We recently took part in a virtual debate with Dominic Caminata of Grosso University about whether the One Call Close was dead. As a practitioner of the One Call Close, Dominic, of course, is pro-One Call Close. We took the opposing position and had a lively discussion, which was attended by more than 100 people.
So, in this episode of OneLeg Up we recap the debate and have an honest conversation about what we learned, which elements of Dominic’s arguments were worth considering and ultimately, where we think the future of sales in the home improvement industry is headed.
A very special thank you to the team at Hatch for producing the debate and including us, and a shout out to Dominic Caminata and his team for participating and putting up a good fight, which ultimately showed we persuaded people to our side of the argument😉
Welcome to one leg up where we discuss how you can deliver the very best customer experience and how you can achieve zero marketing waste. Ed Davis, the chief operations manager here at one leg in today, as usual, our chief mastermind has joined us.
Vic Sun, how goes it?
Good. Thanks, Ed. How are you?
I'm good. A man of many words as ever, the repartee is exhilarating at this point. We need to get you a better comeback when I ask how it goes. Right. So the big thing for us this last week is that we took part in an industry debate hosted by Hatch.
If you're not familiar with Hatch, this is a little bit of a shameless plug. Go check them out. We'll put a link to their website as part of this podcast transcript. But we participated with them. They culminated a debate about whether or not the one called close was dead.
Obviously, if you've listened to Episode 11 of this podcast, you know that we are leading the charge and we've proclaimed that it is, in fact, dead. However, there's a there's a tremendous amount of people still in the home improvement sector who relate, who subscribe, who have adopted this mindset, and on the opposing side, if you will, as
part of this debate. Dominic Caminata of Grosso group, or excuse me, Grosso University, showed up and he was sort of in the adversarial position against Vic. I thought he did a really good job. We don't have any personal animosity towards Dominic, his team or Grosso at all.
And like I said, I think he did a solid job. But, of course, I think there's flaws in his position. But we can acknowledge that for the specific type of company or a specific type of company and what specific types of salespeople their method works.
Right. I think I think you can't deny that. And it's been you know, they would tell you how successful they've been. And, in fact, you know, just to poke Dominic just a little bit, if he does hear this, this podcast, of course, he pointed out a number of times in that 30 minute debate just how successful
they are. And we appreciate that for sure. So what was your sense of the debate? You were in it. You were you were you were the one with the gloves off. You were the one going point for point with Dominic.
What was your sense of the debate? How do you think that it went back?
I think it went OK. I think I could have always done better. And that's just me. You know, I think I could have done better. I think the that the Hatch group of guys who, you know, who set it up, you know, after we we talked to them about our idea for this sort of thing is
, you know, did a really great job putting it together despite the technical difficulties. I think the the audience did a really great job of going back and forth on chat, as well as through the correspondence on LinkedIn and the comments.
You know, it just provides this evidence that it is important issue and that there are two ends of that spectrum. Dominic did a great job as well. You know, I think really highlighting what he knows and what his experience has been.
And I'd like to thank everybody, obviously, in terms of the Delta and the change of how people's minds were changed. We're really happy to see I believe it was like five to seven percent change, which is a huge amount of people.
I think, you know, in my opinion, if there's like hundreds of people who go after this.
And yeah, for Claire, for clarity, you know, when you registered for the debate to attend the debate and nearly two hundred people, did you ask the question, do you believe the one called close is dead? Yes or no?
And that created the baseline at the very beginning of the debate. And I think it was it was a it was a seventy five twenty five percent split of people who were in favor of the one called clothes or who firmly believe that it's still alive and kicking.
And then we went and looked at what the change percentage was of the people who actually showed up for the debate. And what Vic is just relating to there is if you think about we had a little more than 100 people show up for for the debate, about 25, 30 of them were in our camp, if you
will. And by the end of the debate, we had swayed an additional six or seven people to come over to our camp. So so we would say that the one called close camp lost a little bit of traction, which which we're happy to see.
Yeah. Thank you, Ed, for putting the context that is important. You know, again, evidence of, you know, what what is a data show? Right. And and this is a key point here. So if you think about, you know, if there were 70 people and you change 10 percent of those individuals, you know, that really means that people
can have these hard, firm to. Leaf's, which really one call close, is more of an ideology, you know, and I see it as like a faith based sort of thing because it's apriority knowledge versus a posterior knowledge where the difference is you're gaining knowledge from something without actual experience from it.
