Jerry & Sheryl Isenhour, CVC Success Group coaches

CVC Succcess Group coaches Jerry & Sheryl Isenhour

In today’s episode of The Chimney and Fireplace Success Network, Jerry & Sheryl are going to talk about business from a different perspective – the view as a consumer. They will tell the story of having two separate contractors work for them at the same time and the two completely different experiences and outcomes. 


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, good morning, good day, whatever time of day it is for you. And I want to thank you for tuning in to another live broadcast of our podcast, the chimney and fireplace success network.

And just like usual, myself and Sheryl are going to be on this today. And today, we’re going to come at you from a different perspective. You know, usually, when we do this show, what we are doing is Sheryl and I are sharing with you different ways to improve your business and make it better.

Today we will share with you the saga of two contractors.

But today, we are going to come at you as consumers, and we are going to share with you the saga of two contractors, two different contractors we hired to do remodeling work. Sheryl, tell them what we went through back in November and why we have two contractors involved today.

It started with the rain.

Sheryl Isenhour: Well, it all started with rain; our lower level flooded the one that is our studio now, flooded about 12 to 14 inches. And we had to totally gut it, it is now a broadcast studio down here. So that was contractor number one.

That’s that we had in to remodel for that. Well, during that remodel, we found that our upper master bath was leaking. So we ended up, because of certain situations, we had to get a second contractor, which is becoming a household item at this point. He has been here a while.

They had to demo the entire basement.

Jerry I.: Right. So what we had here was as consumers that a lot of people do is we had two different damages to our home. One was the basement area, and actually, it turned out we’ve actually remodeled our entire basement. Had a contractor come in, they had to demo the entire basement out, tear everything out and redo it.

So what we’ve done, we’ve turned our basement into a broadcast studio where we actually have classroom space. We can have about 20 to 25 people in our studio, where we can be doing live streaming and live training at the same time. And we also have a broadcast site which we’re sitting on now; this is where we do our streaming side.

So this was one contractor, and then we noticed we got a leak. Sheryl said I think I got a leak up here in the bathroom. So you called the insurance company, and the adjuster came out; tell them what happened with the adjuster then.

She brought me a check on the spot.

Sheryl: That was the coolest thing. I have never had an adjuster out that when she got done, give me five minutes she went out, she wrote up a report, and she brought me a check on the spot.

Jerry I.: Right. So what we had here is two insurance claims, and the first one we live in a flood plain., so we have flood insurance. And the flood insurance, to be honest with you, I thought it was a pretty good process, wasn’t it?

Sheryl: Really was.

Jerry I.: The adjuster came out on a Saturday and looked at everything top to bottom. We had to do some inventory; yes, there was a lot of work on her part to keep up with all this inventory which she’s really good at. But what happened was we had the money, and we started remodeling our basement. Which at the time, it came to me, you know, we need to turn this into our recording studio.

One that won and one who is losing.

But then the other was we need to get someone that now must remodel our master bath. And this is the tale of two contractors, one that won and one that is losing because we’re still in process. In fact, he may just tune into this show today; you never know because we’re going live. And they’re upstairs working right now as we’re doing this.

We just told them we’re getting ready to go do a live broadcast, and they know from working here, when we’re broadcasting, we’re teaching, they have to keep the noise down. So Sheryl, the first contractor we’re going to call him John, how did John do?

John did a really good job.

Sheryl: John did a really good job. I’ve known John for a lot of years, and so we had a good report coming in. And he kept us, he actually finished on the day of his schedule; I really didn’t think he was going to make it, but he did.

And so that was, it was nice, John as we are calling him is a very business type man, he is not one of the worker bees. So he kept it well under control. And had people here when they were supposed to be.

Jerry I.: Yes. You know, there was a few days that nobody wasn’t working, you know then that was just the way construction is. And there was one or two times that might be one sub right on top of another, one like the plumber and the guy doing the floor covering.

Sheryl: Normal construction.

It flowed smooth overall.

