Today on the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast we're talking with Jerry Sievers and there are a couple of really great lessons in today's episode.
Here's a successful business, built over several years, that is self-managing and allows Jerry to be removed from any actual operating part of the business. He calls it a wedge. A little opening service that every business needs, every business wants to have done, and he's been able to build a very successful business around delivering that. This is a business that is built on the recurring relationship with clients that have built up a trust over time with Jerry.
Now, the opportunity he has is to syndicate this business. To take the business that he's already learned, that he's already developed a system for, and duplicate it in other areas of the country with people who want to have a business with recurring revenue, that's predictable and can get to a point where it can support them without having to actually work day to day in the business.
That sounds like a pretty good deal and I think you're really gonna enjoy this episode.
An after unit business is one of my favorite topics to talk about, with a recurring revenue and a model that can take you out of the equation, so it works without you having to work in it.
Want to be a guest on the show? Simply follow the 'Be a Guest' link on the left & I'll be in touch.
Download a free copy of the Breakthrough DNA book all about the 8 Profit Activators we talk about here on More Cheese, Less Whiskers...
Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 107
Jerry: Dean Jackson, how are you sir?
Dean: I'm so good. How do you say your last name Jerry?
Dean: Sievers, okay perfect. That’s what I was going to say.
Jerry: But you never know.
Dean: You never know. Welcome aboard, where are you calling from?
Jerry: I think I'm calling from Lawton, Oklahoma.
Dean: Okay, perfect. Well, I am excited to chat today. I got everything ready here and I'm seated in my favorite chair while I'm here in Toronto. It's a beautiful day. Tell me what's going on, what's the Jerry Sievers story here?
Jerry: Dean, the Jerry Sievers story is I've been in business for 22 years and I caught the entrepreneurial bug many, many years ago when I was young, try to put some things together here and there and pretty much failed at everything as far as trying to get something off the ground. Back in 96, when I was working for Dillard's department store, I was selling shoes. At that time, Dillard's was paying a 9.5% commission on shoes.
Dean: Okay, wow.
Jerry: Yeah, I'm in that department and I'm thinking, “This is perfect for me because I love meeting people, all I have to do is sell a pair of shoes and I'm going to make 9.5% commission.” After doing that for about seven years, I noticed, “Man, I want to get out on my own and do this, but there's one thing kind of that I don't have together and that is when you get the commission check on the first of every month, you have to start over from zero.” I thought, “You know what, if I could solve that problem that is the deal right there.” What I decided to do was to start out doing windows for commercial businesses only because somebody was telling me, “You know Jerry, if you're going to try to do that, get money every single month after you sell one contract and then, the next month you get two, the next night you get three, what can you do that they will pay you on a weekly basis?” I thought about carpet cleaning, but then I thought, “Most people who get their carpets cleaned, they only get it once a year or once every other year in most cases.”
A friend of mine was telling me, “Jerry, I'm managing the Chili’s and we got to have our windows cleaned every single week.” That's what got me started into commercial only, doing the window cleaning. Then, after I got in there, when I looked around, I saw all kinds of other opportunities once you got your foot in the door, even as a break-even or a loss leader on the windows. I added pressure washing, I added parking lot striping, I added trimming their bushes. What we do is we go to the business. We get our foot in the door with a 30-day free trial of the window cleaning or the pressure washing, within the back of our mind, knowing that when we get in there, we're going to splinter off into all these different directions. What I'm at right now Dean is that works so well that we have over 450 monthly customers, which is after 22 years is not a lot of customers. Here's the key, when we got in there and we started doing that that concept of splintering once you're in there, I haven't worked in 15 years.
Dean: That's so great, good for you.
Jerry: Yes, meaning once you set these up Dean, you hire people and on Monday, this crew goes here, they got their little schedule. Tuesday, this crew goes here and they got their schedule. Listening to your podcasts and things, here's what I'm hoping you'll say can work. I want to turn this business over to Logan, my 32-year-old daughter and the local part of it, but listening to Dean Jackson, I want to hopefully turn this thing into your first six-figure business type of thing and go United States and then worldwide. The reason why I keep coming back to that idea Dean, once you get in on those windows of that free windows 30 days of that free pressure washing, if you go in there with the mindset that there's all this stuff that you can also do and let's say like we just picked up one with the Cracker Barrel. We got in there on the 30 day free windows, the 30 days over and now, oh yeah, we got to have these windows down every week.
