whatever. So that way everything is done repeatable in the same manner. Now let’s just say, let’s say for example, um what’s your favorite hamburger fast food? Uh It’s a burger king. Okay, burger king. So if you visited me in Dallas and you went to burger king, would you expect that the, that the service, the fries and the burger and the cheese and everything tasted the same here in Dallas as it did in florida. I would, yeah, could be slightly better because it’s in texas.
But I assume it’s gonna be pretty much exactly the same. Pretty much exactly what should be right. Yeah. So that’s how it needs to be with our company, no matter who’s no matter who takes that call and schedule the appointment, no matter what salesperson goes out there, no matter what project manager goes out there, no matter what crew goes out there, they should receive the same sandwich, the same burger. And the only way you’re gonna be able to diagnose that is to make sure that everybody’s following a consistent process.
And again, I feel like there’s a lot of, a lot of uh, entrepreneurs out there who are great at having the project processes down. But all the other processes, they, they maybe can’t wrap their head around or, you know, so many things are mysterious until you learn them. And then once you learn them. Yeah, exactly. It’s like, that’s so simple. Oh yeah. And then once, you know, you know, and then all of a sudden you look like a genius and then, you know, and you’re like, wait, this really isn’t genius.
This is just basic stuff once, you know it, and that’s the same way it is with making systems with, with making systems, you know, one day, this was a number of years ago, we, we just got really behind on our collections. We had a lot of clients that are just little pieces of little pieces of money, right? And so many of them, we just hadn’t followed up on them or we needed to, you know, replace the window screen or bring them a gallon of paint or do a touch up or whatever and and a lot of that stuff had been done, but we just never gotten been tenacious to get back with them to get the money. Right?
And so this was one year before the end of the year, you know, like late december or whatever. I’m like guys, we can’t take this huge accounts receivable into the new year, we gotta deal with this. So what I did is I made some calls, I did not. Okay, okay. So basically here’s what I did is i is I made, I made our crm a report in our crm, okay. And um uh I wrote a script and I said, okay, you’re gonna do, you know, you’re gonna do a through him and you’re I’m still fighting this, but you’re gonna do a through them, you’re going to n through Z. Actually had like five different people calling, by the way, we broke the list up.
And I said, well just once you get them on the phone and once you read the script to them, so let’s practice it a few times. I’m gonna I’m gonna read it to you the way that I would read it. And then I want now I want to hear you read it a few times now. Put a little more, put more inflection on this word, slow down right there. Put a pause there write a comma on your piece of paper. Okay. And then once they had I said okay now going boom.
And then all of a sudden I had five people on the phone making collection calls, collecting money. And every time they would, every time they would make a call they would click a button in the crm and it would uh log it. And that would it would it would disappear from the report till tomorrow and we call him back again tomorrow. It was, it was a very simple system but I systemized instead of going, hey you guys go make some calls, no, it logged. Who was calling how many calls they had made And then we rewarded the ones that were able to collect it and of course, you know, we got a lot of um, hey you guys were still gonna do dada dada.
Okay, great. I’m gonna give them a production department. I’ll call you back in the morning. We we we we we had to do some cleanup. You know of some messes we had made as well, man, that’s great. So yeah, do you still have the easy bake oven in your office? You take that one? You have two of them, you know, I tried to uh I looked that up after you show me that and I think they don’t sell it anymore because they say it’s uh, I don’t know, can burn the child or something, but I love it.
I love the easy bake. You know, if a three year old can make brownies. I mean, how do you make your business so that, you know, anybody can plug in? I mean burger king. How nothing against people who are working at burger king. But you don’t have to be absolutely an amazing chef to go work at burger king. But yet you’re going to produce great tasting burgers that taste like all the other burger cakes you don’t get, you don’t get to, you don’t get to add or determine how um, how hot the grease is to fry the fry the fries in.
