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EPISODE 04

Tried and True Business Practices and Selling Tips From Dick Enrico

March 2020  | 1:21:36

“Why buy new when slightly used will do, EXCEPT when the deals are this good.” If you’ve heard that slogan you probably live in the Midwest and you probably know our guest today. Dick Enrico is the founder of 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment, the nation’s largest fitness dealer, and a true sales expert. Dick has a whip-smart sense of humor but he’s dead serious about making the sale. He’s been using creative techniques to get in doors across the Midwest since the 1960s. Today’s super-sized episode is packed with sales history, tactics, strategies, ideas and “Dick-isms” you can take into your next sales call.

Transcript Details:

3:17 – Dick isn’t an entrepreneur, he’s an occupational opportunist.
10:15 – To get through 3 inches of oak you have to be a little creative: crazy sales stories of getting past the gatekeeper
18:37 – Earning the right for referral
28:44 – “The award got me the dough.” The value of incentive to sales.
32:04 – The many businesses and slogans of Dick Enrico and the one business he’ll never get back into
40:00 – Becoming memorable, becoming their insulation guy
47:00 – 2nd Wind Fitness begins….at a TGI Fridays?
55:00 – 2nd Wind grows too fast
1:00:02 – How Dick came up with his Midwest-famous commercials

Season 1, Episode 4 Transcript

6 – May 2020 – dickenrico NF.mp3 transcript powered by Sonix—the best automated transcription service in 2020. Easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

6 – May 2020 – dickenrico NF.mp3 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Travis:
Hello, friends. Welcome to our value brought to you by idea distributors, America’s insulation source.

Travis:
This is the Insulators podcast. We’ll bring you industry experts in building science, fiberglass spray foam and spray foam equipment, business and marketing leaders and many others. So sit back, relax, take some notes and listen in to our value. I’m Travis Pancake. SALES and training here at IDEO alongside my co-host Don Clymer, National Spray for manager pancake.

Don:
Do a little podcast. This one’s gonna be fun. I’m excited about this one more than any other one we’ve done so far. So today we have a guy that is probably not known to people outside of the Midwest. But why don’t you you get a little something there on him, don’t you, Don?

Travis:
Yeah. So coming up on today’s show, we have a guy who sold more clothes hangers, I mean, exercise equipment than anybody else. This is gonna be one of the most interesting and hopefully entertaining and funny podcasts that we’ve done so far. And if you grew up in Minnesota or the surrounding states in the Midwest, you know this guy I think all I have to say is why buy new when slightly used will do except when the deals are this good. Exactly. That’s right. We have the founder of Second Wind Exercise Equipment on today. Now, I know the listeners out there are probably thinking, why are we having a guy who sold exercise equipment on the show? Well, it’s because he’s gone through a lot of the same things that our listeners will go through or have gone through at some point in their career. He’s experienced phenomenal growth and sales. He’s had a write out the lowest of the lows. And he started multimillion dollar businesses on the back of napkins. He’s a graduate of the college. What’s a matter? You in eastern Ohio? And he has one hell of a head of hair. Head of hair. Dick Enrico.

Dick:
Dick, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. Absolutely. So, Dick, when we when we sat around the conference table at IDI and we’re talking about doing a podcast. You were one of the first guys who jumped to mind that I’m like, I got to get this guy on the show. You came to our national sales meeting several years ago and you’re engaging and entertaining. It’s a great speaker. You have a great story. You know, you used to try to run me off the road when we are our offices were close to each other. That was my first experience with you. But, you know, like I said, you’re you’re one of the guys out there, because I think even though you’re not in the industry, I think our listeners will be able to to gain some knowledge on how to strike or, you know, survive and thrive in this in this marketplace. Right. So when I asked you to send over your bio, it was perfect. I mean, it was funny. Great. Great information on there. And I kind of just want to jump right into that and have you kind of explain what it was like growing up on the Iron Range and how you how you came with all these great ideas out there.

Dick:
Well, thanks for once again for the opportunity to share my story and one side of the coin. People say, oh, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re starting to start all kinds of businesses. And it’s flattering as they may appear in sound. I have a different explanation of my behavior. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m an occupational opportunist. What does that mean? I’ve never had a job other than a kid growing up. And I had all kinds of those. But I realized early in life that I didn’t deal well with direction. For what reasons? I don’t really know. But discipline and directions were not one of my strong points. Subsequently, I made a decision early that I was not hirable. So because of that behavior, a selection I decided or elected to have to pursue different opportunities in growing up on the Iron Range was really interesting was what the oldest of three Italian first generation Italian Americans. My dad was one of twelve children. And unfortunately or fortunately, as the case may be, he’s seeing the 8th grade as his three brothers. Did Ted drop out and help out? So work ethic was something I understood really well more by osmosis than by lecture. Sure. Because he wasn’t very communicative. He’s too busy trying to stay alive and physically, economically stay alive and working really, really hard. So anyway, throughout high school, I seen all those things.

Dick:
And speaking of high school, it was academically challenged. I didn’t like school. I wasn’t very good at it. I looked for ways to get out of things subsequently that didn’t help me as life progressed anyway. Going through high school and a whole litany of various jobs, I mean, a lot of crazy little jobs, but they were all very entertaining. They were educational. And the one thing that that I think was instrumental growing up in a small town is work ethic. Work ethic. I didn’t have an option. My parents were. And I jokingly say there’s white collar, blue collar, no color. I think my dad was no collar. I didn’t fully appreciate that. But their. Won’t parents work? No. My dad did. My mother did. She was a stay at home mom. My dad was just the library work in the mines and in a litany of other manual labor positions. So money was never a luxury, but we never were without. But then again, what’s without? I didn’t experience much. I didn’t know any different. That’s it. You grew up with the environment you’re in. But anyway, as a kid, when I got out of high school and I mean barely got out high school, I jokingly say they asked me to leave when I was 20 because I had a chauffeur’s license.

Dick:
That’s not that’s not far from the truth. It was it was touch and go.

Dick:
So by accident, this is kind of interesting. I understand it understood the sales game really early in my life. How’d you learn that? Going back when I was very young, I was very good at raising money for various fund raising activities or there was selling candy with those selling magazines, selling this, selling that. I took it in. And I just gravitated to it by accident. I was pretty good at it and found it fun. I found it interesting and able to engage in people, be persuasive, motivate people to kind of correspond with my way of thought. So only a game to. Right. It was it was I was the hunter rather than. Hunted. So anyway, when I got out of high school by accident, I got into selling pots and pans, cookware, but pots and pans that a single working girl market up on the iron range when the iron crashed upon the heads, a tough sell about very tough. And the guy they recruited me, he lasted about three weeks and I was stuck up on the range by myself. I didn’t have any money. My mother lent me the $21 dollars to get started with one or two conditions. One was that I wouldn’t tell her husband my father, because he wouldn’t understand. And number two, that I repair. So subsequently, that’s how I got started. And I started selling clockwork that a single working girl market. And by accident I became really, really good at it. I would brome wrong that I arrange peddling pots and pans to these young girls that were aspiring to start a hope chest or hopeless chest or despair or whatever you want to call spare barrelhead back in those days.

Travis:
Sure.

Dick:
And anyhow, I got pretty good at it. And in the not too long erred, I think the time I knew what my dad was earning approximately and horsing around. I had a bigger or greater income in the HEDID. He’s still living at home. I was living at home. Haiti. He didn’t know what I was doing. That was another thing. I had a kind of sneak around, really. And I’m out there peddling his cookware and I’m travelling in the small towns on range. And I did that for almost two years up there. When I realised that the territory was pretty limited, I then sat down with him. This is in 1960 now. This is an old it kind of old. I got out of school in 58 in 1960. I had a confession to make and it was brutal. And I shared with him that to my father. I said, I’m moving the Minneapolis, Minnesota. So what are you going to do? What I says, what I’m going to continue, what I’ve been doing for two years. I’m going to sell pots and pans. And his response was, I didn’t know you were working in a hardware store. I said I didn’t want to take the time to explain Sherman because he wouldn’t understood. Yeah. Banging on doors and etc., etc.. And so anyway, I packed up and moved to the cities and it was a whole new ballgame in the cities. The prospects were immeasurable. By 1961, I had my own company. I trained a line of cookware from the westbend company and I started Kitchen Craft of Minnesota and I started recruiting college kids to work for me. And I built a pretty successful organization.

Travis:
So let’s go back to that. So you were you were selling the bottom pants. Cold call on door to door. Door to door. And then you said, hey, I can do something bigger and better. How did you have the knowledge or when was it that you reached out to Westand or whether there was westbend?

Dick:
When I got to be known in the industry just because of my production up and up in the Iron Range, I mean, it’s a small world in the sense that people in the game knew that there was this guy up on the range who didn’t know any better. There was someone a lot of culture.

Don:
They took no.not notes of units moving and so whatever. Where’s all this stuff gone?

Dick:
That’s right. Anyway, so that happened. And I got pursued and I said, why not? So I I started my own distributorship back in 19s 1960. I start poking around sixty-one. I started it and I moved to Minneapolis, rented an apartment in a rented my first.

Dick:
Office space. And I was scared to death. Was in south Minneapolis and the rent was eighty five dollars and eighty five bucks a month.

Travis:
And did you also feel you were scared, but did you also feel like, hey, I’m making it?

Dick:
I knew what I was doing. Yeah. And then ultimately I started adding to my inventory. Where I brought in other products, dishes and sewing machines and cutlery. Because you were getting asked for that stuff.

Dick:
I just wanted more ammunition to go ahead and call on these gals with her. You had the insight to expand, you know, other products. In other words, have another bullet in the chamber rather than one. Yeah.

Dick:
So I started carrying products that I thought they would have been candidates for and developed a fairly successful organization, in fact, a big organization for direct sales. And doing so, I pick a B had a firm grasp on the word rejection because when you’re knocking on the hardwoods in those days, there wasn’t security to get in the building. Sharon lived in apartments. It was very easy to get in. He just had to be a little more creative, have a more clever approach. And these are things that that I did to separate myself out of the pack.

Don:
So how did you. Okay. So we have probably a lot of our listeners, our sales guys out there trying to to get that house, to get that builder to sign up to the program. And you said rejection. You learn to handle that. I mean, what was the biggest takeaway you had with or how to overcome that?

Dick:
Well, I heard the old story, the law of averages, OK? There’s a law of averages. There’s batting averages. You bat 350, you know, Hall of Fame. That means a little over one out of three.

Dick:
You’re successful, right? In the same in the sales game, it just a matter of making sales calls. I just became more proficient on my approach. Now everybody’s got a personality. I’m very creative. And it’s all set. And I’m very creative. And I use that to my advantage. One disadvantage that I had and it was very obvious is I wasn’t a very good trainer, OK? Because you can’t train personality just because you’re a good sales guy, doesn’t his younger good trainer? Yeah. And I recognized early in the game that I wasn’t a good trainer. And I’m going to share a little story with you. Nights like this happened yesterday. And this this is almost 50 years ago. I had a recruit, very excited, good looking guy. Thank you. Hit in a foreign accent. He was from Greece, very attractive guy. And he said to me, he said, there’s no way there’s no reason I can’t sell a lot of cookware. I just know I can. But I don’t know how to get in the door. And he kept saying that to me. And I thought to myself, all right, fine. The guy really wasn’t going to make it. But I said, I’m going to give him a shot.

Dick:
Right. So I took him up with me on a Saturday morning. So I was good to go on Saturday mornings early because I worked all the time in being that there’s no security in these systems. So we went into and I knew the area very well. All the apartments were these young ladies lived. So we go in this little 6 unit building downstairs to the left, been in the building many times. You can always tell when somebody is there on the radio’s playing. So we’re down the basement, lower level in the hall. And he sees I’m going to knock on the door and I’m I want to show you how to get in. I’ll show you. I will show you how to get in real. Because he kept saying, you show me out again and I’ll know how to do it. So he is standing as close as he could to the door across the hall. 6, 8 feet away. Yeah. Sorry. Wrap on the door. Standard answer. Who’s there? Dick and Rico. What do you want? And what? The National Hearing Society. We’re checking on the acoustics of the building. Did you hear me?

Dick:
What? ISIS. Man, you have a problem. Would you please open the door? I have to talk to you.

Dick:
The door opens a sked chain there. She’s peeking out. And I do my spiel again. And then she’s looking at me like I’m crazy. This is very important that I talk to you and your premise. We’re checking the acoustics of the building. She opens. I said, come on. I round him up. He says, we’re in.

Dick:
It didn’t go any further than that at all. I said, thank you for your time. This seems to be no issue. No issue here. We go outside. He looks at me, says, I can’t do this. I say, no, you can’t. I’m fifteen. He was retired. Is that fair? No national acoustics. Well, I was at the national hearing society checking out the acoustics of apartments. Okay.

Dick:
You can’t train anybody on that to get through three inches or two inches of oak. You got to be creative right now. Now, speed the clock up a little bit. In 1960. Hi. This is long before cell either phones long before, and that was another business that was in The Wall Street Journal I bought. I seen an ad for a phone in a suitcase. Now, in case, you know, I was. Twenty five hundred bucks. Twenty five hundred dollars then was a lot. Yeah. I buy the thing and I knew what I was going to do with it. Right. It was going to be my way to get in to see these young ladies. Right. Because they worked out referrals and hours and their phone number. So anyway, when I get this phone and a briefcase in a weight wait pounds. So very inconvenient, very convenient. So I go up to the door and by myself, obviously, and I prop it up against the door. I could hear the music in the background and there was a ship to shore phone. That’s kind of how it works. So you dial a number that takes you to an operator and then the operator dials you the number. Really? OK, so I got it propped up against the wall because it’s so heavy and I’m dialing and I could hear phone ringing in the apartment because the acoustics weren’t very good.

Dick:
Right. You found that a hello. And I said, Mary, this is Dick and Rico. I have you on the phone. But I got something I want to talk to you about once you hang up and let me in. She’s excuse me. I said, I’m outside your apartment. I’ll knock again on the door. That’s me outside. But I got you on the phone, too. But it’s more important I talk to you and the person. Right. There’s some creative at all. My gosh, the skid chain would open in a peak run. Could she see me holding the phone and would. And it was I can’t even describe the look because back in those days, the only one that had a phone and a shoe was get smart. Yeah. So, I mean, I I’m in on her. Once I got in, I got a chance to do the deal. Yeah. I sold more cookware. And you talk about referrals. Right. Because the next day they always say, well I bought parts and he’s got a phone and a cs:s phone and a suitcase. Oh I don’t believe that. Send them over to see. Right. Unbelievable.

Travis:
Best twenty five hundred bucks. You know what happened that way? That’s why I invest, right? Twenty five hundred out their perception.

Dick:
See, I gotta get in somehow. I have to get in in another. I mean there’s so many crazy things, right. I’m not going to adore who is their dick in Rico. What do you guys want. Right.

Dick:
Whereas a RICO guy and I ultimately did a television commercial and I can recall a guy, a friend of mine kind of look like me. We. It is. I remember those, actually. I remember anyway. Those are some of the things.

Dick:
It’s a matter of being innovative. It’s a matter of having a sense of humor. And these are personality traits that are very difficult. So I don’t want to influence the audience to see. You got to be a stand up comic. Yeah, I’m a funny dude, but I’m dead serious when I’m in the game. Sure. In the peddling game and my thought process, I was Benin’s. And the reason one one reason good reason was selling cookware as successful is I approached wood would for four very distinct bullet points.

Dick:
You start with a suspect. Hopefully you turn the suspect into a prospect. You get in front of them to make the pitch. This is applicable to any kind of sales game now. And if you earn the right and do a good job, you might get a referral. And if he can do that same routine misbehavior in sync, you’ll become lethal. I knew how to do that.

Dick:
Suspect prospect closed a deal. Ask for a referral. And when you got the referrals because you earned the right for a referral, we hear that from.

Travis:
From our trainers that we use it. It’s earning it.

Dick:
Earning the right forever or it just is right. And I’m really, really customer sensitive in those days.

Dick:
And I continue it today is any person. And I’ve sold a lot of products to the consumer, always to the consumer, never B2B. I was to the consumer, the end user. I always follow it up immediately the next day with the thank you card, a hand written thank you card today. That’s all still to this day. All right. To this day, my current business that a second wind I used to send out and it was difficult, but I sent I got to a point. I would send out 40 a day. The customers all over the country. In fact, just the other day I got a call from a gal in St. Lewis. I sold second win four years ago. I got a call from her. She had my card. I know that. Right. And she says, I need a service call on my treadmill. I says, you have one of my business cards, don’t you?

Dick:
I said, I sold the business four years ago. But here’s who you call. Yeah, that’s awesome.

Dick:
So the power of that is to never forget the value of your client. I can’t emphasize it enough the value of your client. Most people are hit and miss. If they hit, make a score, they move on, never to call back. I think of it entirely differently.

Dick:
And and it’s just my behavior at second wind. I had hundreds of sales people working in retail stores. I’d like to think it was mandatory that they send out thank you cards. Most of them didn’t. Even though I furnished the card, I finished the book you gave me until I game all the tools.

Travis:
But the ones that did do it. They were the successful ones. Let’s get into that a little bit about how. OK. So we went from pots and pans to second wind. So what was what was a transition there? Did you sell the. What was the name of the company? Hitchen craftier.

Travis:
Kitchen crap.

Dick:
Yeah, I did that till I was 35 years old in selling things to the hottest items that a single working girl market.

Travis:
Now, what do you call it? Just despair. Beral despair. Just that.

Dick:
And I sold them a lot. I mean, a lot. And I I there’s things in time prohibiting here. There’s there’s things that I did that nobody’s ever done with that all the time.

Don:
We can go as long as you want. This is great.

Dick:
I’ll go back to the cookware business. You know, beaten on doors is one thing. And I did a lot of that and I was good at it. And I knew how to do the referrals and what have you. But then I got a little more creative. I said, my story is so good, why not share it to a group?

Dick:
So they elected to do is to go after nursing students, third year nursing students, and I get a hold of the leader of the class president, whatever.

Don:
How did you come up with that? Nursing students, because they were in an educational field when there was when they got out, they would be making a decent income. Sure. There were a little more mature thinking in the future. Sure. Sure. Yeah. There were 20, 21 years old now rather than 18.

Dick:
They had a career in. They were thinking ahead and they just the nursing students. Right. So I zeroed in on them. And what I did is there was a several hotels in this once. It’s long been torn down in Minneapolis. I made an arrangement at hotel that where I rented a meeting room that would hold, say, 20. And I I once a month they put these on and I’d rent the room and I bring my wares in my cookware and set it all up and the dishes and all the little goodies. And and there would be invitation only. And I knew about how many guests I was going to have. It was a sit down dinner. So they’re getting a free dinner. They’d be eligible for a living cedar chest, $150 item. There would be a dry one of 20 would win a cedar chest. So has that attraction. There was no obligation whatsoever. I was going to educate them on the purpose and the mindset of considering a futuristic investment in things that they need. So anyway, futuristic investment, I like it. So the real challenge now is how do you mass close 20 people who only know their names? Now, there were no other names I had.

Dick:
I gave them name Terrence, but their first name. But you don’t know their background necessarily? Nothing. So you got to play the group. You got to be really very astute and how you close and you got to pick the leader, you know? And once you pick the leader, it’s like dominoes in it. They tumble. Well, it took me a couple of dry runs to figure out how to do it. So to close the deal, I have to think Parker brothers for this, the Monopoly game, people. I went and bought a whole pile of sets, a monopoly. And I didn’t want the game, but I wanted the funny money, the monopoly money and predicated on how many guests I had alongside of their place sating was a stack of funny money. Monopoly money. And over in my display area, I had various other premium’s cutlery, dishes, wood, and they had a number assigned to a 50, 75 or 100 didn’t mean nothing. And how I worked the clothes was this and I did it. Generally, if anybody is interested today up to five, the purpose of that monopoly money there is you can take a hundred dollars and go shopping and pick any item you want in five or more up to 10. It could be a $150. So I gave that type of incentive. Right now I’m watching facial expressions. Right. And when I did my finale, right, I said, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m want to excuse myself from the room. I’m going to go settle up on the tab. Right.

Dick:
In the meantime, you guys figure out how much of the monopoly money you want to spend. Right. So it worked that way there, right?

Don:
Sure. How does one go? Oh, this is like where do you come up with these? Are you driving down the road? Right. I had a very vivid imagination.

