CVC Succcess Group coaches Jerry & Sheryl Isenhour
In today’s episode of The Chimney and Fireplace Success Network, Jerry Isenhour talks with A1 Garage Door owner, Tommy Mello. This is a must listen to episode as Tommy shares with us the steps he has taken to find the success he has today.
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.: Well, good afternoon, folks. Boy, have I got a treat for you today here on the CVC Tips And Tactics Show. Because I got a guy that is so full of energy, it is unreal. And I’m going to bring him on in just a minute. But instead of telling you all about him, I’m going to play a little short video, and it’s going to tell you about him and his company.
And I want you to hold on for this, tune this in, make sure, and spend some time with this because the next little while is going to be some real valuable time. So, let’s watch this video, it is going to tell you about my guests today.
An introduction to A1 Garage Door Owner Tommy Mello
Tommy Mello.: This is my 40-million-dollar garage door company, A1 garage door service. But listen, it wasn’t always like this. I’ve worked too hard, worried too much, and spent way too much money. But listen, I’ve made every single mistake out there, but I can tell you this, I’ve learned from every single one of them. Long time ago, there was only a couple of us.
We’d go out and repair the garage doors ourselves, we had a weekly planner, and that was what we used to dispatch ourselves. There was no GPS’s, there was none of that stuff back in 2006, and now we have over 200 employees, we have got a 35,000 square foot warehouse and training center, and we are so excited to bring you guys in and show you what we are going to do as a team.
We are always looking to perfect everything we do.
Because we believe in you the people, and that is how we are going to grow this thing, we are going to grow it together. This is the fifth building we’ve been at, we’re on our fifth CRM, which is service titan. So we’re always looking to perfect everything we do, we’re always evolving. We’re a live organism that’s always looking to do the next best thing, we’re a lean company.
One of the things that differentiates us from our competitors is we carry the best parts in the industry. You know how when you buy a tire, it tells you how many miles it’s rated for? Well, garage door parts are the same way, it’s rated on a cycle life. Each time the door goes up, it comes down is one cycle. We carry 80,000 cycle springs, 100,000 cycle rollers, the best in the business. And that’s what separates us from every other garage door company.
So right now, I’m standing in door 48, where we build anything custom when it comes to your garage door. We have the ability to do wood overlay garage doors; we do any type of door you can think of. And the reason we call it door 48 is because Arizona is the 48th state; this is where we started.
That is something that really differentiates us.
And our whole model here is if you could think it, we could build it. And that is something that really differentiates A1 garage door service from any other garage door company.
Jerry I.: So here we go, the man, the myth, the legend Tommy Mello. I met Tommy a couple of months ago because one of my clients kept telling him about all the great stuff that Tommy Mello was sharing on his podcast.
So one day, I decided I got to get to know Tommy Mello, so I had a call with Tommy, and we’re just really interested because this guy is so full of energy, so full of ideas. And one of the things about him, I’m really jealous because he’s a lot younger than me, and I can’t replace that, but this guy’s got it going on.
So if you’re tuning in with us today, I’m going to tell you this could be the most valuable time you’ll spend this year of listening to what Tommy’s going to share with us. So, Tommy, I am so glad and so grateful I got you on here today. How have you been doing, brother?
Tommy M.: I am great Jerry; it is a pleasure to be here. Glad you are doing good, you are healthy again, and yes, you are right; I am a little ball of energy, and today I am on one today. It has been a great day, so.
Jerry I.: So, what is putting you on this ball of energy today Tommy, what is the big thing? What is driving you today, brother?
Tommy M.: Well, I have got a new crew of 25 people that are training, and I started this morning at about 7:30 here at the office with a two-and-a-half-hour orientation, and I lit it up, man.
I was just full of energy, I got to meet each and every one of them, shake their hands, and I just, we’re getting involved with an affiliate marketing, my buddy runs the biggest roofing consulting show in the country, it’s called win the storm. And they chose us to be their garage door company.
So for every storm chaser that fulfills garage doors, that sells roofs, we’re going to be their garage door guys. So that could possibly be; I mean, he told me next year it could possibly be a little over 100 million dollars’ worth of business. So it’s exciting, it was a good phone call.
Jerry I.: That’s it, brother. So listen, a couple of your fans are on here already. There’s Brandi Biswell; she was on the coaching call we did. And there are people that are really following you, she’s enjoying your book. And other guys Lee Ralph, Lee Ralph is the guy that connected me with you and told me about all your things going on.
You have conquered many of the challenges.
So, this is what we are seeing here, you have conquered many of the challenges that face so many people in the home services industry. And the other thing about Tommy Mello is, you’re willing to share all your tips, all your tactics. So, let’s start off with this if I look back and like we just saw, ten years ago it wasn’t like this, what was lifelike ten years ago, Tommy?
Tommy M.: You think of the 80-10 or 80-20 rule, and you think about all the fluff in a day, you are chasing your own tail. You are wondering where the next call is going to come from, you are trying to figure out how to train employees.
There were no processes.
And there were no processes, there is no processes at all. And it’s really difficult because you’re sitting there stuck in the job every single day, you’re working your butt off. And you’re making 100 grand a year, but the company’s making zero. When you stop, the company stops. And what I’ve learned is I’ve always been able to make a lot of money.
I was painting doors a long time ago, 100 bucks a door, I could do 10 in a day, I was bartending, I was flipping vehicles. And what I realized was I got to work really hard to make money, that’s not the definition of wealth. Wealth is making money when you sleep. So I said I got to get in the business, and it’s got to be process-driven; it’s got to have the expected outcome. And the biggest thing that I learned, Jerry, is I’m not good at a lot of things, so hire people much better than me at most things like accounting, setting up the balance sheet and income statement, and really understanding the numbers, and the CSR’s and the dispatchers. I am more of just, I love sales, and I love marketing, and I love being the cheerleader in the background, pumping people up full of passion.
I have fun every single day.
So that is what I do; I am the mascot, I have fun every single day, and then I hire amazing people and give them the direction, manuals, processes that they need. And then I always give them skin in the game. So I know there was a lot there, but it’s just from today from 10 years ago. Ten years ago, I did not know what a KPI even meant; it was some type of Latin word.
It is key performance indicators.
Now I know it is key performance indicators. So yes, it was bad though, I was chasing my tail, I was losing relationships. I mean, there were nights that I didn’t cry myself to sleep, but I really was worried all day. And that is not a life to live, so I am glad I have had some really good influences, some amazing people like yourself, and read some amazing books that were able to change my life.
Jerry I.: So, you did the classic thing that I tell a lot of people to do, you got to take those things that you are not good at, or maybe you just do not really want to do them. And I tell people to put them in their suck bucket.
It is so easy to find someone that enjoys doing those things.
Because it is so easy to find someone else that enjoys that, that is actually good at it, and they just may be better than you are at it. So how were you able to make that determination, to put this stuff into your suck bucket, and then find people to fill that role?
It starts out with a plan.
Tommy M.: Well, first, it starts out with a plan, it starts out with an org chart, and typically you are every position on the org chart. But I hate to say this because there are times that I’m not the most process-oriented and org chart manual person, but I’ve become the same person I am today; I am a different person than I was.
So what I’ve done is I know I’m not organized, so I’ve got an assistant that’s amazing, and I’m in the process of finding her an assistant, so two assistants for me. I’m not exactly what I would call graded time management. So she runs my calendar. So really, the biggest thing is admitting to myself that I am not good at a lot of things, and then I am really good at some things.
Sharpening my tools on the things I am great at
And sharpening my tool on the things I am great at, and continuing to sharpen those tools, and really delegating the other things. So I built an org chart, I had every position filled out that I was doing, and I got really detailed with it, and then I said, I hate this, I can’t stand it.
