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

Copyright© 2020-2022     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Good Customer Skills For Technicians

3 minute read

In the restoration business, as in many service businesses, we rely on technicians and field staff to assist with the image and credibility of our company.  When they do it wrong, it can be devastating for our reputation and ultimate reviews. That translates into lost profit and maybe loss of our business.

  • Show up late for your appointment
  • Poor or little communication
  • Failure to ask good questions
  • Not truly listening to their comments
  • Disrespecting their property
  • Don’t walk on their lawn
  • Don’t smoke on their property
  • Ask for permission to park in the driveway
  • Ask for permission to bring in your tools
  • Ask which door to use
  • Wear clean uniforms
  • Always have an ID badge
  • Give them your business card
  • Use tarps, mats, and booties
  • Give them a refrigerator magnet with your info
  • 1% Die
  • 3% Move away
  • 13% Change interests or go to a competitor
  • 14% Are dissatisfied with the products or service
  • 69% Are upset with the treatment they received


  • Don’t comment on personal items in the home
  • Never discuss politics or religion
  • Never make ‘sexist’ remarks (male or female)
  • Don’t make comments about their “teenage daughter!”


  • Talk about the weather
  • Compliment the flowers or landscaping
  • Ask them about any other concerns
  • Thank them for calling your company!
  • “Please” and “Thank you”

You are an expert (but don’t show off). Understand your customer WANTS your products and services, they need your solutions, and they want to do business with you. Every one of them wants to have a good business experience with you and your company, and silently hopes they can become raving fans.

Your failure to give the customer a wonderful experience means they will forget your company name (and yours) within three to six months or sooner.

Many of the above dos and don’ts also apply to your marketer going to their home. Marketers can kill an opportunity with one wrong action or word. They need similar training just like your techs!

Want to know more?  Call Dick Wagner at 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

Get More Restoration Jobs Each Month

3 minute read

Almost every contractor I work with, and those I’ve worked with in the past, all want more work, More Jobs, More Projects. Marketers working on a commission always want more referrals coming in – and jobs getting closed.


Regardless of the strategy used, the process must be effective and repeatable. Your marketers must be able to duplicate those sales steps – repeatedly. It also needs to be in writing. Some of our clients use checklists, some display the process and steps on posters in the office. At a minimum, salespeople should role-play and repeatedly practice those steps, so they are natural and comfortable out in the marketplace.


Effective marketing requires a precise methodology. Below are some simple, easy-to-follow steps of the marketing process. Remember – marketing isn’t a single action, but rather a series of steps and actions leading from one to the next – to a satisfactory conclusion.  Here’s your list:

  • Continually find and engage prospects
  • Add those prospects to your CRM
  • Use your CRM to track and follow up
  • Use social media (LIn, FB, Twitter, Blog)
  • Make Phone Calls to set appointments
  • Use Power Questions
  • ASK for referrals and jobs
  • Thank them when jobs come in
  • Track your numbers
  • Know your metrics (# leads, # jobs, % closing, $$ amount)
  • Watch Sales Training Videos
  • Read, Learn, Study, Practice

As an active blogger who tracks website analytics closely, I know most people won’t read more than a page or two. For that reason, I’m only listing 12 key points. There are dozens of smaller steps that should be included to refine and perfect your selling process.

   I’m always happy to chat.  419-202-6745


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

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program


Copyright© 2018-2022     The CREST Network, LLC   All Rights Reserved

What To Expect From A Restoration Marketer

5 minute read

I’m asked often by business owners or GMs “what to expect from a restoration marketer?” It’s a reasonable question to ponder, and even more, a reason to have good answers. Otherwise, you don’t know how they are performing or if they’re achieving all they can.

Below, are some KPIs that most of my clients work toward. Certainly, some markets dictate a slightly different approach and targets. The KPIs listed below work for 99% of my clients. These KPIs change when your marketer is selling a pre-disaster PREP™ program. For those numbers, please call me to discuss, since the numbers below are for those marketing to Insurance Agents, Plumbers, HVAC contractors, GCs, and even non-restoration Carpet Cleaners.

