SPECIAL CONFERENCE & EXPO RECAP
In This Issue Network Program Update .... 2 Thursday General Session.............................. 3-4 General Session Panels......... 5 Canada General Session................................. 6
Welcome to the annual conference recap edition of Connect. In this newsletter, you’ll see the 2013 Contractor Connection Conference & Expo was full of important information to help contractors be top network performers. With a record-breaking attendance of 2,800, the event continues to grow stronger every year. Everything about the event was dynamic – from the venue to the kickoff of the Thursday general session to the keynote speakers. Thank you for being part of the last 15 years, and we looking forward to reaching new heights together in the “The Next 15.”
Conference Announcements... 7
Relive the Conference!
The Expo.............................. 7
Watch this fun and high-energy video highlighting the 2013 Conference & Expo:
Performance Excellence Awards................ 7 In The Media........................ 8
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Network Program Update At the general session, Larry Thomas provided a very encouraging network update accentuating how Contractor Connection has invested in the network’s future in many different aspects and how the company continues to grow with endless opportunities. Chief among the opportunities mentioned was single-trade roofing which has become a $30 billion market, Catastrophe response which generated more than $65 billion of insurance claim payments in 2012, and the Consumer Services program, which has unlimited potential and brings tremendous opportunity for clients and network contractors. Thomas stressed the importance of meeting the current unmet needs of the roofing market and how the network needs to seize the opportunity. He mentioned Contractor Connection plans to add more single-trade roofing contractors to the network and also mentioned current network members that add roofing to their service offering will be rewarded. “Effective immediately, Contractor Connection is providing preferred selections to general contractors
‘Effective immediately, Contractor Connection is providing preferred selections to general contractors that provide single-trade roofing.’ – Larry Thomas,
CEO Contractor Connection
that provide single-trade roofing,” Thomas said. Other key messages mentioned were the need for contractors to have a better state of readiness for catastrophes and be more proactive instead of waiting for the catastrophe to strike and then respond. Thomas also asked the audience, “What kind of performer are you?” He presented a comparison of what a low, average and top performer looks like. He also asked contractors to focus on improving their Net Promoter Score, which will be as important as their TIPs and POMs moving forward. Thomas proudly reported that 51 percent of network estimates are turned in within three days and 70 percent of estimates are turned in within the current five day goal. He concluded his presentation by saying he “couldn’t be more excited about the future, but we have to execute.”
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Referring to Contractor Connection’s most recent ad campaign and conference theme, he asked the audience to “‘Be there when it counts’ in the next 15 years and beyond.” Crawford Honors Thomas for 30 Years of Service Crawford & Company CEO, Property & Casualty Americas Kevin Frawley presented Contractor Connection CEO Larry Thomas with a commemorative pin for his 30 years of service with Crawford & Company. “I take a lot of pride in what we’ve been able to grow collectively as a group,” Thomas said. “I couldn’t be more excited about the bright future ahead.”
General Session This year’s general session in one word: dynamic. On a special mission to tell the crowd about the exciting future ahead, Contractor Connection CEO Larry Thomas got the session off to an electrifying start by rappelling from the convention center rafters along with Scott Leonard and Rob Mott from Afterburner, Inc., and received a standing ovation. It was a perfect segway into keynote speaker Mark McGinnis’ presentation. A member of the Afterburner, Inc., team, which is comprised of retired elite military personnel, McGinnis said his mission was to teach the audience “Flawless ExecutionSM.” A retired Navy SEAL, he energized the crowd by painting a picture of how SEALs solve problems in special ops missions and related it to everyday business use using the “Plan-Brief-ExecuteDebriefSM” system.
Mark McGinnis, Keynote Speaker Afterburner, Inc.
McGinnis emphasized the value of treating every meeting or sales call as “the most important thing you’ll ever do” because it will greatly improve success rates. He also said the key to any successful mission is ongoing communication with everyone involved and flexibility. If you are interested in participating in an Afterburner workshop, click here to see the special post conference promotion being offered by Afterburner. To kick off the afternoon, Crawford & Company CEO, Property & Casualty Americas Kevin Frawley provided a formal welcome to all attendees. He reflected on how much the conference had grown from its humble beginning 15 years prior and how the Contractor Connection managed repair process represents what he likes to call “winning to the
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fourth power.” When the process comes together as planned, it is a win for the policyholder/consumer, insurance/affinity client, contractor and Contractor Connection. Frawley gave an update on how Crawford & Company is a strong, stable and growing corporation; in fact, the company reported its best year financially in 2012. He emphasized how Contractor
CEO, Americas – Crawford & Company
to catch their attention for three seconds, then they’ll spend another 30 seconds reading the general text, and if that engages them enough, they’ll spend another three minutes reading the details.
