8 Hours w/ Adam Visnic P.I. from Gravitas Investigations

In our 8 Hours With series, we speak with leading private investigators and security professionals to learn more about what they do on a days’ worth of work. We reach out to them at hourly intervals to see how they spent the day and document their activities.

In this article, we look into the day of Adam Visnic P.I. – founder of Gravitas Investigations a licensed Private Investigator in Cincinnati, OH. He partners and integrates with business leaders, risk managers, claims analysts, and attorneys to tackle their investigative needs and challenges. He helps his clients capitalize on hidden opportunities. Once he integrates his team with his client’s departments, he’s able to equip them with the information necessary to make the right decisions and stay competitive.

With that introduction, let’s start up his 8-hour day: It’s actually more like 10 hours

6:00 AM – Up and at em.

I’ve got to be up before the rest of my family wakes up so I can get 30 minutes to an hour of work in before breakfast has to be made and the kids have to get dressed and get out the door.

I’ve worked from home or remotely for the past nine years, so I can just plop in front of a laptop and it’s off to the races.

Overnight, I’ll have received email updates from my team in TrackOps. So, I’ll review, edit, and send updates (with video footage) out to clients so that they can read them first thing. It’s crucial to communication, and for up-to-date intelligence, that they know what’s going on. I never wanna be behind the eight-ball.

More emails and checking feeds till I hear the pitter-patter of little feet. I have two sons, 4 and 3, and another one (a girl) on the way.

7:00 AM – Breakfast of Champions

Coffee, eggs/egg whites, and toast. Before I become Adam Visnic P.I., I’m Dad. My boys love peanut butter on graham crackers right now – that’s easy enough to make. But, I’ve been eating the same breakfast for that last decade. Steve Jobs wore black turtle necks every day to keep his decision-making power intact, I eat the same breakfast.

8:00 AM – Dad Van

I’m my kids’ personal chauffeur, so it’s off to either preschool or daycare.

8:30 AM – Back to work.

Sending out finalized reports and video footage, invoices, and updating financial spreadsheets.

I don’t personally do surveillance anymore. I haven’t for almost two years. I’ve contracted that out to a select group of PIs. Instead, I conducting preliminary investigations or Open Source Intelligence investigations.

Additionally, throughout the day and sometimes evenings, I’ll be receiving texts from investigators in the field who have questions on what to do on surveillance. Communication is key.

11:00 AM – Sales and Marketing

I’m in my Customer Relationship Management system (Cloze CRM) emailing or calling clients and prospective clients.

I’m also connecting with potential leads on LinkedIn and writing personalized messages.

12:00 PM – Lunch Time

Lunch with my wife, who now works from a home office due to COVID restrictions. This means for the past year I’ve been able to work in the same house with her. It’s legitimately been the best thing for us. I wouldn’t be anywhere close to having a successful business without her. Plus, she works in our cozy finished basement – she’s really living it up down there.

1:00 PM – Content Creation

This is where I’ll create my YouTube videos. Since, I’m going full-bore on YouTube (Adam Visnic, P.I.) as a way to show expertise, create a community of fellow private eyes, establish thought leadership, and market my business, I’ll be developing video scripts, filming footage, editing footage, and posting to multiple social media platforms across the whole week.

Then, I’ll funnel that into my email newsletter for a couple of hundred clients and fellow PIs to read and watch.

// Subscribe to my channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/AdamVisnic

YouTube The P.I. Hero

2:30 PM – Gotta pay the bills.

I’m a contract national security background investigator on the side, so when I need funds to “keep the lights on” and the cash flowing in, I’ll have a contract liaison assign me cases from one of seven different federal government agencies. If you’ve ever had a security clearance, you know the drill – subject interviews, record checks, transcript pulls, employment verifications, and reference interviews. Submit reports. Cash checks.

4:00 PM – Clear your head phase

I don’t know if a business owner ever really “clears their head,” (I’m always thinking about the biz) but if I don’t get a sweat going at some time in the day, I’m a disturbed man. I’m lucky to have a small gym in my basement with dumbbells, barbells, a pull-up bar, and a heavy bag. That, or it’s a 2-mile run through the neighborhood.

