Welcome to The Successful Contractor Podcast, Powered by Success Group International (SGI). A show for residential contractors about residential contractors… We chronicle business journeys, share insights, and celebrate successes in this wonderful industry of ours.
Make a Friend: Abbas Ghaffari Sold & Installed Nearly $750K in Plumbing Work for Steve’s Plumbing in Lynwood, WA, by Personally Connecting with Customers, while also Educating & Empowering Them.
Today’s show is a great discussion with another SGI Crown Champion: Abbas Ghaffari of Steve’s Plumbing in Lynwood, Washington. Abbas sold & installed nearly $750K of residential plumbing work in 2021. Abbas is a great guy—and he has a great story.
Abbas is an immigrant from Iran; he and his wife came to the US in 2010, originally settling in Austin, Texas. Abbas didn’t speak a bit of English, but he still found a way to make a living. He sold sunglasses and cell phone covers; he drove a taxi cab; and eventually, he became a plumber. Several years ago, Abbas’ wife got a job in the Seattle area, and off they went on a new adventure. Ultimately, Abbas took a job with Steve’s Plumbing. As you will hear/see, Abbas speaks glowingly about working for Steve and Rachel Egner, two longtime SGI members and mentors to many.
Now, Abbas’ story alone is worth a watch/listen. BUT… he offers great insight for any service technicians. Abbas talks about how he sells club memberships, water heaters, tankless water heaters, toilets, re-pipes, and more! What makes Abbas so successful isn’t what he sells—but rather HOW he sells. He has a warm, infectious personality. Abbas makes you smile. His goal is to serve the customer, like a friend. Abbas does it through education—and then allowing homeowners to do what’s best for them and their home.
Gus Antos of Milestone, Part 2: $150M to $1.2B in 15 Years – Insights into Call Center Scaling, Escalating Materials Prices, Leadership Development, Mergers & Acquisitions, Milestone’s Future, & More
This episode is part two of an in-depth discussion with Gus Antos, owner of Milestone in the DFW market, as well as a part-owner of SGI. If you haven’t watched or listened to part one, we highly recommend that you do. Gus shared a wealth of insight into branching into new businesses, talent acquisition, and managing labor costs while keeping a great culture. In this show, Gus tackles a host of other topics. He gives us insight into how a call center scales as you grow from a $5 million business into one projected to do $150M in 2022. Gus divulges how he’s handling materials costs skyrocketing, as well as the difficulties in acquiring vehicles in today’s economy. He ventures back into the topic of culture, as he provides insight into what Milestone does for leadership development. We got Gus’ thoughts on the current merger-and-acquisition environment, and we asked him why he’s chosen not to sell, even though he was recently proposed the “highest multiple ever in the history of the home services industry for Milestone.” And finally, Gus gave a glimpse into his vision for Milestone; namely, he sees it becoming a $1.2 BILLION business in the next 15 years.
Gus Antos of Milestone, Part 1: $150M to $1.2B in 15 Years – Insights into Talent Acquisition & Labor Controls that Drive Growth & Culture
This episode is a discussion with Gus Antos, owner of Milestone in the DFW market, as well as a part-owner of SGI. For those of you who may not know Gus, his story is incredible. He and his business partner/father-in-law joined SGI almost 20 years ago. They had a couple of trucks, and they were about bankrupt. Fast forward to today… Milestone is one of the largest home services companies in the country. Gus projects they will do $150 million in 2022, and he projects Milestone will hit $1.2 BILLION in 15 years—all within the DFW market. This is part one of a two-part interview. In this first half, Gus digs deep into sharing how Milestone is finding so many talented people, and he explains how he monitors and controls labor to ensure profitability, while also keeping a vibrant culture. Lots of insights are included in this show. For example: Gus talks about the #1 mistake his team and he have made in recruiting; he reveals KPIs on monitoring new hire success; Gus divulges what he budgets for recruiting; he gives his two biggest personality traits Milestone looks for when interviewing; Gus discloses Milestone’s latest change in driving down callbacks; and he shares so much more.
Marketing: How to Stop Guessing and Think Strategically – SGI Monthly Member Discussion with Tim Boulden of Boulden Brothers in Newark, DE, and Brian Leech of Service Legends in Des Moines, IA
This episode is another SGI Monthly Member Discussion (MMD). These are interactive, LIVE programs where SGI members are interviewed on a particular topic. In this discussion, we talked to Tim Boulden of Boulden Brothers in Newark, DE, and Brian Leech of Service Legends in Des Moines, IA. The topic of today’s discussion is “Marketing: How to Stop Guessing and Think Strategically.” We cover an assortment of topics: branding, planning & budgeting, media options & strategy, target audiences, tracking, and more. Both Tim and Brian are members who’ve been with SGI almost a combined 40 years. They’re highly successful, seasoned contractors and marketers. In fact, both have been on The Successful Contractor Show within the last 12 months. We valued their insight on marketing so much; we thought it was appropriate to bring them back on this valuable topic.
SGI’s First Female Electrical Crown Champion: How Shelby Langevin of Electrical Experts in Easthampton, MA, Sold & Installed Over $500K in Residential Electrical Work
Today’s show is a great discussion with Shelby Langevin of Electrical Experts in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Shelby earned a proud distinction: she is SGI’s FIRST female, electrical Crown Champion! She did it by selling over $500K in 2021… and thus far, she’s having an even better 2022. (To be a Crown Champion in HVAC and Roofing, you must have sold more than $1.5M in a year. To be a Crown Champion in electrical and plumbing, you must have sold—and installed—more than $500K.) Shelby has an incredible background. At 14, she knew she wanted to be an electrician. And she’s worked in every type of electrical contracting imaginable—industrial, commercial, new construction, and finally residential service. It’s at Electrical Experts, doing residential service, she found her perfect home. Shelby loves the training and support she gets from the company, and she loves the autonomy of making decisions on her own in the field. Shelby will walk us through her service call process—and that’s where you will see and hear her shine. She explains how she uses questions to diagnose customers’ personality types, so she can forecast how the call will progress. Shelby shares how she always is able to do a safety inspection, even when a customer offers pushback. Shelby explains how she presents additional repairs and upgrades throughout her inspection, essentially closing the customer along the way. She gives examples of how she talks through objections….and so much more. Shelby is so impressive. This may have been her first year as a Crown Champion, but it certainly won’t be her last.
“Sell Like You Want to Be Sold To”: How Peter Trierweiler of Feller KangaRoof in Austin, TX, Sold Almost $3.5M in Residential Roofing Repairs & Re-Roofs
Today’s show is a great discussion with Peter Trierweiler of Feller KangaRoof in Round Rock, Texas, which is right outside of Austin. Peter was an SGI Crown Champion in 2021 due to selling nearly $3.5 million in residential roof repairs and re-roofs. Peter shares his background, how he came to KangaRoof, and how his sales process flows. Peter’s philosophy is: “Sell like you want to be sold to.” For Peter, it means putting no pressure on homeowners; instead, Peter prefers to develop a relationship and then strengthen it by giving them comprehensive information in an understandable way. It’s been his winning formula.
It’s definitely worth your time if you are trying to stay informed.
I AM COMMITTED!!
Great advice for contractors on how to strengthen their businesses and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Focus on culture, clients, increasing your outbound and inbound marketing strategies along with having the mindset that a brighter tomorrow is soon on its way. “I AM COMITTED”
A deep bench of experience and ideas coupled with a focus on the industries makes this podcast a must-listen! Grab a way to take notes, and think of who’s going to implement what.