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Archive for the 'Commercial Marketing' Category

One Sales Success Formula

While there are some overnight sales (and business) successes, when you dig a little deeper you find that those overnight successes were more likely 20 years in the making.

And that tells us something important.

One formula for sales success is doing the right things (proper marketing strategy and sales process delivered by the right salespeople) over an extended period of time during which the message (and the service/product) is refined, tweaked and perfected.

And voilà! After months or years or decades—the breakthrough! The “overnight” success!

So, if this is the case, tremendous effort over lengthy periods of time with delayed gratification are going to be required. So how do we “stay the course” as we invest in our future success?

Now, I’m not a particularly religious guy but one client shared a Bible passage with me that I think of as words to live by for people of any faith. Here goes:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

We have to do the footwork but God will handle the heavy lifting (if we let Him!)

How to Profitably Scale Your Business Using a Salary Cap

Integrating and Implementing a Salary Cap in Your Business

Sports fans understand the concept of a salary cap because most of the major professional sports leagues have some version of a salary cap. In business the term salary cap is used to define a determined payroll limit that restricts the amount of money to be spent on wages and salaries for a specific period of time. Some restoration business owners do not think about how their business could benefit from establishing a salary cap.

As a restoration business owner your single biggest expense is likely labor– the salary/wages that you pay to your employees (including yourself) and the money paid out to subcontractors or vendors for labor. If you want to impact your overall success and your profitability, then you need to start by looking at your labor productivity as the biggest component in your business.

In a growing business, labor costs can quickly balloon out of control. When small businesses are making the transition to medium-sized businesses it is possible to fall into a dangerous feedback loop of borrowing and spending. As you scale your business, your costs will grow, and it is tempting to see break-even (your previous measure of success) as sufficiently safe growth.

Greg Crabtree is the author of Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits, and one of the great ideas in his book is the recommendation that every business should self-impose a salary cap just like the one that NFL teams deal with every year.

How to Calculate Your Salary Cap:

To keep the math easy we will use an example of a business that generates $1,000,000 in revenue. In this example the business owner has determined that they want a 10% pre-tax profit from the business after paying themselves a reasonable market wage.

The non-salary costs were calculated by adding up all the fixed costs like materials and subcontractors, and operating expenses like rent, utilities, insurance, communications, and advertising, etc.  This would also include the cost of goods (less labor and management labor) for $1,000,000 in revenue. In this example the non-salary costs are $400,000. As you can see, that means the salary cap is $500,000, which includes all labor costs.

A simple calculation can help you determine the total labor costs allowable with your current revenues.

Labor CAP Formula:

LC = (total revenue) – [(0.1 x total revenue)] – (non-labor costs)

($1,000,000) – [($100,000)] – ($400,000) = $500,000

Here is an example:

If the current payroll expense is more than $500,000 (and the other numbers are correct) then this business is not going to hit the profit target and the business is at risk. That gets us back to the labor productivity idea- the key is to generate $1M in revenue from that $500,000 of labor, and if you want to be more profitable than 10%, then you either need to cut your salary expenses without impacting your productivity (do more with less) or grow your revenue without increasing your salary (again do more with less…or technically the same in this case).

At BDA, we believe that every restoration business owner has the right to expect that their company can deliver to them what they want out of life- freedom and the ability to create wealth.

Make it a prosperous month!  Stay tuned for next month’s article.

Monday Marketing and Sales Tip: Treating Gatekeepers Properly(They’re Human Too!)

Dealing effectively with gatekeepers can make or break your opportunity to get to the decision maker. Remember, it’s their job to minimize disruption (I.E.: sales calls) to their boss’ day! They are dealing with screening numerous calls and sales people making in person visits every day. They have the ultimate responsibility of letting through only those people that will matter to their boss! Because of this, they also tend to deal with people who will treat them badly or poorly for not allowing access to the decision maker. It’s vital to remember that gatekeepers are human too, and need to be treated as such. And, you only have a matter of moments to sink or swim in your efforts to get to that all important decision maker.

