How to Double Your Business in 9 Steps

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business coach for hvac contractors

There’s a definite process for reaching $1,000,000.00 in sales. It’s not easy to come by, it’s not easy to do. More so, it’s not what’s most important!

What matters more than three million in sales is a very healthy bottom line. “Sales are for show, profits are for dough.” – Unknown

However, once you master these 9 steps, you’ll start making profits that you never even knew were possible.

The 9 Step process you’ll read today is exactly what I did to build my highly profitable HVAC company, and you can too!

This is your chance to own our proven, tested collection of business growth courses. Join the other HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical contractors, and access our proven marketing trainings, checklists, templates, and more for only $37 monthly membership. Learn more now.


How to Double Your Business, in 9 Steps…

You’ve finally found it…

This resource is designed for those unfamiliar with the CMG Zone — and for those CMG Zone Members that want a refresher course on the foundational principles of the CMG SYSTEM.

It’s also a roadmap of sorts.

You see — all contractors and business owners are at various levels of STUCK. There’s just so much to learn.

From a one-truck outfit, to a company with multiple crews — we are all looking to get better at what we do — always looking for an edge. It’s our defining characteristic.

This page is here to help you master this contracting business.

And by “business” we mean…

The System

It’s the same system I used to grow and guide my HVAC company, ECI Comfort, from the brink of disaster during the Great Recession, to the leader in heating and cooling systems for Philadelphia’s historic homes. Unpacked and laid out for you step by step, in checklist form, located in the CMG Zone.

We call it the CMG SYSTEM.

Read this page carefully. Read it multiple times and commit it to memory.

This is the stuff they don’t teach in business school or even high school.

Learn the Steps to the CMG SYSTEM

The following image outlines the CMG SYSTEM.

Click Here to Download PDF

Print this PDF version and tack it to the wall next to your desk. If you would like the full poster size, you can buy it here: CMG SYSTEM 24″ x 36″ Wall Poster

If you plan to execute this plan, you’ll need to reference it often.

When you’re learning new tactics like capturing video testimonials, closing on the spot, owning the first page of Google, you’ll need to constantly remind yourself of the CMG process. Otherwise, you’re wasting time and money.

This is a warning: There is little profit in understanding, for example, Ads that don’t look like Anything But Ads ( ABAs ), or owning the first page of Google in and of itself. There is enormous profit in understanding how to apply these high value, lead generating, business growing strategies to the CMG SYSTEM.

Here is the CMG SYSTEM…


Lean in to this article and pay close attention — we’re about to reveal the exact process we used to build ECI Comfort to the point where I could confidently pass the business onto my son Chase, leaving him with a business, AND a lifestyle.

Let’s begin with…

Step 1 – Building Your All-Star Team

business coach for hvac contractors

Do your employees drive you to drink? I’m kidding. Well kind of…

I know they used to, for me.

I’m going to show you what took me years to finally figure out, but first…

When it finally clicked! Once the light finally came on, doubling my business became so much easier!

I could finally step back or leave for vacation and not have to worry.

I mean like a cruise, where we were out on a big boat in the middle of the ocean where there is no texting or phone calls and I was able to relax.. Without drinking!

The team now takes care of the customers, who in turn take care of the business, and then the business takes care of the happy owner. ?

The process starts with Hiring For Character, not skill.

If you were like me, for so many years I would hire skilled HVAC techs and then beat my head trying to teach them proper manners and hygiene.

I mean, if I could just get them to tuck their shirt in, that would be a major accomplishment!

One evening, at a VIP happy hour event at Inbound in Boston, Brian Halligan, co-founder and CEO of HubSpot said to me and my partner, Don, “… you guys are the curator of your culture.”

At first I brushed it off.

My self-talk said, we're just HVAC contractors, we are just HVAC guys, and we are not a large corporation with educated executives.

Boy was I wrong and what a bunch of head trash that was.

It was that one Tuesday morning…

When we had 5 jobs going. 3 ductless installs a complex Unico install and a changeout.

The night before, temps had dropped into the single digits, and significant snowfall was bearing down on the Delaware Valley. Heaters all over our service area were working hard -- and breaking down.

While this kind of winter weather is not unheard of, it's still the lead story on the local news. Extreme weather in winter and in summer makes a great lead for those guys.

