Why Team Members with Weak C.O.R.E. Underproduce

Do you have a team member capable of your performance standards, yet they fail to hit the goal?

Your team member is smart. Technically, the team member is well trained. On paper, the team member should be able to meet expectations. Despite the ability, the team member continues to fail.

Why is this the Case with so Many Technicians, Sales Professionals, and CSRs? 

From my experience, team members fail to hit expectations for a few internal and external reasons.

The External Reasons a Team Member Fails:

Here are a few reasons outside of the team members control that can cause failure:

  • A non-existent sales culture
  • Poor leadership
  • Flawed Systems and Procedures

There are other reasons, but those are the top 3 external reasons IMHO.

For today’s example, let’s adopt the idea that this team member works for a good company. So, let’s turn the focus inward.

The Internal Reasons a Team Member Fails:

In my coaching with underperforming team members, I have discovered a coming trend amongst the low producers. I’ve labeled this trend “CORE.”  

Underperforming team members have a weak CORE.

Successful team members have a strong CORE.

Coachable, Open, Respectful, and Excepting of Responsibility.

If a team member can strengthen their CORE, then they can typically meet or exceed the company standards. If they cannot strengthen their CORE, then they will most likely be a drag on culture, sales, and leadership.

The key to CORE is that the team member must understand that these areas are up to them to improve.

  1. Coachable: a coachable person listens with an open mind, asks questions that create personal clarity, and applies what has been taught. 
  2. Open: a person who is open doesn’t hide the real issues they are facing. They don’t misdirect the real issues. They allow others to understand them and seeks to understand others. 
  3. Respectful:  a person that shows respect understands that they receive respect. Since no person is perfect, respect is a thing that is given to imperfect people. This means that all people should receive a base level of respect. From that base level, we add value to people for what they do well. 
  4. Excepting of Responsibility: Taking responsibility gives a person freedom. When you accept responsibility for your actions and your outcomes, then you free yourself from excuses. Excuses provide a person with no benefit. Excuses dampen your personal potential.
Showing a Team Member their CORE

Reviewing the Keys of CORE with a team member can be a super helpful experience. It can awaken the reality that success is a personal responsibility.

Sometimes, you will only have to review CORE with an underperforming team member once. These team members are ready to strengthen their CORE.

More likely, you will have to work on the CORE items with an underperforming team member on multiple occasions. It takes time for a person to change their outlook on themselves.

Will the Team Member Change Their CORE?

I don’t know.

In my opinion, I’d say you have a less than 50% chance that the team member will strengthen their CORE. It’s more likely that they are stuck in their old bad habits.

“So, what do I do?” you may be asking me.

You try to coach the team member through CORE. If you can’t do it, then give me a call. I can help.

If after a set amount of time and money the team member doesn’t change, then you make a decision about the employment of the team member with your company.


Todd Liles is the CEO of Service Excellence.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups 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 Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.

How to Compete and Win in the Home Services Industry: Your Plan of Attack

It’s no secret that home service contractors have it tough. Between trying to deal with changing customer service preferences and rival businesses undercutting prices, it’s not easy to stay competitive.

As someone with decades of experience in the home services industry, working on both the manufacturer and the contractor sides, and as a founding team member of a tech company focused on customer experience, I’ve been an open ear to hundreds of contractors over the years. I know the problems you face and how to solve them. 

Bear with me while we play Freaky Friday for a minute. If roles were reversed, and I was in your shoes as a contractor, here’s my plan of attack. I’d compete on three fronts — customer convenience, technological integration, and recruitment. Let me break it down for you. 

Attack 1: Providing Radical Convenience 

Let’s face it—consumers aren’t living quite the same lives that they used to. With all of the new technology out there, consumer expectations have changed, and speed and convenience are the name of the game. Nowadays, contractors who make it easy to do business with customers will win the job. There are a few hard facts to keep in mind if you want to keep up with customers:

● Consumers are more concerned about the quality of their experience than the price. 

● Consumers are used to radical convenience from online commerce giants like Amazon and having the ability to track purchases and groceries and pizza to their front doors in real-time. 

● Consumers seek instant gratification and need you to be there when they need you. 

So, what do you need to do? 


Reinvent your customer service experience. 

Provide easy, convenient scheduling and contact options that allow your customers to communicate with your business how and when they want. This is crucial because, at the end of the day, if you don’t provide the experience that your customer wants, someone else will. It can be easy to think that when offering this level of customer experience, you may lose control. Yet, it is on the contrary! By configuring your website to qualify and schedule appointments, you’ll be able to mimic your top-performing CSR. 

