Big Enough to Serve, Small Enough to Care – Glenn Frank of Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning

Glenn Frank, President and Owner of Fort Collins Heating and Air Conditioning

Glenn Frank, the President and Owner of Fort Collins Heating and Air Conditioning, grew his company’s revenue from $4.8 million in 2014 to $9.6 million in 2017, a 99% increase, and to around $10 million in 2018.  

Fort Collins Heating and Air Conditioning provides residential and light commercial HVAC sales, service, and installation.  

In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Glenn shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:  

  • Developing their brand via radio advertising of their jingle “Big Enough to Serve, Small Enough to Care” sung by his boy many years ago.  
  • Hiring strategically to add new service lines, such as new construction, and more recently plumbing.  
  • Shifting their marketing focus to recruit new HVAC technicians, as demand for their services exceeds their supply.  

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Malcolm Lui:
Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of Eversprint.com. I'm Malcolm Lui, the Managing Member of Eversprint, and today we're speaking with Glenn Frank, the President and Owner of Fort Collins Heating and Air Conditioning, a provider of residential and light commercial HVAC sales, service, and installation. Welcome to the show Glenn.

Glenn Frank:
Hi. Good to be here.

Malcolm Lui:
Glenn, you grew your company's revenue from $4.8 million in 2014 to $9.6 million in 2017, a 99% increase, and in 2018 you hit around $10 million. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro, and how your company differs from the competition?

Glenn Frank:
Sure. You know we have focused really on a target market that is local and not spreading out too far. Getting good at our niche which is like you've mentioned residential repair and replacement and light commercial repair and replacement and also maintenance of all of that focusing equally on our culture and the employees which I believe are our internal customers. As we grow an organization that's it's very important to keep the company culture strong which is difficult and challenging especially in a competitive market where companies are competing for employees on a high scale around here. So Unemployment's very low and employees have a choice in where else. So in a market where there's a shortage of talented skilled tradespeople and then we've really focused on branding our ourselves and then consistent marketing and advertising radio we came up with a jingle that we play on the radio a lot repetitively that's worked very well for the last 10 years we've really stayed consistent with some radio advertising and then our trucks are very visible in the area. The big standout.

Malcolm Lui:
Right now in terms of the service that you provide your customers. How does it differ from another H fact company that might be able to find via google

Glenn Frank:
Sure. Well I think the biggest thing is we don't we always do the right thing. We are obviously a for profit company. So we know we have to make a profit but we don't have a zero tolerance for salespeople or service technicians trying to sell something to the public that they don't need or you know being dishonest that our industry is unfortunately you know has some of that reputation and we are. We do not continue to operate in that. So we are very honest and forthcoming when it comes to advising people whether to repair versus replace and you know only replacing parts and things that are necessary over inflating our prices on things that the consumer may be vulnerable to. So really is doing doing the right thing and being honest. And now we've got a lot of return customers that we don't have to rely heavily on you know gaining a new customer all the time.

Malcolm Lui:
And as a consumer of your service. That's how I know. What's recommended is is the best option. I mean I'm not a h vac extra by any means. I want you to replace it. You know I'm not going to know if that's really the best option or not

Glenn Frank:
Sure. Yeah. No. And you know our whole sales process we have a part of our sales processes is explaining to the customer how to pick a contractor you know what to look for whether they choose us or someone else we help educate them on what kinds of things they need to look for when choosing a contractor. When it comes to knowing whether or not you should replace or repair you know we'll show them the findings that we find and give them proof or leave our parts behind that we've replaced. In terms of leaving behind so that they know that a friend or some verify test was bad. We have nothing to hide. We don't take the part with us.

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Glenn Frank:
And then just our reputation and I think went on the sales side we offer something very unique called a one year test drive that is as far as I know not very many other companies that I'm hearing a offer that and what it is is once someone makes a decision to purchase with us and let's say it's a 10000 or 15000 dollar replacement system they have one year to test it out and be satisfied or will buy back that system and give them on a percent of their money back.

Malcolm Lui:
No that is a very unusual

Glenn Frank:
So the risk is really on us

Malcolm Lui:
Yet

Glenn Frank:
Versus them. And because I think that what happens a lot of times in this industry is you know the consumer may feel pressured or influenced to to buy a new system and then they may they know they fork out a lot of money and then when do you realize that you made a mistake or if the wrong contractor or you got something that you're not happy with. It's always after the fact right.

