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RoofersCoffeeShop - Where The Industry Meets!

What You Need to Grow Your Business - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

What You Need to Grow Your Business - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION
October 12, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Jon Gardner from Owens Corning, Trent Cotney from Adams & Reese and Caleb Nelson from Destination Motivation. You can read the interview below or watch the videos via our playlist.

Episode 1

Karen Edwards: Hello, everyone. I'm Karen Edwards with RoofersCoffeeShop, and I'd like to welcome you to a very special episode of CoffeeCast. I have Jon Gardner from Owens Corning joining me today to talk about their solutions and partnership program for contractors. And Jon, please introduce yourself.

Jon Gardner: Hey, Karen. Good to see you again. Good to be with you as always here at RoofersCoffeeShop. As you mentioned, my name is Jon Gardner. I'm with Owens Corning here, and I head up our strategic partnerships.

And our strategic partnerships, we call them our business solutions partners here, and these are all these fantastic partners that we have included in our Owens Corning Contractor Network program that really, at the end of the day, they're all about helping our contractors solve some of the most significant challenges and opportunities to scale the business, utilizing these resources, and as we call them, business solutions partners. And these are some of the best-in-class companies that solve very specific problems for small businesses including and most specifically for our roofing contractors.

Karen Edwards: Yeah. So I mean, it was a great series of interviews that we had about these business solutions, and I'm supposed to ask you what stood out to you, but I want to tell you what stood out to me is that you are working with the best of the best, Trent Cotney from Adams and Reese, Caleb from Destination Motivation. And the vetting process and the true quality of the partners that you choose, that to me was most impressive.

You do this every day, right? You live and breathe and do this every day, so are there some unique things about these services that kind of stand out to you that you want to recap for those watching?

Jon Gardner: Yeah. A great example, and what stands out to me is listen, the need to solve problems is never going to go away, but when you look at today's small business and today's roofing contractor, one of the most significant opportunities and where our contractors are leaning into, because it is the way of the world, is in the space of technology. And our business solutions portfolio, many of them are really focused in that space, which is a type of technology or a solution that solves these problems.

And a great example that kind of showcases how important technology is and what we're doing to help support our contractors is in the area of tech stacking. And a tech stack, Karen, as you know, and as most folks know that are listening, is it's the capabilities of technologies being stacked on top of one another. But the magic and the secret sauce of that is what we're calling an integration part of it, which is every piece of technology in that stack is not only doing what it's supposed to do, but it's communicating with other important technologies that are part of that tech stack.

And the reason why I bring that up is our business solutions portfolio, from them, we've built out a very real working tech stack, and we're showcasing it in the industry today, and our contractors are taking advantage of it. And this tech stack can be available for our contractors to learn more about on OCConnect and owenscorning.com, or contact your local area sales manager and we'll dive a little deeper to showcase it to you.

My point here, Karen, is that the business solutions continue to evolve for Owens Corning, and we're trying to solve the most significant problems. And the biggest opportunity here is leveraging technology to scale the business and or become more efficient or solve problems or get the sales organization more focused on talking about the right things in the home. And the list goes on and on.

And so technology, in a very real way, can help our contractors utilizing the tech stack and the other partners that we have in our business solutions portfolio. The key here is working with Owens Corning to understand where your biggest pain points are, and we can help you solve some of those through just some additional fact-finding and understanding where your deepest concerns are, where your most significant problems are, and we'll help you to solve those through our business solutions portfolio, technology being one of those most significant today.

So lots of fun, I'd say. Lots of fun, lots of great opportunity and excitement in the roofing space with this amazing technology that's coming into play.

Karen Edwards: Yeah, yeah. There's so much happening. And you said the business solutions program is going to continue to evolve and grow as new technologies come out and new solutions.

Now, any advice on if I'm a roofing contractor owner, I own the business, and I want to take advantage of some of these things, any tips for getting everybody else on board in the company?

Jon Gardner: Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, if there are varying degrees of whether or not the business wants to go in one direction or the other, the advice that I can give is leverage our area sales managers, leverage folks like me and other folks that are really dedicated in this space.

I'm going to mention Dave Banas. Dave Banas works with me very closely here at Owens Corning, and he is our technical guru who really takes these business solutions to pace in the background to make sure that they do what they're supposed to do, right? And so I would think about it in that context.

Karen Edwards: Excellent. Well, it's incredible that one, that you provide these resources and partnerships and then the guidance that comes along with it, because it takes a little while. Change doesn't happen overnight. So being there as that mentor, as being able to hold somebody's hand to offer advice and support I think is a recipe for success when you combine that with the partners you have.

Jon Gardner: Yep. And to just kind of go there again here with you, Karen, with regard to if you're not quite sure, is number one, contact your local area sales manager. That's number one. Number two is they're going to dive deeper with folks within our organization, as I just mentioned.

But one of the most significant advantages with our business solutions portfolio is obviously leveraging them to have a better understanding. So don't think of it as, "It's a sales call and they're going to pressure me." Our business solutions partners are all in this place where they just want to help our contractors.

So first and foremost, if you have any specific questions, you really want to dive deep, then I would recommend going into OCConnect, going into Owens Corning University, even go into oc.com and look at the various resources that we have available. And then from there, if you know you have a very specific issue and you can see a direct connection with one of our solution partners, then we can help you from that point.

If you're still struggling with that, then it's just a matter of unpacking the priorities. And again, we can help you with that as well in conjunction with our partners, and that could be as simple as, "Hey, let's have a 30-minute intake call and let's talk about what your significant challenges are, or where you really want to scale or where you want to focus your business."

And then from there, it's really as simple as connecting the dots and going through that journey with the contractor. And there's nothing more satisfying than to see and watch as our contractors continue to scale, continue to grow, continue to take market share, continue to build on the business that they built off of blood, sweat and tears.

So in a very real way, we very much love to dive in deep here with our contractors and solve some of these challenges and amazing opportunities to scale.

Karen Edwards: I love that you said it could be as simple as a 30-minute intake call, and let's discover what your challenges are, because they might not know. Or you just talking through it say, "Hey, wow, something like that could really make a difference for me." And it makes it a little less intimidating. So pick up a phone, right?