Dick:
Yeah. So I use this tool and it was so powerful that I got the end. I come back, I see. Okay. What kind of money or where are you going to spend the funny money? Well, there’s nine of us and I’m thinking, okay, I’m short one to get the ten, right? Yeah. I said, what do I gotta do to burp one or more of you to get the 10 because we can throw another. Or I could sweeten it up anywhere I want. Yeah. So anyway it was pretty slick so I would average about 40 to 60 percent closing ratio. Now they didn’t have to get it delivered, I’d store it for them. They could make any kind of monthly payments they wanted because at the time I owned the finest clarity.

Dick:
If I were a year old, I was I was perfect.

Dick:
It was absolutely perfect. So here’s the finale that was really kind of exciting. Okay, so now we’re at the end. And then I had a an easel wood with a contract purchase agreement. Wasn’t a contract a big one? So I’m closing now six, eight, 10 people. And you got to have the momentum, the ether, the me, because they start to wane. It goes the other way or they go. So this is all momentum going right now. So I say, well, here’s what we do know. There’s seven or eight or whatever the numbers are fill in. I got and this is in the days where there was no NCR paper. It was carbon paper. Carbon paper, 3-point carbon paper. Right. So, OK, so they’re all fill in and outside and tell him what to do.

Dick:
Put your name in your dress in this in here. And here’s the price and blah, blah, blah. And here’s what your monthly payments are going to be. I’ll write that down. And then I would always precise these zero Chinese. And over to the right, there’s three carbon. So press hard, OK? All right. I made sign. Now I signed up people who were purchased. Please stand up as some were theatrical. Yep. So they’d stand up. I know what I want you to do is grab on the very bottom, very bottom of the agreement and the top.

Dick:
And when I say jerk, you jerk it. So okay. So you jerk. So what do they got? They got the three agreements copies and they got the carbon paper. Yeah. And I say just like a parade we’re going to throw all the carbon paper in the air and throw it in the air to celebrate. Yeah.

Dick:
And I’d get a couple other ones just on the rebound track as I think just throw the paper to the part of the action.

Dick:
So I got to do those. And at that point I was down 50 to 75 deals a month while doing those kind of deals. Right. And I was doing it. Nobody could ever do that. Yeah. Ever do it. Right. And then I still ran a sales organization. But it just thinking of the different things and how to do this kind of stuff.

Travis:
So how many sales guys were you running at?

Dick:
I had anywhere from I usually had four or five full time guys and 15, 20 at a time. Part time. Yeah. I’m big in recognition, big into awards monthly. Everybody likes it. Oh, yeah. Somewhere at a rank. They wrecked the recognition here. I remember selling cookware for another outfit and the recognition little dinky trophy the size of a watch fob. And I thought to myself, there’s no way in hell I’m not going to win that every month. Yeah. Every month. Right. And it was that incentive interest that propelled me in the financial part of it was secondary. Sure. The word got me the door. Yeah. Not the door. Got me the auto, the award, the recognition, the pride is what I was. But money was a byproduct. Byproduct, ancillary byproduct. Right. Yeah. This is on my mind things.

Dick:
Right. Yeah. I’m a peddler. I’m just a peddler right now. A one on one. And that’s where I took that to a larger groups anyway. So.

Travis:
So you do that for how many years.

Dick:
Till I was 35. And the reason I got out is the prospects stayed the same age and I’m not able to communicate and share language. I just sit here. I got to where it is relatable and I was in the relateable. Right. And and subsequently I went on to do a lot of other things.

Dick:
And, you know, I use the word colorful in my business career and the deals I put together are figments, my imagination. That’s all here. I see things differently. Once again, I said the criteria is, in fact, one of the criteria that I had shared with you, Don. Yeah.

Dick:
Is this three absolute imperative, non-negotiable criteria for me to do something? Number one is I know little or nothing about it’s on that basis. I don’t do hobbies because I don’t have a hobby. I joke and say I belong to two clubs, Costco and Tripoli and I pass fine art.

Don:
So that’s true. So you don’t want to be biased. Let’s look. I’m not biased. You know what it is?

Dick:
It has to be a tangible product where everybody is a suspect. And then you’ve got to be as interested in learning about it as that prospect is. That’s right. I mean, I know little or nothing about it. So you’re learning about it at the same. Sure. Right. And it’s just a product. I guess the product and product knowledge is one of my strengths. More often than not, the prospect might know more about at night. But that’s OK. Yeah, I know how to stimulate interests, motivate them. There was a deal, right? So anyway, number two. Number two is I have a couple other deals in various stages of disarray. Right. Because my attention span is really, really limited and it’s a liability limited in the third.

Dick:
Unfortunately, and I jokingly say I never had the economic resource and I didn’t. You could carry my worth in my pocket and you could hear it. That. Yeah, it’s an inside joke. I never was that despair. But, you know, nevertheless, it’s funny right now, those three things. And if they were prevalent, I’d go after it. Right. And I had all kinds of things, all kinds of various situations. And, you know, the most read, well known as we talked about earlier is when I fired up second wind SEC and wind exercise equipment. Right. Now, prior to that, I can think of. I was in the waterbed business.

Dick:
And another thing that I really, really liked is I’m very creative when it comes to a name and a slogan. Oh, absolutely. Name and a slogan. And I’ll share one with one of you today. I’ll share a story where I knew what I wanted to do, but I couldn’t come up with the name and I couldn’t come up with the slogan in a delayed me about six, eight months before it hit. But anyway, I can think of.

Dick:
I got into the most difficult business that I’ve ever been and never would do it again is the hospitality restaurant. I started an Italian restaurant. My slogan was it was called SCAA Pelley’s. I had to give it an Italian name. I didn’t want to call in Enrico’s because chances are I was going to go Tap City.

Dick:
And the I led the way. So I created this fictitious character called Vito Scarpelli. He became so real that American Express sent him an application for a credit card. Seriously? It’s all quite a few people still talk about it today.

Dick:
Sadies Scarpelli. Right. And it was done in the 1930s. The. I didn’t have any money when I started it. And it became relatively successful joint. I didn’t have keys the place. I just left. I didn’t. And keys that front door. I didn’t order cook. I hired people that knew how to do it. And I promoted it. And. Okay, fine. I started a. Did you do commercials for that? Oh, for sure. I did radio commercials on that and they were kind of funny. And well, what was the the slogan and slogan? It was unique dining experience. OK. Because it was different. Really different. The place was aesthetically. It was different. Another funny one I got in the waterbed business. OK. A waterbed business back when waterbeds were hot thing. And the name of the waterbed store was Aqua. Night Night spelled Kanai GHG. And the slogan was a big white stadium with a guy in armor and adjusting tool in the marketing pitch was a night on water is a night to remember.

Dick:
Had this horse walking across a lake right. With this just. Yeah. All right. Okay, fine then. One of the more successful ones, I got into the cellular phone business in 1986 when Sally there just started.

Travis:
So they weren’t in suitcases and they were in bags, right? No, they weren’t even bags.

Dick:
When when cell wheeler started in 86. Now bear in mind all the meat and then me go back a second year, back to the phones. I had the phone, the briefcase hassle. I mean, they got their point. And you want to use it more? I had to charge it up every night. The damn thing weighed 18 bounds and was a pain in the ass at the novelty wore off. So a 1960s.

Dick:
8 1967. One on the waiting list for a mobile phone, mobile phone. What year? 1967. Back in those days, back in the Twin Cities, it is probably true all over the country. Northwestern Bell, the phone company had mobile phones and they were installed in a car. In a car, right in the waiting list was several years and there was only a hundred.

Dick:
Sisk Sixty subscribers for four lines as part of a party line right up. So I go on the list. Ninety probably is a 66. I went on the list because I remember the phone ringing one day and says Mr. and Rachal. And I says, it’s in recall. What can I do for you? Well, I’m so-and-so with Northwestern Bell and are happy to see if you’d like a mobile phone. You can get one. I thought I won the lottery. Right. Right. I went out. But in 1968, Fleetwood KAG, Cadillac, Fleetwood, big old one. Like a like a hearse. And I had the phone installed. And in those days it was like a payphone and the front had buttons on it for buttons and they had to put the transceiver in the trunk. It was like a piece of luggage and they had a drill, a hole, and I had a choice, my trunk or my rough brand new car. So it ain’t gonna be a neurofocus. Put it on the trunk. Right. They drill the hole. So I have this phone right now burn mine. And it worked really good because it was I was busy. There was four lines, just like farmer lines. Right. And you could see when they were busy, all former red light. And it was green. You had to work.

Don:
Yeah.

Dick:
And if you didn’t hit it fast enough, you could listen to the conversation. Right. Okay, fine. You could listen. I got tired of that. So now what I did is I would pull in front of the apartment and I’d get Mary on the phone and I tell her, this is Dick and Rico. Mary and I got to see her real quickly. I’ll be up there in five seconds. I hang up. Knock on the door. Get here so quickly. Right. Bob. Bob, I did this several times. All right, fine. So I had a phone in my car. Now, there’s one thing that experience that I didn’t anticipate with the phone in the car. Couple of years later, I’m getting gas at a filling station. And the guy seen to get the pump jockey seeing the phone in my car. He saw you got one of those phones in your car? Yeah. Fancy. Yeah. He says, oh, yeah, I I’m a two way ham radio listener. You know, I can we intercept all those kind of phone calls and there’s a guy in south Minneapolis. I don’t know what he does, but he pulls up in front of his apartment.

Don:
He’s talking about you. He’s very smooth. And he says, Mary, I’ll be up in five seconds. I got to talk to you.

Dick:
This guy really good, right? Christ, he’s talking about.

Dick:
Yeah. Okay. I enjoy the privacy of the conversation.

Dick:
Yeah. Yeah. We’re non-existent anyway. I had that in my car till cellular came out. And back in those days there was no cellular and cellular phones came out in nineteen eighty six in the Twin Cities, eighty five Chicago 86 in the Twin Cities there was two carriers, there was no portable phones.

Dick:
It was a phone mounted in the car. It was three thousand bucks for the phone and backpack in half a minute. Wow. And the reception was terrible. Right. And interesting enough I got into the cell phone. Yes. By a fluke. Nineteen eighty six. I’m forty six years old, tired, depressed, had all kinds of crazy deals that didn’t work out. And I said I want to go back to the basics. Selling one on one suspect prospect closed the deal for or earner referral.

Dick:
And this was perfect. Perfect.

Dick:
A more mature. I know the game. I’ve had a phone and a briefcase.

Travis:
I had, boy, you know. Audience was probably right around here. That’s right. Your demographic threat. Right.

Dick:
And so, anyway, in December 1st of 86, I went to the cellular phone business. And I’ll speed the clock up real quickly here. I saw so many cellular phones. Headquarters is based out of Seattle. There’s only two carriers there. At the time, a wireline and a non-white airline, the non-white airline was cellular one. That’s why I was with. They sent people out to talk to my clients because they thought I was running a multilevel deal. Nobody had ever sold as many forms as I did.

Dick:
Really? I sold. A lot of forms. Why? I know how to get the referrals. Did you have anybody working for you, Bill? OK. But I got an organization in the company that time was called Car. Tell C.A.R. Dash TEFL and my slogan was a little kid in a convertible with the phone up to his ear.

Dick:
It is said experience a moving conversation. And that was my ma and campaign. And what I did rather than a thank you card. This is really thinking out of the box. This cost me a couple of bucks, which was nothing. I went and had license plates made custom license plates and they all said the same thing. Dick and recal mobilized. I had their name punched in it real Ashleigh’s and I would doumitt groups of whatever they sold in a month. Yeah. And I’ve have them punched out and I’d send them that license plate.

Dick:
Right. What are they going to do with her. He can’t put it in your billfold. They can’t put it in your drawer. They put it up in their place. Really. Is this. And it was so powerful. Yeah. So powerful that people commends you. So it’s just getting creative with great marketing. Great with some marketing. Yeah. And I still have those license plates today.

Dick:
And then if the guy’s name was too long, I gave him a nickname and I punched on his license plate and had the name of my company on it. Like Scarpelli. Yeah.

Dick:
Anyway, it goes back to recognizing your client, making an impression on your client so that you’re not forgettable. My thought process has always been you have a doctor, do you not know you have an accountant?

Dick:
You hopefully might have a lawyer. You don’t use them very often. And when you make reference to those people, it’s my. You take ownership. My doctor, my mechanic, my accountant, my lawyer, my insolation, my insulation. Hey, when you can clean your hair, your prospects claim your customers prefaced by the my. You’ve done a hell of a job. Absolutely.

Dick:
In my case, whatever I sold, I became my phone guy, my my, my botts guy, my my I became the my top of the awareness, my my exercise guy, my. It’s right.

Travis:
So let’s get into second wind. Okay. Great. Well, I wanted to back it up. Even even further a little bit. So your creativity. I mean, were these like middle of the night? You had a notepad next to the nightstand, right? No doubt.

Dick:
We’re right on. I see. Exactly. Today. That is they really simple as that. Sure. I have a Post-it by my nightstand and I think of things. And if I don’t write it down, I won’t go to sleep because I’ll try to remember. Sure. I jotted down my marketing ideas are middle of the night, really middle of the night. And I took his day in the middle of the night. How do you create some sort of routine to make yourself more creative or just kind of comes to you? Comes to me? What do you take before bed? What’s your flavor? Really radically. I take melatonin and go to sleep. But anyway.

Dick:
So I modestly see I have no talents. I’m not I’m not mechanical and not technical. I’m not musical. I’m not artistic. I have a very, very vivid, accelerated imagination. Were you trouble in school? I was.

Dick:
Yeah, I could I was. But I was very creative with it. So it wasn’t trouble.

Dick:
It was more entertaining. Yeah. So, yeah, there was issues. But anyway, yeah, I’m blessed with that. I relate some things differently. I have the ability to digest things very quickly. I’m very I’m not risk adverse if I’m okay.

Travis:
Are you a practical joker among your friends and family?

Dick:
Yeah, I am. But but I’m dead serious, too, right? I’m dead serious. Right.

Dick:
And I will say to me, the line ahead of me is always very, very short. If you’re not the lead dog, right, you’re looking up the ass of the lead dog. Right. And I don’t do that. Yeah. And I surround myself with people who share some of my spirit. My my attitude. I empower people, make decisions. My management style is really kind of simple. Empower people, make decisions. I hold them accountable for those decisions and I reward them accordingly.

Travis:
Simple, easy. That’s a body knows where they stand. That’s exactly right. Yeah. Yeah. Very transborder is a workout. I know. Yeah, but it’s a good flat. I mean, it works more than the not right now, but it’s the laws of probability again. You’re gonna the average you know, some good guys here. You know, some rotten apples.

Dick:
So hard paschen work ethic or three non-negotiables. When I’m looking at a prospect, I care less about their accomplishments. I care less about their. Achievements because I put myself in that room. Heart, passion, work ethic. Everybody’s got a heart. Yeah. So the passion and work ethic are the negotiators.

Travis:
Yeah. Hey. So that’s what I love. Yeah. So, you know, when when we’re talking about this and kind of going back to the beginning of the episode here, you know, we talked about second wind and kind of the the transition with that.

Travis:
Right. And how you started the one store. And it just it blew up. I mean, what was let’s talk a little bit about that. Sure. I think that’s where a lot of our listeners really get going to recognize. Are interested in that story.

Dick:
Second, wind is an interesting story. It’s by far the most successful deal of of the the opportunities I pursued if I were to keep numerical count than I did or do in the criteria’s. The business had to have an address and a phone number. Okay. And second win was number 21. Second win came after the cellular deal. When I when I was in the shelter, the phone business, I thought I phoned my home forever.

Dick:
When there were three grand in it took somebody with some hits by an imagination to close the deals. As time progressed, they became free with a Big Mac, and when they got to that point, my skill set was needed. I mean, you could buy him anywhere near that way. Right. So I decided to get out. I didn’t know what I was doing going to do.

Dick:
But I knew I had to get out of the phone business. And I did. And I did. I did really well. Well meaning. It brought me back and it inspired me to get back in my my bob and weave in my confidence, reinvigorate big. I really was I was charged and I sold a lot. I mean, they still talk about it. I run the people in the porn business. I remember you back in the early 90s, in the late 80s. How many of those things you sold and sold? A lot of them. Okay. So I’m at a restaurant, T.G.I. Friday’s in Minneapolis. This is in March of or January of 92 with a friend of mine who happened to be at a little dinky fitness store. And we get talking a little bit and he’s telling me about his fitness business and blah, blah, blah. And I had bought a treadmill earlier for a lot of money. Never used it, but I bought this treadmill like everybody else. But this treadmill, it turned into a doorstopper. A court record does collect whatever. Right. And I got to thinking I. So I’m talking to him. I says, do you think there’s any market to rent fitness equipment? Because there’ll be wants to make the investment for the attitude that they’re never going to use it after they come out of ether. Right. Right. Well, no, no, I don’t think so. Okay. So we’re talking more and I see, you know, nordictrack back at that time, late 80s, huge, huge item. And a good product, too, by the way. What a huge item. Right. So he said, you know, those Nordic tracks, that’s an interest in daily costs.

Dick:
Six, seven, eight hundred bucks I think come in to try and rent them his what. Or you’re going to get him for myself. Well I can’t buy him from nordictrack because they’re the only ones that sell them. I got a biometric RATCH sales. There was no internet in those classifieds. So I said, I think I’m going to buy these large tricks out of grad sales and I’m going to rent them jeans. And he says, What are you going to court? And names are so important, right? Oh, yeah. So I flipped the placemat over and I’m scratching and I says I’m going to call it second wind. He did say nothing there. It’s boring. Second wind. That’s exactly how it started. Second wind. Right on a napkin.

Dick:
On a napkin.

Dick:
Five minutes backo in a restaurant and the back of a napkin. Second wind. Okay. So I find a place to rent was abandoned. Print shop its original second winter still there. Where was that? And then Louisiana Avenue and 394 haplessly is still there. Today was fifteen hundred feet. It was an abandoned print shop. I went to the landlord and I told him what I was doing was a guy from swedens spoke with an accent. He’s in Richo. He says the rent’s fifteen hundred dollars a month. You can last three months. So I went three months in advance. Oh, wow. I started with $15000. I saw the car. I had to get the 15 grand to use car to buy these Nordic tracks out of grand sales. So I gave him a third of my working capital and I fired up and reopened March 2nd, March 7th of 1992. And if there was a museum of collectible fitness equipment, it was in there stuff that I scrounged out of garage sales, classified.

Travis:
So would you personally you yourself go to these drives? I go and hustle Hustler and haggle for the price.

Dick:
I bought these Nordic tracks and I spent up to 400 by. Swarm and an I always had cash in my pocket. I’m going back and forth and I know I wanted it. They knew I wanted it. I had a waiting list to Wrentham.

Travis:
And these people who had the garage sales had no idea who they’re up against. No idea. Other than they had some. They weren’t young.

Dick:
And I wanted what they weren’t using. And I had green dollars in my pocket. Right. So I got to a point, a period of time. I had over six hundred on rent. I’m renting them for three months. A hundred nordictrack. 600 nordictrack. Goodness. I’m getting 50 bucks a month. Hundred fifty upfront. Nobody ever renewed it. Nobody ever renewed it. At the end of the three months they brought it back. They thanked me for saving them five or six hundred bucks. Right. So they were happy as happy as hell. 150 bucks. Right. And I’m cranking along and I said, jeez, I better get into the user. Could not run around buying you solo flexes and this in there, whatever I could find. And I’m running ads in the classifieds. Right. And I’m getting people that come in.

Dick:
So the first year, second wind. Nine months did about four hundred thousand dollars in business. No new equipment. By then, I had a second location and now I’m up to about a million five. And I’m hustlin every day to go out and find the inventory. You talk about work rate and your game. People unload the insulation and you holler about what happened to my dealer. The best analogy I can use is I’m like a lion feeding the cubs. I got to go out and find the PREE to bring it back so my people could sell.

Don:
How exciting was that when everybody else.

Dick:
I found something and I’d pull up in front of the store and I’d honk the horn, run out, drag it out of my Audi, and I’d go back out to hunt another one and hunt another one and bring it back and bring it back.

Dick:
Well, this goes on for a couple of years. I thought to myself, there’s no way in hell I continue this because I couldn’t find enough product and my sales were predatory. A problem. Yeah, yeah. But it was a tough problem. I had a couple of stores and another one I’m thinking about and I said, I can’t continue this because every day I gotta go find the product. Yeah. And you can’t get people excited and hold them accountable if they’ve got nothing to sell. So I’m dictating what they can do. Yeah. Too much pressure on me.

