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EPISODE 09

The Buzz About Human Resources with Richard Hines, CEO of Buzz HR

When a small business starts to grow, they soon realize how much comes along with that growth. The intricacies of hiring, benefits, workers comp, payroll and so much more can be overwhelming.

May 2020  | 43:13

Join Travis Pankake and Don Clymer as they welcome Richard Hines, CEO of Buzz HR to help businesses of all sizes deal with these issues. Richard has a very broad and interesting background from running his own businesses to selling commodities and insurance. And this experience launched him into what drove him most – helping fix the challenges that so many face in running their day-to-day businesses.

Listen to this incredibly informative episode and see how Buzz HR analyzes a customer’s business with a buyer’s journey, in order to support only the services that are needed, and nothing that’s not. See how this approach will help you stress less and find and retain the best employees for your company.

4:06 – Richard Hines’ varied background

7:28 – Disaster relief brought new perspective

10:37 – How Buzz HR was born

18:34 – A whole new approach to HR

26:04 – Best in class partners to serve your needs

30:21 – That thing you forgot? Buzz HR remembered

34:14 – You don’t know what you don’t know

38:33 – The right company culture brings success

Season 1, Episode 9 Transcript

RVAL004 BuzzHR.mp3 transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

RVAL004 BuzzHR.mp3 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Various:
So one of the joys of working from home, I’m locked in my office downstairs and my son is outside banging on the door, crying his eyes out to get in, and he wants to be on the podcast.

Various:
This is the one and only the original podcast where you can find yours and your business’s true value. You’re listening to our value brought to you by America’s insulations source idea distributors. You want to hear from the best contractors, suppliers and consultants that dedicate themselves to more than just survival in the business world. Industry professionals that are dedicated to excellence in every aspect of their business. Our value has Amala here to share that same motivation and knowledge with you. Tune in and grow more successful, profitable, educated and recognized business. Listen to the Value podcast to become the industry leader in your market. Find your value with our value.

Travis Pankake:
Hello and welcome back to our value brought to you by Idei Distributors. This is the Insulators podcast. We’re here to bring you industry experts in building science, fiberglass spray, foam, spray foam equipment industry and business and marketing leaders, as well as many others. Sit back, relax, take some notes. You’re listening to our value. I’m Travis pancake sales and training here at Idei alongside my co-host, Don Climber, national spray foam manager. How’s how’s it going out there in Corona virus world, Danny?

Don Clymer:
Stir crazy. It’s kind of like we’re we’re in Vegas. You can. Nobody knows what time it is. Nobody knows what day it is.

Don Clymer:
You can drink at any time. The kids are going crazy. It’s it’s fun. So it sounds like this is a good thing for you. Pretty much the norm. It’s a dream come true.

Don Clymer:
It’s a it’s it’s interesting. The kids are going a little stir crazy. Mom and dad are going stir crazy. But we’re we’re making it through.

Don Clymer:
All right. Well, what do we do what do we talk about today, Danny?

Don Clymer:
We are talking about Buzz, H.R., let’s say a new company, a fairly new, I should say, that deals with everything business related. Help, help small, medium, large sized companies deal with other H.R. needs and and so forth. But we’ll get into that with our guest here in a little bit. First, I want to mention one of our sponsors for today’s show is Natural Polymers. If you guys don’t know natural polymers, you need to need to go to idei insulation dot com and kind of read up on it. He’s got a really interesting story of how he started and kind of why we partnered with him. Just real quick. He’s located in just outside of Chicago, Illinois. This guy has done everything in the spray foam industry from being a chemist at a large chemical factory to insulating homes with his own business, building his own rigs. And now he’s at one of his top suppliers for spray foam. You can check them out at Natural Polymers, LLC dot com and give your local idei rep a call to discuss cinema. Any interest you have with natural polymers? Excellent. Yeah. So on today’s show, we have Richard Hines, CEO of Buzz H.R.. A little bit of background on this guy. So I met him a couple years back through mutual friends. And within the first probably two minutes, our conversation turned to deer hunting and ninety nine percent of our conversations focused around deer hunting. So this is going to be a little awkward for us to not workin deer hunting stories.

Travis Pankake:
So I guess it was probably deer hunt so we could talk a little deer hunting, too. We go down that rabbit hole.

Don Clymer:
Yeah. Hey, I’m all for it. But I got to know the guy. I really got to like him and sitting here thinking of guests for the show. He was a guy who came to mind when when I was thinking, like, how can we help our customers? This guy’s going to he’s a he’s a figure it out type of guy. He’s done everything from selling pork, commodities to a landscape company in Montgomery, Alabama. And then when Hurricane Katrina hit, you went back home to help out family and friends in that business just kind of started to grow to tree removals, roofing, carpentry, just anything out to or anything to help the community out. And then with the fall of the the housing economy in 2008 and then the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, it’s kind of time for him to make a change. So sold insurance for a while and then fast forward to 2019, offers opportunity presented itself that allowed him to run in a direction where he could focus on his passion, which is fixing the problems that challenge business owners most. And we’re about to find out what what those problems are and how he can help. So with that. Welcome, Richard Hines to the show.

Richard Hines:
Thanks, Don. I’m glad to be here today. I appreciate the opportunity to jump on and spend some time with you and Travis as well.

Don Clymer:
It’s good to see you. I haven’t seen you since you left Louisiana for Colorado, but coming back soon.

Richard Hines:
That’s what that’s what I hear. We’re looking forward to it. I’m hoping that we land somewhere close again.

Various:
You heard it here, folks. Danny’s headed back your way south. Watch out. I figured out where my family is not meant for being north of the Mason-Dixon line. That’s what you mean by S&P. Your line snow people.

Various:
You mean your wife isn’t. That’s true. You there. Quick. Real quick. Real quick. No offense, Vera, but I love you.

Don Clymer:
No, like I said, Richard and I are you know, we we are. Our friendship came together over deer hunting. And you can the text messages spike starting about September, timber up and go through January. And just different tips and tricks and what you’re seeing out there and who’s shooting what. And you shot a nice one this year up in Mississippi.

Richard Hines:
I did a shot of two hundred and sixty pounds. Hundred and fifty inch with a nine point. So minus deduction. I was a big deer was especially for for Mississippi. It wouldn’t really get him to that weight very often.

Don Clymer:
I was just going to say for for the people listening up in the northern states, in the Midwest, you think that that’s the only place you can get a big toad?

Don Clymer:
Surprisingly, when I moved down south, there are some big deer down there and a 260 pound deer. I don’t care where you’re from. That’s a big one.

Richard Hines:
Immediately it was a Minnesota deer, but it’s still if it’s a big deer for down here.

Travis Pankake:
Absolutely. I’ve got to thank Donny. He got me in a deer hunting about five years ago now. So I’m still a novice, but I could see the addiction. It’s definitely becoming a money crabber for me. My wife doesn’t like that, but it is addicting and it’s fun.

Don Clymer:
So the other thing that Richard and I share are the not just pictures of deer, but the pictures of the packages from Amazon that get delivered to the front door that we have to hide from the wives without the interception.

Travis Pankake:
The five don’t spill too many secrets on us.

Don Clymer:
Yeah, true. True. We might have added that part.

Travis Pankake:
So, Richard, we’re down to it. Yeah. Yeah. I wanted to kind of break in here, too, and just kind of, you know, maybe not to do much detail, but Hurricane Katrina, man. That’s. Tell us a little bit about that.

Richard Hines:
It was so when Hurricane Katrina hit, like Don mentioned a minute ago, I had a landscaping company that I started up in Montgomery, Alabama, which is where I went to school in Montgomery, play baseball, had a great time, had a good bunch of good friends, good network. You’re going to start come back from port commodities and being up the God. I got a little bit outside and when Katrina hit, you know, the initial intent was, okay, look, we got a chain saw. I’ve got some landscaping equipment that I can go back south, I can get my parents place back in order and go go back to Congress. And so I took a couple guys with me that were on my cruise and came down to Louisiana. And when you got here that the amount of devastation, you you can’t even really put into words in terms of how much damage should be done. And so the first day we were here, I had bodies here locally, obviously had grown up here. But bringing Bobcat along and you start taking trees off of parents house and before you know it, you’ve got 15 people that have stopped by. And so I don’t care what it’s going to cost him, you can get it off my house next.

Travis Pankake:
So were you one of the first kind of people down there doing that made because you were busy?

Richard Hines:
We came down the day. I mean, it was the night after it passed. Oh, wow. Where what? Where I spent the majority of my life. I passed the exit getting off where I was supposed to get off my parents house in the house that I grew up in because they recognized I mean, you didn’t recognize. Everything was dark. There was no power, no nothing, no cell phones work. It was kind of it was real creepy, eerie, fairly.

Richard Hines:
The one of the thing about the people of Louisiana is that they come back together. That was, you know, it’s a good, wouldn’t it, Bill? Big town in the North Shore across the lake from New Orleans. But, you know, folks that we’ve grown up with, people that we knew, one after another after another. And it was like, well, I know a roofer. I know I know a carpenter. We can we can get somebody. So before we knew it, it was an assembly line method where it was. I know. I know. Guy, what do you need this town? I’ve got somebody that can can figure it out. Wow. That’s great. And off took a fun, fun adventure going into construction. I always worked outside and with my hands and while I might not have been the guy reframing a roof roofline, the entry had falling through. I still knew that I could put somebody good on the job and that it would be dealt with accordingly.

Travis Pankake:
Awesome. Wow. So he went from landscaping. What’s buzz? Richard, tell us a little bit about Buzzy H.R..

Richard Hines:
Yeah, so, you know, with that same mindset in place as many people in the industry did where you go, you’re not going to recommend somebody to come out and do a job, be it a plumber or be an electrician, whoever it is that you don’t trust, because there’s nothing worse than somebody coming to you and trusting your opinion on who they should use. Well, when they go out, they can do a crappy job. It’s a bad reflection on you. It’s it it’s it’s a cruddy feeling. Relationship networks work great in the construction industry. And to you, it’s a Don’s point. A few minutes ago when after the Deepwater Horizon spill, that’s that’s like the straw that broke the camel’s back in the construction industry, especially coming off the heels of 2008. So when I shifted over, I was like many insurance people seem like they make a good living. What do they do? And can’t be that hard. So I went off into the insurance world and started selling Business-to-business insurance and looking at my competition up there and the solutions that they brought it over know some of the headaches that insurance could put on a business owner at the time being deductions or worrying about how to get employees enrolled or what kind of coverage is all the minutia that goes on with that on a day to day basis. So if you look at it, you skin it back and look at the operations side. Well, what can make that easier for an employer? Because employers or business owners want to go grow their business, whether it’s insulation, whether it’s framing, whether it’s concrete. They want to be able to focus on their business. The stuff that sucks behind the scenes is a is a huge additional load work on the on the on the employer. And so you might ask, you know, what do you mean? What do you mean by that? If you’re starting a business, you know, awesome. I’m going to go. I’m going to go start my own insulation business and we are going to be regrade installers. What can we do this on our own. Exactly. But yes, all the money.

Don Clymer:
Yep. That’s a lot of our listeners right there. They they’ve worked for somebody and said, hey, we can do this on our own. Let’s let’s go do it. But why they knows how to install a bad or pull a trigger on a spray foam gun. They might be lacking in the business acumen, I bet. Right. They don’t know all this stuff. So that’s where that’s where a company like Buys H.R. comes into play. Right.

Richard Hines:
Absolutely. And for, you know, for business owners to that point down, you know, they they’ve got a great network. They do really good work. So that reputation precedes them. And they’ve gotten more work than at times than they know what to do with. If it was just getting up every morning, lacing up your boots, go into a job, spraying, being done with your job and going home at night as a business owner, they’d be I’d be awesome. You could just you could grow your career. You get as many crews as you want it, right. Go, go grow the business. But what what starts to become the problem that we’re going to we’re going to talk through a little bit of is crap. I’ve got to think about payroll. I look at it as employees paid. That’s step one. Step two. Okay, well, we’ve got to get their payroll taxes filed. Time step three. I’ve got it. You know, now we’re growing as an organization. I’ll get my employees paid. Oh, man. I’ve got workers comp. I’ve got to deal with Crowder with H.R.. I got. Yes, go ahead.

Don Clymer:
I was just going to say that the workers comp is one of the biggest, I think questions and concerns are guys going out and starting their own business right now, because from what I’ve gathered, talking to people across the country is it seems like for the spray foam contractor specifically, they get grouped in with the roofers for workman’s comp because that’s one of the oldest parts of the spray foam industry. So the insurance people are just I guess you’re a roofer and here you go. So I don’t know. You know, there’s a way, better way for them to navigate it. If you can help them, I’ll give them some insight as to what they should be asking, looking for talking to their insurance guy.

Richard Hines:
There is and there’s there’s a lot of options out there. And we can get it. We’ll get into the categories here in just a second. You know that in rounding out what his buzz is, if you think about all of those as it relates to benefits, payroll, workers comp, you know, you’ve got to put. But what does a benefits package, you know, because if you’ve defined benefit 15 years ago versus what benefits are now, they’re two totally separate discussions entirely. You know, then then it’s retirement. I mean, you look you when you find a good employer that you can trust what you have to do to keep them. A lot of employers will go. They’ll jump ship for a dollar an hour, not realizing that, you know, if you have a good benefits package, so to speak, and you can show them what that is worth, what the true cost of their employment with your company is. They’re not going anywhere.

Don Clymer:
And we just we just talked about that on a episode that we recorded a week or two ago about employee retention. Right. Especially for a huge issue. Yes. Especially for the younger generation. The millennials, you know, they want a career path. They want they want to see, you know, their how they’re valued within the company. And I think benefits is one that’s really overlooked in this industry.

Richard Hines:
It is insane benefits. And just to to to add a chuckle, and there’s something that the millennials and meals are total different. Buyer, consumer be there. They’re different mindset. And that’s not a bad thing. They’re taking a lot of things that we overcomplicated for many years and they’re making them easier. But I mean, something that I would have never thought of. We’ve been getting a lot of requests for it. Hey, we’re going to get pet insurance,

Don Clymer:
Pet insurance?

Richard Hines:
That’s right. For your dog. Is there anything they’re asking for it. So it’s it’s wild the way that you look at the consumer profile and the way that they buy versus the way that we always. I mean, they’re the ones that have gone the MSA out now. That’s a sure. It’s got a drip line I.V. in my arm of Amazon because I don’t have time because source on my hunting here throughout the year, you know, outside of it, it’s so so bus came together. It’s like. Well, what is the what is the buyer look like today? Because what worked five years ago doesn’t work today. It works today. Is it going to work in five years from now? And you hone it back into the at the millennials in it, they bring a lot of value to the table because they’re making things easier in a lot of ways. Sure. And what I mean by that is, is that Amazon.com with one of the things that we’ve noticed about her that I’ve picked up on about millennials, that they don’t like being told what to do. And I’m sure that I can appreciate that because they were they’ve been they’ve been picked on for a while that started getting old, but they didn’t wanna be told what to do. So the way that traditional packages have put together and put together is that, you know, it’s we’ve got a benefits guy. We’ve got a broker for this. We’ve got a relationship there. Peel all that back. Just because your tires flat down doesn’t mean you need a new a new truck. What do you need as a buyer?

Travis Pankake:
A tire. Yeah. But, you know, that’s exactly what you need, a tire.

Richard Hines:
But the sales guy is going to come in and they’re going to try and sell you a new truck. And so, you know, rims are they’re going to try and say, Isa, you know, you can never just hear what the buyers are looking for. And so with Buzz, you know that that’s where we are. You think about doctors, okay. Doctors hate Web M.D. because people come up and show up to the doctor’s office and they’ve already diagnosed themselves recommend right here for themselves to fix the problem. All right, great. We’ll look for business owners. Why are you why are you Googling? How many of you out there who have typed in Google before, best workers come, cheapest workers comp? How do I do workers comp? The easiest? What is worker’s comp? Where would it go? Yes. Why do I have to have it right? How do these nasty letters with bills on them in and it’s, you know, not to discount any one of these categories because H.R. you think of H.R., have you thinking about this? What would you say on H.R.? They get a phone call. I’m going to perform. I’m going to get.

Don Clymer:
I know our H.R. department real well.

Richard Hines:
So each one of these there, H.R. benefits, payroll, worker’s comp. I mean, they’re all I don’t want. If we classify them or categorize them as just for the sake of conversation is a vendor. Every one of them has their own agenda. The health insurance got to try and sell you every policy that you can because they’re commission driven tour workers comp, they’re worried about what you know, they want a good place here and they want to place your coverage and find your coverage. But at the same time, they’re not worried about the workload that’s heaped on to you or your payroll person. And, you know, for ninety five, I’d ninety five point eight percent of the companies out there, it’s especially small, you know. Twenty five and under 20 and under. You don’t either. Mr. Business owner or most business owner.

Don Clymer:
Well, a lot of times that’s our our contractor spouse. Right. Or somebody within their family that they know. And it’s just like here, here’s some cookbook’s go to it.

Richard Hines:
It is. And look, I mean, I was in the payroll world for I didn’t sell payroll, but I have a great understanding of it. And it it it’s it’s hard. It’s not an easy task to get set up. You hire new employees, especially if you if you’ve got a lot of turnover taking place. Yeah. I mean, it it’s miserable and you’re filing quarterly and you’re trying to get your taxes withheld remitted. You’re making sure you’ve got garnishments. I mean, just all those layers that go and just just specific to payroll, that’s before you even get into the rest of it. And so with with Buzz, what do we do? Look, we take you on a buyer’s journey. What do you new. That’s fancy as a sooner.

Richard Hines:
Yeah. It’s not trademarked yet, but it’s in process.

Travis Pankake:
Let me. Let me cut in here a little bit, too, Richard. You know, just kind of scanning your your Web site, Buzz Desh H. ARCOM, little plug for you. Looks like it’s kind of an al carte approach. Is that common for services that you provide? I mean, it seems to be kind of set you apart.

Richard Hines:
It does set us apart. You know, because a lot of them you would have to have one component and one component over another.

Richard Hines:
So you’d have to start with with payroll. You’d have to have one. One element or another in order to beat to to jump in with us. You know, to the point I made a minute ago about what do you need if if you need help in one specific area. We’re here to help you in that one area. If you don’t if you want it, if you want to bypass anything or you don’t need help in an area. Good. Leave it be. We’re not here to over the top sell you on the services that you need. But we are here to do is to keep you from going out there to the search engines and just aimlessly searching for solutions. Because, look, we’ve I’ve turned over a lot of rocks in my career and I’ve seen a lot of gravel underneath those rocks. But every once in a while, you come across, you’ll uncover a pearl, you’ll uncover a gem under there in by Jim. I’m talking about the partners that we have in each one of these categories. We look, if you’ve got a relationship, you Roker’s that you love good. Keep them. If they’ve you love them that much, there’s a reason you love me. You probably want to meet them too, because we work with best in class local relationships, looking to unplug anybody or break anything that’s working for you today. If you’d like to payroll, keep them. If you don’t let us intuition, let us send up to a better way to where it be easier for you administratively.

Travis Pankake:
And it looks like you guys can have a go at it from a consultative, consultative approach. Right. And you’re going to go in and kind of explore and ask questions and say, hey, well, you know what? That seems to work fine, you know, but. And then suggestive services, right?

Richard Hines:
Yeah. So if they think come nuts and they say, look, no one I got get payroll set up number two. OK, what’s your second? We stack rank based on the level of importance to you as a consumer. What’s keeping you up at night? What’s your biggest headache today? What’s on fire? We put that fire up at number two. What’s the next what’s your next biggest pain point? Let me give you an aspirin for that headache. Number three, we let them stack ranking based on what’s most to least important. And we address them incrementally and get them into, you know, into installed into a way to reduce that pain point for them.

Don Clymer:
So let’s talk a little bit about that. So if if one of our contractors says, hey, I really want to offer benefits because I’ve got a couple of guys on the crew that, you know, they’re lead guys and I want to keep them. I don’t want them to leave for another dollar an hour to the guy next door. Can they say they have ten guys, but they only want to offer health and retirement for three of them? Is that a possibility?

Richard Hines:
There there’s there’s a couple that’s a loaded question there, Don, because there’s there’s a few variables in there in terms of discrimination laws and some some things that you have to be be careful of.

Richard Hines:
But, you know, there’s ways there’s some creative ways that you can get in there and kind of find out. Right. As a business owner, where do you where you want to take your business? Where do you see yourself in five years and 10 years? I will. Based on what we’ve seen in other business owners do that have been successful and I’ve worked for them in terms of creating that culture and that true benefits package, I would I would recommend going this route or I would recommend going down that route. We would have further discussions and see, you know what, every group is different and one size fits all, that’s for sure.

Don Clymer:
So it’s kind of like business consulting, right? To the degree it is, it’s business performance management. I like it. Is that trademarked?

Richard Hines:
No, it’s just gotten written down to get a little little side credit there, then.

Travis Pankake:
Richard Huh. All these these catchphrases we’re helping out with today.

Richard Hines:
That’s right. It just you just it’s sparking thought. You know, Don, he’s good at that.

Various:
And I really get at. I am. Yeah.

Travis Pankake:
Coming up with small anecdotal things.

Richard Hines:
He’s been working from home, so probably hasn’t heard that much lately. Hear that. Or I’m just not that intelligent. I think you’re really smart. You’re maybe not.

Don Clymer:
So, you know, we keep hitting on the workman’s comp, the benefits. You know, there’s a lot of a lot of questions that our guys have. You know, just one of the one of our contractors I don’t know if we talked about this earlier in the show. I’ve already forgotten I’m going crazy. But he has gone off on his own. And, you know, he he’s worked for a couple different companies. And now is the time for him to take that step and start his business. And he’s like, you know, I don’t know what I what I don’t know. He’s like, you know, child support. How do I deal with a guy who’s got to pay child support? And, you know, can you guys help navigate those waters?