Because we hire, train and manage sales reps across the country, we see how this lack of proper communication has caused business development reps to sink quicker than the Titanic when it comes to dealing with the brick wall that is the gatekeeper. Common sense to most? Yes–but you’d be surprised how often it bears repeating!

So, next time you’re up against a gatekeeper, remember to be polite and in your few precious moments with them, try to 1) address them by their name and 2) say please! A dash of courtesy and directly addressing them can throw even the crustier gatekeepers off their game, as you’ve now shown up differently from other sales people.

By adding this “human” touch and level of respect to the conversation, you have a greater chance of getting past them and even having them become your ally.

An example of this would be saying to the gatekeeper “Thanks Sandy, could you please let me know if Mr. Smith will be available to speak for a few moments?”

Gatekeepers are people just like everyone else–showing them that you recognize this and engaging them respectfully can go a long way by using these simple yet powerful communication techniques!

Want to learn more strategies for dealing with gatekeepers and improve your sales process overall? Click here to sign up for sales and marketing tips designed for the restoration industry!

Maryland Joins Other States In Banning Contractor Rebate Offers

Earlier this month, Maryland joined other states that are putting the kibosh on contractors who offer rebates to homeowners as a way to secure the repair contract. These contractors typically come with a shady motive behind the rebate, as they will perform substandard and inflated work, leaving the homeowner with a property not restored to pre-loss condition and affecting the overall value of the home.

These contractors use rebates of the homeowner’s insurance deductibles as a way to dangle the “carrot” so to speak in efforts to secure the contract. The homeowner, who sees savings of hundreds of dollars, believes they are getting the deal of a lifetime. In the end, they are disappointed to find that subpar materials and questionable or downright improper repair was performed.

In the cases of area-wide catastrophic weather damage, storm chasing contractors of the predatory nature will knock on the doors of homeowners who are under a great amount of stress and need even more urgent repairs. Once the shady contractor is able to get in and secure the contract by offering the rebate, they again perform substandard repairs, or in some cases, ask for a large amount of money up front and disappear completely with no work done, and never to be seen again.

It’s also important to note that a homeowner’s policy may not cover the repair of the fraudulent work done by the shady contractor. (To read more about Maryland joining the fight to stop scrupulous contractors in their tracks, click here.)

This type of fraudulent actions tarnishes our industry and makes it harder for honest contractors to assure their customers that they will follow the Standard of Care and follow the guidelines, ethics and practices set forth by our major industry associations and institutes. In order to help protect their reputation in the community, restoration contractors can use a variety of methods to get out their “good news stories” and spread customer testimonials, both online through their website and social media platforms. There’s also more direct marketing tactics you can use as well to spread the good word about your company.

Are you facing sales and marketing challenges that you need help with in order to grow your company? If so, reach out to us at info@theBDAway.com or, call us at 777-773-9956 and we can setup a brief time to talk about them and how BDA might be a good fit to help you get to the next level.

Don’t Miss These Upcoming BDA Sales & Marketing Seminars!

Don’t miss these upcoming BDA Sales & Marketing Seminars, where you can learn powerful strategies to predictably grow your business to the next level!

Contractor Connection 2013 Conference & Expo
May 21-23; San Antonio, Texas
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
Tim Miller, President of BDA, Will Be Presenting the Course:
“5 Stages of Small Business Growth for a Restoration Contractor”
https://www.contractorconnection.com/contractorconference/Breakouts.aspx

Business growth often triggers other business challenges. Business owners tend to approach growing their company as one long continuum from the day they open to the day they retire. When in fact, there are distinct stages of growth, with different challenges, stressors, and potential outcomes. Growing companies can greatly profit from advanced knowledge of the challenges they are likely to face at each step.

This course will explore the five stages of growth for a small business while applying it to our specific industry. Detailed explanation of what each stage looks like, and suggested steps to successfully navigate those transitions, will be included in this course. Learn More About This Course By Clicking Here!

