Speaking to the Win The Storm 2022, host of To The Point and RYNO Strategic Solutions CEO Chris Yano simply wants to help you WIN.
Chris has worked with contractors for 14 straight years and counting. He’s 43 now and getting more gray hair, but the keys to success haven’t really changed. Each year he speaks at tons of conferences, giving keynote speeches to contractors in a number of different industries. One of the big things he continues to touch on is the 95/5 rule. If you look around the room, there’s always going to be something that separates the cream of the crop from the rest. Only 5% of people generally take what they learn and implement it. Are you part of that top 5%?
Chris was born and raised in Indiana. He raced Indy cards for a few years as a young adult, and even joined the professional bull riding (PBR) circuit from 2000-2002. These were great experiences (albeit not great financially) and times in his life. One of the things this laid the foundation for was paying attention to the data. Chris learned that the more he analyzed and studied the details of what he was trying to achieve, the better the end results were. That’s carried over into his success running the most reputable marketing company for the trades, RYNO Strategic Solutions!
Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, RYNO Strategic Solutions has about 130 employees. Chris has been blessed to have a partnership with Gary Vee for the last 3 years, and has learned a lot about branding and how to grow the business. A big believer in giving back, Chris wants to share everything he’s learned over the years to help other grow, too.
RYNO Strategic Solutions represents some of the biggest players in the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and roofing industries. It’s because we know how to grow a business and we pay attention to the data. The data keeps you accountable. What Chris has realized, though, is that just telling most people how to do things isn’t enough. Most won’t implement it. So he started a digital marketing company that does at least part of the things you need for you! Still, there’s a lot to business besides marketing. There are a ton of factors that go into sustained growth and success, and you need to be paying attention to these factors. A top 5%’er contractor is one that actually takes the notes AND goes back and gives it a try. You have to be willing to at least try to implement the things you’ve learned. Even if it doesn’t work, you can still tweak it and figure out what works best for you. You have to try something, though. It doesn’t have be you doing everything, but if you aren’t looking for ways to move forward, you’re gonna get left in the dust.
“Ambition without action is useless” – Chris Yano
Make no mistake about it, we’re all in the attention game. We’re all trying to get influence and gain people’s attention. You’re trying to gain return on that influence, which ends up being leads and sales. What you also need to do it pay attention to the vitals of your business to move it forward. When it comes to marketing, there are 6 “P’s” that are of vital importance. But there’s one P that’s even bigger, and that’s Purpose.
Simon Senek did an amazing Ted Talk (and also wrote a book of the same title) that will only take a few minutes of your time called Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action. See, people don’t buy what you do – they buy WHY you do it.
People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it
What makes you better than the next guy? It has to be more about the roof, or the air conditioner, or the work itself. You might be doing higher quality work, have better products, or have some special process that sets you apart from the competition, but what is your purpose? WHY do you do what you do? Are you living out your mission statement and vision?
If you’re just doing the work for the paycheck, people will notice. If there’s something bigger behind what you’re doing, people will buy in – team members and customers alike. Chris tells a story of his friendship with Chester Bennington, the late singer of Linkin Park. Before reaching incredible fame, Chester struggled being himself. He was always trying to fit in with the crowd; doing whatever everyone else thought was cool. While writing Linkin Park’s second album, Chester wrote the lyrics “all I wanna do is be more like and less like you” in their grammy-winning song Numb. These lyrics were in reference to Chester realizing that he didn’t need to be like everyone else, but rather focus on becoming himself.
The same is true in business. Don’t try to be your competitor. That’s not who you are! If you genuinely want to serve your customers and do a great job, then do that. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and figure what makes your company different. Find that purpose, and use it to separate yourself from the pack. That leads us into the 6 P’s of Marketing.
The first P is product. The key here is you can’t make people guess what you do. That should very clear in your marketing. Don’t make your potential customers guess, and don’t assume they know. You have to get their attention fast, and make things simple.
Next up is Place. Where do you do what you do? Don’t make people guess your service area. Just like product, this should be plain and easy to see right away.