Richard Hines:
And that’s a great question. You know, so there’s a few things there.

Richard Hines:
So for the workers comp, look, worker’s comp. Guys, they come out. They buying coverage like the brokers get you set up on it. And they’re gone. Well, then you’ve got to understand. So there of course, there’s a few states that are that are a little bit more challenging. If you look at Ohio, Washington, North Dakota and Wyoming, I mean, they’re monopolistic states. So they’re a little bit more. There’s there’s more red red tape you’ve got to cut through in order to bottom coverage and get it set up in those states. But for the rest of us out there, you see or, you know, you really you don’t talk to your workers comp guileless. You know, a you’ve got a claim which nobody wants to do. Or when you get that letter, it’s like, oh, it’s time for an audit, boys. I’d rather pull my teeth out and go through an audit. It’s miserable for those guys, especially when I got 15 jobs go on right now. I’ve got too much to worry about. I don’t I don’t have time to go through an audit. You have to go through the audit. So the proof of concept of everybody wanting to have one central location to be able to manage all of their back offices, they can grow.

Richard Hines:
Their business isn’t new. You know, there’s been companies that have come out there and they’ve tried to do it all. And what I mean by that is it’s like, yeah, we’re we’ll be your broker will be your payroll. We’re going to be your workers. I will do it all. I’m not saying that bus doesn’t do that because nobody can be good at everything. And I that’s that’s just interest, you know, because your benefits, your payroll, your workers comp, all of those are when we’re flying at 20000 feet. There are some subterranean I mean, it is deep how much each one of us go in there hard. So when I use the analogy about turn it over rocks and finding those pearls, we’ve got best in class partners that specialize in each one of those areas. Now, Buzz, is your first point of contact with we’re like the, you know, the pilot, that it’s turning the dials in the cockpit, so to speak. You call us with everything. We get it corrected with our partners, and then we get you wrapped back into a consolidated bill at the end of the month. So it is one source, but it’s third best in breed partners in each one of those categories working on the same same Chessie themselves.

Don Clymer:
Are the customers dealing with dealing with each IRF or they are dealing with budgerigar jar?

Richard Hines:
Correct. Or they’re dealing with us where they were their client experience.

Don Clymer:
And you have people in each state or, you know, sales reps that go out and do face to face or is it all basically online?

Richard Hines:
High level is, you know, for an initial contact. You know, we run when I talked about that buyer’s journey, we do we do an analysis call. We find out where their pain points are. You know, then we put we do have people locally involved in all these markets that we that we introduce. That can be their local representation if they want to sit down, have a cup of coffee. A lot of meetings these days, as we can all attest to you right now, especially since we’re we’re not sitting in the same office. Everyone’s right. It is is holed up and in the wake of corona virus. But what is coronavirus going to do to you, to everyone moving forward? Is this going to change the way that this is operate? Is this going to change the buyer’s persona?

Don Clymer:
You think it’s going to change? Is this, you know, some stuff to a degree? Right. I mean, we can’t go through through something like this that none of us have been been through before and not come out of it with changes. So how does that affect our our little guy, you know, our contractors and excuse me, you know what what type of things should they be thinking of now to prepare themselves for if this does happen again? God forbid.

Richard Hines:
Oh, God forbid it doesn’t happen again. But thankfully, you know that the construction industry, I think, is only going to become stronger from this of here and welcome in there.They’re part of the essentials as far as a lot of stuff. Love a lot of clients that we have that we’ve been working with have been there. The construction hasn’t slowed down in any shape or form, and I don’t see that happening. But as far as the face to face meetings, the personal interaction is going to be distanced for at least of the next couple of months. But moving forward, what do people want? Because, look, I want to if I if I meet somebody once like you and I could do business together indefinitely, Don, because we’ve not because we just have a rapport from talking on the phone, but we know each other. Yeah. I mean, if you need me, I want to look the person eyes. It’s me personally as a as a buyer is that you’re running a business just to know that I can look into the soul of them. So a lot of it is done virtually now. But if they still desire that on the ground in person, then we’ve got somebody local that can that can facilitate that need as well. To your point about workers comp coming together, you know, the jumping back in. They score. We can set up pay as you go. We’ve got a partner that can set up pays. You go regardless of who they’re using for payroll kind of content. It’s an audit system where they don’t have to go through the audits. It takes on that responsibility for them. So it True’s up. They’re not overpaying. They’re not underpaying. It automates a lot of that on the back it and for them so that they don’t have to deal with the to the nasty grams that they get. It’s in the mail.

Don Clymer:
Yeah. And one of the things, too, is like just the standard H.R. stuff, right, that, you know, you you mentioned discrimination. You know, a lot of our other of our guys probably aren’t aren’t thinking of that. So how is there. How do I want to phrase it? How can how can Buzz help with that? Just general H.R. stuff. I mean, do you have, I’m assuming specialists and that have them help them write an employee handbook, that type of stuff, just to keep them in compliance?

Richard Hines:
Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, employee handbooks, a lot of companies out there will just go on and they’ll they’ll they’ll download or an employee handbook. Yeah, this looks good. We’ll use this one. Yeah. Well, each company being different and that that’s where the the the journey back to the journey again is that you as a business owner, you’ve got to have in your mind where you want it to go. You don’t want to just stay afloat. You got I mean, that’s the beauty of the American dream, is that you can take it, make it whatever you want to. There’s no ceiling as far as how far you can can go. What’s keeping you from getting there? What’s slowing you down? Well, I would win. I’m sorry, go ahead.

Don Clymer:
No, go ahead. I interrupted. So you.

Richard Hines:
And so the the you know, is it is an employee handbook. Is it policies and procedures? Is it just to review of what you’ve got in place today? The long answer short. Yes, we can we can help in all of those capacities. But with Buzz, you also get live advisory. So you’ve got an employee that showed up drunk for the fourth day in a row. You warned him the last three days. OK. Now we have to take action. He’s on 120 foot man lift and he’s about to fall off.

Travis Pankake:
So Heldens lasted 16 years doing that. And it’s only getting worse with this quarantine. He’s now he’s on the icy roof. Right, exactly.

Don Clymer:
But what if, you know, some of these guys are saying, holy shit, I need a handbook? What are the downfalls? I mean, what what could happen if they don’t have a handbook?

Richard Hines:
Well, it’s not what can happen if they don’t. But it’s it’s gonna be there to be their fallback from a policies and procedure side that when they win and if and when an issue arises. This is this is our plan to fix it, you know, with the documentation thing. Yet it’s having your you covered this what it really is. I mean, you think about coronavirus right now. Our government couldn’t even you know, they’ve been they’ve been fighting for the last two weeks over. We’ll go into politics for the day. But the bill. It’s a shame that they’re all the bullshit wrapped into it.

Travis Pankake:
Yeah. This is a No. Politics podcast.

Richard Hines:
Hey, I’m back up, y’all. Y’all can go. But some of the questions that we fielded in the last couple of days would would blow your mind.

Richard Hines:
I mean, from. From top executives at health insurance carriers to large group employers that are clients of ours said that the questions we’re fielding. Oh, my gosh. Really, you guys. You’ve got four H.R. people on staff full time and you’re asking us these kind of folks. So there’s just a lot of unknown variables that are that are rattling around up there. And that’s okay. And having somebody that’s that’s red, the red that’s in the legislative it’s in the documentation that knows the law to be able to substantiate the answer that’s given to them and provided on their behalf so that they can make an educated decision on the back end is paramount to any organization. And yet a lot of this stuff I mean, look, small business owners out here, I think it’s Madon, Donald, I’m just in chatting. That makes up a large percentage of the audience. There’s there’s grants there gonna be available. There’s a lot of things that are already going to that are written into the current legislative that’s not even been passed yet, that are going to they’re going to be beneficial to a lot of these guys. And it’s not from a take advantage of or make you less eager to grow your business. But there’s there’s things that are going to help you, and a lot of them won’t even know about it. What are they getting on Google and saying? And what am I had to help? Small business owner…500000 hits on that.

Don Clymer:
That’s what I was saying earlier. The guy I keep referencing is the he said, you know, I don’t know what I don’t know. Go on the Web site or give give the call to the 800 number you guys have and just say, hey, you know, I’m I’m starting a business and I need some some ideas on what I need to how to cover my ass, basically how to make me more efficient, how to build a, you know, have one contact that I can use for just about everything so I can go out, sell and grow my business. Right.

Richard Hines:
Absolutely. And look, you know, there’s obviously a cost for doing business that people people understand me. It’s just it’s operating expenses, you know? But when you you know, if you look at each one of these, you know, your insurance, your benefits, your payroll, your work is gone. All of those start to add up. But if you don’t know, it’s it’s it’s running like it’s Shipperd, and you’re more than likely you’re overpaying for the processes that you’ve got in place. You think about what’s your what’s your our worth at the end of the day? I know Don doesn’t love how much is it worth? Mine’s not worth much.

Travis Pankake:
And so the question I got for you, Richard, is so I’m sitting here, I’m listening into this, and I’m thinking to myself, I’m a I’m a small guy. I’m just a small business. Do I. Do I need H.R.? Do I need buzz? I mean, how is there a size that typically uses your services or can anybody might.

Richard Hines:
You might not. I mean, you think about looked as a five man group. I mean, where do they need these type of services to. They need H.R.. Probably not. But do they have questions? They don’t know they need some some help on the business side of things. So they need to better understand what what they do and don’t need to be doing. Do they know what they need to be watching for in terms of employee count, where when they do reach a certain threshold, then they need to take action here or there? We’ve got groups that are you know, they’re down to five main groups. It’ll just have some press, some some questions around automation features or worker’s comp or looking for somebody that can take and really run with the ball for them. Well, we’ve got some solutions wrapped around that. And then we’ve got some groups that are you know, when Buzz started, the intent was to really under one hundred to focus on that market where they may have one H.R. person. You know, some of these larger groups have, you know, one two hundred to two hundred H.R. people involved. And yet they still use some of the services that we’ve got because there is just a lot of moving parts when you get in those organizations of that magnitude.

Don Clymer:
Right. How do you guys go about and find your best in business providers or partners for these guys? I mean, what kind of vetting do you guys do for that?

Richard Hines:
Great question. So, you know, having been in the industry now for 10 years, I’ve been in war in several different hats and a few different organizations as well. It’s knowing the people and having the partners that stay in their lanes, specifically because a lot of people do cross back and forth that, you know, I might miss the best. I guess the best way to explain this is you’ve got somebody that, you know, you trust in payroll, but they sell workers comp and they sell benefits. Sure. Well, then I’ve got health insurance brokers that we partner with. Well, they don’t sell payroll, so. So the payroll person, if I have a payroll client, they’re going to be trying to sell the benefits partner or, you know. So we don’t want that cross-selling taking place because we don’t want no one. We don’t let the client feel like I might get multiple calls from different vendors that are supposed to be all on buses. You know, sure, we’ve we’ve vetted them out. We know we don’t want we don’t know that there’s maybe more partners out there that we’re looking for. Look, we’re always open to have a good conversation.

Don Clymer:
You know, given to. We talked a little bit about the millennials and that stuff. Is there any study out there or have you guys put any data to it? If you if a company of this size offers these benefits, the employee retention goes up by X, or is that still, too, at its infancy?

Richard Hines:
It’s still somewhat in its infancy. And main reason being is because the data wasn’t collected on the you know for sure. You don’t have any real estate case studies going to case studies, but you don’t have any long term effects of that. Well, I will tell you, just from having from seeing a lot of businesses that are they’re just ultra successful versus ones that really struggle is if it’s looking, it’s with culture, with hiring the right people. Know it’s with having a good team. You know, when you when you found your company, I mean, every business owner I’ve ever met has is passionate about what they do. They’re proud of businesses they’ve created and make they grow into something. It’s wildly successful in a short period of time. And before they know it, they forgot the people that brought them to the dance. Yeah. And so that’s a challenge for them that, you know, you can’t forget who brought you. Otherwise, it’s going to be you know, it’s easy come, easy go. They get passed up on the ladder, fallen back down. Yeah. There you go. To their unsuccess. But it by starting with the people hiring the right people and having them on your team, you can’t you can’t take it. You can’t overlook that or forget that.

Don Clymer:
Right. Well, I think this has been very educational. Hopefully it’s helped out some of the the listeners out there just at least to to start the questions. Right. And like you said, they might not need everything but to pancakes point. You know, it’s all a card. And, you know, they keep saying, you know, you don’t know what you don’t know. I would say it’s worth a call, you know. You instead of dealing with five different people to to help your business grow, you can have one point of contact and work with the best in the business. To me, it’s kind of sounds like a no brainer.

Travis Pankake:
Yeah, it’s kind of a I got a guy mentality. I’m mean, I call Richard over it Buzz H.R., you know, instead of having to figure out who to call. I’ll call your guy. Yeah.

Richard Hines:
That’s what got this whole thing go. I got a guy who used to drive me nuts and didn’t drive me nuts. I was kind of proud of it. Came the going joke at our headquarters here in New Worlds from my previous employer. People always said, hey, do you know anybody in the alarm industry? You can do it? Yeah, no, guy. When you look and get to work long before they sit in my office, be like, hey, do you know. Yeah, I know what you need. Yeah, I got that guy for sure. And so it’s, you know, it’s people. Right.

Various:
Can you guys hear that. I’m sorry. Can you hear that. Is that a monster? A throne of rhythm. It’s sort of one of the joys of working from home.

Don Clymer:
I’m locked in my office downstairs. My son is literally outside, banging on the door, crying his his eyes out to get in.

Richard Hines:
And it sounds like a party.

Various:
What a way to end it. He wants to be on the podcast. He’s got a deer hunting story for us. I don’t know if I’ve made it through a podcast at home without being interrupted by one of my kids. No, you haven’t.

Richard Hines:
There was a news interview the other night. It was funny because the guy was live on. I don’t know what network it was on. This is a little boy like come up behind him. Another kid comes in. He’s in a stream shared in Elsom. The nanny or the mom comes sprinting in the room, grabs the kids and dragging him up with the horse. Welcome to my world. We’re all we’re all live in it, my friend.

Don Clymer:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, now, Richard, we we set up a a page on on your website. It was a buzz dash HRR dot com forward slash Idei. Correct. Yeah. So if the listeners out there, if you have questions, if you want more info, go to that buzz dash, H.R. dot com forward slash Idei. And I believe it’s just kind of a contact form page.

Richard Hines:
It’s a contact form landing page, but it’ll let us know, look, you know, kind of give us a little bit of background on you in terms of.

Richard Hines:
All right. These these guys come they work with IDBI Direct. Not that we treat anybody bad, but there’s a little bit more eyes on it that can make sure that yellow kind of white gloved a little bit dirt a little bit more. And, you know, we’re going to treat you right either way. There’s there’s some savings that are available and we’ll we’ll be able to take care, you guys.

Travis Pankake:
Perfect. Excellent. Well, Richard, thanks. Richard Hynes from Buzz HRR, appreciate your time today. Great insight.

Travis Pankake:
We hope this drives a lot of traffic your way in about six weeks when this gets posted.

Various:
Look forward to it as well. Thank you guys for having us. Absolutely. Thanks, buddy. I appreciate it. All right, guys, we’ll talk soon, okay. Take care, my friend. You as well. Great meeting you. Even if it is over the Internet, how much? I’ll be off your way as soon as they let us fly again. Right. Excellent. Yeah, well, we’ll meet out in the Deerfield. All right. Thanks, everyone, for listening to our value. Stay tuned for the next episode.

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EPISODE 08

Your Personal Economy is Your Business Economy with David Avrin


Your business’ economic realities are directly related to your personal economic realities. If you want to help your employees you have to educate them (and yourself) on all of the options available.

Travis Pankake and Don Clymer are joined once again, back by popular demand, by speaker, thinker, business expert David Avrin. David lays out how the traditional buy/sell model of business has been completely upended by Coronavirus and how his business and businesses he interacts with are adapting.

David Avrin is the author of the celebrated marketing books: It’s Not Who You Know It’s Who Knows You! and Visibility Marketing!,  His latest Customer Experience book: Why Customers Leave (and How to Win Them Back) was named by Forbes as “One of the 7 Business Books Entrepreneurs Need to Read.”

2:20 – David Avrin is big in Vietnam now but facing a new normal

6:15 – The traditional buy/sell model isn’t working right now, what is?

13:50 – The wrong way to communicate to your customers

21:57 – Balancing your personal economy equation

25:01 – 3 reasons to help and educate your employees on the financial help available

30:07 – It’s going to get worse, so you better get better

38:49 – If you want people to be interested you have to be interesting

Season 1, Episode 8 Transcript

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Various:
You’re not gonna, like, ask me to have lunch or something or, you know, I won’t get that weird. It’s a maybe dinner. Hey, listen, I just now it’s just getting awkward. Yeah.

Various:
This is the one and only the original podcasts where you can find yours and your business’s true value. You’re listening to our value brought to you by America’s insulation source idea distributors. You want to hear from the best contractors, suppliers and consultants that dedicate themselves to more than just survival in the business world. Industry professionals that are dedicated to excellence in every aspect of their business. Our value has them all here to share that same motivation and knowledge with you. Tune in and grow more successful, profitable, educated and recognized business. Listen to the Value podcast to become the industry leader in your market. Find your value with our value.

Travis Pankake:
Welcome back, listeners. This is our value, Travis Pancake, alongside my co-host at his home quarantined pillow Fort Don Climber.

Don Clymer:
The pillow forts are amazing these days, I betcha. I spend an hour every day rearranging the pillow for forward for the kids to play in it for five minutes.

David Avrin:
But I get a kick out of it because, you know, you don’t you don’t have an actual role in constructing the pillow for it. It’s not official unless the children construct it. You are invited into the pillow fort, but you do not play a role in constructing it. Once you’re past the age of 12, that is below four. It’s the kid. That’s exactly right.

Don Clymer:
So I kid a little, you know, with a pillow for it’s where the kids are like, no, dad, it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m like, no, go give me the duct tape, some zip ties and some rope. And they’re like, Dad, we just want a blanket over the coach. Like, No, it’s gotta be perfect. We gotta do this. Right. Exactly right. But do you see how it’s sagging in the middle?

David Avrin:
You have to tuck it under the pillow and then put the heat up. Yeah. I get the tension from the blanket the whole year to get the tension or you get the broom underneath. But Dad is too tall, huh?

Various:
And then then you cut it in half or anyway, enough about pillow for we can do a whole podcast on Bill Ford these days. That might help people out too. We are professionals. That is good memories right there.

Travis Pankake:
So what is that voice we’re hearing? Donnie, who is that? Who’s that guy? We heard him before.

Don Clymer:
Well, Travis. Back by popular demand, we had David Avrin. Yes. I got his last name out in the first sentence this time. And I didn’t wait to make the listeners guess who the mysterious guesses. But we have David Avrin, the visibility coach and author of three books. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you visibility and Marketing and his latest customer experience book, Why Customers Leave and How to Win Them Back. How many languages is that in now, David?

David Avrin:
You know what? We’re up to five languages now. So I just I think last time I was on the show, I had just gotten back from Mumbai, India, and we had launched it in India, actually did an English version. And it’s coming out later on this year in Chinese, not going for that launch. And Russian. And it just came out in Spanish. So I’ve got to get a copy of that as well.

David Avrin:
It’s actually kind of fun in my office at Google posters up of my book in different languages. I mean, who knows? I mean, it’s. Oh, and Vietnamese, apparently. Apparently I’m big in Vietnam right now.

Various:
So maginn that once again. Once again by popular demand. Yes. Yeah. David Hasselhoff. Right? Yeah. That was big into the Hoff in Germany. Don’t hassle that. Some set some big records, I think.

Don Clymer:
Well, for the listeners, if you want a more in-depth bio, I encourage you to go to the podcast we did with David back in January and listen to that and as well as check them out at visibility international dot com. So, David. Interesting times right now.

David Avrin:
It’s a tough time, isn’t it? I think since the last time we talk, the world has fallen apart. And I don’t even mean that in any kind of a humorous way because it’s horrific. Not only are people dying and people are hurting and suffering any more than then we certainly know because we aren’t protesting. But it has been a tragic time for business. So I’ve actually been been very busy while most of my work, of course, I speak. So I’m on airplanes. I speak all around the world. Clearly, I’m not doing any of that. Unfortunately, I think everybody should feel really bad for my wife because all of my speaking now is happening at home and it is relentless the way it is. The kids and the dogs are taking the brunt of it. Oh, it is. It is a persistent spewing out of my mouth. And my wife’s like, do you don’t you have to go build something and build me something? Right. Like she’s giving me projects, but no, very busy in the office because because I’m working with a lot of my clients and organizations, construction otherwise across the board, helping them understand how to survive now and how do we make it.

David Avrin:
We know that it’s going to be over at some point. We know there’s going to be a new new normal. Well, we don’t know who’s going to be around. And so literally everything in my business right now and I’m not charging anybody for anything. I’m just like, how can I help? We talk so much about, you know, that we don’t want to be we don’t want to be a vendor. We want to be a partner. Well, what does that mean? I mean, what it means. It means that we have to be there for them when they’re hurting or we’re hurting as well. So my job right now, my volunteer position is just working with every organization that I’ve ever worked with, being on as many podcasts and others to give some strategies to help people survive this time, help their people survive this time, so that when we are one of those, that’s that’s succeed after the fact. We’ve got some great new strategies. We come out stronger and better and faster and smarter because I think there’s gonna be some winners economically in the next year when this is all done.

Travis Pankake:
Well, and thank you, David Avrin, for coming on again. Our response from the last podcast was great. We’ve got a lot of a lot of good, good feedback from it. So people did say you were funny, so that’s good.

David Avrin:
You know what? We’ve we’ve set the bar, so it’s hard to be how do you be funny during this time? But I think those of you stick around, you may be surprised.