This is the first thing I need to replace, and then I moved on to the next one, then the next one, then the next one, and then man, now I go to work, and I love what I do because I get to do whatever I want. But I’m usually the last one here, I’m not always the first one, because of people that come in at 4 a.m. But I enjoy going in on Mondays, and that is more than most can say.
Jerry I.: So, would you say you are a person that actually going to work is a pleasure and could almost be considered a vacation, a holiday for you, Tommy?
Tommy M.: You know I prefer Saturdays over Mondays, but I’d say I love my job, I love going to work. And I’d say whenever I walk in the room on tomorrow morning 7 a.m. I always play this song it is called every single day because I love my occupation, I am on vacation because every single day, because I love my occupation, so yes, I really do.
There are different obstacles, but they are not tough ones.
I enjoy it because there’s different obstacles, but they are not tough ones. They’re not the problems that most business owners are having. My problem is how do I get to 60 technicians trained a month. My problems are how do I get to million dollar plus producers on every single technician that comes out of my door.
My problems are just a lot different, but they’re fun problems. It is like, how do we surpass 100 million this year, that is not a bad problem to have.
Sixty new technicians a month is our goal.
Jerry I.: That’s not a bad problem. Well, you just said something right there. Sixty new technicians a month Tommy, did I hear you correctly?
Tommy M.: You know right now; we are getting between 30 and 40; my goal is to get to 60. And that’s 60 technicians, and we got ratios. So, for every nine technicians, I need a dispatcher, and I think it is a five to one ratio for CSR’s, and then it is a 2.5 ratio for every installer for every tech.
We have these ratios we have built over time.
So, we have got these ratios we have built over time and knowledge, and we are just calculated, it is all math, it is all exact numbers. My feelings are not involved in any of the decisions, really, except for our growth plan.
There is a failure rate among those people you hire.
Jerry I.: Okay. So how do you face disappointment? I mean, I’m sure that there is a failure rate amongst the people you hire. In other words, some are going to wash out, we’re going to talk about your training system today. But do you ever just get disappointed like and throw your hands up like, why do I keep doing this? Does that ever affect you, Tommy?
Tommy M.: No, because it is a numbers game, I anticipate losing between 15 and 20% of the new hires. And the fact is that I think we could do a better job on the hiring, and a little bit more. The question is, how long are you going to let people lose you money? So many people they spend all this time hiring, and then they say I got 20 grand, and I literally have 20 grand by the time they show up here into them.
I anticipate losing between 15% to 20% of the new hires.
And I say you know what? A top producer for me this year will do two million dollars. A bottom producer, if they stayed on the entire year, will do 300,000. So some people say I invested 20,000, I need to keep them and work with them. If it takes them two years to get better, you imagine 2 million times two is 4 million, 300,000 times two is six hundred thousand, you see? The three-point four million dollars. So, forget the twenty, forget the twenty thousand.
It is a mathematical certainty we will not keep every single person.
And it is a mathematical certainty; we will not keep every single person. The quick thing is hire slow, get the right people on the bus, and then fire fast. Have a really good HR team that’s built around standard operating procedures and performance improvement plans, and make sure that we’re going to give them everything they need to succeed, but I can’t give them the will. I tell people if you give me the will, I’ll find a way.
But you got to do exactly what you signed up for, and we got; I mean shoot, I’ve got everything, this is a form I got. These are what my acknowledgments, Tommy commits to you; I will do the very best to lead this company and succeed and build it in a way that lasts for a very long time. I will jump through hoops to make sure the culture is the best industry. I’ve got all these things that I’m going to do, and then I make them sign these. I will use the full supervisor in every call; I will help.
Even when I feel overwhelmed from Tommy, I will respect my managers in chain of command. I will continue to raise the bar, and better than my best, I will be accurate on my inventory. I made them initial and sign each one of these because I love accountability, and I love their John Hancock.
How long do employees stick around with your business?
Jerry I.: Okay. One of our watchers that’s watching right now has got a question up on the screen. How long do employees stick around with your business? And I presume she’s talking about good employees. What’s the career that you see? Is there like a three-year, five-year, ten-year? What do you see that people will cycle through? Maybe they have burnout; maybe this doesn’t fit them. But what are you experiencing there?
I have a ladder for every single opportunity.
Tommy M.: I have had a couple guys and girls that I have lost that are great employees because they have moved, or they have decided to get into like a mortgage industry or something. But very few that I want to lose. I’ve got a ladder for every single opportunity. I have a guy that started out as an apprentice, moved up to an apprentice tech, junior tech, senior tech, then he became a lead tech. Then he just became an area manager.
So the deal is there’s so much room for it with a growing company like ours to move up that people love to know they’re at a growing company, they’re appreciated. And what I try to do this is what I told everybody. I said, you guys don’t care about me becoming a billionaire, do you? You do not care about my house, my truck; your dreams are not the same as mine.
I know you have dreams.
But I know you have dreams; you want to go on a new honeymoon every year with your wife, you want to go on that hunting trip, you want to get that new truck. I want you guys all to be homeowners, and I watch you want to have the best retirement of the college. So I’m going to match my dreams with your dreams, and I’m going to get so excited when you hit your goals because we’re going to match our goals up together.
And that’s what I think the secret sauce is. So many people, they get mad at, what do you mean you want more money? I give my people an unlimited cap, and I share with them. And everybody knows how much money we made last year, everybody knows, all my senior staff knows everything about the company, they know the percentile we made. And I do not care; I do not even open my own mail, I do not even open my own email to tell you the truth, Jerry.
Jerry I.: I know that. I know that when I email you, Tommy, that the only way I am going to get direct to you is a text, and the email is opened by your assistant. And she tells you what’s important to deal with. I mean that’s your life, and that’s part of what you’ve done here. So if someone were to say the following to you, I just can’t get nobody to work for me, nobody wants to work anymore. What would be your answer to that person, Tommy?
Why would I work for you?
Tommy M.: With them, what is in it for me? Why would I work for you? What kind of culture have you created? We have got a popcorn machine, we have got a shaved ice machine, we have got a golden team, we have got a big buck hunter, none of those things matter. I mean, they do, and we’ve created the culture. But I’m there at the meeting this morning for a two-and-a-half-hour orientation; I’m involved, I want them to be successful.
They feel it when they come in that they’re wanted; they love the fact that we care. And the difference that I’ve seen is the first thing you need to do; I told these guys this morning, I said there’s three people that are here. So I drew a big thing three of them, here’s you, here’s A1, and then there’s the customer. I said here is one thing that I have come to terms with if the bank calls or a vendor calls or a truck gets turned over for some reason in a bad accident, what do you think happens?
I blame myself when something fails.
Do you think they come to my fleet team? Or do you think they come to the guy at the top? So I come to blame myself when something fails. And everybody else, I said the technicians, I said guys, here’s the thing. When you have a great day, you turn something or nothing into something, and you go out to a job, and they just don’t have a ton of money, you were able to get them financing and get the garage door fixed the right way.
You got to pat yourself on the back and say I did amazing today. But the next day, when maybe the dispatchers they don’t have a lot of great jobs or whatever you might feel, the non-producers tend to say I’m in a bad zip code, the dispatchers don’t like me. They are a victim, either the customers, the customers are always paying their taxes, it is that time of year, it’s my market.
What I said is if you have a great day, pat yourself on the back and say, I am a good guy, I am a good girl, I am amazing. When you have a bad day, you’ve got to take ownership. If you don’t own it that no one wants to work for you, then you got to take personal responsibility for that. And you need to make some changes. And if you want to blame everybody else, you shouldn’t be in business. Because nobody said, it’s easy. I said, guys, I’d be happy if you’re business owners, and I will help you. But just know, you’ve got a really good chance of failing.
