Lead generation equals control. A company can make better margin when people generate quality leads on their own. Yes, they can sit around and wait for the company's appointments but getting people in the field can get you self-generated leads that will increase your ability to scale.
Networking happens each and every day. You are always out networking whether you're sitting at events, going out for coffee or working with a homeowner. Every situation is a chance to network.
In this episode, Sam interviews Jimmie Jayes, a business coach, educator and solar advisor. Jimmie has helped Apricot Solar from the very beginning and has helped them grow from $0 to $130 million in 5 years of revenue.
“5 Essential Networking Connections”
Sam: Welcome back to close it now podcast Sam Wakefield here I am so excited with this guest today. He is a freaking Rockstar. You will see here just middle of get into the introduction. but first of all just want to say so glad you’re joining us. Welcome to the new format. I hope you’re enjoying two podcasts a week. For the first two years it was a little bit so little bit less often. But now we’re on the road we’ve got everything going on. We got to do a new company is hosting the podcast. So that is why we are having such add able to produce so many episodes. And thanks to every single one of you listen all around the world. I think the last numbers that I saw word in 24 countries around the world. Basically if your country gets hot and you have any similar speaking English help you somebody in your country has listened to this podcast which is awesome. I love technology and the Internet because of that. So first of all, just want to say hey if you haven’t go joined the Facebook. It’s a cool community with all of you know everything for business owners to and not it HVAC specific business a track we have people that all listen to all different trades all over the world. But just love to dive into the philosophy we talked at a different level on this podcast. And you’re gonna absolutely hear that today uh with our guest that is joining us. So I just want to take a quick introduction. This is a gentleman that I’ve known for several years. I’ve known him in different facets. But man I’ve just been so impressed with his ability to have a conversation that’s different than any that you really have ever had. So little bit about him this is my friend Jimmy JC is a business coach. He’s also so he’s been a business coach for a lot of different people a lot of successful people. But the reason he is here today he is with a company called apricot solar. He is a bit of business coach with the owner and he's also in the field uh as a solar representative himself. You know the thing that's different about this. Is that he's helped this company from the start, go from the zero from the very beginning to a $134 million in five years of revenue. and no stop in there that type of growth is not easily accomplished. But they’ve done an amazing job of just going out and crushing it his goal. His personal goal is two create 12 solar millionaires in across the next 12 months. Boom! How do you like that is pretty awesome. That is net income into individual’s pocket. So I’m super excited to hear what he has to say. I know that you will be as well. So welcome my friend James to the podcast today. Jimmy how you doing brother?
Jimmy: I’m doing great! hello close it now community welcome super glad to be chatting with you guys today and honor to be on the show.
Sam: Awesome. I love it and thank you so much for being here we really appreciate your time that you’re that you’re giving us today. We know you’re gonna come across this every time we talk there so amazing that they get from you can apply immediately. that’s why the concept that we this podcast still so it is you know giving individual Nuggets and they can immediately applied to go out and completely change ourselves right away. see you know higher close rates and higher average tickets better bottom line. so tell it gives us a little bit of background on how in the world did you get into the position you’re into once developed skills. And become the person that it takes to business coaching company from zero to 134 million in five years and that’s pretty dramatic feet.
Jimmy: Yeah. I mean I’ve been entrepreneur for my entire adult life. and you know have been somebody who’s who’s always had a business coach. My very first coach I was 22 years old .and I hired a coach from the rich ad company for those of you know rich dad board add or the cash flow game .and uh yeah I mean the 22 years old I had to tell my mom you know that I couldn’t drive home for Thanksgiving. because my car was worth about 1200 bucks and probably wouldn’t make the two hour drive. and then I had to explain to her that I presumed have new car was because you know I spent all of that money hiring some business coach on the Internet. You know I’m just I’ve always been you know somebody had to go to myself always been you know I love reading and which invested in in myself. Gone through different programs with one called board of advisors that works specifically with open book financials. and so I’ve gone through it myself I’ve built businesses myself . And and so it’s really an honor to us to be able to coach people. And yeah with Dave specifically I mean he’s just built a world class company so I can’t take credit for all of it. went from zero to 134 million last year alone so not 134 total but 134 last year alone indicating that $89,000,000 in 2019. And I believe in calendar year 2022 that will cross a billion dollars in sales just in that one calendar year. So I mean I can’t take all the credit. Yeah he’s a brilliant entrepreneur and it’s great just working with him today create something special.