Malcolm Lui:
Yet

Glenn Frank:
It's afterwords. So and you know that's kind of a scary thing and the risk that the homeowner takes when they choose a contractor. So we've removed that risk with this. When your Test Drive program

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Has anyone ever taking you up on that guarantee.

Glenn Frank:
Oh yeah a couple times you know if we can't make them happy or for whatever reason they know that you know they regret buying it. It's happened I think maybe three times total. The one that stands out in my mind is it is we went back several times trying to trying to make this customer happy and it turns out you know he has the very set. He has a medical condition that he's very hypersensitive to smells. And the earnest would put after it would run for a while would would emit some you know some smells from the TVC pipers venting the flu gases. It was just off gassing of this PDC. I know he changed out the BBC pipe with something different and it did all kinds of things and you know we had the factory coming up and try to try to make this customer happy we could make him happy and we'd get out there so many times it was up to me a lot of money. I was actually kind of glad to buy back equipment and let him go somewhere else

Malcolm Lui:
Sure

Glenn Frank:
Where it was just it was just a drain on us you know.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah.

Glenn Frank:
So you know that that's one situation with

Malcolm Lui:
Did that person

Glenn Frank:
The company that over

Malcolm Lui:
Ever find a solution that worked for him.

Glenn Frank:
Well you know I don't know for sure I did hear from the customer but I did hear from the company that took over from where we left off. And as it turns out the owner came to me and said if I would have known that that it was you guys that couldn't make them happy I would have never touched it. So

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah well that person was a very unique since situation and if you're a hypersensitive. This smells. That's a challenging one to fix.

Glenn Frank:
Yeah. And we offered a different solution a different type of system and he didn't take us up on it because we wanted that gas furnace. I was I was trying to offer him an electric heat option which would not have the combustible

Malcolm Lui:
Yet

Glenn Frank:
Gases in the house and he didn't want that option.

Malcolm Lui:
Right

Glenn Frank:
So he and the salesman for this other company promised him that his furnace brand wouldn't emit stuff which just wasn't true. It wasn't it wasn't the equipment's fault.

Malcolm Lui:
Yet

Glenn Frank:
And so anyway he bought into that and I assume they probably still had similar complaints or issues.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah

Glenn Frank:
Yes.

Malcolm Lui:
That's a that's a tough problem ramming into. It's the nature of the design using that type of system. The yelling

Glenn Frank:
Comfort in the end is that you know the consumer knows that they have that option exercise if they want

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah it's a great option. Right. Because like you say people don't know if what you're what they're buying is gonna be a good fit for them nor no they know the contractor will be delivering what they promised. I just knew you in particular but in general so having that guarantees it's comforting and it's unusual as well.

Glenn Frank:
During the risk is low for us because we if if we're if we're not trying to sell somebody something they don't need or an oversell them the risk is very low for us. So you know we we do have a certain amount of risk but it's really low. And you know it holds us accountable too because you know we're not creating a bunch of situations where people have buyer's remorse. Not later they could have bought it for you know five thousand dollars last year. You know something like that. So it really gives them the opportunity to even price check us afterwards and you know you know I asked for it after the fact. So

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah definitely. And when we bought our car here we use the service a new company called Car Vana. It's an online used car marketplace and a Bring me the car. And you can test drive it for two weeks something like that. And if you're not happy with it I'll take it back. No questions asked as long as you drive it fewer than 400 miles in that two week period. Yeah they're okay with it. I think that's reasonable. And you know we we chose one car and and then meet our expectations there right is underpowered where we're living it's just too hilly incredibly flawed yet and could just barely make up the hill. And as I got a hybrid car it's I'm not that's not a total shock but we were unhappy and we swapped it out and bought another car through them right. And they didn't get that guarantee. We might not have bought from them to begin with. And if we did buy from them and weren't happy with our purchase it probably wouldn't have done the second transaction with them. So yeah I

Glenn Frank:
Sure.

Malcolm Lui:
Guarantee those guarantees are great and it builds goodwill

Glenn Frank:
That's a very

Malcolm Lui:
As well.

Glenn Frank:
Similar guarantee because you know it's brilliant because you know the trust is placed on you and you feel that they trust you. So you know that then you trust them to make another purchase. It's not like you took the car back and went somewhere else probably and bought I chose another vehicle from them I'm assuming is that right.