Travis Pankake:
No. So you kind of started talking about it. But when we were talking last time in the podcast few months ago, one of the things we kind of focused on was customers that win are remarkably easy, remarkably easy to do business with. What what does that mean now and then? It’s Calvet nineteen Kreiss era.

David Avrin:
Well, part of it I think is for the short term, we’re redefining what that relationship is. And long term I think we’ve. Let me let me do that one first. I think we’re redefining in that we can’t ever traditional let’s sell to people and they buy it because everybody isn’t in the same mindset. We can look back to old customers and clients. How can we help you? Can we do any kind of a recheck for the others? Can we look in plan for something later in the fourth quarter of this year for next year? There are ways of nuancing that, and I’m happy we have enough time to talk about how we’re doing that, how I’m looking at other industries because we’re still selling. I just put my October is the busiest October I have ever had in twenty years in this business, which is stunning. For me, hopefully we don’t have this come back around again and lose some of that. But even in construction projects, things are on track for 20 21 deliverables. And we’re part of that supply chain right now. But here’s the other part that I think it really is the most profoundly different. Is that what has been forecast prognosticated for for many, many years? Is that so much of our life has gone virtual. Right. We people have talked about the future. It’s all going to ever be me. It’s not going to be all that, but it is going to be a part of it. We’ve learned that we can survive at home. We learn that we can have everything we’ve ever wanted delivered without ever talking to. So we’re seeing somebody face to face or being in physical proximity. It doesn’t mean that is preferable, but we know we can do it. So there’s always going to be an element in what it’s done. Is that already changing customers, changing even more the expectations of the customer in terms of expediency, in terms of access, in terms of what they can do from their cell phone has only grown.

Travis Pankake:
Yeah, we had, you know, the second person to basically say that, that, hey, yeah. Know this virtual life is great. It’s convenient. You know, you can get things without leaving home. But now that we’ve all been forced to stay home, that the brick and mortar isn’t going away. I think people are going to be absolutely wanting to go out. They’re going to you know, we need interaction, personal interaction other than just this zoom and these hot buttons.

Various:
They need our teenage children to leave. Yes. Right. And they can come back sporadically. Yeah. But. But I have two teenage girls at home, so.

David Avrin:
You going to the wire? You know, I’m just I have a teenage daughter who was, what, 20 year old daughter who was over in the Czech Republic. She was in Prague, in Eastern Europe, doing her second semester of her junior year. We had 48 hours to get her out of the country before they locked it down. And the presence that everybody’s got to be out to frantically try to get home multiple missed flights and she’s home.

David Avrin:
And it just felt so bad for her. And a month later, I feel really bad for me. Yes. Sorry. You know, 20 year old girls who are used to being on their own and now coming home and asking what’s for dinner? And anyway, the point is, our lives are different. And and you’re right. You’re right that we’ve learned that we do need that balance. But keep in mind, the pendulum is not going to swing all the way back. We have learned. That there’s a lot of things that we can do online on our phone. So in terms of our customers and part of what I want to talk about is how are we using this time to retool, to look inward, to get better at what we do so that when we do emerge, we’ve made use of this time. How often do we complain about I don’t even have time to work in the office. Right. I’m so busy doing up working on in the business that I’m no time to work on this. Well, guess what? We’ve been gifted whether we want to gift or not that time to work on the business. No, I do want to talk about some strategies to survive this time. But but part of that, as you had said, is we are learning that that business can be done differently.

David Avrin:
But more importantly, our customers are learning that they can do things differently. And those who don’t adjust, those who don’t accommodate are going to be left behind. Because when we do emerge, I think we’re going to emerge in phases. So it’s not like when we look ahead to the fall. I think things are going to be happening this summer. And even if it means, you know, like I’ve had work done on my house during this time, my floors redone, all we did was day away. Yeah, right. I had somebody also I was doing a call with another group that was that did window tinting. So I do some work with Eastman Corporation. They do their little MA film and all of that. And they were working construction sites. And they just have an arrangement that when they’re working onsite, the other ones are off and they really they stagger shifts and they have a cleaning protocol. Business work has to get done. Yeah. And so I’m done. Right. I’ve got I’ve got windows being replaced in my home, cashing in on my manufacturer’s warranty 14 years later. And they’re saying, do you want to schedule us out till till July or upset? Now, just coming out. I said I’ll just stay out of the way.

David Avrin:
You do. Your work will clean after the fact. That’s enough social distancing. But work needs to get done. And here’s the other thing I think people need to remember, even with something is is absurd and horrific is a 20 percent unemployment rate. That means 80 percent of the people are employed. That means 80 percent of the people are working. And they have things I somebody who just did a huge job in somebodies home, an outside construction vendor, and they said the wife is is a school teacher and the husband is a is a fire chief. He says the front losing their jobs. And and people have time and they’re sitting at home and they’re surfing on the Internet and they’re recognizing all the deficiencies of their home. For those who do work working on homes or home improvement and others, whether it’s it’s the cold that needs insulation in the winter, whether it’s coming into the summer months and realizing, you know, how how poorly insulated we are against the heat and whatever else. Eighty percent of the people are still working. It doesn’t mean that. And a lot of them are recognizing being at home that there’s some deficiencies. They write around, they say, you know, either they’re doing projects or something else.

Travis Pankake:
It’s it’s funny that you mentioned that, you know, stay home thing. I work from home a few weeks ago and I kind of holed up in the basement with kids and distractions upstairs. And I realized after sitting there, you know, in your moments of not being I mean, I got on a call. I can hear the slow drip just dripping and dripping. I could figure out where it was coming from. Well, I’m never down there for that, like the period of time, you know, for six, seven hours a day. And it turns out I had a pipe leaking and it was leaking on some shelves and it just hadn’t manifested itself to the rest of the basement yet. But so I called up a plumber buddy of mine and he fixed it in about 20 minutes. But it had been leaking for a long time. Right. Well, top shelf, I would have never noticed them.

Don Clymer:
Right. So, Dana, right. You say, OK, people are recognizing this. They want people to come in and fix it, insulate their attic because it’s cold, whatever. But there’s a new message the contractors have to relay to the homeowner or the consumer of safety. And is there. How should they be retooling their messages to the consumer, like, hey, during this time this is what we’re doing?

David Avrin:
Right. I think there’s a right way in a wrong way. And I think we would never have known that had we’d not been in this situation. Here’s the wrong way. The wrong way is doing a blast out. Everybody on your list to let everybody know that you’re monitoring the situation. And here’s the precautions you’re taking now in a vacuum. That would be the perfect advice to give. The problem is we’re not in a vacuum. We are in the within the structure of a competitive marketplace. I have gotten one hundred and fifty of those messages. Somebody that I bought a reflector for the bumper of my Jeep nine years ago has made and helped me sleep better at night because I know they’re monitoring the situation. Who gives a crowd? It has nothing to do with my life, but it’s damn saying, oh, we need to reach out. You don’t need to reach out until you have something to say. It would make sense if if you were the only one doing it. The problem is everybody’s too right. So I think the wrong way is any kind of an e blast to lettered Reno. The precautions. If you’re if you’re a food vendor, I think it’s a pretty smart I think you have to do it because they’re still open where they’re basically remind everybody we’re open for business.

David Avrin:
But I think some kind of a tailored pitch that is sensitive and has that balancing. Listen, we all know that these are extraordinary times. I like the authenticity of saying, like you, we’re working hard to feed our families. And during this time, if you find there is a need for X or Y, it would be our honor to be able to serve you. Here’s what we do. Here’s what we offer. And here’s the precautions we take. I think there is power in that level of vulnerability and authenticity. And maybe that’s just me, maybe just because I’m a sappy guy. But my brother in law, for example, is a musician like world class fiddle player lives in Nashville. He’s out of work, is everybody has all the bars are closed down all that. All the venues are closed down. So all the things they do is they do a little thing every night. They do a picking and grinning for an hour, him and a buddy on his guitar. And he plays his fiddle and they’re really talented. But they put in a virtual tip jar and he’s like, how do we do this? I said, you put your hand on your chest.

David Avrin:
And for those listening, there is a visual of saying you should put your hand on your chest where you talk and say, listen, this is our livelihood right now. If this means something to you, it would it would mean the world to us if you would help. Now, you’re not asking people to do you a favor, but just to recognize we’re all hurting right now and we’re all trying to feed our families. It was one of the things that I that I one of my messages when I’m speaking on stage mothers, we talk about our competitors. I show somebody that they’re not your they’re not your enemies. They’re they’re they’re good people and they’re hardworking people. We tend to be dismissive of our competitors. What makes us different? We actually listen to our customers. We tailors, everybody listens. You know, the worst thing about your competitors is that they’re nice people. They’re just good people. They’re trying to feed their families. And so to answer your question, I was gonna say to make a long story short to a I think that’s a powerful approach.

David Avrin:
It’s what I’ve done. I’ve seen others to do it as well. What isn’t is is a marketing pitch that that pretends like none of this is happening. That just looks stupid and insensitive. And it looks like it was a preplanned and an automated something.

David Avrin:
But the other ones, too, which legalese, which, you know, we’re monitoring, who cares which are monitoring. But Amy. So then there’s the answer that I think that’s a reasonable outreach that just say, listen, we we’re working hard to support our families as you are. And if there’s anything that we can help you with during this time, it would be our honor to do so.

Travis Pankake:
Yeah. Thank you. Know, we as a company have been using social media, Instagram, for example, some reps, you know, walking in their warehouse saying, hey, we’re hoping and everybody’s doing well. And in the meantime, we’re open. We’re here to serve you. And, you know, a nice thing. You know, bio video or, you know.

David Avrin:
And there’s also but there’s also you can also have fun with it. And I like what some of the doctors and nurses have done. Do a tech talk. I mean, if you want people to talk about you and just smile and just, you know, everybody wearing gloves or something, doing some fun, you know, if you don’t know what Tick-Tock is, ask your kids. But it’s. Be visible, but just don’t be visible and pretend it’s business as usual. Have fun, be irreverent. Just say hey. Know that we’re here when you’re ready. And. Ask me again in six weeks, because there may be more opportunity to be a little more direct about selling. But it’s hard it’s hard for me as a marketer, as a as a customer experience expert to get on on podcasts and others and tell people, don’t pitch your business because, OK, who’s going to pay my freakin bills for the next month? Who’s going to feed my staff? I got six people that I that I have to that I have to employ. What do you do it. My income because I speak for a living. It went to zero. Every event canceled. Every meeting counts. I lost six figures in business. Now I think some of that may come back. So part of it was I think that the advice I have is is part of what I did. I learned myself. And with your permission, I’d like to share a couple of tips of how to get through how to get through right now. And there’s a couple of things. First of all, for those who are business owners, I’m not telling you anything new.

David Avrin:
Maybe it was new three weeks ago. Apply for everything. Everything is changing constantly in terms of the stimulus package, the the ten thousand dollar advance, which really isn’t that which we’re finding out now is basically a thousand dollars per employee that just came through. And they’ve already made a modification, a little bit of a bait and switch. But hey, that’s money you don’t have to pay back. And then the peepee is the most important. That’s when everybody’s look at and I’ve got construction vendors who are doing very well on that. That is paying you back for employees and covering their costs for, what, two and half months or something. Once again, everything that you’re hearing will likely be extended. So keep that in mind. Every program, every initiative, every accommodation will likely be extended and there will probably a second round.

David Avrin:
So be a student of this as business owners, every program. It’s going to be processed. There can be process in the order of applications. So apply for everything. SBA disaster loans or traditional SBA Tricia SB SBA disaster loans are for hurricanes and natural disasters and floods and things like that. But there’s an economic damage portion of that. I will be honest. I will be vulnerable. I have applied for that as well and I got approved yesterday. It’s going to save my business and an even better they give me a 30 year payback term. It’s it’s it’s less than my car payment. And so that’s going to help. And my first payment on that SBA does ashlawn doesn’t even start for 12 months. So it whenever you’re listening to this, what I’m saying is probably already outdated, but the advice of become a student of it, apply for everything you can say no later on, but at least get the application in.

David Avrin:
The thing about the peepee, that’s very important. I know you’ve heard this as well. You cannot fire your people to be qualified for it. No, it doesn’t mean you haven’t. If if those who’ve already let somebody go or furloughed somebody else or whatever else, but it’s eligible for the people that stay. So here’s the question. How do we help them stay? So a couple of things. Number one, if you can reduce your bills or access additional funds excuse me, it buys you time. OK. So right now, the first thing, as I said, number one, apply for everything. Become a student. Keep checking back as it keeps changing. All right. The other thing that you can do for you personally is call every one of your own personal bills. Now, people have a pride about this, but I want you to know that they that your venders, the credit card companies you owe to are not Tugg. I’m not talking about your insulation venting.

David Avrin:
I’m talking you know, listen, you know what? I want to be clear about this because but we have to maintain strong relations with our suppliers. I mean, that’s our that’s our lifeblood. So I’m not sucking up to you guys by saying that’s not what I’m talking about because it’s not what I’m talking about. We have to maintain some sort of financial balance with our vendors. I talked about your personal bills, your credit cards, your mortgage, your cable company and your cell phone bill. You will be stunned at how accommodating they are right now. Now, I’ve talked to others who are saying I don’t feel bad and I don’t get the report. I understand they don’t care, I’m told. But the individuals who’s answering the phone, it is relentless. They’re working 14 hour shifts and they’re getting thousands and thousands and thousands of calls of people saying, I lost my income, I lost my job. So they have been already authorized and empowered the front line person to say, R.K., we can give you 90 days. No payments, no interest. It’s not going to be reported. I called on my credit card companies. I mean, I have the ability to pay. Sure. But it would be nice to buy some cash flow time until my my business picks up again. I call them all.

David Avrin:
And I said. And then they read the script. Has your business been adversely affected by Kobe 19? Yes. Are you unable to make your payment? Yes. OK. So I’ll give you 90 days right now. No. Anything else? And then they give you a sign, they say. And by the way, just call us right before the end of the 90 days. They’re probably going to extend it. Really? OK, cool. Yeah. So then I call my mortgage company and I find out not only do they say, OK, looks into for 30 days, then there’s new programs have come down. This saying if you call before that and you’re still struggling. They’ll extend it to six months. And if you’re still struggling, they’ll extend it to a year. Now, what they’re saying with the mortgage companies, and this is offer personal for business owners and leaders, is that at the end of that, you owe that back amount. They’re not putting on the end of their loan. But they’ve also admitted behind the scenes that they know that people are going to be paid 12 months of back mortgage rates and going into putting it on the end of the loan. I’m not a financial expert and I’m not an attorney. So but what I’m telling you is I’m hearing this from everyone.

David Avrin:
I’ve got my I’m reading every article and keeping up on every government program. So. So no one, of course, like I said, apply to every program that’s available. Number two, call your personal bills. I have I can’t believe I’m putting this on on recording. I have literally eliminated 12000 dollars a month. Of expenses. Wow. For at least the next 90 days. My wife’s like, what? I’m like our only bill right now is our health insurance and our food.

David Avrin:
Right now, I’m really focused on what my former wife. But anyway. But I’m just saying, the mother of my children, she’s a lovely person anyway. So it just bought us great time because my businesses I’ve already got gigs scheduled at the end, you know, in August and others as well. I get to go out and speak to these groups. I was stunned. Like I was like, what are we going to do with no income? We’re just fine. Because I called everything. Now, here’s the most important part.

David Avrin:
Do the same for your people. And I want you to listen to this. This is the key. Besides the last one, get all the dollars you can from the government. Number two is reduce your personal bills so it takes some pressure off you to support your people. And number three, teach your people to do this. This has been the single most effective thing for small businesses to keep their people employed. If your employees help them, tell them to call all their credit card companies, call everybody else. It’s not going affect their credit. There is an extraordinary level of accommodation because we’re in extraordinary times. And those who might be reluctant, they’re like, really? I mean, you guys, we’re like, really? You call it right there. They don’t take it to a committee to form a subcommittee and create a task force to decide whether or not they’re going to give you 90 days.

Travis Pankake:
They just do it on the spot is just gonna say this period of time for paying bills, I think is just give me a giant Asterix for everybody.

David Avrin:
Everybody and nobody is going to get reported. Then I can let him report it. Right. Right. So gather your people together and say, here’s what you need to do.

David Avrin:
If your if your installers, your your help me with the terminology within the safe space moment and installers, if they can eliminate five grand a month or four grand or three grand a month off of their bills, don’t you think they could handle half time reduced pay being furloughed for a short period of time if they’re if their bills go away?

Don Clymer:
Yeah. And if if the business owner is helping the employees do that and educating them on how to do it. That just builds loyalty, right?

David Avrin:
Absolutely. And that that’s exactly I think there’s there’s three reasons we do it. Number one is it’s the right thing to do because we want to take care of our people. Number two is we need to keep them. To qualify for the peepee program, which is extraordinary. And number three is we are going to need them. When we emerge, what the hell are we going to do if we lose all of our train? Spray foam installers and we’ve got to go back into the marketplace. And the fourth one is exactly what you said, which is who do you think they’re going to be loyal to? This is the way to support our people. I think this is the most valuable advice that we’re and all of a sudden, everybody in my industry, no matter what they used to speak about, apparently they’re now Corbitt 19 disaster recovery experts. You know, they could have been experts on on French pastry cooking, but now they’re doing webinars on on how to survive. Cauvin, 19. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the disease. I know that we will emerge from this. I know that that a lot of businesses will not survive. And so my personal job during all of this is to help them survive. And I think because Congress is is there is extraordinary level of of course, they don’t want to get re-elected. They’re just giving away money. Our grandchildren are completely screwed by the amount of debt that our country. But that’s that’s a conversation for another day for everybody who’s anti socialism. We’re going to put that off to the side for for a short time, because this this is the ultimate socialism, isn’t it? But if the government mandates that we close our businesses, then they also have a responsibility to support us during this time. And I know construction in many cases is considered one of those vital things. I think there’s a lot of people who could buy who don’t know that we’re open. You know, we know the tanning salons are closed. We know the chiropractors can’t do business are or barber shops.

David Avrin:
Right. So I’ve got a lot more product in my hair right now. But and here’s where the ball caps your taxes.

Don Clymer:
I took it off and so showed Pankake before you got on. And I’m like, dude, check this out. There’s not much there. But what’s there is out of control. You know, my my teenage kids like that.

David Avrin:
What’s all that crap in your hair? I’m like petting I. My wife likes it. I was to say their mom because my wife is somebody. I have a new wife. Yes. She’s she’s lovely and beautiful and I’m happiest man on the planet. But I digress. But I think I think that’s tangible things we can do right now. Yeah. Because it’s just simple things. I think we got to get through to three months and we don’t you. I mean, that’s I think to some extent there’s going to be work going on even if we create some measure of distance while we’re doing it. If we can reduce our bills during this time, then then I think we’re we’re in pretty reasonable shape. Now, here’s the last part. No, go ahead. No, you finish up. But I will tell you the last thing I think we can do to get better during this time.

Don Clymer:
Well, good Segway, because I was going to say you sent me something when when I reached out to you about, hey, you want to do another podcast? And you’re like, Yeah. You know, it’s going to get worse, so you better get better. What are some of your your other clients doing to better themselves during this time?

David Avrin:
And to be clear, I did say da da. So we’re actually reading my actual message. You know, I’m actually doing sort of virtual speaking of some people called webinars. I don’t like webinars, but I like the idea of virtual speaking, some still speaking life for organizations. I’m just doing it over the computer and I do it either in my conference room or in front of my white screen or something else. But that presentation I. I titled, it’s going to get worse. So you better get better. And the whole the whole rationale behind it is the reality that it is going to get worse in the next couple weeks. I don’t know when you’re when you’re listening to this. We’re recording it mid April, probably through the end of April. It’s going to be horrific. There’s could be some real tragedy happening with with some families and some who aren’t necessarily just because they’re elderly or compromise. We’re gonna see some very unexpected.

David Avrin:
But we’ve been gifted something that a gift that we didn’t want. And that’s time. And I think during this time, I think we have to get better. And I think we have to recognize that the customers have changed and they’re changing even more. It’s had been accelerated by this time at home. But it was already happening. And so how do we better recognize who they are? What are we doing to get better? And here’s the other part. Even if we’re getting government assistance. The the the payroll, the peepee program and everything else, to be clear, it doesn’t mean that your your people have to be stagnant during that time. You can you can get this assistance from the government for your people and we can repurpose our people. So when you listen to this, those who are listening right now, because I think this is really important as well, were people who would normally be springs foam insulation in a project that maybe is on hold. These are smart people. They don’t have to be dormant even if they’re working remotely at home. What else have you always wanted to do in your business? What did you learn at a conference? What did you learn on one of these? Are value podcasts that now you have time to implement?

David Avrin:
Is there somebody who is a younger person who maybe, maybe receptionist, maybe somebody else who can say, hey, you want to be our social media manager during this time? Can you reorganize your warehouse? Can you create a new inventory system? Take somebody out. Need plans now. Teach some. Absolutely. Can you cross train traditional activities that you’ve done so that even if you end up losing somebody, you’re having to furlough, somebody else can pick up the slack. You have time, get better. Watch YouTube videos, watch training videos from your vendors and others as well. Become experts on the on the products that you were selling and installing.

David Avrin:
Reach out to all your past customers or clients who loves you. Here’s the other thing is whoever loves you, do you have endorsement quotes from them? Not something written notes. So Jiffy Insulation is one of the best ever? No. Get him on video. That that’s come to do that. Good. Ask him to do if they would do a video testimonial, you know, say, oh you’ll give, you know, Starbucks gift cards or something for, for whoever will do it. I when I came out with my last book, my new book, Why Customers Leave. I was doing a presentation and I knew I needed to get some endorsements. They said, I get done. I said, okay. For the first ten people, that would give me a great endorsement on video, gets a free book, you know. And so they come and. Hi. I just saw David Average speak at our event. Oh my God. He was so good. I learned so much. He was so. Funny, I couldn’t believe anyway. He was awesome. Like one of the best speakers I’ve ever seen. Here’s a book.

