Your Marketer Is NOT A Salesperson

Almost every new client I talk to refers to their marketer as a salesperson. I try to diplomatically tell them that marketers are not salespeople! Salespeople get a contract signed or deliver a product and collect a payment, or at least a commitment to pay.

Marketers are usually – at least partially – judged on how many visits and clients they call on. Typically, sales estimators, and often even senior project managers are tasked with going to a job site, evaluating, and assessing the loss, often writing a scope and or estimate and getting an agreement in writing with the property owner. They are judged on the closing ratio.

The problem arises when the owner or office manager puts a help-wanted ad on the internet trying to fill the position of marketer, but they advertise for a salesperson. There’s a very confused public regarding exactly what position you are trying to hire. You usually get the wrong applicant. Salespeople generally do NOT make good marketers and conversely, marketers don’t make good salespeople.

It gets even more complicated because many companies realize they aren’t trying to hire a salesperson, so they advertise for a “marketer.”   Guess what you get when they apply? Those applicants applying for a marketing position always only want to be at a desk. They don’t want to go out and face real clients. They are afraid of being told NO. Sure, they may be good at advertising, SEO, website building, graphic design, and building really great flyers and brochures.

This type of “marketer” isn’t what you need or want to build your business with insurance agents or plumbers. They certainly won’t be motivated to go out on the road and call on agents and plumbers and attend networking events. Even more discouraging is that almost all the website work, social media posting, or brochure building is passive at best, and you’ll never generate enough business that way.

The kind of “marketer” that you want working for you is someone that’s likable, not afraid of rejection, and willing to ‘cold-call’ and build relationships. They need to be hungry and quietly aggressive, always realizing that they must bring real value to those visits and interactions. They need to be self-starters and persistent, but not obnoxious.

I recommend that you have them take (complete) a Berke Assessment to help determine how they rank.  Rarely does a low-ranking person (low score in the personality assessment) do well as a marketer. It isn’t a crystal ball, but it provides you with a good understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

At the CREST Network, we administer those assessments and assist with the interview process so you can have another opinion. Many owners, when interviewing, hire someone “just because they like the person.”  That person can say all the right things at an interview and then bomb terribly in the position. Having another set of ears and eyes on the candidate can prevent making a hiring mistake.

We try to help the candidate understand several things that they would be expected to perform. I’ve listed a few of them here:

  • Build a route of potential prospects
  • Visit those prospects
  • Develop relationships with them
  • Follow up and follow through regularly
  • Possibly do some social media engagement (5% of their time)
  • Be willing to work 45-50 hours or more each week
  • Make judgment decisions on client ranking (A, B, or C)
  • Be coachable and willing to follow today’s coaching
  • And much more (I can elaborate on a call with you)

As is quite obvious, hiring a marketer that will generate at least a million dollars a year in revenue for you is extremely important. Giving them the proper coaching, training, and guidance is essential. During the past 15 years, I have rarely seen a marketer that is capable of generating this kind of revenue without coaching and intense RMS (Restoration Marketing Specialist) certification training.

Dick Wagner is a Nationally recognized marketing coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program


Copyright© 2021 – 2022    AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form Without Written Permission

Fantasies of Greatness

4 minute read

I’ve met with, interviewed, and coached literally hundreds of restoration contractors over the past 15 years I’ve been a coach and consultant. It doesn’t take long after meeting them and that includes marketers as well before I instinctively know they are arrogant, cocky, self-righteous, and often have these absurd fantasies of greatness. I just met with one of them last week!

There’s just one problem (actually many) but the one big one is they are destructive to themselves and their business. This ridiculous illusion that they are “someone special” is self-defeating and truly destructive to their life and usually obvious in their business.

I can often see it by looking at their company literature. So many times, it’s a gorgeous glossy four-color brochure proclaiming all the wonderful features of the company, the staff, and even their equipment. Sadly, for them, the client or prospect DOES NOT CARE! This is all about “Fantasies of Greatness” on the part of the owner. A pure ego trip.