Look for new ways to exceed expectations. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the adoption of digital technologies. More customers are more willing to turn to tech. Plus, many people are still reluctant to allow anyone in their homes due to COVID-19, so if you were able to have a third-party technician remotely view and diagnose issues through a virtual visit, it would be a game-changer. For example, there is no better time for remote service support than after hours. Contractors can use the services to screen out minor problems remotely. Homeowners save time, and on-call techs can stay at home. In other words, it’s a win-win! 

Attack 2: Leverage Technology to Reorganizing Roles 

Part of the reason you’re swamped is that you don’t have time to deal with the many responsibilities that come with running a contracting business. Meanwhile, you have CSRs sitting in call centers, unable to stay above water during the ebbs and flows of the seasons. They’re doing monotonous work and too much of it. 

If you can relieve some of that burden, you’ll be better equipped to serve your customers the right way. So, what do you need to do? 

Leverage technology to perform and eliminate monotonous tasks. Advances in technology have provided opportunities to automate some of your CSRs’ more monotonous tasks. Technology can be integrated to handle scheduling, booking, customer communications, and more. 

Reposition your existing team members.

With technology taking on some of their load, your existing CSRs can be moved into more thought-based roles, where they can prioritize higher-value interactions. This reorganization will give your employees more time to be proactive on the job and follow up on open quotes. 

And I promise this will be great for business and your team! A client of ours in Pennsylvania said:

“Wow, this is amazing! I don’t want to turn my existing employees into robots answering the phone, but into more managerial roles.”

They pushed more of their business through online channels, which empowered them to convert their CSR employees into channel managers to oversee appointment flows—a more fulfilling job and better use of skilled work. 

Attack 3: Reimagining Recruitment

Recruitment is consistently one of the biggest challenges in the home services industry. The fact of the matter is, there is too much work and not enough skilled labor.

The only way to reconcile that is to produce more skilled labor. So, how can you capture talent? 

Modernize your brand.

Nowadays, prospective employees favor businesses that are perceived positively. The best way to attract and capture this younger generation of technicians is to build a brand that personifies convenience, great customer experience, cutting-edge technology use, healthy social media presence, fulfilling career opportunities, and more. 

Show prospective employees what experience your company can provide. 

The new generation of talent wants to work for businesses where they can get behind the mission and be treated the way that they think they should. It’s no longer just about salary—it’s about the experience. 


Ray Clark is the Head of Sales at Schedule Engine.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups 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 Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.

Seven Steps to Create Lasting Change

“This morning, my sister left the toilet seat down! Women make men miserable.” – The Little Rascals

Earlier this week, I found myself browsing Netflix late into the night. Oddly enough, I was searching for inspiration, something funny. I nearly woke my husband and three sleeping children by laughing when Buckwheat announced to his woman-hating man club that his sister left the toilet seat down. I laughed…because of perspective. Naturally, my whole life has been, “Ugh, men leave the toilet seat up.” I laughed because both breeds are annoyed! Perspective. And until that moment, I never realized that men might be annoyed with me, too! Perspective.

Perspective ultimately leads to success or failure in your life.

I love summer. How could anyone not love summer? For all of you HVAC friends, you’re in your heyday, the phones ringing off the hook, and you can’t get to all the calls on the board. But then again, you’re either loving it…or hating it…perspective.

And it’s that perspective, that ‘positive’ perspective which seeks success, that begs the question, “how do we create lasting change, so we can keep this heyday from ending?”


Seven Steps to Creating Lasting Change

Ditch the excuses if you don’t have enough money, time, or friends. The excuses won’t bring them any closer. Tomorrow is always tomorrow, and one year from now is always a year away. Be specific with measurable and realistic goals…tied to a time-stamped day.

And if you really want lasting change and a more successful business next year, manifest your dream. Act with these steps:


  1. VISION – Clarity is Power

Are you being hypnotized by TV, Facebook, texting, emailing, and staying ‘busy’ but not productive? Choose to be fully present in life and your work. Take a day and count out loud how many times you have the urge to reach out and grab your phone, even when it isn’t ringing. Every time you do, you’re pushing your goals another moment away from you. Control your vision! With that measurable and realistic, time-stamped goal you set, ensure that everything you do is one bite-sized piece that gets you that much closer to it. In the end, if you are a victim, you’re the author of it. Every step you take will determine your success, and if your vision is clear, you’ll know immediately if your day-to-day actions are aligned with your goals or not.