At that instant, what would have happened in the past were phone calls and text messages pouring in– informing me of ALL the havoc this extreme weather was creating in our customer base and service area.

But not THIS Tuesday morning, as I gaze out the window at the slate-gray sky…

My phone never rang. Not one call.

I didn’t even receive a text. No, not one.

Instead, I watched it all go down.

Crew Leaders were chatting it up on our company chat.

They pulled up all of the jobs we had on our Basecamp Calendar and could see instantly where the crews could be rerouted to.

They began prioritizing customer's needs and jumping on the jobs where safety was a concern, or elderly customers were alone. They pushed appointments around and reconfigured oil delivery routes to ensure every one of ECI's customers was warm and ready for the snow storm.

All of this took place in about an hour, and without one phone call or text to me.

I sat in amazement as I watch it all go down on our team chat!

Step 1 to building an All-Star Team

Hire for Character

To help you get started, we have a free download of the 11 Interview Questions, I used that would reveal their character to me. Almost without them knowing, they were letting me know who they truly were before I hired them. Get it here.

Upon hiring them, you must show them the Above the Line Philosophy.

For a team to grow and improve, just like rowing upstream, they need an OAR

Which stands for:




If not, we might as well stay in BED

Which stands for:




We give our team permission to hold us accountable to “being” Above the Line, as well as agreeing to hold each other accountable.

business coaching for hvac contractors

What does this look like?

When we hear one of our team blame or make an excuse, we pause and simply ask,

“Is that above, or below the line?”

This helps them to realize the old habit. Then follow up with this question:

“How could it be Above the Line?”

Then BOOM!

Or, #CMGBOOMSHALAKALAKA, as we say in the CMG Community.

Having a company policy in place is foundational.

CMG Cafè Members
Access your ‘[COURSE] Employee Policy Manual.
Just edit accordingly, add your logo, and BOOM!

Click here to access your course

Not a CMG Zone member? Click here to learn more about CMG Zone
You are well on your way to taking your culture to the next level!

Now that you are on your way to being the “Curator of your culture,” let’s discover who your Target Market is…

Step 2 – Finding Your Target Market With The 3P’s

business coaching for hvac contractors

9 times out of 10, if you ask a contractor what a great referral for them would be, they will reply:

“Anybody who needs work done on their heating or air conditioning system.”

Here is the major problem with that.

When you read that, who came to mind for you?


What if, instead, they replied with:

“Exterior home repaints of homes no older than 15 years, of retirees, with stucco siding ranging from 2,000 – 4,000 square feet, in gated & golfing communities, within 10 miles of XYZ city/neighborhood.

Now, we have a 1,000X better chance of some visuals coming to mind and generating a whole fleet of referrals!

But how can we absolutely know who our Target Market should be?

The CMG 3P’s process…

1ST People

Do you like to work for difficult people? Of course not. If we had our choice, we would only work for awesome people, right?!

We classify them; A, B, C, and D.

A clients are Awesome! They fully respect the value of our services and do not ask for a discount.

B clients are good people, but they just have to have a little discount, or added value into the job to feel like they got an even better deal.

We don’t ever advise giving discounts. Doing so, only discredits the value you are bring to the table. Instead, offer additional value, if needed.

As a simple example, if you are installing a new ductless or variable speed central air conditioner, and the B customers ask for a discount, politely decline, but then offer to throw them a discount on an indoor air quality upgrade, if he signs today.

Here we offered additional value in exchange for closing the sale on the spot. (**Always collect a deposit in order to get on the schedule.)

If you are going to include additional value, make sure you trade it for the sale.

C clients, while polite, only care about the price, and will work hard to negotiate it down for as long as it takes.

Here is a classic example of the negotiation style of a typical C client, from one of our newer CMG Members, who shared in our members only Facebook group: CMG Community…

dyb-communitybusiness coaching for hvac contractors

painting contractor business coach

painting contractor business coach

painting contractor business coach

So is that was a classic example of a C client, how could it get any worse? Well, I am glad (and sad at the same time) you asked.

D clients, will negotiate like a C Client, but are not polite about it, or many times seem polite during the negotiations, then after you agree to drop your price and do the job, their true colors come out and they are some of the most unreasonable people to ever have the displeasure to work for.