Jerry I.: Normal construction issues. But it flowed pretty smooth overall. And you know the amazing thing was it they kept the area neat, they kept it clean. They brought in a dumpster; everything was put into the dumpster. And when they got it clean, they sent in the cleaning service that I tell you did a top-notch job. In fact, that girl that ran, that did that cleaning, I would have hired her; she was on it continuously, wasn’t she?

Sheryl: She was good.

Let’s talk about contractor #2 we will call Charlie.

Jerry I.: It was amazing. But that was John, now let’s talk about Charlie. Charlie was contractor number two, and Charlie was someone that Sheryl had located that specialized in bathroom fitting.

Sheryl: Well, and more smaller remodels.

Jerry I.: Right. So, he gave us a really good price on doing this, wouldn’t you agree?

Sheryl: Yes.

Jerry I.: Sat down at the table and really got you going.

He talked good at the beginning.

Sheryl: Yes. And the good thing about it is, he talked. He talked good right in the beginning; he really did. The problem is to me, one of his biggest mistakes, he didn’t have a pen and paper, he didn’t write anything down.

And then we had to; once we got the contract, we got over that. But then the contract got afraid because he wasn’t looking at his own contract. So now we’re in the process of picking up the pieces and getting everything done that is in the contract. The problem here is just not having the product here when the guy that’s actually doing the work needs it.

What time do these guys show up every day?

Jerry I.: Right. And see it’s like every day, you know you look at it you think that guys would be here in the morning when you get out of bed ready to go. What time do these guys usually show up every day, Sheryl?

Sheryl: This morning, 8:30.

Jerry I.: But most days?

Sheryl: 10:30.

They do not seem to have what they need for the day.

Jerry I.: 10:30 to 11. And then the next thing that so commonly happens is, they do not have what they need to work today, do they?

Sheryl: That was a lot to me, the overseers part; he just did not have it. They had their list; they just didn’t go get it. Shopped like a man.

Jerry I.: Shopped like a man? Tell me more.

Sheryl: Jerry, you send him to the grocery store, he will go get milk today, bread tomorrow, juice the next day shops like a man.

How much time you have wasted on this job procuring materials?

Jerry I.: Okay. So shops like a man, but the big thing is, it’s like I told him yesterday, do you realize how much time you have wasted on this job going to procure your materials? And the next thing was, where did they put their debris, Sheryl?

Sheryl: In the front yard.

Jerry I.: Yes, we’ve got broken mirrors sitting on drop cloths in our front yard. We’ve had our garage piled up with materials. We have had all kinds of things; again, we are talking to you today as consumers that have hired a contractor, which many you are.

Sheryl: And we also had probably the first real garden tub.

Jerry I.: So, going just like you said there, Megan, we have been going head-to-head with the contractor in the house; it just seems to keep going on. So hopefully, we’re back working, we have a little glitch in the internet there, but hey, we’re back in business now. So, Sheryl, the whole thing is what have you want from this experience?

I will run the job from this point on

Sheryl: Not to remodel first. But the thing about it is, I will run the job from this point on, honestly. I came from construction; I know how it should be done. I think I could have told the contractor to leave and let me work these guys, and we’ve been done. I am sorry, that is just the way I feel.

Jerry I.: Yes, because the whole thing is when we go here, what about the order of the work. Did you say something about they were starting to do the painting the other day before they even laid the tile in the bathroom?

There is an order to life, to everything you do.

Sheryl: We really do not want to go there, but yes, that was his suggestion, let us just go ahead and get it done, so it will be done. There’s an order to life. There’s an order to everything that you do. And actually, in construction, there’s more of an order than in most things. You have got to do what will mess something up first.

Jerry I.: Right. It was like just wasn’t it just a little while ago that he was? We just found out he had not ordered the closet doors.

Sheryl: Yes.

Jerry I.: And what do we know about the shower doors at this point?

Sheryl: We do not, that is the problem.


