The Sharpest Tool™

Kenny Chapman Part 1 | Sales Planning, Preparation, and Priorities for Home Services Owners

Cheryl McRae
Josh Smith
Kenny Chapman founded The Blue Collar Success Group with the mission to help home services industry operators become more successful owners. The coaching, training and development company gives home services businesses the tools to improve employee consistency, retention, communication, and management, as well as to maximize leads.

Josh Smith (00:03):

Hello, and welcome back to the sharpest tool. My name is Josh. I'm your host. And this is the place where we take the sting out of marketing with everything that we're bringing to the table as always I'm really fired up when we have an awesome guest in the booth. And today is one such day. I have Kenny Chatman, the founder of the blue collar success group here in the booth with us here on the sharpest tool. Kenny, welcome.

Kenny Chapman (00:27):

Thanks Josh. It's an honor and pleasure to be here, man. Super pumped as well.

Josh Smith (00:31):

Fired up, man. We're going to have a great conversation today. Um, I, a lot of people might not know what the blue collar success group is, what you guys do. Um, why don't you tell us a little bit about the blue collar success group? You bet.

Kenny Chapman (00:42):

We are basically, we're a coaching training and development company. That's focused on the home services industry. So anybody that crosses the threshold of a door to have communication with a homeowner about a product service or whatever we focus on helping people have better communication, better management, maximizes leads, companies like scorpion, obviously generate leads. That's one part of the equation, right? So we focus on those other parts of the equation that really helped the business operate better.

Josh Smith (01:12):

What, what would you say your overall your overarching mission is for these business owners? You help? Our main,

Kenny Chapman (01:18):

Our over all mission is helping operators become real owners because when owners actually own companies, the entire organization gets better when you run it like creating enterprise value for investors. Even if those investors are mom and pop or husband, and wife is a mindset shift that happens and we help people create that shift and then manage that shift. So everybody in the company can thrive.

Josh Smith (01:43):

That's awesome. And you guys have been going through a bit of a, kind of a reshaping of the blue collar success group business structure over the past couple years. Um, tell me a little bit about that.

Kenny Chapman (01:53):

Yeah. Yes. Thank you. We, uh, we've gone through some massive leadership changes and we've added some incredibly talented coaches and leaders and we have a brand new mission that we are going to completely change. How home services is communicated. Josh, the home service industry is changing faster than we've ever seen it. And we want to be a guiding light to that. So we're going to touch more lives and help people understand where to go. A confused mind, never buys. And our clients are confused about what direction to go. We want to help make that simpler,

Josh Smith (02:25):

You know, and that fires me up because that's exactly what we embody here at scorpion. And it boils down to helping business owners succeed and helping them identify what those goals are and how to actually achieve those in a tangible way, without having to be the expert in every single thing that comes to business, they need business owners need help from time to time. And it's great to have an organization like blue collar success group to do that. And I know there are a lot of those organizations out there. So, um, and this also kind of the growth that you guys are seeing in the changes as you're going through, um, kind of shifts into a little bit about what I want to talk about today. And that's, that's a focus on sales, right? All businesses need sales to acquire, not just the acquisition of new customers, but to affect the bottom line at the end of the day. So you work with obviously a lot of home service professionals. What would you say the current state of sales is for your home? Typical home service company,

Kenny Chapman (03:17):

The current state of sales at the time we're doing this, Josh is very, very good because the overall economy is basically out of control. So, so one of the challenges right now is sales are basically as good as a company can execute right now. The sales prevention department has been put aside because the economy is so good. What happens when clients have time to think, want a process? They're not so urgent and have some discretionary income sales actually becomes an art and a communication form right now, most sales being done are more order-taking than anything because of supply and demand period. So right now sales are happening. The challenge is, you know, I think it's important that we realize Warren buffet said one time that, you know, nobody knows who's swimming naked until the tide goes out. So the reality is in economies like this, there's a lot of sales going on, but the, the, the important thing is sales does not matter. Josh sales doesn't matter at all.