Jon Gardner: That's it.

Karen Edwards: Contact your local rep. It's that easy.

Jon Gardner: Yes. Yes, indeed. It is that easy. That starts the process, starts the journey, and that's what we love to do.

Karen Edwards: Excellent. Well, I think it's wonderful what Owens Corning is doing for the roofing industry, for the contractors who are out there every day taking care of our homes and buildings. That you're there to support them and help them grow and scale and be successful is really phenomenal. So Jon, thank you.

Jon Gardner: My pleasure. My pleasure. We've been in the industry for a few years now, and nothing gets us going more than watching our contractors and witnessing some of the growth as we all go through this journey together. And RoofersCoffeeShop has been there for over 20 years too, so you know many of the folks there.

Karen Edwards: We're committed. Yeah.

Jon Gardner: Yeah. Yeah, totally committed.

Karen Edwards: So all this information, visit Owens Corning's website, visit RoofersCoffeeShop, it's on there. We want you to succeed. We want you to win. We want everyone to be successful and be able to grow.

So thanks again, Jon, for being here. It was a pleasure to talk to you and learn more about these wonderful programs.

Jon Gardner: Karen, again, my pleasure. Thank you so much for the opportunity, and it really is as simple as a 30-minute intake call. That's what it takes. So please don't hesitate to reach out and take that opportunity to see where it might take you. So once again, Karen, thank you so much.

Karen Edwards: Yes, thank you. Thank you. Bye-bye, everyone.

Episode 2

Karen Edwards: Hello everyone, and welcome to this very special episode of CoffeeCast with Owens Corning. I am Karen Edwards with Roofers Coffee Shop, and I am really thrilled to welcome Jon Gardner from Owens Corning and Trent Cotney from Adams & Reese, welcome gentlemen.

Jon Gardner: Hey.

Trent Cotney: Hey, Karen, how are you?

Karen Edwards: Good. It's great to see you. So Owens Corning has been up to some really, really cool things for their contractors, and one of those is through their business solutions program. And recently you announced that Trent was going to be working with your contractor network. So before we dive into that, Jon, just remind everybody your role there at Owens Corning?

Jon Gardner: Sure, sure. First of all, once again, Karen, thank you so much. Super excited to be on this cast. As you know, we've been doing these for quite some time and it's just always great. Lots of fun. So with that being said, a little bit about me, Jon Gardner with Owens Corning, and today I head up our Training and Development Program for our contractors. And as you just mentioned, Karen, our business solutions platform. And those are both an integral part of the contractor program that we have here at Owens Corning to support our contractors. And so yeah, we'll dig into that a little bit more about what the business solutions are and our training and development program, and of course our partnership with Trent, which this is all about. So excited and can't thank Trent enough for being such a great partner with Owens Corning.

Karen Edwards: Trent. Wow. I always feel like you need no introduction because you are seen everywhere in the industry. You're involved in everything, but please introduce yourself,

Trent Cotney: Sir. I'm Trent Cotney. I am a Partner and Construction Team Leader at law firm Adams & Reese. And again, I echo Jon's statements. Very grateful for a Roofer's Coffee Shop. Always enjoy being able to talk to you guys, so thanks for having me.

Karen Edwards: Excellent. So let's dive in, Jon. The business solutions are just that, tools and services that help contractors be successful and be better in their business. Tell me your thoughts on how bringing Trent in to your network, what's that going to be able to do for your contractors, and what's Trent going to be able to do for your contractors?

Jon Gardner: Yeah, it's a great question. This is the journey that Owens Corning has been on in partnership with our contractors. We've learned so much over the years from our contractors and one of the biggest things that we learned is, the biggest challenge. One of the biggest challenges is running a small business. It is incredibly daunting. And so we have so much respect for our contractors and as I mentioned within our program, we do have our business solutions. And to answer your question, is it kind of parlays from the statement I just made, which is small business is just unbelievably challenging. And when we look at our partnership with our contractors, we do look at it from the holistic point of view. We look at our contractors as a partner, but we look at their entire business as our opportunity to help support our contractors and help them scale.

And many of the resources that we have are learned from our contractors. We have such tight relationships with them and they share so many things with regards to what their challenges are. So that kind of as we talk through that, it's really about the business solutions that we tee up that help support our contractors holistically and their business. And when we look at all of our business solutions, it's designed, as I just mentioned, to help support all parts of the business. And when we look at some of the most challenging parts of them, they're often not talked about, but so important. And so when we looked at where our opportunities were to help to continue to support our contractors, we looked at the fact that our contractors had within our program, a gap to help support them in this very critical part, which is the legal side of the business and standing that part up, because without that, there's all sorts of challenges that are difficult to overcome if the contractors aren't really set up foundationally on that part of the business.

And so what we learned over the years is, our contractors are in need of this type of resource. And so when we had an opportunity to resource out our partnership, we didn't really have to look too far. And Trent Cotney, Adams & Reese are an amazing firm. And as you just mentioned, Trent has an unbelievable reputation and relationship to the roofing industry and cannot thank Trent enough for the partnership that we've been able to create on behalf of our contractors.
And so just a tail end of this piece here, Karen, is that when we specifically looked and researched with our contractors, the areas where they could be most vulnerable in this particular space, we looked at the area that our contractors are connecting with the homeowners, which is at the point of the sale, and at the point of the sale, one of the most critical parts that contractors going to hand to the homeowner is the contract.

The contract is Trent, as you know, it's a legally bound document. It's a binding document, and it represents a ton with regard to the commitments the contractors are making and what the homeowner's about to sign. And Trent, you can get into this a lot more than I can because we've had an opportunity with our partnership, Karen, to provide our contractors with a free contract audit as part of the partnership with Adams & Reese particularly and specifically with Trent. And we rolled this out in partnership with Trent because as I just mentioned to you, there is no more critical place from a legal standpoint, that our contractors are that touch into until they sit at the kitchen table, they put the contract down, and the signature is being made at. That point, every last word in that document is critically important.

Karen Edwards: That's scary.

