Jeepin’ It Real: How Keeping An Open Mind Can Win You Business

Ken Lollar
Ken Lollar
May 10, 2024

iink co-founder, Ryan Holliday, sits down with Your Virtual Adjuster’s Vince Lefton to discuss the importance of keeping an open mind when it comes to growing and scaling your restoration business.

What’s the focus of the education you’re providing these days?

Ryan: I’m here with Vince Lefton, Your Virtual Adjuster at The International Roof Expo Jeepin’ it real. So Vince, I wanted to bring you on today to talk about what you've been up to. I know you're all over the country in partnership with IKO Roofing teaching a lot of contractors some really great stuff. What's the focus of the education that you’re providing to the industry these days?

Vince: Yeah, so what we're going around with IKO Roofing teaching a lot about is the changing marketplace when it comes to approval rates, squeezing roofers and contractors out of the process and just kind of how to navigate that process and how to keep an open mind that it's not 10 or 15 years ago or even five years ago of how claims operate state to state. And because we're licensed to do this around the country, we can see rumblings in one state and then the results and can start to see the path of that one state may be going down. That said, we're just kind of trying to teach roofers around the country about those kinds of changes, what things are changing, how they can better their claim approval rate and how they can make the claim process a lot easier for themselves.

Ryan: What are some of the stark differences, for example, let's say between Florida and other states that are completely different in how you need to adjust or the laws that you need to abide by, where a contractor would have to be wary of that? I know a lot of contractors, they come from out of state down to Florida whenever we have storms, and they're not familiar with the building codes or they're not familiar with certain rules in regards to being an active public duster. So, what are some of the things that you see that companies should be looking out for?

What are some rules or laws that PAs should look out for?

Vince: There's obviously stark differences between one state to the next. For example, in states like Georgia there is very little leverage when it comes to supplementing or negotiating because there's no statutory fees for attorneys—there's no real appraisals. Somebody's insurance may never agree to appraisal so you really get one swing at that bat and that's obviously where insurance companies want roofers, contractors and homeowners to really be. What we're teaching is really across the board, across the country, and is really helping to get ahead of it right?

Finally, you can stop throwing things against the wall hoping they stick. I like to say it is like if your Dominoes are set up correctly in front, your big Dominoes in the back will fall. But if you don't do it that way you're going to have gaps and your back dominoes are not going to fall because they've taken away those leverage pieces where you have the ability to argue. Presenting and doing the due diligence for a file is really going to help you in the back end of a file so that's that's what we've been going around teaching how to get ahead of an insurance company instead of always playing catch up or being in the behind the eightball, it's not a place you want to be with an insurance company especially when they sign the check right?

Ryan: I love the analogy of the Dominoes. I feel like you're not going to have a viral video if those Dominoes don't fall correctly right? I see those all the time flipping through TikTok. But I'd imagine coming from another vendor in the space that what you're teaching isn't all about what you offer as a company, right? A lot of what I’ve been doing myself is teaching contractors how to build their business for scale and or potential acquisition so it's going to run efficiently enough where you can actually retire and sell it. So it's really about changing a mindset. It's not really pitching iink or pitching what we do here as a payments company. Instead, it's how can I help you become a better business leader so that your company will grow and when you have the right mindset you'll most likely be open to considering a service like ours.

What lessons have you provided in your educational sessions?

Vince: One of the big takeaways from my presentations is that you need to have an open mind. You're in this room because you do see change. Don't tell me about your best day, tell me about your worst day, right? Everyone wants to always talk about their good days but no one wants to talk about what the average is. For example, I get x amount per square and it's a crazy big number, but do you get that day in day out? No, you got it twice in three months, in 6 months, in two years whatever may be for you.

Ryan: I love that: don't tell me about your best day, tell me about your worst day. I like to call that “contractor math,”you know you know how you see a lot of the memes online the videos talking about “girl math,” well contractor math is exactly that. Contractors will always tell you their best case scenario if you're trying to help them improve something, “oh well I already do that you know in this amount of time or for this cost” but the reality is the majority of the time they're really referencing their best best case scenario. When you're looking at a business, if you're always referencing your best case scenario, you're going to be out of business pretty quickly. One of the things that you should always be cognizant of is really the hardest points in the business or you know the bad days. How do we improve from the bad days? How do we keep making the average a little bit better, not just focusing on those major wins.

How can a business learn and grow from “the bad days”?

Vince: Yeah, to that point I think you have to focus on what you do best, right? Most roofing companies that we work for are really good at sales and production but in the middle, it's a crap shoot! One roofing company may be good when it comes to having project managers or sales people doing the claim process, but they may do things differently which is why standardization is key. I have the same system every single time setting up those difficult systems especially in the sales because it's such high turnover and is constantly changing. Why not put your team in the best position to do that process right? I always say, put your best player in the best position to win! I'm teaching them to open your mind to change, understand and believe there's change. Don't tell me about your best day, tell me your worst day but most importantly put your people in a place where they can win.

Ryan: You got it, put your people in a place they can win. Thank you so much Vince, how does everybody get in touch with you man?

Vince: Yeah, it’s! Reach out and we'll do a live demo to you through the process. If it's a fit for your company, if not, I understand it's not for everyone.

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