Jerry I.: See where we’re at here, we’re in the middle of construction. We don’t know if our contractor has ordered the shower doors, we’re not sure if he has ordered the doors that go over the linen closet. Earlier today, what did you find out about your tile today?

It had not been ordered.

Sheryl: It had not been ordered, or it had not been picked up, and it was not available when he got there. So over the phone, we had to actually re-choose tile. So I’m not 100% sure what it looks like yet, so it may have to return. I told him just to bring it, and we’d pick it up and see if it worked. If it does, we will go with it; if not, it is another trip back to the tile shop.

Jerry I.: Now, the fun part of this, do you have any idea how much inventory you have in your master bath? I mean, how much stuff is in all those drawers and those closets in your bathroom? Do you have any idea? Sheryl, did you have any idea how massive our inventory was?

I knew it was going to be a disaster.

Sheryl: Yes, I really did; I knew it was going to be a disaster. I really didn’t know we had as much outdated stuff because it was in the back of the box. But I can tell you right now, it’s getting organized as we speak to go back in.

Jerry I.: So what have you learned from this? As a consumer, what would you look for in a contract, because I think that’s an important thing is the people that listen to us, are home service contractors. So what would you tell a home service contractor that could be in the plumbing, the yard? He could be a roofer; he could be a chimney sweep; he could be whatever. What would you as a consumer say you have learned from this?

I would dig a little deeper into the person.

Sheryl: I would probably dig a little deeper into the person. I would want to at least see some good reviews. I don’t know if I will take a personal recommendation at this point unless I see the what they did in their home.

Customers will have a perceived risk of doing business with you.

Jerry I.: Okay. So let me give you another aspect from the coaching side of this. One of the things that I’ve taught for years is that many customers will have a perceived risk of doing business with you.

And the perceived risk many times is not from what you’ve done, but it’s from a past life experience such as what this lady has gone through over the last couple weeks. And how has this affected your judgment in picking a contractor to do work in the future?

I will be more selective.

Sheryl: Again, like I said, I will be a little more selective. Or I will make sure the steps are followed myself, which is you knowing me and being a type D personality; I will make my own list and let them figure it out.

Jerry I.: All right. So one thing is like I said, and I told the guy yesterday, and I think this kind of told the tale. And yesterday, I said man; you got some problems here, you know that, don’t you? And he said yes. And what did he do at that point? He started blaming everyone else. He blamed his secretary. How many people did he blame for this yesterday?

Sheryl: Secretary, people that work for him, people that do not work for him anymore. The thing is, if you are the leader, it is your problem.

If you are going to run a company there is a lot more than just selling the job, it is about making the customer happy.

Jerry I.: Right, and that is what I told him, and then he says, you know, all I really want to do is sell. Well, dude, if you’re going to own a company, there’s a lot more than just selling. It’s all about making the customer happy, it’s all about meeting the customer expectations.

It’s all about delivering on your promises to your customer, and that’s the problem here, is you haven’t delivered on your promises to us. So hey, we’re going to keep going with this. Right now, what does your bedroom look like right now, Sheryl?

Sheryl: Chaos.

Jerry I.: And the other day, we had some good friends stop in that were traveling from Charlotte back to Ohio. And they called them; what was the thoughts in your mind when they said they wanted to drop by?

I would have come up with an excuse.

Sheryl: To be honest, had they not driven a long way out of their way to surprise you, I honestly would have come up with an excuse.

Jerry I.: That’s it. So let this be a lesson to you, be like contractor number one. Contractor one, he arrived on time, he did the job. He followed his schedule that he sent us. He got it done when he was supposed to. In fact, as we were coming up at what they are going to be done, he told us the exact day. Now naturally, when he got done, he was ready for a walkthrough.

Sheryl: Oh, yes.

He was ready for the walk through.

Jerry I.: He was ready for the walkthrough because he knew that the walkthrough was right before he gets to present you the final bill, didn’t he?

Sheryl: Right. Now there was two little things that were not done, but I knew it was not his fault; it was an order issue that the product that they didn’t come in. But the thing about it is I had enough rapport with him that I was fine with giving him that final check.

