FORT WORTH, Texas — The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association’s (PHCC) Quality Service Contractors (QSC) group welcomed nearly 200 attendees to its Power Meeting XL, which featured speakers, classes, and an industry partner show at the Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth.

“I would call this meeting a success,” said Charlie Wallace, QSC vice president and COO. “We try to hit a home run at every meeting and sometimes we don’t. We’re fortunate that hasn’t been the case very often. Occasionally, you’ll get a speaker who isn’t at the top of his or her game and it just doesn’t connect. I think this time, most everybody did and the attendees had a lot of valuable takeaways.”

The meeting featured speaker Tony Jeary, known as The Results Guy. Jeary spoke in two sessions for an entire morning. Jeary, the author of more than 20 books, shared how those in attendance could improve their business with greater focus.

Greg Palmer, president, Bell Plumbing & Heating Co., Aurora, Colorado, said Jeary’s presentation was his personal highlight of the Power Meeting. “I made a list of takeaways, or things to do, during the Power Meeting, and 10 of the 20 action items I’ve taken back to my business were from his presentation,” Palmer said. “He presented some very powerful ideas that can have a very significant effect on the profitability of our businesses, and they were very doable, as opposed to the many daunting tasks where the return on investment is a question mark that I’ve heard from other seminars.”

Jeary stressed being clear in what you want, noting clarity, focus, and execution as areas that produce greater results. He said there are four solutions to uncovering your blind spots — mentoring, coaching, trusting colleagues, and considering resources.

“Clarity pulls us toward the results we want and helps us filter better choices,” Jeary said, telling attending contractors to document their high-leverage activities.

“As a result of Tony Jeary’s presentation, I’ve spent a small amount of time each day Googling and researching leadership, parenting, motivation, and other leadership qualities to gain inspiration on how I can better excite my employees,” Palmer said. “Too many times, I’ve been guilty of working in the business instead of on the business. I also now take about 20 minutes a day where I go somewhere I can’t be found with my iPad to think strategically about the company’s direction and plan our future. I can best help my company to grow by empowering others in the day-to-day operations while I motivate and guide the company’s direction.”

The meeting also featured a Member Sharing Roundtable, allowing attendees to share ideas on a live microphone before peers in an open-ended forum.

During the event, contractors discussed technology concerns, including using GPS, the pros and cons of it, and the liabilities that come with it. Additionally, they discussed going paperless and using tablets. One contractor discussed how he doesn’t accept checks anymore, while some are utilizing ACH transactions to clear checks immediately with the customer keeping the check.

Roger Fouche, owner, Schaal Heating & Cooling, Des Moines, Iowa, said the roundtable session was his favorite part of the event.

“For me, I look forward to moderating the roundtable session and seeing all the information that flows from contractor to contractor. It’s also a worthwhile place for industry partners to share input,” he said.

Other topics included companies encouraging technicians to use their personal phones and offering reimbursement for that, and the pros and cons of extending hourly pay versus performance-based pay. The group also had a big discussion about advertising, with lots of contractors discussing how TV advertising is ineffective, and a smaller contention arguing that it is worthwhile.

The event concluded with a “Denim and Diamonds” reception. Wallace said attending contractors enjoyed participating in the event.

“We used to have a banquet when I started with QSC, and I could tell that our members really didn’t care for that type of atmosphere,” Wallace said. “So, we changed it to a reception a few years ago. We had plenty of food and drink and invite attendees to come as you are. We had a theme of denim and diamonds, and some people played up to it.”

Palmer said this was his fourth or fifth Power Meeting, making him a relatively new member. He said events like this are critical for his business.

“During meals, I made it a point to sit at tables with either new members or people I had not met,” Palmer said. “It’s always fascinating meeting new people and learning different ways to run an effective business. I find I gain just as many ideas of how I can improve my own business by talking with members as I can attending the seminars.”

Fouche, who became a QSC member in 2003 and has missed only two Power Meetings since, said his company has made more strides in all areas since becoming a QSC member, and he already is working to implement new software and tablets in the field since coming to the meeting.

“There were no negatives while I was there,” Wallace said. “Everyone seemed to enjoy it. You can go anywhere and get speakers and things like that, but I think the biggest thing about our meetings is the renewing of relationships, making new ones, and the networking that takes place. That’s the part that’s the biggest to everybody.”

Publication date: 5/26/2014 

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