That's what apriority knowledge is. Whereas, you know, in a posteriori. Knowledge is really where you gain experience from empirical data and you actually experiencing something, which I think in this day and age information in the informational, digital age, you know, people back in the 50s, 80s, even in the early 2000s, they couldn't experience this.
Right. And those are some of the things that Dominique brought up. He kept them bringing back the fact that it wasn't the 50s, even though this is really the core, the crux of the issue. This is, you know, more predominant in the 50s.
And it's kind of just proliferated and it's kind of crept in maybe into the 80s because of, you know, Rick Groo and you, you know, who perpetuates that sort of ideology. And he can say, well, we started this in the early, you know, in in early 2000s, in 2010, for example.
Well, it's 20, 21. Right. You can continue to do marketing and sales like you were in 2010. Like many companies do. But it certainly doesn't mean that it's going to be effective. Yeah, that's my take on the debate so far.
So do you think that I've gotten a number of questions and it'll be interesting take on them? Of course. Do you think that there's a world in which both Dominick's view and Grosz's view, in our view, can coexist in the home improvement industry in particular?
So is there a world where one cold closing could survive? That really depends on solely the application of other methodologies, technology and science. Now, companies have limited resources, and as such, these finite resources should be allocated towards measurable improvements in your company website, laning pages, social engagement, your content, your brand, and technologies that uplift the lead intent
. You know, the buyer experience, the true development of your sales team again. Measurable Anami channel and bidirectional sync that nurtures these relationships, not just these transactions. And I'm talking about both on the sales team and on the buyers.
Right. Because you want to nurture your sales team just as much as you nurture your customer. Now, where the close isn't just applied once on a one call close and it's so focused on the first call, the first visit where there's all this pressure, all this, you know, focus on just that moment.
Right. Instead of the journey. But when it's be carefully curated and then projected to make the most impact in the buying journey, and when the close or the asking of the of the signed a contract, you know, to to to to get it to get a sale.
You know, when it's application no longer frustrates salespeople and customers alike as as it is carefully applied to basically enhance the buying experience on both sides, you know, not degraded at that time. Such focus closing may be calibrated to be a force for good.
But until that day. For your company, the one called Close should remain dead.
And I think the as an extension of that, I think probably the most valid point other than some of the ones you talked about in terms of training and culture and whatnot, as part of the debate really happened towards the end.
Right. And and I think it was you certainly mentioned it. People were talking about it in the chat as I was monitoring the chat on the side. Dominic, I think, even acknowledged it, too, which is to say. In my opinion.
I think that realistically, where the world has moved in the sense of why one call clues might actually be of value and why it might work is you have to think about it in the context of the overarching customer experience.
Right. Everybody on that participate in that debate admitted this is not where, as you pointed out, the 1950s, where sales guys going knocking on the on the on the front door and he puts his right foot in the door so they can't shut it so that you can continue the pitch.
Right. And that person might not have had any understanding of what that person was selling or any context for that company or anything like that. Nowadays, we are 100 percent know that more than likely before somebody is even reached out to you as a company to inquire about a service.
Our product, they've already researched it. They've already been exposed to reviews. They've already seen your website. They're very senior social media feeds ever, very senior ads. They've already talked to a friend who has that thing. And so that to me is where the one call close needs to evolve.
Right. And maybe that's what Don was saying, although I would admit crudely to me, if the one called close came in and you recognized this person had already been exposed and any number of ways to your product, your service, your brand, that's where you can that's where you can handle the objections.
That's where you can get them to say yes and to agree to engage you further. But I think that I think maybe the more nuanced version, the days of the cold, one call closed, that's done and dusted, you absolutely cannot do that in this day and age without sacrificing credibility, reputation, brand experience.
There's a whole list of downsides to it, in my opinion.
I agree. The the thing that I would potentially add onto that would be. The one called close, it's it's really dead, if you really think about the empirical data that shows that 88 percent of 90 percent of first calls or first visits do not end up as a sale in home improvement in construction, remodeling in and potentially
, you know, within that range for other industries. I think the the thing that where the close and the masterful presentation to dominate you here, Dominic, and so many other sales we use as part of their training program, you you would take those elements that are salient and positive like that.