Dick:
So I convinced a treadmill manufacturer in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Clinton’s from to sell me new treadmills and I had to work hard to convince them to sell me new treadmills. I rented these critters with a purchase option. I doubled it to 100 bucks a month at that three and end the three months they had an option, they could continue renting them. Nobody did.

Dick:
They could buy it if they bought it. I credit it two of the three months toward the purchase price. It’s a try before you buy. Yeah. So what was the close rate on that? Well, the closer it was really pretty good or not so good, I should say. But that was okay because what I was doing was creating my own used inventory. So I rented it four or five times. I sold it is used.

Dick:
So I became the largest dealer for this treadmill manufacturer in the country in a short period of time. So I said to them, I say, share your story with some your non competitors. The fitness business furloughs.

Travis:
That’s amazing.

Dick:
A whole thing opened up and then they had the vendors come in to me and I was different. The second one was different because we took trades.

Dick:
Nobody took treats. We sold used. Nobody sold you, right? Yeah, we rented. Nobody rented. So it goes back to one of my adages. I make it a habit of doing what the other guy can’t do. A willing to do doesn’t want to do. He could be right. Right. But I don’t know that. Yeah. Until I try it out. And second win. Fast forward. The clock became the largest specialty fitness dealer in United States. Right on its peak. We had over 100 locations. How many states were you? We’re in 13 states in 100 locations.

Dick:
And it was primarily to couple of things. My story was good. The previously owned was an incredible hook. Hiring people who had the hard passion and work ethic I gave him the tools to work with in my recruiting speech was real simple. I have a recipe in don’t pots with the recipe. If you don’t like oregano, leave it in the recipe.

Dick:
It’s there for a reason. It’s there for a reason. I’ll take the suspense side of it.

Dick:
Just follow the recipe. In somebodies guys and I had some gals who was mostly guys did really, really well considering they had no academic background. They liked what they did. I furnished a steady flow of prospects, suspects dorm and was often in the closed. Close the deals.

Travis:
When when did you decide, hey, we’re gonna go out to 13 states. You grow too fast. Was it wet?

Dick:
Way too fast. Yeah, way too fast. My appetite was. I love doing the exploratory. I was. I’d go out and search out the locations. I see things other people wouldn’t see. At one time, I had 18 stores in Minnesota, Cousins and have them mini submarine shops. Right. Yeah. I had 18 fitness stores and a soda. Right, at 11 or 12 in the Twin Cities. Go figure it. My first step out of Minnesota was Clive, Iowa. The more night. It’s still loaded. It is still there. They still have a second wind or it’s called a different name now, but a second wind store in Clive, Iowa. And then we went to Wisconsin. Wisconsin was a very good market. I got a little aggressive and I went to Illinois, Chicago in particular. Yeah, I opened 30 stores, all go, gosh, 30.

Dick:
And that was twenty nine too many. Right. Yeah. Brutal market. So Wendell, what year was the. Were you at your height? What store. 2009. We had one hundred and three stores in the 13 states and that year we did ninety five million in business.

Don:
Wow. I use the equipment are new and you know, and noise. So when did when did all of a sudden you were sitting there saying if this is too many.

Dick:
Well here in two thousand eight and I’m not an economist by any means. And my gut is my compass. And my dad told me things weren’t right. They weren’t right. This was before the issue. So immediately I said, how can I respond? My second most costly expense. Next to personnel people was rent, rent. So I said, well, I don’t want to lay anybody off and I don’t want to change the compensation of my employees, but I’m going to take a crack at the landlords. And this was policy. This was really policy back then. So in 2008, I spent a whole weekend, a whole weekend drafting a letter to a hand-picked, hand-picked. There was 28 of them landlords at that time. I had about maybe 80 or 80 locations, 85 maybe. And I picked the ones that weren’t doing very well. And I crafted this letter and I was asking for a little consideration for rent reduction. And looking back at the letter and I never kept it because I was so embarrassed when I sent it out.

Dick:
It was so soft. It was so apologetic. Note nobody in their right mind would have acquiesced. They say this guy must be smoking some bad dope. He’s asking us to reduce the rent. Give me a break in his asking it so gingerly and so softly. Yeah. You don’t expect us to do anything. So no takers? None. None. Okay. Zero. Other than I tip my hand and I was embarrassed that I was sure sensing showed vulnerability. I was I was wounded.

Dick:
And I’m thinking, okay, now I’m the pre rather than the hunter. I’m the hunted. No. Okay. So three, four months later, I paint and go away. The need became more apparent.

Dick:
So now I’m going to play hardball. And the second letter I sent notes something the same one, and I added a few landlords. There wasn’t an option. I picked about 25 this time. And I said, effective immediately, I’m going to pay you percentage rent. And the rent is 10 percent of sales starting now. And I took last month’s criteria, whatever I saw. They got 10 percent of it is rent shit, hit the fan shit hit the fan in a hurry rate. You talk about getting attention. OK. I succeeded what I wanted, right? So immediately I took control. Now I got evicted. Some cases they did me a favor. Right? Big time favorite.

Dick:
They evicted me in fine. I moved out. I didn’t negate my obligation. So once the ball got rolling. And then things start getting really shit. OK. In 2009, we did the most business ever, but we weren’t profitable. It just was the momentum.

Dick:
In 2000, why weren’t you profitable? That’s your biggest cause. You know, we have we have customers, right. Who are just killing it. And they think, man, it’s all about sales, sales, sales. But if you’re not profitable, I know we broke even.

Dick:
In fact, we lost money in 2009, the year that we did that much business. I just had a high overhead and I opened too many stores. And I mean, rate crudo grew too fast. Right. You weren’t able to keep your eye on that whatsoever. I’m not an operations guy at all. Mean, I got a kick out of going on. An idea guy. Idea guy. Mirasol landlords and they knew how to move. Brown And I knew how to dangle the carrot. I knew how to get extractions and I knew where to put the deals together. And I got a big kick out of it, right. And wants the store opened.

Dick:
I didn’t care. Sure. I went up to the next one. You know, the thrill of the kill move.

Dick:
I love the thrill.

Travis:
Yeah, I think that’s relatable, too, to the listeners out there, because like I said, we get we have guys who are successful. Any market. And they love Bill in that market. They say, well, if I did it here, I can do it here. Well, they can’t be in two places at one time. They can’t be in ninety five stores at one time. Like you said, most of them are bad. You know your analogy. You were a bad trainer. Terrible. So are most terr.

Dick:
And in the most important resource by far is the human resource. The human resource. And the back then it was you could find them today. It’s brutal. Red-Green that is so brutal.

Travis:
It’s one of the number one challenges in our industry right now. Even for us to aim for.

Dick:
And I’m pretty good at finding people right in my recruiting. Today, as I go out and beat on doors just like I did when I was 7 and call her if I want to hire a guy in my delivery repair area or whatever, I go to Jiffy Lube or some gas station and I watch a guy who is working out and I check the personality. All right. Personality is all about personality, right. And if I’m looking for a salesperson, if I want a lady salesperson, I go to a woman’s clothing store.

Travis:
That’s how I hired this guy right here. He was he was selling landscaping. And I went to a seminar has. And if you bought from him, he’d come over, give you a base sign. Yeah. And during the consultation, he finally looked at me and said, Are you interviewing me? Strange questions.

Dick:
Yeah. This last weekend, them over and in the same Paula K-Mart’s closing a location next to Walmart is Sam’s Club set Moondog good re pre-ground right. I went to ask for the manager. She’s 40 years with the company, right? Yeah, that was an interest in her, but I was interested in the other people. Right. Here’s my cards. If so many people looking for a job, do me a favor and call me.

Dick:
All I was one or two. I’m not looking for tender, dry one, two or three right now. And that’s part of the game raked in in second wind. Recruiting was done through referrals from the employees. I incented them to give me recruits for sure. They like what they’re doing. They want to share with their friends. But the human resources by far the most important.

Travis:
Well, let’s let’s talk a little bit about the commercials. We’ve got to talk about those. And I mean, like I said earlier, grown up, I remember those commercials. They were fantastic. I mean, everybody knew Dick and Rico. Second Wind where all those commercial ideas notepad by the nightstand ideas.

Dick:
Yeah, they were. Most of them were. They were all impromptu. I produced my no script, no script, no script. I produced my own commercials. I come up with the meat on the bones of it. One of the one of the funniest ones I come up I come up with the theme and I was going to do a warehouse sale one time was called Broom the ROOM.

Dick:
So I had to go up by the props. So Fleet Farm is a big retailer in this market here and has all kinds of stuff. I go to fleet for the first time in my life, last time in my life like a fleet firm. I’m in the hunt for a broom, a pair of coveralls, a dustpan and a hat. So I go by the props and I’m checking out the girls. May maybe 20 years old. She looks at me. She’s changing careers.

Don:
She knew changing careers. So funny. That’s awesome.

Dick:
Yeah, but coming up with these crazy slogans or things I had one time on. These are all live spots and I shot no rehearsal. I had Brock Lesnar, The Wrestler.

Don:
We just just that water. They just want you to. Yeah. Why hold that up? Yeah. Those two guys never met each other.

Dick:
Oh, really? Listen, I knew for a long time we met in Lessner, Idaho. I stumbled on him and I got him together into the studio and I said, here’s what we’re gonna do. You’re a wannabe Leshner. You’re a Has-Been. Yeah. Leard Szema. This is the theme of the pitch. Right. And we did one shot that they want to take one take one take both number all one takes half in. The more hiccups the are the funny the.

Don:
Oh yeah. For real there. Yeah. The more real here. Kind of like this podcast. That’s what you you ad lib your way through. And it’s no different than my little like I sent you the other day. Those ones, they do the videos. Yeah. Shoot. They wouldn’t pull up one plug. I kept getting an error message for some reason.

Dick:
Anyway, yeah I do. You know, I have one of my people’s pretty handy with a camera. And I’ll go into the my my new deal, the shady deal people and. And did shoot spontaneously these crazy spots. They could be 30 seconds. They could be two minutes. Not much longer net. Yeah. And it just boom. Right. It just the spontaneity is the most important part. Right. A more real and more real live right in this slogan. Which ultimately a copyright is patented the way by new and slightly used will do. It was that for a long time. And then when I added new, I had to have a caveat and the caveat. Except when the deals are this good. So I can’t tell you how many English teachers would get old and we’d see. Well, I don’t quite understand how you say that.

Dick:
They’re contradictory.

Dick:
And I said I was sorry. I was I wasn’t one of my strengths in school. So I use that as a copout. But that’s what it is. Right. Where is the confusion? Yeah. It works. It was a confusion.

Travis:
So you did the commercials. You ran second way in to 2015. Yeah. And and then it was a decision to make.

Dick:
Yeah. The decision was it was it was difficult to say the least. Who at that time. I was 75 years old. I’m seventy nine. Three pushing 80. I got approached by my largest vendor, Taiwan. Taiwanese manufacture, good manufacture and with them for 22 years. And they wanted to expand retail to North America. They seen the handwriting on the wall. What the sports authorities and the sellers. Everybody floundering. They wanted to have a more specific role in their distribution channel. So they approached me and I wasn’t interested. And then I had a little physical challenge, unexpected physical challenge. And I thought, you know what? In Myrtle’s, I think I am. I’m not. I had a couple of three on 250 employees then at the time. I have an obligation to them. Why not? So out of curiosity and courtesy, I decided to listen. And my grasp. But Taiwanese is pretty light. There is of English is much better. So they were in my conference room, in my corporate headquarters, myself by myself. Just me and the president of the company and a couple of his cohorts. And we started the dialogue and I put the white flag up and said, you know what? I could be interested. Yeah. And this is how the story went down. Not many people know what this deal calls. This is exclusive. This is kind of exclusive.

Dick:
It’s kind of funny, but it’s DICKERSON stick his neck two decades a mile away.

Dick:
So once they seen that, they had somebody that was vulnerable or receptive. They see that they all have American names. Right. And the president said, Dick, Dick what? Dick for company. So I think for a minute. I says, give him a number.

Dick:
Who? Deke DeKoe. How DeKoe? Right. The number I say is I do a topless ball.

Dick:
Put what took us bald. Mean H.R. Kotov. Vast number of us. No. There’s no negotiable one porkers Bolton. No. Negotiate out of ass.

Travis:
Are you serious? Three weeks later, the deal closes for the nut vidoe.

Travis:
The original number you pulled out of your ass.

Dick:
The number is closed. Three weeks later. They did no due diligence. Wow, that motivated. And they knew. And I was I was vulnerable. I said, no, no. Three, four weeks later. Unreal.

Don:
And though I knew that number was way higher than well, it was just a number. And what I did is I took the number years I was in business and multiplied it by that number wasn’t very scientific.

Don:
It was out of the window, you know, that kind of stuff right now.

Dick:
But I did it took us Paul took his path. I love that. And most of my friends are Jewish. A lot of my buddies are Jewish. Right. So he took his portrait and that was it. And we laughed about it. And and then.

Travis:
So did you have second shade already in my eyes kind of thinking about it because what am I gonna do?

Dick:
Yeah. What am I gonna do?

Dick:
You know, I knew as well because he always said he had some go on.

Dick:
What I didn’t talk about today is there in my inner room of second. When I had started several other deals in the 2000s, I got into a recycling concept called Woods and Water, once again, hunting fishing campaigner.

Dick:
And I opened up a bunch of those stories. Right. And I don’t own a fishing rod, right, Cherokee. And then I did pools and spas. That was brutal. I guess those house and the Jacuzzi pileups are a brutal. Yes, right. You know, three o’clock in the morning, they call me up and say, hey, my spot, quit working because of the Trojans stuck in the gym.

Dick:
I said, well, why don’t you get whatever.

Travis:
Right. That’s not covered under warranty. That’s right, Sarah. So whatever. Right. So there was those kind of deals, right? Yeah, so I had all kinds of interruptions, sir. And now you think that was part of the doubt? Well, demise of second one’s focused. Well, here it probably didn’t help. Yeah, it probably didn’t help.

Dick:
Right, because I’m very distracted. I have a hard time keeping my squirrels. Whatever. So anyway, so these are these, you know, some of the various things. And so anyway, so the deal did consummate closed. But ironically, you guys were my neighbor. Yeah, I need Perry. Headquarters right down the street from me. And then they enlisted me or asked me to stick around, you know, to help out. And I said I wouldn’t be a very good candidate.

Dick:
No, no. We need to dig deep. You piece of company. I didn’t last very long. In a year? No, no. Not even. No, no, no. And you couldn’t work for somebody? I. They didn’t ask me to do anything. I felt guilty. Taken their dog. Sure. And I just did the same work and. Right. So I said, you know what? What I want to do is try to replicate the same thought process with a different product. Second, the patio furniture business. Well, a couple of things I was aware of, but I underestimated in this market, the seasonality patio. It’s really three months. If there’s a snow in April, it’s Lowe’s. In April, it’s too much. And secondly, the. I don’t like to use the word competition. I’ll just say the options where they can buy it. You can go to a grocery store, buy a watermelon on the way out. You can buy a set of Paddy Archer. They’re everywhere. Okay, fine. But I had some hooks difference. I copy what I did at Second Wind. My new slogan was, Why buy a new one? Gentle no no’s. Because that’s my second cheaty deal thing. I could manage myself. But I did things differently. I took great patio furniture. Nobody takes it, really. I sold previously little. And if I’m taking trades.

Travis:
Yeah. Did you have a criteria for that? It had to be in a certain condition. I just I bring it up, bring it in and bring it in.

Dick:
I was buying stuff sight unseen. Right.

Dick:
I’d buy patio furniture. Right. And people would send me pictures and I’d buy it after pictures. That’s a good idea. Yeah, I I rented it a short term for staging. Right. Or events. Okay, fine. And then in the wintertime, I had the what I call the solution to patio pollution. I started for you in the wintertime right now. We do a little bit of that for commercial clients today. Yeah, but it wasn’t enough to keep it going. So I took trades as sole use. I rented and I stored some of the things I did at second wind, but not to make it work. So fast forward the clock. Today I have lots of patio furniture. I mean, the liquidation process. Get rid of it. I’m not going to get out of it entirely. And I went into the liquidation business and I have a new concept called the shady deal DPL. In a shady deal, DEEPU is I am in the liquidation business. And it’s all household products. And I opened my first location six months ago today, my warehouse in New Hope, Minnesota. I have an eighty thousand foot warehouse. I carved out 20000 feet of it. I made it into a showroom. And I have anything and everything that pertains to the home. My primary sources are our Target E Commerce, Costco, Wayfair, Penney’s, Marshall’s, T.J., Max. Anybody that has surplus Overstock now returns, not Aboriginal business.

Dick:
Been around forever. It just that there’s more and more product available because of e commerce. People don’t know that in Wayfair is the largest one of the largest retailers in the country, furniture and household items. They do almost 8 billion a year. Oh my God, a billion. They don’t own any stores. They don’t own any proud of the Aegis sell stuff. But the returns are 25 to 30 percent. And we buy the returns. Right. And in people, today’s like buying a pair of shoes. They buy three. They’re going to send to buy up. Oh, yeah. They might order two dressers. They’re going to send one back, you know, dress it right or whatever the case may be. So when these semis come in, it’s like storage wars. I don’t have any idea what’s on them. All I know is it’s household. And we sell it for half, at least half what they would sell for the store. Now there’s some risks involved. But every day’s a day, NEW DAY, it’s fun buying the stuff. We’re just getting going. I have two stores open now. Third one is going to come in to convert my second shade patio in Minnetonka, Minnesota, to a retail location your next 60 days. I’m in the process of doing a lease here next week at another location in another suburb of the Twin Cities. I was going to slow down. No, no, no.

Don:
Well, you say in your bio since retiring. Was not an option. Is that just because you just know you need to be doing it?

Dick:
I have to do something. I just do. Right. And it’s unfortunate because I don’t have to do this right. I’ve invested millions of dollars in my newest endeavor. Today, I am cursed with not having the resources. But I got to be careful that I don’t episode all the way. All right. I like the action. I really like the action. Yeah, you can tell. I like I like doing things and I’m just creative. Right. I know I got some ideas with Second Shade that I discussed today because they’re so far fetched and they may or may not become a reality, but marketing, telling a story and doing a different and B and in heaven, a memorable experience. Yeah.

Dick:
If people come to my current location where second sheet is today, it’s like Disneyland. I got mannequins all over the place. I got a. I brought you guys a couple I brought a couple bobbleheads here. Love them of the of the shady deal Bobby with the gangsters there and blah, blah, blah. It’s just part of the deal. Yeah. The whole ex-cops peel is part of the deal. And it’s memorable. People think about it. I give away very nice tchotchke gifts. When people come in, they don’t have the buying. I mean, nice gifts, right? Yeah. And it’s just part of the hype.

Don:
Well, this has been awesome. I. I bet it’s the most silent that I know because I’m just enamored with listening. Sorry. It’s great. So I am proud Joe’s for a hug. No, no. This is this is when we were talking before you came.

Don:
I said I have a feeling that that we’re going to be like listening a lot. And that’s fine. That’s that’s New York. That’s where the knowledge comes from. I mean, we I just thinking about your story. I’m just amazed it. It’s really simple if you think about it.

Dick:
Right. You know, here it’s execution. What I do is not I’m not an innovator, not an inventor. I sell things. And what I do is I look around and see where these products are being sold, how they’re being sold. Is there a niche? Is there daylight? Is there a hook? Yeah. If I think there’s one of those three, I’m on it.

Don:
But you also play to your strengths. You know what you’re good at. You go and you utilize it. You don’t you don’t want to. I mean, you guess. But you don’t because you know that you’re gonna you’re gonna take a swing at it. And if you fail, you move on to the next idea.

Dick:
Yeah. And when I did some the public speaking, I always would conclude by saying it’s okay to fail because today you’ve been listening to a failure. Mostly the deals I’ve done. I was upside down. The Wall Street Journal did a story on me about 10, 12 years, Zuko. And it’s okay to fail. They sought me out, really, because somebody tipped them off. There’s a guy in Minnesota. And they did their homework. They really did their homework. And it was painful because they dug up all the things that were disturbing. Wanted to forget. Forget the rate. And I finally said to me at the end, they kept asking me questions. I said, you know what, this interview’s over with because all you’re doing is reminding me of things that I hopefully would’ve forgot. If you don’t have enough information to do your story, I’m done. Yeah. Two days later, showed up in the journal. Wow. And it was it was it is inspirational in the scheme of things, Rick.

