Should You Pay Referral Fees?

A couple of times a month I get a call from a fairly new contractor wanting to generate more leads and job opportunities. Usually, the questions include the topic of Plumbers and if they are a good lead source.


I’m all in favor of a contractor developing great lead sources. Even more so, I want contractors to build a steady stream of job opportunities. My frustration has always been with the issue of paying a referral fee. And, more specifically, exorbitant fees. Sure it’s done all over the US. But just because it’s done doesn’t make it right.

Most businesspeople have to ask themselves at some point; “how much of a referral fee should I pay to plumbers?” In many of the major cities (think Miami, LA, NY) some plumbers are demanding – and many contractors are paying one thousand dollars per lead! Yikes


Because the dollar amount is so high, you can’t help but wonder if this is right, ethical, fair, or even legit! With the average water-damage mitigation project averaging around $4,900 nationally, a $1,000 “finders fee” does one of two things – neither are good. First, it potentially increases the invoice on the project by $1,000, or about 20%. Second, if you truly do not raise your price, you really end up with very little or no profit when the job is done. The amount paid has to be reasonable, fair, and appropriate.

You can’t have it both ways. Either you raise your prices, or you make no money on your work. (Or do other things for the plumber that are big for them, and less for you).


Since I am not a fan of “finders fees,” referral fees, bird-dog fees, or “spiffs” being paid out, I won’t tell you how much is “fair.” I am willing to recognize that for a long time, referral or finders fees have been, and are currently being paid in many industries. We don’t tolerate this as a society when politicians accept money for “bribes.”

If we really analyze the concept from a different angle, we could justify that we are paying a “commission” to an independent plumber. Just remember, you wouldn’t pay a commission to an employee where the commission represented 20 – 30% of the actual job! Furthermore, they would at the minimum receive a 1099 tax statement from you at the end of the year, or else you’re going to pay tax on the money you give the plumber.


Too often, business owners are so desperate for a job that they willingly concede their integrity and find unique ways to justify these payments. It’s called “situational ethics.” When you engage in situational ethics – you will always be compromised!

I urge you to talk about the entire referral fee – commission payment idea with a trusted financial consultant. When you do this, you at least understand the true position and what the potential ramifications are.

Author:  Dick Wagner, Co-founder of the CREST Network

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

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2023     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

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

Marketing To Plumbers

Many restoration marketers call on and solicit plumbing companies and plumbers. The hope is to be able to convince them to send your company leads and jobs when they arrive at a plumbing job and see a flooded home or a mold-contaminated property.


However, it’s not as simple as just telling the plumber you’ll give him a couple of hundred bucks for his referrals. A marketing approach to this kind of prospect requires more than a one-size-fits-all program.

As a marketing rep calling on this vertical (plumbers), it’s important that you recognize the different “types” of plumbers so you can increase your success. Not all plumbers are the same. Some only do repair work, some only do sewer and drain clean-outs, and some do only “new construction” work.


In addition to the basic differences listed above, there are three additional factors you must consider. Identifying what their corporate (or business) structure is. Here is a simplified list of the 3 most common plumber types:

  1. The one-man-band. (Chuck in a truck) or a man with a van. They may sometimes have a helper but usually work out of the home or garage. Rarely do they have a warehouse or any office space (other than their kitchen table). Their “business phone” is their personal cell phone – so they will almost always answer it. And it’s often listed on the side of their truck or van.
  2. The small shop. Often 3-10 people are on the payroll. They have several trucks and crews and are much more visible in the community. They often try, with limited success, to emulate the “big boys” so they may have lettered, and wrapped vans, and their crews may wear a uniform or company shirt. Almost always, they will have a small shop or warehouse, and possibly even a small office with an office support person. They will have a designated company business phone and likely a gate keeper.
  3. The Big Boys. These are plumbing companies with significant brick-and-mortar shops, warehouses, offices, and probably several business phone lines. You might see their billboards around town. They tend to operate much more like a corporation with multiple office staff, back-office help, and many crews. Their wrapped vans dominate the community. You may try to get in front of their entire plumbing staff, but remember: when they are this big, their plumbers often each have different specialties. That means some will never see a flooded home.