Josh Smith (04:24):

What do you mean by that? Sales does not matter. Can you dive into that a little bit? For me,

Kenny Chapman (04:28):

All that matters is what goes to the bottom line. Yeah. So meaning that, you know, we, we watched 3, 4, 5, $10 million companies generate a lot of sales, but there's nothing at the bottom, which creates stress, which creates anxiety, which creates fear, which doesn't allow owners to make good decisions. And therefore we think sales is the answer to fix everything. And yet, sometimes it's a matter of it can cover up some things.

Josh Smith (04:55):

Sure. Well, let, let's dive into that a little bit more. Um, and the current state of sales, a lot of business owners are probably really comfortable right now. Like you mentioned the economy, we typically see things start to shift a little bit economy-wise and know there people have been anticipating a housing market dip, um, a lot of stuff happening there. Um, what, what's the mistake for a business owner right now who is feeling comfortable to kind of rest in that comfort? What's the problem that they're going to experience in the next three to five years?

Kenny Chapman (05:22):

The challenge is, is really entrepreneurs are optimists by nature. We can't not be when, when business owners get up in the morning, you have got to go, today's going to be better than yesterday. Most of the time, and you get kicked in the gut and you get drug through the mud and tax and all this stuff comes at you, all these, these different types of things. And so the challenge is that we, we don't have our own blind spots. One of the things we do is we create mastermind groups at blue collar because you don't know your own spot. And right now people are enjoying everything. That's cool, but let's get clear. Not only is there a recession coming, what if you could create one yourself? How would you do then? What if you could go, you know what? In 2022, we're going to be in a terrible recession because I want one. How would you go into that recession then everybody we think about that and you go, Kenny, you're crazy. Nobody would ever ask for that. I'm not saying you asked for it, but how would your mindset shift and how would you prepare differently? Would you stack cash a little bit? Would you look at those notes a little bit? Would you make sure that you're profitable as well? And being mindful that things don't continue forever? What got you here? Won't get you there. Josh.

Josh Smith (06:38):

There are people struggling most from your perspective and the businesses that you've worked with when it comes to the sales aspect,

Kenny Chapman (06:46):

The sales aspect comes down to two things, education and fear. And the, and the bottom line is most frontline team members of home service companies, regardless of trade are not educated on product benefits services. They're not educated and trained on proper communication in the home. They're not properly trained on how to communicate the technology. Most companies are now mobile presentations and they go, Hey, cool, Josh, here's an iPad. Go sell some air conditioning or garage doors. And you don't know how to use the thing and the process. And when to show pictures. So techs aren't educated. Therefore they can't educate homeowners. When those two things come to, to head, the problem is price and value are always at war. And so when those value points don't get touched, price looks high, no matter what it is, it doesn't matter if it's a, a stick of gum, right?

Kenny Chapman (07:44):

We have price and value for it at the convenience store. Do I want a red bull or a monster? Oh, this one's two for one. You have that conversation. Even subconsciously. Now we're having it consciously about hundreds or thousands of dollars in the home. And technicians are like, I wouldn't spend that on, on that. Guess what? You're a, you can put the garage door in, right? So the thing is, you're not your own customer. And therefore you start making monetary decisions for a client in the sales process because you go, I wouldn't buy that instead of going, I wouldn't buy that, but I know the benefits to my client and I'm going to give them all these options and all this information about this process. And then I'm going to let them make an educated decision on what's best for them in their family, in the home. What are the

Josh Smith (08:31):

Biggest differences you work with? A lot of businesses, we work with a lot of businesses here in scorpion. We see, we see the similarities across all the options that are available to a consumer. What are the biggest differentiators in terms of the value of business can provide that. You've been able to see what the world, the businesses you deal with. What, what does a business owner do you think with, in order to be sure they're providing the value, that's going to make the difference to get people out of the price conversation?

