Why Cutting Clients Helps Grow Your Business| #14
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"It's been great. The boys know that we no longer do residential or commercial building, it's just the commercial maintenance. They know where they're going and it's slowed down, everything is a lot slower. We've got more time to concentrate on what we're doing and they're loving it. The focus has completely changed improving client satisfaction resulting in a 500% increase in reviews." Paul Wilkinson - PBR Plumbing
In early 2020 Paul Wilkinson, who has operated his business PBR Plumbing for 15years, was at a stage where he was uncertain about the future of the business. He was unsure what steps to take that will allow him more time to invest 'ON' the business that would ultimately assist in delivering greater financial reward. He wanted to give it one last chance before potential closure.
Upon joining the Cube Performance community Paul has made some tough decisions that has profoundly changed the way he now operates his business. By cutting clients allowed more time to focus on his 'A-Class' clients and to invest in his team. The result - 500% increase in reviews, 5 times increase in work orders from existing clients, and increase in 'A-Class' quality referrals.
Hit the PLAY button above to listen now or subscribe free to hear all episodes. You’ll also find the full interview transcription below.
If you are unsure how to transform your business and power up to the next level then you’ll find the answers in this interview, including:
- Why less clients results in increased profit (less is more)?
- Why investing in your team is vital to delivering client satisfaction?
- How actively listening to clients builds trust in a relationship?
- How to increase reviews and quality referrals?
- Why you cannot be great at all types of marketing?
- And plenty more …
Full Episode Transcription:
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Why Cutting Clients Helps Grow Your Business
Matt [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to this episode of Power Up Your Business. I'm your host, Matthew Jones. This episode is brought to you by Cube Performance, which is my business. We coach and mentor tradie business owners to ensure that they earn more, work less and create a lifestyle of choice with a lot less stress. In this episode, we speak with Paul Wilkinson from PBR Plumbing, based in Perth. Now, Paul's been operating his business since 2006 and his story is very similar to a lot of business owners who have been operating for five, 10, 15 years where he had some good times. But a lot of times during those 15 years, there were a lot of lows and there's a lot of uncertainty. There was a lot of questioning. And Paul really come to the stage basically around that early 2020 whether he should keep on going. Now you'll hear Paul when he come on board as a client of Cube Performance, how we really forced him to get out of his comfort zone. We really forced him to make some tough decisions. Some of those tough decisions that he made and really brave decisions was to get rid of [00:01:09]construction work. [0.0s] Previously, Paul was doing everything. He was trying to please everyone, so he was doing commercial construction, residential construction, commercial maintenance, resi maintenance, where we made the decision very clearly, let's cut construction. Now, at the time, Paul thought by cutting construction, his business would fall because that was a large part of his turnover. And you'll hear how it kept him busy for the bulk of the time. The key thing that Paul did and a brave decision was that he knew he had to make that step and ultimately by cutting construction work, which kept him busy but unfortunately didn't make any profit. And by making that cut, he was able to free up his time to focus on his core market, really focus on his core, A-class customers, really improve his service delivery, really improve the relationships with his team and his clients, all because he wasn't being distracted. So listen to how Paul really got out of his comfort zone, how he really improved his leadership and his communication by removing distractions. He removed a lot of social media. He was doing a lot of marketing that was taking up a lot of his time. By removing, again, these distractions, by removing these D-class clients that kept him busy, he was able to really double down and focus on his key clients, the key clients that he is an expert in now. And really hear how from cutting off a large part of his turnover or getting rid of construction, now how he's really building a real big, profitable business around commercial maintenance and how he's getting great referrals. Now, he's doubled his profitability but more importantly, he's feeling a lot more confident with himself. He's a lot less stressed. His financial position has gone from out of 2 out of 10 to now 7 out of 10; his confidence in the future is gone from 2 out of 10 to now 10 out of 10. And ultimately now he's just got that focus, he is clear headed and he is confident and really now he is assured of the pathway to success. So he's really bought into our programme methodology. And it's been a real pleasure in witnessing this change. Really enjoy this episode everyone, there are really key takeaways. Cheers, everyone.
Matt [00:03:56] Hi, Paul, welcome to Power Up Your Business podcast, mate, great to have you on board.
Paul [00:04:01] Hi, Matt, how are you going?
