Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an interview with Ryan Groth. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast here.
Heidi Ellsworth: Hello and today we are having another podcast with the team from Sales Transformation Group. This is Heidi Ellsworth with a Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Recently I was at the Florida Roofing Show and hanging out with my good friend Ryan Groth of Sales Transformation Group. He introduced me to his new team. I thought, "We need to get this on tape. We need to have this as a podcast so all the roofing contractors out there can meet this very impressive team." But before we get started I want to introduce Ryan Groth again. Ryan welcome to the podcast.
Ryan Groth: Hey thank you so much Heidi. Appreciate you having me on.
Heidi Ellsworth: I love it. We always have so much fun together and great information. You always inspire me on my sales to be that better person, so I really just love hearing what you have out there. In fact would you mind just taking a few minutes at the start and telling everybody about Sales Transformation Group? Who are you and what are you doing?
Ryan Groth: Yeah. Sales Transformation Group is a sales training, coaching, and consulting company. We're based out of South Florida and we're serving the entire contracting industry. We happen to really focus on commercial roofing and high-end residential, retail, roofing companies. Yeah. What we're really doing is we're on a mission to helping build an entire model where companies have a winning season year over year predictably and they're really able to grow into their market leaders they want to be. A lot of companies are struggling to grow their business because they're resorting to bidding more, being lower on price. Maybe just chasing storms or things that are just unpredictable and not really working. They're finding themselves frustrated. So what we do is we help them through a really systematic scientific sales approach to help them really grow into sales athletes. Real professional sales people that can sell value, close effectively, sell consultatively, really build relationships and have that long-term brand that helps them become number one in their market. So that's really our focus. We do it in a myriad of ways through like online learning, group coaching, live events, and mastermind groups, and things like that.
Heidi Ellsworth: This is exactly what the industry needs. You know that because you're seeing this happening every day as these companies are getting better and better at sales, and really their overall brand, and professionalism. But before we ... I'd like to hear some of what you're seeing with the contractors. But before we get there Ryan I know a lot of this but can you share with the audience just some of your background, and how did you get into roofing, and some of that history?
Ryan Groth: Yeah. Really fun story. I love to tell it because I feel so thankful to be living it out, but I've lived with ... I stayed with my ... I'm sorry. Let me back up. My mom and stepdad got into contracting when I was a teenager. Got involved with that. Loved being out in the field, but baseball was more my love and wanted to grow into professional there so I did. After a few years playing pro ball I got into roofing through some networking and connections down in South Florida. Ended up meeting a commercial roofing contractor down in South Florida who happens to be one of the most professional and just great businesses in the industry. I mean this guy down there just is a great leader and a great coach. So what he had did was started to solve his own sales problem through getting a system in place. Rather than getting a Salesforce.com or some big CRM to really try to make it work for him he just decided to write his own. By the time I met him he had really just built it good enough for himself for it to be working. It was working well and he was getting great results as a company. So he and I just took a great leap of faith with one another really, and spent the next five years launching a CRM company. Some of you guys may recognize it. It's on the scene Followup CRM, formerly known as Followup Power. So as I was growing that business and really being handed that company to run with, and grow, I learned a lot. I learned a lot about the contracting industry and that a CRM tool was just one symptom of solving that problem. Was just one of many problems that needed to be solved. Thankfully I got to see a great model of a great entrepreneurial growth-minded business owner in this industry, to see what he was able to do, and be involved with the nuts and bolts of his operation, and his culture. I found myself being amongst that, and going out into the industry, and saying, "Man they need a lot more than a CRM if they're going to really become the best." Being an athlete, and being a professional athlete at that, I just understood people. I understand motivation, and discipline, and things that translate well into business. So I started coaching, and consulting, and working with owners. Just talking at a really high level. Thankfully being exposed to it through the contractor I was with down at South Florida. Found myself solving way more problems than just a CRM could solve. With going into coaching and consulting. So I did that for about five years. Even coached for about five years while running that company. Until it just became a life of its own. Took a life of its own, in terms of the coaching and consulting. My reputation and skillset grew to the point where I'm not just a CRM president doing a little bit of professional services, but this is becoming more than that. That's when Sales Transformation Group was birthed. So I've been at the industry, or working within the industry, for coming up on seven years. Got to be immersed into some of the highest level exposure that the industry has to offer. Thankfully. I don't take that lightly. That's part of how we've been able to help some folks.