Then, we added the pressure washing, but when you add windows and you add pressure washing, let's say even if you stripe their parking lot, which we did, but after 90 days, after six months, the paint starts to fade or even on the pressure washing Dean, when you go in there, they'll hire you. While we've got money to do this front area and the garbage area, but for right now that's all we have money for on a monthly basis. What you do is on a quarterly basis, you still got that entire parking lot that needs to be dealt with as far as pressure washing. After 90 days, you go in and splinter off. You'll go in there and you'll say something like, “I noticed parking spaces have a bunch of oil and grease on there, we're running a special this month, if you want to get that cleaned up or we can leave a bid with you.” Dean, it's just so powerful. The concept of this and this is what I tried tell my friends about that do business.
Dean, this is the weirdest thing, you can go on a parking lot and those stripes could be 90% gone and a lot of people will not call you. The day that you go in there and say, “Hey, we do parking lot striping, I noticed your parking lot lines …” “Yeah, we've been thinking about that for a long time, absolutely leave us a bid.” That one little, if we could call it a secret of just saying something to somebody, to take that action, it just blew me away after all these years that I always thought they just call me out in Yellow Pages. They absolutely, unequivocally will not.
Dean: Right, because it never will jump to number one on anybody's to-do list. It's on there, they're aware of it, but it's not urgent. It's not in their minds important enough to replace the urgent and important thing that they've got going on. That's always what people are managing the daily urgencies. If something is screaming louder, then the fading stripes in the parking lot that’s going to get all the attention, but they're aware of it. As soon as somebody offers to solve that problem for them, they jump on it just like you said. Congratulations man, I mean that really is a … Your whole thing is you’ve taken Profit Activator 7, nurture lifetime relationships with people and you start out doing the windows, but you start to see all the other things that they're going to need. You're somebody now that they know and they like and they trust. You've got that opportunity to serve that person month after month after month. That's amazing. You're really building a great business that way. It's a good model.
Jerry: Yes and then, after listening to the Dean Jackson podcasts, it occurs to me that if you go in there with that mindset after you get that first set of windows, even when you go in there and let's say after that free 30-day trial, you close them on the windows inside now every other week let’s say, well then the summer happens depending on what season is. You can even go back in there and say, “Hey, you know on a quarterly basis, maybe what you might want to think about since those things get dustier on the outside more than they do on the inside, let's add one more.” It's just infinite of all the things you can do.
Dean: Yes, so good.
Jerry: Now, I'm thinking, “Where is it that I haven't worked for 15 years and why is that?” You explained it really well Dean, it does not excite me and it does energizes me. What excites me and energizes is to package this idea in your first six-figure business or whatever it is and I would like to put that out into the world. I don't know-
Dean: You've got a model now that could work, right? That's really the thing. It's interesting, today seems like syndication day, but that's really what you got is potentially something that could be syndicated that somebody could follow your process and get the same results.
Jerry: Right, now, here's the rub, where you gave me some really cool ideas on the world's most interesting-
Dean: Interesting postcard, yeah.
Jerry: … postcard, yes, yes. Okay, my daughter and most people that I run into Dean do not like to do it the way I did it. I did it with no marketing, no newsletters, no nothing. I walked into the place. I shook hands. I looked them in the eye. I told them what I did. You're looking 22 years later, I have never, ever, ever had a web … I don't really do websites. I don't do any of the stuff you're supposed to do, but yet you can almost write your own little ticket of how much money you want to make in a way because I work out of my home that saved me another $20,000 a year in this town. I wanted to do a business that I have some time for myself to do the things that do excite me and that do bring me energy.
Here's the rub, Logan, I want to turn this part of the business over to her, the local part of it. She does not like and like so many other friends of mine, they do not like walking into a place cold and shaking hands and going into their spiel so to speak. My idea was the postcard, the back of that postcard is to come up with the different offers for the different businesses that they might need striping, they might need more pressure washing is to send that thing because we're top of mind the whole time now and on the back of that, we're running a special this month. The special just happens to be what they need because we pre-checked it.
Dean: You mean on, so to all of your clients to send that to those you've got. How many do you say 400 and something?
Dean: This is that you work with, right?
Jerry: You would send that postcard, but on the back of that where the offer comes in at, you would already have them categorized each month on who needs what and so, that postcard would only go to people who need striping. This group of postcards would only go to people, they don't want a striping, but they want their red zones, their no parking, fire zones repainted with, their handicaps.
Dean: The curbs, yeah.
Jerry: Yes, so I'm just thinking, my mind is just exploding after of listening to your podcast, it's just like, “Man, can this really happen for my business?”