Matt [00:04:01] Good, mate, good, really keen to dig into your story, your story of 15 years plus of operating your business through that time, a lot of highs and lows. For our listeners, there's going to be a lot of gold and key takeaways that people can number one, resonate with the story for them on their journey as a business owner. But to some of the little things that you've done across, especially the last 12 to 18 months, to make some significant change. And the great thing about your story is you really got out of your comfort zone that's what really give you a massive credit for, is that you did things that you didn't do the previous 15 years because you're in that comfort zone but before we get into where you are now and some of the cool things you're up to now, how was it back in those early days and running a commercial plumbing business? You're also doing residential construction, commercial construction so a large part of those early years was pretty much trying to please everyone, being very busy.
Paul [00:05:04] Yes, that's right, Matt, yes, it was pretty much start on the kitchen bench and we took off. We got going very quickly, very early in the [00:05:14]piece [0.0s] and it was great. We had everything from, as you said, resi, [00:05:18]through to commercial [0.3s] and we're taking it all on. And it was good, it was exciting first few years but it certainly needed some correction after some time because we realised that it's definitely not the way forward. We're too busy, I was too busy and had no real clarity on what we're doing.
Matt [00:05:43] And around that, like when being busy and not having clarity, [00:05:47]how was at different times, [1.3s] some of the stress levels and probably the uncertainty of are you making money, you know that you're busy at times but are you making money? How is that impacting your personal life?
Paul [00:05:59] Yes, [00:06:00]early in the piece [0.1s] we made money. I made money but things were just getting really busy. I was being taken away from spending time on the tools, making money, which was how it is set up at that time, taking all the calls and trying to please everybody and realise that after some time that we weren't actually making any money because I was too busy looking after everybody on the phone and on the email and everyone else, I knew there had to be some big changes made that's for sure.
Matt [00:06:34] So pull back in like 2019 early, 2021, you reached out and you became part of the Cube Performance community, which has been great and great to have you on board, you are sharing your knowledge, your stories and also your passion for business. But coming on and getting to that crux of like 15 years I've been operating, I'm still been running it as a job, I'm still enslaved to the business, as it were, where, you know, everything relies on me. I can't really go on a good holiday or I've got to be sort of connected 24/7 at the business. What was some of the things that really, I suppose, you know, really got you driven to make that change, to reach out for help? Because a lot of people don't go for help, a lot of people say, I'm sweet, I'll keep going. So you made that that tough call at certain times, this is the last roll of the dice. What do I need to do? Who can help me? What were you feeling at that stage before you reached out for help and just wanted some assistance and guidance about how can I move the business forward in a successful, sustainable fashion?
Paul [00:07:39] Yes, it's been 15 years, early on I'd met you with a [00:07:45]Reece [0.0s] meeting we had in the Perth branch [00:07:48]Reece [0.0s] and you were there and it was a really good conversation. The meeting went really well. I think it comes down to price point at that time, coming on with some coaching. I knew I would like to do that.
Matt [00:08:00] That was about ten years ago, wasn't it?
Paul [00:08:02] Yes, ten years ago, yes that's right so it was always on the backburner. I was going what I thought was going okay, it took that time for me to go through a whole lot of processes to work out that I did need help that's when I reached out. And it's the best thing I've ever done.
Matt [00:08:21] And making that call and jumping on board, I know, especially in the initial stage of joining the community and jumping into the coaching programme, the Power Up programme, we really got you out of that comfort zone. You had to make some tough calls. Now that first call that we really identified was what type of work do you enjoy, what type of work makes you money? And it was pretty clear at the time the commercial maintenance side was what you really enjoyed and what you were good at, as opposed to the construction side, which didn't make any money, not as much as the commercial maintenance. It kept you busy and drained a lot of your time, a lot of your energy. And when we had to make that tough call, which a lot of businesses never do, I never made that tough call of saying no to a certain client and actually cutting off that client. How are you feeling at that time when we made that call, which is obviously a lot of apprehension because if I cut off that client, I'm going to lose a lot of revenue. What's going to happen if I can't get other new revenue? How do you feel when you actually made the call to say, right, we are no longer doing construction work, we're no longer working with builders?