Travis:
Hey, I got one last question for you. Did you pay your mom back the $21?

Dick:
I did, because I saw my neighbor Gail set of pots and pans and I walked to her in Soder and my commission was 24 bucks. And I paid back my mother, the 21 bucks, and I had three dollars left over.

Dick:
And I said, there’s no way in hell I’m going to lose this job ever, ever. Some company paid them back a little bit more than. That’s right. Yeah. Because back in those days, if you made 75 cents an hour, that was big deal.

Dick:
Sure. Sure. I guess this is a hell of a deal. Yeah, that’s a hell of a deal.

Travis:
Well, some of my the thing that stuck out the most, two things actually suspect prospect clothes, earn the referral, earned the right for referral. And then right here, this one I liked. Never forget the value of your client. Ever, ever.

Dick:
The best media, the best promotion thing is a satisfied client. And they’re tough to come by. Yeah, they really are. Now they really are. And that’s why I think great value. Am I not condescending to them at all? I look at them straight and I says, I wonder, I want to have you as a client. What can I do to earn your business? To earn your business? There it is right there. Well, and you separate that. You got it. You got a chance. Yeah. Easier said than done. Yeah.

Don:
And never give up and be creative. I mean they just created anyone you think is something. Write it down and then try it. Try it. So I think with that. You know, I jokingly said maybe 20 minutes right where we’re going on an hour and 20 minutes.

Travis:
I was when I made it. Well, it may shorten that up. Butcher would know where to keep it all. Really? We’ve got to keep that. All the dick isms in there that dick is. Absolutely. I now have a new phrase.

Dick:
It’s here. So me, you know, if I were to self-describe my my personality. One word colorful.

Travis:
Absolutely. Without a hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. Well, Dick, thank you so much. It’s been entertaining to say the least. All right. Great stories. Appreciate your. Yeah. We lost our technical.

Travis:
Get at it, sir. I was on a union break. He said he had to go to the bathroom in 20 minutes. Yeah. Yeah. See the clock there? Yeah. Holy moly. We’re in overtime. Yeah. Yeah. We’re going to have to pay him or something. I think he owes us lunch. Yeah. Well we got lunch if we want to stay for lunch. Yeah, I see that. What’s going on out here today.

Don:
We’ve got a new hire orientation so we’re just training up some new guys, got some speakers in town. So I’m able to do this.

Travis:
Well, we should get Dick going and say five, 10 minutes to these guys about. Don’t be afraid to fail. Would you mind? I don’t know. Well, maybe you could say something while we’re eating lunch. Hit the hit the big red button over there, Don. Go. Hey, thanks, guys. Want to thank you. If you like this. Make sure to subscribe and we’ll see you next time. You’ve been listening to our value.

Travis:
This has been a presentation of the cellar door network for more podcasts that you can take out into the street and turn into money. Visit Cellar Die network dot com.

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EPISODE 03

Keeping Site Safety as Top Priority: with Bullard’s CEO

February 2020  |  37:39

On this edition of the R-Value Podcast, we’re chatting with Wells Bullard, a fifth-generation CEO of Bullard Manufacturing, a leading manufacturer of high-quality personal protective equipment and systems that are marketed worldwide. Bullard traces it’s history back to 1898 selling mining safety equipment to gold miners in San Francisco. Today they make products essential to workplace safety: thermal imagers, hard hats, firefighter and rescue helmets, supplied-air respirators, powered air-purifying respirators, and air quality equipment.

Workplace safety is not only a regulated mandate, it’s essential to keeping your business stable and profitable. Today’s podcast will give you great tips for keeping your site safe while keeping work efficient.

Transcript Details:

3:04 – Rapid Fire Get To Know Ya’: Wells Bullard edition
7:06 – The family history behind 5 generations of Bullard
11:48 – The patriarch of the Bullard family built the business by understanding how others work
14:55 – Was Wells encouraged or entitled to work at Bullard?
19:52 – How has work safety evolved over the last century?
23:55 – The acute incident of safety
27:59 – Safety in the spray foam market
31:47 – The safety minute!
34:13 – Fun facts about safety: head size is changing the industry

Season 1, Episode 3 Transcript

3 February 2020 – Bullard_revised.mp3 transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

3 February 2020 – Bullard_revised.mp3 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2020.

Aaron:
Welcome to R-Value. The Insulators podcast brought to you by IDI Distributors.

Aaron:
I’m Aaron Franzine, your host today. And you may be asking why is I doing a podcast? Well, we’re trying to get some industry information out there. We’re trying to get some extra knowledge. We’re gonna be talking about some building science insulation products with experts. We’re gonna have some amazing guests on here. One of them is today and we’ll get into that in a second. I am joined by my two co-hosts today. Travis Pancake works out of our corporate office as a sales and training extraordinaire, and he’s a 10 year IDI veteran.

Travis:
How are you doing? What’s up, Travis? Busy day. Yeah, busy.

Aaron:
Busy. And then also joined by Chelsea Whitley. She has 10 years in SPF sales as an SPF sales professional and a year and a half with IDBI.

Chelsea:
Yes. Sir, hello. What’s up, Chelsea? Hey, 10 years. That’s right, isn’t it?

Chelsea:
Well, close look, we’re down target. They’re round, round, round up, round up.

Aaron:
So anyways, we have an amazing guest today. But before we get to that, I want to give a quick plug to our IDI service centers. So this is a new service that we’ve recently brought to the market. Think of it as an auto mechanic for your spray foam equipment. So we have three locations currently, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Bozeman, Montana, and Boston, Massachusetts. We have professionals there. And it’s a it’s a service station for foam foam equipment. You can bring your rig, anything. You’re basically willing to ship on a pallet. You can get a repair done on it. We’ll get a quote out and that’ll get approved by the customer and we’ll turn it around and get you back up and running as soon as possible. Where can you find more about those locations?

Aaron:
I would start with IDI dash insulation. Perfect.

Aaron:
We have an amazing guest today. She comes from a leader in the safety industry. She grew up in San Francisco, California and Lexington, Kentucky. She graduated with degrees in international relations and Spanish from Stanford University in 2003, as well as gaining her MBA at a little school called Harvard Business. She’s a fifth generation leader in Bullard’s one hundred and twenty one year history. The CEO of Bullard, Wells Bullard, welcome today.

Wells:
Thank you for having me. Good morning.

Aaron:
Good morning. So what do you think of our facility so far?

Wells:
It’s really awesome. I’m looking forward to the full tour. But what I’ve seen so far, this really cool podcast studio is pretty impressive. And yet a space is really nice and new and open. It’s really it’s awesome. Excited to be here.

Aaron:
Yeah, it’s. It’ll be fun this afternoon. We’re actually in the middle of a three day training adventure.

Aaron:
So we’re gonna have vendors today, this afternoon as kind of our vendor outreach with the new Bullard trailer, which we’ll talk about that. But first, we’re gonna do just a quick rapid fire, just a couple spur of the moment questions.

Aaron:
Whatever it comes your head just to get everybody loose. First thing that comes your head. Yep. So I’ll go first. Wells, what is your favorite movie ever?

Wells:
The usual suspects. Usual suspects?

Aaron:
I don’t think I’ve seen that one. What? That’s a great light for you. Then don’t spoil it for guys. Or so say. Exactly, Kobayashi. Awesome.

Aaron:
Are you a dog or a cat person?

Wells:
Um, so I would prefer dogs to cats, but I’m a I’m a goldfish person. Goldfish had a goldfish as a kid for six and a half years. What was his name? Cleo. Cleo. Yeah, I loved Cleo dearly. Cleo moved from California to Kentucky with me. Made them? Yes. 6 1/2 years for a goldfish that I really. And when I went, I had a fair say.

Aaron:
Yeah. That’s amazing. Yeah. Do you see fish or birds or things? Don’t make movies.

Wells:
I can’t swear they didn’t replace her. It was actually the same fish.

Travis:
Did you have a hard hat for it? Yeah. Yeah. fishbowl of heart attack. So one hundred year anniversary, right.

Wells:
100 year anniversary nineteen. Exactly. My great grandfather invented the first industrial hardhat. A hundred years ago this year.

Aaron:
Wow. That’s amazing. Really? Yeah. That’s unbelievable. We just got these in today and they look awesome. Yeah. We had to showcase them because we’re video recording the first time.

Aaron:
If you were stranded on an island and could have only one thing, Wells, what would it be?

Wells:
One thing. So not one one person. But when people don’t kill, people don’t count. A Kindle probably is that I could have all the books.

Wells:
So I got loaded up before I got there and just read a lot that we get our vendor yesterday said. Beer. Oh, that’s okay.

Aaron:
That’s a good one. You getting anything?

Aaron:
Yeah. You’ll live longer with a Kindle than beer. Yeah. Until the battery runs out. Yeah, I say solar powered. Can you. Yeah. There you go. You newest innovation was four years ago.

Aaron:
Are UFOs real or not? With all that fun Area 51 news lately. There you go. Eve in UFO.

Wells:
I’m not going, but sure. What? I don’t know that they’re not real.

Aaron:
So yeah, my uncles and grandpa saw one at the same time. They swear really they are. UFOs are real and I trust them. They’re their contract.

Chelsea:
Yeah. They’re honestly have no reason to lie to me about anything. You have really good beer in northern Minnesota. Yeah. Might ahead.

Wells:
Ice fishing at the time. Was there some bourbon involved?

Aaron:
There might have been. I can tell you in Kentucky, bourbon and bourbon. He doesn’t say whiskey. Whiskey, bourbon. Yeah.

Aaron:
So if you weren’t the CEO of Bullard and you could pick any occupation in the world, what would it be?

Wells:
So if I weren’t the CEO of Bullard. I always say that I would have found another company just like Bullard, and I’d be working there because I love what we do in terms of protecting people. But if I were a totally different industry, I’d be a diplomat. So probably living abroad and I’d be a diplomat somewhere.

Aaron:
That’s a good one. That area. And that would be a great job. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a kindergartener when asked what I want to be a diplomat.

Travis:
I would like to be a diplomat. OK.

Travis:
Well, we had a guy yesterday as a senator. Oh, I would not want to be in politics now. Absolutely. Yeah. We won’t get into that.

Aaron:
Religion and politics Are off limits for R-Value.

Travis:
So thanks again for for being with us. Wells, we’re excited to have you. We’re gonna get into it a little bit. So you’re a fifth generation Bullard. We want to know a little bit about your family history and lineage.

Wells:
So 1898 as when my great great grandfather founded Bullard and we started as a distributor to the gold and copper mines in California and Nevada. It’s kind of an interesting story. My great great grandfather was an entrepreneur, 1898, starting a company. His father in law had been a distributor following the railroad and it followed the railroad to New Mexico as it was being built and basically as a distributor to the railroad. And so my great great grandfather had seen that entrepreneurship. And then I moved further west to California and started his own distributorship for supplies. So acetylene, carbide, metal lamps, things like that for the miners in California, Nevada. And then I asset’s that’s the founder, my great grandfather. His son had gone off to World War One and was in France in the cavalry and was wearing one of those metal doughboy helmets that you see in all the movies. And he came back to California and to the mining business and said to his father, the miners here are just wearing these soft canvas caps. And yet I was in the trenches experiencing really similar hazards to the miners are facing. But I had this, you know, metal helmet with suspension and and all this sort of protection. And he’s like, I feel like the miners are being underserved and they’re not being protected.

Wells:
Metals too expensive. It’s also protecting against ballistics and things that they don’t need protection from. But I think that I’ve got an idea of how to protect the miners better. And so he physically steamed. He created what was called the boiled hardhat 100 years ago. And it was steamed canvas and leather with a pretty elementary suspension, a leather brim, and it was shellacked with black paint. And that was the first industrial hardhat. And it was adapted to really be cost effective for the miners to be comfortable. Also to protect them from falling debris and and other hazards in the in the mines. And so that’s when we became a manufacturer, was with my great grandfather who led the company for, oh, my gosh, I think only almost 60 years small. So he was he was an inventor and he was a marketer. He was a jack of all trades, a real renaissance man. And he also invented our first abrasive blasting respirator. And that was doing the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. So 1919 is when he invented the hardhat. And in 1932, the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge was happening. And it was the lead engineer on that project, Joseph B Strauss wanted a really safe work worksite because it was at that point in a bridge construction project for every million dollars.

Wells:
There was a death that was just to stick. And this is a forty million dollar project. And, you know, if Strauss didn’t think that 40 people should die to, you know, get to Marin County from San Francisco. And so he had a safety net underneath the bridge. And then all the workers were wearing Bullard hardhats and he had a no showboat culture. So if people were caught kind of showboating, doing kind of cool things, standing dangerously, trying to be dangerous, and they were exactly hired on the spot and they were off off the site. And so he worked as severances go to a tiny town at the time. And so he worked. My great grandfather who said, hey, Ed, can you adopt the hard hat to protect against falling rivets? That’s my great grandfather did. And so while the workers are wearing these hard hats, but there’s this, you know, safety net, they are sandblasting the steel that come from Pennsylvania that had rusted, that went around South America. And they’re breathing in this santa-santa, the silica. And the lead engineer and my great grandfather like this doesn’t look that great. I got an idea. So put canvas. If he’s a canvas over the hardhat, cut a window, put a piece of glass there. Use the wood.

Wells:
I’ll just assumed to be great deep breathing and break it up.

Wells:
Put that into the into. But essentially first abrasive blasting respirator and that’s how we got into respiratory production was on the Golden Gate Bridge. Let’s fast.

Aaron:
Yeah, that is the Golden Gate Bridge. I mean, that had Bullard products stamped all over it.

Aaron:
I mean, some of their first hard to have the respiratory systems. That’s unbelievable. It’s incredible. There’s still a customer today and we’re really proud of that. Wow. That’s really cool. That’s an awesome story for that’s very so nuts not to not to be a downer, but how many people did die on that project and it’s still alive. Yeah.

Chelsea:
What was the thought? I think it was eleven.

Wells:
I think a lot of people died on the project and 10 of them died when the safety net failed. So the safety net caught them and then fell. So I think 10 died in the safety net failure. But again, it wasn’t anywhere near the 40. No, that would have been expected for the statistics about to be great-grandfather’s shoot a design.

Travis:
The safety net is pretty good at that stuff. Maybe all should work on that new product innovation.

Aaron:
Yeah, well, my next question was gonna be which family member most inspired you? I’m going to guess it’s your great grandfather.

Wells:
Yeah, my great grandfather. He’s he’s just yet. I never got to know him. He passed away before I was born. But he seems like it was a pretty incredible person. And really, I think what’s really. Pretty incredible is the way that he went about the business rates. He made us a manufacturer and the way that he went about the business was really watching workers doing their job right. So he is watching workers wearing his hardhats, doing their job of race of last.

Travis:
And their inspiration for the helmet came from his service, Christmas at work.

Wells:
Great point. So he had been himself a worker, a assaulter wearing this helmet and said experience and then watching the miners and thinking, how do I protect them? And so that kind of approach, I think is still what I know is still how we approach things today.

Wells:
So it’s really about watching the worker, trying to see what problems need to be solved and then solving for those.

Wells:
So I think that’s why I think did he leave any like diaries behind or any paperwork that you’ve gotten to read or just kind of get some inspiration from?

Wells:
I haven’t found any of that stuff. I have to ask my dad if there’s any sort of diary. I’ve got a really cool schematic drawing of a hardhat in my office that he did, you know, so one of the original, you know, pencil and paper drawings of a hard hat, cause he drew it and it’s signed by him. It’s just one of the original schematic drawings, which is pretty cool.

Aaron:
But now I don’t I don’t I’m sure he had, you know, just always had too much of a movie watcher. But that always seems to be, you know, some sort of passed on documentation of things. I kind of knew there was some stuff like that.

Wells:
I think there is. I think he was a great storyteller and his marriage to his wife, mama, for a very long time. And she passed away before I felt before I was born. But there was a lot of storytelling. They were really fun people. I think they played the piano. They sang. They, you know, entertained a lot. I think they were just really vivacious.

Travis:
So you’re telling me, Wells, that they were safety oriented and fun?

Wells:
I wish I can tell you how it could have happened.

Travis:
Wow. That’s unbelievable. I just learned something. So were they were the Golden Gate Bridge hardhats the same kind of like the hardboiled, like the black shellac? Or were you I mean, you were manufacturing at that time? Is that what was being manufactured? Was that same?

Wells:
Yeah. So so it was adapted a little bit. There were some reinforced ribs that were added to the product for the construction, the Goldney Bridge to protect against those heavier. And those rivets are really heavy. And they were falling from high heights, not the three RIM trademark, but we have now a different kind of the way that it was constructed was I was adapted for the bridge. But, um, yes, we are absolutely manufacturing at that time. And we had machines. There’s this really awesome ad that I have from 1925, which was my great grandmother. We have machines, so we decreased the price of the hardhats because we could make them worth the auction. And anyway, I think that’s a really incredible thing that we have. We have machines now that’s more marketable, right? Technology advancements and we’re gonna pass that on to the end user. And yeah.

Travis:
Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s a good story. Did you did you always know that you were going to have a career in the family business or was it like one day you woke up and it was just, in your view, lightened and said, I’m going to the family business?

Wells:
Yes. When I’d say I think my parents did a really good job tonight, my dad was present and see a CEO and I was growing up and they did a really good job of making sure my brother and I felt that we were neither entitled to work at Bulat nor expected to work at Bullard. Think that’s really important, because what they wanted was for me to just pursue whatever I was interested in. And they wanted to enable me to be able to pursue the highest levels of education that I that I could and that I wanted to and to pursue my interests. So what I would say to that answer is that I didn’t always know as a little kid. I think people who worked with my dad would say that they could tell that I was very interested. I mean, I’m I like to ask a lot of questions. And so as a kid, when I’d walk around the factory, I would have a lot of questions. I’d be really engaged. And we have just the most incredible people. And they’ve been incredible to me since I was a little kid. And so just engaging with them was always fun. And seeing the products and I had a couple of favorite places I loved where we customize the hardhats to really fun, to see all the logos gone and and see kind of where they’re going. And so I always loved that area. And then I also left the quality lab where they would destroy, you know, where we try to test and destroy our products, that we know what they go exactly as. I always loved those those parts of the business. And in those parts of the plant tour, basically, you just got to see that Chelsea did.

Chelsea:
It was phenomenal. It is a amazing company. Yeah. Amazing people as well.

Aaron:
Yeah, great people. Great Stovall. All the folks we work with are. They’re fantastic. Yeah, the facility is awesome. I mean, there’s some synergies I feel between IDBI and Bulat being family owned and operated right out of that culture that we we share as well.

Wells:
So is it really I mean, when we talk about the Bullard family, it’s not about the DNA. It’s not about the bloodline. It’s I mean, it’s everybody works for Bullard and retirees from Bullard. I mean, it’s the whole Bullard family ’cause we all have a part of it. So I’m glad to hear that you guys feel idea.

Chelsea:
Yeah. Like when you went there, you could feel it. You could feel the love. You could feel the energy. Could feel the people they just loved what they did. That’s sad. It’s great.

Travis:
Yeah. I mean, just meet you 20 minutes ago. Your personality is pretty cool.

Chelsea:
Yes. Oh, I know. That’s what I thought when I met her, too. Online early. And you’re a mom. How is this happening? Thank you.

Aaron:
So did you kind of come up? Did you have to sweep the floors? Did you have to work back in Couer? Did you have to work in production? How did you sort of.

Wells:
Yeah. I mean, to answer your first question. So when I was in college, I became then really interested in thinking, wait, maybe this is really the career that I do want. Because I love working with people. Absolutely love our mission of protecting people and hazardous work environments. And so I went to work for an industrial distributor after college. And then I went to business school. And while I was between my first and second year of business school, I came to Bulat. I was sure that I was going to go work somewhere else for the summers, that I could get exposed to something else. But then I also realized, what if I want to go to Boulder and I felt test it out and see if it really, really fit for me as an adult. And if I’m the right fit for it. And so I worked as a team leader that summer in head production. So I was like a supervisor essentially, and had protection for the summer. And we were working. We had crazy orders that summer. So over 10 hours a day is at least six days a week. I was exhausted, was taking a nap halfway home. Stuff like that. I was walking eight miles a day and I loved it. It was my favorite is my favorite job until this one as the CEO. It was like I just loved it. I was in the plant all day working with our awesome people, making our products, helping to, you know, allow the production associates to be able to do their work and and in a better way in terms of, you know, allowing them to focus on the task at hand while I removed some obstacles and stuff. And it was just really it was really, really, really fun.