5:00 PM – Clock out.

This article was originally posted on the P.I. Feed. View it here.

The Reason You Got Burned: Driving By Too Slowly

The Reason You Got Burned: Driving By Too Slowly

So, you’re a private investigator on surveillance and you got burned and you don’t know why. Was it because you drove past your Subject’s house too slowly?

The Setup 

So, drive-by video. I learned this lesson early on in my career.

It became ingrained in my brain.

Why?

Because I was assigned to a two-person surveillance operation on workers’ compensation claimant in a rural area of Ohio. Like, we’re talking Amish country people. You’ve got horse and buggy, oxen plowing fields, and epic Amish beards.

But, the reason it was a two-man operation wasn’t that it was so rural, but because the previous investigative team (not from our firm) had been burned on it before.

So, our Claimant was already “heated up.”

And we knew why – the client had provided the previous report and video to us, so we knew what they had done wrong.

This Claimant lived on a country road, and the previous investigators had driven past the house too often, and, too slowly.

Eventually, the claimant, who had a residence with a huge bay window at the front of his house, caught on to the drive-bys.

I mean, he probably knew all his neighbors’ cars as it was, and seeing two cars he’d never seen before drive by every half-hour alerted him.

And this was all in the report – the claimant actually got into his own car and tailed the investigators out of the county.

The Problem

Look, I get it. When you first get onsite to a residence, your natural inclination is to a good establishing shot. You wanna get a shot of the house, the layout, note the plates and vehicles on-site, on top of any action that might be going on.

But that doesn’t mean driving along the road at normal speeds and then all of sudden, dropping it down to a crawl to get some drive-by footage.

That’s a disaster in the making.

So, I’m here to help.

The Fix

First, obviously, don’t ever drive by the house too slowly. There’s no reason for it.

When you do drive-bys, go at a normal speed every time. As if you were an average joe living in the area.

But when you’re shooting video, get the house in the frame early and pan left or right as you pass the house.

Also, while this is going on, zoom in at first and then zoom out wide as you pass by the house to frame everything up nicely.

It’ll take some practice to both stay on the road with one hand and pan and zoom with your camera hand.

The key is to keep it steady. Keep it level.

This isn’t shaky cam footage Jason Bourne.

If you wanna get really fancy you can get ahold of a window mount, one with a suction cup, and fix your camcorder or even a dash camera to the second-row window of your surveillance vehicle.

Press record, do the drive-by, and later edit out what’s unnecessary.

There’s a link below to a mount to get you started: https://amzn.to/2Yh1NWO

Second, especially in rural areas, limit your drive-bys to every hour or so.

You can certainly do drive-bys every half-hour, but only when you feel you need to.

Like if there have been multiple cars coming and going from the residential area, it’s lunchtime for the Claimant, or something similar.

And don’t just come back up the road in which you initially drove down. Give it time.

Driving by the house within a couple of minutes of each other is suspicious.

Instead, drive by the first time and “flank” back to your original surveillance position by going around the “block” assuming there’s another route to get to your original spot.

However, if the residence is in a hollow (like in Kentucky), like a no-outlet street, I’d limit my drive-bys to every two hours.

And, I know what you’re thinking – I could use drone footage or an unmanned surveillance camera hidden in a rock or safety cone to get static video.

Hold your horses, James Bond. That’s a video for another day.

For now, let’s just stick with the basics.

Third, hide your camera.

It may sound simple but what’s worked for me is to actually place my camera hand or monopod on the top of my left arm to stabilize and hide the camera.

I’ll do this if the residence is on my left side.

If the residence is on my right side, I’ll actually place my camera behind the passenger side headrest to get drive-by footage.

These simple methods help to prevent people from seeing my camera through my front windshield as I drive by.

This is me trying to be as casual as possible.

Lastly, and I can’t believe I have to say this but close your windows when filming drive-bys.

If you can’t get the footage because your windows are foggy or dirty, clean those things before getting onsite for crying out loud.

Overall, use the KISS method – keep it simple, stupid.