Paul [00:09:29] Yes, a huge moment and we've been working with builders from renovations, right, for to, you know, residential new homes for to large projects on the coast. It kept us really busy and it was good work. We thought it was good work. We enjoyed that work. But it took 10 years for me to actually realise that the profit wasn't there and I won't go into too much detail, but I mean, you do hear the story time and time again that if you do work with builders, you need to be focussing on that one aspect and to mix both maintenance and new builds, it doesn't work. It just he can't do both, you can't do both well. And it took that long to work that out. So when I jumped on board with you, I knew what I had to do. But I think you just helped me deliver that message and that's what I've been doing for the last six months, eight months is just delivering that message to all our builders that we no longer do new builds at all. We don't have any contact with any builders anymore for that one reason; I've just completely turned it on its head. And we are just commercial maintenance. We do residential but we're focussed on commercial. And it's been great, it's been a lot of clarity and a really good decision. It's yes, I'm kind of in a way, I'm glad that I went through the hard knocks with the builders because it taught me a lot. And I don't think you can get somebody to tell you that don't work for builders, if you're doing maintenance, you need to learn that yourself. It's a progression, I think and it's a good one.
Matt [00:11:15] It all comes back to what you mentioned before where we met 10 years ago but at that stage on your journey, you weren't ready for that guidance. And as you alluded to, you've got to go through the pain or the ups and downs. You've got to test it. You've got to experience it so that you actually really understand it that what is good for you and most people in our community, they've been well warned. They've got some war stories. And what I say to people, I say, never regret what you've done, what you've done in the past that's great that's all learning that's got you to here. Too many business owners say, oh, I should have done that, shouldn't have done this but I say to them, if you didn't do that, you wouldn't be here now. And as you allude to, it's a learning experience and you've got to really work out what works for you and what's good for you and ultimately have that confident, too, on your journey as a leader and on your journey as you are developing your business skills to have the confidence to really say no. And that's one of the hardest things where a lot of business owners, they really struggle to say no, because ultimately, if they say no to a job, what they do is they look ahead and think I've got days that I can't fill. I've got days that I'm not busy. As we know, being busy does not make you profitable or productive. And again, getting out of that comfort zone, making that tough call to cut off the builders, which ultimately straight away pretty much overnight, it reduced your turnover in the short-term. It cut off a lot of your turnover, cut off a lot of your work to keep you again, as we said busy in the short-term.
Paul [00:12:46] It did, Matt and I think knowing what to say to the builders that we had a huge relationship with for a long time, you know, 10, 12 years out there, they're all good people. So I had to be very clear on what I was doing to be able to send that message through clearly to them and for them to understand where we're going. And whilst it was easy to articulate once I've been through all of that and it all made sense. And they agreed and they understood and it all went down quite well so it was a lot of clarity.
Matt [00:13:23] So just clarify that process that we went through and to really, as we talk about always maintaining utmost professionalism and really trying to clarify with the builder that cut off and why it is in our best interest to part ways, how did you rame it to the builder and to your clients?
Paul [00:13:43] It was just that we are focussed on commercial maintenance and the building side of things has been great but it's just not for us. We're not, we can't put all our eggs in one basket. We need to concentrate on what we do, we do well. It was more I think in the end, I didn't tell them that there was no profit in these buildings that we were building for them. And then it was a drawn out process every time that we went through one of those contracts. There's no point going down that track with them. It was more just telling them that my focus now is commercial maintenance and that I've really enjoyed working for you guys and appreciate all of what [00:14:30]you have done [0.1s] up to date. And it was I mean, when I said it went down, well, they were quite shocked but they respected what I had to say and I'm still in touch with a few of them and they call me for some maintenance on their buildings and we make sure that that's all we're doing. So that's sort of how that went, it's just, it took a little while for the message to sink in.
Matt [00:14:55] It's that honesty though, surely pulling the Band-Aid off and rather than sort of slowly peeling away and maybe not returning calls and maybe not prioritising their jobs rather than doing that, which ultimately leaves a bad taste in their mouth, where you just went, bang, sorry, I'm diverting my attention elsewhere. We want to be great in this space. I don't want to let you down and that's the key thing. If you really state to your clients that you're saying no to, listen, I don't want to let you down. I don't want to fail to deliver on our promise. We're going in another direction and we don't want to try and promise something that we can't deliver. Now that's, as you alluded to, they respect that the honesty. They can then make a decision with a new subcontractor or a new contract that they can work with so it's great. And again, key, always be professional, always 100%, don't drag things on and get the tough conversation out early, which was uncomfortable. Some of those conversations you had that build up feeling quite uncomfortable, quite nervous.
