Are You Three Feet From Gold?

By Rodney Koop

During the gold rush, cirque 1848 when 300,000 men and women ventured across North America, when heading west to become rich in the California Gold Rush, do you think that the gold in them there hills had just appeared over night? Absolutely not. It had been there for thousands of years, waiting to be found. It wasn’t a question of if the gold existed long before it was unearthed, it was a question of who was going to find it. At some point, someone was three feet from gold and had no idea. Being a contractor for over 40 years, the gold laden service calls have always been there, but it took me knowing what to look for and the process it takes to retrieve the gold. After decades of struggle and doing calls for less than what I was worth, I learned to maximize each call that rang through my business line, working smarter, not harder. I found the glimmer that pays big bucks.

Panning for Gold

One of the main ways gold was found during the many gold rushes North America had was using the art of panning. It’s the multiple sifting process that uses a metal pan, your hands, and patience. It didn’t take fancy tools or state of the art materials to accomplish, it just took skill and the willingness to sift through the muck until you saw the golden nugget peak through the dirt and rock. Have you taken a step back, looked at your jam-packed dispatch board and said, “Are all these calls really worth my time?” Seriously, if you try and take every call that comes through, there will be a homeowner that suffers, whether it be through rushed work, or cancellation because the wait was too long. And in the pan of those customers not pleased with you, do you think you passed up some golden nuggets? I guarantee you have. Why? Because there’s still gold in California, 169 years later.


Sift It

The art of sifting has made its way from the gold rush and into present day business genius. I admit it, it’s hard to turn potential profit away. But, when your potential customers are compromising your potential well-developed bottom line – sift it! So, how do we sift when it comes to service calls coming down the pike? The best way to get the information or the map to the gold is a call taker script. Having it spelled out for your dispatcher is not micromanaging – it’s goldmine managing. Now you’ll need to formulate your own version, but here’s a good start to get you on your way and two questions that answer more than you think.

“Thank you for calling (Company Name), my name is ______, how may I help you? Well, you called the right place; we’ll help you get that resolved as soon as possible. Is the issue you’re having upstairs or down stairs? Have you ever used our company services before? And how were you referred to our company? May I have your last name? And your first? May I have your phone number? Is there another number where you can be reached? May I have your address please?


  1. “Is the issue you’re having upstairs or downstairs?” This question is imperative to helping you determine if there are other working facilities in the home. Emergencies happen and there are times when your service company will act immediately for a customer. However, their emergency doesn’t mean it’s your emergency. Especially in summer or winter months when your team is slammed, if there are other facilities in the house that can be used, it’s helpful for you to draw attention to it. It’s also a question that unveils whether or not this home could have multiple repairs currently or in the future. The more bathrooms, sinks, air conditioners, etc. the home has, the more potential gold. Allow your questions to determine the priority of the call not your customer.
  2. “May I have your address please?” Most communities have the coveted neighborhood in which service companies blanket mail boxes and doorknobs with marketing material. If you haven’t scouted out where the money is, you need to back up, hang you a local map of your service area up in your shop, and do some reconnaissance. This is crucial to your sifting success. If you don’t have a general idea of where the gold is, you’ll end up panning for it in Florida. Which by the way, there are no known occurrences of gold in Florida.

There is an art to finding gold. Some did stumble upon it, but most had to plot their way to their fortune. There is no question that you know what to do with the gold once you have it in your hands. You are experts who find solutions to problems in the home. However, finding the gold takes another skillset that must be strategically put in place so you aren’t panning for gravel day in and day out. Recently, one of my employees had her driveway graveled and the cost was over a grand for two truckloads. It makes you wonder why panning for gravel wouldn’t eventually pay off right? It would. But, compare two tons of gravel to the worth of five ounces of gold. It boils down to prioritizing your willingness to push through the business of sifting, because you truly are at any given time three feet from gold.


Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service to see if there are Success Days in your area!

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