Malcolm Lui:
Yes we did and we'd just swap it out and we'd even take the car back. They deliver it to you. It's really easy. They they delivered the car to our driveway and it was done when we wanted to swap it out. They came back they brought the new car the other car that we bought and just took it off the off the flatbed and put the other car on top and off they went to us it was seamless and easy

Glenn Frank:
Now that's. That's very similar approach.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah. It's a good one here. You say really builds buyer confidence so your company you grow really rapidly you doubled the business in four years four point eight million in 2014 to around 10 million in 2018. You touched a bit about that. I think the drivers behind it that maybe a recap but the three biggest drivers were of your growth

Glenn Frank:
Well you know it was it was good branding and marketing was over time that we that we've been doing. Another big factor that I made it out of mentioned was you know it's always good employees it's not like I did it all myself you know. And I I made a very good hire around that time a guy named Mike who was exiting another business. He was sort of partners in but never really came to fruition I don't think. Not sure about the details but he had he had a pretty good following business and was more involved with the new construction side of things. And so we added new construction to our business and he had a couple of contractors that followed him when he when he came over. So I hired him and he brought a few builders with them. A few customers. It's a new construction area and we were able to really serve them well and our reputation was enhanced. We were capable and very good at construction sites that gave us a new market. And then we most recently have added plumbing to our to our offerings so that it's going to boost US as well. And

Malcolm Lui:
Okay.

Glenn Frank:
Right now oddly enough we are attempting to not grow too much because we're just really trying to after this rapid growth really and really dial in all of our operations and make sure that our culture you know employees and processes and procedures are really dialed in so that our customer service doesn't falter at all. And that's really what we're trying to focus on right now. So even though we're trying not to grow we'll probably grow a million million and a half revenue this year but we pulled back our advertising and offers quite a bit this year

Malcolm Lui:
So the second driver hiring good employees and was the third driver expanding into new markets new services in

Glenn Frank:
New markets have new market right

Malcolm Lui:
Okay. So you mentioned a new construction and also most recently plumbing.

Glenn Frank:
Here and plumbing

Malcolm Lui:
Now why was it plumbing part of the mix in the very beginning oftentimes that companies do plumbing as well. Is that right or am I mistaken.

Glenn Frank:
Now oftentimes it is in some companies even offer electrical so they offer all three but they're all very different animals. In HPC there's there's a certain amount of electrical and a certain amount of plumbing that we do. Like we've always done water heater replacements and you know replace the boilers and work you know service water boilers. But when it comes to plumbing all encompassing plumbing like drain and waste and water piping and stuff like that that's a it's really a different animal and takes specialized staff and a knowledge base that I have extensively different requires different licensing and certifications and stuff like that. So when I started the business I didn't have that depth of knowledge. So when we added it we had to hire a master plumber. And you know My operations manager myself had to learn a little bit about code requirements and different types of business requirements. It required to run a plumbing

Malcolm Lui:
Right. I got it. It is a totally different business that you're in now. Your business is at 10 million. 2018. What's your guesstimate as to what percentage of the market you have in Fort Collins area.

Glenn Frank:
Yeah in Fort Collins area. You know I would have to say we rather we have maybe 10 to 15 percent of the market which I would consider pretty good market share. You know dominant market share

Malcolm Lui:
Okay.

Glenn Frank:
But in the in the offerings that we offer we think we dominate and have a pretty good market share there's areas that we haven't gotten into commercial refrigeration and things like that that the commercial construction. We're not anywhere close to even having a sliver of market in that area. There's different niches that we don't dominate but presidentially presidential service and replacement I think is where we dominate.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. So are you the biggest competitor in those areas are or is there someone who's bigger than you still

Glenn Frank:
You cut out just a little bit. Try that again.

Malcolm Lui:
Are you the biggest player in the areas where you specialize in or is if someone else is bigger still.

Glenn Frank:
Yeah. Yeah I think we're one of the largest companies in town when it comes to employees. We're probably the third third or fourth largest stage Casey company in Fort Collins. The ones that are a little bit bigger than us or more in the commercial and I think they're spread out further into different demographics. We really stay close to home in Fort Collins and immediate surrounding area. So when it comes to Fort Collins and the immediate surrounding area of Fort Collins Loveland and Windsor would be the end of the tri state area that we're in. I do believe that we have a dominant market share their number the largest player in that area.