Drive by the residence like a normal person would (not too slowly!), limit drive-bys to every hour, hide your camera, and keep your windows up.

And, just in case you were wondering. Even with the knowledge of the previous investigation, we still couldn’t get much of anything on that Claimant in rural Ohio. But, at least he didn’t tail us.

Anybody wanna volunteer to take that case??

Over to you…

What ways can you prevent from getting burned?

Comment below.

Workplace Accident Investigations

Workplace Accident Investigations

Many workplaces equate a workplace accident investigation by identifying the party to blame for it. The actual goal of a workplace accident investigation is to prevent its re-occurrence.

While your firm may tackle the workers’ compensation process alone, we believe you better serve your company and its employees’ safety by including a private investigation firm in the total process. Your investigation needs to go beyond the party at fault and make prevention the focus of the investigation.

Accident Investigations and Safer Workplaces

The overarching goal of a workplace accident is to identify the cause of the injuries, followed by developing procedures and processes to prevent future injuries. This process starts with proper evidence collection and information gathering.

Certainly, in the US and Canada, workplace accident investigations form an integral part of legal compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) standards. They’re also vital for determining the accident’s cost, to process workers’ compensation claims, and to determine the level of compliance with OSHA regulations.

While OSHA’s focus will center on the incident report and the proper medical treatment of injured employees, your investigation should focus beyond that to the causal factors.

Documenting Process

The quickest and easiest way to administer the investigation is to create and document the process before it is needed. Develop the paperwork and the process formats before their need arises. While the scope of an investigation may differ, the overall process remains the same. A process should remain the same from investigation to investigation to keep the value of any conclusions consistent.

The “Who” in the Investigation

Within your organization, the immediate supervisor of the injured worker should conduct the investigation. The risk manager or safe workplace practitioner may assist, along with any investigative or review committee in existence. Senior management personnel, engineering staff, and the firm’s attorneys may also join in an investigation involving a fatality. During the investigation, you should interview:

  • any injured employees,
  • accident witnesses,
  • witnesses to events preceding the accident,
  • the injured employees’ immediate supervisor unless they’re heading the investigation.
  • The injured employee may have an employee representative present during their interview.

The “What” in the Investigation

The “what” in the investigation refers to the information you collect to determine the accident’s cause and those involved. The data you obtain will later enable your analysis to determine a preventative method for future occurrences. During the investigative process, you should collect:

  •  the employee characteristics such as age and gender, department, job title, experience level, job and company tenure, training records and their hiring status,
  •  the injury characteristics of each injured employee including an injury or illness description, severity, and body part(s) affected,
  •  an events sequence and a narrative description from each involved party and each witness,
  •  characteristics of all equipment involved in the accident,
  •  task descriptions featuring specific characteristics of its performed when the accident occurred,
  •  any factors related to time such as the time of day, placement within their shift, etc.
  •  supervision data such as whether they were under direct supervision or not at all,
  •  causal factors such as the contributing workplace conditions,
  •  corrective actions are taken whether immediate, interim, or long-term.

 The “How” of Your Investigation

The “how” refers to the tools with which you investigate the accident. Having a ready to go kit will help you complete a timely investigation. This kit needs to include:

  •  investigation and interview forms,
  •  barricade markers/tape,
  •  padlocks or warning tags,
  •  camera or video recorder,
  •  voice recorder,
  •  measuring tape,
  •  flashlight,
  •  sample containers.

Having this kit ready to go lets you begin interviewing people immediately after the event occurs. You’ll produce better results by building rapport with injured employees and witnesses. Reassure each person interviewed that you want to fact-find. They need to know it is not about determining fault.

Your full investigation will also include a background investigation that reviews the employment and injury records of each injured employee, as well as, any other party whose actions may have contributed to the accident. Pay close attention to reports of any injuries or damage to equipment, machines, buildings, or property.

Interviewing Techniques

Interview each individual separately. Have each person recount their recollection of the account uninterrupted. Record their response and take notes.

After their recount, ask any clarifying questions needed. Repeat the factual information they said to clarify inconsistencies. One of the key questions you will ask is “What do you think could have prevented this?”