When I ask one of my trademark questions… “what makes you and your company Different?” I often get answers like “we have the latest and greatest Whatchamacallit machine” or “we care more about our customers” or “we have the most employees.”

It’s just astonishing to me how so many contractors fail to realize that it’s not about them! The insurance agent doesn’t care that you have the biggest, fastest, hottest, super-sucker machine. Nor do they care that your staff is IICRC certified, and they definitely don’t care about your fancy four-color glossy brochures. Reality check: nobody cares – except maybe you and possibly your ego. Yes, sometimes you need great brochures for end-user consumers, but for the right reason.


Since I’ve spent a fair amount of the page reminding you that it’s not about you, then what should you do? First and foremost, you must learn and understand your prospects’ industry and business. If you are trying to engage an insurance agent, then you need to know their business challenges. You also need to know how the insurance world operates. What are the issues, struggles, and pains they deal with every day?

Part of this research and intel is to help you as a marketer bring true DIFFERENTIATION to your client. Another critical part of your marketing strategy is to create and build an incredible personal brand. In addition, your personal brand starts with developing a thought-leader approach by becoming a trusted expert in your field. (I don’t mean you know about grains of depression, or thermal hygrometers). I am talking about being an expert in your client’s industry!


If your client is a plumber, they have unique pains in their business.  If you are calling on property managers of hotels, then you should know as much as you can about the hospitality industry and especially the challenges that that manager faces every day.

Wondering where to start? The fact is the internet has millions of pieces of useful information about almost everything. Including things, you don’t want to know about!  If you Google “hospitality industry” you will get over 11 million hits (in less than one second) – from White Papers to Blogs, to photos, to videos, History, Statistics, and more.  These clients deserve to do business with a company and salesperson who knows and understands their client’s business issues.  Beware: failure to do this almost guarantees another company IS going to take the time to become familiar with their prospect’s business and steal the prospect or client away from you.

Some companies like to “fly under the radar” as they are growing, and others like to make a huge splash and shout their services from the rooftops.  Either way is quite acceptable, depending on your business strategy and plan. Most important though, is to make sure you don’t get “Fantasies of Greatness” and be lulled into a false sense of security (or arrogance) thinking your company is miles ahead of the competition.

I simply hate it when I see an otherwise viable company crash and burn simply because they had absurd and false fantasies of greatness. It’s truly heartbreaking!

By Dick Wagner, Co-Founder The CREST Network, LLC                         

 Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

 Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Owner of BLOG



Copyright© 2021 -2022©    The CREST Network, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Differentiation – Exactly What Is It?

4 minute read

Today, there are over 7 billion people in the world. It’s estimated there are 50 million businesses (many are small with less than 5 people). We have an elaborate Social Media system with almost a third of the world population on Facebook! So, it is highly unlikely that your business is: “in a class by itself, rare, special, unequaled, unique, unparalleled, unprecedented, or unrivaled.”

Differentiation, by the standards used even 15 years ago, it so dramatically new and different. Your business is NOT a one-of-a-kind, where your services are so unique that no one is doing a similar thing! Here’s the big fact: there are really only two key ingredients that enable you to put your business in a class by itself. First, your customer service must be unparalleled – so unique, special, Different, that no one is even close to competing with you in that arena. Second, your staff, (and especially your marketers) must be unforgettable in a superb and positive way with prospects and clients.

In general, disaster restoration companies, independents and franchises alike use similar equipment to dry buildings, or remove smoke odor and soot, or clean up mold.  You simply do not have – in the offering of products and services – something others don’t have. The exception as stated above is your high-touch customer service and your incredible staff.


Here is the blunt truth; it means you must continually re-invent your company, ever conscious of what might differentiate your business from the others and then promote that differentiation!  Even though you will be hard-pressed to be unrivaled or unprecedented, to survive long-term, you will need to constantly identify and refine your differentiation. Let me say it again… Differentiation for your company is critical to your long-term success.