Dean: Yeah absolutely, I mean there's so much potential there. I was thinking also, so in order to syndicate this, your method of getting people started was walking in and talking to them, but I imagine you start thinking about this what would happen if you were going to restart this business in Winter Haven, Florida because that's really what you're talking about is how could you … You have a duplicable process that I could deploy in Winter Haven to get the same success that you've had, how much is a client worth on an annual basis or on a monthly basis?
Jerry: Dean, I would say, this is really strange also when you go in there after 22 years, you start noticing patterns. For some reason, district managers and managers on the monthly invoice, do not like to pay more than $300 on the monthly invoice. That would take care of your power washing. That would take care of your windows and that would take care of maybe trimming the bushes once a month. I would say on that end of it Dean, if I took the average of them, it's not that high if you just concentrated on what you sold them on when you first got in there, I want to say it's only about a $180 or $190 if I had to split it up because in my mind Dean that's not where the money's at.
Dean: Yeah, even that is a pretty … I mean you multiply that out by 400 people and you got a nice base business there. That's great.
Jerry: Right and also remembering this Dean, I haven't worked in 15 years because it was already set into place and what's happening is the attrition percentage is so low, it'll just blow your mind because you use your guarantee. Your guarantee has got to be pretty strong, which mine is, for any reason, any reason, you're not happy, we'll come out and do it again and if you're still not happy, we won't invoice you. Over the last-
Dean: Yes that's a great thing. There was actually just an article, a case in Harvard Business Review in the last thing. That was a model that a company used for giving people control of the invoice in a way, where it's like, “Anything that you weren't happy with, take it off the bill.” That's the whole thing, like complete control for the clients, which allowed this company to really focus on that absolute satisfaction that everybody's completely happy because they know that if they're not, then they can take it off the bill, kind of thing. This is really an interesting approach and that's kind of what you're describing there.
Jerry: Yeah. What I do is though, I make sure that I'm sending the bill and I make sure that it's already taken off, that we pre-talk about that it's already taken off. I don't let them control that. I want to say this Dean, teen after 22 years, I want to tell you how many invoices we had to take back and this is-
Dean: Tell me.
Jerry: … God’s my witness, three.
Dean: Wow that's awesome. That’s the kind of thing, right?
Jerry: You know why Dean, yeah, when you're in there, you're also bonding with those customers.
Jerry: If you're really trying and you're doing your best and it just happened to be an off day, 99% of people are very generous and they're going to say, “You did it over, looks fantastic.”
Dean: Yes that's great. That's all I want, they just want it done.
Jerry: It's funny too because I was talking about that. The third one just happened at a Texas Roadhouse, but they have an awning in the front and it's metal and he wanted it pressure-washed. I tried to explain to him that you don't so much need a pressure wash. You do need to clean off, but you need it painted. He said, “Well, no, I think the pressure washing is going to be just fine,” which I knew it wouldn't be. I explained that to him and I said, “Now, after we power wash this since you're not going to at this point take my suggestion of having it power wash and then painted, it's not going to look much different.” We did get it finished Dean. He called me a few days later and he goes man, “This is the disaster, it doesn't look any different.
Dean: Imagine that.
Jerry: The average person, if you go into any other direction and “Hey, not a problem, we will not put that on the bill,” because prior to that we have a monthly contract with them, so you got to be real careful there also. We took it, he said, “You really do that for me? Now, I'll go ahead and pay for it,” but absolutely we're going to take it off the bill.
Dean: Yeah and that’s great. That's why people stick with you all of that time.
Jerry: Yes and probably the main thing Dean of why I haven't had to work in 15 years is this, there are certain people that sell that love it too and that energizes them and there are certain people that just get up each morning, they just want to go to work, clean their windows, do their pressure washing, do their parking lot striping, go home, relax, go to the casino, go to the bar or whatever. What I had to do is since I didn't … After I sold it, I don't really like to go back out after I sold it that first time. You feed the workers a line. You feed them the lines, which is, “Hey, you know what over here at Chili's, they need their parking lot striped, when you see the boss because they get to see them every, day don't sell them, but just tell them, ‘Hey, we noticed the parking lot needed restriping, we got a special going on, what do you think?’” That's the reason why I haven't had to work in so many years because the workers, since they're in front of them every day, they mentioned whatever our list is for what each business needs.
What we did was we incentivize them with this Dean, “If you get something extra by the quarter, by the month or by the week, you keep the first three months.”
Dean: Wow, the worker does.
Jerry: The worker does.
Dean: Yeah, right, wow, nice, so it's good incentive program for them. That's awesome. How many-
Jerry: Because … Go ahead.
Dean: I was going to ask you how many workers does it take to manage 400 clients, how many employees does that take?
Jerry: This will surprise you, three.
Dean: That's awesome. That's a cool thing.