This is where your excitement, passion, and emotion live! Your state of feeling good attracts that which you desire. Happiness is a choice, and more importantly, the ability to reach your goals is a choice—if you truly want it and aren’t just setting your goals as an obligation, you are more likely to achieve them. And seek to master what you desire – mastery doesn’t just happen – mastery knows very little about most things – they focus their attention on areas of expertise. Focus on the strengths that are most likely to help you get what you desire.



Recognize your limiting beliefs; for example: “I don’t have the family business family last name, so I’ll never be a leader in the company.” We have all heard that famous Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” Earn your place. Prove your abilities. And encourage yourself with positive self-talk. The Mayo Clinic says that positive self-talk can decrease depression and increase your lifespan. So even if you don’t believe that it increases your ability to do better, wouldn’t more time in your life alone help you get there? What are your limiting beliefs?



Start by accepting yourself first. Accept your belief, acknowledge your limiting belief, and then counter it with its opposite truth. Flip the narrative! “I don’t have the means to do this” can be flipped to “creativity and ingenuity come from desperation!” “I will be a leader in this company because I’ve worked hard and have mastered my skill; I am worthy.” Tell yourself your affirmation at least once a day until you believe it and until it’s the only thing you can hear.



Will-power goes a long way. You can want something in life but not intend to have it. Will-power is developed from adding the hope to have something plus the intention to do anything necessary to get it. But don’t confuse it with work ethic – it’s not just work ethic that will get you where you want to be; you must be intentional and laser-focused. No matter what happens to you in life, you redirect your focus towards what you intend to be.



Is your behavior in alignment with what you wish to be? Take small, reasonable steps each day that pushes you closer to your goal, and remember that there is more than one way to arrive at your destination. If you come to a bump in the road, look for ways not just to go over it, but through it, around it, under it, or take a different detour altogether. And go back a step to recognize; sometimes it’s not an action, it’s a belief issue.



It takes a tremendous amount of effort to hold onto an expectation—efforts that could be spent getting you to what you actually want. If you want love, don’t hold onto it; be love. Have intensity for what you want with no expectation that it has to happen.

Small shifts in perspective can turn you around from dreaming to achieving.

It’s perspective. In our niche industry, our trades, let’s stop being a big fish in a small pond. Be a small fish in a big pond, so you have room to grow! It’s perspective.


Danielle Putnam is the President of The New Flat Rate.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups 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 Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.

The Secrets to a Happy Exit

Recently I have been involved in a lot of conversations with my clients about either selling their business or buying another business. Selling your business is a stressful and emotional process and should not be based on someone walking in and making an offer to buy your business. There are several considerations, and the first one is to consider “Why are you selling your business?” That is the question that seems to not be fully considered by the business owner.

I would like to recommend a great book, “The Art of Selling Your Business” by John Warrillow. John’s book guides a business owner by selling their business to avoid costs and the steps to allow one to prepare to travel this confusing and emotional journey.

In Section One, Chapter Two, the question is asked, “What is driving your decision to consider selling?”  Let us consider the answers: “I want to retire,” “I am tired,” “Bored,” “Burnt Out,” “Sick of dealing with employees.” Does this sound familiar?  All of these are legitimate, but if these are the only reasons, you may regret selling your business. Business owners find reason and purpose in their businesses. It takes hard work and a lot of sacrifices to build a business, but we know that every journey ends.

Do not let the things that are frustrating you “push” you out of the business, rather getting clear on the “pull” factors that excite you. You want to be looking back on owning your business with fond memories and have no regrets.

I listened to a podcast interview with Bo Burlingham about his book, “Finish Big”, he defines there are five good qualities of a good exit:

  • At the end of the process, a business owner feels they have been fairly treated and appropriately rewarded for all the hard work of building a business.
  • A seller can look back with a sense of pride in what they did as a business owner.
  • The seller has peace of mind about what happens to those people who were part of the business and their continued success.
  • One finds a sense of purpose outside of owning a business.
  • In some cases, it is important to continue to see the business thrive without the owner.

Even though the financial part of selling a business is very important, the emotional part is equally important. Usually, does not raise its head until after the transaction has been done. Burlingham states, “50% of the sellers are happy, but 50% of the sellers are miserable.”