Sales Mastery For Restorers
August 7th; Columbus, Ohio
Cleanserv/Interlink Supply Classroom
Tim Miller, President of BDA, Will Be Presenting the Course:
“Sales Mastery for Restorers”
Hosted by: Totally Booked University/Jeff Cross, Senior Editor of Cleanfax Magazine

http://www.carpetcleaningrestorationmarketing.com/sales-mastery.html

This one-day course will teach show you how to increase sales by implementing a powerful, real world selling system that has been customized for the restoration salespeople and their targets! The course is hosted by Totally Booked University and Jeff Cross, Senior Editor of Cleanfax Magazine.

It has never been more important to maximize the ability of your sales team to deliver business. Most restorers agree that the average water loss is $3,000 with at least a 50% profit margin. That means that every sale you don’t bring in is costing you $1,500 or more! Plus, sales salaries and expenses add up quickly and you need to deliver a strong return.

Sales training isn’t new. But, sales training designed from the ground up just for restoration contractor salespeople is! There is no other program like this available anywhere! Click Here To Learn More About This Course!

If you have any questions about these upcoming courses and workshops, you can reach us at 773-777-9956 or email us at info@theBDAway.com.

We look forward to seeing you!

The Impact of Emotional Discipline In Sales

As a full-service sales and marketing agency, we work closely with our client’s sales force. In that, we come across some similarities on why some reps succeed and some fail. For those that flame out, one commonality we see is how a rep can emotionally cripple their sale even before it begins and during the sale which could have been swaying towards closing the deal in the beginning.

This emotional “cripple” comes from a lack of emotional discipline. Sales is a tough job in the first place, and can be very wearing on a person’s psyche-if they let it. Self-defeating thoughts such as “What I have to say doesn’t matter”, “This call will probably result in nothing” and other similar thoughts contribute to the death of the sale. This negative emotion causes the rep to lack confidence, not listen actively and so many more actions that ultimately translate over into the sale. The prospect, who is on the receiving end of the communication and emotions being put forth by the rep, will then receive and translate all those emotions and actions as a weakness in the salesperson, or, perceive a lesser value or no value in the product or service being offered.

On the other hand, emotional discipline in a sales rep is important in regards to positive emotion. Being enthusiastic, visualizing success and having reaffirming thoughts can all translate into a more positive sales process and outcome.

To read more about how emotional discipline impacts sales, click here to read the full article written by Business Development Associates and Tim Miller, President of BDA.

If you’re a restorer or industry-related company looking to boost your sales and marketing efforts, Business Development Associates, Inc. is helping numerous businesses in the restoration and cleaning industries to grow their businesses. You can learn more about us by visiting us at our website or calling 773-777-9956 for more information.

Upcoming Seminar: “5 Stages of Small Business Growth for Restoration Contractors”

Join us at Contractor Connection on Wednesday, May 21st, for this exciting seminar presented by the President of Business Development Associates, Tim Miller.

Business growth often triggers other business challenges. Business owners tend to approach growing their company as one long continuum from the day they open to the day they retire. When in fact, there are distinct stages of growth, with different challenges, stressors, and potential outcomes. Growing companies can greatly profit from advanced knowledge of the challenges they are likely to face at each step.

This course will explore the five stages of growth for a small business while applying it to our specific industry. Detailed explanation of what each stage looks like, and suggested steps to successfully navigate those transitions, will be included in this course.

Upon Completion Of This Course, Attendees Will Be Able To Gain:
• The Ability To Identify Which Stage Your Business Is At In The 5 Stages of Small Business Growth
• What Obstacles Are In Their Way Of Growing Their Business At The Current Stage The Business Is In
• Suggested Steps To Be Taken In Order To Move Their Business To The Next Stage Of Growth
• What The Future Stages Of Growth Are To Come, and The Challenges, Stressors and Potential Outcomes of Each Stage

This course will be presented twice at Contractor Connection on Wednesday, May 21st, from 1PM-2PM and again from 2:15-3:15PM.