Jerry: You know Dean and the thing is keeping in the back of my mind, I knew a couple of things, I don't want to deal with a lot of employees. That's always kind of my weakest link is working with employees and making sure they're doing … That's the reason why I'm working out on my house and I've only got 450 people because since I stopped 15 years ago, there was a certain amount of money you're making. Of course, we're doing a couple other things, but there's a certain amount of money you're making that you're comfortable with as far as the headaches, if there are headaches.
Dean: Yeah, I get it. I had a friend years ago, he's built a big company out of it, but 25 years ago or 30 years ago, he started out in … He did commercial cleaning and did some of the landscaping stuff for businesses. They would go in overnight and do the cleaning of the offices or stores or banks or whatever it was. When he was first getting going, he had like a really cool lifestyle business in that. He worked Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday nights and that's it and had a nice six-figure business that was kind of a perfect owner/operator kind of business. Then, he went on and built it into a big maintenance company, but he never got to be where he was as happy up until maybe the last 10 years ago, that middle period of really growing it, where the headaches became more and more as the revenue grew beyond what he had in that kind of lifestyle phase of the three nights a week.
Jerry: Absolutely, it's funny you mentioned, I have a friend that just started that business about two years ago, the exact thing you're talking about. He grew it in two years to over 22 employees, but if that energizes you to work with that many that's great, but it doesn't energize me because being in business for 22 years Dean, man to get good help that you can leave by themselves and know that they're going to take care of your customers, there's a point where either you like to do that or you don't.
Dean: Right, I get it. Yeah, I get it. What's the opportunity here now then? What is it that really will be your dream come true? What are you looking to do?
Jerry: Okay, I can precisely tell you Dean what I'm trying to do is I want to be able to, number one, put out something to newer businesses, where you're not shaking hands, you're sending them something to get that 30 day free trial, number one. Number two, the biggest part of this is even if Logan takes this business over, which she is this next summer, wouldn't it be so great, even if she didn't get one more new customer but there was a way monthly that they're getting a letter or a card or whatever, but it has that offer already on there? That's the dream come true for her side of it. For my side of it is seeing the syndication stuff. I mean I'm really fired up about that. I'm fired up about that because Dean, this situation is so simple. Really, I mean I want to say like some people say, “Well, it's simple for you.” No, it's pretty simple.
Dean: Right, yeah that's the thing, right, like this is one of those things, where this kind of thing is clearly in the world of the internet, where everybody's kind of, I call it migrating to the cloud, we've been talking, I do a podcast with Dan Sullivan, called the Joy of Procrastination. One of the things we've been talking about is this migration of society into what I'm calling cloudlandia. Everybody's kind of moving up there that everybody wants to start a business online in the cloud that is existing only up there. There are still big opportunities on what I call the mainland. What you're describing is a mainland business. It's only happening in the physical world, in a real geographic location. There's lots and lots and lots of parking lots and buildings and windows that need to be cleaned every week and restriped every year and pressure-washed and all of those things, somebody has to do those things. The competition for it seems to be getting less and less and less, especially if you're taking a real, outwardly focused, customer centric service based approach to it and keep people. Once they have the problem solved, they're not going to go shopping around. It's only when they need it and they don't have a solution for it that they start seeking other solutions. If you start somebody with the windows and the windows are clean and they're perpetually clean all the time, they don't have to think about it.
Dean: You've got this opportunity to, for sure, in Profit Activator 2, using a postcard to offer this to local businesses. It's funny-
Dean: Because today, when I record More Cheese Less Whiskers, I do two on one day. The person that I was recording with earlier this morning, he helps people with retail and office and commercial leases. We were talking about the strip plaza as the thing for him. Do have a lot of clients in that kind of world or is it primarily standalone buildings or who's your ideal client?
Jerry: To be honest with you Dean, it's always good if you can get a plaza because you can keep them in one area, but Dean, you said it earlier, everybody needs windows. I mean they need pressure washing. Well, especially Dean, if you're working in a very small town of a 100,000 people and the surrounding towns are all small, so the ideal would be franchise. Sure, franchise because they have to have it. The district manager comes down, “Man, what's wrong with your windows and what's all those black splotches in the front door, where the customers come in?” Well, because there's nobody pressure washing. They have to have this.
Dean: Yes and you keep that looking good? I mean that's kind of a very cool thing. Your cost on doing the window, like to start it relative to the long-term contract basis of it, it makes total sense to offer it free for somebody for. Do you do it for them free for a month, is that what the way that it works now?