Remember that you need to uncover the causal factors to prevent them from ever happening again. Ask “why?” of those you interview.

Six Steps to Better Investigations

Succinctly, you can sum up a properly administered investigation in six steps. These are:

  1. Handle the immediate risk by obtaining immediate medical help for the injured employee(s). Cordon off the incident area to preserve evidence and deny access. Report the accident/incident to OSHA.
  2. Collect evidence as soon as possible after the injured have been removed for medical attention.
  3. Conduct the investigation interviews as soon as possible. You can interview witnesses while the injured receive medical attention. This immediacy provides the most accurate details.
  4. Analyze your findings. Your analysis develops the corrective actions that will stop it from happening again.
  5. Write your findings report. This summarizes the incident and describes the corrective actions applied to prevent its reoccurrence.
  6. Apply corrective actions. Implement new procedures to ensure the prevention of future accidents. This might include machine replacement or repairs or signage.

 Determining Deeper Causality

Once combined and analyzed, the accident photos, videos, interviews, and physical evidence should lead you to the deeper causality of the accident. Pay close attention to potentially contributing environmental conditions such as weather, light, and noise. Also, examine extenuating factors and externalities.

The accident investigation becomes an opportunity for you to discover an improvement for your company’s business processes. The focus should be on identifying flaws in the process that lead to the incident. It should unearth the reason that procedures were not followed or what prevented them from happening.

Your final report should discuss the contributing, direct, and indirect causes of the accident. Reference data that support each cause.

While your ultimate goal is the prevention of future accidents, a secondary goal is preparation for possible litigation. This is a likely outcome if the accident resulted in severe injuries or fatalities.

The lessons learned from each accident can help prevent larger ones in the future. It’s also important to investigate so that employees and regulators see that your company consistently pursues its commitment to a safe workplace.

Key Questions to Ask

During the interviews, you need to focus on questions that will help you answer larger, deeper issues. Your interview focus should apply queries that help you eventually address the following questions.

  •  Was a hazardous condition or defective tool a contributing factor?
  •  Did the worker’s location or equipment location contribute to the accident?
  •  Did the established job procedure or process contribute to the accident?
  •  Did the employee’s ability to perform the job contribute to the accident?
  •  Did any mandates such as speed incentives or production quotas encourage deviation from job procedures that contributed to the accident?
  •  Was lack of personal protective equipment or emergency equipment a contributing factor?
  •  Did management or a manager’s decision contribute to the accident?

The answers you derive from evidentiary analysis help you determine the appropriate prevention methods to pursue. This could mean a need for new procedures or the need for new equipment. This may also indicate the need for employee education and training or for improved education and training. Another potential result is the need for additional safety gear or to develop or improve protection from natural hazards or phenomena. Finally, it could also point to the need for or improvement of systems to account for possible physical, physiological, or psychological limitations of employees.

Your investigation of any workplace accident should include a background investigation, site investigation, interviews, analysis, and a final report. The aftereffect of the investigation should be amended or new procedures and processes. During your investigation, remember that placing blame is not the reason for your investigation – creating a safer workplace that in the future prevents its re-occurrence is.

While your company could tackle the workers’ compensation process alone, we believe you better serve your company and its employees with a safer workplace by including our private investigation firm in the total process. We help you take your investigation beyond finding the party at fault and to developing preventative measures that keep the accident from repeating itself. Commit to a safer workplace by developing a standardized workplace accident investigation procedure and process. The work you do today results in a safer, stronger workplace tomorrow for all of your employees.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan – Allan Dib

The 1-Page Marketing Plan

Allan Dib


Many business owners make the mistake of thinking they can be a better boss than their idiot boss.

If they’re a technician, a worker, just because you’re good at what you do doesn’t mean you’re a good business owner.

So you’ve got to make the change to be a good business person.

And don’t blame the industry for your lack of success. Don’t play the blame game. What about the other guys who are lining their pockets with cash? They’re doing something different.

One thing differentiates the wealthy from the poor business owners. Struggling business owners spend time to save money. Successful business owners spend money to save time.

You can always get more money, but you never can get more time. This is called leverage.

This means investing in the 80/20 rule and doing the things that save time.