Jon Gardner: It's scary, it is scary, but it can also be a great opportunity. And so this is where that place is where we are so grateful for our partnership with Trent. We've rolled out our partnership with Trent the last couple of months. Now, part of that offering, as I just mentioned to you, is a free contract audit to all of our contractor members within our network. And Trent, we've been doing this for about a month and a half, maybe two months now. And the results are fantastic in terms of the number of contractors that are coming to Trent to say, "Hey, look, I think I want you to take a look at my contract, make sure that I'm buttoned up tight." And Trent I'll leave it for you to share with us what you found and what the opportunities are. But we thought that this was a place where we could really help our contractors. And it turns out from the feedback that Trent and I have been talking about, just the results and the connection with contractors is this is a really powerful opportunity for contractors to button up a critical part of the business.

Karen Edwards: Yeah. Trent, tell us, How has it been going and how scary is it?

Trent Cotney: Yeah, so first off, it's been fantastic working with Owens Corning. I mean, I've known Jon for quite a while, respect him tremendously. And when the opportunity came up, I thought that it would be a fantastic way for us to really be proactive rather than reactive. And what I've seen over the years in representing roofing contractors is that it doesn't matter if you're just starting off, or you're a big company, oftentimes you're missing some of the key fundamentals when it comes to that critical paperwork.

And the most important thing, the trench that you always fall back into when customer service doesn't work is your contract. So what we are doing is I am reviewing, I myself am reviewing, I'm not farming it out, it's me, even though we've got hundreds of lawyers, I'm the one doing it. I'm taking a look at their contract, customer contract when they send it over to me and I'm creating a contract audit. And what that consists of, is a first part where I go through whatever terms and conditions or other things that I see on there, I point out some problems, and then I put a section in there of stuff that they should consider adding that's not there. And it could be construction specific, it could be roofing specific, whatever it might be. And I give that over to them, and it's completely 100% free no strings attached it. It's there. We've had a huge response, huge response.

I don't know how many now, but it's probably pushing 100 contractors that have reached out. And I'll tell you, this is critically needed. I have literally spit up my coffee reading some of these contracts. There are a lot of problems. There's some potential statutory warnings that are needed. There are a lot of things that are unenforceable, and what I'm hoping that contractors really get out of this, is an opportunity to fine tune their contracts, make sure that they're protected and avoid legal problems. That's the goal of this, right? That's the goal of this partnership is to help create those fundamentals, that administrative backfill that really allows you to be profitable.

So I think it's a tremendous tool. I enjoy it. I enjoy it because I get to see what's out there and I get to see... It helps me be a better lawyer, and it's very important for me to have my feet on the ground and just be able to understand what's going on out there. So every time I read these contracts from all over the US, it gives me a great understanding of how people are doing business and going to business. And I think that we're able to provide some real world solutions to help OC contractors. So I can't speak enough to it. It's a huge, huge tool that I think everyone that's participated in it has benefited from.

Karen Edwards: Well, I'm curious because Jon, you said running a small business is hard, and the person who owns that business and is running that business has to wear a lot of hats, and they know roofing and construction and they don't know HR, or they don't know contracts and, they don't know. And Trent maybe, where are people finding samples on the internet and saying, "Oh, that sounds good. I'll use it." Where are most people finding these bad contracts?

Trent Cotney: It's kind of funny there, and it's not everybody, right? There are some that have decent contracts, but there's a lot that I see that I call Frankenstein contracts, which is they found bits and pieces from maybe competitors or other places on the internet, and they kind of piece it together, but it doesn't make any sense. You'll have contradictory terms on page one and page two, and there's things like that that the fine-tuning from a legal perspective, that the nuances that a lot of people miss.

Jon Gardner: Karen and Trent, as you were speaking, what came to mind for me is this is for many contractors, these are parts of the business that they're learning. And it's, to your point, Karen, when I mentioned the fact that small businesses is difficult, there really isn't any place to go and say, "Hey, I'm going to open a small business up. Give me all the things I need and let me turn the key and let's just let it run."

We know that doesn't happen. And at the end of the day, Owens Corning's goal is pretty simple. We want to help our contractors scale, and we want to be very easy to do business with. Those two things are very critical to Owens Corning. And Trent, you mentioned with regard to the Frankenstein contracts, we're making light of some of the contracts that came through, but in all seriousness, there is no place for contractors to go and say, "I want a contract." So Karen, you asked, "Do they go out to the internet?" I'm sure they do. I'm sure that they took a contract from maybe their dad that started the business where things have changed over the years or who knows where. But the fact of the matter is because there is no turn the key and off it goes, small business contractors and small businesses are doing the best they possibly can to stand up a great company, and that's what we see all day long.

Our goal is to provide resources that are extremely trusted and that are best in class to help our contractors scale without having to go through the minutia to learn that, well, that particular resource didn't really work out, so now I need to go learn again what a potential resource might be for me, whatever part of the business they're trying to solve for. Part of what we're doing is, through our partnership with Trent and our passion for the industry is, look, let's just make sure that we can provide the resources to our contractors that they can trust and that are best in class that allow them to just take that piece of their business, solve it, and move on to other parts of the business that we can help them with or that they're currently working on.

And it's really as simple as that, but at the end of the day, our offerings are only as good as the folks that we're partnered with. And it really goes back to the incredible amount of respect that Trent has built over the years, and Trent, just how you have really immersed yourself into the roofing industry in an amazing way, providing resources by, you're pretty much everywhere every day. I see you're flying somewhere, but the point here I'm trying to make is that, when you're looking for an attorney, you're looking for legal resources, you're looking for a firm that you can count on and you can trust that understands the roofing industry, that has the power to take care of the smallest or the largest of issues. That's what we look for when we look for our business services partners, because we do not want to put our business services partnerships or our contractors at any risk at all.

So when we do our work and we make our selections within our business solutions, it does come from that place. And so I've said it a couple times with regard to my utmost respect for Trent and what he's been able to do and achieve is just amazing. And that's the type of partnerships that we look for, the partnerships that we really dive into, and the partnerships that our contractors can really take advantage of. And so we're super proud of it. And more importantly, outside of being proud of it, we're just, whenever I hear stories, Trent of, have you been able to help a contractor. And Karen, you feel this way all the time too, is with so much respect that we give to our contractors, it's amazing that we can help them to change even the smallest part of their business because that's our part in making sure that our partnership is standing up really tall.

