By mick | September 10, 2021

EPISODE 62 | Builders have to be Optimistic not Pessimistic

Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast!

One thing that we make sure of is that we just don’t talk about theory on the podcast.

This is the results of having discussions with our Builders Business Blackbelt members looking at and listening to, and unpacking their problems and challenges and opportunities, and figuring out better ways to deal with it to eliminate the problems, to take advantage of the opportunity.

So none of it is theory. It’s all been put into practice. It’s all been tested. It’s all been tested in different states in the country. In fact, over in New Zealand as well, we’ve got members over in New Zealand.

In our blueprint program and regional areas like the environment doesn’t matter. And that kind of brings me a little bit to the topic of this particular episode, and it’s optimism versus pessimism.

One of the things that I hear a lot having conversations with builders is that might be okay there, but that won’t work here in my region, in my environment.

It’s funny that the same objections that we get would be say, someone who’s in Melbourne would say, “well, that might work out in the country or it might work somewhere else, but it won’t work here.”

And then the people that are out in the regional areas say, “well, that might work in the big cities, but that won’t work in these country towns because they’re too small.”

So it’s got nothing to do with the area of the region, the people, all of that sort of thing. It’s got to do with what’s in between your ear. So that’s the topic of conversation for this particular episode.

We’re also gonna do a Q and A. The question that was raised this week was, how do I get my prospects and clients to listen to me?

We’ve got an idea of the week as well. Otherwise, there’d be no point in having a floating light bulb. So we’re gonna be covering an idea of the week as well.

*Transcription of the show*

Now this direction, this focus of this episode was inspired by a Facebook comment. I don’t remember the dude’s name. I think it might’ve been Ron, but I could be wrong. I know he’s from New Zealand, anyway.

And it was based on a comment on Facebook ad that we had, and the Facebook ad was just basically talking about our qualified process or our quality client pathway as we sometimes call it.

I was just talking about there is a step-by-step process, it’s proven, blah, blah, blah, to be able to eliminate time wasters, and the price shop checkers, and bargain hunters and a process that will show you what you need to do to be paid for all of the quotes that you do in the future. Our mate jumped into the comments and he said something very, very intelligent.

He’d obviously thought about it a lot and he’d done a lot of research and he knew what he was talking about, I think, because his comment was, “what a load of bullshit.” That was his comment. I replied and sort of said, “oh, well thought out reply.”

Because it was funny that it happened just after a few days after I read some other posts somewhere and it was talking about, isn’t it funny how somebody who goes to six years of school specializing in a certain area and they dedicate their life to it, and then they go and develop skills and learn how to do research.

They then go and test and trial things and do experiments and then have them peer reviewed so it’s not just theory and have people are grounded and all of this sort of stuff.

They test it all and pressure test it and stress test it, and then they deliver what they’ve found. Okay, and they’re basically dedicated their life to studying these things and coming up with some amazing answers.

And then some other genius, their answer is what a load of shit or that’s bullshit. That kind of resonated with me with our mate, Rob. I apologize, Rob, if your name isn’t Rob or Ron. It’s something like that. That kind of resonated with me.

And then I started to think, why would you say something like that? Because it’s a constant source of amazement, amusement, curiosity as to why someone would fight for their limitations.

So in other words, I’m talking about a process that fixes a very costly and very common problem in the building industry, but every building you talked to, if they are doing free quotes, say there are many, many, many hours where they’re not being paid, that they’re doing these free quotes for people, and they may not even get the job, and very few builders get every single quote that they do.

So there’s got to be a fair percentage of the quotes they do that they just don’t get remunerated for. We’ve got a process that if you follow the process, you do get paid for them and you get a better quality client and everything works out better that much more prepared to pay a premium price if you follow this process.

And I started to think, why would you try to hold on to a fundamentally flawed process that robs you of your time, robs you of your money, robs you of being compensated for your knowledge and your intellectual property and your experience? Why would you want what I was talking about to be wrong?

It just got me thinking about this whole process. It’s not the first time somebody has made a comment like that. I mean, whenever you’ve got an opinion on the interwebs, some other keyboard warrior is gonna have an opposite opinion.

I wasn’t really sure whether our mate Ronald, Rob or whatever his name was just a troll and trying to get a rise out of me or whether he genuinely thought, “I didn’t know what I was talking about.”

I came to the conclusion that he thought, I didn’t know what I was talking about, because he came to some conclusion about, well, the first point is you’re Australian and the building industry in New Zealand is very, very different.

And you wouldn’t last 12 months in New Zealand and all of this other rubbish you went on with. Like he just completely misses the point. It’s got nothing to do with where you are.

People have the same skin bags, full of emotion, wherever you are around the world, and learning how to communicate and understand with them and build rapport with them and offer them value.

That works no matter what industry you’re in and no matter what part of the world you’re in.

