Jerry & Sheryl Isenhour, CVC Success Group coaches

CVC Succcess Group coaches Jerry & Sheryl Isenhour

Today’s podcast is about the warning signs in business that you should be paying attention to, before they turn into something that takes you off the path of success you are trying to follow. We will talk about key performance indicators (KPI’s), understanding what they are, what you should look for and how to use them to your advantage.


The Chimney and Fireplace Success Network is a weekly podcast brought to you by the CVC Success Group and hosted by industry expert, Jerry Isenhour. Each week you will find new presentations to assist business owners and managers in turning their business dreams into their business realities.



Jerry Isenhour: Did you know there are warning signs that can tell us when disaster is coming in our lives and in our business? Such as checking your dash on your automobile. In today’s cars, you can read your oil pressure, you can read your water temperature, and you can even read your air pressures as long as you’re checking the warning stages of what’s going on out there.

But what we’ve also got to be able to do is understand how do we check for the warning signs of our business, for when things, you know there’s danger up ahead, there’s actually warning signs, and we’re going to talk about that today. So, stick around with us, we will be right back after this brief message, and we will go into the warning signs of when danger is ahead.

Jerry Isenhour.: Why am I talking about warning signs today? Because in my life, over the last couple months, there’s been some tremendous warning signs that if I had seen these, I could have possibly averted some really horrifying experiences. One was, I was traveling down the Massachusetts turnpike a few months ago, and suddenly, my right front tire on my rental car blew out. This car only had 22 miles on it, but at the same time, if I had looked at the dash, would I have noticed that I had a tire going down and possibly not had to spend several hours on the side road in Massachusetts.

But The Past Week Was An Even More Horrifying Experience To Me

But this past week was an even more horrifying to me experience, and to Sheryl; she may have some things to share about this in a minute. Because earlier this week, I suffered a heart attack. Sitting at my desk on Wednesday morning, and I had a heart attack. Now were there warning signs that came at me before that? Was there a shortness of breath? Was there things where I was getting tired when I shouldn’t have? Were there things that could have warned me for this?

Were There Warning Signs I Missed?

As I go through this now, and I think back, were there warning signs that I miss, that maybe I should have got myself to a doctor and known that my heart was getting ready to give some big issues? But anyway, we survived that; I am on here today, it is a few days ago now.

So I’m coming back. Hey, I’m able to record this today; the world is looking good, life is going to be good. So, Sheryl, as I talk about those warning signs, did you see warning signs about my heart attack possibly that could alert you to say, Jerry, you need to get to a doctor?

That May Have Been To Alleviate Some Pain

Sheryl Isenhour: The biggest one I saw was the amount of liquid you drank continually, 24 hours a day if you were up. I should have noticed that things had changed. You had actually started smoking more. I’m thinking that may have been to alleviate some pain that you didn’t want to admit. So yes, I saw a few, but you just don’t know for sure. You hate to raise somebody’s alertness, but on the other hand, I do wrong by just saying go to the doctor.

Do Not Say, “It Will All Be OK, It Will Pass.”

Jerry Isenhour.: Yes. So here’s my message, this is not about my heart attack. That’s not what today’s message is about, we’re just trying to give you this as an example of what’s going forward. But the one thing I want to do is if you’ve ever experienced chest pains, if you think this is happening to you, don’t do like I started to do and say, hey, it’ll all be okay, it will pass. Because luckily for me, I did not do that, and I contacted Sheryl; she was at her office, told her, I think you better come home, and I told her what was going on.

I have had corrective things done

And I called 911, and when they got here, I was undergoing a rather severe heart attack sitting here at my desk. But like I said, everything turned out okay; they got me to the hospital. I’ve had corrective things done to my heart. I’ve got to have some more things done, I’ve had to change my diet. I’ve got to do all kinds of things. And like I said, the smoking is over with everything else. But that’s not what today’s message to you is about.

Warning Signs In Your Business

Today’s message is about the warning signs in your business that can tell you that bad things are going to happen. And that is what we want to talk about today, is what are these warning signs. Because as I lay in the hospital in the last few days, it was rather lonesome up there, to be honest with you. Because you can’t have any visitors in the hospital. So for several days, just laying alone in a hospital room, without a computer, believe it or not. I mean I didn’t ask her to bring a computer up to me several times at thought, but I need to get this past this and recuperate.

So for several days to turn on my computer. But what are these warning signs? And I went about them and thought to myself, you know, these are what we call the KPI’s, the key performance indicators. So there’s things there, and we’re going to talk about that and the things that you can need to be watching in your business that are your KPI’s. Sheryl, as I talk about KPI’s, what comes to mind in you as far as KPI’s?

You Have Got To Keep An Eye On The Money

Sheryl Isenhour: You’ve got to keep an eye on number one money, the cost of the leads that you have got out there. The cost of anything that is sectional that is coming up. You need to know your bottom line. A lot of us get off track where we spend so much time putting fires out, we never look at what might be coming up. And with that, we tend not to realize where we’re going. And then all of a sudden, we’re in too deep, and it’s kind of like where’d I go from here, how did I pick up, just like you do, do I call an ambulance?