Heidi Ellsworth: You know I know some of those folks you've helped and they are raving. I've been hearing the best reviews. Can you share with us some of that contractor success that you're seeing out there? Just kind of what are the ... What kind of results are you seeing with some of these organizations that you've been coaching?
Ryan Groth: Well thanks for sharing Heidi. I think a couple that stand out to me, that are really fun, are there's a company in Southwest Florida who operationally the owner really knew what he was doing. I think a lot of companies that we work with, they're roofing contractors first, and then they become business people. Not, "Hey I'm an MBA, and I'm going to go and do roofing." Most folks come in through the roofing side. So we had this company who was doing really well. They have great reputation in their market but their sales guys really were just ... They were called surveyors. I mean it's like an estimator and that's the most common thing we see is, "Go price the job. Where's the problem? Here's what it's going to cost to fix it. Go ahead and just react to all the stuff we're throwing your way. Just try to get as many bids out as we can." That's pretty much like what I stepped into, but because the owner trusted me he let me go in there and work with their team. We started to revitalize and create a sales department with a sales process, and goals, and structure, and all of these different mechanisms to support high performance. This one guy came from reacting and doing like 30K a month in service work, to now he's hitting like 150 a month every month. It's amazing. Not only that he used to spend a bunch of money doing silly hobbies on the weekend. Now he's investing in real estate. He's really growing. So this specific company, rather, has grown a ton. Talk about double closing ratio, triple results, and now they can grow with planned growth. But even just individually some of the sales guys that I'm just tickle pinked ... That's a really corny thing to say these days, but really I'm just super happy to see guys growing, and maturing, and becoming more professional, and disciplined in their life. So it all kind of works together. That's one example. You got another example of a guy who a year and a half ago was a Nordstrom women's shoe salesman for this commercial roofing contractor up in Nashville. He came on not knowing anything about roofing. With our program, and of course their company and their leadership, now this person's on track to do maybe almost three million this year in commercial roofing service sales with closing re-roofing. So that's been really fun. Then some of the residential guys. One that stands out. There's a gentleman who was in the roofing ... Or he was in business for 10 years. 10 years in business. He's late 30s, early ... Still excited about his business. Growing family. The first 12 months of working with me every single month was a record month for being in business for 10 years. Now he's on track to grow from four million to five and a half, five and a half to seven million. He's having the time of his life, I know he is, as he's growing. Getting out of the weeds and getting out of being an owner who happens to be a salesman, and is still carrying the weight of the entire company, and now he's got a sales team that can actually produce. So there's a [inaudible 00:09:57] different types of stories that are successful. For me the ones that make the most impact on me is just when people are proud to see their people growing. Because their people are growing their sales are growing.
Heidi Ellsworth: I love that. That, to me ... The part about also the gentleman, who you talked about, who is investing money back in. Into real estate or doing some different things. I mean you're really bringing a full coaching across the board. I've seen your program and it's really mind, body, spirit. With the ultimate goal of increasing sales, and profits, and life. You know?
Ryan Groth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Heidi Ellsworth: The things that you can get out of life from this program, so that's really cool Ryan. Very cool.
Ryan Groth: Thank you.
Heidi Ellsworth: Honestly the thing we all know is as you help others grow you see your own success. Your success has led to growth of Sales Transformation Group. I kind of talked about this earlier but I know you have new team members that you're bringing on who are coaches, and who are going to be working with you, and so I'd like to bring them onto the podcast. I would love for you to introduce them Ryan.