And I got, a lot of things went right for me, and I’ve had a lot of amazing people have a great influence on me. I will never tell anybody not to get in business, but if you think it comes without stress, nightmares, relationships, then you got another thing coming.
Many people have difficulties in hiring, you have conquered this.
Jerry I.: Okay. Tommy, one of the things you’ve done is, like I said, in this time that so many people have difficulties in hiring, you’ve conquered this. And it’s going to be from the marketing. So what I want to do, we’re going to break away for just a minute.
And I’m going to share with you guys and girls that are listening and watching; I’m going to share with you a recruiting video that A1 garage doors does. And I want you to watch Tommy Mello in here; I want you to watch him interacting. Look at his training rooms, and what you’re getting ready to see folks is a phenomenal process. Tommy, before we go here, let’s share with everybody how many divisions do you have located around the country?
Tommy M.: Now, we are in 15 states, we just added a couple of markets, and it is crazy because I got a full-time project manager that just finds locations and sets them up and orders the stuff from Costco, Amazon, and home depot. So we’re able to set up about two new facilities a month right now, and it’s growing.
And we’ve got schematics for our training center, the same computers, the same everything now, it’s just an order that goes in through the three places. And then we negotiate the lease, and we think of all these other things like if we need to sublease down the roads because we need a bigger spot.
So 25 markets, and I can tell you this it’s not; I told them I wanted to go into 50 markets this year, so we’ll see. But I’m definitely pushing the limits; I’m pushing everybody a little bit harder because that’s what I do.
Jerry I.: Okay. So everybody, watch this video I’m going to play, it’s going to tell you a lot about Tommy A1 garage doors, and I think this is part of the success story.
I own A1 Garage Door Service
Tommy M.: Hi there, my name is Tommy Mello, and I own A1 garage door service. First, I want to tell you a little bit about our company. We started in 2006, and now over the last decade, I’ve worked very hard to expand to 10 states. My point here is simple, we are here to stay, we are not going anywhere. In fact, we employ almost 200 amazing people up to this point.
The largest differentiating factor to our success is twofold. We have by far the best employees in the industry, and also our marketing team absolutely crushes our competitors. Now get ready, because I’m about to run through several reasons why you should apply today to A1 garage stores. I’m going to give you a comprehensive list of why we’re the best company to work for.
First, you’re never going to be a 10-99 contractor when you work for A1. We’re not into all the tax loopholes because we care about having 100% genuine employees. Number two, you’re always going to be paid weekly. We found that it is much easier to pay your bills when you’re receiving your check every single week. Number three, we’re going to give you your very own wrap truck to take home every night.
And a company gas card to boot. We think it’s very important that we are giving you every tool possible to be successful with this career path and our company. At A1 garage door service, we carry the best parts in the industry, so you can sleep comfortably at night knowing you sold the best parts with the best warranty.
We call it our max lifeline.
We call it our max lifeline; you cannot find them anywhere else. We are one of the only companies that provide medical, dental, vision, and life insurance for you and your family. Because we know how important it is to keep your family healthy and happy. One of the largest differentiating factors here at A1 garage or service is we offer paid time off.
We think it’s very important that every technician gets a chance to take a break from work, to enjoy themselves and their family. So you can come back energized. Based on the fact that we’re growing so fast, we are always looking to promote our technicians to either lead technicians or market managers. You’re not going to find any better training in the industry than what we have to offer. The first thing we do is fly you out to our corporate office in Tempe, Arizona.
We pay you to come out, and the best thing is we throw you in the A1 housing apartments. Let me show you what those look like, we’re really proud of those. During the training, we’re going to introduce you to our entire team. You’ll get to meet all of the dispatchers, the CCR’s, the door department, and all of the other management team here at the A1 headquarters. We do things different and better when it comes to booking appointments. The call center is separated from dispatchers; your dispatcher is dedicated to giving you the best opportunity, with the best drive time in the industry. Your personal dispatcher is your liaison between you and the customer, always trying to give you the time you need to maximize each opportunity and keeping you moving throughout your day.
We have management you can call at any time.
We have management you can call at any given time; it starts with your market manager and then the lead sales manager, and then you have five other resources, including myself, to reach out to. So what are you waiting for? Obviously, we care about our employees. Just go to Workfora1.com, that’s workfora1.com and apply today; we cannot wait to meet you.
Jerry I.: Now Tommy, that is a story. What you just told is a story that wasn’t a resume because as I listened to that and I picked that particular video, you got all kinds of videos on your YouTube channel. But as I look through it, it’s like this is a story. How long did it take you to put together the script for that story you just told?
I woke up at 12:30 last night and started whiteboarding.
Tommy M.: You know, it is weird that I do not have to think about it. Literally, I just write, and I just, I woke up at 12:30 last night, and I started whiteboarding. It doesn’t take long, because I ask the people all the time what makes you want to work here? And they give me this stuff, and then some of them say it’s just you’re the only spot that’s really got the opportunity for career improvement and to move up the ladder.
Some people say the only one that pays insurance or any of this. We try to give people everything we can because the big thing I pride myself on Jerry is in this office COVID happened about a year ago. And I had several employees walk into my office, and they said, what are we going to do? And I told them, every single day, I wrote an email out and communicated.
And I had so many people come in here and say I want you to cut my pay. I want to donate my sick days to anybody that needs it. I want you to literally cut my performance pay in half until we get out of this thing because we want to see this company succeed. And that was, it is not what we do in the good times, it is what we do in the bad times.
I call my employees my internal customers.
And to know that these employees, and I call them my internal customers. To know that these amazing people came in and they were willing to do, that it didn’t come down to that, at first it looked like the home service industry was going to take a nosedive. And fortunately, things worked out for a lot of us, but the fact is it really made me wake up and smell the fact that we have built a culture here of people that are willing to do whatever it takes to keep this company moving forward. And we understand the greater good when we have to let somebody go, which I say I’m going to give you the opportunity to work for one of my competitors, for the greater good of the company.
Jerry I.: Now, kind of like Larry Winget used to advise, one of my coaches he will say you know when it is time to fire someone, I am giving them their freedom. I’m giving them their freedom to go find something, to make them happy, because they’re not happy here. So it becomes that time to grant them that freedom.
So how’d you come up with these great ideas about building your own housing for your employees? How did that come about in training? Instead of putting them in the hotels, you bought an apartment complex, I believe, correct?
Tommy M.: Yes. I’ve got 19 units, and I just bought five more three bedrooms, so that’s 15 more technicians per month I could train. So 19 times 238, 53, so got about 53 spots now for text. And what happened was it’s just one day I was whiteboarding, because that’s what I do. And I wrote a billion dollars just for shits and giggles.
And then I said a billion, let’s say I could get guys to 500,000 pretty easy. 500,000 divided by a billion, that is 2,000 techs. So, 2,000 techs okay, over five years, how many do I need to get? Let’s just say I can get 40 a month. Forty times 12 is 480; I know I’m going to lose some, so that gives me a buffer. So I know that I’m going to have to scale up to that. But what needs to happen not this year, not this quarter, not this month, not this week.
But what do I need to start thinking about today? First of all, a hotel is a hundred bucks a night at the very minimum. If I buy the apartment, so I did the math of what it would be if I bought the apartments. I had a dream that became a vision, and then the vision went all the way back on the whiteboard; I started on the right side and moved left.
It comes back to what needs to happen this week.
It came back to what needs to happen today in this week. And so I started looking for apartments, and I started out, when I used to trade people from out of state, it was hotels. And you could imagine if I got 50 guys at 100 bucks a night, it’s crazy. And now we’ve got our own cleaning lady for the company, I mean she’s here right now. And she’s got KPIs and a bonus program too. But it is just that.