Karen Edwards: Yeah, you said that so well, that you can feel alone and lost out there as a small business owner or any business owner because who do you call? And by creating that relationship with Owens Corning, who offers this platform pretty much for any business, any need, that this person is going to have in their business, that's really powerful. And I think that really says a lot about your partners and Owens Corning.

Jon Gardner: And our contractors, right?

Karen Edwards: Yeah.

Jon Gardner: They are thirsty to be the best they can be, and keeping up with them is part of the challenge too, because they are fast, fast-paced and they're looking to grow, and we all see what's going on in the industry today. So hats off to them. They're a big part of this partnership too.

Karen Edwards: Yeah. Wow. This is exciting stuff and looking forward to maybe we touch base again in a year or so and see how things are going and get some good stories from Trent, because that's also a learning opportunity as well. By hearing from Trent some of the things he's finding and some of the things for improvement, contractors can learn from that as well. So how, if I am an Owens Corning contractor and wants to take advantage of these business services, how do I do that, Jon?

Jon Gardner: So pretty easy first, if you know who your area sales manager is, then pick up the phone or text and just say, "Hey, look, I'm super interested in learning more about our partnership, Adams & Reese Trent, and specifically with regard to the contract audit." That they can dive right in and help our contractors. If our contractors are looking for information on their own, then I would suggest going to OC Connect they're very familiar with that. That's our location where our contractors can dive into our business solutions and learn a bit more about that as well. You can also find additional information about our partnership on Owens Corning University. So those three locations should get our contractors good place, and if all else fails and it doesn't work, then we'll see what we can do to help them out.

Karen Edwards: Well, you can always visit Roofer's Coffee Shop because we've got a lot of information on there too. [inaudible 00:18:59]

Jon Gardner: Exactly. Thank you, Karen.

Trent Cotney: Thank you.

Jon Gardner: That's right.

Karen Edwards: All right. Well, Jon and Trent, thank you so much for joining me on this CoffeeCast. If we can help just even a handful of people be better, then that's a win for everybody.

Trent Cotney: No doubt.

Karen Edwards: All right guys, take care, and we will see you on a future episode.

Episode 3

Karen Edwards: Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode of Coffee Cast with Owens Corning. I'm Karen Edwards from Roofers Coffee Shop, and I'd like to welcome Jon Gardner from Owens Corning. Welcome, Jon.

Jon Gardner: Thank you so much. Good to see you, Karen.

Karen Edwards: Glad you're here. And today's guest is Caleb Nelson from Destination Motivation. Welcome, Caleb.

Caleb Nelson: Thanks, Karen. Nice to see you, Jon.

Jon Gardner: Good to see you too, my man.

Karen Edwards: So we are talking in these episodes about the Owens Corning Contractor Network and their ability to access this business solutions program. And Jon, tell us a little bit about, high level, why you're offering these solutions and services to your contractor network.

Jon Gardner: Yeah. Well first of all, Karen, thank you so much for the invitation. You think so much about in respect, Roofers Coffee Shop. It's what now? 20? I'm just looking at my mug. It's how many years now?

Karen Edwards: It's 21.

Jon Gardner: That's amazing. Amazing. I remember when I first got into the industry, it was still a piece of paper, right? And I do remember that. So anyway, thank you so much for opportunity and all the things that Roofers Coffee Shop does. So today I head up our training and development here at Owens Corning and I also head up what we call our business solutions and the business solutions, to kind answer your question here, Karen, I think I've said this to you many, many times in the past, but when we look at a small business, there probably isn't anything more challenging than that when it comes to day in and day out, being the best you possibly can be. So many challenges thrown at you every day that it is one of the most challenging, but one of the most rewarding parts of a job and a career as well.

Anyway, all that being said is that our contractor program was established and built by listening to our contractors and hearing from them about what their most difficult challenges are and opportunities to scale can be. And as we've grown over the years and we've developed our program, our business solutions platform has always been part of it, but it continues to build, and the business solutions, at its essence, is resource for our network members to tap into to really solve any part of the business that they might be having some problems with. And the business solutions is really built by the partnerships and through the partnerships with amazing companies like Destination Motivation and the work in the business that Caleb and his team have built out. And so when we look at what our objectives are, what our responsibilities are in our partnership with our contractors, it's to help our contractors scale, but solve to the problems and the challenges in the most efficient and trusted way.

And part of what we can do within our business solutions platform is to kind of get away from the gray area to allow our contractors to save some time, save some frustration by tapping into our business solutions because part of what we do is a pretty laborious building of the relationship with folks like Destination Motivation. We really truly try to understand what it is of essence that folks like Destination Motivation do? How do they solve contractors' problems? Are they solving all the right and most critical needs? And so we look at our platform in that way. And then we go back out into the market with our sales organization and we just go at it with our contractors to understand where their biggest pain points are, and we try to tap into our business solutions platform and the expertise that they have to help solve those challenges.

And there's nothing more exciting for us than to be able to be part of solving a problem for our contractors because the reward is just unbelievable. We get so much out of seeing our contractors and our partners continue to expand and grow, and the little bit that we have to do with that is just super exciting and that's what gets us energized every single day, and our business solutions platform within our contractor program is a huge piece of it. And so we're super proud of our business solutions platform. And to our conversation here today, Destination Motivation, really a fantastic company, a company that taps into one of the most critical parts of our contractors' challenges. So today, just super excited about talking through that a little bit more and how our contractors can tap into folks like Caleb and Destination Motivation, all the great stuff that they bring to the roofing industry.

Karen Edwards: Right? So when I saw the name Destination Motivation, I thought, "Hmm, hat does this company do?" And I thought, "Well, motivation, okay, maybe it's something to help with sales or maybe it's something..." And it's kind of all that, but even better. So Caleb, please introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about you and tell us what Destination Motivation does for Owens Corning contractors.

Caleb Nelson: Yeah. Hi, my name's Caleb Nelson, owner of Destination Motivation, and we really focus heavily on helping contractors increase their close rates, totally eliminate cancellations if they start to rear their ugly head, and we've created really a multi-tool, whether it's a bigger call to action to generate more leads, which contractors in 2023 are definitely looking for more leads, or just creating more profitability per deal by creating more value in the overall value proposition. And this multi-tool that we've created is more of a system in the form of a vacation voucher. So our contractor clients are able to then offer this in their sales and or marketing process, in marketing, obviously as a call to action in sales as a closing tool. But we've created a whole system around it.