As a marketer, getting in front of the Chuck-in-a-truck plumber is a major challenge because you cannot (SHOULD NOT) go to their home! Also, you can’t wait down the block and then follow them around town until they stop for gas or coffee. Approaching them at a plumbing supply house, or at the big-box stores (Lowes or Home Depot) is doable, but you can’t sit in those parking lots all day.


The small shop with a handful of employees usually has a small building or shop location. Your challenge here is that they may not staff it during the day, so it’s really lucky to find someone there to talk with. Once you are able to talk to the owner/manager or an office person, you should be trying to get the contact info for all their techs and also try to schedule an early morning breakfast for the group. This is your perfect opportunity to talk with all of them and promote your company and referral program. You will also see some of them at the big box stores and the plumbing supply houses often, so once you know them, stay in touch!


The big plumbing companies that operate more like small corporations may be a little more challenging to convert. They will usually be very protective of their “big” name and more hesitant to give out tech contact info. They also may NOT like a referral program because they can feel that associating with your restoration company could potentially hurt their reputation. (A plumber tech refers one of their customers to your company and the job goes south!) Ideally, you want to get them to allow you to bring in breakfast for their team. This is the best way to present your referral program and touch a lot of techs at the same time.  The big boy companies will be very receptive to your Summary Move (elevator pitch) about making the plumbing company the hero.

We Have A Complete Certification Course That teaches These Important Distinctions And More.

It would be great to expand more on the many nuances and strategies you should employ to develop great relationships with plumbers. Since most people won’t read more than a few minutes, we developed a certification course Restoration Marketing Specialist® (RMS™) 3-day course to teach you all the many ways to solidify your plumber opportunities. (It also includes Insurance Agent strategies as well).

Author:  Dick Wagner, Co-founder of the CREST Network

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

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2023     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved


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

Your Marketing Program Needs Work

Yes, it’s very likely!  It may sound overconfident on this blogger’s part to make this assumption, but let’s consider the facts: here you are, looking up blog posts on how to freshen up your marketing. Very possibly your gut tells you that what you’ve been doing for the past several years might not be working anymore!

The truth is that the vast majority of people who know that their marketing isn’t working, who buy books and read blogs on how to fix it, don’t bother to take the necessary steps to make their marketing work for them in the 2020 decade and beyond. The end result is that their marketing remains an expense instead of an investment.

Here are 4 simple reasons to refocus and adjust your marketing right now:

  1. You Need an Objective

Some of us just keep making changes, seemingly, for the fun of making changes. Sometimes it’s not a total relaunch of our marketing campaigns that are needed, but simply a little stability and tracking. Your marketing team won’t stay focused if you keep giving them a different objective every morning. Hopefully, you put your needed changes in writing – spelling out the details of your new plan. Each and every key manager and marketer should have a copy.

  1. You Need an SMP

A Strategic Marketing Plan (SMP) is about using today’s tools and putting your marketing plan in writing. It should include calendar items as well as those marketing efforts that produce the highest ROI in 2023 and beyond. A whiteboard works well for identifying on a calendar when these things are scheduled.  You even need a “drop dead date” listed so you get everything in place before it is to happen.

  1. You Need A Coach

A Business Coach (or qualified Marketing Coach) can make the difference between getting where you need to go in your marketing efforts, and not. In a blog post like this can only offer so much guidance. A coach can give you advice based on your specific situation and what’s happening in 2023. There are dozens of “coaches” available, but you need to be sure they aren’t just giving you some one-size-fits-all strategy – especially since your business and region are unique to you and your company!