Ryan Groth: Yeah, it'd be a pleasure. So let me go ahead and start with John Townsend. I won't give too much of a backstory, I'll let him do that himself, but we got John Townsend who's out of Central Florida. Really excited to have him on. Matt Mounier out of ... He's kind of my West Coast guy. He's out of Arizona, living in Scottsdale. Really excited about Matt. Then Rodney Pierre, who was my personal trainer that spent four days a week with me for the past six months. If I'm going to hang out with somebody for four days a week you're probably going to hear a little bit about what I do, because I'm pretty passionate about it. So he got to be on the receiving end of that, and that just started to create a cool connection, and I brought him, so I'll let him speak for himself. That's Rodney Pierre. So those are my three sales coaches and new team members.
Heidi Ellsworth: No, that's great. John, Matt, Rodney, welcome to the RCS podcast.
Matt Mounier: What's up Heidi. Thanks for having us.
John Townsend: Yeah, thank you Heidi.
Rodney Pierre: Thank you Heidi.
Heidi Ellsworth: Thank you. So I'm going to ... One at a time I'd like to have you all introduce yourselves. So John please introduce yourself again. Tell us a little bit about you.
John Townsend: Sure. Well okay, so my name's John Townsend. I grew up in a small town in Kentucky, okay? Played professional baseball, college and professional baseball. Now I live here in Ocala, Florida, in Central Florida. As some people like to call it Slowcala. But anyways so I played college and professional baseball. It was at that level were I was really exposed to the high level of hard work, right? And commitment that it takes to succeed in a professional environment. It's also where I developed my passion for personal, and professional, growth and development. After walking away from the game I've been in sales for the past six years, but I knew that my mission ... My personal mission and my passion was in coaching, right? And helping individuals and groups develop themselves, and take ownership of their own growth. So when Ryan approached me ... And Ryan and I were former professional baseball teammates. We played a couple seasons together with the Angels. So we already had a really great relationship, but when he approached me and told me about the Sales Transformation Group it really seemed like a great opportunity, and a great marriage of my skills and the things that I'm passionate about. How many opportunities do you get like that in life? To be able to pour into organizations and the people, to contribute to their lives, and to help them get where they want to go? So Heidi I can't be any more excited to be a part of the Sales Transformation Group.
Heidi Ellsworth: John that is awesome. Welcome to roofing. We are so happy to have you. Matt, please share your story with us.
Matt Mounier: Yeah absolutely. So I grew up in Southern California. Was a diehard basketball player. Ended up playing some college basketball for a little school called Whitman College, which you might now about Heidi. Up in the Northwest.
Heidi Ellsworth: I do.
Matt Mounier: After that I just was trying to figure out what was going to happen next. Kind of once you lose that first passion that you had in your life what are you going to be able to wake up to and motivate yourself to every day? Where I found home was sales. Just because I saw so much translation from the mindset, to discipline, to all the things that you were a part of in sports and being able to translate it over into what the sales world really was. So I know John already talked about what Ryan's doing and what his program's doing for everyone in the contracting community, but I think another thing that's just really special about having a group of athletes is the mindset, and the discipline, and it was like knowing what it takes to really push yourself and see yourself grow. Just because there's so much momentum around being able to do things that you never thought were possible, to hitting those goals, climbing that mountain, and getting ready for what crazy thing that you don't think you can do next.
Heidi Ellsworth: That is great. That is cool. Well again, as I said before, welcome to roofing. We're so happy to have you. Rodney, bring us home. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Rodney Pierre: Hi, I'm Rodney Pierre. Before I was in the path of being a fitness trainer, basically being a coach. I've always wanted to coach. So working along with Ryan I've been seeing a lot of his ... Then just listening to a lot of the people that he's helped. The people that he helped get from point A to point B, that was very inspiring and I was like, "I want to be a part of that." The roofing industry's a big industry and it's an industry that needs help, so I would like to be one of the people that help the roofing industry grow. Basically, also, work on getting that help part of it as well because sometimes you need to have the disciplines as far as being motivated, having a goal, a plan, and being a part of this industry it's going to be great to be able to implement all those skills that I've had as a coach. So that's why I'm excited to be with Sales Transformation Group.