So it's not some gimmick, it's not some timeshare presentation, it's not some hoops to jump through kind of thing, it's a real, truly valuable vacation. And we work with 23 out of the top 30 contractors, we just got Inc 5,000 fastest growing companies, we've got over 1,300 five star reviews from consumers who have bought home improvement, got the vacation voucher, shared their experience. So we're really in a perfect position to help contractors really kind of get to that next level in their business.

Karen Edwards: Wow. We were joking a little bit earlier, but it almost seems too good to be true. If I'm a homeowner and I get one of these vacation vouchers, am I going to have to go watch a presentation? [inaudible 00:08:10]. No.

Caleb Nelson: The only presentation they're going to have to watch is the contractor sharing his value proposition about his company and his product and everything else. And we feel that that two and a half hours is long enough, which always surprises me when people get three or four or five or even six estimates. If you add that up, that's a whole day. But no, when I developed the product, I created it for the home improvement industry where companies rely on repeat business, they rely on referral, they rely on good customer service scores, and those things are important for business growth, and those are things that we help enhance. So yeah, the product itself, also, if you really kind of rewind a little bit, there's just an incredible consumer demand for it. I mean, you just look at the landscape of, you have an entire two to three years of people's vacations getting canceled.

Then you've got, okay, unleash the floodgates, everyone 2023 is going to get back out there. All of a sudden, pump the brakes, inflation has just made the cost of travel extraordinarily expensive. Well, that sucks, right? But not traveling sucked even more. So what happened is 2023 people were just biting the bullet and spending money on travel anyways. And it's not just me saying this, this is all the travel statistics and reporting out there. In fact, the media has even coined the phrase revenge travel. So now when you look at the landscape of the home improvement industry, you're not necessarily competing against the contractor down the street or even yourself, a lot of times now you're competing against people spending their hard earned money on travel.

Karen Edwards: That's a good point.

Caleb Nelson: Instead of home improvement,

Karen Edwards: Right. Yeah. 10 or $15,000 for a home improvement project would get you one really nice vacation or multiple nice vacations. I'm curious how it works for if you are using it in your sales as a motivation closing tool for a homeowner. What's that experience like for that homeowner once they receive the voucher? Because that's going to reflect a lot, I think, on their overall experience with that contractor and that new roof.

Caleb Nelson: Oh yeah. That's something we focus heavily on is the customer experience. And look, in 2023, CX, customer experience is more important than anything. In fact, 86% of consumers are willing to pay more when they're buying a product for a higher quality customer experience, so that's something where we focus heavily on, and I think it's so important to focus heavily on that no matter what you're selling these days. And so, look at it more of a system. So we teach the sales reps exactly how to position these things precisely, we give them the tools in order to do that, and obviously we enable them to be very successful at that, and it's very, very easy. And then the sales rep or the company is able to then pass the baton to us after the sale is made and we take care of the rest. So we start with a phone call, outbound phone call to the homeowner 24 hours after the sale, and it's a welcome call, and this is where we really start to excel.

We help with third party verification, "Ah, you purchased from A, B, C Roofing. Congratulations. They're a fantastic company. We love working with them," A little pat on the back. We're trying to help eliminate that buyer's remorse. And look, sometimes in roofing, it can be somewhat of a grudge purchase. It's like, "Ah, we have to spend our money on this," And so we turn it into a feel good purchase. And then we continue it, "We'd just love to congratulate you on your vacation voucher with a company that provides a redemption. Just wanted to give you courtesy, answer any questions you might have." So we really kind of carry that baton, but also carry that emotional torch. And consumers, they buy emotionally and then they sort of justify their reasoning logically. That's where you can get into trouble with some cancellations or rescissions. So we help eliminate that buyer's remorse by creating that ultimate experience because people don't have a regret or buyer's remorse over an experience, it's only with tangible items.

And then when installation happens, they get their voucher, we then have a concierge department that helps book that. We hold their hand through the process to ensure every step of the way they're having a really cool experience. And the results are, we have a five star rating on Google with over 1300 reviews, which, it's not easy to do that, especially if you're selling some sort of travel related product.

Karen Edwards: Wow, that's impressive. Yeah, I think that overall customer experience and following up with them and making them feel good about it within 24 hours, that is a great reinforcement. You've got to be seeing some really good numbers. I know I didn't say I was going to ask you that, but what kind of results are contractors seeing?

Caleb Nelson: It's wild. I mean, you wouldn't think that it would move the needle as much as it does, but... I can just tell you one story. We trained a client in December, and it was an individual sales rep who did not have a great close rate, it was a 17% close rate for two consecutive months, and it was one of those guys who was just kind of getting in his own way, clearly. In fact, he was very reluctant to adapt our program. In fact, verbatim, he said this is one of the stupidest programs he'd ever seen. So fortunately, I was kind of the one doing the training, so I was like, "All right, challenge accepted." And by the end of the training, he kind of was like, "All right, well, I guess I'll try it. What do I have to lose?" That month in December, which is not an easy selling month in general, he went from 17% close rate to 70% in one month. You can imagine what that did to his income that month.

I mean, it skyrocketed. It also probably skyrocketed his self-confidence because moving forward, he obviously was able to maintain a much higher close rate. And at the end of the day, he was like, "Oh my God, my customers love this. Who wouldn't want to get their next vacation based on a roofing purchase?" So it's one example, but I think it kind of helps this program make a lot of sense.

Jon Gardner: Oh, a hundred percent. From our standpoint, Karen, and as you were talking Caleb, just thinking through our journey as we built out our partnership here. So context around that is, Karen, you asked a question with regard to our business solutions, and to expand on that a little bit, within our contractor program, we try to build out the resources, as I mentioned before, that help our contractors solve all the problems they could potentially run into, or at least the vast majority of them. And so when we look at Destination Motivation at first blush, we look at that and say, okay, well, that's just a great closing tool, but when we look at our program and the resources we're providing, we have the resources ahead of when we're going to be inserting something like Destination Motivation. So to help contractors, Caleb, to your point, he went from 17 to 70%, there's a lot of things that go on that help contractors get to that level, and Destination Motivation is a great example of that.