  1. You Need a Client Management System

It’s been said that nearly 100% of all major business owners spend money to collect data on their customers, but only around half use that data to improve their relationships with those customers. Please use a robust CRM and then spend time reviewing the trends and data! Be careful that you don’t fall for the CRM that has so many bells and whistles that you and your staff cannot understand it. There is a lot of fairly simple (and inexpensive) software available to you.  We use

And find it easy to use, giving us what we need for about $15/month per user.

Author:  Dick Wagner, Co-founder of the CREST Network

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

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2023     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

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

Collaborate When You Market To Clients

There have been many approaches to marketing restoration services and as many different ideas as there are coaches out there to promote them. My ideas are a strategy that is used by hundreds of marketers all over the country with great success.

Long gone are the days of basic route marketing where your best strategy is “Stop, Drop, and Roll” – visiting someone on the route, dropping off donuts, and rolling on to the next prospect. It is certainly good for the donut shop but doesn’t get you more business. That’s simply a form of bribery.

The topic of collaborate is all about working with a prospect or client to help them help their own customers! It’s so much more than ”what you can do for them” and is really what you can do for your prospects’ customers!


Every elevator speech that I hear when a marketer is in one of my classes ismy name is Susie with XYZ Restoration and we do Fire, Water, Smoke, and Mold.”  Sadly, they think they are bringing value by saying this, but NO ONE cares! Nobody is interested in ‘what you do.’  They want to know what you are going to do to help them “get more business” and that’s all they care about.

We call the ‘elevator pitch’ the Summary Move because it is all about the client and their client! It focuses on how you help them and their prospect or client. The summary move strategy is to be thinking several ‘moves’ ahead and anticipating what they’ll say and be prepared to make the next ‘move.’  That’s what good chess players do – think several steps ahead.


By making it about their client, you are effectively taking the “salesyness” out of the conversation and are acting more like a ‘trusted advisor.’  Neither you, nor I like to be sold and we are not fond of salespeople! Don’t be one of the obnoxious salespeople that you dislike.

Find ways to make the conversation about them and their customers. When the client (or prospect) feels that you are mostly interested in them and their business, they’ll be far more likely to seriously consider working with you. Since you have their interest at heart, they will want to refer business (jobs) to you.


Yes, it’s quite a challenge to think only about “what you can do for your clients client, but until you get into that mindset – you’ll come across as salesy or worse. For most of us, that mindset is a big struggle to achieve because we are in the mode of “getting jobs.”  Our boss or owner wants you to get more referrals so he or she is constantly pushing you to do this – even reminding you of how many referral you got last month!


You want to be considered a ‘trusted advisor’ but you often don’t take the time to know something about them or their business or even about their industry!  You can’t be considered a Trusted Advisor to them if you don’t have any advice.  Donut dropping candy jar refilling services don’t make you a trusted advisor!

If you want to become an expert and a million-dollar producer then be sure to attend an RMS™ class, held throughout the country two or three times a year. The Restoration Marketing Specialist course will teach you how to be a marketer that knows how to collaborate and get more business.  See you soon! We strive to get you producing $1 million in annual revenue for your company. (And yes, many of our clients are at that level)!

Author:  Dick Wagner, Co-founder of the CREST Network

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

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2023     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

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

What Makes A Marketer Really Productive?

Aside from management wanting their marketer to be really productive, the challenge is always for the marketer to generate referrals to the tune of about $1mil each year. We work with many marketers that do this and what it takes is determination, passion to succeed, and working with a quality coach each week.

When you think about it, a marketer that generates even a half million dollars a year, is bringing in profit of around $250k or more.  A good, qualified marketing coach or advisor will cost you about $20k each year. Not a bad trade off of cost vs profit! In reality, your marketer should be coachable to generate closer to a million dollars – going into year two.

So, What Makes A Marketer Productive?

There are numerous things that help make a marketer productive and generate good revenue for your firm.

First and foremost, simply put good marketers are strategic with their time and resources. Good marketers are important because they help businesses create long-lasting and profitable relationships with their clients. Good marketers know how to navigate the nuances of a changing field, (and the restoration field IS changing). They have to manage different aspects of marketing and understand how those aspects interact. We can develop these characteristics and the many other skills that make a good marketer with practice and work experience.

