EPISODE 83 – The Time & Money Saving Triage Call
EPISODE 83 – The Time & Money Saving Triage Call |
Hi folks, and welcome to, our first live episode. It's a bit of a milestone really, first live episode of the Builders Business Success Podcast in 2022. And it's the first episode that's streaming exclusively live into the Builders toolshed. So the Builders Business Success Podcast, it's a construction business podcast.
I'm Mick Hawes, your construction business coach, or build as coach, however you like to say it. And in today's show, we are talking about the Triage Conversation. If you've ever watched an episode of MASH, if you're as old as me, you remember MASH and triage was kind of outside the hospital, and they would figure out who needs to go first based on their symptoms and severity and so on so forth.
There needs to be a very, very similar process in every building business, because there's absolute ton of time wasted, which means that there's a ton of money wasted. And it also causes a whole lot of frustration when you've gone out and seen somebody, and then they gushed you, they don't call you back, or they just completely focused on price, or they're just not ready to go yet.
Like, they were just kicking the tires and wasting your time. And so having a part of a process, we call it the quality client pathway, this particular part, we're gonna dive deep into the triage conversation. And the reason that the triage conversation is so important is because, it prevents you from wasting a whole lot of time before the time is wasted.
You can see it coming a mile away if you do this triage call or triage conversation properly. And in fact, we were having a Builders Business Blackbelt conversation just the other day, yesterday, when I say the other day it was yesterday.
And one of the guys just popped up with one of the wins that he had. And he said, just looking back over the last year, the triage conversation had saved him hundreds. I'll repeat that, hundreds of hours in that year.
He looked back and saw what he would have done traditionally. And because of the implementation of just this one thing, the triage conversation, it saved him hundreds of hours of wasted time.
So we're gonna be unpacking that in this episode. Also gonna be doing a Q&A, and it's about why people don't call you back and how to get people to call you back.
And also we've got a great idea of the week and that is unpacking the features and the resources that you can get in the Builders Toolshed.
*Transcription of the show*
So, the topic of conversation today, is the triage conversation. As I said, in the introduction, you kind of get a bit of an understanding of what, triage is or before I go on, see, I'm not used to this already, I needed to ask you, just so we can get a bit of an understanding of who's watching this live and who's watching the replay. So the replay will be in, the podcast section of the toolshed.
So over on the left-hand side in the navigation, there's a place there called podcast and all of the past episodes are going to be there, so, that's where you watch the replay. But if you are watching live, it'd be great to just understand how many people watch it live by putting hashtag live in the comment section.
And of course, if you've got any questions or wanna make any comments, you can do it in that comment section as well, and we can, if I will respond to your questions or your comments in real time, so it's a little bit like a coaching session to an extent. Back to the triage conversation.
Have you ever been into an emergency department in a hospital? That's one of the first things that happened to you, you generally speak to the triage nurse, and if you know, one of your limbs isn't hanging off and you're not making a big pool of blood on the floor, you probably have to sit in the chair for a while.
So, there's limited resources, just like in a building business, there are limited resources, there's limited amount of time, limited amount of effort, limited amount of energy. And so you need to make smart decisions as to where you put your time, effort and energy. And so a triage process is super important. Now, the whole triage process in a program that we do call Blueprint, the Blackbelt.
The whole triage process is outlined or laid out and, sorry, the whole quality client pathway is laid out. It's a process, it's a whole training. And the triage conversation is a very, very important part of that.
And as I said in MASH, same thing, that the triage happens outside, and it can save a massive amount of time and energy. Pardon me. If you do this first and so, it involves some skills, some communication skills to really make it happen.
So you don't kind of blow it and miss out on a really good quality lead. This done properly gets rid of the time-wasters, the tire kickers, the price shoppers but it attracts and at the same time builds your, sense or perception of authority in your prospect's mind.
So, the right person feels like, ah, we've got the right builder here. The wrong person for your building business will bile up. And that's the cool thing about our whole quality client pathway is that you don't have to sign out. It's not about you saying no. Because there's, from a customer's point of view, there is nothing worse than being told no.
You know, I would love you to, you know, can you come around and have a look at this? Can you have a look at the plans so that, no, we won't. And so in Blackbelt and in Blueprint, we make sure we do go to great links to help our members to understand that, don't tell your prospects or your customers what you can't do, tell them what you can do, like, make that a habit.
And so the triage conversation is focused on just a few things, and it's a critical part of the quality client pathway as I said. What you're doing with not only just the triage conversation, but all of the quality client pathway is you're creating hurdles, little hurdles to begin with, but then they could be big hurdles.