Jerry I.: Pardon me, you got a bonus program for your cleaning crew?
We have signups for everything.
Tommy M.: So, we have got literally signups for everything and people that do have questions. So as long as she gets everything and the inspection all passed, she gets a bonus. So it’s one of those things where there are sign-off sheets in every apartment, too, for her. If it comes in, does anything not work? You test everything when you walk in that apartment.
I want to know the hot water heater, I want to know every single thing, the thermostat turns on, try the microwave, try everything, and I want you to check everything for dirt, even up to the fan blades. And we keep inventory on the dishes; we keep inventory, so every time she’s got to count out that she gets a sign-off sheet, and Bree walks through and checks every single one of those when they leave.
And guess what? A lot of guys are getting $82 charges, $105 charges, some people, one guy had a $250 charge, he left the place a freaking pigsty, and he got written up for that. But ultimately, it is ultimate accountability through processes.
Jerry I.: Yes. So what keys you in that a person is being interviewed is going to make a rock star performer? What’s the things that you look for? How do you gauge that in your people?
Success leaves clues
Tommy M.: Well, first, success leaves clues. I can check their social media; I can see if they’ve got a LinkedIn. There’s a lot of things I look for, though; I look for how competitive are they. See, when I played a lot of sports, I practiced five more times, and I got to play the game. So they’ve got to understand the competition, you’re going to do a lot of, we do a lot of role-playing here. But you are going to do a lot of practice; practice makes perfect.
I recruit, I orientate, I train and then I retrain.
I am going to train, train, train. What I do is I recruit, I orient, I train, and then I retain, and there’s a lot of training that goes after that. But we’ve got a lot of stuff. We’ve got a ride-along form that has on there a ton of things. And the ride-along form, I check how much are they on social media? Did they ask great questions? Did they smoke? Were they on time? What do you feel about them overall? Would you rate? And I’ve got different things that we rate about them. And then I say something like this, Jerry, hey listen, I have my car seat in the car, my girl’s coming to pick it up. But do not lie to people but come up with something that you are not going to take your car.
I am going to check out their vehicle.
And I was wondering if I could take you out to lunch, but you are driving. I’m going to check out their vehicle and see how they treat their sanctuary, which is their home and their vehicle. And my trucks that’s their office, and then the biggest thing I like to do is try to get one of my market managers to go to dinner with them and their significant other.
So we can learn about how they treat each other when they’re out. Because if it’s completely disrespect and animosity, then they’re probably not going to be great if they’re going home to that. It doesn’t mean they can’t be a 100 percent amazing person, but you’re really fighting if you just hate going home at night. So, there is a lot of things I do to cheat.
I do this thing called Spark Hire.
I do the PI test, personality profiling, it is a predictive index. I do this thing called spark hire, where I ask the questions, and they record themselves, and we could see, hey, how good is the person? I don’t need to look at the interview for more than two minutes to know, really 20 seconds. I could almost watch them walk up to the building and see if they’re not going to be a fit. So, I kind of stack the deck; we go through thousands of applicants a week.
And when these guys are here, I say welcome guys, you’re about to listen to the most important two-hour meeting you’re ever going to be in. If you end up keeping your career here at A1 garage doors, and I go through, and I give them every single tip and every single, I mean these guys today, we have got our A1 books here, they are taking notes like crazy.
Everything we have, we’ve got it all over the place. But today, I mean, it was awesome because they were just questions left, right, and center. So I’m not going to say they all last; I wish they did. I think part of the problem is we make it look easy, and then they go wow. But the hard part for them to understand is don’t make this system your own, don’t make it your own, it’s a Tom Hopkins approach. I don’t want you to make it your own; I want you to repeat after me, I want you to say the exact questions.
This is a beautiful home; I love your home. How long have you lived here anyway? And then I said, then I’m looking, I look at five things before I walk up to the house. I look at is there any cracks or dents in the garage door? Do they have a keypad? How does the trim look? How does the bottom rubber looking? Is the garage door are oxidized? I got four questions I asked every time, everything’s a process. And if you could build your business into a process that’s repeatable, and you could create accountability. And you got key performance indicators to guide you, you’re going to win the day, and that’s how simple it is.
CSRs do not have to be in your office, is that correct?
Jerry I.: Got you covered. So, one of the things that you have also shared with me is that CSRs do not necessarily have to be in your office, is that correct?
Tommy M.: Yes, they are all virtual now.
Jerry I.: Well, I am a virtual fan. So they could be anywhere in the United States, and that’s because of the software you’re presently using, right?
We Use Service Titan
Tommy M.: So, we use service titan, and then on top of service titan, is there is a VoIP service called dial pad, they talk to one another.
Jerry I.: Yes. And you’re also telling me you’re trying some new software out last time I’d heard. Are you trying some new things out?
I am using Hubspot, and I am using this thing called Schedule Engine.
Tommy M.: Oh boy, two software’s, it is going to be, I am telling you what Jerry, I feel like I am a cheater because I am using so much technology to win the day. I’m using Hubspot, and I’m using this thing called schedule engines. And I’m turning each and every employee into a marketer. I told these guys I’m like, you’re going to be better at eye contact, body language.
You’re going to be better with your tonality. We are going to turn you guys into mass marketers, where you are going to be making an extra %500, $800 a week. I’m going to teach you guys how to post on Facebook; they all got their own link. And then yes, the customer just books it goes right into our capacity on our dispatch board.
I am going to teach you guys how to rock the house.
So, I am like, I am going to teach you guys how to rock the house on next door around your house and tell everybody you are the garage guy. I’m going to show you how to create a quick video and share your link. I’m going to tell you how to go to church, get a QR code on the pamphlets of your church and say we’re going to give 10% back to the church, and you’re going to make money on every one of those. I’m teaching these guys everything from soup to nuts, and then it’s an affiliate tracking software too.
So, every painter, pest control company, roofing company, solar company, you could say pest control. They’re all going to go through their schedule engine portal, and they’re going to get I’m hooking it up to a bank account that monitors it in service titan. That it releases the money when the job is fulfilled. So no more accounting to say I didn’t get paid my affiliate whatever, I’m like look, I’m paying them a marketing fee is what I’m paying them. I am going to pay to Google, but why not pay it to my employees?
Why not pay it to my employees
And these great affiliate partners out there that Hubspot is, dude HubSpot is like it is a marketing machine, and I am a marketer at heart, so I love the software on top. Service titan is amazing; I can’t see anything bad at service titans what runs the company. But I want my, we are redesigning our website, and you could take a phrase out of the top and put in a different phrase, and you could A-B test them through HubSpot.
We are building a buyer’s guide.
We are building a buyer’s guide, so many awesome things. And you might say why is buyer’s guide important? Well, what if I sent you a buyer’s guide Jerry that lived on my website. And I said, Jerry, can you do me a favor? You’re obviously going to be looking at making a beautiful, amazing investment on your home. In fact, it’ll give you 102 return on investment. But one of the things we found is when we come out to do a new estimate, we do a lot of training and educating.
And if you would take a few minutes to look at our buyer’s guide, it’ll tell you all about insulation, what happens if your house is facing west, how to get a nice tight seal to keep the elements, the nasty critters out. There is a lot of great information in there, and it will allow you to really understand what you are getting yourself into; as far as you factor our value, there is a lot of stuff it is going to educate you on.
Can I get a commitment from you?
Can I get a commitment from you that you will at least take a peek at this for a few minutes before we get out there? And we always want that commitment, and then we send them the buyer’s guide to via text message. And we know because we generated that custom message, the link tells us exactly the IP address and who the customer is, and we know every single page they visited.