Let me give you a few ideas from my viewpoint

Jerry Isenhour: Let me give you a few ideas from my standpoint, okay. Number one, you need to have tracking to know how many people contacted you in your business today. In other words, how many customers contacted you, or walked into your showroom today, that wanted to do business with you.

Track Your Incoming Calls

What was this number? And what you got to do is track this to see is your incoming calls is your incoming demand, if your showroom traffic is it dropping off. And there’s only one way you can do this, which is you’ve got to be able to track these numbers. Now also of the people that are coming in, what are they coming in for? And the people that are calling you? What kind of services are they looking for? And not only that, what kind of problems are they having?

Now the reason we want to know what kind of problems they’re having is because you can use this on your social media to develop videos and to put out social posts, to help you to give other people those answers. Because if people are calling you and have a problem, you can bet that other people are having that same problem.

Offer That Solution To Them

And they may not know that you could offer that solution to them. So we got to track all these different things, not only that, what percentage of those people actually booked us or made a purchase from us, and are you also tracking how you’re following up with each one of these customers. And you’ve got to be able to follow up and have a system of follow-up. So Sheryl, what do those things tell you?

Most People Are Not Paying Attention

Sheryl Isenhour: It tells me most people are not paying attention. They are, like I said earlier, they’re putting out fires. They’re not going into it and coming up with the answers that they need on the small stuff. And I don’t mean by small stuff, not important, but how hard is it to counter lead.

How hard is it to see how many of them produce? How hard is it to see when something’s going on a regular basis with different customers? But like again, with the putting out the fires, people just don’t see the validity of keeping up with the day-to-day things. If you do that, it makes it so much easier to stay on track.

Jerry Isenhour.: You know, so what we are going to do we are going to take a little brief pause for the cause here, we are going to come right back to you in just a minute. So listen to this message coming at you, and then we’ll be right back with you in about, in less than a minute. Just stick around with us because we have got more good stuff coming today.

His Name Was Tommy Mello

Jerry Isenhour.: So earlier this week, Sheryl, we had a group coaching call with our clients. And we had this remarkable guy that met with us; his name was Tommy Mello. You remember attending that call this week?

Shery lsenhour: I remember, that would have been one hard to forget.

Jerry Isenhour: It would be hard to forget. Because if there’s anybody that I’ve ever brought before my client base before that’s energetic and full of ideas, Tommy Mello fills that bill. But Tommy Mello shared with us all the different things that he did in his business. He is what I call the garage door guru of America.

20 Operations In 15 States

He has over 20 operations based in 15 different states, and his home base is the Phoenix, Arizona area, it is called A1 garage doors. Look him up, listen to his podcast, get his book, and other things because this is a guy that can share some great ideas. But he talked about how he was using his CRM, his software system, to track so many things.

Tracking The Cost of Leads

And where he was tracking the cost of leads, the cost to get an employee to come to work for him. He spits out what it cost him to train somebody and all these different things that he was tracking. And to be honest with you, Sheryl, it was really amazing what he shared with us that night, wasn’t it?

Has His Thumb On The Ball

Shery lsenhour: He is a person that does not mind handing out information to help others. He definitely has his thumb on the ball. I was totally amazed that he was able to run that many locations, in that many places and have family and deal with all the things that he does. It was kind of like a rat on steroids.

Jerry Isenhour: Yes, and it was. And you know it was talked about what he did each day, and Tommy had said to me one day, I wanted him to have a call with me, and he sent me a copy of his schedule for that day for him personally. And there were things on his schedule, such as he had time set to read a book, he had time set off when he would read his emails and answer them. And he had systems for all this stuff to make every day as productive as it can.

What Is Your Marketing Cost?

And other things he talked about, what is your marketing cost? What is it costing you to obtain a lead? What’s the cost of doing a job? Was there profit on each one of these jobs? What was the waste? And what’s the cost of waste in the business? See, these are all the KPI’s, the key performance indicators that you can use to measure and see where you’re at. Because one of the worst things that people do in business, I believe is, they look at two things. They look at their backlog, and they gauge their success by their backlog.

Understand Where The Money Comes From

The other thing they do is they look at the checkbook and the balance in the checkbook, and they really do not understand their numbers of where the money comes from. What’s even worse, I know of some people that run their business on the availability of checks. In other words, if I got checks in my checkbook, it must mean I got money, okay. So, this is where we got to formalize this and get better and better at what we do.

Establish Your KPIs

If you are going to look for these things that are going to lead you down, and that disaster is coming, one of the biggest one is going to be is establishing your KPI’s, your key performance indicators, that are going to tell you, Jerry, there’s problems ahead. Sheryl, you have got problems in your island business because KPI’s show it.