From my experience, generally speaking, not all, but most General Contractors/Builders (Dirtbag Builders) and Trial Lawyers.

Only service, and stay T.O.M (Top of Mind) with A & B Clients.

2ND Profit

This one seems obvious, right?

Well, you would be very surprised just how many companies continue to take on types of jobs, or types that they are just not best set up or suited for.

For us, one was high-rise condo buildings greater than 3 stories. We just weren’t set up properly to execute them profitably.

Could we have changed our processes and made that niche profitable for us? Absolutely. But we didn’t because we made a decision to focus on those exterior stucco homes I mentioned earlier.

3RD Process

By process, we are referring to the admin side of the project as well as technical.

We ask these 3 simple questions to qualify the Process:

Will this project be easy to set up and to service?
Will this project be easy to execute?
Will the job be easy to close out and settle up?
If the answer is a “yes” for all three questions, only then do we qualify the 3RD P.


We have gone through this exercise with many of our members and again at our CMG Seminars.

This could be very revealing to you, like it has been for many others…

Here the worksheet we use that you can download.

painting contractor business coach

List the last 10 jobs that you have completed.

Put a check by each one that was awesome to work for.
Add a check if you made your profit margin that you were shooting for.
Add a check if the process was easily executed from sale to completion.

How many of them have all 3 checked off?

CIRCLE the ones that have 3 checkmarks.


You just discovered your Target Market!

painting contractor business coach

You did the exercise, right?

The first time we ran through this with our CMG Members, they have on average 3-4 with all 3 checked off.

If that’s what you found, don’t feel bad; that’s average.

We go through this again with our CMG Members 6 months later, and on average, they have 8 with all 3 checked off, and you can too, if you do the exercise.

Now that you are on your way to being the “Curator of your culture”, and you know who your Target Market is, let’s start generating some high value leads…

Step 3 – Owning the First Page of Google

painting contractor business coach

This might shock you, but SEO is not that complicated.

Well, not if you leverage the Pareto Principle that is, better known as the 80/20 rule.

80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.

Because I have “OCG” (Obsessive Compulsive Gift– messy people call it a disorder), I love to not just organize, but track and measure.

I’m talking miles, and miles of spread sheets.

And you get to benefit from one of my OCG tracking and measuring with the 80/20 of SEO.

If you just focus on these 3 elements, you, too, will Own the First Page of Google!

The First Step is to get Google to light you up…

painting contractor business coach

…with the 5 orange stars, so that you will not only rank in the “3 Pack”, but stand out like the above screen shot of ECI Comfort.

The key to getting 5 Google Reviews, is to send the Google Review link to your customers who already have Gmail addressed!

Next, is the Second Step of Owning the First Page of Google, but first,

Here are 2 screenshots from search results page for “high velocity Elkins Park, PA”.

painting contractor business coach

painting contractor business coach

Notice how we are ranked #1 organic, which is right after the paid Ad spots?

Also notice how the rest of the first page is LOADED with paid lead services!

Let me go on the record here…

“Paid lead services are a racket!” – Don Lafferty, Co-Founder of Comfort Media Group

Racket according to Wikipedia:

Painting contractor business coach


When other companies pay for ads, not you because you know better pay them, they are actually funding their SEO to knock you off the first page!

Plus, these racketeers typically attract bargain hunters and many of them are unreasonable.

Or as we classify them, C & D prospects, from our A-D scale.

Paying these racketeers is using the, Pareto Principle – 80/20, against yourself.

If you are currently caught up in one of these rackets, I strongly suggest you implement the strategies we are laying out here ASAP, and then slowly wean yourself off from these thugs.

Fair warning, the Racketeers will keep calling and threatening you about all the problems you will supposedly have if you don’t pay them for their “protection” services of keeping them ranked so they can keep sending you crappy leads.

So, implement the second Step Owning the First Page of Google

Which is writing just one 300 to 500 word blog post a week.

This is so easy to do.

So easy, in fact, Ron Ramsden who didn’t even have a website shortly before signing up for 1-1 Coaching, now has well over 100 blog articles in just over a year’s time.

He receives multiple bookings on his website, every week.