So do you think I might want to send one of my top guys with the most information if someone goes to the most expensive wood doors and spends an hour looking at wood doors? Do you think that that’s an advantage that I might have over any competitor? I love this stuff.
Jerry I.: So, your kind of like using software and using data to read your customer’s mind? Would that be a good indication?
We do this thing called regression testing; I know my perfect customer.
Tommy M.: You know we do this thing called regression testing. I know my perfect customer; I know if it’s a male or female. I know the credit score, I know their dual income, I know how much equity they have in their home. And I was in a podcast yesterday, Jerry, and they said what is the most important one? And I said, well, I can tell you this, it’s probably the number of garage doors. Richer, more affluent customers have multiple garages.
But I said, you know what’s more important than all the regression testing in the world, is you take my best tech and put them anywhere, anywhere in the world, especially in North America, he’s going to kick butt. You take my worst guy, put him in a 20 million dollar house; it might not go so well. So I said ultimately, the biggest that so many of these huge 500 million companies are trying to figure out the data game, and I’m like go back to the playing, go back to the drawing board. It is the training game, not the data game.
I collect a lot of data and use it to our advantage.
Data’s great, and I collect a lot of data, and we use it to our advantage. But the data allows me to score the customer. And then, I score my technicians, and I try to match up the top scores together. And people say, man, that’s really interesting, that’s all kind of salesy. And I’m like look every day I sell, I mean the church sales, the church asks you for 10% to tithe, they’re selling you to pay. When I met my girlfriend, I was selling.
How To Win Friends And Influence People, one of my favorite books.
When I meet new people, how to win friends and influence people, one of my favorite books. It says listen more than you talk, and this teaches you how to sell, you’re selling people. And I don’t have any problem with the word sales, so yes, we stack the deck in our favor, and I think the smartest companies in the world do the same thing like Amazon and Facebook, and I could go on and on.
You are always looking at how well I train my people.
Jerry I.: Yes. But you just hit a key point, Tommy. You are taking the data, but you’re also looking at how well I train my people. So far in our conversation today, you have talked about being able to listen, being able to communicate effectively, get all that across.
How do you get your people to stay and continue in the training?
How do you get your people to stay and continue in the training after they have come through that initial training in phoenix they come to, which is new, Tempe is nearby? So how do you keep them into ongoing training to get better? So we got a big scorecard now, and it’s going to be automated within about 90 days.
Completely automated, but there’s still some excel things that happen. But everything from driving score, technician error report there’s a sales factor to it, there’s a little bit that goes into how you take your inventory. We could tell the average rating on Yelp and Google; it gives a score of their average rating. So, all these things come into place.
I want every single job I go to, to turn into a conversion.
And what I could do is I could tell you exactly where we need to focus on time, and each month we have a one-on-one with every single technician, and their goal is to get them to, I have got it all ordered. What’s the biggest thing for me? Conversion rate. I want every single job I go to turn into a conversion, to be an A1 customer for life.
But we’ve got a priority list, and we know we got to work on. So I just flew out all my lead techs back to phoenix; we all hung out, we spent a week together, and had a blast. And it is always training, its training, training, training. We have a lot of meetings; we have a meeting at 7:30 for all my field supervisors and everybody on the program. If they fall below a certain score, they are back on the program, or they have got a call field supervisor on every single call, a prep call, and a call right after you talk to the customer.
We are trying to build a system that is fail-proof.
I mean, we have got; I am trying to build the system to where it is fail-proof, and it is a consistency, and accountability is what creates this machine we are building. And it’s getting easier; the more I understand today, we had a call with all my area managers. And the regional manager who’s coming in tonight, he said, guys, you got to really make sure you’re getting us the reports of the ride-along each night. I’m not getting them every night, and I said no problem; it kind of reminds me of the TBS reports.
But I said, look, we’ve got a whole system in place that’s coming, that I created a role for somebody that their whole job is to grab that data every single night to create accountability. And we’re building a little manual around this process. And I said, Mike, no need to worry, yes guys, please get those in on time. But I’ve already; I said where’s the process? Show me where they signed off on there, they know what they are doing?
Who is holding them accountable?
Show me where they repeated back to you and showed that they knew what they were doing when it comes to this? And who’s holding them accountable? Because ultimately, that falls back on me to realize it. I said it costs a lot of money to do what we’re doing, but when you’ve got million-dollar producers, and you can build a team of them, the money comes second. People say, well, how about do you care about getting customers?
When you get the right employees, customers are easy.
And I say no because each one of my guys is going to get 20 customers a week. I could pay Google for my customers; I could pay Facebook, I could pay yelp, I could pay Angie’s list. I could pay, when you get the right employees, customers are easy. People always say, how do you get all the customers? My big thing is, how do you get the best of the best employees? It’s really asked backward what people think. I need more jobs; I need more jobs, I need more jobs, cut your jobs in half.
This guy came in here; he said my guys run eight jobs a day, he said they’re the best. Roger guys said, oh, my guys run three. I said my average ticket’s way higher than yours. He said, you know what, Tom, I don’t have enough business; I’ve run over my tail cut off. I said, let me ask you something; I said what’s your average ticket, he said 300 bucks.
I said if you really wanted to live on the edge and spend ten percent in marketing, you could only pay thirty dollars. And I don’t think he’s not adding into zero, so it’s probably more like two hundred dollars. Pay 20 bucks for a customer; I could pay 80 to 100 bucks no problem without thinking about it. So I focus on the right employees; always be recruiting is my little thing I came up with. Instead of always be closing, I said always be recruiting.
Jerry I.: Yes. Well, Jeremy Biswell was asking a question on the chat right there. Who was the last person that sold you something, Tommy? And did you learn something from that person?
I learned every single day.
Tommy M.: I got to tell you guys I learned every single day. The one thing was this morning, one of my guys, one of my managers, got on the call, and he said he was at the dealership getting his oil changed, and the guy came up to him and saw him looking at another vehicle. And he made this great story about it, and there’s very little time I take that I don’t learn something from sales. I was at a great restaurant a week ago.
And I got to tell you; they had it down to the T. This is me all the time, they had it down to the T. I was so impressed, the best steakhouse; I got to tell you it was just amazing. And I said I need to talk to the manager; I said you’re not in trouble to the server. I talked to the manager; I said, I want you to come in and talk to my people. I said I’ll hire you, what’s your hourly rate?
He said, look, just come out and take care of my garage, look at it for me. I said, listen, what you guys do here, the level of excellence when I come in, and I see what you guys do; it’s just you build raving fans. And I need you to come talk to my people about customer service. So everything’s an opportunity; they sold me, I think, a couple more T and E’s and whatever else. So, I am sold all the time; I love to be sold.
We cannot take the time to train our people, what would you tell the person saying this.
Jerry I.: Okay. So it would be, let’s say you’re talking, and you’re doing a presentation and a group of people, kind of like we’re doing right now. And somebody told you listen, I know I need to train my people, but we’re just too busy, we got to get these jobs done. We can’t take the time to train our people. What would be your answer to that person?
Tommy M.: I mean that’s the problem out there to most companies. And I would say look, if you slow down, get a few less jobs. It’s so hard to turn off the spigot and say because we don’t have enough money. We just don’t have enough money to stop. So, I usually tell people they were not in the right position financially to go into business.
They got to put sweat equity in
So, they got to put sweat equity in. And it’s really hard because you leverage yourself now. So somehow, you got to un-leverage some of the debt, slow down a little bit, and build curriculum. Start with manuals, and in those manuals have standard operating procedures and checklists. And there’s one thing that I love on here, it’s the top one, always be improving.