Aaron:
That’s the grind. You know, that’s that’s where you really learn some things about the company you work for and how to be a leader. I think there’s there’s still a lot of those people that you worked with back then say, oh, absolutely.

Wells:
Oh, yes. There’s a lot of them still around. And one of them just died. She’s now a group leader of our fire of our fire production area and just celebrated her 25th anniversary. And I was telling her, you know, you’ve taught me so much about giving me that opportunity that summer to really learn as a team leader. So.

Aaron:
Right. I was I was blown away when I visited there as well last year. For the BDU, you know, some of the tenured people that are there have been there. Longtime. Yes. And that speaks volumes to a company.

Wells:
Know, we have one woman who just celebrated in June, her forty sixth anniversary of valor. So, wow. She’s the longest standing employee, which is pretty awesome.

Aaron:
That’s really cool. Great. So we’ll move into more of the industry and the product a little bit. So how do you see how safety has evolved over the last 100 years? I know that’s a long time. That’s how long you guys have been around. Right. There’s been a lot of evolution, I guess. What were some of the some of those advancements and what are those things that you’ve seen in the last hundred years? Not you personally, but Buller.

Wells:
So I would say that one of the things that we’re most proud of at Bullard is that safety is really in our DNA. We’ve been making safety equipment since before safety was required. So it’s really progressive work places and employers who were buying hardhats and then buying respiratory protection because they weren’t they didn’t have to.

Wells:
And so OSHA, which, you know, was signed into law December 1971, into law in 1971, that was pride, one of the biggest advancements, I guess I would say, in safety in terms of employer, the government recognizing that employers really had a responsibility to its requirement. Yeah, it was a requirement that you really employers had a responsibility to their employees to keep them safe on the job. But that was really important. And so you’ll see, you know, there were a lot of manufacturers that came in to be came into the industry after OSHA because I was that opened up a lot of opportunities.

Wells:
What we’re really proud of is we’ve been around since way before that since 1888 and then manufacturing since 1919. So we’ve been feeling that safety was really important to players from the beginning.

Aaron:
Right. Right. Many times I was in the U.S. Navy and what they always said. Thank you. Thank you, sir. Thank you. Thanks for that, everybody. We have a lot of what we learned was because somebody died. OK, so all of our publications and our procedures and the way that you kind of approach everything. There was an accident. Something bad happened which turned into this new procedure and new process. My question to you that that being said, product wise. Is there a single development over the last hundred years, product related that totally changed it outside of the hardhat? I mean, we know about that one, but would you pinpoint something that was kind of like a revolutionary piece, Bullard or not? I’m just. Safety industry in general.

Wells:
Yeah. So in terms of product. But it what I would say to that as. Material science technology has been one of the biggest advancements. So if you think about the capabilities of products today, they are very much enhanced from the original products.

Chelsea:
I mean, when you think lighter, stronger, later is stronger.

Wells:
When you think about even just plastics like these hard hats, these are in front of these hard hats are very different from the canvas and leather hard-boiled hardhats earlier. The kind of baseline technology of having a suspension and having a shell is still the same, but the material science allows them to be really, really good, really flexible, more affordable tools that more people can have fun can have the safety equipment that they need. And they’re very protective. So you mentioned that the Navy in deaths, I mean, the standards were originally so there were original standards many years ago that weren’t required by law necessarily. And those were about, you know, hammers dropping from six feet, you know, just kind of real life protection kind of examples.

Wells:
And in the 1950s, the military did some studies on cadavers and about what’s the amount of force that it takes to break the neck or break the brain, which is pretty not very pleasant to think about. But that’s right. Right. This could have not harmed by the standards now are really about the forced transfer. When I think about head protection, which does have an effect on respiratory protection, too, that has had protection, but it’s about the transfer of force to the neck column so that, yes, it’ll hurt. You’ll be, you know, sore, but you’ll be OK.

Aaron:
You’ll little be able to survive. Exactly. You won’t be a publication or a new safety standard. Exactly. Exactly. Yep. Well, cool. How do you view today’s safety industry? How do you think of the health of the current, say the industry is today?

Wells:
That’s a concussion. So I think that the mission to improve worker safety and workplace safety is never ending an ever evolving. I think there’s still a lot of opportunity, is there? I’d say that there’s a lot more awareness right now, the importance of safety. And I think corporations and players recognize that you can think about that, the acute incident of safety. You know, when you think about, oh, protecting from an object falling on your head from breathing, something that could really harm you.

Wells:
To kind of a more overarching theme of safety, which is really productivity is really important. You know, if you want to you want workers to be productive and there are safety equipment only to be effective when it’s worn. Right. So if you want to work or to feel confident and productive that be comfortable. And so the price of protective equipment really has to be comfortable as the easy to use. It also has to be designed in a way that makes people feel good about wearing it. So I think the safety industry is really responding to those trends. And I think workers have a lot more influence over what kind of safety equipment they wear. I mean, people are doing research on their own. They’re aware of what’s out there maybe and what they want to look like. And they have a little bit more say. I think the safety industry is responding to that.

Aaron:
All right. Those are great points. I mean, most of the time when we people we see people with a lack of safety equipment or procedures. It’s because it’s not convenient. It’s not comfortable. You know, everybody I don’t know today, maybe they want to always be as comfortable as it is like sitting at home in their bathtub. And it’s not realistic. You know, there is some inconvenience to it at times, but the better we get at it, the safer people are going to be. And to your point, the more productive. Absolutely. They’re not going to be very productive if they fall off a ladder or something falls on their head or they’re overheating or what have you.

Wells:
And we recognize as a personal protective equipment manufacturer, we recognize that people don’t actually want to wear PPE. I think we’d all rather where I flip flops and t shirts and and whatever, not where we’re at all. And I. Chelsea, but easy. But it’s but it’s necessary to keep you protected. And that’s really important. Again, as I was saying, that ease of use, the comfort and then the design, too. People want to look they want to look good in it. And look professional when they’re going to look great.

Travis:
I mean, they’re personalized. I mean. So I think the fact that you can kind of modify things to make it look like something you would want to wear or at least maybe something that’s designed for your company to more personalize it. And then that company having, you know, the best practice that you’re required to wear, A, B, C and D. Absolutely. But they look good. Yeah.

Aaron:
He’s referring to the hardhats on the table here. They know we are videotaping in case you’re not only audio. They look fantastic.

Chelsea:
They’re beautiful. And they’re run by the best colors.

Travis:
They’re part of that. There they are.

Aaron:
So among other safety companies, are some of your competitors, wells. Sets Buller apart.

Wells:
Ok, so Bullard we are really customer focused. But I was talking out of about my great grandfather and how he approached kind of innovation and differentiation was really about. It was really customer driven.

Wells:
And we still very much have that have that focus in mind in terms of really looking at our customers, watching the end users and thinking about what problems do they need solved. So I think that we do that really well. We really engage with users in their specific use cases and applications to really try to understand what problems they’re facing. What met in need of what met an unmet needs do they have and how do we solve for those in a differentiated way? Right. In a way that truly better solve their problems. That allows them to be safer and more productive and go home safely. End of the day. Right.

Chelsea:
Ok. So I was just up at Bullard and it was amazing. So I kind of know some of the things you’ve have coming out.

Chelsea:
But what new products have Bullard brought to the spray foam market? I know we saw the new helmet coming out, the cooling tubes. You know, a lot of this stuff, new mass. What what what are some things that you guys have going on?

Wells:
Yes. Specifically for the space market. One thing that we think is really important in the space market is it can be really, really hot. The work, the spray phone and solar as doing can be really hot. And so we have a couple of solutions. USCIRF response. So we we do supplied air respirators and then also powered air purifying respirators that from space some are get more popular as the supplied air. And we believe in mobility. So we’ve got pumps that allow you to be pretty mobile with the works that you can then hook up to a loose fitting face piece that provides respiratory protection and also doesn’t require fit testing and also allows you to have whatever kind of facial hair you wish to have. Selassie like for you to get analyzing how that facial hearing allows you to be really comfortable and have positive air pressure all around your face, which provides some cooling, provides comfort, doesn’t tax your heart and lungs. So we’ve got what’s known as an ice pump, which is something that allows for a mobile worker. If you’re not by a compressor where you can bring this pump and actually use a vortex cool to cool down and allows you to have really cool air going into that helmet, cooling the air around you, 15, 20 degrees.

Chelsea:
Yeah. Oh, yeah. One of those right now. How many? It is a little warm in here, but on a hot day. Oh, my goodness. Those things are lifesavers when you’re spraying foam.

Chelsea:
And you know, for those guys who are in the attics, intense heat exhaustion and there’s so many safety things, you know, it’s just horrible to be up there.

Chelsea:
So, yeah, I mean, a cooling device is absolutely necessary, in my opinion. And with you guys, Bolar trailor.

Travis:
Here are some of those. Yes, absolutely.

Wells:
Yes. Our 48 foot long trailer here that shows all sorts of pretty impressive. And it it’s really fun to walk through and really helps kind of tell the story and allows you to try on products using compressed air, using a pump and monahan’s on demonstrations.

Aaron:
It is great. It’s a game changer when you can actually don a piece of equipment and feel the difference. You know, a cooling device, you get a 30 degree delta to get out of it. And I always equate that to it’s 100 degrees outside and you’re sitting in your house and it’s 70 degrees and at 70.

Wells:
And, you know, it’s really a lot of people call it an air conditioner. Right. Right. Is it a huge difference that really allows you to be comfortable and effective in your work?

Aaron:
Yeah. I’m curious. You guys have any kind of studies on increased productivity? I know it’s a it’s a broad brush, but I’m just curious. You know, that’s something that is a selling point for sure. Oh, yeah. You know, cooling devices, keep your guys cool and safe and and productive. I’m I’m just curious if you guys have ever I feel like any kind of data or or done any studies or anything.

Chelsea:
And I feel like that if we had that data for the business owners, they’d be more likely to be like, hey, you guys need to wear this. I think this is very important. It’s a necessity.

Wells:
And that’s a great point. I think we’ve got a lot of anecdotal evidence for that. I was just talking to somebody yesterday about, you know, people working up in an attic, spraying foam and having take breaks every five minutes. You know, it’s 102 degrees up in the attic and having to take breaks because they’re just too hot in there. And their cartridge mass. They were just too hot and having to take breaks. I mean, if you could I do some math on that. Interesting that I could study. And that’s a great idea.

Aaron:
Yeah, it might be. So, I mean, a hundred and two could be an understatement.

Chelsea:
Georgia one hundred and forty. Well, not to mentioned the product itself. Your spraying is 100. Oh yeah. Right. You’re adding to it. Yeah. Plant.

Aaron:
So now we’re going to step in to the safety minute. And today it is brought to you by none other than Bullard. So today’s Safety Minute. We’re gonna talk a little bit about spray foam, rig safety. And I wanted to bounce this off you, Chelsea, real quick. What are a couple of just quick safety items that that we feel should be in every spray foam rig pressure system?

Chelsea:
I mean, you know, first aid kids, fire extinguishers, you know, the list goes on and on.

Aaron:
Yeah. Smoke and fire alarms. Oh, yes. Smoke, iron oxide. Yep. I wash first a glove suits.

Chelsea:
I mean, any kind of PPE SDS SDS. Yes.

Aaron:
Yep. Bold face mask. Yeah, absolutely. And all that stuff. So just a note, make sure you have some of these things on your rig. It’s always better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them. So if your spray foam rig is on fire, which they burn up, we’ve identified occasionally and you don’t have a fire extinguisher there. Gown. That’s a bad day.

Chelsea:
Yes, she’s gone. So, so well, as if you could leave our listeners today with one thought or one piece of advice or wisdom. What would it be?

Wells:
Mm hmm. So I would say that I think education and training is really key. I think that’s what you guys you guys do that really well in terms of making sure people understand the full context of what they’re doing. From our perspective, it’s about understanding the full context of hazards and how you can protect workers from those hazards. So I think I would just leave the the audience with I, you know, really think about how do you understand hazards that your workers are being exposed to. And that’s wholistic from the environment to this specific acute situational hazards that might exist. And how do you then educate and make it easy for your fellow workers to be safe? That again, the goal for all of us is till our kids go home safely at the end of the day to their loved ones. And. And so how can you think about the hazards and understand those and then communicate those and educate so that people understand the why of why it’s important to protect themselves from hazards and then make it as easy as possible to do so, right?

Aaron:
Yes. Yeah, that’s great. A couple takeaways, actually. I had another quick question. Correct me if I’m wrong. I remember at Bita you you talked about how people’s heads were smaller back when the hard hat was invented. Is that right?

Aaron:
Is that true? Yeah. So we’re getting smarter, right?

Wells:
It has a lot to do with nutrition. So our heads are actually getting larger and are getting longer. Really aren’t back there any longer from front to back. And it’s a lot about nutrition and diet, nutrition.

Chelsea:
So now is now looks like a man here in 100 years. Look, you know, they they say like kids are getting those little horns in the back of their head, like their skull.

Chelsea:
It’s hard to know that your skull is actually create like a little more piece of bone in these children because they’re like this all the time. Oh. So now I’m like, wow, I wonder if I’m like 100 years or we’re gonna have to change the back of this heart. Interesting. Well, we’ll be we’ll be watching that.

Wells:
We’ll be paying attention for that. It’s on video.

Wells:
It’s documented. It’s documented. Yeah, that’s the words. We’re growing hard. Look it up. Well, maybe edit that part out.

Aaron:
No, that was some great facts. It’s an amazing story. I love the film. I love American family business stories like that. I just read it in Golden Gate Bridge and, you know, inspiration from being in the war.

Chelsea:
It’s a cool story and it’s a phenomenal place if just to go visit it and see it. You got find his diaries and older.

Wells:
Now I get. And, you know, we feel really lucky. I mean, we get to think about this for the long term where hundred twenty one years young, we say a fifth generation. And my Jarvis’s steered this into the future.

Wells:
And we’re really proud to be family owned and intend to be that way for for the long term. That allows us to really think long term. And safety is all about long term has, you know, protecting people for the long terms and fun high line fire safety as finding fun.

Chelsea:
Safety is fun.

Aaron:
So. Well, hey, thanks for being here today, Wells. We’re thrilled you could join us. Thanks for the support. tie-dye. And we look forward to a long partnership with Bullard. I think I think you guys are doing some awesome things for our industry and helping make people more comfortable stay safer so that our industry can grow as well. So thanks again. And please listen to our value and drop us a line.

Aaron:
Let us know what you want to hear about any topics, any products, things like that we can talk about. And we’re happy to do so, but we may not know about it unless you tell us. So that’s it for today. Hey, great job, Travis.

Travis:
I appreciate it. Good to cohosts and a great guest.

Wells:
Thank you. Yes, this is certainly fun. Yes. Thanks. You, Chelsea Evans. My pleasure. My pleasure. Yeah. Time to get out of this boiling hot room.

All Speakers:
You’re awesome. Ventilation music A? Yeah, we could use some spray in here thing. Yeah. HMX says in simple terms that maybe should have done it that way. We should have out a great video.

Aaron:
So again, I’m Aaron Franzine at IDI. Thanks for listening. And set them up, Joe.

Aaron:
This has been a presentation of the cellar door network for more podcasts that you can take out into the street and turn into money. Visit Cellar Die Network.

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EPISODE 02

Impactful Tips on Running a Successful Business: IDI Talks with David Avrin

January 2020  |  52:06 

At the end of the day, it’s NOT about quality. Quality work should be the bedrock of your business. At the end of the day, the difference between sale or no sale is all about being memorable. So says our guest today, keynote speaker David Avrin.

One of the most in-demand Customer Experience and Marketing speakers in the world today, David Avrin has shared his high-energy and content-rich presentations with enthusiastic audiences across North America and around the world including presentations in Singapore, Bangkok, Melbourne, Brisbane, Bangalore, Antwerp, Monte Carlo, London, Buenos Aires, Glasgow, Bogota, Rotterdam, Barcelona, Johannesburg and Dubai.

David Avrin is the author of three books including the acclaimed: It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You, Visibility Marketing and his newest book: Why Customers Leave (and How to Win Them Back.)

A former CEO group leader with Vistage International and marketing firm owner, David’s business and marketing insights have been featured on hundreds of broadcast media outlets and thousands of online and print publications around the world.

Season 1, Episode 2 Transcript

2 – January 2020 – Arvinrev2.mp3 transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

2 – January 2020 – Arvinrev2.mp3 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2020.

Travis:
Hello, friends, welcome to R-Value Brought to you by IDI Distributors, America’s insulation source. This is the Insulators podcast. We’ll bring you industry experts in building science, fiberglass, spray foam, spray foam equipment, business and marketing leaders and many others. So sit back, relax, take some notes and listen in to our value.

Travis:
I’m Travis Pancake. SALES and training here at IDI Corporate. Alongside me, my co-host, Don Clymer. What up? What is it that you do around here, Don? It changes every day, but I am the product and sales manager for the spray foam division. National spray foam manager maybe. Yeah. You go to college. I’ll take it. So, Don, what are we doing here today? What brings you to Minnesota? All right. We got a new hire orientation going on. So we’re doing that. And a bunch of newbies up here. We’re training. Now we’re also doing podcasts and I’m pumped about today’s one. We had this guy come to our national sales meeting five, six years ago in Florida. And I’ll be honest, I was probably a little hung over that morning. And then they say there’s gonna be a sales and marketing group to get up on stage and talk. And I was like, oh, god, here we go again. And I’ll tell you what, he got on stage. And he started talking and I started listening. It was it was good. It was energetic. It was funny. And there was a lot of good stuff on there.

Don:
So, you know, as we sat back and we’re trying to figure out who we’re gonna get on the show and what to do.

Don:
He was first like marketing guy. I thought of late because after that I start following him on LinkedIn and Facebook and everything. And he has a lot of good stuff that I think our listeners would benefit from. I mean, just different ways to approach things. So I have a little bio on him. It’s let me read it because I can’t memorize all this. But it says here, David, one of the most in-demand customer experience and marketing keynote speakers and consultants, you’re talking about the visibility. That’s the guy right there. Boom, it’s me.

David:
But I’m supposed to be quiet. You do my introduction.

Don:
Remember Thanksgiving dinner for good.

David:
That’s right. And my last name in there as well. So I don’t think it’s just David. No, he was I was going to. I had it. I’ll get there. OK. I’ll be quiet. You go ahead. It’s best for me to say that I was hung over as well. You know, when I was a professional voice to be quite well, you know, hey, let’s just roll with it, because I saw you.

Don:
What was it? A recent one. It an older one. You were doing a speaking event and the music was keeping you up in Vegas or something.

David:
I was like three days ago. First we even said my last name. So they can’t date David Avrin, David Avrin So they can Google me. While they’re listening, going. Who is this guy?

David:
Last week I was in Vegas and most of the time when I’m speaking at conferences or working with teams in Vegas, I’m on the strip. But this time we were downtown, so I was at the place at the end of Fremont Street, which is a freak show. Yeah, as everybody knows, I mean, Vegas is crazy on its own, but but this was the dregs of humanity in various states of undress. But the music went to like one o’clock in the morning and I got to be up doing a soundcheck at like 6:00 a.m. and my room was literally shaking, not shaking because it was a party. The party was twenty seven floors below. But that’s you anyway. That’s that’s the life of a glamorous life of people who speak and train and teach for a living. So.

Don:
Yeah. Anyway, so let me let me just say this. Perhaps, you know, Syria, in all seriousness. David Avrin is the author of celebrated marketing books. It’s not who you know. It’s who knows you. Visibility, marketing and his latest customer experience book, Why Customers Leave and How to Win Her Back, was named by Forbes as one of the seven business books entrepreneurs need to read right there up on screen. And I’m sure we’ll have links in our description on how they can get it and go to you now. Was that the one that Jeffrey Gitomer had to write the forwards for?

David:
No. Gitomer wrote the foreword to my book, Visibility Marketing, and this was Larry Winget. Know, a lot of people know Larry Winget, who’s just. I mean, if you could just get this guy to come out of his shell a bit now he says it like it is. He tells it like it is. And I’ve been humbled to have some real giants hope to write the forward and promote my books. But the point is in the books and you know, a lot of people who struggle with books, it’s on it’s on Kindle, it’s on audio book, but it’s about it. You know, if it were works is what’s new? What’s changed? What’s different in the marketplace? There’s no shortage of books. There’s no shortage of videos. You can watch your TED talks. I think those are your listeners and your viewers and others. He’s looking for what’s that that point of competitive advantage. What can we do differently than others who do this? Well, and that’s what I speak about and that’s what I write about.