Heidi Ellsworth: That is great. Rodney your skills ... I know we all met at FRSA, so welcome to roofing. I really am interested ... I had so much fun. Tim, I think everybody knows Tim Ellsworth my husband, he was there working the booth. We sat and visited with this team. Both of us walked away just really impressed, but I would like to know ... And I'll ask you one at a time, I would like to know what you gentleman thought of the Florida Roofing Show, and all of those roofing contractors, and some of your takeaways from that experience. So John maybe I could start with you. What did you enjoy? What did you take from that experience?
John Townsend: Sure Heidi. I really enjoyed my first FRSA visit. The thing I was the most impressed with were the people. The roofing industry is full of incredible people, right? They all work so hard. They're looking to grow, and they're looking to service their customers the right way, and that's why they're there at the convention. They're looking to find new tools, and new technologies, and work with different vendors, and form partnerships so that they could best serve their companies and their people. The owners want to help grow their companies and help their employees grow as well. So it just ... To be surrounded ... Any time you're surrounded by a great group of people you can't walk away anything but happy. That's my main takeaway. I'm obviously excited to learn more and attend more events. If for nothing else than just continue to be surrounded by wonderful people.
Heidi Ellsworth: John I am with you 100%. I love this industry and so I'm glad you do too. That is amazing. Matt what was your experience like?
Matt Mounier: Yes. I loved coming to the FRSA. It was one of the ... It was our first time as a team being together, so it was exciting to meet everyone face to face. I knew that we were going to ... It was going to be fun building those relationships and building that community, but what I didn't really expect was how welcoming and gracious everyone was around us. How welcoming the roofing community really was. It kind of reminded me like going back to sports days, where you walk in, you don't really know anyone, but you all have a common purpose. It was very welcoming. Surprisingly welcoming for how big some of these companies are. You're talking to these multi million dollar business owners and they're just talking to you about every day things. So that was one of the really cool things that I really took away from the FRSA.
Heidi Ellsworth: That is ... I know you spent some time with Rackely Roofing while you guys were there, so I saw a lot of those interactions. I agree, it's really impressive companies. Rodney, what did you think?
Rodney Pierre: I enjoyed the FRSA conference because I got to see how large the industry is. I got to see all the different parts of it. The organizations that are involved with it, like the National Women In Roofing and different organizations. It was awesome to see how everybody's so welcoming to helping each other. Having that community is super important to everybody. So I enjoyed just networking with great people. I can't wait to go to the next one. It's going to be amazing.
Heidi Ellsworth: That is true. We have a lot coming up. I know we're going to be spending a lot of time together. Well Ryan, pretty impressive team. I know how committed of an athlete you are. It sounds like you've got the same team going here. I would just love, can you talk a little bit about that philosophy you have of the correlation between athletics, and sales, and the skills that are developed? Maybe kind of just summarize all that up because I think you've really brought that together in a great way in the roofing industry.
