How CRM Systems are Supporting the Modern Day Contractor  

Managing your previous, current and future customers can be overwhelming for any business. Especially in the construction business when there are a million other things that require your attention immediately. Fortunately, there is a type of software out there that can manage and automate the process of staying connected with your customers – a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Having a CRM is fundamental to any modern contractor. Today’s guest is an expert on CRM systems and the ins and outs of how a CRM can change your business. 

Nick Peret is the Founder and CEO of Summa Media – a marketing and technology company that specializes in helping roofers grow their businesses with technology. Nick shares his knowledge of how to get on top of managing your business, leads and clients. He also explains how a CRM system greatly increases your business’s ability to manage communications, convert leads into clients and ensure that important connections aren’t lost.

 

Key Takeaways:

  1. A CRM is used to manage leads and clients for every business of every size.  A CRM centralizes every lead from every source in one place where they are tracked and every action is recorded and shared with the entire sales and leadership team. This means that every call, text and email is documented so no one is double contacted or completely ignored. A proper CRM system keeps your business from losing out on engaging with your customers, creating and saving new business opportunities. 
  2. Setting up your tech stack properly gives you a competitive edge over the competition. Being willing to spend the money and time to create the right setup cuts down on the chaos in a business. The right technology gives leaders clarity into what marketing campaigns are working, a deep understanding of what it takes for each lead to be created and how to best make sure that each lead is pursued and followed up on without increasing the busy work for the team.
  3. Take advantage of automation to take tasks off your team’s plate. Every platform available today gives automation options for tasks from client proposals to labor-management tracking. For every automation your team is not using, productivity is suffering. For example, having an automated proposal process eliminates busy work for your sales team. Without it, they waste time off the phone or out of meetings building a proposal by hand instead of closing new deals. An automated system gives your team their time back, giving them the opportunity to perform the work that they are skilled at instead of the busy work that their position creates.

 

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Episode Transcript

Mike Merrill:

Hello, and welcome to the Mobile Workforce Podcast. I’m your host, Mike Merrill. And today we are sitting down with Nick Peret. Nick is the CEO of Summit Media. He’s the number one marketing agency in all of roofing. At least that’s the rumor I hear on the street. Nick has a wealth of knowledge in computer technology, online advertising, and years of supporting contractors take advantage of both of those things. So today we’re going to talk about managing your business and especially leads and clients and how a CRM system greatly helps you increase your business’s ability to communicate and manage those connections, as well as convert those leads into actual clients and business so those important connections don’t get lost, so. Hello, Nick, and thanks for joining us on the podcast today.

Nick Peret:

Mike, my friend, what’s going on? Thanks for having me on, I appreciate it.

Mike Merrill:

You bet. Happy to have you. It’s always good to chat and catch up.

Nick Peret:

Absolutely.

Mike Merrill:

So tell me Nick, or tell the listeners, I should say, what does a modern contractor look like today that’s taking advantage of these types of tools?

Nick Peret:

Well, you can almost reverse engineer that a little bit and think about a negative experience that you have with a contractor. So let’s say that you hire somebody to work on your home or your property building, whatever it might be. And you had a bad experience with them. Usually it has to do with communication. You hear it all the time, right? Contractors lack the ability to communicate to their prospects and their customers. So it’s losing them opportunities to close more deals, it’s losing them opportunities to get a good quality experience for the customer then ends up getting referrals and reviews and things like that. Right? So, our main goal at Summa is how can we implement technology, right, to streamline business operations for roofing contractors and help improve their communication, whether it’s internal to their employees or to their customers.

Mike Merrill:

Makes sense. Well, tell me this then. So what exactly can contractors do to take advantage of this online presence today?

Nick Peret:

There’s different buckets, right? So, if you’re looking at online presence, online presence is more going to be how you brand your company, right? So that’s going to be things like, five star reviews on Google my business, it’s going to be having a really good website, it’s going to have social media pages that are constantly posting content, right, on a regular basis. So maybe a few times a week, or maybe even a little bit more, right? Showing off your projects, getting good customer reviews and testimonials online that you can showcase, right? If you’re doing some cool projects, video production and stuff, that’s always a great way to do that and represent what you guys have got going on. I mean, there’s a variety of ways. But online brand presence can be all about how you look online, right?