But my point here is that when our contractors tap into the program, we have the resources to help them build out that really leading edge presentation that's going to be going into the home. We have the resources to help our contractors actually build out a roof so that homeowners can tap into the essence of just how important a new roof is. We have the resources to help our contractors make sure that the production side of it is going well. So my point here is that it's not just Destination Motivation, although a super important part, what we're trying to do here is to build out that entire experience for our contractors in that critical point in time when the contractor is at the kitchen table with a homeowner and they've done all that work ahead of time to make sure the presentation is really right, and they're really feeling great about that part, is, there's that critical part of the presentation where the homeowner is just saying, "Can I trust you? Do I trust you? And tell me something about your company, about what you're providing me that I can't get anywhere else."

And so when we look at the Destination Motivation and where our contractors can tap into it is, with that predictable process going in the home with that sales presentation and predictably adding this in to the presentation. That's a critical part, Caleb, as you know it, is, you can't scale if you can't put in something into the business that's repeatable. And in this particular case, Destination Motivation hits right at that critical point where the homeowners are just in their minds. We've all been there, right? We've all been there. It's like, "Mm, I don't know," Or, "Yeah, I'm all in." This is just one example. The opportunity for a salesperson to go in the home and say, "Hey, part of what we..." And Caleb, you went through that whole part here, but that critical part for that salesperson is number one.

Number two is when we look at contractors as they try to scale their own organization. So they start out with themselves, maybe add a salesperson, maybe add two, maybe add three, maybe add four, whatever that might look like, we have some organizations that have 50 or more, is, there's an opportunity using Destination Motivation with the sales organization. So an internal opportunity for our contractors to really drive and reward for great behavior and great salesmanship, and salesmanship is really built off that predictable process that they've been working on. And so when we look at Destination Motivation, it's not just an opportunity to get that homeowner to say, "Wow, this is amazing. There's no other reason why I shouldn't be doing business with you. I'm ready to go." But on the internal side is, it has that same type of power to really drive the salespeople to win, to want to win. And what's more rewarding than an opportunity to go on a vacation after you've put in six months, a year, or whatever it is, to bust your butt to do the best you possibly can do?

And Caleb, there's probably many, many examples of how you can disperse this opportunity with Destination Motivation, the resource, the voucher program for both internal and external. I think that at the end of the day, when we've had conversations with contractors, some say to us, "This is really too good to be true," And so I want to talk about that a second here because with all of our business solutions, it starts with partnering with the right company, and the right company for us is Destination Motivation because, first of all, they're solving a major need for our contractors, two is they've established themselves as leaders in this particular space, and three is, I've said this many times, we want to make it easy to do business with our contractors. So anytime our business solutions partners help our contractor, we want that to be an extension of helping our contractors out. So Destination Motivation really has it all when it comes to connecting with contractors, teaching them what the critical steps are with something like Destination Motivation and the voucher program, how to instill it in both internally and externally.

There's literally thousands of examples of how contractors use something like this, like Destination Motivation, to help support their business, and hey, look, closing the sale, getting referrals, building a reward mechanism for upgrades, helping your sales organization get better and rewarding them for that, this happens all day long, Karen, but it happens in the form of just... It could be an easy idea like, "Here's a $200 Visa gift card. Here's $50 to go to the local restaurant." Contractors are doing this all day long, but they're doing it with the resources that they're kind of pulling locally. Part of what we've done is being able to say, "Hey, our contractors say this is a really important part of our piece of the sales process. Help us, give us something that we could just take and replicate all day long that has an immense amount of value relative to the costs that the contractors are paying." And that's where our contractors can win, a scalable resource with the internal resources, Caleb, that you've just mentioned, with that whole experience from beginning to end, that's an important part of it.
And through that partnership with Destination Motivation and kind of how you built it out, Caleb, it helps our contractors take that idea, that $50 gift card, the trip to the local restaurant, turn that into something that does the same thing but has a thousand times more perceived value to it, and you can't go wrong there. So...

Karen Edwards: No.

Jon Gardner: We like that.

Karen Edwards: Yeah, and I think with the thing that you said is that you're doing the vetting, right? The business services partners that you are bringing in and giving access to your contractor network, you've done all the research, all the hard work because who has time to do that as a small business owner? And so many times, you just, "Oh, I'll just try this," And then you get burned, and that's when you start to get a bad taste about it, but because you have done this as an incredible resource for the contractors, they can feel comfortable and secure knowing that they're not going to get burned.

Jon Gardner: Yeah. Caleb, you and I, we started our conversations well over a year ago, and that's part of the process, Karen, that you're referring to, which is, let's just get to know each other and for us to understand exactly what the true value prop is that Destination Motivation is providing, coupled with the ability to execute it at the highest level is kind of what we're looking for in all of our business services and our business solutions partners. And the other part is just, do we share the same values? Do we have the same focus in terms of helping contractors really, at its essence, help them take their business to the next level? And so, that's why... It's got to solve for it's very basic resource, it's basic... What's the word I'm looking for? What it's intended to do. But at the end of the day, all those other things are super important with regard to our partnerships and how we bring them to market.

Karen Edwards: Yeah. So if I'm a contractor in the Owens Corning Contractor Network and want to take advantage of what Destination Motivation can bring to my business, how do I do that?

Jon Gardner: Great question. First and foremost, if you have a relationship or if you know who your area sales manager is with Owens Corning, just pick up the phone, text them, and they will be able to get all the information you need with regard to our partnership with Destination Motivation. Number two, contractors can simply go on to OC Connect portal, and there's more information available there. Owens Corning University is and another resource our contractors can tap into to learn more about our partnership with Destination Motivation. So between those three, I think our contractors should find it. And if all else fails, just give me a jingle. We'll make sure it happens.

Karen Edwards: Reach out to Jon. We've got lots of information about it on Roofers Coffee Shop, so there's no reason that... You can't say, "I didn't know how," Because we've given you that information. Wow. This was really, really interesting, this conversation. Caleb, I think what you do is really cool and unique, and I love hearing the success stories of contractors, so thanks for being here today and sharing what you do.