Now, lots of contractors may disagree on how to approach Price. You may not want to disclose your pricing upfront on your website, but you know that’s something that’s coming. At the end of the day, your customer will want to know what they’re getting charged. Sometimes something as simple as a base price or range can at least get the conversation going.
Promotion goes pretty hand-in-hand with price. If you’re uncomfortable with sharing a price upfront, a promotion is often a great substitute! Promotion doesn’t have to just be a coupon, either. It can involve showing your reviews, what value you’re bringing to the table, or anything else that really sets you apart.
The 5th P is People. If you have a marketing company or in-house marketing manager, they need to know your customer and your industry. It’s super important to understand that you’re in the game of psychology. You have to understand what objections people are going to hav before they even pick up the phone to call you. Whoever is doing your marketing has to understand your industry and the customers you serve.
The last P is Personality. Having a purpose makes a personality quite a bit easier! Don’t be afraid to give your business a personality. It’s going to make you different. Some companies can pull off being the funny company, other might go for more of a professional feel. The main thing is to do what feels genuine. Don’t overthink it too much — just focus on sharing your brand and your story. Let your customers get to know who you are!
Getting attention is only half the battle – you have to pay attention, too. Pay attention to what’s actually working in your business. When you focus on specific metrics and data, you can predictable scale a business. That means tracking EVERYTHING. There’s no reason you can’t track everything today. If you have a marketing company, they should be doing a lot of this for you. If they aren’t, they’re doing you a disservice. You can do it in-house, too, but you have to be tracking this stuff.
If you’re getting a lead, where are you getting it from? Is it a new lead or a returning customer? Are you booking your calls, and at what rate? Are you missing calls? These are some of the things you really have to pay attention to. You have no excuse, either. There are people that will do this for you. A new, bookable lead is what you pay companies like RYNO Strategic Solutions for. If you aren’t tracking it (and whoever is doing your marketing isn’t either), then how do you know you’re getting what you’re paying for?
There’s a gap that exists in business far and wide, and it’s between sales and however you’re tracking it. Whether you’re using AccuLync, JobNimbus, QuickBooks, or just an Excel spreadsheet, you understand what we’re getting at here. You have lead volume coming in, and then close revenue – and there’s usually a discrepancy between the two. Why?
Your marketing is bringing in leads, but then your sales team isn’t hitting their revenue goals. It’s a tale as old as time. You can’t just pin the blame on one side or the other, which is often what happens. You have to look at both, and what’s happening in between. When you look in this gap, you’re going to find a ton of things that will increase the profitability of your business. And that’s the goal, right? Aren’t we for-profit?
One of the things that exists in this gap is your booking rate. Your booking rate is one of the most overlooked things in many businesses. For every lead that comes in, what percentage of the time does that result in a booking? You’ll also discover your cost per lead (CPL) in each market here in the gap. When you start to track and measure this data, you can start to fix it. Oftentimes, it’s as simple as getting more involved with your CSRs or office manager and figuring out what’s happening when you pick up the phone.
Chris takes a note from Sun Tzu and stresses the importance of paying attention to who you’re really competing against. If you’re entering a market, you should be figuring out who the leader is. It’s exactly what he wants to do. Who is the company that is dominating the online space in that market? That’s who Chris wants to learn about so he can know whose ass he’s about to kick.
It’s not just about knowing who they are, either. It’s taking action to figure what they are doing that works, and what they are doing that you might be able to expose. This is war! It’s not that you have to want to see them fail – it’s that you want to succeed, and that means having to take market share away. You have to put together a battle plan and start competing. That’s something your marketing company should be helping you with.
What Chris hopes is that you’ll take some of this information and apply to your business. Take what you learn and implement it. That doesn’t always mean it’s gonna work right away, or that every solution is going to fit seamlessly into your current processes. It means understanding the bigger picture and at least trying. If you’re trying to scale your business or even sell your business, these are the things you have to pay attention to in order to scale or increase those multiples. Remember, complacency has NO vacancy. Staying still is no different than moving backwards, because everything else is going to move forward with or without you. Be a 5%’er and go kick some ass!
NO. ZERO. DAYS.