Nick Peret:

Your perception of value that you have to offer your customers, right? Let’s say you spent money on a lead, or maybe you were doing door to door sales, right? However that lead was generated, right, you paid for that. And when you have that person engaged with you in a sales process, right, at some point through that sales process, they’re going to look you up online, right? And that’s where the perception of value really takes place. Now they’re analyzing you online and there’s a perception of value that you have to offer them, right, as a customer in their head getting informed.

Mike Merrill:

Okay. So when you talk about online, I mean, you mentioned social. How important is the social media side of things today?

Nick Peret:

It’s really interesting. I think that you have to be active on social media for sure, but there’s a variety of ways you can go about social media. Some of it could be brand reputation and presence, right? And that’s just making sure that you’re showing that you’re active and that… Pretty much playing the part of your ideal customers. Whatever your ideal customer would look for online, trying to replicate that through social media posting, and I mean showcasing your customers, your employees, your projects, and stuff like that. Other people use it as a lead generation tool, right? Some people are doing Facebook advertising and have a ton of success with Facebook advertising. Now, that’s not one of our specialties. Our specialties in terms of marketing is more on the outreach side, and we’ll dive into that. But there is a ton of people who are having a lot of success on places like Facebook advertising.

Nick Peret:

Or if you look at LinkedIn, that’s another great platform. And what’s crazy is, you even see platforms like TikTok. I mean, there’s not a lot of contractors on TikTok, but the ones that are doing well on it, they’re generating leads. It’s crazy. I’ve seen people in the contracting space with, 180,000 plus followers on TikTok.

Mike Merrill:

Wow.

Nick Peret:

And maybe it’s one of those situations where, hey, they were the first players there, right? And if you think about it, if you look at Facebook as a social media platform, it’s very, very saturated. Everybody and their mom has a Facebook page and is trying to do something or sell something on Facebook, right? TikTok, as a contractor, probably not as many. So if you can figure out a way, right? If you’re a very creative person and you feel like you can think of a way to utilize that for your business, for branding, it seems like it’s doing some good things for businesses in the contracting world.

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. All right, say it was TikTok, or it was Facebook ads, or it was lead gen that was outbound, like email campaigns, et cetera. What’s the best way to manage those leads however they come in, once they do?

Nick Peret:

Yeah. So that’s going to be where the CRM system takes place, right? So, we’ve worked with a variety of different contractors, different sizes, in different stages of their business as well. And no matter how far you are in your business, right, or where you’re at, make sure you have some kind of CRM system. Now, what’s so great about the CRM system is it can keep everybody in the same page, right? It’s an organized, fundamental tool, right? Where all the leads, jobs, and everything, right, and the communication between those people, those prospects, is all held in one spot, right? So for example, we work with a lot of roofing contractors, right? So ideally, the way you have it set up is no matter what your lead source is, whether it’s a website, a social media form, or from a Facebook ad, or whatever it might be, or a sales generated lead, you want to make sure that it’s all integrated into your CRM system, right?

Nick Peret:

So now every contact and prospect is going to be in that CRM system just to make sure that nothing’s missed, right? I mean, we’ll work with some contractors and we’ll do lead generation for them. And after the first month we’ll have the list of leads that we have generated for that client. And if they don’t have a CRM system, a lot of it gets lost right there. They’re so busy, they get all these emails, they have all these things that they’re trying to keep track of. Now, if you don’t have that organized, you spent so much money in sales and marketing but it falls through the cracks. So ideally before you try to build this amazing marketing machine, you want that foundation that everything is located in.

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. So with the CRM, how commonly are you seeing contractors take advantage of that versus not? Do you know, is there any statistic that you can share?

Nick Peret:

It’s getting a lot better, right? But the biggest thing that I noticed in the software world is, people will buy these tools and then kind of implement them, right? So what happens is they’re paying X amount per month. Maybe they have some contacts going in, half the team uses the tool a little bit, but there’s not really rules to follow or a process of the…. So it’s really not even built out. And then, six months goes by, years go by and you’re like, “Hey, how’s everything going with your CRM?” Or how’s it going with any software, really, that these contractors are implementing, “How’s it going?” And they’re like, “Oh, it’s not bad.” But I’m like, honestly, I think if these contractors set up any of these softwares… I mean, we help contractors set up a ton of different softwares. And if they really have them set up right, they would love the tool, right?