Kenny Chapman (09:00):

Absolutely. So there's a couple of things that come into play. Number one is business owners need to realize that your current competition is no longer your competition. Meaning we used to think I'm a plumbing guy on the plumbing heating air company for 24 years, many years of my career, I thought I competed with the guys down the block, down the street, whatever that did what I do. And then all of a sudden Facebook comes along and Amazon comes along and Amazon decides to train the entire United States on how they consume and how, where they get benefit and how they value reviews. And all the consumer process has completely changed and contractors, quite frankly, aren't keeping up with it. And so now all of a sudden you go, okay, cool. Where are you winning? The ones that are winning are embracing technology are giving multiple options are running more like an Amazon without the overwhelm. The challenge with Amazon offerings is it's all there. And so if you get sucked in and you scroll for one razor, and then you start looking at the shave cream and whatever yogurt, your clients didn't want you to be in the home most of the time at home services. Anyway. So that's part of it. You get clarity, you get focused, train your team, set them loose and monitor performance. Coach it, look at it where we're looking to improve behavior, improving behavior, improves communication, improved communication, improves education, improved education improves closing.

Josh Smith (10:23):

Yeah, absolutely. Let's talk about your videos. You talk a lot about sales being relational. What do you mean by that? What's relational selling.

Kenny Chapman (10:30):

So relation based selling is more about you and I, you and I have a relationship, but it's, it's more about it. Think about if you were going to marry each one of your clients, you're not going to show up at the door. Hey, how you doing? You want to get married when I'm at the lovely Christie we want on a, on a date, Josh. And we went to our favorite little Italian place and I hung on every word and I listened and we went on several dates and it was a long time before I asked her to marry me. When you ask your client for money, that's the marriage. And if you don't build relationship prior to asking for marriage, you're going to get laughed at just like showing up to somebody you just met and said, Hey, would you like to get married? No, you're going to say, Hey, can I get you a drink? Do you want to meet for coffee? I'd like to get to know you a little bit. You've got to do that with a homeowner in order to know whether you have the authority to ask them.

Josh Smith (11:17):

And the business owners that are having their people do, this are the ones that are winning now and the ones that are going to win in the next five years, thousand percent. And so it's, you know, one of your videos, you see, you said this, uh, your frontline is never going to treat a client better than you treat your frontline. I love how that is positioned. Um, w dive into a little bit about what you mean exactly by that though,

Kenny Chapman (11:40):

A hundred percent. So the, the, you know, what happens is we, you guys are a marketing company, scorpion generates leads, right? So, so we're all looking for clients, for customers for external. And unfortunately when things get busy and there's all these different things, sometimes owners have a tendency to forget about the importance of team and forget about the importance of how we treat them. And so I, I'm a firm believer that if you treat a, uh, w a client internal client, meaning a team member like a commodity, then they will treat your end user client like a commodity. And so one of the things we're seeing is, oh, people can't recruit. They can't find people, look at your culture, look at your magnet hat. Now it doesn't mean you've got to have ice cream parties every Friday and having barbecues on Saturday. That's not the point.

Kenny Chapman (12:31):

And we think it's monetary. And we think it's, we have such a blind spot when it comes to what people truly want to work in a company that we, we miss the fact. So here's the deal just walking around when you look at massive companies that have crushed it over the years and back in the Toyota days when Toyota was scaling and the CEO would walk the floor and just, Hey, hi, hi, I don't speak Japanese. I don't know exactly what he would say, but he would make condos. Okay, there you go. Thank you. Thank you. You know, and, but it made people feel validated. And everybody wants that. If you're listening to check out a little thing called Maslow's hierarchy of needs, whereas a business owner look at that every one of your team members wants to climb Maslow's hierarchy. You can, they can do it in your organization. You're going to crush it for a long, long time. Let's dive in.