Jerry: Well, yes Dean, when I say it's a 30-day free trial, normally depending on how big the place is, I don't give more than every other week, to do once every other week and then, go in there and then, try to go from there. You know Dean, I did this and it worked kind of better than the 30-day free, which was to first ask them, go in there and say, “Hey Dean, do you have anybody doing your windows right now?” If they say, “No,” the closing rate right then and there is about 90%. I don't go in there right off the bat and do the 30-day free trial, but I was thinking if Logan doesn't want to go into these businesses, how do you do that through mail? You need to have an offer that's just almost impossible to turn down, which would be 30 day free trial.
Dean: Well, you could probably do that same thing by email.
Dean: Yeah, you send a nine word email to people, subject line, windows. Body of the message, “Hey Jerry, do you have somebody doing your windows?”
Jerry: Absolutely, absolutely. Dean, the main thing that I think I'm trying to do is group those offers when you get in there to splinter because that's the whole business is splintering is when you get in there, I want to have those emails or the back of that postcard ready to go with each, message is the same, it's the same for group one, it's the same for group three or two. That's a key for a person like my daughter that wants to do it that doesn't want to shake hands.
Dean: Yeah, I get it.
Jerry: When I say that I mean eyeball to eyeball.
Dean: I understand. She's 32. She's been raised in cloudlandia. That's the whole thing. She's very social in social media probably, but not in real life. That's the kind of thing, so she'd be more comfortable by email even than by meeting somebody face to face. Now, the thing that the whole business hinges on is does that work? Can you send somebody an email that says, “Do you have somebody doing your windows?” Them saying, “No, we don't.” Use an offering, a free, “Let us come out and do them for free,” that model if somebody could use that algorithm that you create of how do you … What are the words that you use, you've created the algorithm for the in-person portion of it because you know what to say and what to do. You've got a sales system for it to get that client. Then, you can really help somebody once they get a client, but what's going to hinge it is how do I in Winter Haven here, get a 100 clients? How do I get the first 100 clients?
Jerry: Wow, yeah, yeah. I didn't really bear down on that thought and you are right. My deal was pretty simple for me, but yeah to turn that into a… You send out a 100 of those, will you actually get anybody to say, come out.
Dean: That's what you've got to figure out is between sending somebody a postcard or sending an email or making a phone call from a central because you can do this from a centralized basis kind of thing. Then, the decision that you have to make is do you want to build it out yourself or do you want to sell it as a business opportunity or do you want to go all the way and create it as a franchise?
Jerry: Right, wow, yeah, because most people I talk to are staying in the cloud and they don't have any desire to do my model, even though gosh if they could just do it for a few months and get started. Yeah, I see what you're saying. When I was coming up in the marketing world, where I caught my mind on fire was back in the late 80s and I took this newsletter called the Gary Halbert Newsletter. I mean the thing is and then, coming forward to 2018, taking all Jay Abraham and Joe and yourself, but just when you're thinking of 22 years of almost saying to yourself, “I don't understand kind of sort of because I don't need all that.” You know what I'm saying? That's me.
Jerry: I always was disappointed in a lot of the cloud stuff, but not because I had Gary or Jay or any of them do anything for me because I'm sure if you would have actually paid them to write your dollar bill opening letter to introduce yourself-
Yeah, I'm pretty sure, common sense will tell you if someone opens up a FedEx package and the very first thing they see is a letter with a dollar bill attached to it, they're going to probably read it.
Dean: Yes, agree, agreed.
Jerry: You know what Dean, we just solved it. There it is right there. That's the opening package, a FedEx package with a simple letter with the dollar bill attached to it or a piece of glass, it's that or something in power-washing attached to the top of it-
Jerry: …and introduce yourself.
Jerry: Try to get the 30 day free trial.
Dean: Yeah, but it could be you could start with email first.
Jerry: Absolute, yes.
Dean: Here's how I would approach this if I look at it then, ultimately what you're trying to do is you're trying to create a stable six-figure business for an operator, who wants to … That's going to mean two things, either somebody who's managing this process with recurring clients, like a small number, would be like you have three people for 400 clients. I would extrapolate from that that one person could have a 150 clients. Is that about right?
Jerry: Yeah, Dean, it's right in that area.
Dean: You look at that that there's potentially the opportunity for somebody to have a six-figure business with a 150 clients and have a stable business. Now, the other thing that where would the level be that somebody would be able to have a six-figure business that they're not doing the work, like as an owner-operator, you've got the dream right now, like you're living the real dream in that. You have a business that you own that runs without you.
Jerry: Absolutely Dean, absolutely.
Dean: That you don't work in that business. How many clients would I need would you think comfortably to get to a point, where I have a six-figure business that's self-managing?