So many, he has Doubled his Business, makes a healthy profit, all while taking vacations away with his wonderful wife, Patty, hiking locally and around the country…

and is now a certified CMG Coach, helping other contractors do the same.

CMG Zone Members
Access your [COURSE] 52 Blog Post Ideas.
A Blog Post topics to keep you full of article for a full year!

Click here to access your course

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The Third Step Owning the First Page of Google,

Are NAPs.

Not those kind of naps, while I am a firm believer in 25 minute power-naps right after lunch,

What I am referring to here is the acronym of NAPs




We take these NAPs, not after lunch, but to all of the online directories.

We register them with online directories such as, but not limited to:

Angies List
And on and on they go.

Now, unless you are just starting out, like we were when we started all over back in Florida in early 2006, I strongly suggest you outsource this step as the ROI is not worth your time to look all of these up yourself.

I’m happy to point you in the right direction, just shoot me an email with the subject line, “Don, I need a NAP please!” , and I’ll point you in the right direction:

Step 4 – CMG Website Conversion Funnel

Painting contractor business coach

Your website should serve 2 specific funnel functions:

Pre-close qualified prospects.
Detour unqualified prospects.
I know what you’re thinking, “Ron, seriously, how do we pre-close qualified prospects?

I’m glad you asked…

The very first thing we do is set up the Home page properly, and we do this by setting the stage with the most important element on your whole site and that is the Header Image.

Your header image should give all visitors to your site an instant idea of –not just the type of job you service, but the experience they can expect.

Because, really, it all comes down to your clients’ experience.

They already expect you will provide a good service. What they are most concerned about, if they award you the project, is if you will do everything you promised you would do and will it be a great experience for them.

We answer this with the static header image of a beautiful job that perfectly represents your target market.

But how will they know ahead of time that they will receive a remarkable experience?

That’s another great question!

Jeffrey GItomer said, “I you say it, it’s bragging. If others say it, its proof!”

So, the panel directly following the Header Image must have testimonials. But not just written testimonials, no.

For your CMG Website Conversion Funnel to Pre-sell your prospect, you must have video testimonials.

To help you, I made a free checklist you can download and even add your own logo to, then print out and take with you and or hand out to your team here: Free Testimonial Checklist Download.

We have a whole course in the CMG Zone on capturing video testimonials and many of our CMG Members are racking them up!

Another big question your prospect has is…

“Have you painted in our area?”

This is another opportunity to show a ton of social proof, by displaying on the next panel, a map with pins from all of the jobs you have completed.

This gives them another instant visual and will pre-sell many of your qualified prospects!

The icing on the cake is the last panel. The CTA or Call To Action. The simple Booking Calendar integrated right into your website.

Clients love the fact that they didn’t have to go through the hassle to call you, so much in fact, that many of them won’t even call another contractor, leaving you to be the only estimator!

This is just the Home page, and if you just get this one set up properly, you will in fact have leveraged the Pareto Principle again, because 80% of them will scroll down these 4 magical panels on your home page and book you!

After closing 100’s, maybe 1,000’s, of jobs on the spot, I thank everyone of them, then I asked them why they chose us.

Many of them replied, “After we saw your website, we didn’t even call anybody else. IN FACT, Ron, you had the job before you ever arrived for the estimate.”

And this will be true for you too, if you implement the CMG Website Conversion Funnel…


CMG Café Member’s
Access your ‘[COURSE] How To Build Your CMG Website Conversion Funnel in CMG Zone.
Learn the exact process to build into your website – so to preclose jobs before you even arrive to the estimate!

Click here to access your course

Not a CMG Café member? Click here to learn more about CMG Cafè

Step 5 – The ABC’s of Sales…

Always Be Connecting.

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Market Buster,

Is exactly what the CMG ABC’s is Sales is…Always Be Connecting.

After we decided what our Target Market was exactly using the 3P’s process, we decided to focus on Venice, Florida.

There was just one problem…

We didn’t have any market share there. In fact, up until that time, we had only serviced 1 home in Venice, FL!

We really needed to break into this new territory and break we did.

Take a look at this before customer map of the Venice FL area from 2011

painting contractor business coach

Here it is again just 3 years later in 2014

painting contracting business coach

And you can too…

Just like the CMG Website Conversion Funnel, I have tested and measured all of my efforts. I know exactly what got us and what strategies will get you the greatest ROI for your effort and dollars invested.