A business owner needs to begin their exit strategy early in the business forming years. Before you sell your business, begin to understand how, why, and when is right for you.

Lynn Wise is the Founder and CEO of Contractor in Charge.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups 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 Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.

Luck in Business

As a lifelong Chicago White Sox fan, I paced my living room floor on April 14th of this year, watching the 9th inning of the Cleveland Indians vs. the White Sox. The Sox were winning 8 – 0, so what’s the big deal? Why was I so nervous? It’s just the 9th inning of a regular-season game with an eight-run lead. Well, Carlos Rodón was pitching for the White Sox with a perfect game going into the 9th inning. With another three up and three down inning, Rodón would go into the record books as one of the few pitchers in baseball history who pitched a perfect game.

What made this even more exciting and special was that Rodón suffered from shoulder and elbow injuries, and in May of 2019, he underwent Tommy John surgery. He’s pitched just 42 innings the past two years and wasn’t even guaranteed a spot in the White Sox rotation this season.

I can’t do justice to the play-by-play, so if any baseball fans want to watch the exciting last inning, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxDQocUOvk8

Meanwhile, the first out was an exciting play at first where the batter was out by a fraction of an inch, only confirmed by slow-motion replay. The second Cleveland batter went to a 0 – 2 count, then Rodón hit him with a pitch! There goes the perfect game! Rodón then got the next two batters out and finished the game with a no-hitter.

Was this luck? Obviously not. Luck is winning the lottery. Pitching a perfect game or a no-hitter in the MLB takes years of practice, dedication, and challenges to meet along the way to realize that dream.

I would suggest that the same goes for us in the contracting business. Successful contractors don’t get there by luck. It’s their hard work, dedication, and passion. And after over 30 years of partnering with, training, and consulting with contractors, I have observed several common denominators that most successful contractors have.


  • They have a dream and realize it. These contractors have a vision of where they want to be, the type of company culture they want to build and realize it by taking action to make it happen.
  • They have challenges and meet them head-on. Just because you dream, it doesn’t mean that you will not run into challenges along the way. They don’t ignore these challenges and hope they go away. They meet challenges and focus on solutions so they can continue the journey of realizing their goals.
  • They act when opportunities are presented and benefit from them. When an opportunity presents itself to improve or expand the business, they turn that opportunity into a business reality. There isn’t any coulda, shoulda, woulda going on here.
  • They stand by their promises. When they enter into agreements or partnerships with staff, suppliers, or any business relationship, they always fulfill these promises. If circumstances arise that challenge the stipulations of the promise, successful contractors always discuss it openly with the parties involved to arrive at a mutually beneficial solution.
  • They look at business as an adventure. It’s not just a job, rather an adventure that they dare to take. They know they will have struggles, yet they accept this, and it doesn’t deter them from their mission.
  • They are strategic. Successful contractors have a plan and execute it every day. They avoid knee-jerk reactions by having a business plan and make decisions based on set goals and a mission statement. Risk-taking comes into play here, but with full awareness of the likely consequences.
  • They are honest and ethical. Fair and honest decisions are made based on their plan. They treat their employees and customers like family by running their business with a code of ethics that all employees are aware of and are expected to follow.
  • They WOW their customers. They create a company culture where everybody is involved in servicing the customer to exceed all expectations. From the CSRs to the service call and from curb to collect, a first-class customer experience is delivered by all team members.
  • They don’t go it alone. Successful contractors surround themselves with people who are better at specific tasks and duties than they may be. They get the right people on the bus, in the right positions, motivate them, and hold them accountable.
  • They have Faith. And speaking of not going it alone, they have faith in themselves, their team, and God. They prayerfully seek guidance, give thanks, and utilize their God-given talents and tools for the service of others.


I’m sure you can add to this list based on your personal experience or from your observations of other successful people that you know. But I would venture to say that “Luck in Business” isn’t on your list either.

Meanwhile, back to baseball. In the movie A League of Their Own, manager Jimmy Dugan, played by Tom Hanks, has that famous (or infamous) line, “There’s no crying in baseball!” Well, while there may be some trials, tribulations, and tears along the way, “There’s no luck in business!” Luck is an abstract concept that can become a physical reality with hard work, determination, passion, and a plan. You must make luck happen; it’s not a given.

Good Luck!


Steve Mores is the Vice President of Training and Sales at Dynamic Air Quality Solutions.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups 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 Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.