Jerry: Well that's a good question. When I first started out, I don't know where they pulled this number out of and I believe it might have been Gary in one of his newsletters. He was talking exactly what you're talking about and what he said was if you're by yourself, you should be able to do it within 50 … Start making a living after 50 or 80 customers and what I was doing at that time was I was going to businesses and picking up their vehicles and washing them and taking them back. I believe I was charging, back then I was charging $47 to do a pickup and drop off. I see what you're saying. I've never really broke that down, but that is interesting, for one person, what would they have to have to … I mean, well, it's pretty simple math, if I do $47, like I was doing on the cars, if you're doing my business, my average ticket is only about that initial is only about a $180. You would just do the math on that.
Dean: All right, so $180 a month for that.
Jerry: Yes, for the privilege to get in there and to splinter them because that's where the money's at.
Dean: Then, what would you say that you would be able to if you look at one client, how much of that splinter business is available on an annual basis let's say because you're saying they don't want to see more than a couple hundred dollars on the monthly invoice, but over the course of the year, then they'll end up paying you a lump-sum to pressure wash and a lump-sum to stripe the parking lot, all these special items that could add up to how much additional from one client.
Dean: What's the annual value of one client?
Jerry: Dean, it would be 3,000, 2,500, but let me preface this real quick with where my situation might not be like the person who's really likes to work the actual business. You have to understand to get into a business and splinter, most of your workers do not like to even do that. That's the reason why when I was listening to your podcast, I thought, “You know what, most people don't really like to do that. Even though you're given them the incentive of the first…” I do first three months because I do other things. You don't have to do it. Most of it would be.
In fact, I got that idea from Jay Abraham. He said, “I'll tell you right now how to increase your business this quick, give them the first month.” It was off the chain that first year when I pushed it. It was just amazing. It's going to depend on something like that. You got to understand when you're out of the business for 15 years, your workers get complacent, where when they walk into the place because they don't know … They have to get in and get out of there because they have so many. If you only have three or four employees out in the field, they have to get their work done and leave. That's the main thing on their mind. That's the reason why after you get in, if you could find a way to splinter with email or with a card.
Jerry: To answer your question, I really don't know because I let it go for 15 years that part of it.
Dean: Well, I'll recommend a book for you that I think is really kind of a good pass here, there's a book called the One to One Future.
Jerry: One to One Future.
Dean: Yeah, it was written in the 90s, mid 90s and it's amazing to reread it now and look through to see how accurate the predictions and what they were calling for is, but essentially you've got this opportunity to each month be in front of these people and kind of advocate for whatever the things that you offer are to let them know. Even if it's just, “Whenever you're ready, here are some other things that we offer, we're having a special this month, like you said on striping for parking lots.” If that shows up at just the right time when they've got, even if the worker is not tasked with approaching the owner or the manager about this, but to report to the owner of your business, like you about that these things need doing. It's almost like he's got on each level a little checklist that he's kind of doing a visual inspection that does the parking lot need stripe, does the fire area need … The curbs need repainted, does it need pressure washing, does it need painting, whatever the other things are that you have this ongoing intelligence of this is what they need right now. You can serendipitously kind of fall into their world at just the right time.
Jerry: Well, absolutely and the timing is very, very, very important in that. I control that because I already know that they're not going to get their parking lots striped more than once to once every other year. I know I'm not going to send them a card or going to hit them up after six months, you know what I'm saying?
Jerry: I see what you're saying.
Dean: Unless the worker tells you, “Yeah, they need,” or they say a picture of that. Maybe that's part of the thing is that they're out once a quarter, they do a visual inspection and maybe they take a picture with their smartphone of the area that needs the pressure-washing. They kind of give you a visual look down, is there a bunch of gum and dirt at the entrance, is there oil stains all over the parking lot? Those kind of things, which would be pressure washing opportunities or is there whatever the other thing, the services that you offer just doing a visual kind of lookout and reporting back to headquarters to be able to now deploy, “Hey, here's a special offer for pressure washing,” or “Here's a special offer for parking lot striping,” those things are showing up at just the right time.
Jerry: Yes. Great.
Dean: Yeah that's just a systemic way, but what you need then are the assets, the marketing assets for how do you then present that to people. The whole business hinges on can we get somebody in front of somebody, who'll let them do the windows and go from there. Then, realizing that not everybody is going to be a go getter like Jerry.
Dean: Yeah and I think that part of the success of the business is your ability to be that person. That's part of it, but you've got to now through marketing assets be able to help people succeed in spite of not being Jerry.