Malcolm Lui:
So that the biggest driver you mentioned was a good brand and good marketing. You mentioned that you had a jingle that you play on the radio all the time. What is your jingle what is the what is the thing that is even running so so long now.

Glenn Frank:
So we have our tagline is big enough to serve small enough to care and about 8 9 years ago maybe more than that now. My son who's now 15 but he was and he had a little kids voice at the time he recorded singing this jingle for commentating and they're big enough to serve small enough to care and so that plays all the time on the radio. At the end of our and very consistent messaging and so much so that when people see our truck or they hear the name they sing with jingle afterward. And so it's really something that's been ingrained into the subconscious of people whether they like it or not. In this area we've even had calls to us saying please take the ad off you know have you ever had a jingle that you just can't get out of your head and you sing it all

Malcolm Lui:
So where is your jingle playing

Glenn Frank:
The jingle plays on the radio primarily

Malcolm Lui:
Okay. What stations have you found. Has have been really effective.

Glenn Frank:
Just kind of the mainstream stations. We really play on the Clear Channel stations around here which is so different different genres country hop and easy listening and also a news pop radio show in the a.m. sign. There's about four or five radio stations we play on.

Malcolm Lui:
Have you found any particular radio stations and type just doesn't work. Pasco for example are your customers listen to classical music

Glenn Frank:
I don't think we're on a classical music station run radio stations that people listen to at work in the car. And then we're also like on Pandora as well.

Malcolm Lui:
On Pandora. How does that work. I haven't. I don't use pen to her so much. So I don't really know what the ads are like. So if I'm streaming music on Pandora in the Fort Collins area they will insert your ad here in there.

Glenn Frank:
That's correct

Malcolm Lui:
Very cool and how does I compare to radio advertising terms of pricing

Glenn Frank:
It's cheaper actually.

Malcolm Lui:
And Pandora I imagine can give you a lot more better analytics than the radio station. They can tell you exactly how many people listen to it.

Glenn Frank:
That's correct.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah.

Glenn Frank:
And by the way was anybody who is a smaller business. Radio is not something that I would that I would suggest being a part of your marketing. It's something that you you don't get immediate results from and you would need to have a strategy similar to mine where you have a consistent message and branding know like a jingle or something. And you stay in it long long term

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Glenn Frank:
That's something that you would run a ad for 30 days and then pull back and see if it worked. You get nothing you want

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Glenn Frank:
Getting actionable data. So radio is something that you add on later state system

Malcolm Lui:
Right Flora branding and top of mind thing as opposed to denting business right away Glen for driver number two. He mentioned hiring good employees and he also mentioned before how unemployment is really low in a Fort Collins area. Has that been a limiter limiting factor in your growth so you simply don't have enough bodies to service your demand.

Glenn Frank:
Oh absolutely yeah. That's probably the biggest restrictor in our growth is being able to hire enough people. We've got way more demand than we. Supply of workers. So we have been recruiting for at least that I think constantly consistently for the last eight years six or eight years even offering sign on bonus five thousand dollar sign on bonuses getting very creative on where we advertise how we advertise what our ads look like. Our marketing has really shifted our marketing strategy has really shifted into more of a recruiting strategy. So that is absolutely the limiting factor. Now we also have to be able to to scale and grow the company to match that. So like I said right now it's it's probably a good thing. We need to get a few structure pieces within the company internally in place so that we could grow responsibly.

Malcolm Lui:
So when you come up growing responsibly and restructuring processes are you referring to restricting prostheses and get more people on board or just fine doing what your people are doing currently.

Glenn Frank:
Including what people do in their in their jobs. Duty every day. So we have written procedures so things don't get watered down. What I was noticing during our growth was one person would know how to do something and it was all inside their head and then they would move on just some other position either moving up in management or you know laterally or leaving the company or you know multiple different things happen and then the training would get watered down. So some of our processes were getting diluted in how we do things kind of like the telephone game when you start a conversation at one end of the line or one and then you allow it to go down the line it comes out the other end completely different.

Malcolm Lui:
Right

Glenn Frank:
And that's why I was experiencing within my company was you know how we process the call or how we answered the phone or how we how we coded things in the accounting department how you know all kinds of things were just you know getting changed or diluted or watered down. And so we had to just kind of take a time out and go OK how did this happen. It's not the employees fault necessarily it's we didn't have a good guide manual. I guess if you will follow

Malcolm Lui:
Now how big is your company today.