Caleb Nelson: Karen, I appreciate you. Jon, I appreciate you. Thank you both so much. This was an absolute blast.

Jon Gardner: No doubt. Thank you, Karen.

Karen Edwards: Thank you much both, and we'll see you on a future episode of Coffee Cast.


Episode 4

Karen Edwards: Hello. And welcome to a very special edition of CoffeeCast. My name is Karen Edwards with Roofers Coffee Shop, and I'm really excited to welcome Jon Gardner from Owens Corning today. Jon, welcome.

Jon Gardner: Thank you. Thank you. Good to see you and good to be here with you, Karen. Thanks so much for this and all the great stuff that Roofers Coffee Shop does for this industry. Amazing, amazing.

Karen Edwards: Thank you, Jon. Well, tell those who are watching a little bit about you, what you do there at Owens Corning.

Jon Gardner: Yeah. Well, lucky enough for me, I've been in the industry since the '90s. And I've had an opportunity to just witness how this industry has really shaped itself out and where it's come to today. And it's just a amazing journey that I've been in with regard to this industry and all the great stuff that's happened, and what it's provided for me. Anyway, for me, as you know, I'm with Owens Corning. And today, I head up our training and development platform, and I also head up our strategic partnerships here at Owens Corning. And both of those have a lot to do with the Owens Corning Contractor Network program. And these resources that I just referred to are a big part of it. So, really love what we do here at Owens Corning, helping our contractors scale and solve real problems.

Karen Edwards: What kind of solutions do you offer through these partnerships for contractors?

Jon Gardner: Yeah, great question. And when we look at a small business, it really isn't one size fits all. And the reality of it is, is that contractors and small businesses face challenges in all aspects of the business. So, when we look at our business services and business solutions portfolio, and our entire contractor network program, we look at it from that lens. We don't look at it from a left side or a right side. We understand that our contractors have problems in all aspects of the business, challenges and amazing opportunities. So when we think about our business solutions portfolio, we think of it and we provide the resources that really help our contractors out with all aspects of the business, whether it's back office, whether it's on sales, marketing, production, installation, et cetera. So, really think of it as the solution box or a solution set for contractors where they can dive in to the business solutions portfolio, many of which are partners that are exclusive to Owens Corning, really stand up those parts of the business that are most challenging for our contractors.

Karen Edwards: Of the partners that you bring in to the business solutions program, how do you determine, because you're not just going to let anybody in there? How do you determine who that you work with, because putting your reputation on the line as well?

Jon Gardner: Yeah, for sure. That's a great question, and this is a question that we get from our contractors quite often. And so, the journey of adding a business solutions partner to our portfolio is a long journey. It could take up to two years through the entire process. And it really starts with a deep understanding of what those challenges are that our contractors are facing. And that's through the work that our fantastic sales team does and bringing that information back to the company and saying, "You know what? Our contractors are facing these specific challenges." And so, we learn from our contractors what's most important.

Two, we have a fantastic pulse of the industry and we understand where those most significant challenges are. And then from there we go into a pretty significant vetting process, looking at the potential opportunities and what resources are out in the industry, whether they're within the roofing industry or maybe even outside of the roofing industry. And from there, we do a lot of work with a potential business solutions partner, including doing a lot of testing, a lot of review, a lot of research, and connecting them with contractors as we test them out. And then finally, as we go through that journey, which could take up to 18 months to two years, we finally embed them into the business solutions portfolio after we have a full evaluation done, and we are 100% certain that they're going to solve our contractor's problems in the most meaningful way.

So, our contractors don't have to go through that vetting process, and that constant recycle of understanding and trying out a particular technology or a solution, then having to go back to the well again. So, we do a lot of that background work for our contractors. And when we stand up our business solutions portfolio, we are 100% confident that they are best in class, and best in class for our contractors to solve those most unique challenges regardless of where those challenges are within the contractor's business.

Karen Edwards: That's really reassuring, because just in talking to contractors in the industry, so many have, I don't want to say wasted a lot of time, but it feels that way. If you pick a partner, it doesn't work out, you got to go back to the drawing board. So, that's really meaningful. And it says a lot that you do that vetting for them. And I think contractors can feel comfortable that these partners will have their best interests in mind, and it's not just a hard sell to get their money, but that they truly want to help the business.

Jon Gardner: Yeah. And that's a really great point, because there is no hard sell. And that's one of the great things about the business solutions portfolio. It's not all about just getting into the contractor's business for the sake of getting into the business. Part of the process with regard to standing up a new business solutions portfolio, is that business solution and that company that we may partner with begins to understand. And throughout the journey of onboarding into a business solutions portfolio with our company is they understand who our contractors are, what the challenges are, and exactly how and what the best approach may be when connecting with our contractors.

In other words, they're not foreign to the network. They understand what we are all about and they're a really good fit from that respect, because we've done, again, some of that legwork and really fine-tuning how these business solutions can work with our contractors. So, when you think about it that way, we do a lot of the legwork to make sure our contractors don't have to do that work that we talked about and that recycling. But on the other side too, with our business solutions partners, they understand very clearly who our contractors are and how to work with our contractors in the most meaningful way. So, when we marry them, there is a really good synergy there, and they can get the ground running right away to help our contractors scale, solve those problems and get that business in a place where they envision it.

Karen Edwards: Right, yeah. And Owens Corning becomes a business mentor providing resources. And I think it's really important for contractors to embrace these strategic relationships, because you probably have plenty of examples of making differences in contractors' businesses through these partnerships.

Jon Gardner: Oh, amazing examples, and just really great telling stories. And this is what really gets us motivated here at Owens Corning is, we are very much connected with our contractors. And to have the opportunity and the privilege to work with them, and get deep into the business and do what we can do to help our contractors in the most challenging part, which is running this small business, it's over the top for us. And it's really what motivates our entire organization, because when our contractors win, we win. And most importantly, the homeowners win. And so, it's that whole cycle that we really look forward to.

Karen Edwards: Okay. So, Jon, we've got a few more videos coming up in this CoffeeCast series where we're going to meet some of your newer partners. Can you tell me a little bit about what we're going to see?