The First ABC’s of Sales is BNI

BNI is the first step to breaking into any market. This is a great group that meets weekly and where the members are held accountable to passing referrals.

Strong groups are around 40 members. Some get as high as 60 and 70 which is pretty amazing!

Strong groups also get together for monthly socials. These tend to be at different member’s offices and are a great time.

Strong groups also have Christmas parties, which are also a great time.

When you join one, your first mission is to have as many one to one coffee or lunches with the members as possible.

You are going to get to know these 40 business partners very well and will very likely become great friends. April and I have really great friends from our days back in the Venice FL Tuesday morning, BNI.

The quicker you can get to know the members, the faster you can start referring them business and the sooner you start referring them business, the Law of Reciprocity kicks in and #CMGBOOMSHALAKALAKA! You are getting tens of thousands of dollars worth of great referrals from them as well.

The Second ABC’s of Sales is your local Chamber of Commerce

…or Chamber for short.

The relationships in BNI grow very deep and strong as they are kind of limited to the 40 or so members. Which is good, because that’s what makes it so strong.

To cast a very wide net, we join and attend all of the Chamber functions.

This is a great opportunity for you to greatly expand your brand awareness. Especially if you are not safe about it.

We can just attend the networking breakfast, lunches, and After 5pm Events and get togethers, but that’s what average people do and CMG Members are not average.

In this situation, there are 2 ways to operate in the Magic Zone.

1ST When meeting other business owners (networking) for the first time, focus solely on them.

I know this sounds so simple, but it’s can be very difficult to consistently do, because we want to build our business.

Here is where we trust the Law of Reciprocity to kick in and believe me, it will!

Ask them questions like:

So how did you get into this business?
What’s your favorite thing about it?
What advice would you give somebody just getting into your business?
Now they will ask you a question or two so, be polite and answer it, but immediately roll right into another question to keep it about them.

Then ask them the Value Question that will knock their socks off…

“How would I know a great referral for you when I come across them?”

Chances are very high that you are the only person who has ever asked them this and you have just made a very big impression!

But don’t stop there…

To really knock it out of the park, we follow up immediately with a handwritten note card.

So immediate, in fact, that we keep them in our truck or car, complete with envelopes, a blue pen, and remarkable stamps, like Batman stamps and such.

Then we send them a note card with our picture on it to help them immediately make the connection from our meeting and write them a note like this…

painting contractor business coach

Have a goal to connect with 3 people at each event, follow this process, and you too will CRUSH IT!

The 2ND way to operate in the Magic Zone, is to give Remarkable Networking Presentations – aka 60 second commercials.

And by Remarkable, we don’t mean great or awesome, but that they stand out in such a way, that others with Remark about them.

Here is the very first one that I did, but first, this is the quote I read that inspired me to attempt this crazy thing…

“If the market place isn’t talking about you, there is a reason. The reason is you are boring and you’re boring on purpose because it’s safe.” – Seth Godin

Here is the very first Remarkable presentation:

Swimsuit Body Paint

Video Player

It was such a hit that I continued to do them at all of the chamber lunches.

Here is the most popular one that got mass attention:

Hulk Hogan

Video Player

Yep, CMG members are doing these to and also CRUSHING IT in their Target Markets and you can too!

The 3RD ABC’s of Sales is your local Rotary Club

How would you like to know your town’s movers and shakers? I mean the good ones.

Good meaning, these movers and shakers come together weekly to make their town and the world a better place.

And when you get a room full of successful people, networking naturally happens.

WARNING: Do not join Rotary, if you don’t have heart to serve. You must truly care about others first.

But if you are here reading this on CMG, then chances are very high that you are a person who does truly care about others, so let’s continue.

Rotary provided the highest level of networking, and when you get into this network, you are pretty much set.

The Fourth ABC’s of Sales are your local Associations

This is going to vary, but a few examples are:

Board of Realtors
HOA Accos.
Boys and Girls Club
Historical Society
Habitat For Humanity

Again like, Rotary, get involved, lead with a heart to service, and you will do very well.

Find one to join that speaks to your values and take action today.