Key Performance Indicators

Tracking the number of visits, number of referrals, number of completed jobs, and a few others are crucial to measuring the success (or failure) of your marketing rep.

Things to measure:
  • # of completed face-to-face visits
  • # of breakfasts or lunches with clients
  • The budget maintained for the month
  • # of referrals (jobs sent to you)
  • # of Sales (jobs completed)
  • Closing ratio (# leads vs # sold)
  • The total dollar amount for the month
  • Amount of $$ paid out in referral fees
  • Amount of $$ spent on “gifts, freebies, meals, etc”

For most clients, we recommend the marketer visit at least 10 prospects or clients/per day (50 per week). Those should be actual face-to-face visits, and the marketer must have a legitimate reason for the visit. (Not “just to say Hi” or “to drop off donuts)!

The marketer should also be expected to have at least three client meals (breakfast or lunch) and two networking events once a month.

There also needs to be visible posted targets and goals (whiteboard in the back office) where expected visits, sales, and job sales amounts are tracked and listed.


I have clients that expect their marketer to bring in only $25,000 per month, and others that expect $75,000/per month. Recently, I worked with a marketer that was consistently producing over $ 4 million a year by herself, and other marketers in the same organization were selling $ 2 million a year.  This client hired us to do an on-site training class two separate times for his marketers.

Don’t hesitate to call me if you have any questions!

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745


By Dick Wagner – Owner of BLOG

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Co-Founder The CREST Network, LLC 

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program



Copyright© 2020     The CREST Network, LLC   All Rights Reserved

How Do I Get Large Loss Jobs?

4 minute read

Can it be the “luck of the draw? How about if your company is first on Google search? What if you buy a Google Ad (for pay-per-click)? Or are you Top-Of-Mind with commercial clients?


Luck can certainly get you a commercial job – every one or two years (maybe). Reality dictates that this is not a promising sales approach to developing a commercial client base. Some marketers (usually at the request of the owner) knock on commercial doors, leave a business card and a company brochure – and ask the commercial client to “call them” if they ever have a disaster. This is also remarkably close to the “luck” strategy and rarely works – even though I’ve known many marketers to try this strategy.

The far better way to develop a reliable and consistent “commercial portfolio” of clients, is to provide them with a pre-disaster plan, and include mapping and tagging of their crucial shutoffs and controls. However, it doesn’t end here. This is just the beginning. People do business with people – especially if there is motivation to do so. That simply means the marketer must build a strong relationship with those commercial clients and continually remind them of the pre-disaster program you put in place.


Offering a complete and useful pre-disaster to commercial clients is your “foot in the door” and gives them a good reason to talk with you. For maximum effectiveness, your preparedness program (we suggest PREP™) needs to be tangible, visual, useful, and constant. It’s not enough to “sign them up” and then return a year later. Ownership changes, managers come and go, and maintenance staff is fired and hired. Face-to-face visits must happen at least every 45-60 days. Emails and newsletters should happen every 30 days.

Another consideration when you wonder- “How Do I Get Large Loss Jobs?” is to research and understand which verticals (industry types) are the best, which ones take the longest to complete the sale, and which verticals are terrible to target. You can get an amazing amount of information – white papers and incredibly detailed dissertations some with 40 pages of info) on The CREST Network website. You’ll want to be a member, so you can log in and see a wealth of learning materials and videos.


Certain commercial types (verticals) such as Churches are great verticals for a pre-disaster program, but the “sales cycle” can take many months because of their slow and methodical internal organization processes. Nursing homes can be a faster PREP sale turnaround but there are specific steps to get in the door – and get in front of the right person.

Everyone you market to is currently in a “status quo” position. Whatever they are doing now (which may be nothing!) is their status quo. Unless you can motivate them to move forward (we call it making them thirsty) you will be up against the proverbial brick wall.