Glenn Frank:
We have about 72 or 73 employees currently

Malcolm Lui:
How are you keeping track of all the things that 72 employees are doing to identify those areas that can be improved.

Glenn Frank:
We have regular management meetings and we identify we kind of scrub through the business and then and then I'm the top five things that we need to do and we work on that and get those down in Arlington and then we survey the employees or the customer and we find out what what's happening you know get an external view into the company from either employee staff and and or customers and then we get that perception and look at that. OK. How do we address these things when we come up with the strategy and then we address those things and when we we just keep Reese probing and re innovating those things and work on them a little that happens overnight

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Glenn Frank:
This a slow process

Malcolm Lui:
Yep got it. And for the third driver you talk about adding new lines of business. So you had the new construction side from a new hire from Mike. You recently added plumbing and your other category. We just you just call that residential type work. Those were the three categories that you're working in

Glenn Frank:
Well the three categories three offerings I guess that we see and think about this for a picture I understand where you're staying. So we do HBC residential light commercial replacement and service. We have a service department that handles HPC and plumbing. We have a retrofit or what I call a retail division direct to the consumer that is HPC and plumbing replacement. And then we have new construction that operates plumbing and HPC the new construction industry primarily residential a little bit of commercial that is clearing up.

Malcolm Lui:
Ok. So I guess the dimensions range shapes on two axes. You have customers who are either residential or commercial. Right.

Glenn Frank:
Yeah.

Malcolm Lui:
And then in terms of the offerings that you can do you have the plumbing.

Glenn Frank:
Oh

Malcolm Lui:
He talked about

Glenn Frank:
Yes.

Malcolm Lui:
How you talked about the new construction which you do for both residential and commercial or just for commercial

Glenn Frank:
Yes I would picture this. We have plumbing in HPC and that exists in three rooms service retrofit or retail and new construction

Malcolm Lui:
Okay. All right. So

Glenn Frank:
Have

Malcolm Lui:
He

Glenn Frank:
Three divisions basically of where we do work service replacement and new construction. I mean an HPC existing

Malcolm Lui:
All right a service replacement and a new construction plumbing and HBO season across all those cases six different boxes then.

Glenn Frank:
Yeah. Yeah exactly.

Malcolm Lui:
Got it. OK. Is there a another service that you're thinking about adding adding for the online electrical for example you mentioned some companies do that as well is that something that makes sense.

Glenn Frank:
Absolutely. We we will offer electrical at some point along with solar as it all kind of goes into the energy consumption. OK. And we're excited to do that but we want to make sure that we do it at the right time. We can handle it. And now we've got to you know adding any plumbing as you know our hands are full at the moment right now with that our arms around that. So one thing I'm big on is I want to do everything right. Like I mentioned earlier in the

Malcolm Lui:
Yes

Glenn Frank:
Interview and so it's not about just growing and growing and growing and getting bigger and bigger and you know we want to do it right. So we want to make sure that we master whatever we're doing before we move on to something else

Malcolm Lui:
Right. So for 2019 you mentioned before that you're kind of reigned in the growth of a bit. You're not running ads as aggressively not making us as many promotional offers as much still you're still thinking you're going to do grow your business by 10 to 50 percent this year.

Glenn Frank:
Correct.

Malcolm Lui:
What I know you talked about when the key thing to do is improve your processes and challenges on the marketing and sales front. Is there anything in particular that your team needs to overcome to hit your 10 to 15 percent growth target

Glenn Frank:
There's not a lot to overcome because are the the 10 or 15 percent growth will happen pretty organically with the basic marketing that we're doing which is FCO our online I would call us is becoming less less important. I mean it's important but organic ranking as it is used to be very big but it's becoming less important now. With all the different things that Google is doing but I really try to stay up on all the latest digital marketing trends because that's where ultimately you need to be these days

Malcolm Lui:
Yet

Glenn Frank:
And so we really focus on making sure that we're up on all of that stuff. Getting online reviews you know placing ourselves in really watching closely what Google does. Google really controls what

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah. Does

Glenn Frank:
They say. They dictate a lot. So do you have to learn how to play their game. And the next thing it will say about Google though is I think that they are committed to. I think they've done a really good job which is why they're in front of making sure that people don't play the system too much.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah.