Here’s a short list of things to look for, when hiring a marketer:

  • They need to be focused,
  • Be good at active listening,
  • Be good at storytelling,
  • Know their customers and markets,
  • Show good time management skills,
  • Manage large workloads,
  • Create memorable client experiences,
  • Understand their competitors,
  • Set clear and actionable goals,
  • Be able to adapt to changing client needs,
  • Have good observational skills,
  • Be accountable to themselves and the company,
  • Readily complete daily and weekly reports,
  • Track activity in a CRM,
  • Willing to accept a lot of rejection,
  • Understand and use social media,
  • Have good communication and computer skills,
  • Work with management to set goals and targets,
  • Know how to nurture relationships,
  • Develop a “trusted advisor” or Maven strategy.
  • Have a desire to keep learning new marketing strategies,


I’ve listed a lot of items that marketers must be good at – or at least be willing to perform! All too often, several of these on the list don’t exist with the marketer, and we have to teach them each of those things. Take the item “willing to accept rejection,” if they can’t hear a “NO” graciously, and realize it’s probably not directed at them personally then they aren’t the right candidate for the position.

Most marketers don’t know exactly what their role and responsibilities are, and certainly don’t know how to interact and engage their “internal” staff. I’m specifically talking about ALL the employees in the firm.  If you don’t have believability and credibility, you aren’t going to build vital relationships – which are based on trust.

Humans can’t actually multitask. We think we can, but we can’t. We can only focus on one thing at a time. What we mean by multitasking is focusing on one thing for a period of time (as needed), then on another and another, etc. When you hear someone saying they are multi-tasking, they’re hurting themselves and you. Marketers should schedule time for performing certain tasks. If marketers get “caught up” in doing considerable admin type projects then either you’re dumping the wrong things on them, or they prefer to be behind the safety of a desk.

Great marketers construct their marketing strategy around client needs, and one way you can recognize these needs is by producing a customer persona. This persona tells you how, when, and where to impart your target audience.

As marketers, we all work hard to relationships for our owner or client, but it can be tough to stay on top of everything we are accountable for. Luckily, there are a few modest tools you can use to be an extra productive marketer and use your schedule much more effectively. Regardless of which of these methods work for you, by applying these approaches and suggestions to your workload, you will see more productivity and improved task completion on many levels.

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© 2023        The CREST Network, LLC

      All Rights Reserved

Who Is The Real Client?

So, who is the real client – the homeowner or business that had the loss, or the insurance company?  I think we will ALL need to be planning on how our services can be afforded by the end-user because one day there will be premiums but there will be few payments just like in the medical world.

The insurance company has the upper hand and will continue to depress prices to restoration companies, and restoration companies are swallowing the bait. They are not stupid, and they have lots and lots of POWER by spreading lots of money into the coffers of politicians.

The best thing for all of us in the restoration field to do is to observe and recognize what insurance did to the medical field.  Layer upon layer of paperwork, (think, Xactimate, PAs, consultants, etc.) lower and lower prices back to the people who ACTUALLY DO THE WORK and spend the money on equipment and training.  And then we’re all supposed to be happy because the profits get shared by the insurance company’s “stockholders” in their retirement investment funds.

Physicians several years ago were well-paid professionals that were paid by their clients.  Medical insurance changed that and made the insurance company the check writer and the doctors had to team up and get in line to withstand the relentless pressure for lower prices while still delivering quality care.  As you all know medical care has as many clerks and recordkeepers as practitioners.  Soon, if the insurance firms get their way, you will have more recordkeepers on the payroll than WRT”s

I don’t pretend to have an answer, but just how often has ANY insurance adjuster actually asked you anything about your technical ability?  Questioned on thermal imaging, the standard for drying?  I would guess 99% of the contact you have with any adjuster is only about how quickly I can close this file and how much will it cost.