A masterful presentation is, you know, in my opinion, is simply being able to deliver, you know, the information that people will be able to absorb in a way that's positive, salient and unobtrusive and simple. Right. And you do that and you eight, you apply that to the user journey where they can get those pieces of information
and experiencing it at the demo. But the one called closing itself. But even in its name, it's description one, Paul Close. You're really saying everything has to happen in that moment. It's a make or break. And this is where I believe Dominic could have done a better job if he really wanted to go in and prove his
points was he never responded to one of my main arguments from the very beginning, which is you've got the majority nine out of 10 times. They don't close nationally. OK. And he's saying, well, there's some companies that do, then some salespeople, the majority.
And he's saying the people need he's saying that the people who go through their program, I think he said something like 50 plus percent close on the first call of the people have gone through their program, which I'd like to see the evidence of that.
But I think that's what I understand
evidence of that is there were like I said, if there were, it's one or two people. It's a sliver. And those are unicorns. Those are people that they can perform the system. I mean, you cannot replicate them. I know I've watched videos of Rick Grosso in the past and, you know, some of them from Grosso University where
he said, well, if you have one or two of these really high earners, other people will follow and you'll be able to recruit better and they'll be able to go because they want to emulate that. Yes, the intent is to emulate those people, but you'll never replicate them because people are they have different Crono types and there's
no evidence. Sure. So, I think that, you know, going back to the main question is, is there a world where the one called close, you know, that doesn't do more damage than good? No, but if you break apart the good elements of.
The masterful presentation
asked, which gets 100 percent and I think, again, this is another thing that that Dominic and I guess many sales gurus, you know, do not address, whether it's Dan Locke on YouTube and potentially Jordan Belfort. I've watched some of this stuff.
They Grosso works for them. They deal in absolutes. Right. It has to be everything. And all of this. And it has to be done exactly this way so that it works as opposed to, well, why can't you take one or two of the best elements and then augment that with things that, you know, based on empirical evidence
. But typically, again, one called close proponent's. It's all or nothing. It's always you succeeded because you did this and you did this exactly this way. Or if you don't get the result where you're a week closer and you didn't follow the system.
Is this singular, absolute information, which, again, you know, very, very similar to faith in all of these things, where it's like an absolute right, if that's how do you believe or you don't? And you can't really explain everything.
You just have to have faith in it. But I do have a question for you, Ed, because you talked about the ramifications of this. And it really is something that I think even people that were interested in us asked this question or at least had this.
You know, a couple of people have said that. And, look, they won't work with one leg or companies like us that are you know, you guys took a look at the empirical evidence of the data and technology and complex systems.
If you don't believe in the one call closed, we just won't work with you. So as a brand reputation expert, you know, over the years and you've worked with large companies as well as, you know, small businesses. How do you how do you feel about that?
Yeah, I mean, the business development side of my head says, well, that sucks. And, you know, I want to win more business than denot. Right. But I also think that the rational side of it kicks in.
And, you know, just to liken it to some of the things that we talk about, you know, suspects to prospects, you know, those types of conversions, I'd rather have legitimate prospects. And in all honesty, if depending on your culture and in and how you mandate salespeople to behave.
We probably don't want to work with you. Right. So to me, you know, if somebody is so beholden and they believe so firmly that they're not open to, you know, what we're what we're talking about, which is we've not said we've never said you should not use the one call close.
In fact, you just said that there are elements of it that 100 percent are valid and should be enhanced and should be utilized as part of your sales and marketing cadence and customer experience. And so to me, I sort of see it as self identification, self selection, and it's just making my job easier.
If you don't want to work with us, because we we've come out on the side of thinking the one called coses dead and that that shouldn't be propagated. Cool. Right. Because the flip side of that is and you know, we are we are fortunate to have had this experience in the last few days for you know, you like to talk about empirical evidence. I think there's two people who've said, I can't work with you because you all believe this or Vic was on that side of the debate. Well, but there's been six people called us up immediately afterward and said, totally get what you're saying.
Totally aligned to that. I'd like to learn more. So I take the three to one. You know what I mean? So, you know, it sucks. I never want to hear somebody be as flippant as I'm not going to work with you just because somebody has a provocative view.