I asked him, have your ever read The E Myth

Jerry I.: And Megan, you are right. He needs somebody like us, to be honest with you. I’m going to give this guy some books when he leaves here. The other day I asked him, have you ever read the E-Myth? And he said what’s the e-myth? And I said you need to look it up, and you need to get it. So I’m going to give him a copy of some of my books while he’s here, the one-on-one systematizing this business and all that. But it’s also like I shared with you, if you just want to sell, that’s great.

But if you’re going to run a company, somebody’s got to run the operations and get the materials. How many hours do you think the guys working upstairs have wasted during this project, Sheryl, just to go to Home Depot to do something as simple as pick up some screws?

Sheryl: Enough that. I am extremely glad I am not on the time and material.

They wanted to borrow my tools.

Jerry I.: Right. The other thing, what’s another thing? They wanted to borrow my tools. They couldn’t figure out how to get the garden tub that was going out of the house, out of the house. They didn’t want to know if we had hand trucks, and I said yes, I’ll get you some hand trucks.

What did they want then? They wanted some rope to tie it down to the hand trucks. Then we told them the best way to go out, which was out our back door and it’s across the deck and down the steps. And what did they do going down the steps, Sheryl?

We spotted that real quick, it is on the list.

Sheryl: They chipped the wood and knocked the paint off, but we spotted that real quick, it is on the list.

Jerry I.: It’s on the list. So anyway, that’s our experience. You know what we’re doing is we’re not wanting to share our sorrows with you, the reason we’re sharing this story. You know a good friend of mine, and one of my coaches and mentors did one of the best videos I ever saw him do. And his name Larry Winget.

So some months ago, Larry put out a video, and it was after he had some work done on his home. And he started the video this way; you know I just had some work done on my home, he did a great job. The price was good, but I’ll never use him again. And then Larry went into details of why he would never hire this contractor to work in his home again.

Never again, and he said it was like this. That guy did not value my time. He was supposed to be here at certain times of the day, and he would be at Home Depot picking up materials. And that’s what I told him; he had no respect for my time. And see, this is what Larry said, my time is more valuable to me than my money is, and this is why I’ll never use that contractor again. So this is just some sound words from Larry Winget, one of the guys I really admire.

And he tells it like it is. So Larry, if you’re listening to me today, I’m going through the same experience you did. And we got a guy that we will never use again, okay. So, Sheryl, anything you want to add to this podcast before we back out of here?

Sheryl: The main thing is for me; you know I am more the motivational kind of person. So for me, the fact that I stay calm and I will till the end. But it’s just a thing that’s it’s terrible, and it’s not been a great experience, but it’s just a thing.

And I have even laughed about part of this, we have gone through it, and I am sure it is just going to be another thing that we laugh at, and it is going to give Jerry a lot of content. So the thing is my thing to everyone is, if it’s just a thing, get up the next day and go again.


Jerry I.: That’s it. So hopefully, if you’re a home service contractor and Megan, I appreciate your comments today immensely there. Megan just said if you give a worker a demo, let us say if you give a worker a demo, he is going to need a hand truck, and if you give a worker a hand truck, he is going to need the tools to do the job. Boy, Megan, you’re a pretty harsh young lady there, it sounds like.

You might just be more demanding than the Isenhour crew here; there you go. And that’s what we’re doing we’re hanging in, and hopefully, it will be over before we know it. So anyway, we want to thank you for joining us today here on the chimney and fireplace success network. This is our live broadcast that we do, and now we hang up on our website, the podcast version.

Turn your business dreams into your business realities.

I apologize for that little internet blip a little sooner. So I’m glad you stayed with me, and there you go. And Barb Peters said she’s giving me a smiling hand up, so appreciate you joining us. What if we can help you? We are CVC success group. My name is Jerry Isenhour, this is Sheryl Isenhour, and we’re just part of the team here that wants to help you turn your business dreams into your business realities. Talk to you later; appreciate you joining us.