Today, we had a big meeting with, every Wednesday all the main managers or 30 people on. I said, guys, here’s the deal for me; I said I’m figuring out how to get 15 hours back. I’m going through the schedule; I’ve got a lot of books I’m reading on more time management. I’m figuring things out to get 15 hours back. I said, tell me there’s a form you’re working on that you could take one thing out of or get more innovative with. I said, tell me one less step you could take, let’s install a slide upstairs because that way we can save.
If every person walks up and down the stairs 20 times a day, we might be able to add 10 hours of productivity back. That’s how my brain thinks, so we talked a lot about you can’t get it perfect. But if you’re always thinking about what I could do to improve my processes and get the expected outcome, maybe a checklist, maybe a manual, but there’s got to be accountability. And if you can’t live and breathe the same thing that you’re preaching, you’re never going to do it. And most people say, why can’t they just do what I ask? Why can’t they be like me? Because they’d be your boss. You were the one that chose to get in business, they’re never going to live up to your expectations; you haven’t even given them.
I learned how to play sports; you know how? Because my middle school, the coach, and the gym teacher he gave us charts every day and said study these. For the first 15 minutes, we knew what a left tackle was, and the left guard was, and the quarterback versus the kicker.
We learned how to play the game.
And we learned how to play the game. If you’re not giving a manual on how you expect your employees to win, how are they ever going to win? And that is what I always say then practice, practice, practice high school is perfect because you practice, practice, practice, then you play. Maybe you are doing two a day’s two practices, and they tell you how to play, play this drill, play this drill. That is why I love hiring people that have a competitive atmosphere.
Jerry I.: Yes. Jeremy’s asking, what did you say your per customer average was for your company?
Tommy M.: Today, it is a thousand fifty-one.
Jerry I.: Okay, a thousand fifty-one today. And then he says, and Jeremy’s a real good friend of mine, Brandi that works with us, that’s her husband. So he says he loves hearing stuff from other industries. So Frank Matola, that is the website company that came visited you about a month ago. Frank’s asking what is the most unrelated industry or occupation you have ever hired someone out of?
Tommy M.: Oh man, you name it. You name it; I could claim it. I’ve hired people that work, a lot of restaurant people have come recently. But my top guy is a was a tow truck driver, the top guy in the company in sales was a tow truck driver.
Jerry I.: He was a tow truck driver, now how did a tow truck driver, because tow truck drivers do not do add on sales. Why do you think that was? What he in the wrong occupation before?
Tommy M.: Yes, you know this guy is from Iraq, and people always ask me how did you emulate this guy? I said, you can’t; I said it’s impossible because you can’t live where he’s lived. There was a time where he lived in a bunker for months, and he heard missiles flying over. He doesn’t care to ask an American for a couple of thousand dollars when they just made 22 on their home last year.
So I say we can’t teach that, we can’t teach his fierce look when he makes eye contact; I mean, he’s got you. You’re not scared of him, but he’s a good guy. But the one thing we could teach is let’s role play, let’s watch ourselves. Let’s videotape and see if we made good eye contact.
Let us see if we have the right tonality.
Let us see if we had the right tonality, let us hear what happens when objections come out and how you handle them. Or do you look away, or what are your mannerisms? So yes, we get bartenders. I love people in the service industry, I just hired a corporate trainer, and this girl is amazing.
Jerry I.: Yes. The corporate trainer you hired, I know last time we talked, you were getting ready to interview; you were getting ready to hire her the next day, I believe.
Tommy M.: She came on like a wrecking ball. Like she went through all the training, but she’s just doing her thing, man. I took her out to dinner last night with another one of my lead trainers, and I said, all right, guys, here’s what we’re going to do. I said we’re going to set up a 90-day program. I want to know every single day their curriculum, I want to know the expectations; I want to see all the forms by the end of the month.
I said right now, our training’s amazing, we’re putting out amazing guys. I said, but I want this thing to be a school; I want to know what’s happening every minute of every day. And I said your goal Elisa this week is to get us in; I want to go check out one of the top HVAC schools in Arizona. And I said get us a walk through there, let us go learn.
We do not need to write the book, but let’s read a few.
My big philosophy is we do not need to write the book, let’s just read a couple. Let’s go learn from them what they’ve learned and what they found to be more successful. And I’ll tell you what, there’s more money that is going to be made and is being made in my program than you could ever imagine, because people are like man, if I could only get good employees. But I have to give up a lot. I mean, just in that 1099 am I paying taxes and insurance and all kinds of other stuff that I wouldn’t normally have to pay, that the guys that kind of cheat the taxes do.
I feel like health insurance was an extra million dollars a year; every single time I, we just extended their PTO, that was a $48,000 decision. It’s crazy how much, but you know what? If it gives anybody one more reason to stay and be on the team, and it is a gift that keeps giving for me.
Jerry I.: Right. Did you, and you have developed, or you were developing when we talked before your own LMS learning management system, how’s that going for you?
We built a complete LMS out.
Tommy M.: So, we built a complete LMS out, and then we decided service titan had worked to deal out with absorb. So we’re in the middle of migrating, and it’s an accountability software that you could add any courses in, any curriculum you want. And trust me, service tech, technology is changing every day, okay.
The different modules, different things, every single week we’re on an hour call to find out the new features and benefits that they offer. So I got to tell you the LMS she’s working on it; we decided to hire a full-time person for the LMS too, so we’re bringing on someone to just handle. Right now, I’m hiring another content manager and a videographer, so we’re going to have two full-time videographers. You might say, geez, how can you afford that?
How can you afford not to have it?
Well, how can you afford not to have it? Every video, I’m going to be producing so many videos. I’m really kind of scared of how many jobs we’re going to have. I’m like my mind goes back to need more technicians, need more technicians, need more technicians. And 60s, not enough a month, to be honest with you, but.
Jerry I.: Are you scared you are going to over-market your capacity? In other words, your marketing is so stout that you cannot have the capacity to fit the bill.
Tommy M.: You know it is interesting because yesterday I did a little Facebook message on my bigger group and the home service expert. And I said, guys, you might think you are doing great; you got more jobs than you could handle.
But the fact is that if you do not have a machine to put out more guys and a really calculated awesome machine, you are not serving the customer, you are not charging enough money either. Because you need to charge more so, you could have the machine that I have. I said I don’t take advantage of my customers. In fact, I could be out there the same day, usually within an hour, on a Friday night, or on Christmas night or on Sunday evening, whatever it might be.
And the customer is buying the experience. You know there’s an old saying, they’re not going to remember what they bought ten years from now, but they’re going to remember the way you made them feel. And the people that we choose and the processes we put them through are not cheap, but the experience is amazing. And we made them feel great.
We have a guy who is dedicated, his name is Bruce.
And it is not; I cannot tell you that we do not, we have a guy that is dedicated, his name is Bruce. We call him Bruce Fire because we get Bruce Fires that he’s got to deal with manufacturing’s messed up right now; we got supply chain issues. So to pretend like we’re just flawless, no, but it’s the system that they taste the output. There have been times that we’ve all been to burger king or McDonald’s or Wendy’s or whatever you have.
Maybe it didn’t come out best as the last time, but typically you know what you’re getting. I don’t love McDonald’s, but in China, I loved McDonald’s because I was eating all this boney chicken crap. So I was like, show me the McDonald’s, and I knew what a big mac was going to taste like, and I love that.
And what I love about what we have now is I know the Kansas City guys are going to be, they’re going to try the same truck with the same tool bag, with the same CRM as they do in Michigan, as they do in Oklahoma, as they do in Arizona. So, it is a good feeling to have that.
How many hours of continuing education do your guys get a month?