The 5TH ABC’s of Sales is Facebook

The biggest and easiest opportunity to leverage your network and build relationships deeper, but yet, most do not take advantage of this…

Some say Facebook is a waste of time, because everybody is on it wasting time.

And there lies your opportunity!

Did you see it?

“Facebook…everybody is on it…”

To me, bars are a waste of time, but do business advertise about them and in them?

Oh yeah. Big time!

Is it possible to advertise in a bar without getting drunk every night?


And you can be on Facebook not wasting time, too, except don’t advertise.

Why are people on Facebook “wasting time” anyway? To be entertained. To be engaged in something interesting to them.

So be there and engage and entertain.

One of ways we did this with ECI Comfort, and Chase is still doing this — is through fun contests.

Like, the CPW (Capture Post Win) Contests.

If one of our Trucks or HHR’s is spotted, captured in a photo, posted to FB with ECI Comfort tagged, the one posting will win a can of delicious gourmet cookies! The town loves it!

They are one of our sweetest ABA’s which we will unpack in the next section but first,

business coach painting contractor

If you don’t have your can of gourmet cookies set up yet, you can do a $10 give card to Starbucks, Amazon, you name it. Just keep it simple and fun.

You can also run “How many gallons” contest where your town will guess how many total gallons it took to paint a project.

painting contractor business coach

This also gives you an opportunity to showcase some of your work.

Most importantly, the more engagement you receive, the more you will show up in your community’s Facebook feed which is AWESOME because…

“Facebook…everybody is on it…”

Step 6 – ABA’s (Ads That Look Like Anything But Advertising)

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“An Ad is the price you pay for not being remarkable.” ~ Seth Godin

Ouch right…

The truth is nobody really likes ads anyway.

We have tech available now that allows us to skip commercials or even binge watch a whole season of our favorite TV program.

So, we started finding ways to get our name into the community. And then deeper into the community.

And we did this until we became the preeminent HVAC installation and service company in our area for our target market and if you follow implement these, you can too!

We call them ABA’s

Ads that look like Anything But Advertising

One of them being: Community Spotlights

Now these are a really easy and fun way to provide your community and business / networking friends both tons of value.

All you do is take your smart phone and a $12 tripod from Amazon or a local store and call a few of your friends. Offer to give them a quick interview to share with their community.

Almost everybody I asked was all for it and very grateful.

The interview pretty much goes like this:

I arrive at their place of business.
Set the tripod up with my phone to record. *Remember to turn airplane mode on!
I send 3 questions to them ahead of time so they can be thinking about their replies.
I also let them know that we only do 1 take. If we make mistakes, that’s cool and actually builds trust through transparency.
Have fun!

My script is as follows.

“Hello and welcome to another segment of Community Spotlight. I’m your host Ron Musser of ECI Comfort and I am here with [GUEST NAME] owner of [GUEST BUSINESS]

Then go into asking my 3 questions:

So tell me about your business. What do you do?
How did you get into the business?
What’s something nobody knows about you?
This last one is supposed to be fun. It draws your audience/community closer to you and the interviewer.

After it’s recorded, we:

Load it up to YouTube
Email it to our customers with an intro like
If you’re looking for a great mechanic, you might be interested in this Community Spotlight interview I just recorded.
I email the YouTube video to the person interviewed to share it with their network, also.
Then we upload the raw video file directly to Facebook.
We do not post the YouTube link in Facebook, because Facebook considers YouTube a competitor and will not give you much algorithm or exposure in others feeds.)
We also do not add it to our website, because our CMG Website Conversion Funnel is specifically designed for one purpose and one purpose alone, to pre-sell your target market before they book you and to deter those who are not your target market. I guess that’s technically 2 functions, but you get the idea.
One of my interviewees, Mark Smith CPA, who runs a successful CPA firm with his partner, Adam Wanner, went an extra step and had his added to the home page of his website…

Which was very smart of him and to this day, he says he get 3-4 calls a month saying,

“We called you because we like your interview on your website.”


Who do you think just might be his favorite HVAC contractor?

Another one of our powerful ABA’s are handing out the delicious Gourmet Cookie’s in our very own branded paint can!

painting contractor business coach

CMG Cafè Members
Access your ‘[COURSE] Gourmet Cookie Cans.
Learn this sweet process to be the talk of the town!