One of the fastest and easiest ways to get your marketing people up to speed and on the right track to start building a commercial portfolio is to have Dick Wagner come to your location. Onsite training gives you the best – client-specific – custom training program.    Call me today – we love to help!   Dick Wagner  419-202-6745

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

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program



Copyright© 2020-2022     AskDickWagner   All Rights Reserved

Benefits Of Onsite Marketing Training

4 minute read

Many restoration contractors have already learned of the benefits of onsite marketing training. I’ve had contractors hire me multiple times to return to their facility to train marketers, some of which were new, and several that just needed a refresher.

The best marketers still need reminders and refreshers periodically, and one of the best ways is to have the trainer come to your facility or close-by off-site location (hotel conference room). Many times, the owner or GM wants the staff close – but not in the thick of things at their office.

Utilizing an onsite training coach should always come with a plan to customize and tailor the training specifically for that company. Every company has a different corporate culture and a unique staff with their own style and personality. The community where they are located is also distinctive. People from New Jersey work, think, and act differently than people in Tulsa, OK, or El Paso, TX, or Seattle.

And even further, the makeup or demographics matter. A heavy industrial region thinks and operates differently than Silicon Valley or the Research Triangle of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. For all these reasons, it’s extremely important the coach or trainer understands all these factors and adjusts the training, so it has maximum effectiveness for you. Don’t let a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all coach or trainer come into your facility and try to force-feed his or her stock sales strategies or pre-packaged sales training on your people!

When you select a coach and trainer to work with your people – especially at your facility, be sure you are getting a customized class specifically for your company and your marketing staff.

Coaching– for the absolute best results – means the entire program and approach must fit the company style, preferences, and goals.

Before I take on a coaching assignment for an onsite client, I will spend several hours researching, as well as interviewing key people in your company. Without doing that homework, the best a coach can do is push his “pre-packaged” generic training at your people. Don’t let that happen.

The benefits of onsite sales training can be huge when you hire the right trainer! When you hire me, expect to get a multi-page questionnaire, and phone calls with you and other key staff. With most trainers that you hire, you will be paying a lot, so you certainly deserve to get the absolute best for your time and money!  Call me! 419-202-6745

Dick Wagner, Nationally recognized Sales Coach, Consultant, Trainer, and Speaker

Co-Founder – The CREST Network, LLC 


Copyright© 2022     AskDickWagner, LLC     All Rights Reserved

Commercial Pre-Disaster Program

3 minute read

Everyone knows that the major (national) restoration contractors have their own version of a pre-disaster program, which they typically offer to national accounts. Those national accounts can be big-box stores, chain restaurants, large corporate-owned hotel groups, national nursing home chains, and many more.

Typically, national players go after national chains and groups. That still leaves millions of commercial properties that no one is targeting! Since most of these “other” properties are available for you to market to, and in your market area, they’re the ideal target to build your own portfolio.

I’ll give you a couple of examples of contractors I’ve worked with on the PREP™ program that is having amazing success: One contractor in Indiana over a couple of years time – signed up 35 million square feet of commercial floor space. Another contractor in Georgia, offering the same PREP™ program has 25 million sq ft under the Agreement. Both companies are seeing more than a dozen commercial losses per year!  That’s where the payoff really puts the money in the bank.

National franchises and large national chains offer many different types of disaster preparedness. Some are a joke and are mostly “feel-good” plans that create zero loyalty or relationships. Almost none of them have an actual “tangible” manual or preparedness guide to help establish value. Several of them offer an app for the phone and that app is more of an illusion than an actual relationship. (Remember, you can build it – but that doesn’t mean they’ll call you when they need you)!

The early version of the Commercial Pre-Disaster Program we built almost 20 years ago, has since been dramatically updated – like a living manual – so the info inside is current, relevant, and used every day by the commercial end-user. Hotels, Nursing Homes, Churches, Schools, and more all use our manual for keeping their staff up to date on the latest issues and concerns.

The challenge is to have the “right” manual, sell to the “right” verticals (commercial types), know what to say, have the correct “promise or commitment,” and build a deep relationship once they have committed.

Interested in having a PREP™ program for your company? Call me today – let’s talk!

Dick Wagner    419-202-6745

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

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