Travis Pankake:
Oh, darling, by the way, and I’m still waiting for my autographed copy, you know, get them or would have done it. Just saying.

Various:
Back there yet. Get him or get him.

David Avrin:
Or did the did the the forward to my last book. My book before this one as well. But yeah, he probably would’ve but he’d make a lot more money than me. But he will do. That’s a whole other conversation. Don’t take me off task here.

David Avrin:
But but there’s things that we can do. Are you writing articles, writing blogs. The top ten mistakes people make in hiring there, their insulation or here’s the top five problems your building will have with inadequate insulation. It write articles for people, make videos, do funny tick tock videos. What I’m saying is that there are things that need to get done. I remember when I was 16 years old, as we all do work in some crappy fast food restaurant job, which many of us did. And I remember my my. Piece of crap. 17 year old assistant manager who would walk around going. Are you bored? Do you need something to do? And God forbid. We did. Because we’d be cleaning toilets. We’d be scrubbing baseboards. There’s always something to do. Yeah, I think this is the time that we can deputize, cross, train, repurpose the people that you’re already paying. Give them something meaningful to do. And by meaningful, I mean something that will help build your business marketing, create a new marketing campaign, create a new design, a new display or something else. Things can get done.

Don Clymer:
In our last podcast, we talked about social media and how important that is linked in for the business owners. I mean, they should be blowing that up right now. Agree or not?

David Avrin:
So, yes, but it’s the or. Yes. And is that. We’ve learned that. Couple of rules in social media. Number one, if you want people to be interested, you have to be interesting. This isn’t content for the sake of content.

David Avrin:
Don’t just fill it up or we’ve got to be Blyer. We got a blog every day. But if you know anything worth reading people, you’re going to teach people to ignore most of what you have to say. I’m a pig. Listen. Today it’s video, video, video, video, video. Did I mention that you should do video? And there’s things that are that are that are visually interesting. There’s conversations that you can have. And here’s the other reality. You don’t have to be great.

David Avrin:
Just be interesting. People like I’m not good on video. I hold up a video camera. Somebody says, oh, my God, that was so good. Thank you so much. I pull up my phone. So would you say that again? And I’m like, oh, I’m horrible on that. And I look at my said, listen, if it sucks, I won’t use it. And then I just point I said, stop right there. Right. Or get a selfie stick. Don’t hire a crew. I mean, you won’t talk about people were hurting. It’s video production companies. We don’t need it. We have high def cameras on our phone. Yeah, I’m personally I’m a I’m a horizontal person forever. I’ve said don’t shoot vertical video. Unfortunately, now with Instagram and everything else they want you to do. Vertical video did not know. That doesn’t matter. No matter. Just just talk. Yeah. Tell something. Be honest. Do profiles are your people.

Don Clymer:
I was just gonna ask. Should they be doing a hey get to know ABC insulation and talk about how they started and that stuff.

Various:
Is that. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah the answer is yes, and. And always assholes here you know me.

David Avrin:
Two really quick stories. Two years ago I was I was in London and having dinner with a family of somebody I knew and they’re 60. I can tell the story on stage because I think is a good one. And remember, there’s 16 year old daughter and he was liberty. It’s kind of interesting, but he called her Libbey and she was just mortified because she had this big zit on her nose and she was just like a mess. And her mom says, Libbey, dear, here’s something you need to understand.

David Avrin:
People don’t care what you look like. They only care what they look like. Don’t be don’t be so worked up is like we said that you would you would worry less about what people thought about you if you realized how little they think of you, right. Yeah. Work out how little often they think of you. So the point is, it’s not that we don’t I’m sorry. I don’t want to get to know my installation company people, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t tell the story. Just be interesting to just be fun.

David Avrin:
Whether it’s one of those music videos where every where they’re walking through the camera, every time they go to the corner, somebody else is singing a part of a song. That stuff is fun. It just makes you real. Yeah. Makes you human. Relatable. If it looks like a sales training video, nobody cares. When I post things, I’ve got a great social media following and I post things about my business. Nobody cares. But I post something crazy about my kids. It it lights up. No, if I it when you post about sausage turtles.

Various:
Yeah. There you have me that almost like I am making. No I did one time I posted I think I like a canvas spaghetti o’s and I threw a hot dog in it and took a picture and I said Follow me for more recipes.

David Avrin:
The thing that people see about me, and I know I’m a business guy. I speak on business, but my stuff online. I just realized if you want people to be interested, you have to be interesting. So I put crazy things and silly things. And every fourth or fifth, I’ll throw something about my business. But I do it strategically. I still try to make it entertaining because you want to give people a reason to come back. Yeah, but that’s also a strategic decision. We’ve got time right now. So let’s say you deputise one of your office workers and you bring her into the office or you get her on on on face time or zoom and say, you know, I see something in you. I think you could do. I think you could play a really good role for us. Oh, really? You know, flatter him. Give me an extra dollar an hour or whatever and say, would you like to be our social media manager? And it like sometimes I’m like, oh, my gosh, I would love to have a discussion among your team.

David Avrin:
Who do we want to be? How often do we think we need to post? What would it be? Is there. Hey, just post stuff. I’m seeing things on Entertainment Tonight. There was a guy who was the security guard of the cowboy.

Don Clymer:
Yes, I see that.

David Avrin:
And he’s he’s like bhau he’s the only guy there. So now he’s their social media manager. He they got national attention because he’s just posting funny things.

Travis Pankake:
They were better at it than we are. Right. Yeah.

David Avrin:
There was some company that had a marquee out in front of their building that they, you know, with the magnetic letters and you could change it. And they just had some crazy something every day. But people got used to the fact that was funny. I’m not saying everybody has to be funny, but I’m saying you have to be interesting. And so I love the idea of ramping up your social media, but just have a plan. And the plan is who do we want to be? And then they start hearing from you at regular intervals. That’s why I throw it means I throw videos and others because I want people go. You know, I heard about you or somebody somebody forwarded me something that you did or I’ll do a podcast with my R value friends. And I’m not a celebrity. I’m good at what I do not, but I’m good at what I do. And you guys are good at what you do and the people listening are good at what you do. But your biggest challenge is anonymity. If they don’t know who you are, they can’t buy what you have. So I once again, a long answer. I think it’s a great time to start being active on social media. Just don’t be boring. Yeah. Just don’t be bored.

Various:
You know, speaking of podcasting, are you speaking of boring? I’m sorry. Go ahead. Are you still doing podcasts? No, I. I stopped because I noticed. Realized I had tens of listeners. Because I didn’t have me on enough. No, no.

David Avrin:
I had one called the very visible business podcast. I interviewed some of the some of the greatest people that Jeffrey get him heard some of those as well. And I just realized I was one of a million. I like yours because it’s very, very industry specific. You’re talking to your people. I’m trying to talk to the broader business. I could’ve kept doing it. I like I said, I think my interviews were great. I think they’re I love this venue. I love not having pre prepared questions and just having a good conversation. I think the best podcast I ebos do this really well. I think the best podcasts are having an interesting conversation and inviting people to listen in. Yeah, that’s it. As opposed to being so formal. Well, thank you so much for being. Which is probably you’re going to say at the end here anyway. But so what I think I’m going to do and should do it. Rorris Well and and so funny is we’re talking everybody sort of listening in. Once again, you’re listening to David Avrin. If you wanna learn more, you can look him up at visibility, international dot com. Know what I think I’m gonna do is I think I’m going to read because I’m on C sweet radio. I’m on Apple iTunes. I’m everywhere. But I think I to do right. Just talk for ten minutes and then I do Q&A.

David Avrin:
So I’m actually partnering with a company who has an app thing is called our Viddy and I’ll go come back on it where people can ask questions about customer experience or something and they’ll be pre-recorded and I’ll have mine mean I’ll just do a thing, talk for a while. So let’s go to. Let’s go to the phones for questions. Yeah. Jackson in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has a question. Boom. Put him up on the screen. You see a video. He’s on his own phone asking a question and then I’ll answer it. And I don’t even think. I don’t even think I’m in I’m in a preview the questions and then we’ll also. But I’ll do it live. And then other people can text in their questions or do whatever else. But I’ll make sure anything recorded isn’t inappropriate. But and then just answer questions. When do you when’s it gonna be. Oh God. I’m so busy right now with my non travel. Somebody said yes. They said, are you free tomorrow? I actually got three flights tomorrow. And she says, Really? I said, no, I don’t have anything. I’m just don’t think I would have do besides working. Is my wife giving me projects because I keep following her around the house or I’d like you have something to do. Like you’re pretty. Leave me alone.

Don Clymer:
I’ve never got faster responses for from invitations for a podcast than the last two weeks. Hey, do you want to do. Yes.

Don Clymer:
Yes. I’m sure you know who I am. Sure.

Don Clymer:
Well, you know, we could go through that that formal thank you and everything, but you kind of go out and do it and then people are going to go.

David Avrin:
That’s exactly what he said. You should know you’re fine to do it up because also because you’re safe. And if people want to get a hold of you, Dave, how would they do that?

Travis Pankake:
So you go you know, you say that, but I don’t think we’re gonna do that because I kind of see a theme of about every six, eight, 10 weeks or we’re going to have to come back to you with more inspiration like it did.

David Avrin:
Let’s just make a regular conversation. Let’s be let’s let’s let’s put Joe Rogan on notice.

Don Clymer:
Hey, let’s do this. When you release your new podcast where people can call in and video and and do questions, let’s do one with our customers.

David Avrin:
Absolutely. What we’ll do, we’ll do the the customer experience advantage with David Avrin. The insulation version. Yes. With our friends. Yeah. Absolutely. I like it. I could do that. I can do industry specific versions. Here’s the thing that I would love to plug in. Not because it’s but because I think it’s the most meaningful work that I’ve ever done. I launched an initiative that I would look at. Nobody listening is going to hire me for speaker or anything else. And I enlisted. If this is all that, if this alone gives you some tips to help you financially to work on your personal bills and defer that to help cash flow, to help your people do that for them so they can stay loyal and they can maybe accept a reduction or you can repurpose them to help build your business then. And you never hear from me again. And I never hear from you.

David Avrin:
I feel like I’ve done my work and this is the time to help and to reach out and help people build their businesses because they’re really good people trying to support their families. And you are some of them, and I’m one of them as well. But I would love before we’re done to. To talk about this initiative that I’ve launched, because I think it’s the most powerful work I’ve ever done. And it’s in this there’s very little money. So it’s not not that issue. Years, four years. I’ve spoken organizations, 24 countries around the world. Actually, this morning I just booked a gig in October in Dubai. So little geographic name dropping. So I travel around the world. Twenty four countries. But when I get done on stage, what I get all the time is people saying, so what’s next? Like, how do we keep the conversation going? Like, I don’t want to lose momentum. And traditionally I said you could buy my book. But what I realized in that book, by the way, is why customers leave and how to win them back available also in Kindle and audio book. Nice I Amazon.com. But I had to really think about that. Like what? How do we keep people focused on on providing a better customer experience? And I’m not talking about customer service. I’m saying how do we become remarkably easy to do business with, which is what we talked about back in January. And so I set about sort of creating this initiative that I launched a couple of months ago called the Customer Experience Advantage Morning Huddle. And it’s a it’s a weekly conversation. And so what I love right now is I’ve got companies weren’t were translated into five languages.

David Avrin:
It’s in Hindi now. It’s in Spanish and it’s being translated into Mandarin Chinese. And then we’re going to do Russian and German because people just watch a seven minute video. It’s me challenging them on something, one of their mindsets. Here’s how we do business. Here’s why we restrict access to real people. Or here’s the danger of being overly familiar with some of our customers and clients that we think are our friends. But here’s the choices that they have. And it’s business. It’s not motivation. We don’t need motivation. And it’s a seven minute video that’s delivered once a week and they watch it as a team. Right now, they’re watching it remotely and then they’re having a conversation onscreen about it. And then it’s a it’s a 20 minute conversation. The whole thing is really 20 minutes once a week on the schedule. Sometimes the best ideas come from your own team, your own staff about what we could do different or better or faster or smarter and be more competitive. This is actual structure to make it happen. It’s on the calendar. It’s once a week. It’s a 20 minute conversation with all of your team members. You get to as a standing meeting, you could do it virtually, but it’s called the customer experience advantage.

David Avrin:
Morning Huddle. And I would love you to take a look at it. If you go to the Web site, customer experience advantage dot com. That’s it. No, just w w w Duqu customer experience advantage dot com. There’s some sample videos, but I’ve had the best time my career. I mean, like I told my wife, I said this is my business for the rest of my for the rest of my life. And we’ve got we’re talking to two companies in India. We’re talking to two companies in in Germany right now. We’re subtitling it. Just schedule some of those. Great. Conversations with, shall we say, some, we understand this.

Don Clymer:
It’s just as tailor made for each company. It’s not prerecorded video.

David Avrin:
No, it is. It is prerecorded. Oh, yeah. OK. That’s the thing. So what I’ve done is I like every week I come up with a new subject. Like, how do we better understand the filter that our younger workers and customers are to help connect with them better? Or how do we. I mean, just every week I write a new script. I get in front. I’ll show you here. And I think you can see it for those watching. There’s my white screen here, my office. And. And I record this video. And then I spend a day editing it and putting in some images. And I actually create a little facilitator Skype with sample questions. And I get three companies right now that they rotate every week. Somebody else leads the discussion. A great idea. And it’s 20 minutes. Yes. Oh, you’re providing the content to inspire the conversations. That’s exactly it. As they say nowadays, that verbiage is done for you. And so I have it all. It’s done. It’s ready. And and it’s, I think, the most meaningful work that that I’ve done. So I would encourage you, if you’re listening, take a look at it. For literally four companies under 50 employees. It’s ninety nine dollars a month. That’s it. I mean, nothing for 50 employees. I mean, that’s it. So, you know, cheapo.

David Avrin:
But my my goal my attention is to have, you know, tens of thousands of people watching me every week giving them an important lesson. And there’s good stories and things to keep it interesting. Yeah. I want to look into it for sure. I think that. Be great. You go, well, this is goodbye. But it’s a city. You know what? I’m getting a little misty eyed into my yard. I enjoy your time, gentlemen. It’s been a pleasure as it is.

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EPISODE 07

Become an Efficiency Expert with Jeremiah Bryant, COO of Thrice Energy Solutions

April 2020  | 49:48

How much do you know about the building you are insulating?

Join Travis Pankake, Aaron Franzen and Ryan Stewart as they discuss the inside and out of the inside of homes with Jeremiah Bryant, COO of Thrice Energy Solutions. Jeremiah comes from 4 generations of drywall experts and he uses that expertise to consult with clients of all kinds on the best solutions to keep their homes energy efficient and safe. If you’ve ever wondered about HERS ratings and raters and how you can educate clients properly on energy efficiency, this is the episode for you. PLUS! Jeremiah explains why he buys through distribution, how it keeps his costs fixed and helps him serve his clients better.

Thrice Energy Solutions is Oklahoma’s premier insulation and builder services contractor. Providing superior solutions for spray foam, fiberglass, and cellulose insulation as well as seamless rain gutters, fireplaces, house wrap, HERS Ratings, blower door testing, and more.

Transcript Details:

2:20 – Jeremiah’s expertise goes back to being a 4th generation drywall guy

6:15 – It is alarming how little companies who are doing insulation know about the building envelope

11:04 – The value of buying through distribution

13:50 – Re-educating the market about how all of the trades work together to build a better house

21:57 – Are you an insulator or an energy advisor?

25:01 – Is being a HERS rater a conflict of interest?

30:07 – Every home warrants an evaluation of what product is best

38:49 – Should I focus on new construction or existing homes?

Season 1, Episode 7 Transcript

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He’s an angry elf.

You had to go there.

Absolutely. Absolutely.

911. I’d like to report shots fired.

This is the one and only the original podcasts where you can find yours and your business’s true value. You’re listening to our value brought to you by America’s insulation source, Idei Distributors. You want to hear from the best contractors, suppliers and consultants that dedicate themselves to more than just survival in the business world. Industry professionals that are dedicated to excellence in every aspect of their business. Our value has all here to share that same motivation and knowledge with you. Tune in and grow more successful, profitable, educated and recognized business. Listen to the Value podcast to become the industry leader in your market. Find your value with our value.

Travis Pankake:
I’m Travis Pankake sales and trading here at IDI alongside my co-host, Aaron Franzine. Guys, what’s happening coming up today on the podcast. We actually have one of our customers, Jeremiah Bryant of Thrice Energy Solutions, all the way up here from Oklahoma City, as well as an IDI legend, Brian Stewart.

Ryan Stewart:
Hello. Howdy. Howdy, partners.

Travis Pankake:
Jeremiah, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background and why you got to where you’re at today?

Jeremiah Bryant:
I started in drywall actually as a fourth generation drywall contractor. Insulation was that wasn’t in Oklahoma City. This was. That’s correct. So I was I’m a transplant to Oklahoma from Indiana, a little town called Morgantown, Indiana. So drywall was kind of our background. But I you know, I grew up in construction. I was familiar with the insulation trade, moved Oklahoma in 2007, had a few just various jobs in construction in the oilfield, worked back in Indiana. Again, I spent two years there. I kind of took part ownership of the family business in drywall, worked there, kind of growing that business and getting a more hands on with the business side of things. Now, I was right about David when the economy kind of took it took a dump. Right. So, yeah. So, you know, in 2007 through 2009 was was pretty rough. So we we kind of went through that pretty tough period. And I kind of learned a little bit about lean business practices just through some hands on, you know, having to deal with it. Real life experiences. Right. So I moved back to Oklahoma. My wife and I bought a house there and I actually got a job working as a production position, foreign insulation contractor and kind of learn that side of the business. And that was, you know, my intro to spray foam. I I’d never seen it before. And just, you know, we thought it was the coolest thing we’d ever seen. So we started our business in 2016 after some things just didn’t pan out at the company I was working for. And, you know, we kind of started the way everybody does, really didn’t have any business getting into it and just kind of jumped in with both feet.

Travis Pankake:
You had a plan. You had it all laid out. You know exactly what you were doing, I bet, right?

Jeremiah Bryant:
Yeah, we were. We were just absolutely excellent from day one for sure.

Aaron Franzine:
You get your business entities set up and just take home bags of money. Yeah.

Jeremiah Bryant:
Just start shoveling cash in. That’s right.

Aaron Franzine:
When you were in that drywall back in the day, did you actually were you a labor to you? Did you tape and hang? And did you ever get get dirty right in the mud? Yeah, all in the mud.

Jeremiah Bryant:
So we grew up I grew up in a pretty, pretty conservative Christian background. And so we never tell that by meeting you we were home. Wow. We were home schooled. And so we spent I think by the time I was 12 or 13, we were we got up at six or seven o’clock in the morning. We went to work. We did our school work when we got home. So, yeah, I hung sheet rock taped, textured, say that you name it. We did it standing’s probably the best. Oh yeah. That’s that’s definitely a reason to look elsewhere for employment since you’re in town.

Travis Pankake:
I got stuff at the house. You know your expertise. Yeah. Just saying we could possibly knock this out in a day or two. Yeah, for sure. I can get you some numbers, Ryan.

Aaron Franzine:
Through his phone, through the drywall might to patch that up. Well, don’t tell anybody else. Keep it. He’s an angry elf. Had to go there already. Absolutely. Absolutely. Nine one one. I’d like to report shots fired.

Travis Pankake:
So, anyways, Jeremiah, getting back to your story, interrupted time. Not me.

Jeremiah Bryant:
So, you know, two thousand sixteen. Oklahoma’s economy was pretty flat for the most part. And we didn’t really know a lot getting into it. But I spent a lot of time kind of learning the building science. Matter of fact, that the next week after we started our business, I went and joined a class for the Herr’s program for the home energy rating system and took that class and then took BPI and then took Energy Star and was just really trying to get a good grasp of the science behind insulation and how to actually approach things not just simply from an insulation contractor side, but, you know, from actual solutions, as you know, a building assembly as a whole. And really kind of that’s where I really started falling in love with that. You know, prior to that, you know, insulation. It could’ve been anything. You know, as we just we started a business. I had a business. I had two business partners. And that was just I was already working in it. So there was no big reason for us picking insulation. But after getting into the home energy rating program and getting my Herr’s license, getting into BPI and, you know, I just really fell in love with the building science stuff and a lot of the energy conservation stuff, you know, just really it’s it’s a big puzzle when you start digging into a building assembly and trying to, you know, each each situation is significantly different. And so that’s really where I think our business really started to take off in a lot of different directions. Where we opened. We do we have a home energy rating division now. We blower door test a lot of houses. And but that was really where I started to get a passion for it and really felt like a. Running at that point and where I feel like we really set ourselves apart in our market was the building science when you started doing that.

Travis Pankake:
Did you see that already as a value added to your business? Or was this just kind of a way for you to learn it to, you know, help grow your own? You know what I mean?

Jeremiah Bryant:
I mean, it’s so scary to say, but honestly, I just. I did it cause I didn’t know anything. It felt.

Aaron Franzine:
You started an insulation business and you went to classes to learn about insulation.

Jeremiah Bryant:
Yeah. No, I mean, that is a really scary statement. But, you know, to say I didn’t know anything, you know, had worked in the industry. I’d worked for other contractor. But it is it is alarming how little most of the companies doing insulation actually understand about the building on the slope.

Ryan Stewart:
Well, and that gives you the opportunity to prove your work, right? Right.

Jeremiah Bryant:
So we’re you know, we’re in it. I’ve already worked in it. I’d been around other contractors. I was having you know, I was apprehensive to just jump, you know, take off and start growing this business. I wanted to know everything I could. You know, I’m a pretty conservative person. I didn’t want to just, you know, saying you want to jump in here young at the time, too, and just started a family. So. Right. It was I was sensitive, too. I was 26 years old and I needed it to work. We had just had our therapy and my wife and I had just had our third kid. We’d just bought a house. You know, I needed to make sure this wasn’t all going to blow up in my face. And and and now, having been in the industry for a while, I’m looking around and realizing that for the most part, it’s business as usual for guys to not have is as much of an understanding about the industry as they should. All right. Most guys go out there, they buy an insulation truck and they just start put it in the walls, you know? And so that’s where we really I wasn’t willing to accept running a running a business and having that little of knowledge about it.