Nick Peret:

These tools are in existence for a reason. Because if you leverage this technology, you’re going to have a big competitive advantage over your competition. The way you communicate to customers is going to way better, your ROI and sales and marketing efforts are going to be better, your businesses are being more streamlined, everyone’s going to feel less chaotic because your business is now more systemized, right? And everyone’s going to be on the same page. It is beautiful, right? But contractors have to be willing to spend the money to get this stuff set up appropriately.

Nick Peret:

And honestly, a lot of people we work with, lead generation and marketing, people will always have their like, “I don’t know if I can trust this company, blah, blah, blah.” Right? And so there’s a process to build that trust. But people usually see value in the technology of limitation where it’s like, “Hey, I can set up your CRM, a proposal tool. If you want to use CompanyCam for taking your photos or whatever it might be, we’ll have everything organized in one spot.” Right? And people see the value in that, because if it can save them time and make them more profitable it’s kind of a no brainer.

Mike Merrill:

Well, and we do this in our business, and most, I think, most software companies would do this, but we track very definitely how much each lead costs. Where does it come from? Which campaigns worked the best? And because these leads can be so expensive, it only makes sense that you would really keep track of what is actually generating them. Not only the most leads, but the actual best leads.

Nick Peret:

Yeah, yeah. A hundred percent. And yeah, like you’re saying, you’re paying for these leads. So you want to make sure you’re maximizing this. And so one thing that we noticed too, and it leads on to things, is having a proper followup system, right? Usually what happens is, we’ll build out in the CRMs their sales cycle, their production cycle and everything like that and they’ll have all these different stages that we can take them through. The first step in the sales is going to be lead, right? And the next one’s going to be either an estimate or inspection or whatever the next step is, and that discovery meeting process for the contractor. Now what will happen is that we’ll be in the lead stage, sales rep will call that lead, right? Guess what? They can’t get a hold of them. What happens after one phone call that they aren’t able to get a hold of that prospect who’s in need of their services? What do you think happens, Mike? Where does that lead go?

Mike Merrill:

The bottom of the stack. And they might get forgotten even, right?

Nick Peret:

That’s what happens. It gets forgotten. I do. I used to be in outside sales. Trust me, I want the next hot thing. Give me the next hot prospect, right? So that lead is now dead, right? So the money you spent on that for the most part is dead. But if you set up automations where if it sits for that lead stage for three days, that person automatically gets a text and an email following up with them to schedule that meeting or whatever it might be. Your salesperson doesn’t have to do any of the extra work, right? But you still have an opportunity to be like, “Hey, salesperson. If you follow these processes we built out, we’re going to set up automations. We’re going to help you do your job. Which means you’re going to sell more deals because you’re going to schedule more meetings that might’ve been missed because we have a follow-up system for you.” Right?

Nick Peret:

So now you’re convincing the salesperson to do it, right? You’re getting more leads that actually convert into meetings, right? And that’s just a piece of it. But automations and systems can do beautiful things for contractors because some of them, if they’re a little bit further behind in this stuff and they implement this, it’s going to be night and day for their company.

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. And I know in this market, at least for the last couple of years, I’ve heard this so commonly. It’s like, “I can’t get anyone to call me back.” It’s like, “I got 10,000 feet of fence to put in. No one will even call me back.” Right?

Nick Peret:

Oh my gosh, man. You nailed it. You completely nailed it. And it’s a scary thing. So it’s like, man, if we can focus on the fundamentals, right, and just really be good about how everything’s systemized so that each customer is going to have the same exact experience, right, and you’re having good communication to your team internally and to the prospect or customer, good things are going to happen. Because now you’re just doing the fundamentals, which is high quality communication. The beauty of communication, right? And you’re going to be winning more deals, right? Getting more customers, getting more reviews, getting more referrals, by just having good communication and organization.

Mike Merrill:

Right. That’s well stated and I know it to be a fact. But I know that a lot of listeners out there, they’re tracking things on paper or spreadsheets or I’ve seen hundreds, literally, of magnet boards in shop floors or office spaces of construction companies that I’ve visited over the years. And it’s just amazing what a CRM will do for a company once it’s properly set up.