Paul [00:15:58] It was and I knew I felt, I actually felt quite confident with it because it's been so long. I was very ready for that conversation and I think that's what shocked them the most that I was so direct with my approach.
Matt [00:16:14] You've been building up to it for five years.
Paul [00:16:15] That's very correct.
Matt [00:16:19] We're speaking with Paul Wilkinson from [00:16:21]PBR [0.0s] Plumbing. If you'd like to learn how you can power up your business where you can earn more with a lot less stress, please pick up a free copy of my book, Power Up Your Tradie Business. Only pay for shipping, go to www.powerupyourbusiness.com.au/book and enter the code podcast all lowercase. Now the great thing and this is the upside by and as part of our methodology, which we are strong on, correct, Paul, which is less is more. Less is more, less types of clients, less types of jobs but all that more quality, all about more in every hour that we do, we're driving more quality, more outcome, more productivity, more engagement, increasing relationships. We're not trying to spread ourselves thin and trying to just surface [00:17:20]code [0.0s] or just touch the surface on everything. We're trying to go deep. We're trying to go really deep. We're trying to understand our core customers' problems. We are trying to understand them as a person. We're trying to really drive empathy and be empathetic by slowing things down. We're trying to really tap into emotional intelligence, really important emotional intelligence. When we're busy running around and we just sort of, you know, you are skipping past each other on a job site, you don't get to know people and you're not building relationships. You're not building rapport. Now, the thing that you've done really well and you've invested a lot of time is as part of our methodology is our framework for the way we do it here. And as you agree with the way we do it here, we're very focussed on a type of [00:18:04]client [0.0s] about the promise that we deliver them and the vision of where we're trying to go. We want to be great. We want to be the expert in our space. Now, you can't be very clear on a specific promise or a vision when you are doing commercial building, residential building, residential maintenance, commercial maintenance, correct. And this is where a lot of people struggle on their planning. And they struggle and they say, it's hard to get a plan in place. It's hard to really understand where we're going because we are doing so much. Well, that's the problem and because you're [00:18:36]able to pair it, [0.0s] clear focus and you've developed a great the way we do it here in terms of which, again, very clearly to everyone listening, a clear vision of where we want to take the business and what that brand means out there in the marketplace long-term, we've got a very clear promise to the customer. What are we promising those commercial property managers very clear and then critically, we've got clear values and behaviours and standards associated with that that reflect the promise that we need to deliver and the vision of where we're going. And by having that framework and slowing down, less is more, how has that journey been, number one, with the team. Now really that's the key thing that I want to really everyone to hear here as well. It's because you're not rushed trying to please all these other customers that we're keeping you busy having more time to invest in the team. How has that changed the engagement with your team? How has that changed the relationships with each of the individuals?
Paul [00:19:38] It's been great. So then the boys know that we no longer are focussed on doing the residential building, commercial building, it's just the commercial maintenance and the resi. They're happy, they know where they're going and it's slowed down, everything is a lot slower. We've got more time to concentrate on what we're doing and they're loving it. The meetings, we're having a lot of meetings now, which we never had time for, we had onsite meetings but we were rushing through everything and trying to rush through the jobs. And now we all sit down and slow down and quite methodical in our approach. And we have discussions around how we talk to our clients whilst we're on site and the guys are taking a lot more responsibility and nailing those conversations with the clients.
Matt [00:20:29] So, Paul, what I want to really drill into there and just sort of touch back on what you alluded to is having more time to talk to your team, to engage the team, to empower your team, to allow them to really understand how we operate. And the thing that you alluded to there, which I love, is rather than now having discussions around the job or just getting in and fixing the tap wash or fixing whatever's leaking, you're actually talking about the customer's needs. You're actually talking about, speaking with the customer, conversing and communicating with the customer. And that then has a related or resulted in massive amount of improvements in reviews, Google reviews, client satisfaction has gone up enormously or because you've changed the tone and the focus of your team meetings.