Glenn Frank:
It's a it's a fair playing field and that for example we realized when the internet first came on heavy and we we had an advantage because our house name was part of our business name. And so Google looked at that. You know the way that search engines work that was a really a real benefit. We happen to benefit from that but it didn't take long before Google realized that a Fort Collins heating and air conditioning doesn't necessarily deserve to be a number one position just because they have our name in there. And so that began to change and as soon as it did we read we adjusted to maintain that position. If we didn't adjust to maintain that position in other you know align with different algorithms that Google was doing we would have fallen very quickly from a top position.

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Glenn Frank:
But I will say that we did benefit in the beginning from that absolute

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah definitely not. I'm not seeing paper slick ads running for you with my tools

Glenn Frank:
That's right. Yeah. I'm glad you noticed that we we do very little paper click because we focus so much on on organic population

Malcolm Lui:
Okay.

Glenn Frank:
And. And then Google Places it. What is it. I get confused with their terms of their Google my business I think so that's all that's doing really well for us. And then the reviews and our SDL organic ranking is working well but like I just said the organic piece is going to become less important in the future.

Malcolm Lui:
Yep yeah it doesn't goo goo it does it makes much money from that. Right.

Glenn Frank:
Exactly and

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah

Glenn Frank:
So the what's the newest one that they've just launched Google Google Google my business the top three positions that are not offered in every market yet they're just rolling it out

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah.

Glenn Frank:
By the end of this month. I think it'll be everywhere. I've been watching that pretty closely and we'll be participating in that. It'll be much cheaper than the AdWords

Malcolm Lui:
Right. But still at the at the costs of running adverts is when it when you know when the customer acquisition cost is low enough running adverts you shouldn't be using them it might be more

Glenn Frank:
In

Malcolm Lui:
Expensive

Glenn Frank:
Our industry

Malcolm Lui:
Than other channels.

Glenn Frank:
The AdWords are very high very expensive and if you have a good Web site and you're ranking well organically we'll use Adwords in our shoulder season because part of our strategy of not trying to grow too fast it just doesn't make sense. So spend thousands of dollars on AdWords among

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Yeah. Make sense.

Glenn Frank:
The return on investment is low.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah. So you found it the are away from your radio spots are better than Edwards

Glenn Frank:
Well again like I said it's really hard to track radio because radio doesn't end up getting the credit. You know people never say Oh I called you because I heard on the radio I don't ever hear that. But I do know that it's working because people are singing the jingle and that's when I hear the jingle.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah.

Glenn Frank:
It's radio is something that is you're buying real estate in the subconscious mind with radio and

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Glenn Frank:
You can't track the subconscious activity you know like

Malcolm Lui:
Yep

Glenn Frank:
You can digital marketing and stuff. So I know it works but you have to go out on faith that. You have to understand the way that the brain works and the way that things work and you have to be willing to spend more money over a long period of time.

Malcolm Lui:
Yet another my first interview in fact he he he had his father run a weekly show on AM radio talking about investments in the market and he found that to be a fantastic source of new clients definitely pays for itself. Now he spends 500000 a year something like that to buy air time for his show. But he you know that show is generating for him five thousand a year of new business. It works out well. It definitely can work. You need to find the right right market right message and right purpose as well

Glenn Frank:
Yeah. Now there's a strategy behind it for sure.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah definitely. And it works. It's worked really well for him three. Last question for you one. Have you tried billboard advertising and if you did what was your message. And if you did it what would be your message

Glenn Frank:
So I haven't for a while. When you say billboard I'm assuming traditional billboards on the road

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah.

Glenn Frank:
From highway

Malcolm Lui:
On the road on a freeway the one that people only have about six seconds to see before they drive by

Glenn Frank:
So I don't do a lot of that and there's a couple reasons to the sign lawns in Fort Collins. There's there are no billboards in that city.

Malcolm Lui:
Okay

Glenn Frank:
So they're all outside the city limits. So. So there's very little opportunity. Number one we do have some bus stop benches and panels around the bus stop shelters that you can advertise on. I have tried that a little bit. What I would suggest that people consider if they're going to do it is it's you can't put too much information on a billboard. It's got to be this eye catching and and branding.