For example, if you get 10% better at marketing you can get exponential success. Why? Because that’s where the money is.

Marketing defined: the STRATEGY you use for getting your ideal target to know you, like you and trust you enough to become a customer.

Understand that marketing has changed: yellow pages versus Google ads, blogs, social media, and websites.

Don’t get caught up in tactics. Think strategy.

“If you build it, they will come.” Superior products have always existed that didn’t catch on (Betamax, Laserdisc). “Nothing happens until a sale is made.”

A good product or service is a customer retention tool, not marketing.

Marketing is customer acquisition.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking you as a small business can replicate the same strategy as big co – they have a different and a way bigger budget.

Small businesses can’t “brand” to the level of Nike and Coca Cola, because it requires massive volumes of ads across several platforms.

Direct response marketing is most effective for your small business. Why?

  1. It’s trackable (you know where the response came from)
  2. It’s measurable
  3. It uses compelling headlines and sales copy
  4. It targets a specific audience or niche
  5. It makes a specific offer
  6. It demands a response
  7. It includes multi-step, short-term followup
  8. It incorporates maintenance follow-up of unconverted leads

The 1-page marketing plan (1PMP) canvas walls you through this.

Go to 1pmp.com

Prospects are in the “Before” phase.

SELECTING YOUR TARGET MARKET

Your market is not everyone. Pick a niche. Why? You have a limited amount of money and you need to be relevant to a select group/subcategory. Inch wide, mile deep.

Niching makes price irrelevant – it’s why you’d be willing to pay more to a heart surgeon than a general practitioner. You’re paying for the specialty.

Dominate one niche at a time, then move to the next niche and dominate that.

To find your niche, do a PVP score. Personal fulfillment + Value to the marketplace + Profits.

Get in the minds of your target market and ideal customer. Create an avatar.

CRAFTING YOUR MESSAGE

Rather than trying to make a sale in your ads, simply invite your prospects to show interest. Give them a clear “what to do next” call-to-action.

Don’t say vague things like “don’t hesitate to call.”

Give potential customers multiple ways of reaching out. And don’t be the ad that just says “look at me!”

Instead, develop a “unique selling proposition” that makes you stand out from the crowd. “Why should I buy from rather than your nearest competitor?”

Don’t say “we have the best quality and great service” – these are expectations. A good USP is designed to attract prospects before they made a decision.

If you don’t have a USP, you’re competing on price which is a race to the bottom. Make it an apples to oranges comparison instead.

Answer these two questions:

  1. Why should they buy?
  2. Why should they buy from you?

When you confuse them, you lose them. Your message should have few options and little complexity.

Develop an elevator pitch, one that is customer and solution-focused. Not a job title.

For example, You know [problem]? Well, what we do is [solution]. In fact, [proof].

People purchase with emotions, they justify with logic after the fact.

The best way to do market research is by analyzing what people are actually buying (search trending categories on eBay or Amazon, Keyword Planner, and trending on social media) and not by polling them or doing focus groups.

Create an Irresistible Offer.

Value: what’s the most valuable thing you can do for your customer?

Language: speak in their jargon.

The reason why: when you have a great offer, you need to justify why you’re doing this.

Value stacking: pack in bonuses to make your offer seem like a no-brainer.

Upsells: add on a complementary product or service. Adds value and profit.

Payment plan: divide up the payments to make it easy.

Guarantee: outrageous guarantee. One that totally reversed the risk of doing business with you. No “satisfaction guaranteed.”

Scarcity: a reason why people need to respond immediately. Limited supply, limited time, limited resources.

Target the Pain

People are more willing to pay for a cure than for prevention.

Look for pain points in your industry and become the relief.

Copywriting is salesmanship in print. You need to write your sales copy as though you were talking directly to a single person.

Voice your personality, opinion, and authenticity. It’s why people tune into talking heads. And why YouTube and FB are so popular – we want to know what others think.

Don’t let your copy be “professional” and boring. Most businesses are too afraid to send a copy that will get them noticed. People are craving something new, something entertaining, something different.