Nick Peret:

Yeah. Mike, my favorite is the big contractors that have no tech, no processes written down, and they have somehow built this really big company. I’m like, first off, that is super impressive that you were able to do that without this tech stuff. But it’s like, imagine if you put that in now, what could happen? Because you already got the brand, you’ve got the projects, everything.

Mike Merrill:

Well, and they say, “Well, we’re too busy.” And it’s like, well, yeah, but if you follow it up properly and you have people beating down your door, well the next thing you can do is raise your prices a little bit, right? You’re still going to get that volume of work you can handle and now your profitability goes up. I mean, it just makes sense. But you got to take that first step to know, right?

Nick Peret:

Amen to that man. Well said.

Mike Merrill:

So, are there CRM systems that you often recommend? Are there ones that you standardize on? Or what are some options that companies could take a look at if they’re interested in implementing something like this?

Nick Peret:

Yeah. I mean, I’m looking to do… I’ll mention a few different tech companies if you don’t mind.

Mike Merrill:

Sure.

Nick Peret:

But I’m always trying to do tech stacks, right? So pretty much what that means is we try to stack different technology that we see is trending in the space or we think could differentiate some things or make it a little bit easier for you guys. So, JobNimbus is a big one.

Mike Merrill:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nick Peret:

I mean, they have what we call open APIs, which basically means we can connect other tools to their system very easily, right? So they have integrated partners that’s no energy, but there’s some other ones that, because it’s open, we can add them. So the CRM, we love JobNimbus, especially in the roofing space, right? So you have JobNimbus. And then we hear another thing is, “All right, hey. We spend way too much time on putting together proposals.” Right? What happens is I get home from work, I did all my stuff today, I put out all the fires, I did all my tasks, but now I have to put together two proposals, right?

Mike Merrill:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nick Peret:

And so we like to use Summa Quote. A reason why is, pretty much we can put all our costs, right, our material costs, everything, into the system. Deciding on what our markups going to be, make it simple enough where you can make it from your phone, right? We’ll custom design those, make them at a brand same point really stand out from other proposals that prospects are getting. Love that tool. CompanyCam, right? And remember, all this gets integrated. Now with CompanyCam, what we like is you pretty much use it to get all your before and after photos of these projects that you’re doing for your record. It’s pretty cool. And then you have a map where you’ve done all your projects. They’re constantly innovating and doing some really good things. So they’re one of the more popular tools for sure that a lot of the people that we know are using it.

Nick Peret:

So those are probably the three big ones. We have tools like Hail Trace, where people who are doing insurance restoration work, that’s a big one for us in our space. But that pretty much allows you to identify where storm amps are. So let’s say if there’s a storm, it hits an area, it can be synced up to your JobNimbus where if you have customers who are in that area that have been hit, you know. And so then that way I can now notify my previous customers, right? Which are going to be the easiest way to get into that area and start making things happen.

Mike Merrill:

How amazing. I mean, wow.

Nick Peret:

How clutch is that, man? It’s pretty cool.

Mike Merrill:

Well, and then you mentioned something else, I think it’s important to reiterate. You mentioned actually creating a quote on your phone.

Nick Peret:

Yeah.

Mike Merrill:

That’s pretty incredible.

Nick Peret:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). I mean, think about how stressed out people are. I used to be in sales. My least favorite thing to do was run all my meetings, crush my day, and then had to get back because I did outside sales, I’d be traveling. I had to go to my hotel room and put proposals together.

Mike Merrill:

Right.

Nick Peret:

It’s like, “Oh dude, I had such a good day. But because I had such a good day, now I have to go do my admin stuff.” Right?

Mike Merrill:

Yeah.

Nick Peret:

So, sales personalities, they want to just have the next prospect. They want to get the next deal. They wouldn’t be spending time… You want your salespeople to be spending-

Mike Merrill:

Near the phone work, right?

Nick Peret:

Yeah. Exactly, the phone work. Well, and the thing is, if you have good salespeople and you put them in a spot I think, where they can go do what they’re best at, which is talk to people, right, potential customers and customers.

Mike Merrill:

Right.

Nick Peret:

And you try to handle as much of the admin stuff as possible where you can limit it for them, right? So that’s what Summa Quote is going to do for them. It’s going to save them time, they’re not going to spend as much time on admin. I want to limit my salesperson to admin work as much as possible.

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. You want him to sell the next job, right?