Sam: Geez. Im gonna.. Lord hear by these numbers. You know coming from so many other trades coming A track coming from all these places .You know when you you start using the B number we’re talking about numbers that are unheard of for these other industries. And we’re talking about one company here we’re not talking about just on hold credit companies this is not holding one company doing this. Wow man. I that this it’s so awesome to hear that that’s possible for once everybody listening . Dream bigger faster that bigger goal said bigger vision because it’s possible that anyone can do it anyone can do it. That’s that’s powerful it doesn’t hurt hey gosh. And leaders are readers right you work to become someone worth buying from. Which we say all the time in his podcast and so as you increase your own personal growth. Clearly everything else just kind of happens around here. so question then one of the things we’re going to talk about in this episode is you know we we’ve got one of the biggest questions I get. Yeah especially in the face of the group that’s reason I mentioned in the beginning is depending on the time of year. You know when it’s right in the hot season threatening cold season you know we get phones ringing off we can barely keep. But we know that everything for most trades is pretty seasonal. What do we do especially in the offseason. But also to maximize even when the phone is ringing off the hook we know it's end our we're gonna add spin or lead generation. They're not always the best thing coming out .What one of the things we wanted to talk about today are you know five essential networking connections to get more leads and not just to get more list gifts quality time. So that’s something that I wanted to ask you about ‘cause I know that’s you know when we were talking before. I know that’s how you felt this how they were caught get to this place by generating an enormous amount of self generated leads. So there's no add spin involved the company makes better profits that makes better margins. By generating you know give generated leads on the roads.
Jimmy: Yeah absolutely so I’m happy to talk about that inside of inside of apricot date spend millions of dollars literally on lead generation. And so you know it’s not a big part of my role honestly there. but if you think about this in the lens of you know people we’re listening in today .You probably got you know owners on the line move got a company you probably got people on the line maybe lead a small team in HVAC. And you probably got people in the field that are just out there you know making sales themselves. And to me lead generation equals control. Right if you have your income and your income is going up and it’s going down and it’s seasonal. It’s usually case in the fact that you’re not in control of the leaflet. So really being able to do that if you’re a Co owner even if you’ve got lots of lead flow even if you’ve got lots of money spending on marketing dollars. It means that you have to put out add enormous amount of money. Right and then hopefully it comes back to you. And even if it’s profitable business underline will get this even if it’s profitable it’s money that goes out of the business and it stays gone for awhile until you know the money comes back in from the HVAC jobs. So really and and and that affects your ability to scale because you can’t go hire 10 more people ‘cause you can’t fill their camera. so as a company owner if you can get people in the field in this habit of being able to get self generated leads on top of the company provided ones .it really will increase your ability to scale .if you're somebody in the field. Right why do you want to learn this. Well you want to learn this because if you don’t learn this then you basically need to sit around waiting for company employments. Hopefully they come in, but it's outside of your control.
Sam: Right. we’ve all been in that in that position that’s for sure
Jimmy: Absolutely. So what I can do clear with you right now is something I learned from my friend Mia tour it’s called the five essential networking connections. And you’re always networking so whether you’re at a networking event specifically the network whether you’re just out in life whether you’re meeting people you know at a cigar bar or whether you’re working with a homeowner in the home. Right every single interaction is a chance to network. And the five essential networking connections connection number one if you're taking notes is the client your ideal client. Connection #2 is called the supporter. Connection #3 is the referral partner. Connection #4 is the collaborator. And connection #5 is the influence. And so those are the five connections will run through them here and hear them again first one is the ideal plan. You know this person you know how to help them you work with them all the time. right there’s difference between a client and an ideal client right and each box made maybe a client is somebody who just you know they want this little tiny job done. And it’s not really that profitable for you and you’re hoping that you get in the door and maybe you could help them with a bigger system I mean you could help them get a referral or something like that. And an ideal client is the person that you wish you could be sitting with all day long. Right who’s that idea now. The thing is though is out of 100 people. There’s not very many that are an ideal client at that moment in time .especially in the HVAC world . Right where even if you have a great customer they just might not need your help right now. Right right maybe they got a system three years ago and it’s another two years or five years or ten years or whatever before they need you again. Right so they might be they just don't need your service right there’s a very small percentage of war. The next is the support now a supporter doesn't necessarily grow your business directly. They don't necessarily give you or business maybe they've got other resources though or things that can help. So if you leave the networking group as a for instance the supporter might be somebody who owns a business and they let you use their space their boardroom. right for your networking could be you know somebody who you learn something from like a coder or somebody who you meet and they teach you something. And you know like us right now right I’m talking to somebody and I’m in Seoul are there in each bag right but if there’s something that I know that you can learn right there something Sam knows that I can learn. Then Rick can still support each other without being finished so the number one is the ideal client number two is the supporter #3 is the referral partner now overall partner you probably know this is just somebody who you know they send you a referral .so is our referrals baked into your process. These good question do you get referrals because sometimes somebody sends you referral. or are you intentional about getting when you sit with somebody right and and they love you and they love your service. Do you say thank you and leave or in their phone do you write in each back guy Sam. So that when they’re trying to remember who their HVAC guy was right they can just easily put into their phone and and tell their friends about you when somebody else they know need something. Is our process in place in other words yeah