Ryan Groth: Yeah, thanks Heidi. Thanks for sharing that about my team. I'm more excited today than when I was thinking about bringing them on. I trust that'll just continue. Yeah, they're really representing what I'm trying to impart, better than me in a lot of ways, in their own unique way. I guess that's the best way to say it. But I think the key relationship between sports and business is at the end of the day you're out there doing something hard, and you're competing regularly, so you're punished for just participating. In higher level sports if you are just a participant typically you get exposed and you're not really playing. You're not getting a lot of action, you're not really getting any type of notoriety, you're not getting promoted and growing. However, the same thing with business. If you're just participating you're probably not going to experience a lot of abundance. You're not going to have a lot of freedom, you're not going to have a lot of fun, you're not going to know what it feels like to win. So the same inputs that you put into sports, if you put those into business you'll experience a similar output. Like for example if you have a lot of desire, commitment, you make sacrifices, you implement proven systems, you get exposed to higher level performers of the same sport, so to speak. If we were to call roofing a sport. The fundamentals don't change. The disciplines are expressed differently but if the fundamentals are implemented, and there's mastery level, and team building, and culture around that. If there's a vision, if there's a goal. If there's a ... "Here's what the winning season looks like. Hey we're going to ... This is what if we win the championship looks like, if we hit our targets." I mean all of the same type of energy that is required to be successful in sports, if you do that in your business, with obviously different vernacular and different skills in the sport of roofing, or contracting, or business, then you're going to see the same type of output. Which is you're going to have fun, you're going to be high fiving, you're going to be attracting higher performers who want to go to another level. You're going to see people growing. You're going to see families thriving. You're going to see feeding more people. You're going to see yourself giving back to the community. Just like Little League they get sponsors, but in the Big Leagues they're giving back to their community or their getting involved in their local metropolitan area. I just see the same thing. It's like a spitting image. So for us we're like, "Man why are we trying to think differently? Why don't we think the same way but just learn a different sport?" Everything that it took for us to go from amateur to profession, or from high school to college, or from overweight to fit, and disciplined, and skinny, and free, whatever you want to call it, that stuff doesn't change. So the same problems exist in our space here, in our industry. We could count on that because people have problems. We can count on there being people who aren't disciplined, and aren't focused, and need help. So for us to be a guide to get them from A to B faster, or in fact they may never get to B without our help, it feels like a pretty safe bet to put our time, and energy, and life into. So we find that people understand it and the language of sports anchors the learning pretty quickly. Yeah. So we're excited about how we can continue to shape our culture around that, in a way that feels inclusive, and fun, and also gets people results.
Heidi Ellsworth: I just saw your Facebook post and, I think, it was an email on ... You talked about the Magic team and how it really ... That basketball team and what they ... Their success and not so much success correlated to business. So I thought that was really cool. It was just a great ... It really helped me to visualize some of the things that you're talking about. I know you have a lot of upcoming events where you are able to share these types of things. Maybe talk to us about right now what do you have upcoming? But also what you're doing on Facebook and email with some of these inspirational messages that you're putting out there?
Ryan Groth: Yeah. Thank you. I feel like we're coming up to a pretty ... Like the fourth quarter of our season. We want to finish strong. We're probably just starting our third quarter and we're seeing our season similarly to our targets. A big part of that is definitely getting out there into the industry, and speaking, and getting involved. The biggest one that's coming up right now is the Best of Success Conference down in Miami. It's April ... No, September 15th, 16th, and 17th. We're actually hosting and partnering with them to do a one day bootcamp on the 15th. So that's an internal event kind of in conjunction with Roofing Contractor Magazine's event. That's a special opportunity for people to come and have a one day deep dive. We still have space, so if you get this out before then and people want to hear about it they can come. There's different partnerships. We're going to be involved with the NRP, National Roofing Partners event. Their leadership summit. We sponsored that to go spend some time in Texas with those contractors. Those are a good group of really committed companies. So those are a few things. Then we have some more internal events. I have a couple of mastermind events, which I do for my top contractors. Most committed. They're like basically retreats with weekly calls to do one-on-one coaching to bring their sales people ... Really transform them from that bitter just quoter contractor to really high performing sales athletes. Kind of a play on words there. But yeah those are a few. We have a few more that are on the docket that aren't completely solidified. Always looking to populate the next year on speaking events, engagements, and partnerships with associations. That's a huge part of our success. I know you've helped facilitate a few of those. Oh yeah, METALCON as well in Pittsburgh in October. I'm going to be involved with Claire and the gang there. Yeah those are a few that are coming up, along with some other ones that are not quite published yet but yeah that's a big part of what we're doing. Then we have some live webinars. I'm hosting Ryan Shantz with SumoQuote. I'm hosting Eric Vargas with Followup CRM and the guys from Breakthrough Academy. So I have three live webinars that we'll do before the year's up, to really just promote and add value as I weigh in. But it's mostly featuring them. Then every week I post a video blog that is aimed at solving a problem of some degree, and adding value, and hopefully ... They're no more than 10 minutes long. Folks are just ... I'm top of mind. Not only just to them but to help them grow. Typically focused around business and improvement. So yeah, we find that those are really important and useful for me to put my time into. There's a lot of value that people receive from that, so we do those pretty regularly. Then my guys are really starting to get their voice. Make it be heard, so to speak, on social media. So to give those guys a connect for valuable information would be important.