Click here to access your course

Not a CMG Cafè member? Click here to learn more about CMG Cafè

Step 7 – CMG Sales Process

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If you follow the 6 previous steps in the CMG System and then apply the CMG Sales Process, you, too, could have an 84.5% close ratio…

Many of them will be pre-sold “…Without Making A Sale,” but not all.

While each step is very important, the 2 most powerful steps or the 80/20 of the CMG Sales Process are the Prequalifying and Providing Proposals on the Spot.

Prequalifying is so important, yet the vast majority of HVAC contractors do not distinguish one prospect from another. Therefore, they find themselves driving all over town or from town to town, trying to get as many estimates in as they can, only to be frustrated and burnt out from the lack of jobs won.

You can download our CMG Prequalifying Process for free right here.

painting contractor business coach


The second most powerful step is Providing Proposals on the Spot.

One of our CMG members, Paul Schmidt, took his close ratio from low 30’s up to 75%, in large part to providing proposals on the spot!

I asked him to confirm this and this was his reply:


Paul knows and can track his exact close ratio because he uses a CRM called Pipeline Deals, which we walk you through in an online training program we created called the 30 Hour Work Week.

The 30 Hour Work Week is an online video program, with my son Chase, walking you through all of the tech we used at ECI Comfort to get my hours down to just, you guessed it, 30 hours a week in the business.

Here are a 3 free videos from the 30 Hour Work Week program, here.

This gave me time to teach my son to swim and also to write my book. If you would like a copy, just pay towards shipping, $6.95, and I’ll give it to you for free here.

One of the biggest things keeping guys from providing proposals on the spot, is the confidence that their price is solid.

Most contractors look at a job and guess how long it’s going to take them. By estimating this way, they lack the confidence to present on the spot. Let’s face it, they don’t know their numbers and won’t be confident until they do. Then they are really in trouble when it comes to negotiating with the prospect.

Don’t worry, if this is you – we can help you!

To help you to know exactly what your labor rate should be to the exact penny, including your overhead and the profit you must make to be successful, we have an Instant Labor Rate spreadsheet you can get here for FREE.

A 3rd step I’ll touch on briefly here is Following Up.

You have already done all the work to get the lead, drive out and measure the project, write up and present the proposal.

Now you must follow up!

If I had to guess, more than 90/100 contractors do not follow up.

2 Reasons

1ST They forget because they are are not using a CRM to keep all of their opportunities top of mine.

2ND Stinking-Thinking. You have self talk. We all do. Our greatest challenge is to control our self-talk and whip it into shape every day.

When our stinking-thinking says, “Oh, they probably went with another company.” Take action and follow up anyway!

Email is good, but a phone call is best.

What are they going to say, “NO”? We are already at no at this point. We can’t get any more “No” than we are right now without the sale closed!

So follow up and call them.

Somebody asked Harvey Mckay how many times we should follow up. He replied, “Until one of you dies.” (**Remember to always leave unclosed estimates and phone calls with, “May I follow up with you in 2 days at 9am?” Ask permission to follow up or it’s called spam.)

Step 8 – CMG Video Testimonial Process

painting contractor business coach

“If you say it, it’s bragging. If others say it, it’s proof!”

~ Jeffrey Gitomer – Little Red Book of Selling

The Ultimate Social Proof…

About 6 months after I moved to Florida, because every contractor and his brother also drove in to help out with the relief, everything was all painted in the area.

So, I had to drive 45 minutes away or more to a neighborhood that wasn’t affected by the hurricane damage and literally go door to door.

If you have ever done door to door sales, then you know how tough it is.

To help, I collected letters from everybody I helped through the hurricane and compiled a binder, but what I noticed was nobody was reading it.

And that was a big problem.

It’s a big problem because, it they didn’t read it, then they wouldn’t have a better understanding of the value I was offering compared to the “other guy” and that left me competing on price.

Competing on price is not the way to create a successful business. Not a fun way anyway.

After a few years of struggling to find a ways to build value into my offering, we finally captured our first video testimonial.

Actually, my wife, April did.

We used a Blackberry to record it and the quality of the video and audio is very poor…

Video Player
But, we got started!