Paul [00:21:25] Yes that's right, we got away from talking about plumbing, we're good plumbers, we're good at our trade. We're now concentrating on the client and talking about that, which is that is, I think, the game changer. You know, the focus has completely changed, completely so that the reward or the turnaround has been exponential with that and going back to the testimonials and going back to the reviews, it's by nearly 500%.
Matt [00:22:00] That's massive.
Paul [00:22:00] It's massive and it's exciting. It's really exciting and just to hear the client say it and to back it up with emails, it just makes everything a lot more worthwhile. And there's a lot of reward, it's a good feeling. I'm really enjoying it.
Matt [00:22:16] And the great thing now is that it's supercharging the team because you're providing the team the recognition straight away, whatever referrals or leads are coming through and especially when they're naming your team members, hey, Frank was great, Bill was great, Bob was awesome, giving them recognition straight away. But just like, wow, I'm being recognised what I'm doing, has purpose, has meaning and I'm actually fulfilling something.
Paul [00:22:40] Yes that's right, we're sending that message to them on the spot not holding back that's a screenshot email directly to them, to all the boys. So they're all aware of who's doing what and what clients are happy in what, in what space. It's cool.
Matt [00:22:56] Look, it's more than cool, it's fantastic. And as you were mentioning there, it's exciting. You've gone in a relatively short space of time over the last 12, 18 months from being a bit haggard, bit frustrated, a bit unsure to now being massively excited. Agree?
Paul [00:23:16] Yes, very much so..
Matt [00:23:17] And that started from making a tough call and that started from actually rip the Band-Aid off and I'm going to make a change here and commit to and appreciate you trusting and being confident in our methodology and what we're about and the success stories in the community, knowing that less is more mentality, knowing that by going deep to really understand who you are as a leader, the values of the business, the promise that you deliver, understanding your team members that has massive impact. And it's all those little one percenters now that you're doing really well and tightening up every day, you try to improve your team meetings. Every day you try and improve certain aspects of understanding the customer or following up with a customer that's a real pleasing thing. It's really exciting. Now from that day so the team is now supercharged. So again, just reframe, we've got rid of clients. We've now identified our focus. We want to be great at the commercial maintenance plumbing. We've identified that our A-class client, the client that we want to love for the next X amount of decades that this brand is around is around that commercial property manager. Because we've got that clear line of sight, we can have a clear vision, a clear promise that relates to that customer and the values and the behaviours required for that so that's locked and loaded. You're then able to then very clearly set expectations with the team and measure performance with the team and allow them to own it. Again, you're creating it simple for them, right, they get there, they know exactly what they're going to do, the type of client they're going to do, they get all the gear, they're in and out.
Paul [00:24:53] That's right.
Matt [00:24:55] They're not trying to be jack of all trades. They're very specialist. And because you've given them autonomy, they're really starting to master what they do. And because you're giving them recognition, they're really getting purpose, which drives engagement.
Paul [00:25:08] And the confidence on site is a lot better so they're very confident in what they're doing. They believe in it because they know they get the reward in the end too, a happy client. It's the ultimate reward. And we're all human, so we want everyone to be happy really in the end and makes us happy. So, yes, it's happening.
Matt [00:25:30] You touched on it, we are human, we all do need that appreciation. We all do that recognition. Also, we all need a tap on the back to say, well done. And our team members want support. They want to know that they are supported me. Now, the next step from that, we've got the base in play now. Now the next key thing that we've put into play and that you've done well with is actually now going proactively meeting with your clients, meeting with past clients, current clients and obviously prospects in a totally different professional manner of how you've done before. Talk us through some of the ways now that you're now approaching and communicating with your A-class clients.
Paul [00:26:19] I block out every month, if it's a commercial property manager, I block out at an hour or two with that client and take him away, take him for a coffee or lunch. And just sit down and talk about the pain points or what their issues are they have with us or their buildings and what they need. It's not about me. It's all about them, which is really easy to do to sit and ask that question or let them talk and then just take the notes and work on that and come back with an answer. And they really enjoy and they're enjoying just having us listen to their issues and ask what we can provide them with, you know, with what they need. And we're doing that. And out of all that, they're telling their colleagues about us. They feel like they're being listened to. So we're getting a lot more work orders come through. It's had a huge impact. It's hard to explain. It's like, it's tenfold. You know, you make one little move and it opens up a whole another whole another world and it's going to get better at it. It's really good to be positive.