Jerry I.: Well, so you know Brandi and Jeremy that are on here, and Brandi works with us, our clients, and all that. They actually engaged you in Kansas City because of the service you provided, because of the testimonials, the reviews, and everything else. So brandy’s got a question for you, Tommy, how many hours of continuing education do your employees receive a month? When do they do it, and how do they get it?
Every morning they are on 30 minutes of calls.
Tommy M.: So, every morning they are on 30 minutes’ worth of calls, two different calls. Every Thursday morning they’re around an hour, and then what we do is based on our KPIs; we do a lot of different ride-along. We’ve got, there’s no recipe that fits everybody, so you kind of got to look at your KPIs and figure out what you’re trying to do.
But I pay my people very good money to do a ride-along. So I told these guys today I said, what if I get you three ride-along a quarter and I give you an extra forty thousand dollars a year? Would that make sense? And I’ll pay you to do the ride-along. But you got to know, what is my goal in the ride-along? I’m going to teach you how to do bottom rubber, the bottom cylinder.
I’m going to have you get way faster, we’re going to show you how to sell it on every job because there’s no home. That wants nasty critters after ten years with that stale bottom rubber. So, we know exactly what we are going to train on these ride-along, so I would tell you that the average guy is probably getting, believe it or not, 15 to 20 hours a month.
It is not a perfect science yet.
But it is not a perfect science yet; I sound great, and I know everybody is like how does, it is perfectly. I’ve got problems, it’s not easy by no means. But what I do is I go back to the drawing board and figure out what’s broken in the process. I got 20 things out here, and they all say there could only be three problems with the process. Number one, there is no process, number two, the process is not being followed, or number three, it is the wrong process, right?
Jerry I.: I tell you what, man, we think too much alike because that is what I have given everybody for years. Whenever there’s a mistake, whenever there’s a problem, there’s three answers. No process, no system, number two, the system is wrong, or number three, somebody didn’t follow it. But here is the problem, Tommy, if they did not follow the process, is it because they did not understand it?
Was it because they were not trained?
Was it because they were not trained? Was it because we didn’t word it in way? So that’s a big cure right there; you got to figure it out; it’s kind of like getting a bad review. A bad review can tell you a whole lot about what you got to work on there.
So Jeremy’s up there again, he’s saying how long did you say the training was again? Very impressive on that process at A.1. So I presume he’s talking about that initial trending. Did you say it was a month?
Tommy M.: So, you start out as an apprentice in your own market for a month. Our goal is for you to be a ninja when you come here to Phoenix, but it’s not quite there yet. So now we are building all these ride-along forms to make sure they have done everything a certain number of times before they are allowed to come to Arizona.
You better be riding with someone who is going to teach you the A1 way, that loves the company.
And we make sure you do not ride with anybody that does not love the company. You better be riding with someone that is going to teach you the A1 way, that loves the company. Because I’ll tell you what, we don’t just fire a guy because to fire them, there’s certain people they have their ups and downs, they go through relationships.
And people are the hardest thing to figure out, but they come here for a month, they’re in their market for a month, and then they’re on a three months apprentice program. But they’re out there making money, and they’re just doing a lot more ride-along during that three months. So it’s two hardcore months, and then three more of the, a lot more ride-along months.
Jerry I.: Yes. Well, there’s your testimonial right there from Brandi, and right behind that, there’s Sheryl coming up next. If you remember Sheryl, that’s my wife you met when you’re on the group call. And she is sharing great information there.
The book you wrote us entitled Home Service Millionaire, what made you write the book.
So, I got to ask this, one of the things that Tommy that you do, this is a book you wrote is entitled home service millionaire. So I got two questions for you on this. Number one, what made you write this book, Tommy? Why did you put it? Because I look, you basically have given people the system for success. So why’d you do this?
I had a lot of stuff I wanted to get out there.
Tommy M.: You know I had a lot of stuff that I felt like I wanted to get out there, and I figured I made a lot of mistakes, there is no point in anybody making the same mistakes. And I just decided that there are so many issues I’ve had and so many people that helped me out along the way that I said I want to pay it forward. But instead of writing my own book, I decided to go out and get 12 co-authors, and people that I know are the best of the best.
Ellen Rohr knows financials; you have Al Levy with his manuals.
Ellen Rohr knows financials; you have got Al Levy with his manuals. You’ve got Ara, the CEO of service titan that talks about the CRMs. You got Dave, oh man, Dave brain farting right now, but he talks all about, he’s the CEO at home advisor. Dave Smith, I mean, it goes on and on. I’ve got a guy that sold 15,000 service agreements. I mean, I took the best of the best, and I put them all into one book. And they, fortunately, Darius Weavers he wrote financing, he’s the king of financing, 60% of his company sells finance.
So I just said I kind of want to cheat, and I kind of want to get a hold of these people, and I kind of want to just let them tell their story in a few pages. So in a way, looking back, it might have been a selfish reason because I got to hang out with these people for a couple of days and really learn about their business. And they really helped me out.
And when I learned, I listen to the book once a year for the last couple of years; it came out two years ago, going on three years. There is always something else I get out of it because of the 12 co-authors that have their own little spin on it.
Jerry I.: Got you covered. So that’s my first question; next question is, you give this book away if people simply pay for the shipping and handling, am I correct?
Tommy M.: Yes. They go to Homeservicemillionaire.com/free, and that’s one spot you could get it. We’ve got a couple of links. But people think you make money on a book; you don’t make money on a book. I’ve done some speaking events.
But realistically, if people want to learn, it’s a business card now. It’s a good accomplishment I have under my belt that I’m proud of. But I got to tell you, it’s not a trap. It’s not like you’re going to get; some people say it sounds salesy; I don’t work for service titan. Because they talk a lot about service titan, because it’s the way we run our business, it’s a CRM. But there is a million good CRMs out there; I just use service titans, so yes.
Jerry I.: Yes, that is what I mean. And I remember a couple of years ago; I had clients that were interested in service titan from the chimney business. So I actually, service titan flew me out to LA because I want to make sure this was the couple guys in the garage; I mean, realistically, if I’m going to recommend it. So I flew out to the LA, went to the office, and visited all that. And knowing that when me and you got together, I knew they were also working in the garage door industry.
And then you told me about your experiences and how you helped them tailor the service titan software into what you needed, very similar to what some of my clients and some of them are on here like Lee Rolf, Josh Kelly, some of these people.
In fact, Brandi and Jeremy they’re implementing service titan right now this month into their business. And help make it a class act. I mean you have done these things coming out; you come out of the box tremendously, my friend.
Tommy M.: But here is the thing, Jerry, I got to tell you, it really is. There’s a piece of this, and I think you know exactly what I’m talking about. That somebody emails me or text message me or Facebook’s me and they say, I’m a better father of spending time, I never got to be a high school coach, and now I’m coaching my daughter, and I’m actually making money, and I got some of my time back.
There’s something that just gives me Goosebumps about helping others. And what I found, Jerry is the more I give, the more I get back. People are willing to go out of their way when I need help. And it’s not financial help, but just answer a phone call or just have an idea or just listen and let me vent or whatever it is. The more I give, the more I get back, and it’s a good feeling.
Jerry I.: Well, that is the thing I noticed, Tommy, like I said when you, and I often kidded about this, when the first time you had a phone call, I told people next day, man this guy is so full of energy. We had an hour conversation, and he talked for 55 minutes, and I only got about five minutes there. Because you were telling, it was just gushing out of you, brother.
And we had never met each other before, that was like an initial let’s get to know each other type phone call. And from there, you put me on your podcast, and we’ve just developed a great relationship. I mean, I hooked you up with a guy named Ken Walls, and you blew him away and a lot of other people. But one of the things I’ve learned from you is, you mix with knowledgeable people.