Aaron Franzine:
When I was a contractor, I thought I can outwork anybody. All my competitors. I’ll just outwork them. You know, I was young and you can’t just outwork everybody. You need to understand the business. You need to be good at sales. You need to be good at making connections. You need to be good at handling situations. You know, that’s I feel like that’s a lot of the industry right now is you. There’s a lot of good workers. We were talking earlier, a lot of good sprayers, lot of people who know how to install it, but maybe lack in that building science portion of it, you know, lack in the business management portion of it. And those things are as important as anything.

Jeremiah Bryant:
Well, I think we’re getting asked harder questions every year. The consumer as a whole is. Oh, yeah. The Internet. Right. You know, there’s this there’s access. And I you know, I make this joke all the time, but access to information in America is, you know, it’s unrivaled. But the problem is, is it’s access to good information and bad information. Wrong information, access to all information. We get asked a lot of tough questions. One of the things that I did just to try to help arm our sales force was I had them take the Herr’s class because it’s like, guys, you know, the consumer is going to ask a lot of difficult questions. Spray foam has got a lot of good publicity and a little bit of bad publicity at times, you know, and so occasionally a customer is going to say, hey, we’ve heard of an issue with a house that was spray foamed and and they’ll lay out a scenario. And and, you know, we have to be ready to understand their concerns and understand the situation that they’re talking about and what led to those things. Because, you know, unfortunately, there’s a lot of states and Oklahoma is one of them that that there’s not building regulation is is is a little bit behind the curve. And we’re trying to we’re trying to you know, we want to keep regulation is that, you know, as effective as possible for, you know, we want builders to make money. We want consumers to be able to afford a home. So we’re trying to be proactive about educating all the trades. You know, HVAD contractors, they do things that affect the home. And everybody, you know, everybody involved in building the house, framers, plumbers.

Travis Pankake:
We talked about that a little earlier before we were on air. Just being a better partner. Right. A partnership.

Jeremiah Bryant:
And that was our goal, as we know. We’re trying to we’re trying to do a better job of being that partner, you know, being able to evaluate a builders project, each individual home and say, you know, this this is exactly what needs to happen and just kind of be a turnkey solution for them so that they can rest easy knowing that we have the expertise to make that project work effectively for their end-user.

Travis Pankake:
Right. Right. So you’re almost four years in business now. You grew pretty, pretty rapidly.

Travis Pankake:
Right. And a lot of that probably stemmed from your understanding that knowledge was power. Right. You needed to understand the basics to get into just the building trades, which you kind of came up with, you know, growing up in the drywall business. Now, growing into the size that you are, you certainly have an opportunity to buy direct. Correct. Where do you see the value in distribution? Because you you’ve made some statements just in the short time I’ve known you, just about some of the things that you like about, you know, distribution and idei and how, how and why that works for you. Can you go a little deeper on that?

Jeremiah Bryant:
Yeah, absolutely. And for us, we did. I mean, you’re correct. We grew extremely fast. We were, I think, 2016. We did a couple hundred thousand dollars in sales. 2017, we did a couple of million. And then you fast forward to today. I mean, we have over 56 employees and we’re as far as I know, we’re the largest insulation contractor in Oklahoma as far as Oklahoma. Stand alone. And you know that that happened, you know, June will be four years. So we’re not even at the four year mark. But one of the things that I really tried to put a big focus on was making sure, you know, scaling up was hard enough. You know, we put we put some things in place for, you know, how OK, operationally, this is how this is going to work. And then that worked great at two hundred thousand dollars in annual sales and at two million, it blew up in our face, you know. And so. So I really early on had a strong focus on, OK, if I’m going to implement something, it needs to be scalable. But anytime that I approach any situation like that, I wanted to make sure that could also scale back down because, you know, fixed costs are fixed costs. And so we’ve been operating out of out of a six thousand square foot warehouse since inception. We got a we bought this old building and had a burnt roof. We put a new roof on it. You know, it was a it was a cheap, easy warehouse to pick up. We put our meat. I mean, me and my business partners ourselves went out there on the first week and then we put a roof on this thing, you know, and it’s it’s cheap. And so we were actually purchasing direct when we started. And as labor or as material became harder to come by and there’d be a pinch on production. You know, one manufacturer had a large fire at their facility and that put a pretty big pinch on it. We really started running into extended lead times where we were ordering, you know, really maximum capacity because we were sometimes 10, 14 day lead time and it really started to put a pinch on our cash flow. And even then, I don’t know that I really understood, you know, the gravity of the situation. It was just, you know, we were in a pinch and we were doing what we had to do. But, you know, you fast forward about a year from that and, you know, allocation continued to be a pretty big burden. And that’s when we met Ryan and started buying our son material through IDI. And and it just kind of snowballed from there as we started to realized that there was an infinite amount of value to us in that usually we could get next day order because the distributor was five miles down the road. And and I’ve, you know, since then were, you know, a million dollars a month in sales. And I still use that same six thousand square foot warehouse. And it’s a fixed cost. If the economy does start to turn down, if our if our production takes, you know, it takes a little bit of a hit due to slower building or, you know, the slower inventory movement in the market, then I’m not stuck with this extra facility that I’ve purchased or signed a lease on anymore. And so that was that was one of the big strong focuses that we had, is let’s make sure we can scale down. And it made more sense to lean on a distributor and and use their facility than it did to continue to spend our cash and our capital and our time trying to build a facility that would help us hold inventory well in excess of what we had.

Travis Pankake:
So basically, I mean, using distribution is healthy to just keep your costs fixed. You understand what you know, what’s coming in, what’s coming out at an easier rate because you’re essentially using right and warehouse through distribution.

Jeremiah Bryant:
And not just that. I mean, it’s it’s it’s helped with cash flow. Yes, absolutely. You know, our days and inventory is much lower than it was whenever we were buying from manufacturer or buying straight direct from the manufacturer.

Aaron Franzine:
If you can’t store it at our warehouse, Ryan, I’ll just put it in his garage for you.

Right. Absolutely. I already do. I think it’s why you’re a legend.

Travis Pankake:
I want to circle back to a conversation we had earlier, again off line. But you just kind of talked about how to help kind of re-educate the market specifically as it pertains to talking to builders and how other trades come into play and how one of the things in insulator can do is they actually have one of the biggest impacts on that house. Can you kind of go a little bit deeper into that?

Jeremiah Bryant:
Yeah. And, you know, just kind of to reiterate what I was talking about, you know, right now there’s a lot of national studies being put out that are talking about, you know, the cost of building. And, you know, I think the study said 75 percent of people buying a home and two in 2020 needed to spend two hundred and fifty thousand dollars or less. And obviously, we’ve been through a lot of different things, tariffs, you know, things of that nature that that have driven some cost of the materials. And, you know, we’ve had a labor pinch. Labor’s labor is costing more than it was, you know, five even thought three years ago. Freight. Freight. Right. That’s a huge one. You know, so. So these these costs obviously these these costs are carried to us, you know, our customer, the builder, as well as us as trade, you know. And so we’re all trying to navigate that. But, you know, you know, ultimately, you know, my conversation, the conversation that I try to have regionally and nationally with anybody that’ll listen is that, you know, ultimately that cost to the consumer is a crucial part of how we can continue to to keep homes affordable. And if you look at a lot of states in the country that are following 2006 or 2009, which is a still prominently used building code, especially on the energy side of things, we’re doing things that that ultimately are affecting the cost of the home very little. But saving the end-user 30 to 40 percent on their energy costs, you know. And so if you know how much more affordable what your first house than you had, you been able to pay two hundred dollars a month less than utility costs. You know, it’s it’s weatherstone, you guys. My wife and I, the first house we bought, we moved in and we didn’t we didn’t know, you know, we just we bought a house. It seemed like a good deal. It was priced well for the for the location. And that summer we got an electric bills. Three hundred and eighty dollars. And I told my wife, well we we can’t afford to live here, we can’t afford an extra three utilities were killing you. And so we, we did some energy efficient upgrades. And, you know, we’ve done quite a bit at this point and that we live in that same house and it’s 100 bucks a month now. Well, you knew a good you knew a good insulator. I knew a decent I knew a decent person to call.

Aaron Franzine:
So. So somewhere I heard that insulation cost is two to four percent of a new home. Is that right? Is that what you’ve heard? I can’t cite it. I can’t remember where I heard it. I’ve heard two percent, two percent, two presents, a number. That’s it. Two percent very near and gave you two to three hundred dollars a month on your first new home or whatever.

Jeremiah Bryant:
I mean, obviously, we’re comparing a worst case scenario here. My house was built in 92 by a track builder. I mean, it had the worst windows. It had the lowest. It’s a cookie cutter home. Yeah, I had the lowest efficient furnace and air conditioner you could get. So, you know, as a worst case scenario. But but even then, I mean, when we look at so we’re doing some some pretty pretty easy insulation upgrades as well as other things that are that are putting houses, scoring 30 to 40 percent better on the Herr’s index. And, you know, I won’t spend a bunch of time explaining the Herr’s index, but, you know, it’s I think most guys in the insulation industry or at least familiar with it. But, you know, in in hers, the lower the score, the better. And we’ve got some production builders that they might spend an extra 30 percent of, you know, on their insulation costs and and cut the score, you know, by 40 points. And that that drastically affects that cost for that end user.

Jeremiah Bryant:
So that’s and that’s what we’re trying to promote, is that, you know, while we can’t really control the cost of building at this point, you know, that the costs are going to have to to rise a little bit because, you know, we obviously do need to make some profit. We already have about construction. It’s a lower margin, you know, industry for sure. So we can’t just continue to eat these costs. But as insulation contractors, we can directly impact the cost to the consumer and keep housing affordable. Well, you know, while the cost of the house may have to rise slightly, you know, that that cost to the consumer can be manageable. Almost offsets. Right. In some regards.

Travis Pankake:
So, you know, with that example you just gave. Is that something that as you’re being a partner of your industry, are the builders open to? These ideas are you know, obviously, we’re we’re thinking about the end user in mind.

Travis Pankake:
But, you know, as you partner with some of your builders, are they in tune with that same kind of line of thought?

Jeremiah Bryant:
I think it’s I think it’s hit and miss, but I do think that. I do think for the most part, a lot of builders are kind of on the defense right now, you know, they’ve seen their profits slashed quite a bit with with a lot of these things that hit, you know, the lumber industry saw significant price increases. And I think they’ve been able to claw some of that back down. But so many different building products, concrete has risen and not just the labor alone. You know, just in labor alone, you know, we’ve we’ve seen these increases. And so I think it’s put builders a lot on the defense where this conversation is. It’s a difficult one to have because it’s difficult for them to get the price up. And that’s kind of what I talk to you guys about earlier than there’s. I think that there’s something fundamentally broken with the way that we value homes today. A lot of the things that we’re valuing are things like granite and and hardware and all these things that people can see stainless steel.

Jeremiah Bryant:
And so it’s hard for a builder to be ready to have that conversation about, hey, I want you to spend twice as much insulating this house on spray foam, because as far as the MLS, as far as the realtors are concerned, as far as inspectors are concerned, those aren’t the things that we’re comparing. Whenever we’re whenever we’re putting up comps for homes, they don’t even look at insulation.

Jeremiah Bryant:
You know, they’ll say if it’s a little bit low, hey, you need to add some. But ultimately, that doesn’t weigh in on the cost of the value right at home. And so whenever we’re doing comps, you know, we need a system in place to more accurately reflect the value of that home. And I think a huge part of the value of the home is what is it going to cost me to own energy bill? Right. Like, that’s that’s the cop. That’s the sticker on the new car. Right? The gas mileage. Right. And I know that, you know, I know that, you know, cars, we’ve got the gas guzzler tax, you know, and, you know, I don’t want to just be outlandish with suggestions. And I know California and a lot of ways, you know, people teams tend to shiver in this industry when you talk about California. But, you know, California has a great program in place where, you know, every home that’s sold, whether it be new or existing home, has to have a blower door test. And for me, as a consumer, that’s a number I want to know, you know, and obviously we cannot as hers raiders, as BPI analysts and, you know, all the guys studying these these houses and doing this testing, we can’t go in there and accurately tell you to the scent what your utility costs are. But it is it is impressive how how close we can get a lot of times to telling a customer this is, you know, marginally what you can expect to pay in gas and electric costs.

Aaron Franzine:
And whenever you ask gas mileage, usually the car sales rep is, well, how do you drive? You’ve got a lead foot, right? It’s like asking that with a house. You know, Travis takes like four to five showers a day, at least a bath at lunch. You know, that’s going to be all right.

Jeremiah Bryant:
And so you can’t predict the flavor. I cannot predict human behavior, but we can get really close, you know, basing it off of average human use. And so for us, you know, that’s something that we’ve tried to we’ve tried to speak with a lot of local realtors and try to get the consumer to understand that if you’re buying a house, you’re already paying for the inspection, you’re paying for a termite inspection. Why not hire, you know, a Herr’s rater, hire somebody to come out and do an energy evaluation, do an energy audit on the home?

Jeremiah Bryant:
You’re you’re going to pay two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for this house. You might want to know how much it’s really going to cost you. It could be a negotiation tactic. It could be something that you could say, hey, I want to buy this house, but the seller is going to need to fix this.

Ryan Stewart:
And this, you know, earlier when you said that that was kind of an aha moment for me, because you do pay for an inspection home inspector to come out and check it out. And I had I’ve never even thought of for an energy inspection of sorts to come out and let’s see how bad the House leaks are.

Jeremiah Bryant:
The wind is just terrible and it’s no different than any other inspection. You can request the seller to pay you and you can pay for it yourself. I can tell you right now for me, if I was buying existing home, I’d be happy to pay for it myself, just for the peace of mind, because it’s a huge unknown.

Travis Pankake:
Well, knowing you’re going to save money monthly, you know, in energy costs aren’t going down. So that’s an exponential gain, right? If you make your house more energy efficient using less. You’re going to save money more and more. Year after year. It’s one thing that can increase as far as a savings when you own a home. Have you had good luck with the real realtors and approaching them?

Jeremiah Bryant:
You know, I did it kind of just thinking. We know a lot of realtors. You know, we’ve worked with several who have called, you know, they’ve got a customer buying a home. And the home inspector said, hey, you know, need to have about six inches of insulation in the attic. So we’ve kind of have a working relationship with some of Marseille’s guys. I’ve talked with some of them quite regularly. And so we have had some luck. We’ve actually had quite a few customers just this year that have had us do an energy audit on a home that they were going to buy because and they paid for it way out of their own pocket, as far as I know.

Aaron Franzine:
So that’s the difference between owning a blow rig and blowing attics and and spray foam. Reagan going out and working hard and doing a good job, to being an expert, to being a steward of the industry, someone who’s knowledgeable, that’s providing solutions to their customers. I mean, that’s the line in the sand that I see that you’re a steward of. You’re a student of the industry in building science and all these different approaches versus I have a blow machine and a foam rag and I insulate houses.

Ryan Stewart:
Well, let’s let’s think about it. How many many times do we. How many people out there look going to an attic? Go look. You only got five and 1/2, six inches of insulation up there. We need to bring it up to an hour 38. Right. We still haven’t got to the root of the problem. Right. We just. It’s a Band-Aid. Yeah. We just put a Band-Aid on there. Brought it up to code. But we haven’t fixed anything yet.

Travis Pankake:
Right now, I know there’s somebody listening right now that says you do the insulation, you do the energy advising and the blower door and the nursery isn’t. Isn’t that a conflict of interest, Jeremiah?

Jeremiah Bryant:
That’s a question that we get asked pretty regularly. And as a matter of fact, no. And I think for maybe for some people that don’t really understand the process that we have to go through. I can see where they would where they would think that. But for the most part, the way the Herr’s program is written, where were data collectors? So we answer to what’s called a QAD quality or a quality assurance provider’s. What they are, they’re called. You know, we refer to them as our provider. So we go out to each site, whether it be an existing home, whether it be a new construction home. We take photos, videos. We record everything from the make and model of the dishwasher to the toy. We take a picture of the inside of the toilet tank to tell you. We tell the provider how many gallons per flush that toilets rated that we count LCD light bulbs. You know, for the most part of Rayder is simply documenting what is in the field. And when we test, you know, we have to provide photos of the blower door setup and everything. And so when we when we send all this off, we can’t provide that document that her certificate. We have to send all this off to a quality assurance provider. And they they record that information and then they give us what we refer to as print permissions for us to send that report in. So there’s a lot of checks and balances within resonates system that allows for us to to be safe in in both insulating a home as well as, you know, providing that data. Ultimately, it’s it’s a software and it’s a third party that’s providing this information.

Ryan Stewart:
On the retro side. You could you could actually test the house first. Right. Blow it or make it find where the leaks are at and then theoretically do it after you’ve made the repairs, improve your work that you’ve proved and fixed what was wrong.

Jeremiah Bryant:
Well, and so that’s actually that’s actually the resonant standard for that. So, you know, we go out and we provide, you know, an upfront evaluation of the home we test and we’d say, you know, it obviously, you know, this house is leaky. This house needs this will make recommendations resonate. That requires us to make those recommendations based off of a cost benefit. So a lot of times, even though we’re an insulation contractor, you know, this is a great tool for us. A lot of times insulation, it’s not what they need. They might need a new furnace. They might need their ducts all sealed. You know, they might need a service that we have to refer them to an H vac contractor or a window contractor or somebody like that. So, you know, it’s a cost benefit analysis is the way we have to provide that information. And, yes, sometimes, you know, we say, hey, we can get some air sealing, we can do in some insulation. And then when we’re done, we retest and then we can quantify to the customer. This is you know, this is the difference between what you had and what you have now.

Aaron Franzine:
This is it’s a solutions provider, right? Right. Just an insulator. Not just doing fiberglass, not just in love with spray foam.

There are solutions provider.

Jeremiah Bryant:
Yeah. And that’s you know, that’s a that’s a tough one. You know, spray foam is kind of a hot commodity in insulation right now. You know, it’s a popular product. It is not one that we recommend for every job. And for that reason, we really try. Our goal has always been to provide the solution that is best for the consumer from a cost benefit analysis, whether it’s something we’re actually providing a her service on or not.

Aaron Franzine:
Right. The most value that you can get out of your dollar.

Jeremiah Bryant:
Exactly. Exactly. You know, I have a lot of people that, hey, we’re building a house and we want to use spray foam. And what do you think about that? And my first question is, how long are you going to live there? Because foam doesn’t have a two year or a Y or a three year or a liar for your or a. You know, if you’re 30 and you’re building a house, that’s awesome. Congratulations. But on average, in the U.S., people, people below the age of 60 buy a new home every three to five years. So if we’re talking about extended our ally for a product like spray foam, that does cost twice as much as fiberglass. It’s not always, you know, if we’re strictly. Talking about yourself, the only solution.

Travis Pankake:
So, Jeremiah, I know there’s lots of guys listening that are thinking to themselves, so I’ll just put it out there. Isn’t being a Herr’s rater kind of a conflict of interest?

Jeremiah Bryant:
We get asked that question quite a bit, actually. And so kind of the way the the resonant standards are sort of resonate being the governing body overseeing hers, raiders. For us, there’s a there’s quite a bit of checks and balances in place. So Herr’s raider is essentially a data collector. And we answer to what are referred to as providers. So there’s a third party entity that we provide the data in the field. Everything, pictures, videos, things as simple as the make and model of a dishwasher. All these different things. We collect data both with photographs, video evidence, as well as recording several forms we have to fill out and provide to them. A Rayder cannot provide a her certificate document to a customer. We have to send this off to a third party. And and then at that point, the provider will evaluate, ensure the accuracy of the data and then provide print permissions to a raider so that they can actually supply those documents.

Travis Pankake:
So essentially, you’re not. There’s no conflict of interest because it’s it’s third party check that’s audited.

Jeremiah Bryant:
Correct. And that’s that’s where people kind of get confused. People are like, well, it’s not really third party, is it? And so, yeah, we’re we’re simply getting the information for them. We’re on site. Our people are there. We’re getting the information. But the entity that actually provides those reports is third party.

Travis Pankake:
And I know you had a few things that you wanted to talk about. Why don’t you go ahead and bring those up now?

Aaron Franzine:
Yeah, well, I wanted to dive more into product mix and being being versatile and not just offering one product and with continuous insulation being not a hot button, but a more popular item and not just offering one thing and offering air sealing and some of those things. I just wanted to dive into that a little bit more and what your approach to that is.

Jeremiah Bryant:
Right. So I think and I think there’s a pretty you know, spray foam has been such a big movement. It’s been growing in popularity. A lot of guys are getting into the industry. They want to get into spray foam. It’s you know, it’s the hot new item. But, you know, I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about foam always being the right answer. And so a lot of the reasons that we add thrice energy solutions are try to focus so much on that product mix. And really understanding the science behind things is that there’s a lot of different ways to achieve energy efficiency. You know, we’ve we’ve seen plenty of net zero and positive energy homes that we’re insulated with fiberglass. Now, I know that there’s a lot of guys that they have their favorites. They’d rather do fiberglass. I’d rather do cellulose. They’d rather do foam. But I think what a lot of guys in the industry need to step back and understand is that every situation warrants an evaluation of the wall assemblies or the roof assembly of the H fact equipment, every component of the home. You know, it’s all working in tandem to provide a comfortable living space for the occupants. And, you know, the statement has been for so long to set the skies to yesterday. You know, the spray foam is the insulation of the future. And I believe strongly it’s the insulation of right now. I think that in the future we’re going to continue to see product innovation and the way that we insulate homes change and I think continuous insulation extra. And so, you know, the the data’s there when we do thermal imaging of of houses with exterior insulation and you see, you know, complete and, you know, thermal bridging is completely done away with at that point.