As you start to go through the process, and the ultimate hurdle right at the end, the ultimate behavioral hurdle right at the end is when you say, would you like to invest in a professionally prepared proposal?
So we don't really talk about quotes, we differentiate the language and talk about a professionally prepared proposal, which is basically a paid quote, that's the final hurdle. And so we need to be able to build ourselves up all the way through to become the price, so, people say yes.
But we get feedback all the time on a regular basis, particularly, the people that are just learning to do this in Blueprint. They're nervous when they're asking that question, you know, about the paid proposal or the professionally prepaid proposal.
But more often than not, the response from the prospect is sure, no problem, it's amazing, but the there's a few things you need to do first. And the triage call is one of the initial parts of the process that really sets you up to be different in the eyes of your prospects.
So, the purpose of the triage conversation is to number one, is really find out whether you like this person or not. I mean, life is too long to work with people you don't like being with. So, we've got to find out whether we liked them.
Have you ever done a job before and you might have done the job it may have even, you know, been reasonably profitable or whatever, but it wasn't fun because you didn't like the people, you just didn't get on with them or whatever.
So, one of the reasons for the triage conversation is to make sure that you're working with people who you like working with. Um, The second part of the triage conversation is to start to find out, do a little bit of testing as to whether they're going to follow your process.
The key to a great building project is for your customer to be open and honest with you and share what they want, what they're worried about, what they're scared of, what their dreams are, exactly what their budget is, all of that sort of stuff.
And they implicitly trust you to protect them, to support them, to guide them, so they get the best possible value for the money that they're shelling out and the best possible memorable, positive experience. That's the idea of building project.
And the only way that can really happen is if the prospect, the customer follows the builder's process. It always turns to custard when the customer is in charge, right? You've got to work together as a team.
The customer's responsibility is to be open and honest, the builder's responsibility is to be completely supportive and be a great guide and have the best interests of their client at heart. If you can do that, and there's this mutual trust, it works out brilliantly for everybody.
So the first part of this triage conversation is to find out, will I follow the process? Another reason why we need to have this triage conversation, is think about how much time is wasted.
And as I said at the introduction, one of our Blackbelt members estimated it just over that last year to be well over 200 hours.
So it was hundreds of hours saved where he realized he wouldn't have got the job anyway, and so he dodged a whole bunch of bullets, but he also saved a whole bunch of time as well changing how he would have traditionally done it. So there's a bunch of time wasted in travel, there's a bunch of time wasted in quoting when people don't get back to you or you don't get the quote.
You're also wasting other people's time when you do this, you're asking subbies to give you prices and so forth and give their time to you only to find out that, you know, the job wasn't secured anyway, we didn't get the job.
If you're working with people who aren't nice, it just becomes hard work, it becomes frustrated, you become frustrated. It's just not a great environment to be in.
And one of the most frustrating things is when people ghost you when they don't call you back. But that's all part of not setting the process up properly. So what do we need to do? The way I like to explain these things is why you need to do them, what you need to do, and then how we need to do it.
So what's really important is when implementing this into your business is that you've got to have a mindset shift. This isn't going to work until and unless you have a mindset shift, and one of the mindset shifts you need to have is that you are the price. The big majority of builders see the job as the price.
You listen to the language of won the job, you know, we wanna win the job, we wanna get awarded the project. Listen to the language and you can tell very, very quickly that most builders see the project, the job as the price.
I want you to have a mental and emotional shift and understand and know that you are the price. And I'll talk about this quite a bit, just the episodes of, "Grand Designs". That the projects always a way over budget and go way over time. And it is because that, generally the customer is in charge.
There's a few times where the architect is in charge, but either way it always goes south, and it never works. It always goes over budget, and it always goes over time. The secret to success is following the builder's process, but the builder must have the right mindset.
So, understand that what you are bringing to the table is a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge and skills to be able to make this go smoothly. Now, of course you need to be the type of builder that has these processes in place to make things go smoothly.
One of the things that, we know for sure and certain is that the majority of people see triage people, builders included as unreliable and unorganized, disorganized. So, that needs to be fixed and having processes like the quality client pathway really gives that sense of organization.
Obviously in Blackbelt we teach our Blackbelt members a whole process called deliver plus, and that's the build process.
Once you've got the job, how you can really make your clients feel that you've got them, and it gets rid of a whole bunch of friction and disagreement and argument and all of that sort of stuff, and turns those clients into raving fans, which then causes them to be part of your, marketing system or your attract strategy, giving you really high quality leads and referrals and testimonials and so forth. And as I said, the secret is this mindset shift.