So, the question is why would you fight for those limitations? So I thought, I’d talk a little bit about this and get you thinking, what are yours?

What are the limitations that you have in your thinking that may will be costing you in your building business? So what do you think your limitations are? I’ll give you a few examples in a sec. How do they hold you back?

So what are the limits in your philosophy, in your thinking and how are they holding you back? What are they costing you in your business and potentially, in your life? Couple of classic examples. The obvious one is you can’t charge for quotes.

There’s still a bunch of builders out there that say, you’re an idiot. When I see a post where I mentioned that you’re an idiot, because if you charge for quotes, you will never have a customer. If you haven’t got a customer, you haven’t got a business.

Well, I agree with the second bit. You’ve got to have a customer to have a business, but I find it difficult to agree with the first bit that you can’t charge for, we call them in Blackbelt, proposals rather than quotes.

It’s a different mindset when you use different language. But the bottom line is that a Blackbelt member builder will talk to their prospect, show them the process and say, there is an investment for this.

It could be anywhere from 1,500 bucks to $15,000. We’ve had Blackbelt members charge $15,000 to put proposals together for larger projects. When you follow the process, the prospect goes, that makes total sense. That is totally the best way of doing. I can completely see the value that I’ll get out of that.

So let’s do it that way. We often get feedback from Blackbelt members saying that the customer said, “I don’t know why all builders don’t do it the way you do it.” Hugh has made a comment. So it’s still stuck in backwards thinking and not charging a fee for a site visit has cost me on a recent site visit and dilemma with prospect.

So that regressive thinking and not following the process Hugh is talking about, ends up with the same problem that everybody gets. You go out and you do your free quote. Whether if it’s a small job, you go out and have a look at it. If it’s a larger job, you start to talk about the project in that quality client pathway.

There’s two different pathways. If your jobs are that those smaller jobs, you can go out, but you charge a site visit fee before you even arrived. The money’s in the bank before you go to the property. So Blackbelt members quite often do that for the smaller jobs.

For the larger jobs, they will meet with the person, but the next step to start to put the proposal together, which is the one that takes all of the time and the knowledge and the skill that is paid for before you start to put pen to paper.

So if your thinking is, well, you can’t charge for quotes, how’s that holding you back?

It’s holding you back for starters by focusing on price. And when you focus on price, you will inevitably focus your prospect on price. That gives you more evidence that people make decisions based on price, but it’s not the truth.

It’s just because you believe it, you are causing it to happen. We know this because Blackbelt members believe that they have value to offer, to put in front of a prospect to say, “here is this, all of this value you will get for investing in a professionally prepared proposal.

You will avoid these problems and you will gain these benefits.” People go, “sounds great. Let’s do it.” But it starts with that optimism. That belief in that’s the right thing to do. If you go, well, that won’t work. That’s bullshit, that’s my good old mate from New Zealand says.

You’ve just chosen the outcome. Like you’ll never get paid and you’ll be wasting a whole lot of time. Your clients won’t be as high quality as they possibly could be. What’s another one? You must must be price competitive ’cause everyone base their decisions on price. I mean, I kind of just addressed that, so I won’t harp on it.

But that’s what many people believe is everyone makes decisions based on price. It’s just not the truth. The big majority of the population will always make decisions based on value, not price.

The only time they default to price is when there is no obvious difference, differentiation, is that the right word? Is that a good word? There’s no obvious difference in the value proposition. If they can’t see the value, obviously, we’ll go for the lesser one.

But even if they suspect that there’s more value over here than over here, the majority of people will go for that more expensive one, because I believe it’s got more value attached to it.

Another one of these optimism versus pessimism changes we can make is no one cares or can do a better job than me and my business. So the business owner ends up being a bottleneck.

Everything has to come through them. They don’t believe that they attained cares as much as they do, so they don’t actually create the environment to allow the team, to show that they care just as much if not more than the business owner.

And so that thought process holds you back. Good help’s hard to find or it’s hard to find good subbies. If that is your belief, you will find evidence to prove that you are right.

And for every one of those things, for every builder out there that believes you can’t charge for a quote, you gotta be priced competitive. No on cares as much as me like you can’t get good help and things like that.

I could put a bunch of Builders Business Blackbelt members in front of you to say the exact opposite that there’s lots of great quality customers around. There’s lots of great quality team members around when you create the environment for them to flourish It’s amazing.

I’ll never do a free quote ever again, because I know that the paid proposal pathway is the best way to go for them and particularly, and this is the main motivation, is it’s better for the client.

That’s what you need to understand that this process is better for the client. The client or the prospect sees it and becomes a client because they see the value in it that pathway themselves.

Our mate, Rob, Ron, whatever his name is says, this was part of the comment as well, “you don’t need a mentor/coach to have a successful business.” He’s absolutely right.