Consider this: even when other companies in your market do “similar” things, (such as mitigation only), you can become known as the Mitigation Only specialist by continually promoting that theme.  Advertise it – explain it – market it, and it becomes yours because you have claimed it as yours.  Sure, others can try to copy your mantra but your aggressive marketing efforts (shouting it from the rooftops) will help position you as the leading business in the differentiation you choose.

Differentiation helps to sustain as well as grow market share and the strategies to differentiate your offerings have to be simple – without requiring significant changes to the existing process. The better differentiation you have, the larger market share you own. Another great way to establish serious credibility and be perceived as the king in your field is for your website to include a Blog. Your blog section needs a fresh, new, non-plagiarized  article nearly every week, and certainly twice a month!


Standing out among your competition can seem like a massive challenge given the fundamental similarities within your industry. Using different techniques to elevate yourself above the competition, without the help of a cost prohibitive advertising budget comes down to knowing yourself, knowing your customer and playing to your strengths.

Standing out from the competitors means finding out what makes you different, so ask your prospects and customers since they are the ones seeing “who you really are!” Asking them what you and your business can do better can help you find out what you are (or aren’t) doing to set yourself apart from the competition. This can also be a great way to make your customers feel involved in your operation and let them know that you are open to their input and willing to improve your service to them.

Think about your competitors and then ask everyone in your company:

  1. What sets us apart from all of them? (hint: don’t say “we care more.”)
  2. What really makes us totally unique or unusual in a good way?
  3. What do we do, provide, or have that makes us completely different?
  4. Could we give an incredible guarantee that no one else would dare offer?
  5. What package of little things could we bundled and give it a special name?
  6. What convenience can we create that none of our competitors offer?

When you stop bragging about how good you are and start telling them how different you are and how that will make a customer’s experience with you better than anyone else, you’ll get more work – at higher prices because when a client genuinely believes nobody else can do the job the way you can do it, price is no longer an issue.

My final thought… Differentiation in our extremely crowded marketplace is a business essential, not only in terms of a company’s success, but also for its continuing survival. So often we are incredibly arrogant and believe our business is so “one-of-a-kind” that if they want what we offer, then they have to do business with us!   Well, it isn’t – unless you design DIFFERENTIATION into your operation.

By Dick Wagner, Co-Founder The CREST Network, LLC                         

 Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Owner of BLOG



Copyright© 2021     The CREST Network, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Automated Phone Answering – Horrible For Customers

The very last thing you need in business is a frustrated, disgusted, or angry customer or potential customer!  Yet, the “automated phone answering equipment”  you are thinking about getting installed will be the very first aggravation your clients will deal with.

Some slick salesman has convinced you that automated equipment with make you more efficient, save you time, and money, and make you look more professional.  In reality, it makes you look like that big cable TV company or satellite TV service that simply sucks.

Today, it is often challenging to make your customers happy. Sadly, too many customers feel “entitled” and try to take advantage. We’ve all been there and experienced that frustration.

Listed here are a few potential failures with automated phone systems:

  • Public perception of these systems is negative.
  • Often the “terminology” is confusing. (press 1 for collaboration tech support) or (press 2 for non-warranty technical help) or (press 7 if you would like to hear the menu again) “in case you weren’t paying attention the first three times, or you aren’t smart enough to know exactly which option you need.”
  • There are often too many unclear choices.
  • Even worse is when “your choice” isn’t listed
  • It’s even worse when they don’t work perfectly.
  • You are entrusting your “best first impression” to an oft-problematic machine
  • When things go wrong on the initial answer, (machine pick-up) there is rarely an opportunity to repair the damage.
  • People repeatedly say they want a live person.
  • The opportunity to quickly solve customer service issues is needlessly delayed, or even worse, it never gets resolved!
  • Many times sales are lost as a result of caller frustration at not being able to get to the right person.
  • The automated system enables employees to “distance” themselves from any urgency or immediacy.
  • It creates a company environment where the caller is not the most important.
  • Bottom Line: It helps people hang up!