Heidi Ellsworth: That's really good. I know all of these events, you're webinars, your speaking engagements, plus all your content, your articles, that's all also on your directory on RoofersCoffeeShop.
Ryan Groth: Yep.
Heidi Ellsworth: So if everybody's listening, if you want to see that expanse of what Ryan is doing, check out their directory on the CoffeeShop. That will also get you to their website where you can get more information or schedule a consultation. Because you do free consultations, right? Upfront?
Ryan Groth: Yeah. So typically we call those a strategy session. We'll take some time to understand your current situation, what you think your biggest concerns and challenges are, where you guys want to go. Then we give you some thoughts on what we think would help. If we feel like it's a fit, and you guys have that commitment and desire, not to just show up to the gym but actually go to the gym, and get trained, and grow so to speak but for your business, then we make an offer for you guys to be a part of our community and be one of our success stories as well.
Heidi Ellsworth: That is great. Well I see a lot of success going on. I want to thank you Ryan, and John, and Matt, and Rodney for being on Heidi's Roofing Road Trip Podcast today. We so appreciate you. Any last words Ryan on the future of Sales Transformation Group?
Ryan Groth: Yeah. We're really just raising up an army of contractors who are taking control and creating a proactive planned approach to growing their business. Especially emphasizing the sales side. Creating a winning environment, and a winning culture, and getting rid of the toxic thought processes and behavior that will sink you really. So what we want to do is welcome you, if you're one of those that are growth minded and you want to find a way to be a part of what we're doing. We're raising up an army, so to speak, of these types of folks who have high integrity, who are doing it the right way, it's authentic. You can't really cut corners because we go deep. I mean we're talking about changing lives and business, so you can't really cut corners there. You got to actually make some changes. So we're happy to be modeling that the best we can every day and setting the bar high so that people can grow. Yeah, we're welcoming people into that. That's what we're doing. Raising up that army where they're taking over their market and being the top brand for the reasons they want.
Heidi Ellsworth: That's great. Ryan thank you. Thank you for inspiring the industry and helping to grow the professionalism of roofing. And for bringing your new team on to share with our audience today everything that is happening with Sales Transformation Group. So thank you all for being here today.
John Townsend: Yeah, thanks Heidi.
Ryan Groth: Yeah, we're really honored to be a part ... Yeah. Heidi you're amazing, and you're a great mother to the industry, and people love you, and you serve us all with a ton of heart and a ton of commitment. So thanks for being diligent over the years. We all appreciate you. I know I do for sure.
Heidi Ellsworth: Thank you. That's so sweet. I haven't called mother of the industry. I like that. That is good. Well good. Well this is Heidi Ellsworth, again with RoofersCoffeeShop. Thank you for listening today to this podcast. You'll be able to find in on the RLW, Read Listen Watch, portion of our website RoofersCoffeeShop.com. It's meant for contractors who want to learn at any time they want to. So this podcast will be there, along with on the Sales Transformation Group directory. Thank you all for listening today and have a spectacular day!