I Know Exactly What It Costs Me

Sheryl: That’s the question; I think we all do. We keep a pretty good thumb on ours though, everything’s brought down to the dollar. I know exactly how much it takes me to get employee. The thing is, I don’t have to rely on 50 calls a day or even 10, mine more or less it’s all done by email. So as Tommy Mello did, I have got a lot of times; I am a little different from you.

I don’t check my email every five minutes. I check it usually between the interviews or something I’m doing, and I can keep up with it that way. So I pretty much have an idea of what I’m going to be doing at what time, not to the extent Tommy did, wish I did. But yes, we all have trouble. I’m going to say there’s not a half a dozen businesses that I know of that even know what KPI’s are.

Contract Hiring For New Employees

Jerry I.: Right. Well, let’s take another job function that you do, which is you are doing contract hiring for companies across the country. In other words, you do the initial interviews with prospective employees, and you put them through the interview process. So let me ask you a couple of key KPI’s; of the people that apply for a job today, what percentage of them that they’re invited to come to an interview will not show up for their interview?

45% Will Not Show For An Interview

Shery lsenhour: A good as a rule, 45% will not even show up.

Jerry Isenhour: 45% of the prospective employees that send in an application will never even show up whenever you schedule an interview with them, am I hearing that correctly?

Sheryl Isenhour: Correct. And the bad part or the good part is I have tracking on my emails. I know exactly when it’s open. It’s not that they’re not receiving them, they open them, and you never hear from them again.

What Percentage Do You Recommend Hiring?

Jerry Isenhour: Okay. So next question in today’s world, of the percentage of people that do come to the interview, what percentage of them do you recommend being hired to your clients?

Sheryl Isenhour: Five to six.

What Percentage That You Interview Do You Recommend To Be Hired

Jerry Isenhour.: So, five to six percent of the potential people that apply for a job you find are qualified as people that are worthy of hiring, that’s today’s world.

Sheryl Isenhour: That’s today’s world. Because there are so many out there that are, their resumes number one aren’t right. And when you get them on the face-to-face interview, they have no knowledge of what they were talking about. So it makes it really hard. The numbers would change, and they will as the economy changes around a little bit. Right now, there’s people out there, but they are not that many that are interested in getting a job.

One Of Your Clients Recently Described Your Service

Jerry Isenhour.: Yes. One of your clients recently described your service to him as Sheryl was a beast, and what he was talking about was the way that you ask questions during that. So what have you learned from tracking your success and your failures? What have you learned that you’ve applied to your practice of conducting interviews for your clients?

Sheryl: I dig deep. I don’t ask a lot of questions, but the questions I ask, I always have a reason for. I’m looking for something. Some of the questions, I’m looking for what they don’t say. Other things, I’m looking for the right answers. I’m looking for the culture. I’ve got to get that first. I can train you if I have got your culture.

I Do not Want To Send Someone To My Client Who Will Not Work Out

And I put it off hard because I do not want to send someone to my client that it just does not work for. I would say a good percentage of, and I would say, pretty well near 75% of what I send to clients. If the client looks at it, they end up giving them a job.


Jerry Isenhour.: Got you, okay. So, we are going to take another pause here, stick around with us, we are going to come back in just a minute, and we are going to end today’s podcast episodes.

I Hope We Have Given You Some Thought Processes

Jerry Isenhour: Well, I hope we have given you some thought processes to think about today. Again, the KPI’s we’re talking about, those are key performance indicators. These are the things that you’re going to look at. Now how often do you look at KPI’s, you should be looking at these on a weekly basis, and this is something you got to set the time to do.

They Check Key Performance Indicators

Because this is what successful business owners do, they check the key performance indicators. So Sheryl, what would be your closing thoughts of spending the time with Tommy Mello this week and from doing this podcast that you would share about KPI’s key performance indicators?

Ride On The Front Of The Ship, Keep You Eyes Open For The Icebergs

Sheryl Isenhour: I would tell everybody to ride on the front of their ship. Keep their eyes open for the icebergs that can come. But also, stay aware of the failures and anything that may come, because, with your eyes open, you can see a lot of these things coming, do not ignore them.

Jerry I.: Yes. So we’re going to end today’s podcast; I’m going to end it with the following. You have no idea how grateful I am to be able to make this podcast today. You have no idea how grateful I am to be able to speak to you in this way. And the only reason I can do this today was, I didn’t sit here the other day and expect that what I was feeling was going to pass.

I’m firmly convinced right now that if I hadn’t taken action on Wednesday morning, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. So if anything I can impart to you today, when you feel something like this, please call 911. And with that, we will end this week’s episode of the chimney and fireplace success network. We appreciate you joining us every week, it’s an honor, it’s a privilege, and believe me, this week, it is an extreme pleasure. Sheryl, anything you want to say?

Sheryl Isenhour: I am glad to see you here too. So everybody, please be aware, life is short. Make sure yours is not shorter than necessary.

Jerry Isenhour: And with that, we will see you next week on another episode of the chimney and fireplace success network; thank you for being here today.