Today, the only real differentiation you have is your CUSTOMER SERVICE.  Without the most awesome, incredible, problem-solving customer service, you really aren’t much different from all your competitors.

As your author, this isn’t some personal vendetta against technology!  I have, however, experienced many negative calls into a company where the automated system was lousy or in many cases, so bad that I simply hung up and called someone else.  Writing this article was prompted by several recent major frustrations – trying to do business with companies that used an automated (and terrible) system.

It should be quite obvious, that an automated phone answering system for your business can eliminate the cost of a receptionist answering all calls personally.  You might conclude that it’s an inexpensive way to expedite incoming phone calls, but you really need to reconsider. It’s kind of like stepping over a dollar to pick up a nickel!


By Dick Wagner, Co-Founder The CREST Network, LLC                         

 Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Owner of BLOG



Copyright© 2021     The CREST Network, LLC   All Rights Reserved


Cleaners and Restorers – Post Pandemic

The world has changed. The pandemic of 2020-21 has and will continue to require new and different attitudes and business processes for the near future.  Whether we like it or not, it has changed our daily life; at home, in public, at work, everywhere we go, and in everything we do.


Business today, and moving forward for the foreseeable future, has significantly changed – forcing us (some of us kicking and screaming) to be more cautious, accepting, and aware of others around us.  Clients, customers, our employees, and the public at large are all fearful of the virus, and many are so fearful they don’t want to work in the office anymore with co-workers. This thought process is at work with many of your customers also. It is no longer “business as usual!” The world has changed, and your customers now expect you to operate at a high level of safety and cleanliness.


We all have opinions – and for some of us – our opinion is the only correct one! There, I said it… you all wanted to but were nervous. By viewing, reading, (and sometimes commenting), on the enormous stream of posts regarding anything pandemic related, it’s difficult to fully embrace all angles. In fact, there are many opposing comments, all of which have some logic and make good sense. However, emotion is the number one trigger moving people, and emotion – rarely is based on fact or logic. It’s my estimate that in the US, 50% of the public will not get vaccinated because they know it takes 10 years to perfect and make safe the vaccine. It’s not very reassuring when they claim to have achieved that same level of safety in 9 months!


Your customers, clients, prospects, and the general public will expect you to treat their home and their business very differently than you have in the past. Sure, previously, many of us used booties, walk-off mats, protective runners (drop cloths), corner buddies, and other things to provide our clients with the assurance that we were being careful with their homes.

Today, and moving into the near future, you can expect customers to:

  • limit access to their home or business
  • use internet technology for monitoring
  • wearing PPE, gloves, goggles, masks, etc.
  • clean and disinfect all surfaces that you touched
  • use tablets and phones for signatures
  • use email instead of paper documents
  • touchless payments and online appointments
  • touchless faucets, soap dispensers, and hand-drying equipment
  • texting appointment info when technicians are on the way
  • QR codes for access to websites, review sites, menus
  • Zoom or video calls to view damage or conditions
  • Zoom & video calls for marketing and client interaction
  • Re-engaging the telephone to connect with clients
  • embrace local small businesses more than the national chains


We all know by now that “what the customer wants – the customer gets.” This is obviously extended to every aspect of the public. Like it or not, Media and the government have successfully put fear in many people about the dangers of Covid-19.

Because of that, these new attitudes, combined with what people are demanding openly from businesses, have ushered in a “new normal” business climate. With our varied opinions regarding the legitimacy of the pandemic (which may be overstated), or seen as political, the fact remains that business has radically changed in 2020, and moving into 2021 and beyond, consumers are expecting a totally new and different interaction and engagement.

Organizations, both governmental and private sector industry will have to conduct business in a new and careful way, demonstrating they are serious about public safety and health, just to reassure customers they will be safe working for you or hiring you!