All the bottom-feeding insurance bootlickers that are finding new ways to get a piece of our profits will only grow and succeed if we let them.  These companies are wooing the insurance companies and telling you that you can’t survive without THEM.  Actually, they cannot survive without the US. The insurance firms are not paying for XYZ’s services out of their profits they are paying for XYZ’s to increase THEIR (the insurance company) profits by cutting YOURS (you, your wife and children, your kid’s college, your fishing vacation trip)

So, when I hear people say, “It’s business” and realize at the same time that “business” impacts my loved ones; No friend, it’s personal!  And if XYZ is successful it will spawn some new alien creature to fleece YOUR company.  The company is part of your and your family’s future.

By the way, I don’t have problems with adjusters, I have only been questioned twice in ten years on any invoices, have no beef with adjusters that will communicate with me.  Adjusters are actually going to be on the chopping block too if the insurance firms can figure out a way to eliminate them.

Guest Author: Mike Conroy, CIEC – Master Restorer

Owner Expert Dry  850-777-6655

Who Are They Going To Call?

3 minute read

Are they calling you – or are they calling your competitor? Is your company ‘top of mind?’ There must be a compelling reason they call you and not your competition!

For years and still today, many marketers ‘think’ they are going to get the call from the agent or plumber, but they are only generating $150k a year in revenue and that’s not enough! We often hear that it’s about ‘great service’ but that’s only AFTER the call comes in. It’s not about the latest tool or machine or gadget that your company has purchased. Everyone claims to offer great service or have the latest Binford 5000 machine but that isn’t enough to justify your business existence.


Nobody brags about average or poor service. No marketer says, “we have mediocre equipment.”  All of the tools, equipment, and processes are important but if are not likable and care about the people you call on – you are in trouble.

Not Price

The lowest price is NOT what gets you the job – at least not for long. Eventually, they (a competitor) will either beat your price or you will go out of business.  It’s surprising those people that are likable and friendly and care about the client don’t have a problem with the price! One contractor looks a lot like other contractors, so you really need to be Different.

Since there is so little differentiation between restoration and roofing companies, it becomes a difficult task to create a clear brand position for your company.  Defining a valid differentiator (or several differences) for your company will have a huge contrast. How you are perceived in the marketplace should be crystal clear and unique from all others, with nobody else making the same claim.  That doesn’t mean anyone could make the claim, but they are far less likely if you dominate that position.

The Squeaky Wheel

In reality, it doesn’t matter whether other companies can make the same claim, but who makes it first and loudest is the one that gets the bragging rights. Building and solidifying a strong brand position isn’t that easy and most contractors need help doing it. Developing a winning brand position involves several key ingredients. I’ve said many times that you must know your client’s issues, pains, challenges, frustrations, and concerns. Without knowing these, you have no way of creating a strong position, and less likely that you will create raving fans.

Shrink or Grow

There isn’t a way for you to stay the same. It’s been proven a million times that if ‘you are standing still – you’re going backward.’

Yes, you must market and promote the business every day but most people that market is simply spinning their wheels – being busy – but not effective! If you aren’t marketing it you won’t grow, (and probably will shrink or go out of business). The sad reality is that failure to properly market your company is like getting promises from clients that never come thru!

It’s Amazing

I know so many marketers that think if they are calling on clients – that’s all it takes. The client is friendly, makes promises, and yet never sends a job. The problem is the marketer is not asking for sales. They are NOT doing things to help the client’s business. They think because the client is polite – and talks to them – that the marketer has a good lead source. Rather than learn what customers consider painful in the business the marketer wants to talk about recipes or the family or the dog.

You really need to find out what scares customers most about calling a company like yours! Know or learn what their pain point is and then address it.

Nobody Cares

I’ve had marketers approach a new client with the question “are you familiar with our company?” or “Do you know what we do? Bottom line: they don’t care! They are not interested in what YOU or your company do. They only care about THEIR company and industry. Learn about their industry and talk with them about it. That’s how you build trust, and credibility and prove to them that you are truly a subject matter expert.