Cam Marston, Keynote Speaker Generational Insight
Connection is a critically important part of Crawford & Company, and they are driven to grow and succeed. Frawley said Crawford will continue to support Contractor Connection and its network. Following lunch, the audience was treated to a second keynote speaker of the day, Cam Marston from the research firm Generational Insight. Marston highlighted the afternoon with a rousing presentation of differences in each generation and how each potential customer is different in the way they like to be communicated with. He focused on Matures (68 years and older), Baby Boomers (49-67 years old), Generation X (34-48 years old) and Millenials (13-33 years old). Although each generation has their differences, Marston talked about how his “3-30-3” rule with printed marketing collateral applies to everyone. His rule refers to the piece needing to pop enough
Watch Cam Marston’s Presentation In Its Entirety! Want to see Cam’s presentation again? For a limited time, you can watch it by logging into the Contractor Connection Client Home Page.
In the final portion of the session, the audience received an update on Contractor Connection’s growing Consumer Services program. In the past year, the volume of Consumer Services jobs has increased, and the
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average job is $8,077. The top three most requested services are general contractor, remodeling and roofing. In time, the consumer program has the potential to be as large as the current Insurance Carrier program. There are now dedicated sales executives to bring new affinity partners into the fold as well as a dedicated marketing program. Throughout the general session, the audience gained valuable insight from three different panels – insurance, industry and consumer services. Each panel was comprised of experts that answered key questions on how contractors can optimize business growth. SEE PANELS ON PAGE 5 The general session concluded by honoring top performers in each region. SEE PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE AWARDS ON PAGE 7
General Session Panels Insurance Panel
Consumer Services Panel
Contractor Connection CEO Larry
In the afternoon portion of the
The general session’s final panel
Thomas sat down with executives
general session, contractors heard
focused on Contractor Connection’s
from insurance carrier clients to
from leading industry experts.
Consumer Services program
The audience heard from
and was comprised of experts
contractors should focus on when
Xactware’s Jim Loveland, ITEL
from insurance companies and
receiving referrals from insurance
Laboratories’ Robert Logan, J.D.
contractors part of the program.
Power and Associates’ Chip Lackey,
get their perspectives on key things
The panel was comprised of USAA’s Bill Chandler, Nationwide’s Pete Lore, Amica’s Mike Gillerlane,
USAA’s Richard Rathman, Amica’s
BELFOR’s William Heemer and M.J.
Eric Ernst, BKA of Nashville’s Andy
White & Son’s Michael White, Sr.
Brown and T&T Consulting’s T.J.
Contractors were able to hear the
Mayes each gave their thoughts on
Economical Insurance’s Peggy
panel’s thoughts on how evolving
how contractors can best utilize the
Wong and American Family’s Brian
technology will affect the industry’s
potential of the program.
future, the impact of cycle times
Key points covered were how
on customer service and important
insurance companies plan to
the importance of uploading fast
advice for contractors new to
promote the Consumer Services
and accurate estimates, the need
Contractor Connection and what
program in the future, how
for more contractors in catastrophe
the future holds for contractor
contractors should approach sales
response and single-trade roofing,
when working with a consumer job
Some of the key topics included
thoughts on the success of the
and dedicating staff for insurance
Contractor Connection program in
and consumer jobs.
Canada and the importance of the net promoter score.