You don’t need to have a mentor or a coach to have a successful business. I will say however, that they are very, very rare. My evidence is pretty much every builder I speak to has problems.

They’re either got not enough work, not enough team, no time because of lack of systems and procedures and management, or problems with the staff because of lack of leadership, problems with cashflow because of the absence of a proper measurement and management system for finances.

So my question to our mate is, why does every builder I talked to have the similar issues with cashflow, time, not enough time, not enough work, too much work but no profit. I mean, that’s another classic man. My suspicion is that he just thinks that he’s got a good business because all of those problems are common. All builders have them.

So there’s nothing you can do about it. Therefore, I have a successful business. That’s my suspicion. I will bet that Rob or Ron’s business, must find out his name, has many of those problems. I’ll bet because I haven’t found any builders who make profit, according to the profit first system.

Of course, builders make profit according to the profit and loss sheet. But we’ve talked about that in other episodes. There’s a big difference between the two. I’ll bet he’s not making proper profit. It’s just that fictional profit that shows up on the profit and loss sheet. I bet he has staffing problems. I bet he has customer problems. I bet he has very little time for himself. Perhaps doesn’t go away on holidays.

Can’t leave the business. Doesn’t have people in the business to be able to look after it for himself. So if you think that all of these problems are normal and they can’t be fixed. That’s a successful business.

There’s nothing you can do about that.

Just accept that they are that goes along with the territory and it’s just not true, but all of this can be fixed if you move from pessimism and believing in all of that to believing in what is possible and hanging around with and starting to talk to people that know and have proven and have implemented this stuff and know that it works.

So I think if our mate thinks that’s all, you can’t fix those problems.

Obviously, from his perspective, I am selling snake all along. I’m selling you a lie. I’m selling you something that isn’t possible for the purposes of my own wealth and making myself rich and ripping people off, that’s why I’m doing it. That’s my motivation, I think according to our mate’s mindset.

The only response that I have to that is that might be the case, but I must be a really, really good influencer or bullshitter or something like that because we’ve got people in Blackbelt that have been around for 12, 13, 15 years. They’ve been around even before Blackbelt, our Blackbelt program came into existence.

We’ve got people who joined at the very start of Blackbelt about six or seven years ago that are still in the program.

Why do they continue to stay in the program and participate and pay their membership fee and all of that sort of stuff if I’m bullshitting, if this stuff doesn’t work, Surely it would take, you know, if you’re around for four or five, six, seven years, you can figure out where the flaws are in the process, where the holes are, you surely you’d know by then that it didn’t work.

Don’t insult the Blackbelt members by thinking that they’re slow learners and they haven’t picked that up.

So if this has resonated with you, I’d like for you to reach out and have a chat with us. Any of those problems that are in your building business, they can be addressed. There is processes to be able to fix those problems in your building business.

All you need to do is reach out. If you’re watching this on Facebook, there’s a link in the comments. You just click it and schedule a quick chat. We can find out where you are, where you wanna be, what’s in your way.

We can point you in the right direction really quickly to the resources that you need to get, where you wanna go at the pace you wanna go. So the solution is gonna be totally suitable for you, where you wanna go and where you are. Hit the button or hit the link.

If you’re watching this on the blog, that’s the word I’m trying to think of, there’ll be a button underneath the video. You just hit that same thing.

If you’re listening to this on Apple or Spotify or something like that, I know a lot of people just consume the audio only version, you can just go to our website, buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au.

There’s a schedule a call button somewhere. They’re all over the place on the website. We’d just love to have a chat with you, learn more about where you wanna head and what the problem is. And the beauty of that, because we talk to builders all of the time, rather than just assuming that we know what the common and costly problems are and they stay like that forever.

We’re talking to people all the time and the landscape is shifting particularly due to COVID and shortages of labor, and shortages of materials, and costs rising and all of these additional problems are now being put on the builder’s plate.

We’re coming up with solutions to those as well, but we can only do that when we talk to you and learn what the problems are from your perspective, and we can modify what we do, find solutions for you.

So let’s get on a call, let’s have a conversation about what the problems are in your building business, so we can go ahead and fix them.


Q & A

The question that was asked was how do I get my prospects/clients to listen to me? It’s a frustration.

It’s very common that there are problems on building projects because of miscommunications the builder reside, but I told you that.

And then you’re getting into a he said, she said, and blah, blah, blah. The big majority of problems in most businesses, it’s not just builders, building businesses, it’s just communication.

And I believe communication skills, if not the most valuable skill for a manager or an owner of a business, anyone who’s dealing with people, it’s one of the most valuable skills for your personal life and any area of your professional life.

In fact, every area of your business from the marketing through to talking to prospects, talking to clients, talking to team members, talking to suppliers, talking to subcontractors, talking to past clients, communicating with past clients.

Your ability to communicate at a high level and have great listening skills is absolutely massive.