Travis Pankake:
So I think a combination of all the products to, you know, where they’re used, how they’re used when I use depending on your climate zone. All that makes a difference as well. It’s not one one product here is all right.

Jeremiah Bryant:
And that that’s absolutely you know it. And that’s why I say every every home, every building, it it it warrants an evaluation of what products can be used together. You know, we you go back to the to the resonant standards. If we go to an energy audit on an existing home, we know the first thing we do is we test the house. And then the way that we’re required by the organization to provide that information is from a cost benefit standpoint. And that’s what we’re trying to establish on a new construction home, is what is what is your what is your expectation with this home? Obviously, we want it to be as energy efficient as possible, but everybody shows up with a project, with a budget in mind, and that has to be taken into account. So we know what products can we use, what mix of products can we use?

Jeremiah Bryant:
Could it be a combination of fiberglass spray foam, continuous insulation, air sealing products, duct sealing products? You know, what can we do to get this house as energy efficient as possible and still keep a budget in mind?

Aaron Franzine:
Do you see more of this industry moving towards offsite, penalized type of work? I think assemblies and such. I think that’s penalization movement has it’s it’s definitely got a place in the market.

Jeremiah Bryant:
However, I think that whenever you really start getting into custom, people want to you know, they want a customized home. You know, they don’t want a one off menu. You’d want the same floor plan as every other house and they’re penalized, construction gets really expensive when you start customizing it. And so I think not to say that it will always have its place in the market. I mean, you know, those are it’s a solid it’s solid science. You know, it’s a it is a great way to build a house. But I think it’s pretty cost prohibitive. And that’s gonna be really one of its biggest limitations.

Travis Pankake:
Yeah. Is you say it’s limited just because of the, you know, whatever is prefab.

Jeremiah Bryant:
We’re already seeing so much data out, you know, from an NAHB about, you know, the the housing crisis, you know, housing affordability crisis. And so I think that while there’s some things out there that are great products, they’re great ways to do it. You know, we’re already having a budget crisis when it comes to what people can afford and we have to keep housing affordable. So that’s our big you know, that’s one of the big reasons why we’ve had such a huge focus on the building. Science on energy efficiency is that we are trying to keep that budget in mind.

Aaron Franzine:
Right. And the reason I bring that up is because this works always going to be it’s going to have some onsite element to it. Right. So even if things didn’t move towards paralyzed, there’s always going to be a place for spray foam because you still got to glue everything together you can. It’s versatile of what you can do onsite with a house and changes happen. Absolutely. Homeowners change this. Move this ball. Take this out. So, you know, those products are always going to be around. But I think it’s about finding the right place for the right product.

Jeremiah Bryant:
Yeah. And I think that that would be my, you know, encouragement to all insulation contractors as we we have to be focused on where the industry is going. But even then, you know, we’re not just insulating houses anymore. You know, the insulation trade has moved so far past simply insulating at this point. There’s so many like you said, we’re doing air sealing. We’re doing pressure barriers. We’re doing damage, we’re doing on foam. You know, we’re building demises walls, you know, and there’s a structural aspect to that. You know, there’s a lot of stuff that falls under the insulation contractor. And so I’ve always been a big proponent of, you know, people need to understand why they’re doing something. This is not this is not assembly line work that we’re doing.

Travis Pankake:
Which kind of falls back into place of, you know, your beginnings, you know, whether it happened on accident. But you’re diving into the building science, you know, being Herr’s rater, going through BPI training and all that. That background is, you know, as we talked a little bit earlier, not a lot of guys are jumping into that with that mindset. Right. With the why this is happening and then being an insulator, not only are you able to perform the work, but you’re able to adjust onsite, as Aaron was saying, with spray foam or whatever product choosing to solve the problem as well. Yeah, because you understand what’s happening or what could happen if you don’t insulated a certain way.

Jeremiah Bryant:
Right. Yeah, I don’t I mean, I never want to use scare tactics as a way to get something done, but I do think that a lot of guys need to be pretty conscious of the fact that I think I think that the liability for our trade is going to you’re going to see a pretty big increase in that.

Jeremiah Bryant:
You know, there’s Ken Allison actually was talking about, you know, that the most searched term in regards to how you can alisson the Ken Allison, you know, is that is my home making me sick. That’s been Googled more than is my home energy efficient. Is my home making me sick? You know, so a lot of these things we’re talking about, we’re making the house more energy efficient. There’s two sides to that. You know, we have to deal with indoor air quality. We have to deal with humidity in the home. We have to deal with moisture in the wall assembly. You know, there’s so many different things that we’re affecting whenever we start mixing these products together. And to not understand the effects of those things in the science behind it, there’s going to be an increase in liability to our trade. If guys aren’t careful, they’re going to wind up, you know, a house with mold or with issues where because they didn’t understand the science behind what they were doing, they just said, well, we’re gonna start throwing every energy efficient product in our arsenal at this thing and we’re gonna make it as tight as possible. And they don’t understand what other components of the home they’re affecting with that. It it’s gonna be at risk that I think it’s best to be proactive and for our trade to get out there, to get the knowledge, to get the understanding about it and and mitigate a lot of that risk.

Aaron Franzine:
Jeremiah, when you got into business, did you see yourself more in the retro retro fit space or new construction? What was your approach when you guys jumped into this?

Jeremiah Bryant:
I mean, I think we were focused more on new construction. Now, that being said, I think in the past two years we’ve made it. We’ve made a really big push on trying to understand more about existing homes in that market and being able to help those people. You know, a big part of where our Herr’s department is today is a lot of energy audits on existing homes that people call land. And, you know, unfortunately, because the consumer is limited on what they understand about how a house works 90 percent of the time we get a phone call and that’s all they say is, hey, I need more insulation. And my question is, is what we know. Where did you get kombai that information if you have a high electric bill? You know, most people immediate thought is, oh, I need more insulation and there could be a million different reasons why they actually. We have a high electric bill and it may have very little to do with insulation. You know, we go out there and put, you know, six, eight inches of more insulation in your attic. And, yeah, I’m an insulation contractor, so I just sold some insulation. But if I’m not providing a solution, how long can I hope to stay relevant in my industry? So for us, you know, it’s. Do your. Do you need new weatherstripping on your doors or your windows needing air sealed around? Is your air conditioner 25 years old and extremely inefficient? Is your use your ductwork is leaking into the attic. You know, I like to always go from it with let us do an energy audit first. Let’s let us evaluate your house. I’d love to sell you insulation. That’s what I make money doing. But at the end of the day, once again, if I’m not providing a solution, I don’t know how long I can hope to stay relevant in in our market. Yeah, you’ve got to get to the actual root of the problem. Right. Right. Right. And I think for the most part, everybody thinks that insulation is always the solution. And yeah, a lot of times it is. But a lot of times it’s not true.

Aaron Franzine:
If somebody is in a home and they have cold rooms and they talk about energy bills being too, who do they call like who do they search for? What would the first phone call be for someone who’s looking for help?

Jeremiah Bryant:
Most of the time, it’s somebody searching for an insulation contractor. I mean, that’s. And most of the time, unfortunately, what we see is that they get sold insulation.

Aaron Franzine:
Should that should that be I mean, if you’re talking to homeowners that have cold rooms and high energy bills. Who would you have them call?

Jeremiah Bryant:
I think that they should. I think that they should absolutely call thrice energy solution. I think they should call thrice energy solutions in Oklahoma City for sure, no matter what they’ve got.

Ryan Stewart:
They’ve got to start somewhere. Right. But the key is calling the right person that says, hey, let’s evaluate what the real problem is. Right. Because, again, back to what you were saying. Most people go out. It’s cold. I need more insulation. Only get six inches, whatever it may be. But we’re not fixing the problem with the right person. Wingo. OK, look, maybe the facies ducks leaking, right? We can we can as a as a writer and test in the house, we can actually figure out what that root of the problem is and you can direct them to exactly who they need to go to, what steps need to be done.

Jeremiah Bryant:
Well, it just it helps with you know, we don’t want to continue to create a negative stigma about, you know, insulation contract. You know, we’re not crooks. We’re not. I think for the most part, I don’t think that it’s predatory by any means. When they call an insulation contractor that maybe doesn’t understand, they’re like, well, we’ll put some translation in your attic. That’s going to help. And I really think that there’s several people that get into this trade without the understanding of it. And they they do. They are doing what they know to do. I just think we have to challenge our, you know, our contractors and our suppliers and everybody in the industry to know more than what we know.

Travis Pankake:
Well, it’s part of it’s about being a professional, trained educate. You know, that’s, you know, one of the biggest things we push when we, you know, either have customers that are just getting into the business or want to improve their current business as we train. And we we have classes, we you know, we further educate not only ourselves, but our customers. And, you know, getting back to again, I don’t mean to keep pushing on it, but there’s there’s a way that you were different from the beginning. You educated yourself. Right.

Jeremiah Bryant:
And I think that, you know, for us, you know, we want to get away from the term insulator. You know, somebody somebody said once, we’ve got to start focusing on being what I think that the industry has pushed us to be, which is, you know, building envelope specialist, you know, problem solvers. Right. You know, we need to understand everything from liquid water, drive to the assembly vapor, drive through the assembly, air through the assembly, thermo bypass to the assembly. You know, the bridging or convective heat, conductive heat. You know, there’s so many radio, you know, radiant heat. There’s so many different things that we have to understand to really be able to assess this. And so we really, you know, and I did that, you know, I and I did it mostly because I was scared of what I didn’t know. And I wanted to make sure I did. But it’s it’s something that I think, you know, we’ve got to we’ve got to regulate ourselves. You know, we’ve got to understand that because it’s going to be so much more beneficial to the industry and to enter the guys doing this whenever we can, you know, consistently provide a educated answer whenever a customer has a problem.

Aaron Franzine:
I think most homeowners would probably Google search, you know, lower energy bills and anything any number of people are going to come up from an HVAC guy to an insulator and they’re going to make a phone call and say, you think I have an HVAC problem? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Let me come out and evaluate. And it might totally be the wrong direction or same with an insulation contractor.

Jeremiah Bryant:
We see it with window contractors a lot. You know, people like a contractor be like, oh, I need new windows. You know, my electric bills are too high and, you know, and nine, you know. Ninety nine percent of door and window contractors out there are all about selling somebody some new windows.

Jeremiah Bryant:
That’s what they’re in business to do, you know, but. On average, in most houses, windows make up about nine to 10 percent of the entire exterior wall assembly. Nothing on the roof assembly. So even if we make your windows, even if we get you windows that are 80 percent more efficient than the windows that you have now, we’ve only addressed 10 percent of the wall assembly.

Jeremiah Bryant:
And so that’s we know that’s where I think. And that’s not to say that windows aren’t the problem, because sometimes they are. But we get a lot of customers that they just want new windows and they you know, so they’ve decided the windows are the problem. And, you know, we’ve had to have that conversation. Look, if you want new windows by new windows, but I’m not advising you that this is going to drastically affect your energy efficiency. What’s our value of three maybe? Right. Right. So even the best windows out there and like I said, it’s for the most part, unless you get in these really modern homes, for the most part, there’s not that much glass surf sitting the day. Usually air sealing around the windows is actually the big problem. We can air seal around any existing window. You know, barring that, the glass is missing from the window where we can air seal around any old, you know, window.

Aaron Franzine:
So would you have them reach out to a Herr’s rater if someone has problems with their house? Is that would that be the first step? So they don’t get the runaround and go through the HPC contractor, spend thousands of dollars. The problem doesn’t get addressed. OK, well, I guess I’ll move on to the next step. That’s an insulator. Go through that rigamarole. And the issue is never really addressed. I mean, they can make phone calls, phone call. And I’m just curious if that’s who you would have them reach out to or is that what they would the first step?

Jeremiah Bryant:
I think it would be I think it’s always the most advisable step because the Hirsche Ritter doesn’t have a dog in the fight, so to speak. They’re not making any money off of any of these trades. They’re simply providing the service of Yatta, doing the audit and saying, you know, this is what you need. So and there’s hurt writers in almost every market, so.

Aaron Franzine:
Right. And then that gives the homeowner choices. Right. They want to address windows, HHC, insulation, whatever it might be.

Ryan Stewart:
It’s like a third party evaluation is all it is, right? Yeah. Well, Jeremi, I think we’ve we’ve pulled enough information out of your brain for one or two days, just kind of went into a little bit longer podcast. But I think a lot of the information that we’ve talked about today is not only good for the listeners, but just, you know, people that want to maybe have a different approach with their business, you know, and just with what you’ve shared about kind of how you’ve gone about your business and how fast you’ve grown in a short period of time and pretty successful. Right.

Jeremiah Bryant:
And that would be, you know, for other insulation contractors. That would be my biggest takeaway is that I think a lot of guys worry about if I’m going to make this investment, if I’m going to spend my time learning all this, you know, how effective is this really going to make me in the industry? You know, we started our business in 2016 and we did a couple hundred thousand dollars in sales and we do over a million dollars a month in sales. Now, it’s it is the way to grow your business. You know, nobody appreciates working with a contractor more than someone who provides real answers. And that’s that’s what we’ve achieved doing exactly this. So I think it’s the only way to move forward for guys in the industry.

Travis Pankake:
Right. And you use the term yesterday, Off-Air proof of concept. Right. So it’s doing pretty well for you. Yep. Ryan, appreciate you bringing your boy, Jeremiah. Thank you. And being on the podcast. What do you think? I thought it was fun time. Lots information. Yeah, he were super nervous, I could tell before we started this, but he settled in nicely. Good job.

Yeah. Yeah, it’s a little crazy.

Travis Pankake:
So for those of you listening on a desktop or a computer, you can find our podcast at IDI-insulation.com Backslash. Our value. Or if you are on a mobile device, you can stream this on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, the iHeart radio app, Stitcher and Spotify. Thanks for listening.

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EPISODE 06

Understanding the market impact of COVID 19

April 2020  | 34:45

Most Americans are waiting to go outside again, but what economic realities will be there to meet them when they do?

Join Travis Pankake, Don Clymer and Steve Kosel as they discuss the short term and long term effects of the economic pause caused by the COVID-19 shutdowns with acclaimed economist Brian Beaulieu of ITR Economics. When should we expect economic recovery and how long will growth last? What are the unintended consequences of the shutdown and are the measures taken by the U.S. government working?

Brian has served as CEO and Chief Economist of ITR Economics™ since 1987, where he researches the use of business cycle analysis and economic forecasting as tools for improving profitability. Prior to joining ITR Economics, Brian served as an economist for the US Department of Labor, where he worked on the health-care component of the Consumer Price Index. Brian has co-authored, with Alan Beaulieu, the books “Prosperity in the Age of Decline,” “Make Your Move,” and, for children, “But I Want It!”

Transcript Details:

2:45 – When you’re dealing with the unprecedented you have to think differently

7:23 – The unintended consequences of the economic pause and stimulus solutions

11:44 – When will the economy climb out of the hole caused by COVID-19?

15:00 – “We’ve seen this before.” Consumer behavior post-COVID

20:20 – Back to School could mean Back to Economic Normality

26:41 – Long range impacts of national debt accumulation

Season 1, Episode 6 Transcript

RVAL002 – ITR.mp3 transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

RVAL002 – ITR.mp3 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Brian Beaulieu:
Do you have any hair left Brian and you scratching it all out over this? Yeah I had lots of hair because you know grass doesn’t grow in a busy street. My streets not so busy so I got lots of hair.

Don Clymer:
This is the one and only the original podcast where you can find yours in your business’s true value. You’re listening to R value.

Travis Pankake:
Brought to you by America’s Insulation Source IDI distributors.

You want to hear from the best contractors, suppliers and consultants that dedicate themselves to more than just survival in the business world.

Travis Pankake:
Industry professionals that are dedicated to excellence in every aspect of their business.

Don Clymer:
R Value has them all here to share that same motivation and knowledge with you. Tune in and grow more successful, profitable, educated and recognized business. Listen to the R Value podcast. Become the industry leader in your market. Find your value with R Value.

Travis Pankake:
Hello. Welcome back. This is Travis Pankake alongside my co-host. Well, actually on the video screen, Don Clymer.

Don Clymer:
Getting used to see your face this way, Travis.

Travis Pankake:
Yes. It’s kind of a distant. It’s the new norm, even though I hate that term. But we have a special guest co-host today, Steve Kosel.

Steve Kosel:
I’m happy to be here. Looking forward to it.

Travis Pankake:
Well Donny, What do we what are we doing today? Who are we talking to?

Don Clymer:
Well, today, Travis, we have Beaulieu from ITR Economics. Brian has served as a CEO and chief economist of ITR economics since 1987, where he researches the use of business cycle analysis and economic forecasting as tools for improving profitability as a speaker and consultants and a few times at the IDI National sales meeting. That’s where we met him. Brian has provided valuable and practical advice to companies in need of domestic and global perspectives to increase profits through business cycle, trend analysis, forecasting and effective planning. He’s a co-author of Prosperity in the Age of Decline. Make Your Move. And also ITR’s first book for children. “But I want it.” I need to get that for my kids. Brian has shared his expertise through various media outlets, including USA Today, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, first on Fox and numerous other outlets. And now we have him on the R Value podcast. Today with Brian, we are going to touch on the latest information on the virus, the stock market, retail sales and what the leading indicators are telling us about the near and medium term. We’ll take a look, a brief look at the monetary and fiscal policies and the impact there are likely to have on people and businesses in the months and potentially years to come. So is Travis always says sit back, relax and enjoy the show because the timing couldn’t be more perfect to have Brian on. Welcome, Brian.

Brian Beaulieu:
Thank you very much for having me. That was a very nice intro. Very much appreciate it. No problem. It’s a strange time for somebody like me or even ITR in general, because we deal with business cycles, trend analysis, and that’s two black swans and all the unintended consequences. Those two black swans during a lot of that out the window. So we’ve been scrambling and working to redefine what’s going on and come at this with an all new perspective, because we’re dealing with the unprecedented you kind of think differently. We’re running the band in a lot different ways. And the extreme doom and gloom that characterized March and was really understandable. But no place is giving way to some good news. And it’s I think it’s extremely important that people start to think about planning through this and understand that there is another side of this and the economy is going to shift back into a rising trend. I don’t get into discussions about what is this new normal, because I know normal is always a relativistic concept anyways. Depends on the individual. But I can tell you, we’re going back to an old normal and that once the shackles are free, we are going to be growing again in our economy and probably more so in our economy than we’re going to see in some other economies because of who we are, our culture and everything else that’s going on.

Brian Beaulieu:
So there’s lots of good topics out there right now. So I think that we’re for a well-timed here.

Travis Pankake:
With all that said, Brian. You know, there was a there was a conversation and trans talks about this is a while back, I believe was in February, about a twenty, twenty two recession. What does that do to that forecast?

Brian Beaulieu:
Everything that we’re going through today and have been going through has taken a lot of the stress off the economy. Come twenty two,twenty three and let me give you an example of what we mean by that. We’ve been watching for quite some time now how the S&P 500 is grossly elevated compared to profitability, corporate profitability in particular domestic companies and relative to the economy’s growth, relative to retail sales. I mean, it was just a very expensive market. And we were thinking that the S&P would come down in association with that 22 23 downtrend, that all the liquidity that’s out there would keep the market afloat through Twenty two deep into twenty one before the correction would be had. The fact that the market came down so much since middle of February has taken a lot of that pressure off that particular imbalance. And that’s an example of how some of the pressure has been relieved. You’re totally getting into the stock market, though. I mean, if this is the extent of the pain in the stock market and it’s going to have a relatively normal rebound out of this, then we may still be looking at in a situation where at least the stock market is imbalanced relative to economic growth in another bear market could be out there in our future. But for now, assuming that the imbalances are going to be played out here in 2020, we’ve moderated our outlook for the downturn in twenty two twenty three. You may recall gone how we had the very modest one quarter decline here in twenty in our outlook and and multi quarters decline out there in twenty two into twenty three. Although those have switched positions first quarter, second quarter decline in GDP here in 2020. It is taking the place of the twenty two twenty three downturn on steroids and we only have one quarter of decline in GDP out there in twenty two.

Brian Beaulieu:
So.

Brian Beaulieu:
So it’s just something that’s been switched. We brought forward.

Don Clymer:
So how is that good or bad? I mean, that might be a dumb question, but hitting the fast forward button, does that affect anything else down long term down the road?

Brian Beaulieu:
Not even in a fast forward button per say, but all the repercussions, the unintended consequences of everything that we’re going through are clearly going to have an impact down the road. And in particular, I’m thinking about the Cares Act, H.R. 6201, and the federal stimulus, the Federal Reserve’s stimulus programs. Those are large. I mean, we’ve never seen a stimulus package this size and GDP, this percentage of GDP before. This is huge. And it is creating a mountain of debt where we’re already creating another mountain of debt. So this is just adding on to that. So you have to wonder, OK. We ever gonna get around to cleaning, sopping up some of this excess spending or we just couldn’t leave it out there and let the, you know, the interest expense grow out this time and worry about paying it off at some future date. And in terms of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program, they’re going to sterilize this because we’re talking about trillions and trillions of dollars that they’re creating here. Are they going to sterilize it or are they going to run the risk of inflation in a post twenty three environment? Those are significant questions. And if they sterilize it, then you expect certain course of action in the economy. If they don’t sterilize it, then we’re going to be seeing a lot more inflation in the second half of this decade until it finally becomes more of a burden than we can bear. So this is the we didn’t gain anything by hitting that fast forward button. We created some other issues for down the road. This is a dang interesting time to be an economist I tell you what.

Don Clymer:
I feel for you.