Nick Peret:

Because that’s how you’re going to get more money, that’s how they’re going to get more money.

Mike Merrill:

Right. Yeah, I love that. So with these tools in place, so there’s automation of quoting and tracking companies that might be prospects in an area, like you mentioned Hail Trace. Once you’ve done all that, what kind of automation is there for internal communication within the team?

Nick Peret:

Yeah. 100%. So pretty much what we do is, it’s pretty cool. So we set up boards, we had set up a sales board and we set up a production board, right?

Mike Merrill:

Digital, right? Obviously.

Nick Peret:

What’s up?

Mike Merrill:

Digital. Digital production board?

Nick Peret:

Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Exactly.

Mike Merrill:

Okay. I just want to clarify.

Nick Peret:

You take the boards that these guys are used to using, right, on the whiteboard. We make it digitally, right? And so there’s going to be, sales reduction will be the big ones and then there’ll be billing and closing. That’s kind of how standard it is. But pretty much what you want to do is, anything that’s internal communication, you want reminders, right? So whether it’s a follow up with a lead or follow up with a prospect or whatever it might be, right? We want to make sure that we’re reminding people to do so. Because usually what happens is people get busy, they forget what to do. So if we’re able to send automations where they get an email reminder, a JobNimbus reminder, or a text reminder, it just makes sure that everyone stays on top of things. Now, when you’re looking at a sales board, for example, right? And I’ll go through some of the other ones. It starts with lead, right? Then it goes to the meeting or whatever it might be, and then it’ll go to proposal, and then it’ll go proposal won, proposal loss, just for a simple board.

Nick Peret:

The whole goal with automations is to push that lead from left to right. Just think of it that way. That’s the easiest way to think about it. Because you want to get it through the journey, right? So as soon as that lead comes in, the faster we can move it all the way through the sales board. All the way into production. Get it into billing. Right? And then close out that job. The faster you’re going to get a return on your investment for that lead, right? And that it’s also going to help with any kind of bottlenecking. Maybe there’s a point in the productions process, right? Where all of a sudden somebody forgets to order materials or whatever it might be, right, and there’s a miscommunication. That’s where we need to make sure that we’re improving our speed through that production process.

Nick Peret:

So now what we can do is we can track, what day did that lead come in to production, when did it get out of production? Right? Where was the bottleneck? What stage did it stay in too much? Right? So if we can send reminders to the people to order materials, right? Send reminders to the customer that we’ll be there tomorrow at 6:00 or whatever it might be, right? Pushing that thing all the way through automations is huge, right? And ideally what you want to do is pretty much just think about this process, right?

Nick Peret:

So if you were going to hire someone like us, just think about your process right now, right? Because then what we would do is we’re going to digitalize that. You guys are already doing this, you already have a process, you already have a system. Now we just got to pull it out of you guys. And that’s the hardest part, is we have to ask the right questions about it, right? Well, who’s going to get communicated to in this stage? Right? You know what I mean? Really understanding who’s part of what. And it’s kind of cool because all of a sudden everyone starts to realize that they already kind of had it, but it was just they’re missing some fundamental pieces.

Mike Merrill:

Well, there’s a go button at the beginning and then at the end. It’s like a digital conveyor belt, right?

Nick Peret:

Yeah.

Mike Merrill:

It’s a fixed process. And there are certain steps and they all need to be taken in a certain order and a certain timeframe. And why wouldn’t you automate that if you had a tool that could help you do that?

Nick Peret:

It’s beautiful. And sometimes, I mean, we’ve taken people… We’re working with a contractor out in Florida right now, and we started out doing lead generation. And then we realized they’re running the entire company on pen and paper. And so we realized when we started to follow up about, “Hey, what happened to this lead?” Or whatever it might be, that there was some misconnect, right? And there were some stuff we can probably organize. So we actually were like, “All right, we’re going to pause lead generation. Let’s just talk about it and see if we can help you with the systems and processes.” Right? And we started to set up all these different tools for them. And in the beginning it was a lot to digest, right? But we do ongoing training and everything like that and kind of help through us, like make tutorial videos. It was a little bit of a learning curve in the front end.

Nick Peret:

And I’d be like, if you’ve been running your company for five, 10 years on pen and paper, it’s going to be a bigger transition. But you got to think, that friction in the front end that you’re going to have to deal with will hopefully be worth the investment. Look at it as an investment, right? In my mind, it makes your company more valuable. Really, if it’s systemized and organized.