Josh Smith (13:24):

I do a little, a little thing. You said we were having a, a, you know, an off, uh, off mic conversation about this a little earlier. And I think it's so, so important for our business owners to understand, um, this aspect of the tech challenge, that a lot of business owners are dealing with the millennial generation dinner, different generation of priorities and needs and how they need to be coached, how they need to be worked with correct. Um, and some business owners are finding that really, really challenging. What's your take on, on that entire situation, that the whole tech challenge,

Kenny Chapman (13:54):

Number one, Josh, and don't take this wrong for our audience, but, you know, get over it. I mean, you guys have an phenomenal TV show here at scorpion called get to work. And I would say, when it comes to the hiring thing, get over it. Now I'm not trying to say, oh, bury your head in the sand, whatever. Yes, there might be a challenge coming, but it doesn't affect every single company in every market. Anybody listening, you have a certain number of team members that you need to hit budget this year. That's the number you need to focus on. Now, what happens? You have, we come into your organization at blue collar and you go, well, we can't get any team members. And we walk in and it doesn't matter. The age of the building, Josh, the floor hasn't been vacuumed and the trash hasn't been taken out and the bathrooms aren't clean and we go, oh, but that's not why people they drive a truck.

Kenny Chapman (14:44):

Well, it doesn't matter. The point is the way you do something is the way you do everything. And if you're not valuing your people, if recruiting isn't as equally as important as generating leads, then you're not serious about recruiting and our clients that are growing by 10, 20, 30, 40%. There is a company in Phoenix last year that grew $30 million in the plumbing heating, electrical business, 30 million in one year. Now, what does that mean without an acquisition? I might add, guess what? It takes a lot of butts in trucks to do an extra, an extra 30 million. So the point is they weren't going to market going. There was no good team members. They said, what's it take to get this. Now let's be very clear. Ladies and gentlemen, you can be a one truck operator and create differentiation in the market to where everybody wants to work for you.

Kenny Chapman (15:30):

The other thing is, if your team's not bringing millennials, you brought it up. A lot of our industry and home service is still owned by old school. There's a lot of transition going on. There's a lot of pain and families going on from baby boomer. Parents that have owned a long time to millennial generation, either taking acquisition or taking over, regardless of where you are, you better be focusing on what their wants, needs, and desires are because they will bring their friends by the droves there. Their friends don't want to go to college anymore than some other people. If they see a path that has value without a ton of debt, we think, oh, they all want to be gamers and go to school and just dink around. Well, as long as you keep thinking that you're going to keep manufacturing those results in your work

Josh Smith (16:11):

Organization. Absolutely. I think, uh, I think to it, it's such an interesting principle, just how millennials want to be coached. It's interesting. I was looking at, um, uh, a training that we were doing internally here. And we were looking at the contrast in terms of how, how people wanted to be handled in the workplace 20 years ago, 50 years ago, versus how millennials want to be handling the workplace. And you saw this very interesting juxtaposition, right? You saw people back in the day, they, they were told what to do. And they were okay with that, right. People today, they ask, why, why do I need to do that? They want value. They want reason they want meaning. They're looking for meaning people back in the day, it was a very much a hierarchical, uh, manager, subordinate relationship. I tell you what to do. You do it today.

Josh Smith (16:57):

They want to be treated like a family. Like they come in and they're, they're part of a family, the part of something bigger, everybody's looking for that movement and that meaning in life. And so when it comes down to how we're treating our techs, how we're treating our people, how we're treating the organization as a whole, we can't forget that we're dealing with people and people are emotional. They're irrational. Sometimes it's messy, we're in the people business. And if you're a leader in an organization, you're in the people business and it's a messy business sometimes, but you gotta be okay with that. And you have to fall in love with that game and never forget that there's a person at the end of that position that you're trying to hire for

Kenny Chapman (17:32):