Steve Kosel:
Hey, Brian, this is Steve Cosell. I just had a follow up to that. You had you had mentioned inflation. That was going to be one of my questions, because with all the liquidity coming into the market, you know, one of the effects of that is inflation. And it’s it’s hard to tell that right now. I get that. So you kind of answered that question, but you had done a presentation for Chris Novogratz’s vistage group. And Chris is one of the owners of IDI. And in there you had talked about there had been seven other pertinent events, you know, like like the one we’re in right now where the stock market has come out very, very strong out of that. And you said the first and second quarter would have, you know, would have a downturn. But do you see the third and fourth quarter than do you see that same market trend coming, coming with the stock market coming out of this situation?

Brian Beaulieu:
Yes. And now let me parsel that yes into different aspects of your question. First of all, I want to clarify something you said very strong. No, not very strong. The typical stock market rising trend is a 60 percent gain from trough to be OK. Looking at the seven precedents that you mentioned, we’re getting a range of upside activity between fifty six and eighty five if you allow me to round. So it’s a typical rebound to maybe stronger than typical, but it’s not a very strong rebound. I just want to level set people’s expectations that are listening to this. It’s just typical. OK.

And you know, if you’re down 25 percent negative, 50 percent rebound, all you’re doing is getting back to where you started from. Right. So even at an 85 percent gain, you’re not a whole lot ahead of where you were before all this started. And eighty five is probably the upside expectation on this thing. The other aspect of a stock market before we leave that behind for the moment is those seven precedents suggest that the length of rise when it does happen is going to be between eleven and twenty six months. And this is not going to be another one the six year rising trends as far as we can tell. So you expect the relatively short duration before we’re into some sort of difficulty again. What’s really interesting to me is that risks apathy that was so rampant in 2018 and 19 has seemingly totally dried up. And I’m wondering how fast that risk apathy is going to come back or if it is going to come back, maybe it’s going to be held in abeyance for at least 12, 18 months until people start feeling really good about things again. And then that risk apathy comes back to haunt us. That’s, I’m not even sure how you measure risk apathy except how much money people are investing into triple-A rated bonds or other junk bonds, really? And as they pursue some sort of reasonable yield above and beyond what conventional investments are getting them. So that’s one of the things we’re going to be measuring very carefully over the course of 21 and 22 to try and get a handle on what sort of.

Risk we’re looking at on the downside. The 22 23 business cycle, they’re getting back into your timing question. Yeah, I mentioned first quarter and second quarter GDP decline and it’s it’s a rock in decline, obviously. But yes, we are seeing the economy in our in our model length begins to climb out of this hole in the third quarter of 2020. It climbs out even more in the fourth quarter 2020. And by the end of 21 or early 22. GDP is back up to where we were before we went into the precipice. So it takes us 18 months. It would take a quarter to just recoup everything that we will have lost in two very bad quarters. But I mean, that’s that’s not bad. That’s a whole lot better than a lot of people think we’re going to be. We can do. But we we said based on how we have performed in the past. That is doable. And it is a heck of a lot better than they’re likely to see in Europe coming out of this region. We have a no growth scenario in place for Europe or actually to a complete recovery scenario for Europe, which goes back to what I’ve been saying for over a year now. If you’re going to make some equity investments, stocks, etc., stay US focused. This is the place to be. And that’s certainly been more true now than it was when I was saying a year ago.

Don Clymer:
Both you and Steve mentioned several situations in the past that were similar to this. This is kind of an unprecedented event that we’ve never seen anything like this, you know, being quarantined and businesses shutting down, stay at home orders. What were some of those issues in the past that were similar to this that you guys reference? And, you know, a lot of our listeners, you know, look at the NAHB and the housing starts and how how did those situations affect the housing starts and how do you see housing starts being affected going forward? You know, the rest of this year and 2021, if you want to talk to that at all.

Brian Beaulieu:
The circumstances being forced into quarantine, businesses being closed, that’s unprecedented. And that’s one of those ramifications of the pandemic that we have never seen before. No one has ever seen that before. So that’s the part that’s new. What isn’t new is seeing the stock market crater, although it’s the sheer velocity of the decline in the first week, 10 days, was breathtaking and that was steeper than anything. But the overall decline that we’ve seen, the slope of the decline in particular is what I went back and looked for in the post-World War II history and found seven prior instances. And when you were in each of the seven instances, by the way, when you achieve this slope of decline that we saw going through March in the S&P 500, it told you that you were pretty much near capitulation, pretty much near the bottom of the market. So that’s part of what we’re talking about in terms of we’ve seen this before in terms of not the circumstances but the ramifications of the circumstances. That goes into your second part about how people are going to behave when their client, you know, when they’re allowed to get out of their homes and get released. Oh, my gosh. First, a lot of people like Donny are going to have a party because they get to go to work and be with other adults. So that’ll be hallelujah time. This is where I don’t agree with some of the pundits who think there’s a new norm and that people are going to shoo going in to our brick and mortar stores and that we’ve probably gone over into e commerce. I don’t think that’s true. They’re going to be buying your cars up a car lot. I know this car buying, but I’m saying the bulk of activity is still going to require some sort of human interaction that we’re not capable or enabling right now with these governmental interventions. I expect that unemployment, which we all know has soared upward, is going to be sticky on the way downward. So that’s going to obviously retard the rebound in retail sales also. So we’re not saying that the lights get flipped on as we’re allowed out of our house, but we’re setting the circumstances where we can start to move back toward normal. That’s why we have an 18 month claim out from this hole. It is going to take a fair amount of time to get out of this hole. But let’s not, And I haven’t forgotten your question about housing, but let’s not forget the sheer magnitude of what the Congress and President Trump and the Federal reserve have done. And we can go back to talking about that in a little bit. In terms of housing in particular going into this mess, housing was in a very good position. Housing permit’s, single family homes in particular were up for the country as a whole. Housing starts were up. We’re getting all sorts of positive signals for that market as a leading indicator and made all the sense in the world. So along comes COVID-19. You’re told you have to stay in your house. The best we can do is virtual house tours. That isn’t going to cut it. So we’ve got a big disruption to this trend. But. That’s the thing that’s the key word. It’s a disruption to the trend that was prevailing before all this happened. See one of the things that we’ve noticed, and I know the circumstances change, but circumstances are always changing when you have a an established fundamental trend like a rise going on in housing starts and someone comes along to mess that trend up. Right. She makes it stumble. You’re going to go down and we see that with the new mortgage applications for actually buying a home as opposed to refinancing and being down 33 percent year after year. This is going to take a tumble. We know that. But it ends up looking a lot like a B. Not a perfect B. But if you make a B with your hands, the left side is the way down the right side and that angle a little bit. So there was sort of looks like a either happy L or a lazy B. That’s what’s going to happen on the other side of this. The same thing is true of housing. Sure. Home prices and that debt is now. But that’s probably going to hold up reasonably well then through this period. But we’re going to get back into the rise. It is inevitable that we’re going to get back into the rise. Some markets are going to do much better than others. I would be willing to bet you that heavily concentrated urban areas are not going to fare as well as some of the more rural areas or homes around lakes or on a mountaintop or something is people avoid close contact with us for fear of another pandemic.

Don Clymer:
So, Brian, I have a house on the market in Colorado Springs. Probably not a great time huh?

Brian Beaulieu:
Well, it depends on how much of a hurry you are to sell it, I guess. Right.

Don Clymer:
Right. You mentioned Trump in Congress and the Federal Reserve. You want to go back and hit on that a little bit.

Brian Beaulieu:
You know, the two trillion dollars was a nice jumpstart really before we get into some of those details, I always enjoy the broader view because you don’t want to miss the big scene here, the big deal besides the size of the two trillion dollars in H.R. 6201 is how fast they got that done. In 2008, 2009. It took a lot longer to get any sort of action going in terms of fiscal stimulus. This time it was like, um, well, you know, it’s not enough that we can do here. And then they had the Federal Reserve, which really didn’t get its act together until 2009 last time and now has come out with program after program after program. What we did is we went into back into 2009, and understanding the circumstances were different, but we’re trying to measure the magnitude of the potential for the stimulus. We said, OK, once fiscal stimulus and monetary stimulus were aligned in 2009, how long was it before the economy started getting back on its feet in a discernible way? And the answer to that is it took two to three months before things started to happen, you started seeing more and more green shoots come out of the economy, so to speak. So you take March, add two to three months and you get into the third quarter when we’re likely to start getting more activity. In a causal way, I think that going back to school shopping, I think the kids ready to go back to school in September will provide a lot of the impetus for getting the economy moving in a discernibly positive way again. One of the things that the Congress got right and the president signed the bill obviously, is the disbursement of those checks. The way they set that up, though, and they aimed it correctly. You know, I know a lot of my friends weren’t too happy because they’re not getting checks, but they didn’t need the checks. They really aimed at where you’re going to get the highest marginal propensity to consume for each dollar that you send out. And that was exceptionally well done. Now that the payroll protection plan for small businesses and now for large businesses is a gift on steroids for anybody trying to run a business and who wants to hold on to their people. You know, the HP, HR rather, HB 6201. There was a bad piece of legislation in so many ways because it scared the daylights out of people. It said, you know, all right, you’re not going to hold onto your people, we’re going to give you a tax credit, probably off next year’s taxes. And businesses look at that and they say, I don’t have the cash flow to wait till next year. That’s just stupid. And I’m not a lawyer. I’m not there to figure out all the ramifications of this. I’m laying everybody up. You know, the huge surge we’ve seen in layoffs lay it on that. You know, we were scared out of our wits, but then they came out and said, look, we’re going to cover the payrolls, don’t do that. We’re going to cover the payrolls to where at least for two months we’re going to cover the payrolls and we’ll see what’s going on. I think they should’ve lead with that rather than scaring everybody into furloughing or laying folks off. Although if you shut down your department store, what do you do? You’re not going to carry those people anyway. You shut down the department store. It’s not like and I don’t mean to be unkind, but your typical retail worker isn’t that indispensable in terms of difficulty finding another one to take his or her place as opposed to an engineer or an accountant or an economist or even a really good mechanic. Those high skill positions, you’re going to hold on to your right. And therefore, this is nicely aimed at keeping that part of the work force of labor population right where they are.

Don Clymer:
So Brian with the PPP, there’s a portion in there and I’m not in your shoes and this is just stuff that I’m reading and hearing, There’s a portion in there about loan forgiveness and that being diverted to a non taxable grant later on. Is that going to have a negative effect on us down the road at all? I mean, is there a way to tell that?

Brian Beaulieu:
Well, yeah, I think it will have a negative effect on us down the road. But let me give you my bias. OK. Every analyst has a bias. Right. You need to know mine. My bias is that anytime the government interferes in the marketplace, it’s going to create unintended consequences, some of which will be positive. But more often than not, they’re negative because they don’t they’re thinking about the short term, not the long term. So let’s talk about the unintended consequences that makes me concerned. One, they’re creating a moral hazard. What they’re saying is, look, look, the economy, anytime there’s trouble now, we’re going to bail you out. We got your back. So now we’re going to be willing to trade up trade off more and more economic liberty for a government safety blanket. And that’s a bad deal when you’re trying to grow this economy in a capitalist way. You just you just open the doors towards some activity that is decidedly not free market capitalist oriented, and the other negative consequence of the consequence that concerns me is who’s going to pay for all this money? This is a lot of money. Who’s going to pay for it?

Travis Pankake:
That was my thought.

Don Clymer:
I always wondered.

Brian Beaulieu:
Why they’re hoping you don’t ask that question too often. They don’t want to talk about that.

Steve Kosel:
Well the debt impact, the debt impacts are just, that’s a concern of mine, is how this debt just keeps growing and how we work our way out of that. It’s it’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

Brian Beaulieu:
Yeah. And, you know, I don’t know if you’re familiar with our long range forecasts about how in the 2030s that’s one of the megatrends that comes together to give the economy a real bad go of it for about six years. And people have been asking us, do we think that it’s going to happen sooner because we’re taking on so much more debt now because of all of this activity. And our answer to that after a lot of consideration is no. Taking on more debt at an accelerated pace doesn’t hasten the demise created by that debt because it’s not the size of the debt that is the issue. What is the fundamental issue and what brings about the most pain is when the world’s, quote unquote, loses confidence in the government’s ability or desire to pay off that debt. That’s when you find yourself in the soup in a big way. And the same thing is true with China, right? So maybe it happens first in China and then it spills over into the US, or maybe it starts in the US and it spills over to China. But you don’t know what the world’s number two and number one economy here and we’re number one. It gets really bad really fast and interest rates go up or really bad really fast. Then you find yourself in a world of hurt. But as long as and here’s the canary in the mine, as long as the T-bill is priced essentially a risk free investment asset and you don’t have to worry about that. So what we’re doing is we’re developing some new algorithms to monitor that because we have heightened concern about it happening sooner, but it isn’t yet. I want to establish a model that will start flashing red light when we get too far down that road.

Steve Kosel:
Hey, Brian. Just one question from me. This is Steve again. If you could, we have a lot of our customers that listened to our podcasts, right, and a lot of them are struggling and this PPP lone is definitely something that’s going to benefit them. But if you could give them two or three points that they should be focusing on right now during this this time and then coming out of this time, what would those two or three points be for our customer base?

Brian Beaulieu:
Every business had better have a very good cash flow model. Right now we better have a clearer understanding of the cash that’s coming in and the cash that’s going out. And you need to figure out if you can with overthought, with PPP and without PPP, can you get through August? I think that’s a safe horizon. Can you get through August? If you can not. What are you going to do about it then? At least you’re dealing with the hard reality at that point rather than just wishing and hoping. Right. So it’s all about the cash. What can you be doing to generate some income? That’s different than when you were doing before. My business is doing that. We used to make a lot of money in being out on the roads, speaking all the time, but we’re not out on the roads speaking right now. So you have to adapt. You have to adapt to the circumstances and find a way to reach your market in new and innovative ways. So that’s the second thing I would do is how can I reach my market in new innovative ways? The third thing that I would be doing. Forgive me if I was in a business that’s face to face like a real estate business or real estate business or retail business or investment business where I had to meet people, I would be figuring out how I can craft my message to ensure them that they’re going to be safe. What have I done to create a safe, healthy environment for them? And, you know, I’m just an economist, folks, and I don’t know exactly what that would be, but I know that they’re going to want some sort of emotional blanket to come into your office again, at least at first. So I would find some way to get my emotional blankie.

Don Clymer:
Yeah, I think that’s a good place to wrap it up. I know you’re busy following other news out there, Brian, and trying to get this all figured out for everybody. We appreciate that. We definitely appreciate you being on the show. I’m actually kind of glad that we had to reschedule a few times because I said selfishly, it worked out really well for us for the timing. So thank you very much for taking the time.

Brian Beaulieu:
Before we go, may I interrupted, because I don’t know that we touched on one of the best pieces of information there is, though, as far as I’m concerned.

Don Clymer:
Let’s do it.

Brian Beaulieu:
Every day we follow COVID-19 deaths for the world and by country. Right. Yeah. I never in my wildest nightmares thought I’d be trending deaths but here we are. And daily deaths totals are coming down for Italy, the US, the world, Spain. In other words, it looks like we’re over the hump. And that’s incredibly important in terms of releasing us from our homes in the foreseeable future. If these trends were still climbing, we’d be having a different conversation. But about a week ago, maybe four days ago here in the US, it looks like we were we went through the apex and were into the period now that’s called the bait met in my language. Anyways, the trends are abaiting. The pressure is abaiting based on COVID-19. So the other big worry is oil and these very depressed oil prices and what that could do. But first things first, fewer people dying and we’ll talk about the oil. Maybe next time.

Don Clymer:
For the listeners, as you can find Brian at ITReconomics.com. We’ll have the links down in the subscription or the description. And thanks again, Brian. It was very informative. I’m really thankful that you decided or agreed to come on the show.

Steve Kosel:
Really appreciate your time.

Brian Beaulieu:
Gentlemen, It’s always a pleasure. And I look forward to the next time.

Travis Pankake:
Thank you.

Don Clymer:
You know, the the thing that that just sticks out in my mind from that whole podcast is, you know, I’m sure there’s a level of variance to it. But Brian’s saying that our customers better have a clear understanding of cash in and cash out and be prepared to get through August. Again, you know, could be give or take, but you know, that that’s been the question is when when do we get out of this?

Travis Pankake:
Well, and the message of being innovative, you know, change your business. Don’t go back to how you’re doing it before. What are you going to do to to get to your customers now?

Don Clymer:
Yeah. Look for ways to adapt, reach your market in new and innovative ways. He’s a smart guy.

Steve Kosel:
Well, I think one of the things we have to consider too, is cash as a turnaround period. Right. So when he says August, you can start to have that recovery in the late June, July timeframe, but you’re not going to collect on that cash until 30 days later at that fast rate.

Don Clymer:
Good point.

Steve Kosel:
Forty five to 60 days so the actually recovery should start late June into July and then you’ll start collecting cash. You’ve got to have a vehicle to bridge between when it starts to recover and when you actually are collecting it.

Don Clymer:
You’re going to see it. You’re just not going to feel it right away. That’s why we had you on Steve, the CFO.

Steve Kosel:
No problem.

Don Clymer:
All right. Oh, that’s a wrap. Thanks, guys.

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EPISODE 05

Graco: Vision, Customer Service

April 2020  | 29:44

Every customer, every time. That’s the customer service philosophy of Pat McHale, CEO at Graco. Pat has instituted customer service policies that radically rethink the relationship between business and customer. He’ll explain why these policies work and why 4.5 stars out of 5 just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Pat McHale is the local kid that worked his way up to become the CEO of one of America’s best manufacturing workplaces, according to Forbes magazine. He started working as a machinist when he was a teenager, a job which he used to put himself through college. He earned his accounting degree from the University of Minnesota, although he never became an accountant. Instead, he went to work for the local manufacturer within a mile from his house as a second shift machining supervisor role. Now he’s built a reputation that Graco that extends far beyond his industry and into the minds of customers across the United States.

Transcript Details:

00:38 – Are you taking advantage of the Graco rewards program?
2:29 – Building a tolerance to cold weather
6:04 – Every great leader has a daily routine
7:00 – The customer is not going to be satisfied, if things are mostly good.
9:32 – How to develop an open door policy…in a company of 4000 people.
13:16 – “If you have a good team, you really shouldn’t be afraid of having your contact information out there”
18:37 – Customer service as every customer, every time
21:06 – The customer is not always right
24:34 – “When you take a look at people that are really doing well, growing their business and making money…generally those people aren’t out there looking for the lowest price, the cheapest deal, the lowest bid.”

 

Season 1, Episode 5 Transcript

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Aaron:
Welcome to our value. I’m Aaron Franzine. Each episode we try to identify shortfalls and challenges of an insulation contractor. Then we track down experts to offer their advice and experiences to help you overcome these challenges. Whether you’re looking for business advice or need help to identify the latest trends and products in the industry. Our value is here to help. Welcome to our Value. The Insulators podcast.

Aaron:
You have an amazing guest today.

Aaron:
But before we get to that, I’d like to tell you about the Grainco Rewards Program. Simply sign up for the program at my Graycar Rewards dot com and enter IDBI as your distributor of choice and do your idea. Customer I.D. and start earning points right away. Your points allow you to purchase everything from gift cards and trips to sporting goods and even Grainco product. Sign up today at my Grainco Rewards dot com. Today’s guest has a very unique history. He started working as a machinist when he was a teenager, a job at which he used to put himself through college. He earned his accounting degree from the University of Minnesota, although he never became an accountant. Instead, he went to work for the local manufacturer. Within a mile from his house as a second shift machining supervisor role. This was the beginning of his career at Grainco, in which he currently serves as the president and CEO. The local kid that worked his way up to become the CEO of one of America’s best manufacturing workplaces, according to Forbes magazine, introducing Pat McKale. Pat, welcome. Well, thank you very much. Glad to be here. Thanks for coming.

Aaron:
I know we’re getting some weather this afternoon and through the weekend, so I appreciate you muzzling the storm and making it out here today. It hasn’t started yet, so we’ll see. Yeah. It’s barely flickering. And we’ll try to get you out of here before it gets ugly outside. All right.

Aaron:
So on the note of weather, I wanted to bring up something interesting. You once told me and I haven’t figured out why yet. Because we both live in Minnesota that you don’t wear a coat before January 1st. And I’ve always kind of thrown that around in my head. I’m like, man, that’s crazy. It’s cold up here in Minnesota. So what? Why don’t you wear a coat before January 1st?

Pat:
So as you know, we have five to six months of winter in Minnesota. And I don’t really love the cold weather, but I came up with a theory that’s probably has no scientific background to support it whatsoever. That if you don’t wear a coat for the first couple of months, you’ll build up a tolerance to the cold and then the rest of winter won’t seem so bad. So I started that. And of course, everybody thought that I was crazy. And once everybody thinks you’re crazy, they don’t let you go back to being normal. So 30 years not weren’t a call to work before the first of January. I’m an unbroken string for me.

Aaron:
30 years, 30 years. So does it work? Do you actually does. Is it easier to deal with winters that way? In my mind, absolutely. It’s a stroke of genius. Yeah, I think so, too. I’m not going to start doing it, but it sounds interesting. That’s good.

Pat:
Well, Pat, you have an amazing story and we’re super happy to have you here today. I’d like to start off with just a couple fun softball questions and warm ups, if you don’t mind. I think about, you know, our listeners. We’re here to kind of get to know Pat McKale a little bit. And I’m curious, what do you listen to when you’re driving it, sports radio or any certain type of music besides the the R value podcast?

Pat:
Besides the R value podcast, I like to listen to ESPN. And unfortunately, I don’t get them except during my lunch hour. But Stephen a Smith is my favorite, although I will note that today is Stephen a Smith’s last day with Stephen A-s. Michel really? Yeah, I did not know that. And the second thing I like to listen is country music. Those are my two staples when I’m in my car.

Aaron:
Ok, that’s interesting. I’m a big I’m a I’m a classic country music guy. I like all the old stuff like 80s and older.