State exactly how you have been recognized by experts (or as experts). What publications have you written, or been featured in? Create a position by declaring yourself to be a specialist, rather than all things to all people. You cannot be ALL Things To All People! Doctors that specialize are the ones that charge the most and make the most money.

The idea of finding a real differentiation between you and your competitors is critical to your survival, and one of my specialties is helping you identify that differentiation and then implementing it in your market.


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

Make Cold Phone Call Marketing Warmer

3 minute read

Nobody, I mean nobody likes to make cold phone calls. And nobody likes to get cold phone calls. It’s annoying and it’s a major interruption of our day and life. Yet, as marketers, it is necessary for you to make some phone calls – otherwise, you will always be struggling to get enough opportunities and ultimately enough referral work.


Almost weekly, I remind marketers that they need to be aggressive with their social media engagement. Marketers tell me they have 50, 100, or even 200 LinkedIn connections, and they are always getting “invites to connect” but simply ignore them. When you connect with business people on LinkedIn (people in your community), it means they “see” your name, many times they look up your profile before they connect, and all of that gives them another touch or exposure to you. I’ve been on LinkedIn for 15 years, and actively try to connect with people – and as of this writing, I have about 3,300 – 1st connections. Every first connection you get gives you an email address. What an easy way to build your email list.


Using social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Parler, and even Pinterest create exposure, awareness, and familiarity with you, your name, and your company name. As you post articles, create FB or Twitter posts, and put photos on Pinterest, you are stirring the proverbial pot of familiarity – making your connections warmer. When you make phone calls to clients, this familiarity (recognizing your name) means they are far more likely to take your call, and even give you a few minutes of their time.


When you do a good job of connecting with and becoming friends with people on social platforms, you build Social Proof. Some people have the idea that becoming Friends with others on Facebook means you must personally know them. The reality is, if they are friends with others you are friends with, there already is a commonality. My FB friends list exceeds 1700 because I ask to become friends with anyone that has at least 50 mutual friends with me! If, after you connect with them, you do not like their posts and comments, or find them acting like a troll, simply unfriend them (or unfollow them). As a marketer, your end game should be to connect and befriend as many as you can on social sites to elevate your familiarity with them.

One additional consideration is if, when you call them and remind them you are connected with them on FB or other social sites, they blow you off, are rude, disrespectful, or otherwise mistreat you… Unfriend them or remove them as a connection – they aren’t worth the effort and won’t help you get more business.


Reaching out to people by phone – to those you are “connected to on SM” – is a fast and more comfortable way to engage. The calls are warmer, and the people you call are more receptive because of the social media link or awareness they have with you. All you should be trying to do on those phone calls is just one thing. You should use your 3-sentence elevator pitch to schedule a face-to-face appointment with them. In the process I’m describing, you should never be trying to sell them your goods and services on that initial cold or warm call. The simple goal from the call: get an in-person appointment with them.

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745   Call Me!                  [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.


Best Way To Develop A Great Marketing Team

4 minute read

It’s not a secret. Unless you have a product or service everyone wants and no competitors, you need to develop a great marketing team. Unfortunately, that’s like having a pet unicorn. Not very likely! At least on their own! The best way to develop a great marketing team is to plan – in writing what your goals are, and then write out the steps and strategies to make those goals happen.


It continues to amaze me how forgiving, tolerant, and generous owners and managers are with marketers and sales staff that continues month after month to fail at achieving the established goals! If the goals are reasonable, and in writing, then the owner must be reviewing and evaluate the sales and marketing staff at 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. Failure to perform equals termination. Allowing BS excuses and continual bogus “reasons” why targets have not been met is the fault of the owner/manager, and it’s time to cut the cord of the salesman and let them go!