So, you've got to really start to believe that you are the price, the price, the price.
That was the second mindset shift I needed to help you to understand is that, if you don't have a quality client pathway that is focused on working as a team and getting the best for the client, the focus generally, is then on price. If it's not on value and the experience, it tends to then be on price.
And what most builders think is that the job is the price, I've already said that, but they think that the best way to get that is to be price competitive. And we still get comments all the time, although we're getting them less and less and less, because guess what? We're not on Facebook much anymore.
That's why we've got this wonderful app called the Builders Toolshed where we don't have to worry about all of the bullshit on Facebook, we can control the bullshit. But we still get people commenting saying that, you know, if you charge for quotes or if you're not price competitive, you won't get the job. And that's just total horse crap. You know, it's not true whatsoever.
The big majority if not all people are motivated by value not price. And so we've got to take the focus away from price, put it on value, and you'll find you'll be much happier, and your clients will be much happier as well.
So that's what needs to happen. So the how of the triage conversation is basically three questions, and you can dress these questions up however, you like. In Blueprint, we've got a script and we encourage and support our members to follow that script.
It just makes it easier, more simple, and it's been tested and refined, and we know that it works. But fundamentally the questions, the three important questions you've got to ask in the triage conversation is why now? So you might ask a question like, can you just help me to understand where you're up to?
I just wanna know why you're calling now, where you're up to in your process, you know, have you got land, have you got plans, all of that sort of stuff. But how come we're talking today? What's motivated you to reach out to us today? So you start to ask questions to find out whether they are in the process and, what their motivation is to reach out to you.
Because, there will be a very high chance that they're reaching out to you because they've already spoken to other builder or builders, and they've already got prices, and you're just the price check guy. Maybe they've already selected a builder, they're going with him, but he hasn't done a real great job of developing trust and connection and all that sort of stuff.
So they wanna check whether he's processing the ballpark or not. So they're going to waste 10, 30, 50 hours of your time to put a free quote together, just so they can go, oh yeah, yeah, he's right, in a way we good.
And if he's not and they start to look at you, it's because your price's competitive more than likely too cheap. So, asking where they are is kind of the first thing. A slightly different question, but really important to master is, how come you're calling me? Now, obviously you don't ask the question like that, but that's the question.
The three questions are, you know, why now? Why me? And is this a sooner or later thing? So the second question is why me, but you might ask it in a form that might sound a bit more like, so what are the specific things you think that I can help you with?
So by asking that question, you starting to get from their perspective why they're calling you. And it might be for no reason, it's just because we found you in the yellow pages but it might be because, they were told about you by someone.
And it's really important to understand that, because now you can talk about, oh yeah, the changes, yeah, they're great people, and how do you know them, and we start to get in a conversation about what we have in common and things like that. That's when we start to build the connection, the trust and the rapport.
So, the why me question is a really important question. And then of course the final question is sooner or later, is this a sooner or later thing for you? And the purpose of that is to out what they're expectations are, are they ready to go right now?
And if they are ready to go right now, do they have unrealistic expectations you might need to manage or maybe even walk away from? So, you need to find out what they're expecting as far as getting started, getting completion, all of that sort of stuff. Even, yes, even in this first phone call, this is the pretty much the first phone call that you have with your prospect.
And we're starting to talk about that sort of stuff already, absolutely. Because the whole reason of this triage call or conversation is so you don't waste your time running after people when they're not ready, when they have unrealistic expectations.
So if you start asking these questions early, you've got the opportunity to manage these expectations. And if the people don't want their expectation managed, you can walk away, okay?
Because they won't follow the next, they wont jump over the next hurdles, they won't follow your requests. So also in this triage conversation, it needs to have, what's called a call to action, okay? You need to have an action.
And this is the hurdle, this is one of the behavioral hurdles in the quality client pathway. And it depends on what type of job, but if it's a smaller job, and not just make sense to go and check it out, the call to action in the triage conversation is a site visit fee. And you need to have a process, again, that positions this site visit fee as a worthwhile thing.
Otherwise, people would just see it as, you asking to be paid when they can get other builders to come out for nothing.
So you've gotta be able to, present that to the prospect on the phone so they can see the value, and what your going to do when you go out there differentiates you from just barely bomb crack builder who's gonna go out there and, you know, check the place out for free. So you've got to have a call to action that is either the paid site visit.
So, they pay and then you go and visit. Or if it is a large job, it's going to be, an initial meeting. And the little hurdles before having the initial meeting, they either come to you or a neutral place, you're not going out to them because it's a bigger project.