By Dick Wagner, Co-Founder The CREST Network, LLC                         

 Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

 Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Owner of BLOG




Copyright© 2021 ©    The CREST Network, LLC   All Rights Reserved

My Competition Can Do It And So Can I

4 min read

Every one of us at one time or another has thought that “if my competition can do it, so can I.” And yet the truth is that’s rarely the case.


If you really think about it, everyone has a different situation:

  • Resources
  • Money
  • People
  • Location
  • Skills
  • Strengths
  • Creativity
  • Discipline
  • Patience

Since we are all different in the above (partial) list, it’s usually unreasonable to think we can copy the same features, options, and traits of whatever your competitor is doing. It’s typical for most of us that see something that looks successful from the competition, to want to duplicate it.

What we don’t know is:

  • how much money is invested?
  • what resources did they have to use?
  • does it even fit “your” business style?
  • how effective is it (ROI)?
  • should your company associate itself with that idea or concept?

We all can think of products or services that are almost identical in general concept. Think cell phones, computers, ridesharing, food delivery services, and many more. Sometimes the basics are similar, but when you look closely, it’s apparent the products or services are totally different.

Here’s an example of a similar – but different one:


Asphalt shingles, metal roofs, slate, rubber roofs, solar tiles, clay tiles, and others

These are all roofing materials, but some roofing companies only offer one specific type because that’s their skill or comfort level. And, YES, it’s still roofing, but NO, it’s not similar. OK, I’ll grant you that the materials are still called roofing, but there’s a huge difference in quality, style, looks, warranty, and installation process.

The strategy that each company uses to market, sell, deliver, and install these different roofing materials is almost always unique to the individual company.


Since we are talking about roofing, I recently (after Hurricane Irma) had to have a new roof installed. We interviewed a couple of roofing companies and found a dramatic difference. They were all offering 35-year asphalt shingles, and one offered a synthetic underlayment, promoting much better qualities and longevity.

We opted for better shingles and synthetic underlayment but were greatly disappointed for another reason. The installers were sloppy, crude, careless, and in such a hurry that they had to be called back three times by the building inspector. Even worse was their customer service!

Just one example of their poor service – the installers got “tar” all over our beautifully finished custom driveway. And when I pointed that out to the manager, he said “well, that happens, it is a construction site after all.” He refused to clean it up or attempt to make it right.


Stop worrying about copying your competitors. Sometimes (usually all the time), the quality of customer service is far more important than what products or services you provide. In the case of water damage services, water extraction can be done many different ways. Setting the right expectations and providing the best customer service possible will ultimately be the most important part of what you do.

Don’t get caught up in the whirlpool of “if my competition can do it, so can I.”  It rarely works out the way you had hoped it would.

 Dick Wagner   419-202-6745         [email protected]

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Co-Founder of the CREST Network, LLC

Copyright© 2020-2022    AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved


No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form

Written Permission is required to share this article.

How To Get Kicked Off The Job

3 minute read

I’ve talked with hundreds (really several thousand) contractors over 20-plus years, and as I recall, at one time or another every contractor has had the miserable, ego-crushing experience of being told to pack their tools and leave the job.

Customers can be brutal. Communication can fail, and misunderstandings can easily happen. We live in a very fickle and demanding society today. Some clients are self-serving, looking for ways to profit at the contractors’ expense. But often, contractors are their own worst enemies. Picture this:

  • Your employee is smoking on the client’s property
  • The technician parked on the customer’s grass
  • Worker comments are totally inappropriate or worse
  • A tech clearly damaged a client’s home (and hid it)
  • Their project is dragging because you are short-handed
  • The customer caught your guys drinking their beer from the fridge!
  • Employees horse-playing or disparaging the property or client
  • Yes, every one of these has happened – many times

When the customer has little integrity and wants to profit at your expense, there’s very little you can do about that. OK, you could choose to walk away on your own. Advise them it’s not going to be a good fit and leave before you’ve invested too much time and effort. Sadly, most ego-driven business owners just can’t bring themselves to “walk away!”   They have too big of an ego. They hate to lose, so they stay and try to “fix the client.”