Pat:
My grandpa still plays in a country band. I got a couple uncles that play, so I’m a big country music fan.

Pat:
But all the old stuff. I’m not in the poppy stuff so much. So I like the new stuff. And I imagine you’ve got your home collection of all Hee-Haw tapes.

Aaron:
Yeah, yeah, I do. I do. That show was gone well before I was born.

Aaron:
What is your favorite hobby?

Pat:
Generally, my number one hobby in the fall is hunting with my kids. And in the spring and summer, it’s golf in Minnesota and wintertime, it’s avoiding being too cold. Right. Right. What do you like to hunt like birds, fowl. You’re primarily ducks and geese. My daughter shot her first duck when she was 7 with a 4 10, and my two older kids are both boys, a 16 and a 20 year old, they’re both completely addicted to duck hunting. In fact, my older son Jack is going to an DSU and he chose his college because it was the best duck hunting college. That’s a good way to choose your college. I was not too impressed with his decision process. Yeah. You might have to work on that a little bit. It’s too late. Hey, if he’s passionate about it, that’s that’s a good thing, too. And he’s getting good grades. So he must study once in a while. Right. Right. Are you a member of like Ducks Unlimited or any any of those thing? I am. Delta Waterfall Ducks, Unlimited pheasants forever.

Aaron:
Ok, that’s good. Joe and Chris Novogratz are members and they actually we host events here at our corporate office sometimes for Ducks Unlimited and yeah, they’re big. Chris is a duck hunting maniac. So you guys, I’m sure, would get along really well. We probably would. Well, good.

Aaron:
So every great leader that I’ve met or read about seems to have something in common. And that commonality is a consistent morning routine. So I wanted to ask you if you’re interested. Do you have like a strict religious morning routine where you get up? Same thing you have your suit laid out or is it?

Pat:
Tell us about your morning routine a little bit. So I do have absolutely strict morning routine, but it’s really boring. And I wouldn’t necessarily say that anybody should copy it. My alarm goes off at 5:30. I get up. First thing I do is do email because we’re a global company. So all night long when I’m sleep and I’ve got stuff coming in from our foreign operations, I get those cleared out. Then I shower, get dressed for work. And when I leave for work, I grab a Coke Zero and a bag of goldfish crackers. And that is my breakfast in the car on the way to work every day. So it’s not exactly a healthy start to my ride.

Aaron:
It’s not so glamorous, but it’s it’s the same thing every day. I think that’s the takeaway is that a lot of lot of greatly it’s it’s the same thing every day. It’s a routine. It’s common. And it’s you know, it’s just what you do to get your day started.

Pat:
So my dad taught me to work and he said the first thing that you need to do every day is you need to get to work. So I think if you just start there when you’re a kid and you get up and get to work, everything else is gonna work out. Right? Right.

Aaron:
Even for a couple of minutes, checking emails or doing something that makes a lot of sense to me. So. Well, thanks for sharing that. So let’s dive into let’s dive into this a little bit more. You know, you straight I met you, I think four years ago at the tough tech release when we had a meeting for the tough love fireproofing line. And you kind of strike me as a lead by example kind of guy based on your history and kind of the way you came up through the ranks and became the CEO. You know, I don’t see you as a guy asking anyone within the organization to do something that I feel you wouldn’t do yourself. Is that true?

Pat:
Yeah, I would say that’s generally true. I think all work is important. There’s not some work that’s more important to others and than others. And sometimes people ask me, well, jeez, you’re the CEO. You have all the stress in the job. And really every job I’ve ever had at Graycar, which started on actually on the third shift on the production floor, has had its challenges and every job has been hard. And it’s required you to use your brain and do a lot of work. And it’s all been important to the company. So my view is every job’s important and whatever I’m asked to do, I would be happy to do. And I expect the same of our people.

Aaron:
Right. Because essentially when you started, I mean, you were probably sweeping floors and doing some of the things. But you know what? When Greco’s biggest customers come in and and things are in place and it’s tidy and it’s a great workplace and the floors clean, that person that did that job did something that anybody on any level of the company, potentially it’s as important as anything.

Pat:
Yeah. And we’ll probably talk more about customer service later. But you can’t provide a good customer experience unless every single one of your people from top to bottom is doing their job because a customer is not going to be satisfied if things are mostly good. Everything’s got to be done right. And that’s why every job’s important. Right. Right.

Aaron:
Yeah. That’s great. I respect that a whole lot. You know, if you could go back and tell your younger self, young Pat McKale just starting out something that you’ve learned now, now that you’re older and wiser, what would that be?

Pat:
So probably you’d be about eight things about women. But since I probably can’t really say that on a podcast, I would probably say that one of the things that seems to be consistent always is that if you’re doing something for the first time, it’s going to take it twice as long and cost you twice as much as you think.

Aaron:
Yeah. The women thing, everybody could produce plenty, plenty of tips, including including our I.T. guy Jeff here, who I’m just going to poke fun at because he doesn’t have a micro. And he can’t defend himself. Yeah, we aren’t that smart. Yeah. Yeah, we’re still guys. Yeah. Yeah, that’s right.

Aaron:
I know something important to you is employee relations. You hold a monthly ask the CEO forum with your employees. Do you want grego employees to get out of that forum?

Pat:
So there are a few things that are really key for me in that forum. First of all, the company has grown a lot. And I don’t. Everybody doesn’t have the access to me that they had fifteen or twenty years ago. We are a much smaller organization. So it’s one way that everybody has direct access to ask me something or tell me something if it’s on their mind that a lot of people don’t want to use email or they don’t want to come up and tell me because they may want to stay anonymous. So this is just a way to sort of have a 4000 person open door policy. Now, secondly, it’s a really nice platform for me to be able to share grego strategies and culture. So when somebody asked me a question, often it gives me a chance to reiterate what we’re trying to achieve as an organization and reinforce what we’re trying to do. And then lastly, it’s avenue for me to learn about what’s going on in the company because it’s easy to get isolated from the people that are doing the work. When you’re running around doing podcasts and things like that, and this is a way that I’m grounded every month, people that have an issue or they see an opportunity or they see something that we could be doing better, they have that option to get that information directly to me. And it really provides me with some good ideas.

Aaron:
Right. Right. It allows you to see the day to day problems and hear from everybody. I think that’s I think that’s fantastic. And I was also told the questions are not filtered and none of them get skipped. So anyone who wants to be heard can be heard.

Pat:
So when we started the forum, I’m a pretty direct guy. And if somebody asked me a question, I’m gonna tell you what I think. And when we started the forum, our H.R. department and our communications department was having a bit of a heart attack with some of my responses to some of the questions. Don’t say like they were yet to direct or not politically correct. And I said, wait, this is my forum. If I’m going to bother doing it, I’m going to do this thing my own way. And nobody’s going to filter my questions and nobody’s going to whitewash my answers. So I take all the questions. I’d just sit down and hammer out all the answers and they don’t get changed. There are a couple things that I will change. If somebody asks me a question or makes a complaint about a specific person, I’ll rewrite the question to so so that they can’t like use it to throw their bodies under the bus. Right. But other than that, the questions come through. I answer them all. So do you get just ravaged by H.R. after that? They did for probably the first year. And then after that, they just gave up. Eric. Eric Gald. It was snow that his boss, David Ahlers, the top H.R. dog, is the guy that would really have corner.

Pat:
And when he’d see some of the things that I wrote. That’s hilarious.

Pat:
I fired a few people on the forum. I don’t know who they are, but I just told them, if you’re going to think like that, then you should go fire yourself.

Aaron:
Right. You’re not a good fit. Exactly right. No, that’s good. It’s a it’s good to do that. I think it’s good to hear from employees. I respect the fact that you do that for your folks. And who cares what H.R. thinks.

Pat:
Anyways, I’m not going to say that our H.R. department does many great things for the company. Yeah, yeah, they do. Eric is a good guy.

Aaron:
We did. I did a podcast with him and John Fred Kove and. But yeah, he he’s got a really good sense of humor. He’s not your classic H.R. guy. No, he’s not. Yeah. I won’t. That’s all we’re gonna talk about, H.R.. How’s that? That sounds good to me. Do you still have the you used to have an email or something where you can email the CEO? I remember you talking about that at one point where customers or pretty much anybody could email the CEO questions or if there’s a quality, you know, if they maybe weren’t getting the responses. And we’re gonna get into more customer service stuff here in a minute. Do you still have that?

Pat:
I do. I do. And that that was really started probably six or seven years ago. And there’s a little story behind it. I’m a big time do it yourselfer, so I don’t like to have somebody do something for me if I can do it. So I can do plumbing and electrical and heating and insulation complete. I always hire that, right? Yes. Yes, right. Absolutely. Good call. But generally, I like to do things myself at. I’m a hands on guy. And so I end up buying a lot of tools and I spend a lot of time at different home centers buying stuff for my projects. And I got into a bad streak where I was having some problems with products and I was having some cool customer service issues. And every time I have one of those problems, I think who’s running this place? That’s the first thing that goes through my mind when I have a bad experience is who the heck is wrong in this place is the boss. The second thing that goes through my mind is, wow, I wonder if we do that to anybody at Graco.

Pat:
And for a while, I convinced myself that we didn’t because we do customer surveys and end user surveys, distributor surveys. And we’re a four and a half out of. 5. And I said, well, jeez, ah, surveys are good. I get this date every month that I look at it, so we’re not doing these kinds of things. And then I had to stop and think that, look, some of these companies that have been doing wrong by me as an individual when I’m outside of work, they’re good companies. And I bet yet on their surveys, they’re getting four and a half out of five. So I said, I’m going to stop thinking about customer service, says four and a half out of five. And I’m going to start thinking about it as every customer, every time. Which is that infinitesimally harder bar to jump. And so when I started that process, I really wanted a way for me to be able to get deep into the organization and have anybody that’s having any kind of a bad experience get directly to the top. So I went to put this email button out on the Web site that says basically, if you’re frustrated with great go and you haven’t gotten help that you need, click this button, an email, the CEO. And of course, the organization went crazy when I said I want to do it, they said, you can’t do that.

Pat:
We’ve been in business for a hundred, twenty years. We’ve got tens of thousands of distributors and millions of customers all over the world. And your phone is going to blow up. And I said, well, if my phone blows up, that means we got a big problem. Right. And I want to know about it. So I said, put it out there. And so they put it out there in North America first. And then within a year I had it out worldwide. So I have it in our Asia-Pacific Web site, our European Web site, and our North American Web site. And I got some things at first that came through where people were having problems. They were frustrated by the salesperson or a distributor, a product quality problem that wasn’t getting taken care of. But then after I started that, respond to every one of those and get the organization geared up. That button became known as the nuclear button and nuclear of the nuclear option. Right. And so whether it’s distributors or whether it’s customers, if they’re getting it wrong somewhere by somebody at Great Call, they always know that they can go push that button. And generally then people like Reiko don’t want that button pushed. Right. So it’s another way to reinforce to the organization that I expect them to be on the ball and take care of our customers.

Aaron:
Right. If the nuclear button gets pushed, Pat McKale has the codes right. And taken care of. Nobody gets those emails except me. They really they come right to me. They’re not filtered by anybody at all or they’re not screened at all. Wow. Well, I’m happy I haven’t heard from you for many of the nuclear button. You have not customers.

Pat:
So that must mean you’re doing a good job or else your customers didn’t know about the nuclear button. But now they do. It’s on the Web site. W WW Greco dot com under customer service. Yeah. Now you get to hold us accountable. You should have been doing we have to hold each other accountable because we are a team.

Aaron:
Yeah. That’s right. And it can be anybody, an end user, a distributor. Anybody can have access to it. It is a way to keep everybody accountable. I mean, the customer at the end of the day is the number one priority.

Pat:
So absolutely. And I’ve challenge people a you know, that really sends a message that we really care about doing a great job and try to find another major public company where you can go on email the CEO and get a response back within about five minutes. Right. Right.

Aaron:
Yeah, I I love that. That’s awesome. And it’s a great tip for for our customers. You know, if you’re an insulation company out there, maybe take some of those customer service tips and apply it to your customers. You know, if if you’re your contractors are where you’re working for isn’t getting an answer or getting taken care of. Make yourself somewhat accessible to them. Right. I mean, they might want to talk to the boss, just like you were saying, about the tools or the products that were bad. Like who who’s running this place? So don’t hide from those things. I’ve always thought it’s best to have them on. And the sooner you can make that phone call and get it rectified, the better.

Pat:
And if you have a good team, you really shouldn’t be afraid of having your contact information out there, because I really haven’t found even in six or seven years of having an out there on a global basis. I haven’t found very many people abuse that generally. They only use it when they really need to. And we have a good team at great go. So the vast majority of the time they’re handlin and they’re doing their job, right? Yeah, that’s excellent.

Aaron:
So on that note, I mean, how long ago did the A-plus service plan go into play?

Aaron:
Every customer every time you mentioned that was that is that six or seven years? Does that all kind of tie in with the nuclear button? Yes. That all really started at the same time.

Aaron:
Ok.

Aaron:
What improvements do you think that’s resulted in?

Pat:
So there’s a huge list of things that have improved since we started that whole process. And the first thing was really to get people to think differently about customer service, because if you’re four and a half out of five, that means one out of every 10 customers maybe had an issue. You don’t want to you don’t want to be four and a half out of five stars in terms of not drop in babies if you’re a delivery doctor. So. So we get to get the whole organization to think about every customer every time, which means everything from the quality, the sales call the quality, the training programs. It’s not just the customer service people answering the phone, but it’s the product. It’s was the delivery on time. Did you meet your promise date? Were there? Newell’s in videos available for you on the Internet when you needed help. Was the warranty processed quickly where all your questions answered and problems resolved? And so when you start to say that has to happen, every single time you’ve got thousands of interactions every day, you find lots of room to make things better. With new technology that’s out there, we’ve been able to do a lot with handing off communications.

Pat:
So things move fast within the organization. So if somebody fills out a corrective action in Asia-Pacific or in Iowa and needs to get to the engineering department, it gets there. But not only does it get there that we can track it and we know who has it and we know who’s responsible to close it. And then when it gets closed, we can look and see what did they do? Did they really fix the problem and how long did it take and what was a communication back to the customer? And so that process has been put in place over the last few years at Great when it’s been really helpful to make sure that when we have a problem, that we do take it to ground and not just OK, papered over with. You’re the only customer that’s had that problem. We didn’t hear anything about it. We don’t want to operate that way. We want to take each issue issue seriously. We want to make sure that somebody is accountable for figuring out what happened and getting it taken care of.

Aaron:
The best feedback that you can ever get is from your customer because they’re going to be honest. Right. They invested in your products and they’re going to tell you, you know, their honest opinion of it. So listening to the end users and our customers, their feedback is vital. In my it’s paramount in my opinion, because they’re the ones using it every day and whatever. Things that Grainco can do to make their lives easier. Everybody’s happier.

Pat:
And if you don’t listen to your customers, sometimes they just quietly go away. And there’s no way to measure the cost of that. But I can tell you, the cost is substantial. Right. You think the problem solved, but you’re not hearing from them because they left. So I implemented a rule at Graco probably four or five years ago that we’re not allowed to do a survey unless we follow up on every negative response. And it drives me crazy. I can be on an airplane and they’ll send me a survey and they’ll say, how did it go? And I can tell them, well, it went lousy. I’ll never hear from them or I can buy a car. And it has a problem. I can take it to the dealer and get it fixed. But if they send me a survey and I say I got this problem, I never hear from them. So no more surveys at Great Go where we send out a survey and you say you have a problem and you don’t hear from us. Nobody can do a survey unless we’re willing to follow up on every single one with the customer. That’s negative.

Aaron:
Right. Every customer. Every time. Every time someone going to ask you have fun, a fun, hardball. If there is such a thing. All right. Is the customer always right?

Pat:
The customer’s absolutely not always right. And I think in the business that I’m in, the business that you’re in, in their business that our contractors are and they know that there are customers out there that are bad customers. Maybe they don’t pay their bills. Maybe they’re clueless as to what’s going on. And they cause you a complete tornado all the time. There’s a whole variety of reasons why you could have a customer. That’s not right. And I’ve been very careful at the organization to let them know that the customer’s not always right. Ninety nine percent of the time, if the customers have a problem, it’s valid. But the one percent of the time they have a bad customer. Anybody at Grego can say, you know what, hit the bricks. We don’t need you for a customer anymore. So we don’t have to be abused. We don’t have to not be paid. We don’t have to deal with the very bottom 88 in the channel.

Aaron:
Right. Right. Your customers being essentially the distribution channel and their customers. The end users.

Aaron:
So let’s talk about distribution a little bit. Greco’s always offered 100 percent support to distribution channel. What what does the channel do for you besides sell your products and what is a good distributor look like to Pat McKale?

Pat:
So from a Graco perspective, in most of our businesses and we’ve done some acquisitions that are structured a little bit there really, but most of our businesses well, we try to focus on is product development, manufacturing and or fulfillment. And that’s really what we’re good at. And that’s where we spend our money. We spend $300 million in the last five years in new product development. We spend about 280 million dollars in the last five years on brick, mortar, C-in-C machines and robots to make the product quality better and to maintain our costs. That’s what we’re good at, what the distribution channel does then as they do all the things that are customer facing. They take our product to market. They help launch the new products. They keep local inventory, they do local service and repair. So there’s a whole bunch of customer facing things that that’s not what we’re strong at. We want to focus on what we’re good at. We’ll try to deliver a great product to our channel and we’ll try to get our channel to develop deliver that great experience to the end user.

Aaron:
Ok. Yeah. The channel being essentially the sales team. Right. And the service provider for your products. You know, there’s the distributors. I mean, even even some of our competitors, I’ll say that, you know, there’s a lot of good people out there. Pick somebody who’s going to be able to offer you the most support. Not not us, not anybody. Just pick the one that can give you the best support and service and fix your stuff. If something happens, that’s going to go the extra mile to properly process a warranty claim and improve the process and products along that way. So that’s just something that I’ve noticed. And I think it’s very important.

Pat:
Yeah, I’d like to just deleverage off what you just said because I think you really hit on something key. When you take a look at people that are really doing well, they’re growing their business and they’re making money. Generally, those people aren’t out there looking for the lowest price, the cheapest deal, the lowest bid. I think it’s easy to for people to get their mentality there. I have to be always be the lowest bid or offer the cheapest. But people don’t make the most money doing that. People make the most money by partnering with people that deliver quality, that can differentiate themselves, that can provide service and support. You can pay more for some things and you can have a lot more uptime. And uptime is a lot more valuable, valuable to you than the baby. The price is something that you bought that the day you bought it. So really trying to look at that total cost and what really drives profitability in a business is absolutely picking a partner that can support you from A to Z and not just work with somebody who’s going to give you the best price today.

Aaron:
Right. A lot of times it’s hard to bring your value for somebody else’s price. You know, and we we talk about that. It’s hard for us to bring the things that we’re bringing to the table. I mean, we have to pay a guy to turn wrenches. We have to pay people to process a warranty and do the things to keep your business up and running. So we need, you know, to bring our value. You’re going to win in the end and ultimately make some more money as an insulation contractor.

Aaron:
So, you know, knowing our listeners are primarily insulation contractors, what advice would you give them regarding customer service in their own business?

Aaron:
I mean, we’ve hit on a lot of good customer service points. It’s one of my favorite topics to talk about. But thinking from an insulation contractor’s point of view, what things could you give them to offer their customers?

Pat:
So if you’re a contractor, of course, one of the key things is to try to differentiate your business. If you can’t differentiate your business in some way, then it’s always going to be about being the low bidder. And there are other ways to get jobs besides doing that, because people will pay more, but they have to see value in it. And it could be the yet to be an excellent communicator. Pay great attention to detail. Great with the housekeeping. You know, just coming in and doing a great insulation job, that’s a piece of it. But if you don’t communicate well, if you don’t show up on time, if you’re not off the job, when you’re supposed to be out the job, if you leave a mess, if you’re not paying attention to the little things, then you’re not going to be bringing the same brand for your business to your customer as you could.

Pat:
And I believe that that personal branding that you can bring to a business by offering something over and above just the job well done can differentiate you from your competition. And people are willing to pay more because and I can count on that person and they’re going to do a great job.

Aaron:
Yeah, I agree with all that. I mean, I I tell customers all the time. Call me. And answering your phone is one point that I would add to what you just said. Answer the phone. You know, not all of our phone calls are fun and chipper. And but if you can answer your phone, customers get get angry sometimes. And the sooner you can jump on it and fix it, the happier they’re going to be. So even if you’re mad at me, Pat, even if you’re mad at me, you can call me and I’ll still I’ll still answer it. I promise. All right. Well, I got your number. All right. Well, hey, Pat, I sincerely appreciate you coming in. I’m thrilled you can join us. Thanks for the support from Grainco. And we look forward to a long partnership with great go down the road.

Pat:
Well, thanks for having me today. And we really thank you for your support. Also thank all of our loyal customers. Yeah, we’d like to mention that we’d been really committed to our U.S. manufacturing operations. So we make our products here, our customer services here. We have moved that over to India or to Panama. Our I.T. people are here. And without the loyal people that we’ve got in the field supporting us, partners like you, plus loyal contractors that are buying Rakel, we couldn’t have those jobs here. So I really, really do appreciate everything both you and our customers are doing to support us.

Aaron:
Well, I appreciate that. And anybody who ever wants to take a tour of Graco and see that it’s American made, it’s only a few miles from here. Call me and I’ll answer the phone and we’ll go have a peek at Greco’s operations. Yeah, that’s really, really cool. We would always love to have you.

Aaron:
Well, excellent. Thanks again, Pat. Please subscribe to our value podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe like the episodes and you can also email us with any ideas you might have about topics or podcasts you’d like to hear at our value podcast at i-D. I am an income again.

Aaron:
That’s the letter Rvaluepodcast@IDImn.com. Thanks for listening. And set him up Joe.

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