Malcolm Lui:
Yet

Glenn Frank:
So there's there's branding messaging and then there's there's direct response type of marketing. So for a bigger company you know like a I mean it starts to make sense kind of like radio if anybody's listening that's starting a small business. I would make sure I'd like to try to emphasize that that kind of advertising is not not what you do. Because it doesn't pay back well enough. The best type of branding and marketing ever game can do is wrap their trucks with mine all out. It's very clear and concise very well it illustrates what you do and a lot of small companies don't do that and they like to drive because they're driving their personal vehicle that they use their work truck as a family slash work truck

Malcolm Lui:
Right

Glenn Frank:
And they like to not have their advertising on but that's probably the best advertising the biggest bang for the buck we see is truck Reps.

Malcolm Lui:
Right

Glenn Frank:
And but to get back to your earlier question about billboard advertising it will Chick fil a does a good job with their how

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah. Cow

Glenn Frank:
You know

Malcolm Lui:
Versus

Glenn Frank:
Hanging

Malcolm Lui:
Chicken

Glenn Frank:
Off the side. I did it. It's like putting up a sign saying Eat Eat more chicken

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah.

Glenn Frank:
You know that that is eye catching and it's branding and it's brilliant. And there's there's no offer like you don't run offers on a billboard.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah

Glenn Frank:
You know it's just got to be strictly branding and so on top of mind awareness you're in it's like radio you're buying that subconscious. So

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah

Glenn Frank:
When they are hungry for chicken they think about where to go. They

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah.

Glenn Frank:
Are in the need for heating and air conditioning. Who are they going to think of when they think of heating air conditioning you've got to be synonymous with with that thought. And so that's what billboard and radio does. And unfortunately you have to have a pretty big budget to do that and eliminate some of the smaller players. But

Malcolm Lui:
Yep. So I think from what you share with me it sounds like for your billboard message it might even be your jingle that your son saying

Glenn Frank:
Yes

Malcolm Lui:
At a young age

Glenn Frank:
It's still 10 years later is still very very effective.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah. It's a good one and it can be used in so many different markets as well. And everyone wants that. So let's get

Glenn Frank:
We've also tried TV. Comcast is our local cable network around here and we did a bit of that as well. It's expensive. And but in the day and age now with people being able to you know fast forward through commercials and you know watch on demand and stuff it just didn't seem like a good return on investment. Forbes

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah. If I'm a typical consumer I don't even have Comcast. I mean the subscriptions I just have Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime. That's pretty much all I have.

Glenn Frank:
Yeah

Malcolm Lui:
So yeah

Glenn Frank:
You're right. You know cable's dying for sure.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah. And that too last question I have for you. Who are your ideal customers. And I know you have six buckets. So feel free to talk about the six categories of your ideal customers and what's the best way for them to reach you.

Glenn Frank:
Well our ideal customers are people that have a need to be comfortable in their home you know or their business. And I would say the masses we really focus on on them on the you know on the on the masses not the elite if you will or not the top income earner or whatever. It's know a business mentor of mine once said that you you sell to the masses and move the classes. If you sell the classes you'll live masses. So I always remembered that and thought yeah that's where the bulk of the of the opportunity is in its masses. So really just your average income earner homeowner. That's where we focus.

Malcolm Lui:
Okay

Glenn Frank:
And it's you know ultimately it's liberal to spend money with it but it but that's where the security is because that that market never it doesn't it's not affected largely with the market goes up or down or whatever. Now you focus on the middle masses people go

Malcolm Lui:
Yep another person I interviewed had a similar strategy for four multi-family apartments. He found that the B grade apartments were more resilient during downturns right because people living in the great units would downgrade when times are tough to the to the B grade whereas people in the B grade when times are tough they don't want to go down even further. So they kind of sticks they stick around where they are so definitely going

Glenn Frank:
Yeah that's

Malcolm Lui:
Targeting

Glenn Frank:
Very true

Malcolm Lui:
The best mix makes sense right. And the best way for those folks to reach you phone number website

Glenn Frank:
Yeah. I was losing you a little bit there. Can you still hear me OK

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah I can. The best way for people to reach you

Glenn Frank:
Yeah google internet and our phone number is 9 7 0 4 3 or 4 5 5 2 and can be found on the Internet at Fort Collins eating all spelled out or Collins eating

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Got it. It's been great having you on my show Glenn. I really enjoyed hearing how you grew your company so fast.

Glenn Frank:
Yeah it's been good I enjoyed talking to you Richard.

Malcolm Lui:
We've been speaking with Glenn Frank, the President and Owner of Fort Collins Heating and Air Conditioning, about his company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing, high value sales companies, or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit Eversprint.com.

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