Matt [00:27:30] And this is another one of those things where over the preceding 14, 15 years, you are hesitant to do, again we got you out of that comfort zone. We had some of those discussions we're going out of the comfort zone and really sitting down in a planned and professional way, eyeballing your client and asking some tough questions. What are the pain points? What can we do better? But the way that we're now undertaking things in a professional way, again, it's old school in the way that we're eyeballing, eyeballing the client, where they are face-to-face. We're not just sending a text or sending an automated email. We're actually eyeballing them but more importantly, the time and the preparation for the meeting. It's a time in preparing the way we do it here and the expression of interest documentation, the way that we're actually tailoring things to our client. We're not a cookie cutter. We're actually very clearly trying to identify this particular client's pain points. What problems do they have? And in identifying how we're the experts in providing those solutions but really articulating value. Now, what I want to touch on is an example, which is a great example, which I love telling people about. This example wasn't too long, I think, about three months ago, you again, key client that you've had for a long time, you set up the meeting, you sat down with them, and straight away you said, okay, can wehelp you? And pretty much they said, well, you're too expensive, Paul. And we're going someone else. We're going for another contractor, very clearly hit you in the face.
Paul [00:29:06] Yes, the maintenance manager [00:29:08]worded [0.0s] me up and said that the general manager or the GM was looking at going down another track with another plumber. And I asked him for a meeting straight away with both of them and they said that's fine. So I went in there and we organised that and I took in our values the way we do it here and sat down and just asked that question and said, what are your pain points going? What can we do better? And, you know, I do ask, what do we do well. We need to know that as well. But first of all, what can we do to do a better job for you. And he said it come down to price, and I said, well, that's okay. I understand that. Look, we aren't the cheapest on the block. We're not going to be. The service and the level of professionalism that we offer is, you know, it's there. We've got all your documentation, your history, your photos. We know your building inside out. You can't put a price on that. And everything that we do, we execute and we're here for you. We're always available. So just sitting down and going through the values with them and discussing that, he basically said, look, I've never had this before, I've never had.
Matt [00:30:24] So I just want to stop you there for one second, just to connect the dots what you did, you got the Way We Do It Here document, which is a one-pager, which is the most [00:30:31]expensive [0.0s] document, anything in the organisation. On that one document, it's got the vision. It's got the promise. It's got the values and behaviours. So you've got that you actually in the course of the heat of the battle, as it were, in this conversation, you calmly got out the document, provide him a document as well and then you calmly and very clearly communicated the value and you really educated that client.
Paul [00:30:55] We went line by line Matt and it was, yes, just very slowly and methodically went line by line. I could explain everything on how we act on each individual value that we had. And I went through, it was a 20-minute discussion on our values and how we do that, how we offer that and how we back it. And I've blew him away. It was just, he was quiet, not stunned, but he was pretty impressed.
Matt [00:31:27] And so again, just in his words, what he said again, he said, I've never, pretty much ,I've never seen anything like this before.
Paul [00:31:34] No, he hadn't. No, he hadn't had anyone come in to see him with that sort of presentation or conversation about what anyone offers. Yes, he loved it. He's been talking about it since himself. And we've got that relationship now. And he trusts me. And we received more work orders than we ever had with that building. And we've got a great relationship from it.
Matt [00:31:57] Then he didn't have to change your price.
Paul [00:31:59] No that's right, we should be putting it up.
Matt [00:32:04] This is what I want to tell everyone who's listening. This is a great story, head on about to lose a contract because of price but because Paul was prepared with the values, understanding the value that he delivered. He clearly educated that client around the value, how you go about it and really aligned with your client's values. And it was a bit like an aha moment on the client side thinkin, shit, you guys are good. I've never seen this before, so you really created that wow factor. And now look at it again, more work, better quality relationship, far better quality relationship.
Paul [00:32:44] I learnt that he did say, I like a one-on-one. No one does that. I love having a coffee and sitting down and having a chat. I would like it if we can do it more often. What you've done is great, can we continue this. So I learnt a lot there too. So we've done that again and we can continue to do that. You know, it's my [00:33:02]shout [0.0s] for coffee this time and it's your [00:33:03]shout [0.0s] for coffee next time. It's perfect.