Jerry: Yeah, so where my mind's going is twofold because I know you have to get off this call in a second, but where my mind is going is twofold Dean, okay, so on turning it over to my daughter, it would be the only thing we need there since we have these over 400 clients is to do the card and a couple of other things to be in front of them every month. Then, the offer is going to be, which we already know what they're needing. In your mind, is that part pretty much solved?
Dean: Yeah, I think like the part for Morgan is really going to be about if the workers are out there and they're doing, like if she just them, “Okay, here’s what I want you to do this week, every client that you go to, I want you to do this quick visual inspection, I want to you to look at the parking lot.” You've got a checklist right that they're saying, “How does …” Yeah, checking the parking lot, the parking lot stripes are fine, there's oil stains and there's dirt on the sidewalks that pressure washing would be needed right now. There's painting that needs to be done or if those are the big three that you're talking about, then just doing that visual inspection, then it could be as easy as a quick note from Morgan, emailing them, saying, “Hey Jerry, John was there earlier today. He told me that it looks like your parking lot needs some striping and we're having a special on parking lot striping this month. Would you like us to come out and do the parking lot for you?” Just that easy.
Jerry: Could you see it being email first or since we have these customers, I already know that you're 1,000% right and we're not top of mind like we should be on the monthly newsletter or that postcard. Automatically that's going to be started ASAP. Now, we're in front of them at least once a month and that back of that card, we could already have the pre-written offers right there.
Dean: Yeah, it could, but part of the thing is-
Jerry: Then follow up with email.
Dean: That's true.
Jerry: I'm thinking, I don't know. You could do it either way.
Dean: Yeah, no, both, both, both, both. I mean no matter what you've got your after unit for the 400 is going to be sending a monthly postcard to them. That's going to be a valuable thing. The email I think is going to be a very specific thing, where when you, I start the beginning of each quarter or each month or something, everybody does, the workers do a visual and just do a checklist and say-
Jerry: I love that idea of that checklist, yes. Believe it or not, they’ve been with me so long that they're really cool about that if I give them that instruction number one and number two, incentivize it.
Dean: Yeah, either way, carrot or stick, incentivize or penalize them for not doing it.
Jerry: Yes. In my mind, most of that is pretty well, you figure it out. What you're saying on the my dream is wow I have to almost start over and start from the beginning and see if it can even happen without a person that doesn't want to go in and shake hands.
Dean: That's exactly what it is. That's what you have to be able to do. You have to be able to take somebody, because let's face it, if somebody's you, you're not going to follow somebody else's plan. You're not going to go in and … I mean you're a get it done guy. You're just going to go in and do it and build the business yourself that way.
Jerry: Right that's how I would do it because I know that the splintering is the business.
Dean: Yeah that's it.
Dean: Now, it's like a matter of when you look at it that part of the thing is as long as the windows are getting cleaned and are clean that's the core of it, but that's the core thing that's going to be-
Jerry: Got to have that.
Dean: You got to have that. Is it difficult to find workers, who will do that? Is there some skills or things that you’ve learned?
Jerry: Well, probably on that end of it, I mean that's going to always be your biggest challenge. I don't know what it was, but I got lucky from the very beginning and all three of these guys have been with me for 22 years.
Jerry: I'm a type of person that would probably not talk on that subject, but I can imagine that no, it's not easy Dean. I'm not going to say it's easy because, no it's not, I don’t think-
Dean: This is fascinating, so describe these people to me, who are the workers who have been with you for 22 years doing windows every week for a 150 people. Describe that person. That's in each situation.
Jerry: That person and I knew this from a long time ago because my father-in-law was in the business of selling burial plots I think. I'm not sure what they call it, but they had to take the test called the Briggs something test.
Dean: Myers Briggs.
Jerry: Yes, they had to take the Myers Briggs test and he really put that into my head many years ago that he really believed that it really worked.
Dean: Let me guess what this person is, so they are ISTJs, is that what they are?
Jerry: You know what Dean, it was so long ago, you're probably right, but it was so long ago. I just remember what he told me and I did take the test and I was perfect for what I was doing. I do remember him explaining it to me enough to know Dean, I got to find a guy, who really kind of almost hates selling.
Dean: Introverted, introvert, yeah.
Jerry: Yeah, they love to just do one thing and one thing only, A, B, C, D, go to work, get off, go to the casino or go do whatever they do, I don't know. That really energizes them. I mean I've got two of the guys, who get up at 4:00 in the morning and work till 6:00. They just love it. That's your challenge is to find that type of a mindset. You can't find an entrepreneurial mindset because they'll learn the business and just take it from you.
Dean: Yeah, absolutely, you're right.