And you mix with people that have been there, and you learn from these people. So again, you’re giving this information out so willingly. I mean, tomorrow on your podcast, I think I have seen you are doing something with the success academy tomorrow.
Tommy M.: Yes. So I got to know them, and he’s just a really smart guy. I’ve got, there’s just, I learned, and I got to tell you, it’s crazy because these books they’re everywhere. I mean, I got this guy working with me, the door-to-door millionaire; this is the second book. This just showed up today; let me just show you guys what I got in the mail today.
The 14 Principals To Grow
And I got your books, but yes, I just love this. So this one is the power of discipline, the bathhouse letters. The 14 principles to grow like Amazon. Mastering private equity, private equity, and action. Free to focus, the CEO secret weapon, the leadership challenge, basic economics, chief of staff, and the leadership challenge workbook.
So I’ve got my homework cut out here for a while. But this does not include audible. So I’ve surrounded myself with amazing people, and realistically no one understands this, but I might not have a personal relationship with all these people, but in a way, I do have a relationship with these authors because I’m getting to know them in their personal stories.
Some of them took their whole lifetime and put it into a book. The least I could do is learn about it. And I have all these aha moments, and believe it or not, I want to free up more on my time, so I could read more. I read a lot, and I listen to it really fast on audible. And I’ve got a book club, but I want more. And I’m kind of like short circuit where he’s like must-read Johnny Five, but I love this stuff.
Jerry I.: So I got a question for you. I sent you one of my stuffed groundhogs Chuckies, where you got Chuckie, you got Chuckie around?
Tommy M.: There he is.
Jerry I.: So, what do you think when you opened that box, and there was a stuffed groundhog in there?
Tommy M.: This is great; it’s killer, man. I thought it is awesome; I love it. This is super cool, though, yes. My office is pretty eclectic.
Jerry I.: Yes. I sent you that; I think you can put a note in there, so don’t worry, he don’t bite, and you probably got a little worried. But I also sent you a note for where Jeffrey Gitomer done a video with Chuckie there of promoting our brand and what we do and all that.
So Tommy is there anything else you would share with the people you have. You are just so full of energy and folks. Realistically Tommy, how often do you do your podcast because you’ve got some great guests and some great information goes out? How often do you do the home service expert?
The Home Service Podcast is once a week.
Tommy M.: So, the home service expert is once a week, and sometimes we do a live. Yesterday, I did one it’s not live yet, it’s in the queue. It’s on that thing called schedule engine. And the guy’s name is Austin, and he goes Tommy our business since we’ve talked and I got to introduce you is growing 400%. And I don’t take credit for that, but we got him, basically in the service tech got him with a lot of customers, and just amazing people come on.
And I got to tell you, the notes I take in the little aha moments, or when you’re in a podcast, sometimes you remember something, and it’s like oh my gosh, and this is why I do it, and believe it or not, the podcast is really, it’s kind of like my own therapy.
Literally, it’s more than reading a book because I get to ask my own questions, and I get to hang out with guys like you. So there’s one thing I could tell everybody, they say what’s the one thing? Well, that’s a great book; the one thing is focus, a hundred percent of your energy. But more importantly, this is the most important thing is, get yourself out of your comfort zone, get away from your family for a week and go visit a company that you want to become like.
And study, bring notes, plan this trip, golf yourself in the books you need to be that you need to read. And spend one week, call your personal retreat and just breathe the same air of the thriving companies, watch the work that’s going on and the stuff that’s being done and the culture that’s been created. And you got to disconnect when you do this.
And I got to tell you the more I do it, the faster I grow, because I’m watching it in action. I went to Kent Goodrich’s grotto, and you just breathe the air, and you watch the people and the smiles and this, can I help you? I am like, yes, this is cool, I love this.
Jerry I.: Yes. What you’re looking on there, so you know we’ve had this put on twice, and I know how you feel about this, you got top billing. But Tom and Jerry, how you feel about that man? We go as Tom and Jerry?
Tommy M.: You know what, there’s a movie that just came out. I was looking at the preview, it was like they take New York or something, and that movie just, there’s a brand new Tom and Jerry movie, there’s only five movies at the theater, that’s one of them. Good timing.
Jerry I.: Let’s hope Tom and Jerry do not upset the world like everything else is these days, that’s all we know. [Inaudible 01:08:36.06] he’s in problem or whatever. I do not think Tom and Jerry would be a problem.
Tommy M.: I know, you know Jerry, what my thought process is on this. I talked to my CPA yesterday, and I said Aaron, I’m a little bit worried because we’re living in a world now that I’m in growth mode, and he said Tommy, I can’t guarantee you, but the tax laws are changing. And if you end up just take each day by day, because there might be a time where you are de-incentivized really hard to grow.
There might be a time where you cannot survive.
And there might be a time where you cannot afford, you are just taxed in a way that you cannot keep providing for everybody. And I think I am a survival of the fittest type of person, it is sink or swim. But ultimately, there’s a big machine that we built, and the more you give back to me, I promise the more I put into my company, and I’d share it with my employees. And I know not everybody does that. But it is a little concerning because I take a lot of chances, we have got a lot of great insurance.
I think I will become a better philanthropist than the government could ever spend our money.
But I can be sued in a lot of different ways; I have got a lot of leases out there in every state, multiple leases in a lot of the states. Dozens and dozens of leases, because I’ve got different headquarters and even the same city like huge cities like Detroit. And I got to tell you, if you de-incentivize people and make it harder for them to work, they don’t grow anymore, and it causes jobs to fall off. And then they want to give employees that fall off of jobs and hold them up to de-incentivize them to come back. And I have a big heart, and I want to give. I think I’ll become a better philanthropist than the government could ever spend our money.
So I don’t know, it’s a little worrisome because I don’t mind growing, but there’s no point in growing and taking a chance if you start losing money. And we are by no means in that boat yet, but I did not want to get started on that ramp, but.
Jerry I.: I understand. Well, Tommy, I think my background is appropriate when you look at the fire around you right now because, man, you are a guy on fire. Like I said, more I heard about you when I got to know you, and you did a group call with my coaching clients a couple of months ago. We are hoping that tomorrow turns out better than the last time we got together because was not the best day of my life the next day.
You are an inspiration Tommy.
But the information that you pass on, brother, and you do it so willingly and helpful to people, you are an inspiration, Tommy. So keep on what you’re doing, and if you want to get some great information, folks follow Tommy Melo. He’s online all the time, he’s doing lives. I’ll say he’ll be in his car sometime, and I’ll see Tommy Mello is live and see him going down.
He might be listening to the radio or whatever. But Tommy, I appreciate you being here, giving your time as always, your help, your assistance, and most of all, your friendship, my friend. And I am still looking forward when I get to Phoenix, or you get to Charlotte, since you got in the garage door, we owe each other dinner, right?
Tommy M.: Yes, absolutely Jerry, I appreciate all the things, I appreciate. What is his name?
Jerry I.: His name is Chuckie, he is to remind you that if you keep doing the same thing repeatedly and expect different results, that’s the definition of insanity. So, all my clients get those, I got little Chuckies, I got Chuckie’s all over the country.
Tommy M.: Well, I love Chucky, and I love the gifts. And I’m going to; I’ve got your wife’s book too, so I’m going to go through everything, and I just appreciate the little care package and appreciate being on today. So, I had a blast as always; I think you are amazing.
Jerry I.: Thank you, sir. And my name’s Jerry Isenhour; this show is CVC tips and tactics. We’re glad you could join us. If we can help you here at the CVC success group, you see our website rolling across the screen right now. And with that, we’re out of here, and we do appreciate you joining us. It has been an honor, it has been a privilege, and it has been a pleasure be with you today Tommy, appreciate it.
Tommy M.: Okay, guys, thank you.