Matt [00:33:06] I love it. I love it. And since that first time, you've [00:33:10]rolled it out [0.0s] numerous times now and you're just getting stronger and more confident in your delivery. In the messaging, you're very clear, precise on the expectations. This is the way we do it here. This is the way we do it here. And the response from the clients now, same thing, isn't is it? You're getting that consistent, positive feedback that consistent wow factor. And as you mentioned, you're getting a lot of referrals from that.
Paul [00:33:39] Yes, it's been I mean, I've always been a little bit shy presenting myself, I've always been good on the tools but I'm learning how to articulate our message. And it's been great. It's been a good learning curve for me. And the outcome every single meeting I've had out of, what would it be, five key clients in the last, what do we got, six months. They have all enjoyed that message and I just contact them all. We've got a relationship now. We're getting more work orders and we have. We're literally getting more of their colleagues, sending work orders from the same company but a lot more names coming through. Everyone's got their own portfolio and their own buildings and look after. So I think it's hard to put a finger on what it would be almost three, four times the amount of work orders now we have than we had when we're doing building. Because going back to just that focus and slowing down and knowing what we want.
Matt [00:34:46] And coming down, definitely that it's set that less is more because on the back of that, another key thing, strategy that we've worked on definitely directed you to do is get rid of some of the social media distractions and what a lot of businesses do, you try it from a marketing point of view, you try and again tap the wheel, you've got spinning plates all over the place for marketing. Now, that can cost a lot of time, cost a lot of money and generally fail to get any return at all. From a business owner's point of view, they think at least on marketing, I'm doing something. I'm spending money so at least they say, it gives me confidence that I'm doing something. But as you know, when you sort of step back again and reflect it and reviewed the amount of time that you're spending on, whether it be LinkedIn or Instagram or social media, different things in email marketing and other aspects like that for the time, money and energy, there was no return or very limited return, agree?
Paul [00:35:46] Yes, it's I mean, I did a marketing course [00:35:49]would have been [0.2s] four years, five years ago now and got right into the marketing. And it definitely took me away from the place that I should have been spending time. And, you know, I learnt a lot but there was no reward. There was no return at all really. I couldn't put anything down on it. And as soon as I hung it up and got rid of those apps [00:36:13]that I no longer use. [0.3s] And having those meetings directly with the client, instead of trying to attract people to our brand, just going in there and attacking it and making it happen, you can't even put a value on it. I won't be going back. I definitely would like to go back. You've got to do social media but if you don't have the capacity for it, don't do it. And we will eventually, it's just a matter of time but it won't be me doing it. It won't be me trying to be a marketing company. I'll be doing what I need to do. And I'll be getting somebody who's professional to do what they need to do. So I think wasting time trying to be a professional marketing agency is just not good time spent.
Matt [00:37:03] Yes, definitely and look, one of the key things about marketing, like you mentioned, if you can't do it, well, don't do it. It's about consistency. Some people, they'll get really hyped up with their social media and they'll do a poster a couple of weeks or a month and it dies off. And I just want to frame for everyone listening, this comes back to understanding where your customers [00:37:22]live. [0.0s] Now, if you are business to business like Paul is with commercial property manager, it's all about being proactive and identifying people you want to work for so you can actually knock on their door and through a warm lead or a warm introduction rather than sitting back on your heels waiting for them to come. So in Paul's case, it's very much about being proactive on the front foot meeting face-to-face. Obviously, if it's residential, it's high volume. You've definitely got to have, again, targeted social media campaigns. But again, rather than try and do everything, just get one great, be great at one thing. Know that you are getting an ROI on that before you move to another potential platform that's where it gets busy, messy and costly. And again, doing what you're doing now because you've got that focus, it's allowed you to really streamline that marketing. But again, coming back to having the time to listen to the clients, listening means, we want face-to-face conversations. We want these relationships and that's enabled you that less is more. You can get better understanding a whole heap of, we're getting deeper with our knowledge of the client's problems as opposed to haven't got time, the job is done, I am going to move on, next job that was what you were previously, next building. You never had time to stop and really eyeball them and get an understanding of their needs and how you can actually improve the performance, improve the satisfaction. And now the great thing is it's all evident. We've got proof that that it works in terms of, what, a 500% increase in reviews, essentially a five time increase in work orders. You're getting referrals now. The team's getting sharper. You're getting sharper as a leader and coming back to it. I'm bloody excited. How good is this? And I know at times you sort of pinch yourself right, [00:39:16]with Esta your wife sometimes you say, [2.2s] "don't jinx it. We're on a roll here". What's going on? This is too good to be true.