Mike Merrill:

No question. Well, yeah, you can predict that revenue which is, that’s everybody’s goal, right?

Nick Peret:

Yeah, exactly.

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. So the other thing… In my mind, I know… I mean the word CRM is customer relationship management tool, right? So, the management of that relationship, relationship isn’t one and done, right? That means an ongoing connection. So what are some tools within the CRM that companies are using to maintain that relationship and keep connected with all of their customers and prospects?

Nick Peret:

I mean, I still love email marketing. I really do. I think that email marketing still has a ton of opportunity to be communicating. Even text message marketing too. So text message marketing and email is kind of like the one-two punch that we really like to utilize, right? Whether it’s communicating with your customers or trying to generate leads. Texting is the way the future in my mind though.

Mike Merrill:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nick Peret:

When you’re looking at the best way to communicate to potential customers and your current customers. So if you’re looking at, for example, lead generation, right? Nowadays, everything starts with good data. Everything.

Mike Merrill:

Right, right, right.

Nick Peret:

Right? It is the beauty… We’re in the data era right now, right? And everything you’re doing in a marketing standpoint is surrounded by that. So for example, for us, we work with a lot of roofing contractors. So they want to work with commercial property owners and property management companies. That’s who they want to work with. So now, I mean, you can find databases like CoStar, Reonomy, right? These commercial databases that have accurate information of your ideal prospects. Now this is for any commercial contractor, really, it doesn’t really matter, right? And you can use that information. What we do is we actually take that information out, right? And we make a list of your ideal clients, right? So now we have a sales list and a marketing list of the exact people you want to work with and they’re the key decision maker, right? Once we have that data, we run it through a verification tool, basically verifying the data is good before we run our campaigns. Never bounce for emails. Twilio lookup for phone numbers, right?

Mike Merrill:

No bump phone numbers, right?

Nick Peret:

No bump phone numbers.

Mike Merrill:

Yeah.

Nick Peret:

So now we have the accurate information of your ideal clients.

Mike Merrill:

Right.

Nick Peret:

Then we put them through email campaigns and text campaigns, right? Just asking these people if they want an inspection, if they’re willing to meet with you guys. And it is unbelievable the response that we’ve had on text message marketing. Now, when you wouldn’t just have good communication with your customers, right, doing some kind of text campaigns, right? Think about the email campaigns you’re already doing to your current client base, right? To just build that relationship, what are some fun text messages that you could do? Maybe giveaways, riddles, right? First person to answer this riddle wins a hundred dollar gift card. Now I’m sending riddles to my commercial property owners, right? That maybe they don’t even work with me yet but the thing is, I’m sending them a riddle. I’m not even bothering them.

Mike Merrill:

Right, right.

Nick Peret:

You know what I mean? So little things like that could help you win because everybody is on their phone and everybody’s looking at text messages. So if you’re looking at open rate and visibility, that’s text messages right now.

Mike Merrill:

Well, with any marketing you just want to be top of mind. So when there’s an issue, that you’re the name, you’re the logo that comes to their brain, right?

Nick Peret:

Top of mind, exactly. So that’s why you just do little drip campaigns, right? Like you’re saying, what are you doing to stay in touch with your current customer base? That’s where your money is. That’s where the reviews come from, the referrals, the additional business or new business. It’s all coming from that previous client base.

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. I love that. I love the point that you made about the text messaging campaigns, because it’s absolutely true. Emails bounce, they get unread, they get spam filtered. But if you send somebody a text, they got it.

Nick Peret:

Oh, yeah.

Mike Merrill:

They’re going to get it. They may delete it, but they probably saw it before they deleted it, right?

Nick Peret:

They’re seeing it though. And then, like you’re saying, you’re just hoping top of mind where it’s more of like, you’re hoping that that’s the right time that they’re going to need your services for sure. But yeah. With a text, I mean, you can send text reminders from your CRM system to make sure that you send reminders to the people internally, you can do reminders for production to your customers via text message. I mean, there’s so many different things you can do to that. I mean, think about it. If you already have a customer and you’re going through the project phases and any reminder or update or notification, you’re just texting them through your system, it’s pretty nice. And then that conversation stays in your CRM system so everybody has it to reference.

