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

Commercial Restoration Marketing Training

3 min read

If there is one thing we’ve learned about restoration sales and marketing is that there’s a huge difference between visiting insurance agents, calling on plumbers, and building a commercial property portfolio for your disaster recovery business.

Marketers visiting insurance agents or plumbers are hoping for a fairly immediate lead or referral of a job. There is a specific strategy to achieve that.  Building a commercial portfolio of clients that own and managed commercial buildings is an entirely different strategy.  It requires a lot of time, a methodical process, and a tangible current and relevant pre-disaster program.

More than a dozen years ago we formally began offering what has become the only complete and relevant pre-disaster program to contractors (PREP™), after developing it and “selling it” to commercial end-users in the early 2000s. Today, with hundreds of contractors around the country offering the PREP™ program, and thousands of end-users signed up as clients of these contractors, we are very pleased with the program.

Commercial restoration sales training is a given if you plan to embark on your own program (or use PREP™) to build your own powerful pre-disaster system and strategy. Most training for commercial work is focused on the Production and Administration of commercial work. The only complete and effective commercial restoration sales training classes are taught by yours truly (and yes, I am rather biased).

If you want a powerful and successful training program, it’s quite simple: you need to call me today.  419-202-9745    

(I’ll only offer this class to one contractor in your market. Either you – or your competitor).

Looking forward to your call… 419-202-6745


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

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

AskDickWagner blog

On-Site Marketer Training

4 minute read

Everyone that has ever arranged for marketing training at their own facility knows the incredible value of personalized training. Any good trainer tailors their class to fit that specific organization and incorporates that company’s issues, concerns, and needs into the program.

The biggest advantage of on-site training is the location. With the training done on the company’s premises, employees save valuable time, which otherwise would have been lost on commuting to another location for the trainer.

On-site training also allows the organization to be free to make last-minute changes and make additional changes to who might or might not be helpful to include in the training, for example, an operations manager who could share a few experiences with the class or an up-and-coming executive who might be willing to sit in the next available training program.

We are asked regularly (every month or two) to teach a three-day class on Marketing at the contractor’s office. From our experience, marketers walk away with an entirely different and deeper understanding of the process they need to follow to be successful. And, you can have as many employees in the class as you want!

What you get is an intense, customized marketing training program for your organization that will improve the skills your people need to succeed. We teach marketing staff to close more deals. The Restoration Marketing Specialist™ class is by far the most popular, as it provides a solid foundation for your marketers to go into the marketplace and begin creating a portfolio of clients; those who will refer the restoration contractor when the policyholder or plumbing company has an issue.

When the loss is exceptionally large, there are many many resources and support companies and people that will respond immediately to help you make a large loss job go smoothly. Call me – I know people.

What most contractors don’t realize is when you engage outside resources, in almost EVERY job, your scope will be more complete, and accurate, and the amount will be significantly more. The fees (and/or equipment costs) associated with most of the outside resources are fully billable to the large loss, and you will make more money. Of the hundreds of large losses I’ve been involved in, every single one of those jobs resulted in billing an amount significantly more than the contractor’s original scope/estimate!

For one recent job (June 2021) the contractor estimated the job to be about $75k, and when we got involved and brought in additional support staff and equipment, the paid invoice exceeded $135k.

Personalized, face-to-face training of your marketing staff always produces better results and is far more likely to help you retain your staff for the long term.  That’s why we specialize in creating custom-tailored classroom learning experiences that use small group exercises, role-plays, and other interactive segments to drive observable and measurable changes in marketing behavior.

Our one-on-one phone coaching (available for an additional cost), will include creating and implementing a performance-based program for your marketing staff, so you have measurable results and accountability.

We understand that most owners and managers are good at certain areas within their company and the unique skills of a “marketing manager” are usually not part of their comfort zone or available time. We help you solve that!

You also get:

  • consistent messaging
  • convenience date and location
  • cost-effective pricing
  • boosts employee productivity
  • customized and tailored for your company
  • hands-on with role-playing
  • more staff can attend – less travel cost

Call me today, and let’s discuss how CREST can help you and your company!  Call Dick Wagner at 419-202-6745 today.

By Dick Wagner, Nationally recognized marketing coach, consultant, and trainer.

Can I Get A Disaster Preparedness Plan?

4 min read

Anything you do to help a client prepare for a disaster can be called a disaster preparedness plan. However, today’s commercial property owners are very sophisticated and will expect much more.

There are only a few dozen “legitimate” pre-disaster plans and most of those were created by and offered by the franchise groups or the exceptionally large “national” restoration players. Even amongst the “players,” there is a wide range of preparedness concepts and a dramatic difference in their effectiveness. One large franchise group has an app, which is available to anyone, but no loyalty or real relationships are developed with it so it’s a gamble how effective the app is when the time comes.

For the independent restoration contractor, there are only two or three well-designed and complete pre-disaster plans available. One of those relies on the idea of fully digital, which certainly simplifies the offer for the contractor. The problem with that is there really isn’t anything “tangible” to offer the client – which means it’s difficult to sell to the prospect. (Sell by getting a signed commitment from the prospect – no money is exchanged).

There is only one disaster preparedness program that combines a tangible preparedness manual with a commitment from both the contractor and the property owner AND facilitates the ability for the marketer to forge a long-term, strong relationship with the management of the facility. That program is called Priority Response Emergency Plan (PREP™) and is only available through The CREST Network.

The complete and exclusive PREP™ program was created more than a dozen years ago, with hundreds of contractors now using the program, and there are many thousands of commercial properties participating in the program. The most exciting part is the millions of dollars of disaster work that contractors have realized directly from the PREP™ program. They get work directly from the commercial end-user without having an insurance agent, adjuster, or a TPA steering the loss to one of their “preferred” contractors.  Contractors have the program in place for more than a year or two and experience several commercial jobs regularly when relationships are built using the PREP™ program.  Many of these commercial clients have had multiple disasters and those repeat jobs go directly to the PREP contractor. (One nursing home called the contractor 6 times to clean up a flooded commercial space – each job was about $25k)!

If you want to know if the program is available in your market or would like to have training for your marketers so they can begin to develop a commercial portfolio, call me today!  419-202-6745


By  Dick Wagner, a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, consultant, and coach.



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