Jerry: Even though many have tried that they couldn’t make it work for whatever reason. I think they were waiting by the phone instead of shaking hands, I'm not sure.
Dean: That's great. They just want to be … How much do you pay, like are they paid hourly, are they paid per client, are they paid-
Jerry: Yeah, they're paid hour.
Jerry: I mean it's more of a salary Dean and it comes out too right now, I want to say like $15 an hour, but their money, all of them still make money closing, walking across the street or doing this because they are allowed to keep that first three months. They get that in cash. You don't wait till it … I mean a lot of people tell me, “Well, don't they got to do the thing first for three months and then get paid?” I tried that and it wasn't as exuberating to them. It wasn't exciting to them. What was exciting to them was closing it and getting the money upfront. I mean either you have the money for that or you don't. Yeah, I mean this is after 22 years though because-
Dean: I get it.
Jerry: I try to help them out and say, “The money's not in the hourly, it's in that five or six or seven or eight, whatever a month, you do have to-
Dean: Do you understand that?
Dean: That salary is on the expense side of the business and when you get them on the results side that's where all the action is, yeah.
Dean: Some people are not that. Maybe that the core thing is that there are people, who do the work and then, there are people who go and get the work because there's probably equally a young go-getter, who wants to go and get the business, but doesn't want to do it. You build that sort of a team around that. I think Myers Briggs is a great example of how to write matches for the personalities and then, Kolbe Index is another one that is a great thing for who people are. Yeah that's fantastic. I think it's a very exciting opportunity and I think that to kind of summarize it, the thing that you need to solve or the way to think about this or how I would think about this is to take what you know and imagine that you're building this business through somebody else in Winter Haven, Florida for instance, what would have to be addressed in order for me to duplicate what you've done in Lawton in a way that I can get up to the point, where I have a business that's running on autopilot.
Jerry: Exactly, wow, Dean, fantastic talking to you, got a lot out of this call. I love it. Glad, I got ahold of you.
Dean: Yeah, I'm very excited. This was a great thing, you got a real good syndicatable opportunity because there are probably a lot of people, who would love to have a business like you've started there.
Dean: It's pretty good-
Jerry: All right, Dean-
Dean: … model, right?
Jerry: Yes, I love it. That's why I'm thinking, “Man, Dean can help me syndicate this thing.”
Dean: Yeah, absolutely.
Jerry: I do see your point. Hopefully, I can still work with you and get this thing done, the syndication-
Dean: Yeah, absolutely.
Jerry: … part of it because I'm lousy at cloud stuff Dean.
Dean: I get it. This would be kind of a thing, you can maybe think about in the fall coming down to Orlando for one of my Breakthrough Blueprint events, where we could spend three days and kind of map out the blueprint for it. That would be a really good thing for you to do, yeah.
Jerry: That would be amazing, yeah. How do we set that up? You shoot an email or what do I got to do?
Dean: I will, yeah, I'll send you an email right after this. Whenever the dates are in my weekly … The emails that I send out every week, I'll say, “Here's what's coming up,” kind of thing. The next one is in early October. I think it's like the 7th, 8th and 9th or something like that. I'm heading to Australia in August here, so when I get back.
Jerry: That’ll be amazing Dean.
Dean: In Orlando, yeah.
Jerry: All right. All right, Dean, I’ll be looking forward.
Dean: Awesome, Jerry, I love it.
Jerry: Okay Dean, thank you so much man.
Dean: Okay, bye. There we have it. I love, Jerry's got a lot of great enthusiasm, so I really enjoyed that conversation. If you've got something that is a business that you think would be a good syndication, something where if you're thinking, “You know what the business I've got would work to … I'd like to think about maybe packaging up what I've figured out and licensing it or duplicating it in other cities.” It's so it's an amazing model, I've got a lot of experience doing that. That's really the thing that I've done more than anything else and I'd love to help you with it.
Let's start with sending me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just put syndication in the subject line and we'll take it from there. If you want to see how the Profit Activators are applying to your business right now, a great place to start is with our Profit Activator Scorecard that you can do at profitactivatorscore.com that'll give you a good idea of where that eight Profit Activators are either growing or slowing your business right now, show you where the big opportunities are and give you a really good sense of awareness around your business.
If you want to continue this conversation, you can go to morecheeselesswhiskers.com. You can download a copy of the More Cheese Less Whiskers book and if you'd like to be a guest on the podcast, click on the “Be a guest,” link. Tell me a little bit about your business and then, we'll reach out and see if we can hatch some evil schemes with you. That's it for this week. Have a great week and I'll talk to you next time.