You can learn more about the upcoming Contractor Connection conference in San Antonio, Texas, by clicking here.

Unable to make it to San Antonio? Check out another upcoming workshop held in Columbus in August: “Sales Mastery for Restorers.” You can learn more by clicking here!

Upcoming Sales Mastery Course For Restorers: A New Way To Deliver Outstanding Results!

Business Development Associates, Inc. will be presenting “Sales Mastery for Restorers”, a one-day course that will teach show you how to increase sales by implementing a powerful, real world selling system that has been customized for the restoration salespeople and their targets! The course is hosted by Totally Booked University and Jeff Cross, Senior Editor of Cleanfax Magazine.

It has never been more important to maximize the ability of your sales team to deliver business. Most restorers agree that the average water loss is $3,000 with at least a 50% profit margin. That means that every sale you don’t bring in is costing you $1,500 or more! Plus, sales salaries and expenses add up quickly and you need to deliver a strong return.

Sales training isn’t new. But sales training designed from the ground up just for restoration contractor salespeople is! There is no other program like this available anywhere!

Now,you’ve probably sent your team to sales training events and they come back enthused, but the effect quickly wears off. That’s because training as an event always fail. Training as a process, however, delivers powerful, consistent and increasing results.

If you’re looking to grow your restoration business, you need a highly effective sales program in place. There’s simply no better or faster way for your company to grow to the next level.

Details:

Sales Mastery for Restorers Course-Click Here to Register!
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
8 A.M.-4 P.M.
Cleanserv/Interlink Supply Classroom
Columbus, OH

This course will be taught by the creator and instructor of Sales Mastery for Restorers, Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates, Inc. Miller is a highly regarded sales and marketing expert in the industry, and brings 30 years of experience and a unique perspective to help businesses solve their problems and grow to the next level. He is also a published author in several trade magazines, a featured columnist in Cleanfax Magazine and speaks at multiple industry events and conferences throughout the year, where he leverages his business experience in both the restoration industry and his other entrepreneurial ventures, including his own construction company in New Mexico.

Click Here to Register-Space is Limited!

Free Webinar: Generating New Business

Register today for this free event, happening on February 27th at 3PM EST!

Brought to you by Cleanfax Magazine, this webinar will provide multiple guidelines and best practices for marketing your business in 2013 so you can position your company for growth this year.

Included on the panel of thought leaders will be Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates, Inc. Other presenters include Chuck Violand, Steve Marsh and Jeff Cross.

See you at the webinar! Click here to register now!

Spending Increase on Personal Lines; Commercial Rates Remain Steady

According to new research by Bankrate.com, more than a third of Americans spent more on insurance last year, while 52% spent the same, and only 7% spent less.

Of those that spent more on insurance in 2012, 62% said they did so due to rising premiums. The second biggest reason for increased insurance spending, according to survey respondents, was due to the purchase of a new home, car, boat or recreational vehicle.

Spending increases on multiple types of insurance was also seen, including homeowners, renters, life, auto and health coverage.

On the commercial side, rates are expected to continue rising later on in 2013 due to above average losses, low investment returns and receding reserve releases. The occurrence of a hard market is not in sight as of now, as both competition in the insurance marketplace and capacity remains high, and price increases continue to differ across the board.

Some suspected that commercial insurance rates would have started to rise in early 2013, but Superstorm Sandy’s effect on the market is predicted to stall or even out current rates that at one point had seemed to be improving.

Insurers across several types of lines and industries will continue to adjust their pricing and coverage in efforts to maintain their profitability. In addition, the rising severity of losses means that carriers to look more closely when processing claims to ensure the claim and the circumstances that caused the loss matches the coverage currently carried by the insured. For restoration contractors, this could result in further challenges with insurance companies, uncovered losses and angry policyholders who didn’t realize their lack of or gaps in their insurance coverage.



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