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Canada General Session
Contractor Panel Contractor Connection Canada hosted a breakout session for the Canadian Network members. After an introduction from Daniel Loosemore, Direction of National Sales & Operations for Contractor Connection Canada, Crawford & Company Canada CEO Pat Van Bakel provided a program update with future goals and the strategic plan going forward. The Canada session format consisted of a series of panel discussions with insurer clients, network contractors, and Contractor Connection operations staff. Each panel was followed by a Q&A opportunity. The panel discussion format provided the Canadian network members an opportunity to interact face-to-face with panel members
Daniel Loosemore, Contractor Connection Canada Director of National Sales & Operations who they only communicate with long distance, by email or by telephone. Jane Baxter of DKI Canada, Bill Bradley of BELFOR, Sean Hobson of FirstOnSite Restoration and Mike Sully of On Side Restoration served on the contractor panel. Key points addressed were past practices versus current practices, the role of technology now and in the future and the importance and value of performance benchmarking and metrics. The insurance panel was comprised of Charlie Clattenburg and Rory Thain from Economical, Bruce Olie from Unifund and Henry Tokola from RSA. The panel addressed their approach to risk mitigation, policyholder retention and
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the importance of electronic transparency. The over-arching theme of each breakout session was the high level of mutual respect and desire for success that each of the insurers, contractors and Contractor Connection operations staff share. It was acknowledged, by all, that the overriding goal of the insurers is to provide a quality driven, cost effective repair process for their insured following a loss, and this could be achieved in a mutually beneficial way. They discussed how this could be achieved by ensuring that the contractor was paid based on a fair and accurate repair estimate, with operational support provided by Contractor Connection to ensure the customer needs were met throughout the claims process.
The Conference Expo In addition to setting a new conference attendance record, the expo was bigger and better than ever with 144 booths. Conference attendees flocked to the convention center expo hall in droves and got a look at the latest advances and promotions the industry had to offer. This year, exhibitors had extended networking time with attendees on Tuesday afternoon with a two and a half hour session. Wednesday evening marked the expo’s grand finale with the Welcome Reception, which included a live band, delectable food unique to Texas and drinks. “I want to thank all of our exhibitors for the best expo yet,” said Dennis Wright, expo coordinator. “It has been great to see this event grow into one of the best in the industry, and we look forward to outdoing ourselves next year.”
Conference Announcements Contractor Connection Network Store: You can now proudly display the Contractor Connection Network Member logo on apparel, magnets and more! Beginning in August, you’ll be able to order customized materials to help market your business as a Contractor Connection Network Member. Look for the email announcement soon! In addition, upon popular demand network members now have access to the Contractor Connection Network Member logo so they can display on company website, email, letter head or business cards. This is available via the Contractor Summary page and does require agreement to limit the use of the logo as outlined. Contractor Connection Social Media: Want to grow your business? Social media is a powerful tool to help you achieve your objectives. When you “like” Contractor Connection on Facebook, “join our circle” on Google Plus or “follow us” on Twitter and share our updates, your network of users will engage with us and realize the value of Contractor Connection, driving more opportunities to your business.
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2012 Performance Excellence Award Winners During the 2013 conference the alwayspopular Contractor Performance Excellence Awards were presented. Our network members of each Contractor Connection District in the U.S. and Canada were recognized for Performance Excellence. View photos of the awards ceremony.
2013 Conference & Expo – In The Media “The Next 15” Conference & Expo generated plenty of buzz both in the blogosphere and social media. We compiled snippets of blogs, top “tweets” and photo galleries for the “Cliff’s Notes” version of the conference and expo.
Claims World What can help you become the leader in your industry? How about hosting the industry’s largest conference and exposition…for 15 years? Fifteen years ago Contractor Connection started its conference and expo to bring together its clients and contractor partners from across the U.S, and, later, from Canada. Check out Claims World for the complete blog.
Top Tweets Crawford Contractor Connection 15th annual conference in San Antonio taking place now – record-setting 2,800 attendees #CCconf13 @Crawford_News (Crawford & Company) Very excited!!!...heading to the @ContrConnection meeting in San Antonio, TX. #GoldenHammer here we come!! #CCconf13 #ProudToBeOnCC @IntegritySD (Integrity Restoration) Just finished 2nd great meeting while at @ ContrConnection today. Lots of buzz here and things happening! #CCconf13 @DanMurray_CR (Dan Murray)
R&R Blog The Contractor Connection Conference & Expo went off without a hitch this year, as it was a terrific couple of days in Texas. Check out Restoration & Remediation for the complete blog.
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Proud to be a Contractor Connection Network Contractor! This 2013 Conference has been fantastic! #CCconf13 @nkirk2003 (Nancy Kirk) @ContrConnection : Thank you for the flawless execution at the 15th annual convention. Great effort and foresight. #CCconf13 @SteamMaster (SteamMaster) Check out this snapshot of all tweets at the conference, courtesy of Dan Murray from YourRestorationCoach.com.