Trying to “fix it”  with your customer who is determined to put the screws on you, is like a woman thinking they can actually change their man! We all know how that’s going to go.  You can’t create integrity in your client if they don’t have it, so your challenge is to watch for the warning signs and make the rational decision to walk away from a project before it bites you.

GOOD NEWS                                                                          

The eight bullet points above are examples of things you CAN change. These are internal to your company. Sure, it may require intensive training, even firing an employee or two, but all those items above can be corrected or prevented with the right coaching and guidance.  Often, it’s simply a case of having a good worker who just hasn’t been properly trained in customer etiquette.

Want to talk about it?    Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright © 2020-2022     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Using Whiteboards In Your Office Is Huge

3 minute read

Written and posted (visual) goals on an office whiteboard help make the whole company aware of where you are headed and what you want to achieve.

It’s been my experience, having been in hundreds of “back offices,” that companies posting their daily, weekly, and monthly goals on a bulletin board (or large calendar) dramatically improves the likelihood those goals or targets will be achieved. It’s like the old saying… “if it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist.”  When goals, targets, and plans are made “public” within an office, everyone becomes aware of the key focus, and when the office is aware, it’s much more difficult to ignore the target – and even worse when you fail!

In the back offices of many of my clients, they use a large whiteboard calendar so they can write in the dates and the dollar targets for the week or month. Using a large enough whiteboard can allow for more than one salesman to write their sales for the day and week. This makes it public within the office and keeps everyone aware that sales numbers are critical.

I especially like a separate calendar showing 90 days (or more), where planned events are posted for top-of-mind awareness. Here are some important reasons to take advantage of an office whiteboard:

  • Public written goals create clarity
  • Public written goals hold people accountable
  • Visual goals continually remind you
  • There is less resistance from all involved
  • See and celebrate the successes
  • See monthly progress – by the day or week

If your sales and marketing department has a target goal of $100,000 for the month and on day 15, you are only 25% of the way, it tells everyone that extra work effort may be required. It simply shines the light on the fact that the goal is in jeopardy of being missed!

In addition to the advantages of whiteboards and wall calendars for sales goals and upcoming events, there are several other great benefits to using whiteboards (dry-erase boards) around the office and even the shop. Here are several more:

  • Visible to the whole company
  • Great for quick brainstorming
  • Much-Improved staff communications
  • More efficient meetings
  • Visual tasks are easy to see

Because we are all busy, and most don’t take detailed notes of meetings and conversations, the whiteboard serves as an excellent visual for highlighting important info. And, when the info isn’t needed anymore, simply wipe it clean.

I am willing to bet big dollars, that if you start using bulletin boards, whiteboards, dry-erase boards, or large pre-made calendars in your office and shop, you’ll find a significant improvement in staff communication, as well as a higher success rate in achieving sales numbers!

Want to talk about it?    Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright © 2020 – 2022    AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved


The World Has Changed, But I Won’t

3 minute read

It’s a great attitude to firmly plant your thoughts, ideas, and values in a solid position without changing like the wind. Often, people with strong religious beliefs or strict political positions are very unbending. That CAN be a good thing. It can also be an inflexible and potentially dangerous position to take in the world.

The world has changed, but I won’t – will usually lead to old, unworkable, no longer valid strategies and approaches to business. I will admit, as a baby boomer, I don’t embrace change until I’m very sure. In fact, people, in general, do not welcome change in their life. Simple little things like changing toothpaste, going to a new barber, or date night at a totally new restaurant; all these and many more can take us out of our comfort zone.


Yes, change is hard for most of us, and learning a new way to dry a building or a new style of marketing, and even what to say when you visit a prospect – all require stepping out of your secure and known space.

For me, one of the most challenging has been staying on top of the ever-changing Social Media world. As a businessman, it’s important to take advantage of the latest and greatest marketing strategies available on different social media platforms.