But at the end of the day, there's a lot of business out there. We're doing pretty well. We seemingly have found we have started to find our niche in terms of companies who want to work with us and who believe, you know, that the totality of the customer experience that we're trying to put in place.
So I'm comfortable with that.
Yeah. And it's definitely, I think, a hallmark as well of people that may not be thinking about the ramifications. Again, they're defending. Right? They're defending, which I think really this is a question that I was asked in in after the debate by, you know, by a president of one of this companies.
And do you do you really believe that there's really no room? And I said, well, like I've mentioned, there are ways that you can do to augment it. I don't like believing in absolutes because there's always an option at companies that try to defend the philosophy and ideology as opposed to looking at the data and saying, well
, can we take some elements of this? Because it's not, you know, 100 percent everything is effective. Right. And I think that was to the detriment of Dominique in the way he delivered his points in his address, which is all absolute 100 percent.
It's going to work. The book was 100 percent. It's like everything's on two percent. It's like, no, it isn't. Right. Nothing is seven percent. And so I think part of this is also identifying and for those people that I think started to move towards, well, maybe there's a life beyond what we know and started to consider those
. It's really looking at the things that are available to them. Like, for example, if you spend 10000 dollars on one on sales training and a lot of companies do spend about that money, you know, if you're an average size company, right.
The 10000 dollars can be put right. And meet. You'll have a lot of trouble attributing the 10000 dollars to your sales team. Right. And the results and the improvements you can send, you can spend the same 10000 dollars into your brand by uplifting your home page, for example.
Do you have a better experience? Sure. The people that they join and every dollar that you spend can be attributed because now you can track your users behavior, their bounce rates, where they are, where they leave off, what buttons they choose.
And you can track that from ads, tracking events. These things you can attribute and it helps your your sales team, because now when users go into your home page, the first page and you build that that brand image, you have the right imaging, you have the right one copy.
Right. We put together a user journey that isn't just a form that now lifts the intent of the user. And you can go ahead and start seeing the improvements that whether or not you close in the first visit, these leads start to increase in terms of their quality.
Right. And that affects not only your user, but also the sales team, because let's face it, they make money by making sales. And your customers will have an easier absorption of the knowledge if they feel good about that experience.
And that is really I think one of the points of this debate is people should not just whinge. They're, you know, put all their their trust and their faith in in one call, closing in hopes that to generate sales.
There are other things you can at attribute and allocate. And you and I have had that experience over the past year where we've challenged companies when they when they said, OK, we'll test you out, we'll spend 5000 of our budget on the same things that we've been doing versus 5000 with you.
And let's see where you guys are at the end of, you know, three months, for example, or six months, whatever the case may be. And and so far, I think we've we've retained every single business so far.
So, yeah. No, that's right. So. Right. So is there anything as industry owners they should be doing now if they agree with our position? Like what are the things whether they work with us or not? What are the things they need to be thinking about and doing?
And is that if they believe in the one called close. If they don't, they don't believe in that. OK, well, if they've changed their position, if they don't believe in that. There are several things that they can do.
But one of the first things I would say is working with a company, whether it's us or other companies that know how to architect or to to design, you know, the ideal customer profiles ICDs qualify what an MKl is, a marketing qualified lead versus sales qualified lead.
And in designing. Right, both the user journey, the buyer buying experience, as well as, you know, the endgame, which is this is what I would like to have my customers, my best customer experience. That's the very first part.
Now, a lot of people say, well, now get get to the good part, get to the results, you can get to the results without planning. Right. Right. A wise person once told me this whole random thing. That was you.
If it was me. The randomness, you know, it's it's neediness on the part of people to get to a result. But let's face it, you get to the best results when you plan it out. Right. And you don't need a company necessarily to do this for you.
You can do it yourself. You go ahead, work with your internal teams, OK, and outline who your ideal customer profiles are. Yep. Several, several of them user users, bio personas. And then you go ahead and say, let's go ahead and map out their journey.
OK. And then you look at every channel and you go, is it is it the same? It might be it might be different. It should be different. And then you go, well, what do I want them to experience?
Is this to some people might be daunting, but again, you know, unless I'll give you an example, right. Some people might be going ahead and saying, oh, I can cut my own hair. I just get. And some people go off lobi, right?