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. You’re tracking the steps that that went through in order to… Again, same thing, win business, right? It took 14 contacts or touch points before they actually picked up the phone and called you or send in an email request, right?

Nick Peret:

Yep. Exactly.

Mike Merrill:

So do you know, I mean, are there any averages or revenue or cost type effectiveness statistics that you can share? Does that make sense?

Nick Peret:

Yeah. 100%. I mean, JobNimbus alone, it’s interesting because we take all these different softwares, right? And we’re kind of developing our own solution. So we don’t actually create any softwares or develop any softwares. Pretty much what I do is, we’re kind of just eyeing up all these different tools that we see people using, right? We’re working with contractors all over the country. What tools are they using? What’s working well? Who has a really good, defined system, right? If we’re working with some of the bigger companies, it’s like, “Hey, what processes that they built out?”

Mike Merrill:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nick Peret:

Right? You know what I mean? And understanding that, right? So what we do is we take all these different softwares and we build our own, pretty much, solution if you will. But for JobNimbus, they say average revenue growth is 43%, eight hours a week saved per person, 25% more payments collected. And that’s just for one of the tools, you know what I mean? So when we take all these different tools and try to make this ideal system for roofing contractors, if you will, for us, good things are going to happen here and save a lot of time. Hopefully, your revenue should grow, right? And then your return on investment for any sales and marketing efforts should go up, and then, yeah. Just customer satisfaction too, I feel like is a big one.

Mike Merrill:

Yeah.

Nick Peret:

When you’re unorganized it’s really hard to keep your customers happy. When you’re organized and everybody’s on the same page, that customer every single time is going to have the exact same experience and it’s going to be a good one.

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. I know a lot of businesses are really after referrals. Or at least on paper everybody says, “Oh we want referrals. We want referrals.” It’s like, at least here in our company, I always say, “One new logo. One new customer should and can always equal three more.” So if you’re maintaining those leads and taking care of them through a defined process and they feel that love, then they’re very likely to refer you when they have an opportunity, right?

Nick Peret:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). People buying from those they know, like, and trust. So.

Mike Merrill:

Love that. So are there any, if people are listening and saying, “We’re not using a CRM right now. Sounds like maybe we should be.” Are there questions or things that they should be asking themselves to kind of qualify where they can leverage this?

Nick Peret:

Or what tools to go with, you’re saying?

Mike Merrill:

Yeah, yeah. Essentially, what are some questions they can ask to really kind of define the path that they should take?

Nick Peret:

Yeah. I mean, honestly, this is where getting a professional in this part would definitely help. Either someone like me or somebody else. Just because it’s a little bit of an overwhelming process. And so the reason why I love this software integrations for contractors… And they’ll go to like a trade show, they’ll sign up for three different softwares. They have a login. First week after the conference, they log in, they’ll look at it. It’s like, “Man, this looks like a lot of work.” They bounce out. They never log back in. You know what I mean? And that’s kind of the story that I was talking about. And that’s why I started to realize that this is such a huge opportunity. Anything I think that we can do as a company. The lead stuff is great, that funds everything.

Nick Peret:

But I think that this is probably the most valuable thing that we could do for contractors, in all honesty. Because that software that you already know you should use because you heard it around the industry, or you see them at the trade show, you see they’re doing well, those are the softwares you should be investing in. So there isn’t like a magic thing that I find out there. I get connected with people in the industry. I find what vendors I like and have good relationships with, and I feel like I can trust them and they would offer good support if I did bring them customers and stuff like that. And that’s what I look at.

Nick Peret:

So we already know what tools. If you’re listening to this, you probably have listened to a lot of the tools you should be using too, right? So biggest thing is, get somebody that can help you implement this stuff, right? And I think every contractor in the industry probably has somebody who is implementing CRMs or other tools. Because if you just make that jump and let them do it for you it’ll actually get done, and your business will reap the rewards.

Mike Merrill:

Right. Yeah. Well, like they tell their prospects, hire a professional. Hire somebody that does this every day. Not some weekend warrior, right?

Nick Peret:

Yeah, exactly. Think about that. When you’re meeting with prospects and you tell them to, “Hey, hire us because we have this reputation, we have this insurance, we have all these different licenses, right? We take this time. Don’t hire a Chuck in the truck.” Right? Same thing with this, right? Hire somebody that’s going to get it done for you at high quality, that you know you can trust, and it’s going to be awesome for you guys.

