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The X Factor: Separating From The Competition

October 1, 2022



In this episode, Ari Greenbaum interviews Brian Lazcano, Owner of Three Phase Electric. They discuss how you can separate your business apart from the competition to close more deals and grow your business!


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Ari: Welcome to The X Factor, a Home Pros Sales podcast. This is the podcast about all things sales to help Home Improvement Pros generate high-quality leads, and more importantly close more deals. I’m your host, Ari Greenbaum and in this podcast, we’ll talk about different tactics, tips, and resources to help you grow your business while interviewing experts in the industry.

But before we get into today’s episode, just a little housekeeping, if you could us some love on Apple Podcasts, that little purple icon, give us the five-star rating, leave us a review, let us know if you’re enjoying the podcast. We always love the feedback.

So today, we’re going to focus on a topic that is, I believe, important to anyone out there in the contracting world, whether home services or home improvements, the idea of being able to separate from the competition, we’re in a very competitive world, especially in the contracting fields. Being able to differentiate from the people that are also giving estimates to win jobs is obviously an art form and that’s something that I brought on a guest today, that will be an outstanding resource for all of us. I want to introduce Brian Lazcano with Three Phase electric, he’s out of Whittier, California, and he is a pro at converting leads, building a customer base, and doing so at a high rate and clearly separating from the competition there. And also, he’s a valued conXpros partner. So we always love having some of our partners on here to share some of their information. But without further ado, I want to introduce Brian, let him obviously introduce himself. And we’ll get into the topic shortly. So Brian, tell me about yourself as much as you can.

Brian: Hi. So yeah, so I’m Brian, I’m the owner of Three Phase electric, the company has around 10 months now, yeah, we’re going into the 10 months, but we’ve grown rapidly. So you know, we started off with nothing last year November to where now we have four employees, you know, four technicians that are out on the field, to fully wrapped vehicles, service vans, you know, that are fully stocked and then we also have two administrators here at the office. Now they’re are managing all the calls and bookings and, you know, setting up the schedules with the employees and the clients.

Ari: And just to make sure people don’t think that I’m off my rocker saying, I have a sales expert you know, after 10 months, obviously, know your background’s a lot longer than just your own company, you’ve been in the field for you said, I think seven years if I’m not mistaken with plenty of experience and close deals along the way to help you to build the current business. So I want to make sure people are aware that my bringing a rookie in here to hang out and talk, I’m bringing a seasoned veteran. You didn’t give yourself enough credit.

But nonetheless, as I mentioned, you’re Brian is a client of ours. So we are happy to help him to build that business. But he is doing the important part, which is converting those leads, I mean, everyone gets inquiries into their business or has the ability to, it’s converting them. I felt like Brian is a perfect person for the topic that we want to attack today. I mean, Brian is an owner, operator, sole proprietor, obviously, you know, running a new business. And we are in an uber-competitive world right now, especially in the information age and all these things out there. So it’s a big deal to be able to separate from competition, and I felt there was no better person to bring in here and really discuss this, you know, how he’s doing it, and then hopefully others can understand that replicate from but you know, let’s get right into it. You know, what are you doing? I mean, you’re going to houses, closing jobs at a great clip, you know clearly you’re doing something awesome to separate. So how do you present yourself, take us through the magic?

Brian: Yeah, so real quick, a lot of things that a lot of general contractors is where they miss and they fall is valuing themselves, you know, they go in there with fear base, they go in there thinking like, oh, man, I can shoot them no high numbers because you know, whatever, X, Y, and Z. But one thing that I learned from the last company that I was actually working for is how to value yourself, your worth, your time and your years that you put into, your sweat equity, you know, at that point, people need to start paying for your service, you know, not paying for what you’re doing, but for what you know, right? And that’s where we fall a lot of times we forget that we need to value ourselves value, our time value, you know, having that profit and having you know, everything that’s going to be returned back as an investment to the company.

You know, so when I go when I approach a call, I don’t go in there trying to make other companies look bad. I just want to stand out you know, you got to present yourself in a way that you’re showing up with the uniform we show up all fulll uniform, white shirts tucked in, slacks nice boots are clipboard or handbag tools, and we’re ready to go you know, and we do the same thing consistent on every call. Every call that we do we make sure we handle it the same way. By that also what gets put into a call is like, you don’t just show up, like for a repair for us for example. We don’t just show up and we just look at an outlet and we’re like oh, it’s just a bad outlet.