Jimmy: So #3 is the referral partner and just because you get referrals doesn’t mean you have a referral system of referral system what is the process that you use to get more referrals. and referrals are easier it’s a better conversation if you’re under it doesn’t cost you add then. And give a referral link you are only to referral legal referral you literally have an endless supply a friendly business. I don’t need those first three sent
Sam: You know that I’ve seen this work so well. And you know for years and this is something I’ve talked a lot about in the mostly in the Facebook group actually this is the first real podcast and I love this during this up first row podcast to really dive into the power of generating referrals. You know up until now we've talked a lot about you know techniques and just different concepts. But you know the end of the day if we don't have people to sit in front of you know we have people to show our opportunity to then nothing happens until something gets old the old expression so you know personally I’ve been involved in at one point I was involved in five different networking groups at the same time. You know we hear a lot about you I don’t have time to be involved in that many networking groups and I would definitely submit to you that make time that you don’t have time to not be involved the years that I was involved in so many networkers. I had probably somewhere between three and $500,000 in revenue from people that would just call me up they got your number from somebody and my I close right was right around 80 to 85% with those referrals. Because they were already worked up when they came to me .so I’m definitely lived this out in the past and I’m so glad you’re bringing it up. Because it’s such a killer topic that we need to really spend a lot more time on.
Jimmy: Yeah. one more company leads like honor them right that the owner of your company is spending money good money on leads and you know sometimes they spend that money. And you know something happens with Facebook or something happens with SCO and they spend all this money and it doesn’t bring them back the same so yeah every lead they give you you turn that into another self generated right. That’s something that you can do for the company. So even if you’re in the field think lightning business owner. And that’s how you’re going to raise your work your way through the ranks of the company your working.
Sam: Love it! Love it!
Jimmy: Ok. so we talked about the ideal client. We talked about the supporter. We talked about the referral partner. The next one is the collaborator. Collaborator. collaborator is somebody that you can work together with .So a collaborator in the HVAC space you know maybe there is somebody where you know they've got a similar service that doesn't beat. And you can work together maybe there's a collaborator where you're building a team somebody has a list of people who are in the sales industry. right got it 10X Facebook group that follows grant cardone and there’s a bunch of people in there that you know our our sales people and what if you know you can do something together with that person if you’re trying to grow sales team in HVAC. Right there’s somebody with a list of people and you could collaborate together and potentially do some something together do some training together or something that might end up going to people and bring so you could do that either on those recruiting sites or you can do that on you know yeah customer acquisition site. #4 is the collaborator. and again collaborators you can find them inside of networking groups.
Sam: Wow powerful
Jimmy: Connection #5 is the influencer. And the influencer is by far without question my favorite of the connection types and they usually get missed that usually get ignored. Right and an influencer there’s a few different definitions. There’s a story of Robert Kia saki where reference earlier for rich dad poor ad and back in his early days he went on Oprah. And he was talking about his book rich dad poor dad and apparently I don’t know this for sure but apparently when they went to commercial break. Oprah leaned over him and I just sold a million copies of your book.
Jimmy: So if you think about that. You know what if there was one influencer who they took their platform and they promoted you. What could that be it could be in bestseller status overnight. In ricky’s hockey stick. Right and then the influence and everything happened you know after that so the way I like to think about it is who is your ideal client. OK and then you can spend time trying to find an ideal client where do I go find them. or you can ask the question who has lists of my ideal. Who has lists of my ideal clients. So if I’ll use all these solar as an example. Right so I’m in solar right who do I want I want to connect with homeowners. And one of the biggest catches in in solar he is in order for somebody to go solar the roof asked to be in good condition. Otherwise they can’t go so right so I’d influencer somebody who has list of ideal clients for me if I say hey somebody who owns a home. And at home as a relatively new roof hey that would be perfect. So who has lists of people like that.
Sam: By sounds and awful lot like a river to me.
Jimmy: Right so there's a roofing company and they've got you know 1000 people on their list. They've already spent money to acquire those thousand people. They've already probably got most of the roofing work you know out of it that they're going to get out of it. And so that isn't influential connections. And when I think about it if I can give them some money every time they send somebody who goes solar like think about that person. If you’re if you’re an owner right see what that person is your owner right now there’s a term called bloat. So thinking about income statement balance sheet statement cash flow that sort of stuff all this stuff U.S. Business owners you know so that’s update. But when you think about that if you wanna make an extra $10,000 and let’s say you’re a company and...