The constant change taking place in the very narrow, but all-important arena of web marketing, where most of these platforms are free, take a lot of work. About the time we get Twitter figured out and many followers, a new service pops up to compete with them (Parler). Facebook keeps changing the look, feel, and location of so many different buttons and links it’s almost a full-time job to stay with it.

Aside from disliking change, we also feel we just don’t have the time to keep up with everything new. That can include marketing strategies, new ways to install shingles, or a better, faster, or more efficient way to dry a building.


But it can also make our lives better. With all the new technology just in the disaster restoration industry today, we can do more jobs, document the work better, and do right – make more people happier. Yes, technology can do all these great things, but we must CHANGE if we are going to remain viable and productive. Setting aside time to learn, study, and embrace the new brave world we live in!


In the world of today (2020) with most of this year forcing us to change – trying to deal with masks, social distancing, cleaning protocols, and the list goes on… we have learned to CHANGE whether we liked it or not! Not one of us likes to wear a mask, but most do, and we stay six feet from others in the store. We incessantly use hand sanitizer and accept touchless purchases. Ordering online has exploded. It is changing. Everything from how we shop to how we conduct business will make us change even when we claim that we won’t. I’m trying to change too, albeit still kicking and screaming into the new world.

Want to talk about it?    Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2020 -2022    AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Park On Your Customer’s Lawn

4 minute read

Sometimes we need to say something absurd to get someone to take notice. Parking on your customer’s lawn won’t win your technician any points with the client and could very easily get your company kicked off the job. Remember; parking on your customer’s lawn can get you fired – and fast.

There are a specific set of “rules” that should govern how a technician (or another staff member) acts when visiting a residential customer’s home! Too many times, we “turn them loose” and fail to give them the proper training and guidelines on the right ways to interact when at the client’s home.  Some are a matter of business etiquette that’s fallen by the wayside. Others are safety issues. All of them are important to customer relationships.

Here are some suggestions on what to do:
  • Be on time (or call with your eta when you’ll be late)
  • Park in the street (when you can)
  • Knock on the door and stand back
  • Greet them by name
  • Offer your business card
  • Ask if it’s OK to park in the driveway
  • Ask permission to bring in tools
  • Confirm which door to use
  • Wear booties and use throw tarps or mats
  • It’s OK to accept a beverage, but never with alcohol!
  • Ask open-ended questions (not yes/no questions)
  • Thank them for choosing your company
  • When done, ask them for a referral or Yelp review

Do them all correctly and they will love you. Do them wrong and you won’t get another job from them.  These are just a few examples of the proper etiquette your staff should be doing at the client’s property. Do it wrong (like we listed below) and customers will never hire your company again, come back again, or give you a good review!


Some things NOT to do or say:
  • Don’t flick cigarettes across the yard when you get out of your truck
  • Do not park on their lawn
  • Don’t be late
  • Don’t ring the doorbell (chimes may wake up a sleeping infant)
  • Never ever smoke on the customer’s property
  • Never use their bathroom without asking
  • Don’t make comments about expensive things (guns, wall art, etc.)
  • Never ask if they “are alone”
  • Don’t interact with pets unless the homeowner invites you to do so
  • Never trash your competitor
  • While talking with them, leave your phone in your pocket
  • Don’t be negative about your company or staff
  • Don’t wear dirty clothes or inappropriate attire
  • Do NOT ever touch your customer other than a handshake
  • Don’t argue or challenge them on complaints or requests
  • Don’t accept bribes or offers of “side work”

Service people are expected to arrive and work inside the people’s homes with a high level of impeccable manners and professionalism all the while they are there.  Certainly, you can’t be prim and proper working on HVAC ducting, fixing their basement flooding, or cleaning up a sewage overflow, but there are certain rules of etiquette that should be followed.

Maintaining that all-important respect for your client and their home is crucial, while still getting the job done. This business etiquette spans the entire customer experience from arriving on time, to where you park, to packing up your tools. Yes, it can be difficult to remember every detail of this complex interaction between good maintenance and good manners.     Yes, we do on-site training too!

Still need questions answered?    Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

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