We take the time to open anything up, educate the client on the system, educate the client on the panel, test for connections, we really need to implement all this stuff into the mind of the actual homeowner, you know, you got to paint the picture. Because if you’re showing up and you’re just trying to look at it for five minutes, and you just want to hit the next call, then at that point, the client is going to be like, Oh, well, you’re charging me x, y, and z amount, that’s too much for just one simple fix, you know. But for us, we actually look at the job as a whole, we show that we show up, we have the client right behind us, educating them, showing them what type of system

Ari: I used to do a HVAC sale. So I understand what you’re sharing when you have them with you. And that was a key point that I remember back then was critical as you if you could get him to open up the attic, you know, it’s always like sometimes not up there. They didn’t want to travel. But nonetheless, to have them with you. And that’s what I just heard. So that’s a critical piece is that part of that education is having them with you. So you could literally show them not just tell them later.

Brian: Right? Right, right. Because at that point, you’re painting a picture as you’re going for anything, even a job while you’re letting them know what it entails to get the job done. What’s been put into it, a lot of things have changed with older homes, they want new things, they want to add this new panels like for at least for us, panel upgrades, all this stuff, things have changed right, code requirements have changed, everything has changed.

So you literally got to go there and educate them, of what gets put into a job. You know, even to the smallest to the small thing, even like little things, man, you don’t just show up and you’re just trying to show them oh, well, you just want to get this okay, then, you know, a million dollars. Just for that, you know, but if you start showing me what gets put into it, there’s a guy in the attic, drilling through the woods joints cutting, doing this running, roping, staple and supporting, you know, everything, then they’re like, oh, man, it’s a lot of work, you know, because they want to be able to see that they want to see what’s going to get put into their home, you know, make sure on top of that the value of it. It’s our main thing.

Ari: You mentioned the word value, I mean, I’m sure that has a nice extra side impact as well, besides just separating from competition, not everyone does this. But you know, again, it’s programming them and getting them prepared for why the price is there and leaving less question marks.

Brian: Yeah, correct. And then that’s where a lot of people fail, you know, and then they get intimidated by the price. It’s really up to the contractor where their visions that for their company, obviously, if it’s just a one-man guy, that he’s just cool, waking up doing the work himself, he doesn’t care about growth. He doesn’t care about educating the client, he just wants to make $200 to his pocket and be good for the day and be like, Oh, I’m cool. I’ll just wait till the next day. But for those companies that have a high vision and have something that they want to grow and build, because that’s really what it is, right?

When you open up a business, it’s not to just try to be money hungry, it’s about building something, right? So if you have that mindset, and you already have things set up to where you’re trying to go, then the only way to get there is valuing yourself. You can’t just nickel and dime anything and be like, oh man, like, I’ll just do this for $200 because I’m desperate. No, you’ve got to value your worth, you know, your sweat equity. You know, if you’ve been doing it for 20 years, like come on, like people should be paying already for what you know.

Ari: But it sounds like the key, the key is not just the fact you have it, but being able to show it or express that to the potential clients and that is a big part of the separation is should not just, you know, telling them some cool things, but literally showing them holding their hand demonstrating, doing all these things that demonstrate your knowledge, but also show the care, which I know I mean, I’ve been in the business and I’m sure it’s no different for you.

Not everyone shows care, as you said they show up because they want to give an estimate and do a job. So you feel that that’s a huge factor in terms of how you differentiate from, you know, every other guy that’s out there giving them an estimate for the same project.

Brian: Right, for sure. And I know for a fact because we’re closed in at least nine out of 10 of all of our calls.

Ari: So when you say nine to 10 Is that on the surface? Is that also on more like you know, install new wiring?

Brian: Everything service upgrades, panel upgrades, everything?

Ari: That’s fantastic. So I mean, clearly you’re doing something very well. And what you’re sharing is not a surprise. I mean, again, as I shared I was in the business and we were not the cheapest guy in town that is for sure selling new units for HVAC. But there was a real effort to educate and very similar to what you’re sharing and same that bring them along, you know, the walkthrough and as much as possible, you know, gauge the homeowner. Now the only thing right so you are still in the competition. I happen to be working with a big-name company locally. So it had the name recognition when I was doing this, but I mean you aren’t I mean yet it sounds like you’re well on the way to your very big name. On the road, but at this point, you’re going into people’s homes and outside of what they heard from you don’t know you well, so you’re obviously coming in competition with your brand names, you know, national brands, things of that nature. So how are you able to differentiate those guys also educate you know, they’ve been trained how to, you know, take care of a customer, but how do you differentiate from them and separate yourself? Because to nail, that kind of a rate, clearly, you’re doing a little extra as well, not just the education side.

Brian: Yeah, so we do more like, depending on your trade, obviously, like for us what we do when we do panel upgrades, we show up to a home the reason why they want a panel upgrade, it’s because, you know, they have an old panel, correct. So now when we show up, and we do different things, and other companies, they come and they just say, Oh, you want a new panel, okay, that’s how much it’s gonna cost for us. Like I said, we always do the same thing for every call, we explain everything down to detail. What are the new code requirements that gets put into a new panel?