You don’t, you don’t get to determine um, how long the fries are in the grease. You don’t get to determine um, how long they stay on the shelf. There’s timers and buzzers for all of that stuff. And here, I’ll see if I can show you up here. It’s kind of hiding behind that light. Then we’ve got another one right up there by the unicorn. See the unicorn up there. That’s a unicorn and the unicorn what the unicorn is is the unicorn is symbolic of the entrepreneur, The entrepreneur that can do some of everything.
The rare breed. Yeah, I love it. Nobody can watch this video because you look a lot better than me. You got a very, very, very professional set, we’ve got multiple camera angles. I mean, this is uh, this is like pretty, uh, it’s a professional production on your end. So this is audio video. We’re just doing audio or not. It’s just gonna be a black screen for everybody not even releasing it. Um All right. So that’s that’s appreciate that able systems. That’s super, super helpful. I do want to comment one other thing.
So I think something and you’ve, you’ve talked about this solo preneurs, you know, you don’t really, you kind of don’t know what, you don’t know. You know, you’re good at the fulfilling. You understand that aspect of it, but maybe you don’t realize that all this stuff doesn’t need to be so hard or in your head are kind of all over the place. Uh, something else that, that people don’t realize, especially when they’re still smaller, even if they’re not a solo preneurs is when you grow stuff changes.
So, so for example, when, you know, with paint marketing pros, we we handle the sales, we handle automation is on that we don’t go out and estimate, but we do a lot of this heavy lifting in addition to the marketing and what what people kind of around the $500,503 range. You know, I’d say 3 to 7 50 but they don’t really understand is that when you get to a million and a half. When you get to 2.5 million, when you get to where you’re at almost 10 million, what you’re doing the way you’re doing it, you know, hey, I call them back, I’ll call him twice and then I call them the next day.
I call them when we’re on the way over and I let them know, hey, we’re coming over to do your, that doesn’t work. That goes to crap. All of a sudden you’re customer service falls a part. People are pissed, you’re missing appointments, mistakes are being made when you scale without the systems, everything goes to dog poop. If you don’t have those systems and processes don’t let me ask you a question along those lines, running a business is a lot like being a parent and easier employees. This, this is gonna sound like it’s degrading and it’s not meant that way.
But in so many ways your, your employees are like your Children, not because not because they’re, they’re immature or babies, but because in so many ways they just don’t have the experience to know what, you know, and when you take your little kid bowling and you want them to be somewhat successful, you know, you go into the little screen on the computer and you hit this little button and all of a sudden anytime it’s their turn to pull the bumpers pop up and they’re, they’re not there.
They may not get a strike, but they’re also not gonna go in the gutter and that’s what systems do they put in some parameters of protection. So you until someone can, can completely get it by memory that maybe in some in some circumstances you may want the checklist always done. But like a script, once my people know the script. They don’t need to look at the script while they’re on the phone anymore or in person. We never looked at the script in person. But if you think about this, you know, I hear some ideas of of things you might want to system eyes.
I don’t want to overwhelm you just want to, I want to get you thinking um the way your sales presentation is conducted, the way you, the way you price a job. The um the way you set the appointment, the way you confirm the appointment, the way you ask for the five star review, the way you handle customer complaints. The way you maximize the value of a happy customer, how you follow up on leads when they come in fresh leads? What do you what do you do with the people that you gave a price too?
And they didn’t buy? Have you systemized that? How about setting goals? How about how about um system. Izing the way you review people’s compensation annually or have your quarterly meetings or or you know, you set your goals and that’s a lot of things. So I guess for for the listeners, I would say this If there was one process, one area, one small piece of of of your business that you could system eyes better than it is now. What would it be? You’re not gonna system eyes everything overnight?
Why not make one simple system? Maybe maybe the way you set appointments. Maybe that’s what it is or maybe it’s how you handle the people that don’t buy from you. If you could system eyes that one thing, would it move the needle for your company for this year? If you could properly uh it’s system Izing is a key to delegation. If you could realistically hand that baton, I’m just gonna use, you know, appointment setting as an example. You hand them that baton and they’re gonna run with it and they’re going to keep running with it until they have a problem and they’ll get with you.