I tried that. You know, I, I guess I could do it, but it didn't come out right. Or you go to a hairstylist or a professional barber who has the experience and you pay for that experience and the end result, and they'll do it for you, just like, you know, like, again, a professional to be able to
do it for you. But you don't necessarily you can do it yourself. But if you don't have that, I think that one thing I'll just give one example. If you don't have that, then don't do anything else because you're just going nowhere.
This is random Adobe.
Yeah, I agree.
And then deliberately work towards what are the elements that lead to the highest customer experience, the best selling percentages. And that's when you start, you know, working with the companies like us or other companies where you go, well, do I have chat XYZ or conversational A.I.?
What is my landing page look like? Oh, I don't have text messages. You know, once they leave Facebook, for example. That's when we start curating what it is that we need to develop or improve on that user journey.
I do have a question for you, Ed, because you obviously are bringing up some really good points here. But one point that was made on the debate rate is about salespeople setting the tone for the customer experience, again, is very like everything's on a salesperson, which is obviously true.
But this I'd like to get your feedback on it. But what needs to happen regardless of the approach, right on on on the site and your side or your client to ensure that they're presenting the best version of themselves?
Yeah, and I think we've talked about this on on previous podcasts and especially in the home improvement industry, as we've learned. But but we we although we do see indicators that this is changing and a little bit and I was really satisfied earlier this week when we had a meeting with a potential client, and he used the
verboten term of I'm worried about our brand reputation. I want to make sure that we we manage that. I was really pleased to hear that because we haven't really heard that. So I think, you know, we like I said, we talked about brand and reputation and and brand management within the home improvement sector.
And I think for for for people, you have to immediately understand. As we've talked about previously, brand is culture, vision and image, right? And so the vision typically for a home improvement and a home improvement company is I want to be the dominant provider of bath remodels or new windows or whatever the case may be in my
market like that. That's about as far as our vision goes. I would make the argument that it needs to be a little bit more nuanced or explanatory than that. But let's, for the sake of this conversation, agree that that's generally what it is.
Culturally. That's where you really have to put in the work. And and most companies I'm talking in general, they have a basic idea of what their culture is. Really good companies are 100 percent understand what their culture is and they know how to recruit people who are going to fit their culture and vice versa.
And I think a lot of home improvement companies, the culture ultimately, because of the size of the business that they are and the type of the business type of business that they are, their culture is really a manifestation of what the owner is or what the ownership group is.
And so it starts there. If we're talking about the salespeople. Right. So most owners are going to recruit people who are sort of in their vision, in their in their ideal personification of how the owner would sell a customer.
Right. And so they bring in somebody who mirrors that that language. And so, you know, if your owner is charismatic, if your owner is really knowledgeable, if your owner is is really personable and and and understands persuasion, then they're probably going to hire those same people.
And they're they're going to be good. And I think that you really have to think about that. Right, because as a as a home improvement company grows over time, it's no longer the owner who goes and meets with every customer.
It becomes. Well, I hired Bob and Bob's got a truck and, you know, it broke down in front of it. And now that made for a bad experience because it block the dry. There's just so many things. And you really have to be conscious of that.
And that's where the image piece of it comes into play. And so, again, we've talked about it a lot. And we you know, we think that people need to be more mindful of it than they actually are. But the salesperson is critical, is 100 percent critical to to how your company.
And in a lot of ways, as you as a person are viewed in your community. So you better make damn well sure that you are recruiting people who have a stellar background. You're recruiting people who can personify what your company is about, who can portray your company, because a lot is riding on it.
Right. Your business is riding on that one individual. And there and every experience that they have with a potential customer, as we've talked about, if you go read the vast majority of reviews on on from a home improvement companies, if it's a great if it's a great review, it's because the installers, the contractors did a fantastic job
and the product was awesome and the overall service was outstanding. If it is a crappy review, one, two stars, maybe three, almost inevitably every single time. The salesperson was crap. I didn't like the salesperson. High pressure told me wrong, steered me whatever.
So think about how important that one person is to the success and future of your business. And that's why you need to put a lot of effort into it. I think the other thing, too, is the the flip side of that and we're going to talk about this in in the coming episodes is this business, I think
the home improvement sector in particular and wider. There are other industries for sure who would fall into this. I think there's a reckoning coming. And that reckoning is who we actually incentivizing. And are we incentivizing them correctly? Because historically the salespeople get the outsized benefits of closing a deal.