Paul [00:39:23] Yes, less is more. It's quite incredible.
Matt [00:39:29] Now going forward that confidence in the future and this is a great thing we've gone through and some of the things that you've raised yourself on that confidence level. You were originally around that 2 out of 10. Now you're essentially 10 out of 10 based on knowing that you've got the success habits. We've got our success habits in place. We've got the methodology in place. And the key thing that we're obviously we're big on is that financial position and that increase in that financial position from your point of view. By removing those [00:40:00]poor [0.0s] clients and, getting focus, the profitability and cash flow increasing big time, and also then importantly, to promote team collaboration point of view overall from a team collaboration point of view and engagement point of view that increase there is evident in the result from a client point of view, agree?
Paul [00:40:18] Yes.
Matt [00:40:19] Just to finish off or before we finish off someone starting out, some business owner has been operating for one year, two years, three years. They're on their journey. They start to feel a bit of pain. They've got a few more words. What would be one or two key things that you would recommend to them to think about or consider on their journey?
Paul [00:40:38] Get a coach.
Matt [00:40:38] Get a coach.
Paul [00:40:39] Don't muck around. I mean, I've been told that I was told that in the first part of what I did. Don't be afraid to charge what you think you're worth. Don't undercut yourself because it takes a lot. If you start too low, it takes a long time to get up to where you should be. So have an understanding of what you, what you're doing, how much you should charge. Make sure it's profitable but you've got to have a coach. I don't want to say, if you don't, you should, you should have a coach. It's just going to help you grow quickly and get rid of all the white noise. Basically, it's a positive thing, definitely.
Matt [00:41:23] On from that, too, it's about having that right support, the right team in your corner and often coach, accountant, legal, whateve is depending on the type of work that you're doing, is about having the right advice in the corner. And too often people don't have that right advice. They listen to family members who have got no idea. They listen to people at the pub. They listen to people at the suppliers, going for suppliers who often don't have the right advice or the skill or the knowledge and that's that white noise that you're alluding to. And that's what we're big on, like it's cut the white noise out. Let's focus on the plan. Let's do the one percenters, stick to the success habits that work rather than all the, you should do this or you should do that when people don't actually know your business. Everyone's happy to have a comment but you've got to know your business. Every business is different. Agree?
Paul [00:42:18] Yes, definitely, yes. I mean, we're all good on the tools. You know, we're all plumbers, tradesmen, whoever we are but we're good at what we do. But when it comes to business, it's a different game and we definitely need help. We all need help. And going to the right person and getting good help is key, I think, if I rewound 15 years now, I mean, I think I learnt the hard way. I tend to do that in my life. But I think you can learn a lot doing it that way out. It's not the quickest, it's a slow way to do it. You want to fast track that hard yard. You don't want to be in that hard yard for too long. It will wear you down. It'll actually finish some people up very quickly. So you've got to be resilient. It doesn't matter, it's never going to be easy but to have a coach on your side is going to speed that process up and help you immensely.
Matt [00:43:10] And framing that is essentially about forget about being great on the tools. You've got to be great at business. You need to be great at business. You need the right support, the right advice. Therefore, again, to fast track it, as we say, success leaves cluse. You don't have to go on the journey by yourself. You don't have to try and work it the [00:43:27]hardway. [0.0s] There is a proven method. And listening to your story, very clearly, you've used that proven method to great success and which is exciting, mate, really looking forward to the future.
Paul [00:43:39] Yes, absolutely, Matt, thank you, Mate. It's been a brilliant journey so far and I'm really looking forward to the rest of it.
Matt [00:43:46] That's great, Paul and everyone out there, plenty great takeaways for our listeners. I really appreciate you sharing. Cheers for jumping on board. We have to get you on the podcast again in six, twelve months. Time to hear how you're progressing.
Paul [00:43:57] Yes, good stuff, definitely, very keen.
Matt [00:43:59] Cheers, Paul.
Paul [00:44:00] Good on you Matt, see you Matt.
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