Mike Merrill:

Love that. Great advice. So tell me this. This is shifting gears just a little bit. What’s something in your professional career, in your business, what’s something you’ve learned or been grateful to come to an understanding to at this point?

Nick Peret:

I mean, for me, I grew up in a blue collar family in Wisconsin, right? So I kind of came from the contracting world, if you will. And then I went to college for marketing and ended up working for Milwaukee Tool after that and did some outside sales there.

Mike Merrill:

Oh really?

Nick Peret:

Yeah. So I was still in the contracting world the entire time. But I think something that I learned through my time is, no matter what you’re doing in business, just keep trucking, right? And you’re going to find opportunity. For me, I knew I wanted to work with contractors. And I was getting started. You’ve had Randy on the show. He was just starting The Roofing Academy, at the same time I was starting Summa. So that way, when someone became a member of The Roofing Academy, I was able to help them on the marketing side, right? And I met so many different people in roofing. And that opportunity kind of found me, if you will. “Roofing found me” is what they like to say, right?

Mike Merrill:

Yeah.

Nick Peret:

And I was so grateful for it. So I would say honestly, for the roofing industry, I’ve been very, very grateful. And then that always takes me to my next thing too is, go niche. Be specialized. When we’re working with all the contractors, we weren’t the best. And now I think when we’re working with contractors or roofing contractors, almost specifically commercial roofing contractors at this point, you’re able to get really good at what you do because you’re doing the same thing for the same people. You’re not trying to be the best at everything, right? So the more specialized you can be, I think, in the contracting world, the better you’re going to be. So your customers are going to be happier, right? You’re going to get more return business. You’re going to get more referrals, more reviews, right? Which leads to big wins.

Mike Merrill:

Right.

Nick Peret:

So.

Mike Merrill:

Love it. All great stuff. So last personal question. What’s a skill that Nick Peret has developed and become what you’d call your super power?

Nick Peret:

My superpower. It’s interesting. When I started Summa media, I did everything and I realized I sucked at a lot of things, right? Now we look at our team, they might be able to get something done in 15 minutes that took me four hours. And so for me, I feel like, I think communication is one of my super powers, right? I’m not very good at a lot of things, but I really like having conversations with people, communicating. And I think any kind of dream or vision that you want to achieve, you need to be able to communicate that to people and get them excited about that. And if you can do that, that’s definitely a superpower.

Mike Merrill:

I love that. Good for you. Cool. Well, you’re doing well and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better. And again, your organization’s definitely got a great reputation in the industry. And I appreciate what you’re doing for our common customers and prospects because they need the help, right? They’re good at the blue collar stuff. They’re good at fixing groups and doing the great work that they do, but they need a professional in the backend to help them with these digital and automated technology processes that you guys specialize in. So.

Nick Peret:

Appreciate it Mike. Thanks so much for having me on, man.

Mike Merrill:

You bet. So one last thing. So, what is the main takeaway you would want the listeners to have from our conversation today?

Nick Peret:

Use technology, right? That’s what creating the modern day contract is all about. Use technology. And the thing is, if you have had a company forever, 25, 30 years, right? And it’s going just fine without the technology, you are an amazing person and amazing entrepreneur, but hey, let’s make that jump because you’re about to get even better, right? So don’t be afraid to jump on the tech train. Get somebody to help you out with it, right? Even if it’s somebody internal, right? Who’s the best with technology, right? And just get it done. Become a modern day contractor because they’re going to be able to communicate better to their customers, better serve their customers, are going to have better internal communication, right? It’s a no brainer. So check it out. Get some technology implemented to your business.

Mike Merrill:

Great advice. Thank you all. It was a lot of fun having you on. I’ve enjoyed the conversation and look forward to connecting up and continuing to be in touch down the road.

Nick Peret:

Yes, sir. Thanks Mike.

Mike Merrill:

Awesome. Thank you. So thanks Nick. And also thank you to the listeners for listening to my next conversation today. If you enjoyed the things that we discussed or have interest in some things that Summa media might be able to help you with or learned something interesting today, please share this episode and the rest of the episodes of the podcast with your colleagues and friends. After all, our goal here is not only to help you improve your business, but your life.