Right. They might get up to five percent of the deal value and in some cases even more. Whereas the contractors, the guys who actually do it or or in the case of a professional services firm, the CPAs who actually manage, you know, the financial accounts or whatever the case may be, getting nothing, maybe they get a little
bit of recognition. Maybe they get a cost of living. We've got this all wrong. We've got it's great the salesperson has procured or secured that piece of business and they should be rewarded, right. Because that that's a talent.
That's a value. But just as important are the people who actually have to deliver the product and services. And we really need to to reconcile that and balance that out and make it a bit more fail. Fair.
Would you agree? I agree. I think that the recruitment side is another piece of the data that that people don't consider. I mean, if you think about if you're companies predominantly in a lot of companies are predominantly local to one state or even a couple of the state, they don't cover the entire state.
So even the neighborhood in the big. Yeah, even a neighborhood and a bigger place like L.A. or Houston or Dallas or something like that.
So, you know, you know, I've been in the space for for for over 15 years. And, you know, I've helped in other departments when I was working as an executive in one of the bigger companies. And one of the issues was hiring and salespeople.
The turnover is so bad in Yepp. Nationwide. Right. Whether you're a big company or small company, because let's face it, not only is it a selling position or a role, you know, and let's face it, that in itself is is tough.
And there's a high turnover there. You have a lot of companies that pay commission only, so five to 10 percent or even a little bit more based on the price. So not only do you have all these elements that are just fighting against you, then you've got a one called closing ideology that really puts the pressure on
on that individual. And so you get a high turnover. Now, just if you just think about this, how the largest companies in the world have cloc something so simple. They've moved away from person to person sales and having brick and mortar facilities, especially when the pandemic hit.
Now, you think about this and this is a prediction that I've that I've kind of been saying for a couple of years now. The home improvement space is racketing it. You're talking about it's going to come to a point at certain products like windows roofing, solar exterior products, especially when measurements can be conducted through an app or
through through the homeowner themselves. They're going to want to be able to make that decision on their own, make that purchase and install from their phone and not have anyone go through a 90 minute presentation is they don't know it.
They can get all this information on their own. And the reality is now you're a company that's local. Just think about this is very important with a one called closing and all the elements of the negative, the negativity that comes with it.
Your turnover is a direct reflection of the elements fighting against you and growing your team, because if you're always going to go and rely on sales gurus and sales training to uplift the skills and say, I'm going to go and make my team 50 percent better is think about this.
If you've got 100 percent or 200 percent turnover each year. Right. That means that there's nothing to do necessarily with your goals. You're fighting against all the other elements, like the micro and macro economic forces. But at the same time, at some point, you'll run out of salespeople that you can train.
What are you going to do? You going to rely on just the best salesperson? No, you have to think past that. You've got to be able to go and think about that. You know, and this is something that one owner told me.
Basically, you're saying we should be hiring more people and majority of them might be just order takers if you've got leads with high buying intent. What was the skill there? I said, do you care if they make the sale and you paid them well and you give them a salary and the is making a profit?
And Dominic talked about profitability. Why do you care? Well, I'll tell you why you care only because you want to protect an ideology. You want to protect and have one called close. You want to protect this idea that a salesperson makes or breaks that moment.
The biggest companies in the world are showing us the way people are smarter, more intelligent, more discerning. They have all the information and they can make decisions, you know, with technology, with that at the tip of their fingers, so to speak.
This is where it's going. And I think the industry, the most innovative companies who start to just reject this should consider this not because it's something that's innovative. It's because you've always experiences in terms of your turnover, your retention, and the fact that over half of your team do not close it, a percentage that you think that
they should be doing.
Yeah, totally agree, and we're going to have to leave it right there for today. We hope you've enjoyed our chat and learned a couple of things. As always, we hear when they believe poor marketing pollutes the planet and that business is full of tired, outdated, indistinct, unremarkable and underperforming marketing, that sucks.
But what sucks even more is that many companies have forgotten the most important thing of all the customer. We're on a mission on behalf of our clients customers to change that. To learn more, go to zero marketing waste dot com, where you can subscribe to this very to our blog and this very podcast.
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