And you're not gonna go out and meet them on site, you meet them either in your office, or a hired office or somewhere that is neutral territory. And the reason for this is, again, it's a test will they follow your lead? Will I follow your process? And have I made myself as attractive as possible to be the price to get them to follow my process, this is the key with this.
So they need to agree to make you to come your way and have all the stakeholders involved. This is absolutely critical. You must get an agreement and confirmation that everybody who's involved in the decision-making process about this project will be at this meeting.
None of this, you know, I'll just come because my husband has to work, or my wife was busy doing this, so I'll come and then I'll let her know what happened. No, it's not gonna happen that way. Everybody needs to be involved in this first meeting. It's a hurdle, if they don't jump over it, we don't go to the next step, it's that simple. And as I said before, one of the, main important parts of this is having a set up paragraph.
We don't have time to go through that paragraph in this podcast, but there's a specific way that you present it that really brings down the barriers and shows people the value in this conversation, right at the start because, the success or failure of this triage call happens in the first paragraph.
And if you don't set it up properly with the right expectations and the right focus, it will end up being a waste of time, so it's important that you have that. Again, that's something in the scripts, in the Blueprint program, you can learn that, it's really simple and easy. J
ust a quick shout out, We've got Ingrid watching live, and Hughbergs is hashtag in the house. Welcome, to our very first live into the app, bit exciting. Just to finish this little bit off, it's super important to understand the value of just this triage call.
There's a young member in Builders Business Blackbelt, and he's telling me some time ago that, he did the whole triage conversation. The person agreed to come and see him for the initial meeting.
And then a couple of days before the initial meeting was scheduled, this guy rang back and said, "Hi, I've been thinking about this, and I'm not gonna come all the way out to see you, because I don't even know whether I'm going to give you the job or not yet. And you know, it's gonna be an hour one way and an hour the other for me and my time's money." And when my Blackbelt member was telling me this, I could just feel myself getting angry.
Because this is what happens all of the time, this is what people expect if you don't temper their expectations, if you don't flip the script and become the price and do this process very differently to the, the building industry norms, the way that most builders do it, this is what happens.
And we're training the prospects to think that we're just flunkies and not worth paying for our expertise, our experience and so forth. And it just said everything when this guy said, "But my time's money." So in that sentence, what he was basically saying is, I value my time but I don't value yours.
That means you can come an hour to me, an hour back, and maybe spend 10 to 40 hours putting a proposal together for me for free, and then I'll decide whether I'm going to award you this or not. And if I do, I'm gonna make sure that you do absolutely everything you can for the cheapest possible price, because my money is valuable to me, and my time is valuable to me, but I don't give a stuff about you.
That is what is going on in that conversation. So we need to flip that script, we need to turn it around, so we become the price. We're not arrogant, we are caring, we are supportive and we show people a pathway forward that has the value at the end of that pathway. But you've got to learn how to become valuable enough and communicate well enough. So they go, yes, this is different, I like this, this makes sense. I wanna do it and I'll follow your lead.
So, I hope that makes sense. What I want you to do is, start to design your triage conversation. And of course, the other option is if you want help with this, we can talk to you about the whole thing in the Blueprint program, over in the nav section in your app, down at the bottom of the nav section that says, you know, get personal help.
You can just click on that, there's a little form there, we can get into a conversation and point you in the right direction, see if we can help you out.
Q & A
Q&A time, the question. And I'll try to select a question that made sense with the triage call. And somebody did ask a question this week is, how do we get people to call back?
And I've kind of answered that with the whole triage call thing, but the building industry really only has itself to blame for this because the perception as I've said before is builders and try this, never call back, they're unreliable, therefore, there's low trust and low respect.
And Builders Business Blackbelt members often say, and it sort of pains me when I hear this, that they were awarded the job because they were the only one that either showed up or called back. And it's like, is that all you need to do?
To rise above the pack, is do what is just the right thing to do, what your prospects and customers expect?
That puts you in a level above, like, that's just ridiculous but it's the reality. And so the answer to this question, how to get people to call back is to have that quality client pathway that I was just talking about.
The triage is part of that quality client pathway and that whole quality client pathways in the Builders Business, sorry, in the Blueprint, the Blackbelt training program. It's a 12 week training program. And that's just one of the three pillars, there's three pillars.
One that that shows you how to be significantly more effective and get heaps more done in less time. Another pillar is this quality client pathway we're talking about, and then the third pillar is profit first showing you how to make sure your business is profitable and the profits continue to increase and gets rid of all the money stress.
But the secret with this, how to get people to call you back, is that you don't do the next move until I perform the action or the jump over the behavioral hurdle that you've set for them. Example, you don't call them back until they've filled out your questionnaire. That's the first thing in the quality client pathway.