But you know that those leads, those appointments are being set the same way every time. Like in my company we measure how much time it takes us to respond to fresh leads because I know that they go stale very quickly and it’s not about, it’s not about getting with them in days, it’s not about getting with them in hours, it’s about minutes minutes. The amount of minutes that goes by. If this is especially true if you’re uh if you’re getting leads from lead aggregators like home adviser angie’s list etcetera.
It’s especially true. We can probably talk more about that on on the marketing segment, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science to system eyes, you know, as you grow your company, one of the, one of the uh, hardest things to get right is not really quality control of the product. It’s the internal communications. And we’ve systemized the way that we uh, communicate from sales to production with with our what, what’s gonna be on our our scope of work and what’s gonna be in company cam for those of you guys don’t use company cam.
It’s just photos and videos that you can take that are connected to the jobs and that connects right into our Crm. It makes it super easy. Yes. So I think, I mean, you you made some really great points. Are all the things you listed. I would imagine a lot of our listeners who are really advanced, right? Our listeners are the cream of the crop, of the, of the painting industry. That that’s just a fact. So a lot of our listeners probably close to our our more than half of the things you listed.
I bet they’re not doing. I bet probably at least a third of them they haven’t even really thought about because you’ve gone into a level of granular detail that is abnormal in this industry, but yet so helpful. Right? And I think another point I want to make is this stuff can be overwhelming. You hear this? Well, well, Systems. Well, yeah, yeah. Well he’s been doing it, he runs a big company. I mean he’s got all these people, he really knows what he’s doing. No Jason phillips like I’m just trying to run a painting company is and it just seems sort of abstract.
It seems complicated, seems difficult. Don’t have paralysis by analysis. Start somewhere, could be something small, could be something small, just start somewhere. And what Jason is giving you right now is a system for building systems. He’s telling you, hey, start with a checklist. Basic checklist could be five items park on the street, you know, make sure you carry your your folder your sales materials with you to the door, right? Just do the basic checklist and then build it out and then build it out some more until it’s fully built out without you know, saying unbuckle your seat belt, open the door without saying just ludicrous stuff.
That’s then just gonna bog it down. You know. Brandon, you make you make me think of someone who takes very complex processes and makes them very simple bob ross. Barbara, hold on. It’s not it’s not getting it. I’ve got a tiny bob ross right here. He can start you off with a blank canvas. Walk you through, step by step by the time, by the time that you’re done. By the time that you’re done then you have a beautiful a beautiful painting. I don’t know why that didn’t work.
You have it worked when you held it next to you. I think it’s frames frames focused on you. It’s okay man. Nobody’s gonna see this. It’s just anybody there. It is. Yeah. So um but really that, so now if you redefine, okay, I said you’re a genius if you can, you know, take your company, you know beyond a million dollars or even even close to a million dollars, here’s your next level of genius boiling things down and making it so simple that you can delegate them out to people and have them done time and time again the same way.
That’s your new level of genius to shoot for right there. Yeah, that’s a tall order. But that’s how you buy your freedom. That’s how you build a real company. You know that that’s how you don’t uh build yourself into a bigger and worse prison as you go. Yeah. And a lot of people who haven’t gotten their, they don’t, they don’t know that. You know, you kind of, you don’t know what you don’t know and when you’re starting out, you want revenue revenue is gonna fix all your problems.
If you make sales that fixes everything. If you get to that million dollar mark boom, you’re done. If you get to the $5 million dollar mark made in the shade. Never have to work a day again. But if you until you’re there, you don’t realize we actually just have a whole lot more problems. Just the revenue just happened. Exactly and you think, think about it, you know, if you don’t come in, let’s just say you wake up one morning, you’re like, you know, I want to take the day off, there’s a lot of stuff going to go undone in your company because you’re not, there gonna be a lot of fire, you’re gonna come back to a forest fire, I’m gonna be honest.
