Josh Kelly is back, and this time he’s joined by his better half! Chris and Tall Paul have an in-depth conversation with Josh and Laura Kelly of Clover Marketing to discuss collaboration in the service industry, Jam Sessions, accountability, implementation of ideas, and how contractors in the HVACR space can overcome common hurdles like recruiting and marketing.
Listeners of To The Point will remember Josh Kelly from one of our favorite episodes, where he discusses taking his family’s business, Parker & Sons from $7,000,000 to over $100M. This year, Parker & Sons is going to be at $140M, and it’s largely due to the systems, processes, and strategies Josh implemented and has helped countless other HVAC businesses utilize for incredible success.
Josh’s resume is extensive, and it’s proven track record of home services success. He grew up in the services industry, from working in a sheet metal shop at a young age to being a plumbing helper and eventually running the marketing at Parker & Sons for 15 years. He’s worked in a billion-dollar company, and even started his own software company. Right now, he’s focused on Clover Marketing with his wife, Laura. Laura has consulted with numerous billion dollar businesses and CEOs, and is well-respected for her business psychology expertise.
Clover Marketing is a research and marketing firm for some of the biggest, most successful HVAC companies in the United States. Josh has always helped companies grow, as he’s always been a target for contractors to reach out to for help, but with Clover, he can organize his winning strategies all into one place. It’s an incredible organization that allows the greatest minds in home services to collaborate and share in their success.
One of the greatest offerings at Clover Marketing is their Jam Sessions. Each month, a hot topic in the industry is selected and they bring in an expert to discuss strategies, processes, and ways to implement successful ideas to overcome these challenges. In addition to providing insight and a step-by-step playbook on how to win, they take it a step further. You’ll get fast-tracked growth in the form of regular accountability, which is the real key to the operation. By having consistent communication and collaboration with other contractors, each member has the opportunity to maximize profits and growth. It also holds each member accountable to see if they’re actually implementing these strategies correctly, a much-needed partnership for many contractors.
Common Problems for Contractors
Whether you’re a $1M or $100M company, you probably have similar problems.
When Josh consults with a company, the very first step he takes is to look at their reporting. Many companies don’t have reporting, and the ones that do either don’t look at the reports or don’t hold anyone accountable. Reporting should be simplified, and should have clear goals and expectations for each department. You need to make sure departments and individuals are held accountable for reporting as well, or it simply won’t work. Taking action based on simplified reporting and holding your departments accountable is one of the most shared obstacles to growth.
It’s no secret, recruiting is one of the biggest issues facing our industry right now. Sign-on bonuses are nothing new, but can be extremely effective and cost-efficient. The issue is, most companies that offer sign-on bonuses don’t provide their techs with the tools and script to be effective, so they won’t do it. Josh uses a “Dare to Compare” sheet to solve this problem. It’s a simple sheet, and on one side, it lists the perks, pay, and benefits of working for the company doing the recruiting. On the right side, it shows the other company (the company the person being recruited works for), and it’s all blank. It’s a conversation starter that allows for comparison between where someone is working and could be working, and acts as a playbook for your tech, CSR, or whoever to use.
Most companies in our industry don’t pay any attention to time freedom and it’s one of their biggest recruiting hurdles! What is missing during a recruitment conversation is consideration for a generational shift in priorities. While older contractors were all about the money, many younger people care more about when they work, having time off, and control over their schedule than they care about pay. By simply asking an interviewee what hours they want to work and why, you can work time freedom into a benefit. Allowing a tech to start at 10AM so they can drive their kids to school and leave at 7PM doesn’t affect the business, and can be the difference between hiring a great tech and missing out on that opportunity. Enforcing a policy where every employee has to show up at 8AM is outdated, and not really worthwhile if it limits your hiring pool.
Stop Struggling Alone!
With excellent resources like Clover Marketing and people like Josh and Laura so willing to help, there’s absolutely no reason to go at it alone if you’re a contractor. Even with the ideas at hand, implementing them can be difficult, so a tool like Jam Sessions is a great investment for any contractor looking to fast-track their growth. You can email Josh for HVAC growth information, email email Laura about Jam Sessions, or either to learn more about Clover Marketing. They’re here to help! Josh and Laura are also starting a podcast coming soon, so be on the lookout for that. As a added bonus for To The Point listeners, Clover Marketing is giving away free HVAC recruiting and retention secrets!