Don:
Awesome, awesome, awesome. So so for the guys who are listeners who who aren’t familiar with you and gals and gals, that’s why I said listeners, I corrected myself. Finally, just give. Like a two minute speech of kind of, you know, what you do, what what your main point.

David:
I’m a I’m a 30 year marketing guy.

David:
I’ve worked with with major brands, major organizations to help people who don’t know who they are, know who they are in the way they want to be known. And I literally taught I mean, I look at speaking as her keynote, speaking as as teaching from the stage. I think there’s sort of this this reputation of speakers as being motivational speakers. And they talk about the mountain that they climbed or the Olympic medal that they won. And I have no problem with my my friends and competitors in many ways who do that kind of work.

David:
I talk hard content. I help organizations, professionals, other stand out in a competitive marketplace. And what I’ve come to recognize in the last couple of years is we’re really in this interesting time of sort of commodity. There are so many who are good. And for those who are looking within the insulation industry, no matter what what specific area that you’re in, there’s a lot of other people who do what you do. And I talk to audiences. I say there’s not a company in this room that couldn’t disappear from the face of the earth today. And despite some very sad family members and employees, the marketplace would not miss you. You are good, but you were not that good. You haven’t created the cure for cancer that tastes like chocolate. If you had, you wouldn’t have to worry about marketing or anything else. But what I’ve come to recognize is that today in this marketplace where everybody’s good and we tend to quote or claim competency. Right. It’s our quality. It’s our commitment and caring and trust in people. All the crap that everybody else says. It’s not that it’s untrue. It’s completely true, but it’s also true. But your competitors. People say, you know what makes us different? We really listen to our customers and we tailor or come. We care. We give you or we really everybody listens. Everybody cares. But when they come to really recognize through my research and the work I’ve been doing over the last 30 years is that today I think the most meaningful competitive advantage is not just being good at what you do, but being really good at understanding what your customers want and what they need and what they fear and what what is a pain in the ass for them.

David:
And so I wrote this new book, which is called Why Customers Leave. And in what I’ve come to recognize is that the companies that win today oftentimes are the ones that are remarkably easy to do business with. And I don’t talk about me, to be clear. I don’t talk about customer service. I don’t get the service with a smile. I think we do. We get it either. Get it. You don’t. You’re either wired for it or you don’t or if you don’t think you’re going to get fired anyway. But customer experience is different. It’s really how your customers, B2B or B2C, don’t even matter. Everybody’s selling to somebody how they perceive it was to do business with you at every point of contact along their customer journey. Were you? It was easy to get hold of a real person. Was it easy to schedule with what are you remember, Bill, are you are you memorable? Are you are you able to track? I mean, here’s what’s really crazy is we’ve always had to be really good compared to others who do what we do. Right. We’ve always said it’s sort of like one of the best in our industry. For the first time ever, we’re being compared to companies and industries that have nothing to do with what we do. I’ll give you an example. Like we look at our employees said Will, Uber can show me exactly where the driver is and what he looks like and what time he’s going to come. And what is his license plate number is WhiteWave. Why can’t I do that with you? Why do you not know where your driver is? Why do I not know where? Mike, Mike? Full visibility, my supply chain.

Don:
Why do I get a service window between 12 and 5 p.m.?

David:
Right. Amazon can deliver overnight and soon it’s going to be 30 minutes. Why? Why do I have to wait three days for you? Yeah. And so me part of it’s just having a real cognizance, a real understanding that that the consumer, the buyer has changed. And it was kind of funny for four decades. People in business would always say technology changes and the markets change, but people don’t change. You know what people change. And people have changed for the first time, I think, because when you look at like the 12 years or so since the iPhone came out, I mean, we do not know today. People people have gotten a little more impatient, a little more demanding. Well, they have because they can be because anything we want. It’s a click away. It’s it’s, you know. Hey, Alexa, order something.

David:
Alexa just came on to my office, you know? Perfect example. We’re sitting here right before the show. There she is. She’s she’s next. And we’re trying to talk to her. We’re just warming up, going back and forth. And we could not remember the lyrics to Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Don:
I had it. And five seconds just. Yeah, right there.

Travis:
Now, you might ask yourself, why were we trying to remember that? And I don’t have an answer. I don’t know. Question. I don’t question that at all.

David:
But, you know, we avoid saying her name because she comes alive or whatever. But think about this stuff that we can we just have to go to a store and we think about this it and this is really relevant for your listeners or for your viewers as well. We’re sort of coming out of the age of the sales. So I think we’re beyond the age of the salesperson. And that’s not to suggest that there isn’t a role for sales is very important. It’s just really different because we used to rely on salespeople to educate us about products and services and features and benefits and benefits. How much can we do now by ourselves? So now I mean I mean, you go back to I don’t like not 1950s and 60s and 70s or whatever. We go to an appliance store. Right. And some teenager or some old person has been there for 50 years would explain to us this refrigerator or this range, or for those of us who are old enough to remember and stereos for the size of a piece of furniture. Right. But we needed them to explain. And if we want to compare, we would drive to another appliance store and then the salesperson would explain that we don’t do any of that. Wanted to leave. We went up on our phone, you know. Right. So those are the basics of of competency. Right. The features and benefits or that or the financing options or the color options. We can figure all that ourselves. Today, the really good salespeople understand the pain points of their customers. They understand their decision making process in their hierarchy. And who’s deciding and who else are they comparing it to and what’s a pain in the butt in their life. Right. And they tailor that content in their presentation and that availability to make life great for their customers. And that’s a real shift because the power was all in the salesperson and now the powers and in the buyer.

Don:
So how do how do our listeners, our contractors who you mentioned it. And it was one of the first things I wrote down was a lot of our customers feel like they’re selling a commodity. Right. Nobody sees the insulation that’s behind the drywall. Why? Why upgrade it instead of getting that big corner whirlpool tub that they’re going to use once a year? Right. So how do our our listeners take that and apply it to their business?

David:
What I think part of what they do, I think the most important thing is to move way upstream, which means the beginning of the process. I think first of all, we tend to talk about, you know, that argument example. I hear organizations all the time where the CEO will say, listen, folks, at the end of the day, it’s about quality. At the end of the day, it’s still about quality. And honestly, I could not disagree more really at the beginning. At the beginning of the day, it’s about quality. Quality is the entry fee. I’m not saying quality is unimportant. It’s incredibly important. It’s just not a differentiator. You better be damn good at what you say you’re gonna do. That gives you permission to do business in the marketplace. Interesting. But at the end of the day, it’s about competitive advantage and that starts farther upstream. Like from the first time that somebody is considering buying or changing or upgrading or or switching. How easy are you to find? How easy are you to get a hold of that? I mean, literally the greatest source of lost revenue. For those of you listening right now, if you’re in business, your biggest source of lost revenue isn’t your your bad, you know, installer who made somebody mad. It’s a it’s the customer that you never knew about. They drove by and they didn’t stop or they went to your Web site and they clicked away or they went to you. They called you on the phone and they didn’t want to deal with your voicemail system.

David:
Those I mean, that’s by far the biggest source of lost revenue. And most and you have no idea who those people were. But there was something that was difficult in getting a hold of you. I see this all the time. Here’s one of them. And this this will make you smile because we see this all the time. One of the biggest defenses in business is companies that literally won’t let you call and talk to a real person or a real person isn’t available. I’m not talking 2 o’clock in the morning. I’m saying you go to their Web site, you some a simple question right now of any industry and everybody listening. You’ve all been through this. You go to a Web site. There is no freaking phone number like anywhere. I cannot find. Right. I say this to audiences and everybody’s nodding. There’s there’s no there’s no there’s no email addresses. But what do you find? You find a contact form, an evil, wicked, horrible contact form, because they believe the nonsense of some Web optimization person or somebody internally says, listen, if we put a contact form to fill out the form, hey, even better, we can ask some pre-qualifying questions. So now we can tailor it. Only now we’re going to capture the information so we can market to them later. Here’s the problem we want to feel you’re stupid for. We just wonder. We just want to talk to a real person and you wouldn’t let us.

David:
And one of the answer now, or just at least no one. We’re gonna get the answer because we don’t fill it out because we don’t know who’s gonna get it. And we don’t know when they’re going to respond. And I’m going to give me the analogy. It’ll make sense if I’m like, I live just south of Denver, so I live in Castle Rock, Colorado, out in the burbs on a cul de sac. Our neighbors broken. I’ve got some broken sprinkler heads in my backyard. I think they did the area. Shannon Brooks and speaker. So I keep saying I’m going to fix it. I’m not going to fix it. So I went on Craigslist and I found sprinkler repair and installation like probably 20 on the list. And I called the first one, but I got a voicemail. Right. Not not here right now. Working in the field. I’ll call you when I get back to the office. Here’s my question for you guys. Do I leave a message, yes or no? No, of course not. Call the next one. Yeah, right. I just it’s just I call the next one because I can. The contact form on your Web site is the answering machine of the Internet. That’s good. Yeah. Nobody will. Hashtag David Avrin.

David:
If you’re gonna tweet that, that’s my street cred. I snapped end of the psychotic form as the answering machine and the people.

David:
I want to fill it out. But we think we’re not trying to be a pain in the ass. It’s just we have made it more difficult. It’s so easy in what is a commoditized business to call another installation installation company. Right. Right. It’s so easy to call somebody else. And and the reality is, there’s so few opportunities to sort of get our foot in the door for a new a new contractor or new somebody that we want to. First and foremost, we want to eliminate everything that might be a challenge or make us unattractive. Right. Anything that makes you hard to get a hold of or slow in terms of your response in yester year. We would just leave, which is bad enough, right? But today, people feel this need, if not a right, to complain and make sure everybody knows about their dissatisfaction. They are going to make you pay because I didn’t get a callback. Who these guys think they are. They come on. Yeah. Let them leave a bad review.

David:
Right. Right. Well done. Yelp and TripAdvisor and Rotten Tomatoes and Glassdoor. People are weaponising Yelp. Well, not all areas.

Don:
If you have a bad experience, it’s not just. You don’t just tell ten people. You put it out there online. And ten thousand people have read that review.

David:
Exactly right. I mean, that’s that’s one of my that’s one of my mantras on stages is we grew up. I remember called. Right. GUEST relations philosophy. GUEST relations philosophy says this. And you alluded to this. The average person with a positive experience tells two or three people, but somebody with a negative experience tells ten, right. Everybody’s heard some variation. You’re right. Today we tell thousands. Sometimes we tell millions, right. It just drag a paying customer off your airplane and see if that gets forwarded. Right. See if that spreads.

Don:
I’ve got a question, so you said, you know, getting getting a hold of being able easy to contact a lot of our listeners right now are owner operators. Right. So they own the business. They’re out there installing. They’re up in an attic and they can’t they can’t answer the phone and put this job on hold to talk to the person on call. So what advice would you have for them? Is that an answering service?

David:
Is it? Well, first of all, I’m going to challenge your your assertion. And I’m only going to challenge it because we cannot approach business like we did 10 years ago or 20 years ago. We have to be accessible and we have to be accommodating, even if it means that something comes on the line, says so-and-so is working out in the field. This is Google something. I will attempt to reach the person right now. Please hold. And if it gives you 30 seconds, 15 seconds to excuse yourself, to go in the other room for a second or have somebody else answering it who is a family member, somebody who knows we cannot lose opportunities if somebody calls. That could be a potential job. No, I’m not talking about and I don’t want anybody being dismissive. When you listen, I’m just to this podcast. I’m telling you, the world has changed and that that customer who couldn’t get a hold of you will just call somebody else.

David:
Or if you are independently wealthy and you can afford to not be available for people, that’s fine. I’m telling you, like I’m going to give an example on mine. I have multiple small businesses in every one of them have a contact sport, but they also have e-mail addresses, cell phone numbers of everybody on my team. If I could have a cranial implant and people could directly access my cerebral cortex, I would do so because, guys, this is my livelihood. I will say let me use my family.

Don:
When I when I sent you a message on LinkedIn and I thought, there’s no way this guy’s gonna respond, or I could go back and look at a time stamp, I would say it was 60 minutes or less. You responded.

David:
I was to unless I’m onstage or I’m on an airplane. And now we get Wi-Fi occasionally. Unless you are united. Unless you’re flying united and you won’t have Wi-Fi. It sucks. Yeah. Hashtag, David, I’m going to get back. Hashtag David.

David:
I’m going to unpack and get back to you as fast as I can. I mean, we’ve got here’s the other thing, because I work internationally and I’ve spoken in 24 countries in the last six years, I’m all over the world. If somebody wants to have a conversation or we get somebody reaching out at 2 o’clock in the morning, they’re in Singapore, they’re in Bangkok, they’re in Johannesburg, we’re getting back to them. I mean, I my alarm is on my phone is on people. I saw some of your line people saying there’s a new app that if there’s a phone number that comes in on your phone, it’s unknown. It sends it to voicemail. I’m like, I would go out of business. Yeah, I answer everything. And, you know, there’s a lot of spam and crap that comes over the phone. But this is still answering your question about those who are working in the attic or working to find a way to answer if you can. I think people understand. Even if you answer and say, listen, I’m in the middle of a job. Can I call you back in 45 minutes? The answer in most cases, sure. Yeah. The reason we don’t like answering machines or we don’t like contact forms, which is the same thing, is we don’t know when you’re gonna get back to us. So oftentimes or who’s gonna get that? So oftentimes we just won’t do it because it’s easier just to reach somebody else. I love my colleagues. I speak for a living. My competitors in this field are great. I have I have competitors were so good at this.

David:
That my friends and colleagues. But they’re my competitors as well. Half of all speakers have just contact for us because we travel. It’s insane. I tell them and I speak some these big annual conferences for them as well. And I say, I want to thank you for all of you who have contact us. Could you put my kids through college? Thank you. Thank you so much for your lack of availability, because here’s the reality. In many cases, I have I have talked to the client. I’ve negotiated a fee and the contract is on the way before my competitors even respond. Now, I have a lot of service oriented people that I’ve tried to contact for work on my homework in my yard. It’s stunning to me that either half of them never get back to me at all. A third of them don’t get back to me for days, if not a week. I don’t do business with any of them. Now, if they’re so busy that that’s great. Good for you. I assume that most people aren’t. Those people aren’t listening to podcasts because you’re so busy in the field working 24/7 in your pipeline, you know, for the next year and a half.

David:
But for most of us, we are slaying the daily dragons to support our family, to build a business, to pay our employees and everything else. So I challenge your assumption or your assertion just because that’s the way it has been, that we cannot take calls. I think we have to take calls or it’s and it’s one that says, you know, so-and-so is working the field. They will get back to you within five minutes or four. Please hold while we locate the Nextel subscriber, something like that. Now, in addition to that, after hours, we have to have some kind of answering service answering system. There’s people overseas. The Philippines have a phenomenal service culture. You can get people three $4 an hour who will answer phones, will do live chat features, all of those as well. But one of things that I preach is you have to be remarkably accessible today.

David:
That’s awesome. So it was a long answer. There was a lag on just that.

Travis:
So when you when you make those calls to some of these guys and they do call you back to ever, ever give them a coaching moment on like, hey, listen, listen for a minute, I’m not going with you.

Don:
Because here’s why.

David:
First of all, I don’t. I don’t often leave messages.

David:
Sometimes if it’s an email thing like on call, I mean, if somebody finally calls back to you, you know, when you maybe you’ve already made a decision and you get it.

David:
I mean, I always tell him I’ve learned that, A, I don’t want to be so arrogant as to think that they need to learn from a.. But I always do let them know that I hired somebody four days ago. You know, what I wanna say is, hey, thanks for getting back to me so fast, numbnuts, but I don’t. I just. Just let him know. Already found somebody three days ago. What’s crazy is when I would do things online, like overseas, like designers on Upworthy or I’ll answer, I guess in the this is no upward. Fiber. Things like that. I got people all over the world in Bangladesh and in Sri Lanka and India. It’s three o’clock in the morning for them and they get back to me within two minutes. Wow. Because. Because it’s their livelihood and they realize where they’re where their bread is buttered. You know, where they’re non is buttered.

David:
There was an India reference to her dad. So. So, yeah. Yeah.

David:
So it is a different world. And people saying, well, don’t you know, because we’re. I’m doing calls at 2 o’clock in the morning. If I’m talking to somebody in Singapore where somebody wants to talk. Like I said, they’re from here up from waist up. You know, I’m in a good sport coat, but from the waist down. But here’s the point. I’m going to accommodate them. I don’t expect them to accommodate me because I’m fighting for business, because competition is tough. And people ask me, well, what about life balance? I’m like, they’re not calling me every day at 2 o’clock in the morning. My kids understand that occasionally I have to leave the table to take a call because, you know, for them, leaving that thing is no, your friend. You know, Jimmy can wait for your call for me. I got a $10000 gig and that’s not going to wait. Right. That’s going to be for those dinners for the next two months.

Travis:
You know, this might be your college tuition, son. Yeah. Yes. You think so? One of the things that I and I remember you saying it back in the day, but, you know, you being very, very good at what you do is now just the entry fee. You’ve got to be remarkable. That’s kind of goes outside of what you’re saying about answer the phone, you know? Right. It’s your livelihood. Speak a little bit about some other differences that, you know, I mean, some of these guys. Sure, they don’t get it yet. You know, and so that’s kind of why we talk about brain experts on, you know, we talked we wanted know somebody like you that that’s gonna maybe shed some light or inspire something.

David:
Yet the genesis of that quote was really talking about what we we tend to do is that we make our marketplace, our prospective customers, numb and numb because we tend to have competency based claims. So what I mean is we’ve got it for everybody listening right now. If I went to your Web sites, most your Web sites and I and I took your name off the top and I substituted your nearest to competitors, three competitors names for your name. Ninety five percent of what you say on that Web site would apply to them as well. Yeah, we talk about our quality and commitment and caring and trust in people. And those are competency based claims. Those aren’t about differentiation.

David:
It’s not that they’re unimportant. Let me be clear. We have to establish our credentials and our credibility and list the services that we provide. And how long we’ve done is we need to look like a safe choice. But the smart companies are leading with something different. And what’s different isn’t that we care more or we listen more. We talked about it at the beginning or that’s about quality or or here’s the one I love is when they say, listen, our reputation speaks for itself. Really, you know, that that’s lazy. That is incredibly lazy. You have to speak for yourself. I’m not suggesting that you’re you’re your reputation is unimportant, incredibly important. We just can’t sit back.

David:
And, you know, it’s sort of like our reputation speaks for itself. Enough, said Mike drop. Right. Meanwhile, a very aggressive competitor is eating your lunch. I tell audiences all the time. I said, listen, there are people out there who are trying to steal your money. They’re trying to take away your ability to feed your family and to pay your mortgage and send your kids to college. It is not personal. They’re just trying to feed their family and their mortgage and send their kids to college. So all of this sort of lays the foundation for what do you do better than others? What do you do more than others? What do you do? Easier than a. Than others. Maybe you’ve done it longer than others. Maybe you’ve pioneered a new installation procedure. You’re the first to offer this technology or you can do what others are doing. And half the time or because of a unique relationship with a vendor, you can get special pricing or faster delivery or faster installation, or maybe because you have a bigger crew and more locations and more trucks that you are, people can be dispatched. For those who are just looking for contractors or others looking for supplies, maybe you have access to being able to resupply them faster than others. You know, in terms of our people, the problem is we can’t claim great people because we’re all pulling from the same labor pool. Right. I mean, let’s be honest, that’s our biggest issue for us. It’s hard to find good people, but we’re all pulling from the same labor pool. So talking about caring or it’s because the special relationship.

David:
I’m not looking for a great relationship with my install insulation installation person. I’m not looking for that relationship. Now, I understand the relationship can be important from a retention perspective. I’ll keep working with people I like and know and they’ve done great work. But the first time, because. Right. This is all about getting up to bat. Give me a reason to choose you over somebody else. Because the problem isn’t. And you heard me because I talk about this as well. The four most dangerous and the foremost dangerous words in business are all things being equal when all things are equal. When I believe it, you do exactly what your competitors do, and in many cases we do. Then I am hammering you on price.