It used to be like that for me now, not a problem. I have amazing people running that caterpillar tractor, okay, they, they’re moving a lot of dirt, they know what they’re doing and I don’t micromanage them, I don’t need to micromanage them again. We’re far from perfect but have come so far and I wanna see, I wanna see you and I want to meet you and hear you, I hear you tell me stories about how you implemented simple systems, you became a better leader and and and you built a team of people and how much better your life is your customers lives are and their and your employees lives are to everybody wins when you do this. Everybody.
Yeah, yeah, everybody wins. I love that. Alright, so that is able systems that was super deep dive. I took us took us down some rabbit trails there, but I appreciate you humoring me on that and I know the last episode we really focused again on building that team, what that looks like, why you need to do with the mindset mindset. You need to be in the position to hire for. I want to dive into systems related specifically. So, so not just how do you sell? How do how do you, how do you do this?
The processes but systems really related to the employee uh systems to compensation models. You do you have systems focused specifically on this stuff I do um in an ideal environment, every person on your team will have some skin in the game. And um I heard um I heard a guy say it like this a while back. I may have mentioned this on a on a previous episode is he said, I’m not going to allow a situation where my employee wins and the company loses, but I’m also not going to allow a situation where the company wins and my employee loses when the company is doing well, all my people are gonna do well.
So everybody’s gonna share in the winnings and the losses. And that way you’re gonna. Not every most employees, most Western sales in sales want a steady paycheck. Okay, don’t we all but running a business, we know that if we don’t continue to up our game to deliver value, we’re gonna have diminishing returns. And business itself is fragile and we we need in a small business, we’re not in some big corporate setting. We need people that have that at the front of their mind the success of the team, we need to wow our clients, we need to work together as a team and we need to hit our numbers and and celebrating that is is uh a key and and rewarding people.
So we have um systems compensation systems reward systems where you know our sales people, they get rewarded with the commission, right? But then if they have uh if the projects ran through a whole month’s worth of projects ran through and met certain criteria regarding accuracy and profitability, then the salesperson gets a bonus monthly bonus. And our project managers, project managers make a salary but they also get individual project commissions for wowing the client for meeting budget for collecting it on time. And they also get a monthly incentives for um keeping their entire month averages within certain parameters.
So you know, what do I want my project managers to do, want to wow the client, meet the budget and collected on time. That’s what I want. So when I’m when when they’re doing that, the company is winning. So I made it where when they do that they’re winning, right? And if you can do that on in every uh in every area of your company, that’s wonderful. Some it’s more obvious. The easiest one is sales. Hey you’re gonna you’re gonna be in 100% commission when you sell it, you get it right and um so that’s a very simple one.
But there’s, you know, when you get to other administrative jobs? It’s not so easy. So I made it, you know, if you’re in a supporting role in my company Um when the team wins, like for instance um kicking off 2023 uh we we just ended our best january in the history of our company. We exceeded our leads goal, our appointments goal, our sales goal and are produced are produced revenue goal. We smashed every one of those and my entire team is getting rewarded for that. I love it.
Are they getting rewarded with a bonus? How how are they getting rewarded? Exactly. Well they should have already been rewarded but we had a big ice storm in texas and we were shut down. So I can’t say yet. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know when you’re gonna release this, but uh okay, so um a lot of times what I’ll do is um uh I’ll surprise my team. I’ll go get everybody a DSW gift card and tell them go buy some shoes because we’re going places.
So I’ll do that sometimes that’s just one of one of the things. And so the difference to me, okay, a bonus is something unexpected. An incentive is a carrot that they see and go for. There’s a difference, a bonus is completely unexpected and incentives or something they are specifically working towards towards. Okay. And your you mainly align around incentives. Yes and we do have some bonuses as well? I love it man. So you you guys um Do you guys operate with 100% Commission model with the sales interesting?
Have you always done it that way interesting and you don’t find I know you mentioned something in there and maybe this is where you kind of quality control that but you don’t find if you offer 100% commission that sometimes uh sales are not maybe done the right way or maybe kind of position your team for for uh not not positioned for success. You finding that okay, 100% commission as opposed to what so as opposed to some baseline level of salary and then commission on top. So maybe 50 50 would get better quality on the sales.