And we just ran with them, because the ROI on Video Testimonials is AWESOME!

And by awesome, like I mentioned back in the CMG Website Conversion Funnel step, I mean that many would:

book us online from our site,
I’d arrive,
Establish report,
present my proposal,
they would look at it, and maybe ask a question or two,
offer a deposit, and ask how soon could we start,

…in large part because we had so many Video Testimonials.

painting contractor business coach

3 phases of capturing Video Testimonials.

Just get your first one any way you can to break the ice. Start with a Raving Fan or somebody you have done work for in your networking group.
Get 3 Video Testimonials and then create a Video Testimonial page on your website. Now you are heads and tails over your competition, because they do not have any Video Testimonials and this positions you as the more valuable contractor.
You are now on your way, so just keep going until you break 100. Once you break 100 you can then humbly say to your prospect,
Mrs. Prospect, I truly believe we have the best team and I can prove it if you are interested.
Say, now you would agree that most people are not comfortable speaking on video right? They almost always agree.
Then you show them your iPad, and say, given that, we still have rows and rows of Video Testimonials because of the experience our team provides time and time again.
Offer to let them watch any of them.
They will decline, and simply ask you, “How soon you can start, and would you like a deposit?”


To help you get started, I have my Video Testimonial Checklist as a free download for you that you can put your own logo on.

painting contractor business coach

It will help you to know

The Best Time To Ask For The Testimonial – There is a critical moment when your customers are most excited about you – find out the right time to ask for the testimonial.
The 3 Simple Questions to ask that make even the most boring people light up and give a glowing review.
The 1 Mistake You want to Avoid. I learned this the hard way, now every time I make a video testimonial this is my first step

… and you, too, will Double Your Business Without Making A Sale.

Step 9 – Stay T.O.M (Top of Mind)

painting contractor business coach

Here is 1 of 4 ways you, too, can become the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s greatest salesman but first,

You may remember the Joe Girard’s story I shared in my book, but it goes something like this…

In 1963, 35-year-old Joe walked into a Detroit car dealership and begged a skeptical manager for a job as a salesman.

He needed to get groceries for his family.

So he gave him an office upstairs, with a phone, and a phone book, because they didn’t want him taking any sales away from the salesmen on the showroom floor.

Well he sold a car.

By the second month, he was so good, some of the other salesmen complained and got him fired!

His next job was at Merollis Chevrolet in East Pointe, Michigan, which he held until his retirement in 1977, the year I was born.

There, he set consecutive sales records over a twelve-year period, selling 6 retail cars a day when the industry average was 6 a month!

Having sold 13,001 cars at a Chevrolet dealership between 1963 and 1978, Girard has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s greatest salesman.

Here is how you too can CRUSH IT in your market, if not become the next Guinness Book of World Record holder…

By staying T.O.M. ( Top of Mind )

Joe Girard, would stay T.O.M. by sending every person he sold car to a card every month.

Sounds expensive and complicated, right?

It’s not though.

We use Send Out Cards. And with this system, we are able to create card, upload out client list, and send it to everybody for about $1.50 a card, including postage.

We send these out every 3 months, but here is the key,

Only send G.I.E. messages.




You have already won them over with your remarkable services, they don’t need to be resold. They just need a warm reminder that you are still here.

Do not send discounts or coupons. And please, do not say “We’re never too busy for your referrals”.

They know we are in business and would love a referral from them. We don’t want to insult them.

Of the 3 types of cards that we send, the Entertaining cards get the best response, but make sure you mix it up.

It is an MLM/Networking company, so you have to sign up under a “distributer”.

Check your local BNI, or Chamber for one, but make sure they won’t harass you about “building the SOC business.”

If you don’t have somebody in you area, you can sign up on ours here.

We unpack the other 3 ways to effectively stay T.O.M. in the CMG Zone

Not a CMG Member? Learn more here.

So there you are… the 9 Steps to the CMG SYSTEM.

Build an All-Star Team
Discover your Target Market
Own the First Page of Google
CMG Website Conversion Funnel
ABC’s of Sales (Always Be Connecting)
ABA’s (Ad’s that look like Anything But Advertising)
CMG Sales Process
CMG Video Testimonial System
Stay T.O.M. (Top of Mind)