David:
That’s all right. It’s been it is all about price. Now, I hear this all times and all they care about is price. Not true. Not true at all. Look for the differentiators. What do you do differently or better? Because this is all about initial trials by getting that first client customer for the first time. And then you know what to do to nurture those relationships, right? No, no. Because what I hear Ultimates is all about a bit. It’s all about a bid if they assume you’re all the same. Sometimes they can circumvent a bid process if if they have somebody that they preferred, vendor that they’re working with or preferred person. If you want people to to recommend you once again, I just once again, as a marketing rights is what do we do that’s different and better and faster.

Travis:
So let’s let’s talk a little bit about that and your new book, Why Customers Leave and How to Win Your Back. So you brought up the bids. You know, our our contractors know they’re gonna go out and bought a house. Right. And they know that that homeowner is going to get four more bids. OK. How are they going to be more memorable, more set that apart and, you know, get win that job without going through the features and benefits.

David:
And that’s what if if and in a bid is different than an RFP process, of course. Right. So we’re working with homeowners. It’s it’s the recognition and realization that they’re going to talk to others. So bring up the elephant in the room. Call out. No, listen this. But I want to be really clear because because I’m very strong on ethics in business, we never trash competitors. Never, never, never trash competitors. That said, you can always indict an industry for underperformance. If you’re talking to the homeowner, listen, our industry is notorious for X and Y, not nothing that that’s particularly demeaning. But this is the way it’s been done for 50 years. But let me let me tell you what we do differently. You know, or acknowledge listen, you’re gonna get bids from a lot of other competitors. They’re friends of ours. There are so many others are really good at what they do. And almost all of them could do a fine job. Let me tell you what we do that nobody else does. Let me tell you what we do differently. Let me tell you about our unique. You know, pink instal 5000 platinum. You know something? Visibility plan where we actually have an app that you can watch live footage of our this or you can track exactly the progress. You see what we see. We’ll give you before and after pictures. We will do readings of of of energy leakage and X and this before.

David:
Now, some smart companies already doing all of this. But if you paint the marketplace as generalists and position yourself as a specialist, you have a more meaningful conversation. Does that make sense? Right. Specificity leads to credibility. More specific things that we do that the others aren’t going to do. Don’t say it’s because they don’t care because that’s not true or that they don’t care about the little guy. They don’t care about customer orders. They just won’t stop it. You can say they’re not going to do X Y because that’s not their model. Right. Accomplish this and you’re gonna get a lot of other bids. They’re not going to do this and this and this. Listen for this watch for these things. It’s not their model. Here’s why we’ve been around for the last 50 years. Right. Or listen, we’ve been we’ve been doing this for a record or century. We watch competitors come and go so and so gone. So and so bankrupt. So and so left the market so and so got bought up. There’s a reason why. We are still here. Here’s what we do. We are here generation after we are here. We will be here next year. If you have issues or if you have questions, if you have upgrades, we’re going to be here because we’ve been here year after year after year.

Don:
So that’s quite a great point. And I don’t know if I was in one of the books I read or when you’re marketing minutes, but you talk about future proofing your business. Yeah. And so for the companies who haven’t been here for 50 years, they don’t have that legacy there because we have a lot of listeners out there right now who are just getting into this business there. They bought their first spray foam, bragged about their first blow machine, and they’re in business one or three years. She’s playing future proofing your business and how to go about doing it and the benefits of it. Got to have a drink.

David:
I’m just drinking by my obsession of Coke Zero, Coke Zero. It’s refreshing to see the things I do, try to get sponsors trying to get sponsors here. It doesn’t matter for those who are newer in business. Listen, there I am come up with competitive advantages for everybody. Paint the industry is antiquated. Here’s the way it’s been done for the last 50 years. We have a new state of the art blow truck foam install X-Rite and all the lingo is not my end is right. But here’s how it used to be done. Nobody wants to do it the old way. If there is a new way. No, we’re not gonna buy shiny or because it’s shiny. But if we say here’s a better way, it is a third of the cost. It’s twice the value. This thing is we listen. We’ve got competitors who did installs 10 years ago this that need to be replaced today. This is going to last you the next 40 years. There is something attractive about sort of the new, better way. Listen, I would even say it this way. Listen, everybody is gonna do it this way in the future. You gain a competitive advantage in in saving money, in your business, in your in your strip mall and your home or whatever else. By working with us today, this is the way and this is the same pitch that I got.

David:
We built our house and they convinced me to spend a fortune putting tech ports in every room. Cat 5 Cabling this and this. You’re gonna future-proof your home, everybody else. When you go to sell this thing 15 years from now, you’ve. Are you kidding? Everything’s a wireless now. It’s a little too it be our data. Right. But it was very convincing because future proofing, I think dancer question also is saying is asking the question, how are people going to want to do business with us next year or the year after? Can we start putting initiatives in place or are they going to be able to? Are they going to want more interaction or are they going to want less? Are they going to want to be able to get estimates over the phone right now and prepare for it? Absolutely certain. Getting ready. Look at some other industries. There was one I was talking to a group that did. It was a moving company in some of the big innovations that are coming down the pike for moving companies is being able to do estimates, accurate estimates on an app where the homeowner literally walks around the house. I did this. Did you do that? Yeah.

Travis:
When we just sold the house in Louisiana, moved to Colorado Springs. So we’re neighbors and the carramar which company it was. But, you know, the first two people I called were like. We’ll schedule an appointment between this and this. And then the third one I called said, well, let’s do face time or whatever it was. And boom, I walked around the house, got a quote right there. Yeah.

David:
Absolutely. They didn’t have to send somebody out. You didn’t have to wait up days. It was probably within within five minutes. Symbol of that. So good you don’t remember the name. I went by cheap. I can’t I keynoter this a..

David:
New technology, specific technology that I cannot talk about because I honor my my clients confidentiality. But you’ll hear about it and then I’ll be able to talk about it. But I didn’t realize you were in Palm Springs. You’re just down the road from. Yeah, just moved there in June. It is. It is a beautiful place to be at the foot of Pikes Peak.

Travis:
Oh, gorgeous. We love you. Yeah. Yeah. So our contractors, while they’re out on the job, experience a lot of things that could they could fall through the ceiling. They could. You know, the equipment breaks down there. Guy doesn’t show up. How do you talk about it? How did to prep prepare for the unexpected and and what message to send to the homeowner while they’re out there or the builder on why they didn’t get the job done? Is there a good way to do that?

David:
Sure there is. And once again, in my book, White Customers Leave and How to Win Them Back. As I talk about 23 different reasons and one of them was was well, two of them one was talking about transparency and the other was talking about. But just tell us what you know. And there’s a whole chapter. It actually had a big argument with my editor on this because they wanted me to change the name and I and I didn’t. Then the chapter is called Don’t Pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining. Right. Did you use one of my favorite? They found that highly offensive. I’m like, come on, pee pee isn’t. I can come up with a lot more things that are amorphous. But the whole idea was was just tell me the truth. I mean, I a client this week, I wouldn’t spoken. They were supposed to have a they were supposed to have a check for me after I got done presenting for the conference. And they didn’t. And they said, oh, no, no, we sent it off three days ago. And then the following week. Oh, it didn’t get sent. It turns out it didn’t get to our accounts payable person. But it will go out this week in New York area travel for a couple of weeks and then, oh, you know what? It’s like, come on. You know, we we all know organizations that have cash flow problems or they’re aging, they’re their payables, whatever. Just tell me the truth. We’re pretty we’re we’re grown ups. We can take that. And so I think to answer your question about when things go awry in the field, which they do, I think.

David:
I think transparency is is not only the best policy. I think today it’s almost the only policy because people are pretty jaded. I think we can be pretty cynical if we think we’re getting the runaround. Not only do we do we get frustrated at our our vendor or our or install or anybody else. But once again, we go online. I’ve got this great slide. It was the marquee of a gas station in a busy intersection. And it says on the marquee, it says, ask how bad my lows incense install is going.

David:
Wow. Ten thousand cars a day or driving by. When?

David:
When the reality is, if they said, listen, we’ve got we ordered some wrong materials, here’s what we’re gonna do. Here’s we’re gonna do to make it right, you know. Or something else. We had a problem with our person. I’m going to personally come to the job site tomorrow to make sure that it’s on track. We’re gonna give you dinner for two at a dinner for four at Chili’s to make up for your inconvenient. Any of those things to play? Kate, people, because we have to do that more than ever. Sort things do go awry. Do you recommend?

Travis:
Do you recommend going over what the potential pitfalls could be before you go into a job? Or do you leave that out?

David:
Oh, no, I would absolutely do it. I don’t know that I would go through it all before I signed a contract. Yeah, I know. But I’ve got to their money. Here’s what I’m not trying to be unethical.

David:
Interesting. Here’s the reality. Yes. I mean, if we’re still fighting for the job, we should we put on our best face. You know, when you’re when you’re dating somebody for the first time, you’re not going to say, oh, by the way, it’s when, like, you know, I tend to get pretty gassy when I have black black toasts, I tend to know you put on the best one in a day or at least keep it real. And, you know, as you’re working out the schedule, just understand that here’s what we’re gonna do. We have no control over X or Y. We’re gonna do everything we can. But the reality is the issues that we face is what everyone in our industry faces as well, you know, painted as as an industry issue. So it’s not about your company, but we know oftentimes is how do we handle things that don’t go well, plays a significant part in whether somebody is going to want to do business with us. Again, just tell us the truth. We’re we’re big kids.

Don:
It gets back to the Yelp reviews right now. The bad news is gonna be spread.

David:
Yeah. I mean, Yelp is Yelp is evil. I mean, people are weaponising Yelp. There’s a movie coming out. There’s a new documentary called Bully Reality. You wait to see what’s happening with Yelp. Oh, they’re horrible, horrible stuff, because we have no control over what people say, whether it’s true or not. There is no filter. They push you to pay for good reviews. You say you’re not going to pay and they’ll send. Your good reviews are buried. It’s a racket coming on to social media in itself.

Travis:
Oh, absolutely. How how much should you trust those type of reviews?

David:
Oh, I think people that it doesn’t matter whether you book whether you whether we believe them or not. It’s both social proof. And people will trust those over your own ads. Over your own. Web site. So part of the way we affect that is by pushing some of those negative reviews lower, by flooding it with positive reviews that are accurate. And somebody has a good experience. They like it. Ask them, would you would you say a few things? Would you please go on. Put it up on your phone right now. Hand it to a right, then just say it because. Oh, oh, I’ll go do that later. Haven’t do it right then and there incentivize it. You know what? If you’ll if you’ll leave us a review. If you had a good experience, you know, tell me don’t don’t be dishonest. But if you had a good experience, please do that. There’s a whole line this is that the behavior that’s recognized or rewarded is the behavior that’s repeated. That’s a recognized or rewarded. I ask you because because reviews are always gonna be skewed negative. The people who were satisfied are satisfied to go away. People are unhappy. They go online and they’re going to hurt you.

Travis:
Oh, absolutely. Without a doubt. It’s is horrible. So and in their books, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you and visibility marketing and why customers leave and how to weight you by listening.

David:
All of those. I appreciate that.

Travis:
Absolutely. Do they have to read him in order?

David:
No. They’re actually the first tour marking.

David:
So the most recent one, if you’re if you’re looking at ways at raising your visibility in the marketplace, visibility marketing is a great book for that. But the new one, why customers leave is really it’s almost a rant. It’s all the things when I when I have friends and colleagues and others who’ve read it, they said they were nodding the whole time. Oh, I hate it when they do that. I hate it. And the point is that businesses, in an effort to be predictable in their customer path and predictable and predictable in terms of their employees behavior, that we try to standardize everything. Here’s here’s how we’re gonna do it every time. Right. That we can have some measure of predictability. You know, the interesting thing is we we we hire staff. We hire workers and we look them up online and we interview them. And we might ask them open ended questions to me about a difficult situation. Tell me how you how did you handle it? And this is we Hyrum we newsroom now. Just do it our way. Now, here’s just don’t make any God forbid you should make a decision because you might make a bad decision.

David:
Don’t change it. The problem is, you know, there’s there’s so many things that businesses do that are great for them. But we hate like you. You buy from somebody, which is you’re like literally their best customer because you were the one who most recently bought. And then they start flooding you with survey requests. You know, hey, please rate your experience. Please fill out this thing and you don’t fill it out. So what do they do? They send you another one? Yes. You don’t fill out that. Hey, you forgot to fill out our survey. And now, you know, your experience was fine. But now I’m sorry I ever did business with you because now you’re annoying the heck out of me because you’re over serving me. These are things that businesses don’t think about. I mean, they’re thinking like, we need to get feedback. We can correct problems. We can head off people so they don’t go on Yelp and complain about us, but then they overdo it because they automate things.

Travis:
So I get the feedback while you’re there right before the job’s done. And if you are, I mean, is that is that what you’re saying is the best?

David:
Yeah, sure. But there’s other ways. I mean, there’s there’s things you can do to make them really happy. You ask them, say, hey, listen, this chop went so well. Take pictures. Can I share? Can we throw a quote on there? This is like literally your. This is a Picasso in the instant enhance insulation work. Right. And then they’re kind of proud. Wow. I guess it did turn out great. You just told them how great it was. Or maybe you say, hey, listen, we would we would love to. If you want have some friends over for a barbecue or some, we’ll we’ll spring for the burgers and dogs. You want to show everybody what you did. And we’ll give you a 20 percent commission on any referrals that you make for your neighbors as well.

Travis:
It’s like when when you go on a hunting trip or a fishing trip. Sorry to interrupt, but. And you you catch a nice trout or something. And that guy is like, hey, do you mind if I get in the picture with you? We’re going to put this on the Web site. Absolutely. Then, you know, they’re not blowing smoke up the NSA. All right. This is a good one.

David:
Right. Because, listen, I mean, I work with a lot of industries that are not considered sexy. Now, you know, insulation installation is very conspicuous in its absence. You know, when your insulation sucks. Right. But you spend money, you know, of insulation. Your life’s not much different. Right. It’s like having to replace your washing machine after it goes bad. I had a washing machine. Now I have a washing machine again. And my life is different. Well, the differences with you guys, your life is different. It is better. It is more energy efficient. It is solving a problem. You just have to remind them that. Here’s what we did for you. You’re out with the here’s where you were before. Here’s where you were after. Right. Yeah. I didn’t ask for those, too. Like I said, to refer. And here’s out. Let me through a quick thinking about referrals, because I get this dismissive thing all the time saying, listen, you can ask for referrals. It doesn’t work. Nobody refers. Well, part of it, you can incentivize it. But the other thing is, you have to be specific. If people say, listen, if you know of any other neighbors or anybody else you know here, please give me my card. It doesn’t happen. But if you say, listen, can you think of one of your neighbors who maybe has been there for a long time? Or recently moved into the house or is going through some construction. Where can you think? Can you give me two names of anybody else who lives in this neighborhood? Who can I use your name as or is a reference right there? I send people. How about this? I love this one. If I talk to others in your neighborhood, can I send them to your house to look at what? What an amazing job. So that they could and people are like, well, yeah, I guess you can. You know? Yeah, they’re pretty proud of their installation.

Don:
Travis has spray some in his house. I want that. Right. Can I come out? Yeah, that is sexy. Sorry.

David:
Or anybody else who’s thinking about finishing their basement right now. We got to I mean, all of those things are finishing their garage. I mean, keep your ears out in yester year. If you did a really good job. Well, here’s what they said. Right? We grew up with this. If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door. Right. Just might be really good today. You got a warehouse full of mouse traps and somebody overseas knocking him off for 10 cents on the dollar. You have to be aggressive. You have to be creative. Here’s the other thing. From a promotional perspective, it’s social media and everything else. It’s video, video, video, video, show before and after.

Travis:
So if I consumers aren’t on social media, are they just way behind the game?

David:
They don’t exist now. Don’t exist like my kids are funny. Me and I would like teens and early 20s like dad. Nobody’s on Facebook. I’m like, really? Yeah. Who? 2 billion is the biggest country in the world. Every time I post and stuff in the way they post, you know, like worthless stuff on snap face and link chat. And my kids are like, oh my God, Dad, you don’t get it. I said, Oh, no, no, no. I teach it. Yeah, yeah. And if three times more followers and, you know, like, shut up.

David:
But here’s the thing is, is tell those stories. Tell success stories. You a handheld thing or a selfie stick and say, hey, let me walk you through this job that we just did.

David:
This was actually kind of interesting because here’s what we found before. And I think I don’t even know who did the installation originally was probably came with the house or somebody did a remodel and literally did not know what they were doing. It was costing these homeowners probably six to eight hundred dollars a year just from the leak, which let me tell you what we did just to walk them through it. Don’t don’t hire a professional video camera or crew. Just do it on your cell phone. We’ve got we got high def video, tell stories. Here’s the key. And social media. Would you say for if you want people to be interested, you have to be interesting. Be interesting.

Travis:
Yeah. Would you say for our our small business, you know, contractors out there, is it more important to be on Facebook or LinkedIn or is there a platform that’s better for for that?

David:
You know, it is first and foremost, if you’re not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist. Everybody is going to to look you up before they hire you. Everybody everybody looks up, right.

David:
We’re not just looking up old girlfriends and boyfriends and in person we talked to on the phone to see if they’re if they’re really cute. Every we’ll look to see if you’re legit. They will look up. They’ll look for bad reviews online. You gotta be cognizant of what’s there, what isn’t. If things if somebody puts a bad review, you’ve got to respond to them. Make a deal with them. If you go back and do X and Y, would you agree to take down your negative review? Write people in. Think about that. They think all this person and I’m going to respond and say they don’t know what they’re talking about. I gave them fifteen different times and there’s still reach out to them. Try and make them OK.

Travis:
Do you leave their negative reviews up and how you know the correspondence with how you solved it and offered to solve it? Or do you want that negative review off?

David:
Or will you have. No, unless it’s on your site. I mean, first of all. You at their basic review sites, you have no control over what stays and what doesn’t. But like on your on your social media, do not believe anybody that says your social media is an open forum and there’s a First Amendment. That’s crap. It is your front porch. It is your Web site. I don’t allow anybody put negative stuff on my social media. I delete that stuff. Anybody puts political arguments. I have political views. I don’t share online now. I don’t make enough money that I can afford to piss off half of my perspective customers. So I would encourage people. Social media. Answer your question. If you’re not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist. You’ve got to be on LinkedIn. And you look at where young people are probably much more on on Instagram right now than they are Facebook. But the people with money who are insulating their houses are on Facebook now. But here’s the thing is, once again, if you want people to be interested, be interesting, tell stories, do profiles of staff. Show a community service project that your your team is working on. Right. All things being equal. I’m gonna work with somebody who is community minded. Yeah. You know, so you have to be there. And if this is if this is stressful for you, just deputizes one of the millennials on your team. Find a propeller head. Who knows what they’re doing. ice-cold people understand what that means. And and and post. You drop the post every day. Post videos. Yeah. Yo, success stories. Put on testimonials of people saying this was awesome. Right. Right. So don’t make them so formal.

Travis:
Perfect. Well, I think that was great.

David:
I got nothing else. Gentlemen, I saw you out more. You have cured cancer here today on this podcast.

Travis:
Yeah. Yeah. No. Thank you so much. Yeah. Again. David Avrin, author of the three books we’ve mentioned. Where can I go online to find you?

David:
Sure. If they want to learn more about me, my speaking consulting. I love to go into organizations and help work with them as well. If you go to visibility international dot com, you can learn about me.

David:
Got the books, you can watch a preview video and other things as well and then go to my podcast. Yes, very visible business podcast. There you go. Very good.

Travis:
Well, thank you so much. We’ll have all the lengthen the subscriptions and everything. And again, thank you for the time. Really appreciate it.

Travis:
This has been a presentation of the cellar door network for more podcasts than you can take out into the street and turn into money. Visit Cellar Die Network dot com.

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EPISODE 01

HFO Performance, Mandates & More: IDI Talks With Chemours Professionals

January 2020  |  25:14 

Today it’s all about the HFO. The next generation of blowing agent in spray foam is increasing yields and decreasing impact on the environment. But the rules on when and where HFO spray foam will be mandated are confusing at best. That’s why we’ve called on the HFO professionals.

Our guests today are Joyce Wallace and Ernie Wysong from Chemours, formerly DuPont Performance Chemicals. Chemours is a $6 billion dollar chemical company that is leading the world in innovation on a number of products that dominate a contractor’s life including spray foam.

Visit Opteon.com today to find out more about the transition to HFO blowing agents and how Chemours continues to set the standard on these products.

Season 1, Episode 1 Transcript

1 – January 2020 Chemours NF.mp3 transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

1 – January 2020 Chemours NF.mp3 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2020.