Jon Gardner: Yeah, absolutely. And as we've been talking about, these two new business solution partners are a great example of just how we can help our contractors in all these different places of the business. And first, I just want to share with you one of our newest partners is Adams and Reese. This is a law firm, and specifically Trent Cotney, who is our point of contact and who is really core to the relationship with Owens Corning and with our contractors.

So, we are adding one of the industry's most influential, and really at the grassroots magnificent understanding from a legal perspective with regard to helping contractors just avoid some of those legal pitfalls in standing up a business on that side of it, so that they can feel really confident and comfortable that they've got everything in place to make sure that they're not putting themselves in legal jeopardy. And Trent Cotney is just a fantastic resource, and he's unparalleled in this industry with regard to what he provides this industry and our contractors in the legal sphere. And we are just very privileged to have Trent Cotney as a business solutions provider here on an exclusive basis with Owens Corning for our contractors.

Karen Edwards: Yeah, that's really exciting. Trent is just entrenched in the industry and knows it inside and out. So, that is what a wonderful addition.

Jon Gardner: Yeah. And then number two, we have a second edition here most recently is with Destination Motivation. And Destination Motivation helps our contractors solve some of their biggest issues in a different part of the business. And this is really all about helping contractors stand up urgency and getting homeowners to really look at their business in a very different way. In other words, helping contractors to differentiate themself, create the opportunity to close the sale, create an opportunity for referrals. And this is all through Destination Motivation. And Destination Motivation offers our contractors vacation vouchers that provide homeowners or customers that they're working with an opportunity to really enjoy a vacation.

And so, as we think about this in the contractor's point of view, how can contractors utilize this? Well, they utilize these vouchers and they utilize the partnership with Destination Motivation, to embed this unbelievable resource to help homeowners understand just how different this particular contractor is, how the salesperson can leverage something like a vacation to incentivize a homeowner to take the next step. And then you look at other options contractors can use with regard to Destination Motivation and their fantastic vouchers is leveraging them to, on the internal basis with the companies, to create some competitive culture with the salespeople.

So, there's all sorts of different ways that contractors can take advantage of Destination Motivation. I would just park it as a fantastic resource and unparalleled resource with regard to its perceived value, helping contractors to get homeowners to understand just how different they are. And giving homeowners that incentive to say, yes, I do want to do business with you because you convinced me that you are the right contractor based on all the great work you do. And you're providing me a very unexpected incentive to say yes to you. So, at the end of the day, Karen, the incentives are not something new for contractors. They may provide homeowners with a $50 gift cards-

Karen Edwards: Gift cards.

Jon Gardner: And they may provide homeowners with a gift certificate to a local restaurant. All of those are fantastic. But when you look at what Destination Motivation has done and what they provide our contractors is it's all about the perceived value when you're trying to incentivize a homeowner. And the reality of it is, is vacations are not cheap. Destination Motivation offers almost 5,000 different locations across the world for homeowners to take vacations on that are just fantastic. And various cruise lines are available for homeowners to select from as well through our contractors. And at the end of the day, those cost a lot of money. So, the perceived value of those vacations are in the thousands of dollars. The reality of it is, is our contractors through our partnership can purchase these vouchers at a cost of around $200. And that $200, it's a cost that they can include in the total cost of the job, and then they provide that to the homeowners.

And the perceived value is so way, way above anything else that they've ever seen with a very real opportunity to go on a magnificent vacation. And that the homeowners look at that as this is so unexpected and so different than anybody else has come into the home here. And then think about what we could do with that, Karen, and imagine what contractors can utilize those vouchers for. Referral programs for existing happy customers, incentives for the sales organization to be the best and have the highest close rate. Opportunities at fares in your local communities when you're standing up who you are in your business and why your roofing company is the best in the one to choose from. Offering these vacation vouchers, extend a level of curiosity to homeowners and extend a level of just unexpected excitement about the opportunity to get a new roof and go on vacation two. And Destination Motivation offers all of that, plus a fantastic concierge service on the backend.

So, our contractors can literally plug in and one day have a concierge service with Destination Motivation that allows our contractors to really start utilizing this fantastic resource. And the partnership and the customer service in the backend allow our contractors to understand it fairly quickly. And that includes a lot of training on how to embed it into the sales process. You don't have a sales process, Destination Motivation can help with that too. So, it is way, way, way more valuable than your typical $50 gift card, for sure. But those resources that I just mentioned to you, Karen, are really what sets them apart. So, it's not just the product itself, it's the understanding, and the best practices, and the training that the company puts our contractors through and with to make sure that they stand us up in the most meaningful way, and get the most return on their investment when it comes to something like Destination Motivation.

So, two great examples of very different parts of the business that our contractors are challenged with. And we're super excited that Trent Cotney with Adam and Reese, Trent is a partner there and heads up the construction side of the business with Adams and Reese, and certainly with Destination Motivation, the team there. So, these are two additions that continue to help us to solve some of the most significant problems our contractors face. And the other way of looking at it too, Karen, is it's not always about solving problems, but it's about helping the business go to the next level. And so, you can think about our business solutions and those different frames of mind.

Whether you're trying to solve a problem or stand up a better solution, these business solutions as part of the Owens Supporting Contractor Network program are very powerful. Most of them are exclusive, and they provide a significant amount of training on the backend that continued support as their contractors go through that journey and stand up these resources to help them take their business to the next level.

Karen Edwards: Wow. Wow. Two fantastic new partners. So, stay tuned, everyone, because we've got an episode coming up where we're going to hear from Trent Cotney, and then we've got an episode coming up where we're here from Caleb from Destination Vacation. Did I say that right?

Jon Gardner: Destination Motivation, vacation.

Karen Edwards: Destination Motivation, there we go. Yeah, stay tuned, because wow, once you watch and learn about all that's involved in that, you're going to want to sign up right away. So, Jon, really exciting stuff. Thank you for being here today and sharing this with us. And stay tuned, watch the next episodes. We'll see you soon.

Jon Gardner: My pleasure, Karen. And again, thanks so much for all the great things that Roofers Coffee Shop does for this industry. Great stuff. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

Karen Edwards: Thanks, Jon. See you.

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