There's no meeting until they're in the right place. Like, don't make with people until they're in the right place. Meaning that they're in the part of the process where it's appropriate to talk to the builder, they're not just starting to gather information. There's other ways we can still help them out.
In automated ways, we can talk about that in other podcasts, but we can keep them connected to us and build more and more value in their mindset, but it's not gonna waste any of your time. There's no site visit until the fee is paid, okay?
There's not quote until the fee for the professionally prepared proposal is paid. So, they do something, then you do something. That's how this works.
Then it doesn't get into this, you know, you've done the thing, and because I have such little respect for you and low trust and low connection, they don't care. And so they don't call you back, you know, there's no respect there.
So you've done your bit, they don't value your time because you haven't set it up that way and so you just get treated like dirt, and we need to change that. And as I said, to make this work, to be able to do any of that, you must be the price in their eyes. That's the thing that you need to be working on is how do I become the price? How do I differentiate myself?
Idea of the Week
The idea of the week is just outlining this new platform. You're already in it, so, you don't know, need to know how to log on or anything like that. You're already in there, but I do encourage you to post, like, post your questions just in the ToolShed.
You can, if you want help with, you know, do I do it this way or do it, if you've got some choices to make, and you want some opinions on it, you can put polls together. You can put a poll in the ToolShed and get people's opinions, and there's a bunch of different types of polls.
You can jump in the chat and you can talk to various members, or you can chat with us, and chat with me, whoever you can find in there you can, and you wanna ask him a question privately, you can jump in a chat. So, use that. What I'd love you to do for you, so you're helping us to help you is there's a suggestion box in the ToolShed.
It's up in the featured articles you just, or you can go into search and go suggestion box, it will come up and you can put your suggestions in there. So what would be helpful that isn't already in here, that's what we wanna hear from you.
So jumping to that suggestion box, things that we're thinking of doing, you know, might be a monthly live Q&A into the yeah, into the ToolShed, there'll be like a, Zoom meeting, which means we'll be able to see other and chat with each other, and we might do that once a month.
So, if that's something you'd like to say, put it in the suggestion box. Maybe webinar training on certain things, you can put that in the suggestion box as well. I would love you to invite people.
The reason that we moved from Facebook to this app is that we want to only have the right people in here. And it would be a smart thing to have your subcontractors part of this as well. And being exposed to the podcast, and being able to ask for help and seeing the conversations and participating in the conversations in here. So, you'll all start to understand the process.
So just invite, subbies or any other builders that you think would get value out of it. In the chat, I've already put a link, it's not really link. If you're on the computer, it's an image, the Builders Toolshed image. If you click on that, that will take you to, the Builders Toolshed. But if you right click on it, you can save it and you can share it, send it with people.
If you're on the phone, it comes up as a link I believe. And that's the link I want you to share with any of your subbies or anybody who you think would get value out of being in the Builders Toolshed.
And of course, the help, help we'll talk about that in a sec, but that's, you know, really one of the of coverage, just the whole of the moving parts of the new platform. So just wrapping up, just want to encourage you to post, I wanna encourage you to engage, I want you to encourage, wanna encourage you to ask questions, I want you to share your wins or your lessons.
So your experiences, if you start to put that in the Builders Toolshed, just grab a post, chuck it in there, this is what I learned. Because if everybody in the Builders Toolshed starts to do that, we all learn from each other's experience. It becomes very, very valuable. And again, I encourage you to jump into the suggestion box.
So one always happen, whatever you put in the suggestion box one always happen, but put it in there, and if we've got enough people that don't want that sort of thing, we'll build it, we'll find it, we'll create it, we'll bring it. And the last one is get personal help.
So over here in your menu, your navigation menu on the side, right down the bottom, it says, get personal help.
If you just click on that, it'll take you to a form, and we're gonna be able to, get a bit of information from you, we'll jump on a conversation and find out what is the best pathway for you? What do you need right now?
What are the specific issues that you wanna deal with sooner rather than later? And we can point you in the right direction, and we can have a conversation about that. So, hit that link and make sure that you share as well. So, I hope you've enjoyed this episode 83 of the "Builders Business Success Podcast", first one in the app. So they're all gonna be in the app.
This is actually live, if you wanna watch the replay, you've got to go over to the podcast, that's over in your nav section as well, and you'll be able to see all of the past episodes then you can go crazy in there, that's where the replay is.
So that is it for this live of the "Builders Business Success Podcast", I'm Mick Hawes from Builders Business Blackbelt. That is it, bye for now.