There is always a discussion with those owners and managers we coach, asking us what is reasonable for sales goals. Every marketer in the restoration industry should produce $750,000 – $1 million a year in revenue. That’s only about $62k per month on average (at the lower number). I personally know MANY marketers in the disaster recovery industry generating over a million dollars a year! One marketer in Tampa brought in over $2mil in 2019 and another in Baltimore brought $4mill-plus, each year for the past 3 years.


Even in the residential roofing industry, it’s common for a hustling salesperson to generate $1.5 million a year in gross revenue. (They often earn $100k – $150k/year). My experience coaching marketers is they tell you things like:

  • “This is a bad time of year”
  • “With all the Holidays, people don’t want to buy”
  • “It’s been too rainy, cold, hot, stormy, windy, etc.”
  • “The economy is bad right now”
  • “People are focused on vacations”
  • “School is starting – people are dealing with that”
  • “And a massive list of month-after-month junk excuses”

As an owner/GM you should know EXACTLY what you need to generate in profit each month to pay all your overhead costs. If that’s $75,000 each month, then your sales staff needs to bring in at least $150k for the month (at a 50% profit) to cover your monthly expenses.  Accepting a marketer that is only bringing in $1k or $20k, or even $50k monthly WON’T cut it. Once you know your expense numbers, and then know your revenue requirements, you can tell your marketers what they must generate in sales volume. And it must be in writing! It should be listed on the whiteboard in the office daily, weekly, and monthly. Why? Because “what gets measured, gets done.”

Until you have these numbers established, there is no way to lay out a step-by-step marketing and selling strategy. As I work with restoration owners weekly, I am constantly surprised that most don’t actually know their monthly numbers. Even worse, the marketers often don’t have a clue what they should be generating in revenue. At a minimum, you need to establish how many leads and referrals, and then your closing ratio, and your average sale amount.


Since there are so many variables, and each company has different needs and wants, every company I coach is given a specific–tailored strategy for their company. Too many consultants provide a one-size-fits-all approach, and we find that unacceptable. I’d welcome the opportunity to help your company develop an appropriate marketing strategy.  

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745         




Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2020     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form

Training Classes For Restoration Marketing

3 minute read

Everyone in the disaster restoration industry understands (I hope) that marketing is quite different than the selling style used in most other businesses.  When you really think about it, “selling” to an insurance agent – is only about selling them on the idea that they want to send their policyholders to you when their insured has a disaster. It’s also similar when you are marketing to a plumber or HVAC contractor. They are rarely the ones that need your clean-up services. What they need is for you to help their plumbing customer by sending them to you when there is a water-damaged home.


There is a fine distinction between what your marketer does, and what a marketer does. Marketers are (or should be) convincing those in a position to refer your company, to actually refer their policyholders or plumbing customers to you. Now your Senior Project Manager goes to the loss and then SELLS the customer, getting an Agreement or Work Authorization signed.


Marketing strategies are different than selling strategies! In the marketing process, it’s critical that the marketer research their prospects, the prospects’ business, and their industry. Almost daily, I remind the marketers that I coach, to spend at least 10% of their marketing time doing research and homework on their prospects. Since you initially have almost no credibility, you change that by knowing the prospect’s pains, issues, and challenges. That alone significantly improves the trust factor with the client.


With selling, you are in front of the “end-user” of your services. For example, a plumber’s customer has a flood event in their home, and the plumber suggests the homeowner call you. The homeowner is the actual end-user – But you also need to make both the customer AND the plumber happy.  It’s similar to insurance agents; they tell the policyholder to call you, and yet you still must make sure the insurance agent is a hero in the process. First, you need to Market to the plumber, get them to give you a referral, then send in a salesperson to close the job.


Too often, a restoration contractor hires a marketer, only to realize six months later that the marketer isn’t bringing in work. Now the owner has spent thousands of dollars, often to start all over again. Coaching and teaching the marketer right from the start dramatically helps improve the likelihood your marketer will succeed. Many owners choose to do on-site training so that it’s customized specifically for their people, their company, and their market.


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

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