I guess my question is it wouldn’t get you better quality I think I think it depends on who’s there. My question is have you ever found someone who joined and maybe they weren’t uh producing for some period of time or in the beginning? I got a little desperate and started selling projects in a way that really wasn’t for the benefit of the company whether they Yeah, so um we have strict control. We we know on every sale what um any the list price and any promotions that the customer was given and what it was sold at.
So the only thing that they can really do is not scope it correctly. And if projects run out of budget and uh then commissions are impacted. I see. Okay. So some, some sort of uh almost like not like a claw back feature but it would kind of net if they had earned a certain commission. But then this one project, we’re really inappropriately and you guys ran way over budget that would maybe net out some of their positive commission and we do give them grace. We do not expect perfection out of our sales people. Sure. Okay.
No, that’s helpful man. Yeah, I just, I always like to, you know how I am? I like to kind of dive in and get the specifics. Um, Jason this is, this is incredible. We are nearing the one hour mark. Do you, do you wanna share anything else about systematize ng your business to position it for scale. I would just, I would put a few criteria. one. My first suggestion is you just pick one system and make a checklist or make a script, telephone script or a script on how you’re going to ask for the review and your systems need to be readily accessible.
I know in today’s digital world, let’s just say, let’s say you have a um, a pre job checklist or a checklist that you’re walking around and the clients with you and and your guy is sitting there with his face in his iphone, iphones don’t build rapport, print that checklist out, have it on a piece of paper, give them a pen or a pencil and they need to check it off in front of the client and take notes because anything that they have on a clipboard is um more visible and things on, on your tiny screen are almost hidden.
So there’s this, there’s this lack of clarity when you’re taking notes or running a checklist on your phone and I know that you know, the younger you are or the more tech savvy you are, the more you’re drawn to do things digitally. Okay. But we need, we need to build trust rapport with our clients and we need to drop into their world and what I think about what’s gonna work best for them, not necessarily what’s easiest for us. Yeah. When you’re looking at your checklist, they know that you’re not, you know, scrolling instagram or, or texting your friend or even if they know you’re not, we’re just used to, if somebody’s looking down at their phone and they’re in a conversation with you, it means that they’re not paying attention to you, What are they doing?
Yeah. So even if they know your clipboard around and show it to them, Yeah, there there’s uh they might wonder what you’re doing and even if they know what you’re doing there is this, it’s just sort of a subconscious turn off, like, like they don’t actually have your full attention. Absolutely, yeah, I love it, man. So start somewhere, start simple. Jason’s running a very big successful company. He comes out with a lot of things, disc personality assessment motivated. We’re gonna be getting into this stuff in future episodes, it can seem and be overwhelming, but he’s telling you right here to just start with something, start with something really, really easy.
If it makes your company better, then it’s a great thing you did it, even if it just moves the needle little bit and hey, you can, you can start it and say say give it to other people. Hey, I made a rough draft just for something, can you improve this? You know, act like for instance, if you were training a new guy to work alongside you, write it for them, how would you want them to do it? What are the things you’d want to make sure they didn’t miss and they’ll make you really will make you a really good checklist, I promise.
I love it, Jason, Thank you brother. It’s wrapping up episode three, we got three more. So we’re halfway through our series. Really appreciate you man. I uh I love, I love, I love, I love our podcast episodes brother, really, really get a lot out of these. So thank you for talking this series and we’ll see you back in episode four. Thanks Brandon. It was, it was wonderful today. If you want to learn more about the topics we discussed in this podcast and how you can use them to grow your painting business, visit painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast for free training, as well as the ability to schedule a personalized strategy session for your painting company.
Again that you are L is painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast. Hey there, painting company owners. If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure you go ahead and hit that subscribe button, give us your feedback, let us know how we did. And also, if you’re interested in taking your painting business to the next level, make sure you visit the Painter Marketing Pros website at Painter marketing Pros dot com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at Brandon at Painter Marketing and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time.

Keep growing

Brandon Pierpont

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