And then since we’re there, what we offer is that look, your panel is outdated, we’ve let them know within time, all the connections have become brittle and loss. So what we’re gonna do today, since we’re here, even though we haven’t got the job, people might be like, oh, my God, you’re wasting your time like, don’t do that, you know, like, why are you doing that, but know what we do, we clean out their panel, if you open up these old panels, a lot of times, there’s cobwebs galore, and there’s dust bunnies, and the wiring, and the connections are just all messed up. So what we do, we just take, you know, 15 minutes of our time, we clean it out, wipe it down, tighten up all the connections, and they see that we let them know, like, look, since we’re here, we’re just gonna go ahead and tighten up all the connections, we don’t know how soon you’re gonna want to do your panel upgrade, but at least by us tightening up your connections are gonna help. Yeah and that’s the thing.

Ari: That’s phenomenal insight because again, I don’t know anyone that does that. Personally, I just don’t know that. To go that far too, you know, with no expectation of anything in return, but just doing it because it’s all part of your process and just doing right by the customer treating them well. And I mean, that screams volumes, as far as, hey, that’s separating from, you know, the box names, you know, whether it’s, you know, the Mr. Electric service, or Mr. Sparkies things of that nature that you compete against. That’s, that’s huge. I mean, I don’t know if you know how huge it is but that is unheard of, and mate would make a huge impression on anyone that you’re working in their home.

Brian: Even climbing up in the attic, like for ACs, if you got to go up there and climb in the attic real quick and show and take pictures and, you know, check out the ducting system, instead of trying to figure it out from down low and being like, okay, you got this, this or whatever, you know, there’s more that you can put into, like the guys that are out on the service, the way I how I educate them, I try to educate them every morning before they start their day, you know, depending on the schedule, right?

If it’s like they got an early call, then I can’t really implement a lot because they gotta be on it. But when there’s that time, I always use that opportunity to teach them. So what I educate them on is like when we go to a call, we need to be there at least an hour, an hour with the client, like no, not showing up 15/20 minutes and I’m out here. No, no, that’s telling me you didn’t educate, that’s telling me that you’re not showing them the difference of what a new panel is. That means that you didn’t take the time to clean up the panel and whatever else they have in between presenting them the estimate, talking over about financing, telling them the package deals like all this stuff, that should take at least an hour, you know, being able to implement that and we’ve seen it we’ve seen that that’s very beneficial, because homeowners literally tell us everything you just told us, the other guy did not mention anything.

Ari: It’s amazing, when people uh, you don’t need to bad talk, you mentioned that earlier is like, yeah, that’s not your style. That’s what you were always against, you don’t need to put anyone else down. And there’s no need to because most people when you’re showing them, they’ll notice that difference they’ve already experienced, and you know, ties into a different topic but I’ve always preached being the last one. And if possible, especially in your home-at-home improvements to make sure you’re the last bid coming in so they have all the bad examples in advance that you can get me to put on the amazing show, you look even better, you know, so it’s, I always advise that and sounds like that would be right up your alley as well, because then you don’t have to bad talk.

I mean, they’re, they’re making a calculation themselves and as you said, sharing it with you that no one else has done this. I would venture to say that there’s even more to it than just education. It’s the feeling that you give your clients or potential client at that point of becoming a client is that there’s no better way to save you care about people than to show them that you care and you’re interested in it’s not about the money. And it sounds like that’s everything you’re doing. I mean other than just the fact you’re educating and taking the time and doing the extra mile. But the umbrella on that is we care, which is super unusual when you’re talking about a surface person coming to your home. And you could feel it from you, you know, personally. So it sounds like this is something you infuse in your team as well, is that care and passion, you know, to help a client?

Brian: Yeah. Because that’s one thing that I teach the guys to was like, let’s not focus about being there for the money. You know, because the moment we start focusing on the money, they feel that tension, they feel like you’re trying to just upsell them and take their money. When you start showing them that you’re, you’re there to show them what to buy, then they take it in a different kind of a mindset, you know, because now you’re showing them what they need, right? Instead of trying to sell them. You feel connected, because you’re helping them buy something that they need, right?

You know, we probably were meant for that call, you know, sometimes they can’t afford it financially, even with financing options, you know, but at least

Ari: You mentioned something, you know, earlier as well, which I know this has to come into play with. Because, again, people buy either on price or on value, you know, one of the two or a mixture of the two. And in this case, I mean, you’re building so much value to people, it’s safe to say, you’ve shared as well, you’re not the cheapest, but you’re probably towards the higher end, if there is a price scale, without all the big overhead that these big companies suggest that they have and that’s the reason for their billing. So you’re able to still achieve the big dollar and maximize profit as a result, you know, which is done not at the expense of the consumer, but done with their acceptance and agreeance and enjoyment.

That sounds like they’re educated, they know what they’re buying, why it is, and you’re not having to undercut or lower prices, like a lot of guys do that are in your shoes, just to win business. As you said, you got to believe in yourself and value yourself, which most people don’t.