I noticed Matt is with us. Matt with or without the hat. I’m not sure whether he’s wearing a hat today, but if he’s wearing a hat, we call him Matt with a hat. If he’s not, we call him Matt without the hat.

The system we’ve got. He’s watching live. He’s one of our Blackbelt members, and he’s been sending me some messages through our base camp communication about some people that he’s been working with on a new project. The lights are coming on with Matt.

And he’s saying, how powerful it is, building the relationship with his prospects, and then eventually clients. By just focusing on trying to understand from their perspective, which is the essence of excellent listening is first seek to understand.

So the resources that I would suggest with to answer this question, to help you is habit five from the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Just go straight to habit five. First seek to understand then to be understood.

And there’s another book, I’m not sure whether you should still be able to get a copy of it somewhere, I’m sure. It’s by Hugh Mackay or Mackay, depending on how you wanna pronounce it. I think he likes Mackay. The book is called “Why people don’t listen?” But it’s the same premise. And he talks about people tend to listen to those who listen to them.

So outstanding communication comes from, if you take responsibility to listen and understand from the perspective of the person that you’re listening to first. Then there’s a great possibility that you will be listened to. But speaking louder, repeating yourself, pointing your finger, all of those sorts of things.

So to get your message across don’t work, first, seek to understand. Learn about what pushes their buttons and what their preferences are from their perspective first.

And then you’ll find that they will want to know from your perspective, your knowledge base, your intellectual property, your experience, they’ll want your advice, but you’ve first got to listen.

Idea of the Week

It’s idea of the week. The idea of the week is amazing.

You might not think so when I say it but it is, because it’s amazing from the perspective that it can make a profound difference to every area of your business.

And that is time block, learning and practicing communication skills. I’m suggesting that you do it daily, because if you do it daily, your head is in that space every day, you’re reminding yourself how important outstanding communication is.

So one of the things I’d be doing is suggesting that you get both of those books and time block, time, every single day, to read some of that sort of stuff and look for opportunities to implement it.

I would suggest that you always be consciously aware to prepare yourself and your focus on your purpose. When you walk onto site, your energy and your ability to understand from other people’s perspectives.

If that’s your focus when you walk on site, rather than walking on site starting to tell people things, ask people thing. Makes a big difference. So preparation before walking on site. Preparation before you answer a phone call or make a phone call. So you know what the objective is.

Preparation for what the objective is for a meeting. So always prepare before these things, mentally. so you know what your focus is. Prepare for any conversation you might have with a team member or a client or a prospect before you have it.

So you know what your focus is to get the best outcome. And that is first seek to understand then to be understood. That will make the big difference.

Takeaway & Jump On A Call

So what’s the takeaway from this episode of Builders Business Success Podcast? To me, it is just BE. In my notes, I’ve got BE underline, exclamation mark.

So behave in a manner that shows that you are optimistic. Be optimistic, okay? Not just think optimistically, be optimistic, Create a great example and a great energy for everybody around you.

That is your prospects, your clients, your team, your savvies, your suppliers, everybody around you. If you’ve got that optimistic energy, the thing is, folks, you will feel better and everybody else around you will feel better. So you are really controlling your environment.

You’re taking charge of making sure that anywhere where you are is far more optimistic, enthusiastic, positive, solution oriented, and you watch what happens to everybody around you. So I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. I hope it’s got you thinking, what are the limitations in your thinking? How’s it holding you back?

I want you to think about that, but more over, I want you to reach out and talk to us about it. Tell us what they are, because we can point you in the direction of solutions. It’ll save you a ton of time. It’ll save you a lot of unnecessary, wasted time, frustration. You’ll see a lot more opportunity sooner. But we just need to have that conversation.

So, as I said, all you need to do, if any of this make sense and you wanna have a chat about any of it, so we can point you in the right direction and get you started on this pathway sooner. Just click the link in the comments below, depending on where you watch it. There’ll be a button underneath the video.

If you’re watching it on Facebook, there’ll be a link in the comments. If you’re watching it on YouTube, there’ll be a link in the description. If you’re watching it on the blog, there’ll be a button under the thing. Or you can go to this here website here called buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au, and as you can see, there’s a schedule a call button there and there.

If you’re listening on the audio only version, you can not see where I’m pointing, but it’ll make sense when you go to the website and you’ll see the schedule a call button. We can’t wait to talk to you. We can’t wait to learn about what might be in your way from your perspective.

We can’t wait to put you in front of some solutions and see the big grin on your face when you see the pathway forward to eliminating those problems from your building business once and for all. Look forward to that moment.

We’ll be back again next Tuesday. It is Tuesday, yes. We’ll be back again next Tuesday for another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast. I look forward to being with you then.

I’m Mick Hawes from Builders Business Blackbelt. That is all for this episode. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Talk to you next time. Bye for now.

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