A hundred percent. And I would, I would add to that, Josh. I love that. And I would say not just as there a person at the other end of that, there's a person that was raised differently than you. There is a person. See, think about this. Didn't every generation in world history want things to be a little bit easier the next time around. So the challenge is, baby boomers are really what they're doing is crying out and being victims going well, life wasn't that easy. When I, when I was a kid, therefore, you know, dah, dah, dah, in our space, we have this thing that you can't work on the side. Um, I own a plumbing company. You can do plumbing. It makes sense. You're competing with your own company. Here's another challenge that millennials have. There's a little thing called a side hustle. I never know millennials say they got a side hustle and everybody, I got millennials work for me. And they're like, oh yeah, what's your I'm like side hustle. What does that mean? And so then you go, well, wait a minute. That's because a lot of 'em, they're looking for some value because they have a boring, dull job. And so they're going to go run some mover. They want some walking around money. They want some validation. They want some art. They want to create something. When you give them the opportunity to do that, then maybe their side hustle becomes within your own,

Josh Smith (18:43):

The organization, a hundred percent capitalizing on someone's strengths and someone's desires and passions. And how do you take those passions and incorporate them to something that you can use for the betterment of the organization. So that way, the more time someone's spending in their passion zone, the less, it feels like work. Right? And so we can't, I don't think we can forget that when we're, when we're dealing with anybody in the organization's steals, this is everybody across the organization. It doesn't have to be a millennial to, I think a lot of the millennial generation is influencing even the, uh, the older generation and what we can't forget about the younger generation and the millennial generation is, uh, that they want to be challenged and they actually want to contribute and they want to grow and personally develop, but they just need to be, uh, they need to be led in a different way than what people historically have done. They need still need the accountability. And this isn't to say, millennials are lazy to the point where, oh, they just don't, they just don't want the accountability or anything. They actually want accountability, but they need it delivered in a specific manner. And a

Kenny Chapman (19:45):

And one of the things I think we forget as business owners and leaders in today's world is because things are so different. And, and you know, I I'm Dan Sullivan, one of my mentors taught me a concept called unique ability like that that's the deal, right. Is live in that space. What we forget as owners is most of us started maybe by ourselves, in a truck doing everything. And then there became a badge. Josh of I can do everything in the business rather than having a badge of, I do my unique ability. I'm really good at it. I remember when I was a kid, my mom tasks, my sister, and I will doing the dishes after dinner. Yeah. I hated washing, but I liked drying. So I worked there with my sister and we worked out a deal where we could get the dishes done, way better if she washed. And I dried than if I washed and she dried because I sucked at washing the dishes and she'd have to redo them. You start going well, what's the point, Kenny, the point is the dishes are all kinds of different categories in your business and you are still doing the washing and the drying. Sometimes when somebody is raising their hand in the background going, I'm really good at the dishes and you go, I hate the, but

Josh Smith (20:47):

Nobody does them as good as me. I'm going to keep on doing this. That's such a good point. And all of that, all of that motivation ties right back into this relational selling create better people. They create better relationships. They're people that customers want to work with and want to do business with. And when you allow them, the ability and the freedom to be who they really, really want to be and challenge them to be who they really, really want to be. You'll see it pay dividends down the road thousand percent with your business. Kenny, this has been awesome. We have so much information that we have so far for our business owners. We have so much more, we're going to get into, we're going to talk about sales and marketing, the relationship between the two. You're going to give some amazing insights from your coaching experience and your business ownership experience.

Josh Smith (21:33):

Um, I think we need to break this into two episodes. If, if you're all right with that a hundred percent, let's do it. Awesome. Well, where can our subscribe? Our listeners find you online. Kenny, go ahead to the blue collar success, check out our website, reach out to us. We'd love to do an assessment of your business. Find out your, what you're looking for and see how we might be a good fit to help you get to the next level. Awesome. And for everybody listening definitely hit that subscribe button sinking, get notified of our next episode. Next week, part two with Kenny Chapman, founder of the blue collar success group, until then from all of us here at the sharpest tool, we'll catch you next time.

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