Brian: That’s eventually that’s what I want to do. I want to be able to go and speak to other companies and kind of show them you know, the process to value themselves, man. Now it kind of made sense why these other companies that I used to work for why the owner was pissed the heck off. you know if something happened, there was a roadblock he’s pissed, you know because he probably bid that job down to the tee.

Ari: Different perspective, when it’s your baby versus someone else’s baby, that’s for sure.

Brian: Started making sense. And I’m like, shoot, man, imagine how many other companies are out there that are just stressing and, and not being able to grow because they’re scared of hitting this number to these people. But no, you deserve to get, you know, paid good, you know, and then expand right for us right now, this is the beginning of our company, and, and we’re investing as much as we can back into it. Because that’s the only way you’re gonna grow really, you know, and you just got to trust that everything’s gonna keep working and everything’s gonna keep flowing.

Ari: Providing people doing the right thing and have a process and sounds like you have a fantastic process that you’ve learned before the business and honed in on and now apply it and boom. I mean, here you are. I mean, as you discussed the growth you’ve experienced doesn’t happen by accident. So clearly, we’re doing some things right, there are quite a few things right and should be applauded.

But, you know, just to summarize, you know, for our listeners, I mean, again, I, you said you want to help as many people, hopefully this is a platform where we’re able to help as many people as possible, you know, to do better and improve, improve their businesses and their experiences. But to just summarize it for what it sounds like, there are a couple stages here, there’s the preparation stage, making sure you’re ready for a meeting. And that goes not just physically, but also mentally, and information. Being knowledgeable, knowing your trade, knowing your product, being an expert, before you step in the door.

Then obviously, at that moment, it’s how you greet a customer, how you interact with them, and as you said, engaging them in a process to educate them and make them feel a part of the process versus it’s just a service being performed. Again, the big piece is value, not to cheapen it, but to rather the opposite, build up that value. And that’s how we separate from the competition through all these things and building against the warm and fuzzy feeling of someone caring about a client’s decent job to summarize that there at least as far as the key elements of it.

Brian: Yeah, and another thing to is like what’s your warranty? Right? What kind of warranty Are you offering? So we got to take all this into consideration. You know, we got to make sure that all the stuff that gets put into that job, you’re putting your warranty on top of that what if he gets while you take people more, or whatever,

Ari: Are you actually taking people through like an apples-to-apples comparison, like looking at other estimates saying, Hey, this is not covered here, this is what we are covering? Do you take into that kind of detail?

Brian: No, I mean, this is something that we just offer strictly and we knew that this is something that we should offer, you know, that the client has every right to have a warranty, right?

Ari: So to recognize that other people are not in terms of like separating from others, they see the other estimates, they know it’s not there with yours, that is an extra piece to help you to stand out, which is now we backup our work every piece of it, not just certain pieces.

Brian: Which we do, and they love that, you know, they love that and, but you can’t be lying though, either, you know, you realize the words in they can’t get a hold of, you know? Yeah, and you gotta be loyal, you gotta be there for them, you know, you gotta be you got to have that relationship for them. That’s, you know, it’s not about trying to nickel and dime these people. It’s just trying to go and build that relationship. That’s the main key.

Ari: Yeah, relationships are everything. Even in a service business, people think that it’s not, it’s just a service, but it’s even more so like you’re describing and we really want to get jobs and get them at the right rates and where you’re gonna build a company and a reputation goes into everything, not just larger projects, home improvements, I mean, clearly service as well, people have a need, but there’s not that much difference in pricing between one electrician and another when it comes to you know, a service or a call.

It’s really as you’re suggesting, how you sell yourself, how you connect with the client, and clearly, you’re doing a lot of that right and I’m hoping that our listeners can really take from that and apply it in their ways. Because at the end of the day, there’s nothing here you’re sharing this rocket science, but it’s all stuff that people forget very easily and how important that pieces so I really appreciate you taking the time Brian to join us and share these things I know you want to be able to share with others and help others in this, as I said, hopefully, this is a platform to allow you to be able to do so and stuff you’ve shared has been I can tell you from being in the business invaluable. And I’m sure that our listeners are going to feel the same way.

So I just want to close things up here and want to thank our listeners as well for listening to the X Factor Home Pro Sales Podcast. I do hope it brings you value and helps you take your sales game to the next level like it has Brian’s.

Be sure to subscribe so you can catch that next episode. So your action items as a listener are or wherever you are listening to this right now hit the subscribe button so that way you can catch the next episode. You can also follow us on any other social platforms Instagram, LinkedIn. Again find us @conXpros. And again if you didn’t catch that you could check out our description for our social media links here. If you have any questions shoot us an email happy to help you out at Learn more at Again, thanks for tuning in, and happy hunting.



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