Travis:
Welcome to another edition of R-Value the Insulators podcast. I’m Travis pancake sales and trainer here at the corporate office in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Sitting here with my co-host, Don Climber. Don, how are you doing today? Fantastic. How are you? I’m doing great. So, Don, what is it you say you do around here?

Don:
We’re still trying to figure that out after 15 years. But on a good day, I’m managing our spray foam division.

Don:
Now, you look a little tired today, Travis.

Travis:
Yeah, we’ve got some customers in here for training all weekend. Well, you have to entertain.

Don:
Yes, you do. Part of the job. So coming up on today’s show, we are going to be talking everything. HFO. Oh, we have camorra’s here. We have Joyce Wallace and Ernie Ysong was a Y song. And Joyce has been with camorra’s for over 30 years. And same with Ernie Joyce is the marketing North American marketing manager for camorra’s, formerly Dupont. She was instrumental in the market development and commercial commercialization of the new low GWP blowing agent off Deonna 1/100, which recently received the CPI Innovation Award in October of 2, 2017.

Don:
Ernie is a graduate of Caltech. I think we have a first doctor on the show today. Travis So I’ve got this condition.

Ernie:
Ernie You’re not that kind of doctor. If it hurts, don’t do that. Don’t do that. Great advice.

Don:
He started out with Dupont. Now Claymores as a research chemist transitioned into a technical service consultant and is now the global technology leader for Opta on walls and panels. That is a mouthful. So why are we? Why do we have these guys with us today? Well, we want to talk about the H.R. foe’s. Why the change in the industry, which states are adopting it? What does it mean for our listeners? How is it going to affect our customers daily business and as a HFA, really that different from the current product?

Don:
Travis? Yeah, who’s bringing us today’s show?

Travis:
Well, we have the idea. I wanted to promote the service centers with three locations across the United States. One in Montana, Tulsa and a new location in Boston up and running. You can find more information on those service centers at the idea web site IDI-Insulation.com.

Don:
Well, let’s get right into the interview. Welcome, Joyce and Ernie. Thanks for coming. Thank you. All right. So this is new to everybody, right? First podcast. Sure is. All right. So to break the ice a little bit, we’re just gonna kind of ask some fun questions, not industry or market related. Rapid fire. Pom pom pom. They’re easy. We’ll go easy. I change them up based on our conversation at dinner last night. So we’re really in trouble.

Don:
So Wimbledon was just on. Were you a big rooter for Coco?

Joyce:
Yes. That was fantastic. She was always. Oh, my gosh. Yeah. Yeah, I did watch some of it. Crazy. He’s gonna be around for a while.

Don:
So, you know, then the other one is who’s going to be Georgia Tech? Georgia Tech’s biggest challenge in getting the SCC championship.

Joyce:
Oh, my. That is a good question. I’m not even sure how to answer.

Joyce:
They open up with Clemson, so we got to get Penn. That’s going to be crazy.

Don:
Hey, if they win that one, the season’s good.

Travis:
Yeah, they can. They go back to temple. So that’s gonna be cool.

Travis:
Yeah. Yeah. So Ernie. Yes, it’s a dancing piano. Both. Both. Kind of dancing right now.

Ernie:
I do all kinds of dancing. But tango dancing, I must admit, is the passion.

Travis:
Now is this for exercise or because you’d just like to dance?

Ernie:
Primarily because I like to dance. But a side benefit is you get a lot of good exercise. How long you been doing that? I’ve been doing it now for ten years. Really? Yeah. And I’m still working on it.

Ernie:
That’s something you can continue to get better the rest of your life. You never want to see me on the dance floor. Just to ask my wife a doctor, that tango dances. That’s a first.

Don:
Yeah. That’s awesome. All right. So let’s talk a little bit of of your guys’s career history.

Don:
Joyce, we’ll start with you. If you just kind of want to start us, how you got into this business and how you’ve transit’s transitioned into the role you have now.

Joyce:
Okay. Great. It’s all a bit of a long path. Thirty eight years with Dupont. Now, camorra’s started in finance. I was finance manager for many years, got into sales, sold some T 002 and then in 2008 went into the floor chemicals business. And since then have been responsible for commercializing are low GWP products. So it’s been a lot of fun. It’s always fun to be part of change and and have good products. We’re committed to innovation, so it’s kind of fun to see what’s next and keep moving it to.

Don:
Sure. How do you make the transition from finance to marketing?

Joyce:
Yeah, I get. I don’t usually go tango dancing, doctor.

Joyce:
Yeah, exactly right. I get that question a lot. I don’t know.

Joyce:
You know, I just love what I love is my customers, right. And I love to do work on things that make a difference. And it just turned out to be sales and marketing was a much better fit. It’s good to have the finance background.

Don:
Your personality fits marketing a lot more than finance.

Travis:
It seems we here at IDI, the financial division and the sales division are like total opposites. So it’s a kind of an interesting transition.

Joyce:
Yeah. Have the finance department is a lot more fun, right? I don’t believe that, Dr. Erni. Yes.

Ernie:
How about you? How did they get started in this biz? Yeah, well, I mean, I’ve been I was in Dupont for twenty five years in various jobs of polymer science. And then about seven, eight years ago, they asked me to come over to the floor products area. So we got something really interesting and really great. We’re working on these next generation materials are going to help, you know, the the world knows. It sounds like something from me. And it has been a fascinating journey, I must admit. And the world of polyurethane and spray foam and everything is really interesting, exciting. So I’m glad to be a part of that.

Travis:
Awesome. Awesome. So you got Dupont camorra’s. Talk to me a little bit about that. The it’s camorra’s.

Joyce:
Yes, it was. It is. Claymores Moore’s was spun off from Dupont in two thousand fifteen. July of 2015. And so we are totally separate company. And it was it was a pretty interesting transition. Being with Dupont. Thirty three years. Change is always hard, but it’s been exciting. We kind of look at it as we were 200 year old startup company. So you can take all the good that you have from this big giant company. How old? A 200 plus year old. Oh, wow. I didn’t realize that. So you take the legacy all of Dupont and you transition to commers and you’re a little more nimble, quicker to market, committed, closer knit family, smaller organization, but still large. So, yeah, it’s been great.

Don:
Oh, I did not know that history. Yeah, we just had Bullard one hundred twenty one years. But you’re saying over to Anderson that’s two years.

Travis:
All right. So let’s talk HFOS. The change, the misconceptions, the truths, the myths, the facts all about it, because you talk to some contractors out there, our listener base, and some of them have an idea. Some have never heard of it. Some are all over it. So talk about maybe we start with the history, what with the blowing agents started as that’s why they transitioned where it currently 245 to to the age of those. I think it was a 1:41 at the beginning. Can we talk a little bit about that? Oh, absolutely.

Ernie:
So if you go back more than 40 years ago, actually, it was the CFC 11 call. It was the starting of this chlorofluorocarbon and it was really good. And the reason people want floor chemicals in a spray foam is because they have excellent insulation performance. They’re non-toxic, nonflammable. And they they last for a long, long time. So it’s excellent. But the trouble was, the original one started having issues with ozone depletion. Remember that? I talked about that. So they had to start transitioning away from the chlorine that they had on that molecule. That’s where you got what they call the 1:41 be. That was the second generation. And then they got to the third generation, no more chlorine. And they called them the HFCs like they’re using today. And everybody’s happy. But then they find out that they because they are a good insulator, they also contribute to global warming that Al Gore.

Travis:
Come on. Well, yeah. So no politics on the show, please.

Ernie:
So then that is then that is why we’ve had to go into the fourth generation. Now, how can we have all those benefits that these four chemicals can bring, but without ozone depletion and without global warming? And so you would make a molecule with a double bond, an olefin. That’s where that name comes from. And that greatly reduces its lifetime in the atmosphere and gives it a very low global warming potential.

Don:
So reducing the lifetime, what what’s the lifetime of the current to forty five chemical versus the HFA?

Ernie:
Years vs. days. Oh, you’re kidding. And that makes all the difference. Yeah.

Travis:
Without any depletion of insulation qualities.

Ernie:
Well, this is the magic is that when these olefins are out in the atmosphere, daylight, you know, hydroxyl radicals. Ozone is everything. They don’t last for very long. But when they’re inside of foam, they last for many years, decades and B and beyond. So so they quality but made it safer for the environment such exac.

Joyce:
Claim the HFO is a ninety nine point seven percent reduction in global warming. So it’s significant.

Joyce:
Right. It’s yeah. That’s huge. This is why change. Everybody want to adopt that then? Good wash, you know? Sounds like something we should all be doing, you know? And I know there was an initiative to do so. And, you know, we got to that threshold. And now it’s six states. I think that are required. Yeah. So let’s talk about that.

Travis:
Let’s talk about the adoption was going to be January 1st. Right. 2020. And now it’s changed. So what? What caused that change? Why? Why are only some states now?

Joyce:
So for spray foam? Yeah. That change was January 1st, 2020, and the EPA had issued two rolls. SNAP, roll 22, step roll 21 that most people are familiar with that were leading up to this major change. And it was a complicated path. Right. Very best to leave it at that. There were court cases, challenges. The end result was that the EPA needs to go back and rewrite those rules, make a few changes. But meanwhile, it takes a long time to invest and formulate, make changes to be ready for such change. Right. You know, with the credentials. So it’s a well-thought out process that needs take time. Meanwhile, so the states really start to step up and do it on their own. California leading the pack. They certainly yes, they certainly have pretty aggressive goals on emissions and greenhouse gas reductions. So they said, hey, look, EPA has already given us the format. We’re going to adopt that in and incorporate that in our state regulations. So there it wasn’t long. The there is quite a few. It’s called the Climate Alliance. And there’s quite a few states that have signed on to do state regulations based on HFCs.

Don:
So is there a place where our listeners could go to see what states have adopted and are what stage they are in adoption? Or is that just up to a state level?

Joyce:
It gets low. We can we can provide that. Yeah, we do keep things on our website to help because it’s ever changing. I guess that’s the challenge. But we get a lot of questions about it, too.

Don:
And so we’ll put that link on our website or in the description of this, this I. Thank you. And you can listen to on an iPod if you want to. Thank you. So they can go back and check that not to interrupt.

Joyce:
Now, I want to get one resource and we update that quarterly because it is ever changing. But to answer your question. California led the way. There’s at least 16 other states that have joined the Climate Alliance. And where we have come from is California, Washington State and now Vermont. All have regulations in place.

Travis:
Now, does that require them to have an HMO phone then, or is it just you have the option to use it and you still, you know, you could still use it to forty five?

Travis:
Or is there saying AFO only in their states they will not be able to use to 45. So they have adopted SNAP as written for the most part. So that following those dates, they can’t use it. So that creates a lot of chaos on your distribution.

Don:
Yeah, I have a question on that.

Don:
So if we have a contractor who doesn’t live in Vermont but drives in there to do a job, he he can use to forty five in the neighboring state and he has that on his trailer, but he has HMO product also. Can he get in trouble if he brings to forty five into that state, but is not spraying it on that job because you know, our contractors will carry two to three sets on a truck at a time, depending on the job. So, Kenny, is it still legal to have that on there or how are they police?

Joyce:
I would be. I think it’s going to come down to really segregating your inventory because it’s if you have it on the truck, you’re going to run the risk that there could be some kind of error. And it will not be allowed to be used in those states. Those states are going to grow. There’s already New York, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, all have proposed regulations that are working their way through the system. So I think most folks for the system houses we work with, that’s where the challenge is around managing their phone formulation, where their warehouses are. And they’re not going to run the risk to put any foam in any of those states. So as you start to get more and more states, I think you’re going to see that drive. We’re already seeing folks that either are driving to HFA was because of the complexity of managing inventory and to being a differentiator. Right. Hey, if it’s coming, why not be first and help your customers be different and contribute to the positive low global warming potential?

Travis:
I know as a company we had a big initiative to get a bunch of H.R. PFOS and some of the ways that we were doing that was increased yields, the safety of it all. We talked about that with Dr. Erni a little bit, but then it kind of fell apart.

Travis:
You know, it kind of went last time, you know, because it was it was a hard charge. You know, January 1. And so what we wanted. Excuse me. We didn’t want our contractors for the first time spraying it December 15th. And trying to Ireland. So we were trying to get ahead of the curve, and now, like Travis said, it lost a little steam. We’re still we’re still promoting it and saying, hey, this is coming, you might as well adopt it. But there’s some there is a little pushback from it because it it’s more expensive.

Travis:
And I will say that those that did buy into it in our spring and HFA, although they have seen the benefits of it, just the spray ability of it. Obviously, the increased yield by just a factor of chemistry. And it is as you talked about, but it just seems to be a cleaner form. I don’t know if that’s by the you know, by the way it’s created or the fact that it’s just easier on the equipment because you can spread it lower temps, you know, whatever other factors. So I’m surprised that more haven’t adopted the AFO. And specifically in Minnesota, we use a lot of closed cell foam. It seems to do better in the in the cell, in a closed cell foam I’m not so certain about, but an open source just because we don’t spread a lot. But so because I know the HFA, there’s no blowing agent in a in an open cell phone, but.

Don:
Well, some of the hybrids and. Yeah. That so. Yeah. So let’s talk about some of the characteristics and the values of what the HFA brings to a close cell phone. Higher value. How is that achieved?

Ernie:
Well, in the case of of our HFA. And that’s something we should talk about, is that there are there are more than 1 types of HFA in our eyes.

Ernie:
Erni and HCFA codes and other made my dad letting out there.

Ernie:
There’s there’s the best there’s our material, the optimal living hundred. It is a pure HFA has no colourings associated to foreign aid. All the fun and the beauty of that molecule is its boiling point is a little bit higher to about 92 Fahrenheit. That gives the foam the ability to have spray ability over a wider temperature range. You have better yields because you’re not evaporating it. It’s very stable in the systems and takes advantage of all the existing formulation knowledge of all the folks out there making these products. So they’re able to leverage all that wonderful knowledge and to come up with a product that works even better than the current HFCs, which have a lower boiling point. Why does it have better value? Well, it also has a very Macall low solubility. It doesn’t want to leave the system. It’s happy inside that foam. And guess what? When you put one of the best molecules inside there and it doesn’t want to leave, you have this insulation that persists for a very long time.

Travis:
So like a middle, a millennial, they never want to leave home.

Ernie:
Well, that’s a proven fact.

Travis:
So you get higher value, better yield. Exactly right. So if if the the listeners are out there saying, well, this stuff is, you know, slightly more expensive. The cost per board foot and cost per hour, it’s actually lower or about the same. Correct.

Joyce:
It can be. It can be. Yeah. It’s where the yields they can certainly see time is money. Right. So they can they can spray it. Maybe a ticker passes, they can get higher yields. There’s there’s all kinds of flexibility that they can see. I think spraying it is the key because there they know what they’re doing. Right. And they’ll see a big difference I think when they compare it. And we hear oftentimes that formulas with Opta Unlove 100 spray a lot like 1:41 be all red. Obviously they have the better environmental profile. So in all these transitions, sometimes there’s tradeoffs. And you give up some insulating benefits or some other pros and cons in this particular case. It’s actually a as good, if not better insulator while still making a positive impact on GFA. So that’s cool.

Travis:
So it’s not just better for the environment, it’s better for the contractor.

Don:
Yeah. Well, how much of that research, you know, is driven towards obviously the environmental impact, but also the improved yields that, you know, obviously affect the contract, the end user spraying spring. It is that happened by accident sometimes or is that like a focus like hey, we want to make a better foam yield better? And the side effect was that it was more beneficial to the environment or is that I’d like to sit back and say that we thought this all out well in advance design, market back design.

Ernie:
But the fact is that thousands of molecules were examined and screened to try to come up with these replacements. And just a handful and actually just a couple or so actually passed all of those tests of things. And then then you work with that material and see how much you can get out of it and leverage it. And we were very fortunate that it fell well in our favor and having these benefits.

Joyce:
Yeah, I think yield the yield and for proven is a definite positive, right, because it is going to be more expensive, it’s gonna be another transition for this industry. So being able to get better yields is certainly a positive.

Travis:
Yeah. So how do we help our listeners sell this to the homebuilders? You know, other than just, hey, it’s better for the environment is there you know, we got the increase yield. Is anything up your sleeve that you can, you know, tell the listeners, hey, this is a, you know, such a self apart?

Joyce:
Well, I think there’s there’s different, you know, camps like always. There’s folks that environmental improvement in sustainability is number one on their list. Right. You have these high energy efficient homes. This is a no brainer for that. Right. It fits right in and delivers and hits on all those marks. Energy efficiency is also important. It’s important to everybody. They’re trying to pay their bills, cut their bills. And so it does deliver that it’s, you know, superior thermal performance, better insulator. So you really can see the payback with close sell. So that’s important. And in this case, with off Diane Levin, hardhead, it really does hit the mark on the energy efficiency. So I think there are two key points that kind of help people say, hey, that, you know, we’re starting to see people say, I want the low GWP ofthey on 1/100 formula, which is is pretty novel because most people don’t even know what blowing agent is in there. So it’s kind of starting to resonate. So they’re seeing the difference. Yeah.

Travis:
And what I’m seeing is there’s there’s not one clear message from the manufacturers, you know, each one. They might not be using your product, you know. And so there’s confusion and the market is there. Is there a Web site they can go to for you guys that kind of lays it out more clear, concise message and has really I’m looking at some some resources right now that you brought up. They’re great marketing pieces. Where could you know, we can put them on our Web site, maybe do a joint marketing campaign with it. But before we get there, until we get there, where would they go to get something like this?

Joyce:
Yeah, absolutely. We’ve spent some time because we know this is gonna be a big transition for folks. So we’ve spent some time putting together whitepapers. People kind of freak out at whitepapers. It’s a nice, thin, easy to use reference on trying to help make the choices around what insulation, because it really does matter where you live, what kind of building you have on what your objective is on our value. So at Opta on dot com and we’ll make sure these resource available for you as well. There’s a couple infographics that talk about payback. Talk about energy efficiency places in the house that maybe make the most sense to use it, whether you’re doing renovation. And then there’s some white papers that kind of help walk through it. So we’ll definitely make that available.

Travis:
Yeah. And we’ll put the links in the description, like I said earlier. So we’ve had how many changes has there been in the blowing agents? Is it just a three? This is now the fourth. This is the fourth and the final generation. Is that your final answer? Because I’m thinking, okay, what’s next? Because when did they adopt to 45? Anybody?

Ernie:
So it was back in the early 2000s. I mean, it’s been almost 20 years ago when I first started to come on board. So hopefully we get another 20 years before we have to make a change.

Joyce:
He said final. I think this is it. I think this is so.

Joyce:
Yeah, when you’re when you’re seeing the GWP of two, you know, now, who knows what the next day. You know, we had ozone depleting. We had global warming. What’s next? But, you know, we’re always committed to innovation. So if something’s changed and we’re working on it, perfect.

Travis:
Never know what Al Gore junior might. Hey, I thought politics. Yathrib broke my own rule. Yup. Yup. Well, I mean, I think that was great.

Don:
A lot of great information. You know, the stuff I took away from it was, you know, it’s really it’s better for the environment, increase yields, increased our values. It’s gonna be a more stable product. So even if your state has an adopted it yet, it’s going to happen at some point in the near future. So you might as well, you know, give it a try, get used to it and see what truly a better product could be for you.

Joyce:
Yeah, I think it’s an opportunity to lead as well to contact you since you’re out there trying to differentiate. If you have a new product, you’re performing better, you have confidence in it. I think it’s gonna work well in the marketplace side.

Travis:
You know, if the yield increases there and the cost really doesn’t make a difference, it does on paper. But, you know, when you dial it into the cost per hour and cost per pound or per four-foot, excuse me, it really doesn’t make a big difference. It just, you know, it’s going to get you more yield.

Joyce:
So we do like to say that what’s behind the wall really does matter. And it’s an education process.

Don:
It truly is. It really is. Well, I really, truly appreciate the time. Thank you, guys. It was great. Travis, you want to take us away?

Travis:
Yeah. I mean, I want to thank the tango doctor and the finance marketing lady. So it’s great, but interesting. Make the show. But remember to check out the podcast. I don’t think we have a home forum, but we’re working on it. But you can check on it. TED IDBI, dash insulation, dot com and more to come. Absolutely. Thanks, everybody. Thank you.

Don:
This new this has been a presentation of the cellar door network for more podcasts that you can take out into the street and turn into money. Visit Cellar Die Network dot com.

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