Push emotions in your headlines:

  1. Fear
  2. Love
  3. Greed
  4. Guilt
  5. Pride

Visit 1pmp.com for successful headlines to use.

Enter the conversation already going on in the customer’s mind. Address the elephant in room – address the risks associated with buying from you.

Also, address who the product or service is NOT for.

Find the “enemy in common” you have with your customer: ie Tax Man, the Fed, lack of time, etc.

Name your product or service to require absolutely no explanation. Always choose clarity over cleverness.

Reaching Prospects with Advertising Media

What gets measured, gets managed.

Hire experts that specialize in whatever media you decide is right for your campaign – they know the idiosyncrasies and technicalities of each platform. What you don’t WILL hurt you.

Rather than “getting your name out there” you’ll fare much better by concentrating on getting the name of your prospects here.

Return on investment is the measurement of success.

We have to find the front end, back end, and the lifetime value of a customer.

You need to hit all three of these to marketing right:

  1. Market
  2. Message
  3. Media (this does not have to be just social media – social a form of media, much like TV or radio.

Social media – it’s a social gathering, better for building relationships than advertising. And ownership; spend more time building up your own marketing assets (email lists, websites, blogs) and drive people there rather than Facebook.

Email Marketing is good because it’s your list.

Email:

  1. Don’t spam
  2. Be human
  3. Use commercial email systems (Mailchimp)
  4. Email regularly (once per week, at least once a month)
  5. Give value (three value emails for every one sales pitch)
  6. Automate (send welcome emails and campaigns to new subs)

Email challenges:

  1. Getting it delivered
  2. Getting it opened (use compelling subject lines)
  3. Get the email read (crest compelling content)

Snail Mail

It’s not dead, it complements your emails.

Have an unlimited budget for marketing that works. If I were selling $100 bills for $80, how many would you buy? And, If you’re worried about demand, raise your prices!!

Make sure you build your business (and source of leads) on brick, not sand. Make sure you have not one source of leads, but five; three of them paid media. Paid media forces you to measure ROI.

Capturing Leads

In direct response marketing, you get people who are interested in your service, not making an immediate sale.

Farm, don’t hunt. (Plant seeds and sow what you reap)

Weed out the leads, sift through the good with an “ethical bribe.” Use any one of your marketing assets to get good prospects to identify themselves.

Then, get their name, address, and email – add them to your CRM and viola’

If you try to sell from your ad, you’re only targeting 3%. And you sound desperate for business right now.

When you educate and teach, you’re sowing seeds. You’re seen as an expert and authority.

Examples might be “free reports” or “video education series on how to hire a private investigator.”

Instead of doing “random acts of marketing” put together an infrastructure that constantly brings in new leads.

Nurturing Leads

The best salesman in the world sent snail mail to every person he had sold to, letters, handwritten, and hand-stamped in varying sizes and colors EVERY month. (Valentine’s day, St. Patty’s Day, etc)

In marketing, the money is in the followup.

Send them snail mail and email, and you become the top of mind product/service when they’re ready. Give value, never try to sell immediately. You’re a guest rather than a pest.

3 steps to achieve this:

  1. Advertise to find people who are interested with a lead magnet
  2. Add them to your database
  3. Nurture them by providing value

Your job is to market to them until they buy or die.

Tutorials, articles, case studies, monthly newsletters, book notes, etc.

Lead capture marketing assets:

  1. Lead capture websites
  2. Free recorded message lines
  3. Newsletters
  4. Blogs
  5. Free reports
  6. Direct mail sequences
  7. Email sequences
  8. Social media
  9. Online videos and DVDs
  10. Podcasts and audio CDs
  11. Print ads
  12. Handwritten notes
  13. Email auto-responders
  14. SMS auto responders
  15. Shock and awe packages

“Lumpy mail” has something in the piece of snail mail that people tend to open.

Instead of just sending something via email with a PDF, blow them away! Send a physical box of something:

  1. book
  2. DVD or CDs
  3. Testimonials in audio or written form
  4. Clippings from media
  5. Brochures, sales letters, or other material
  6. Independent reports or white papers
  7. Sample of your product, coupon or gift card,
  8. Trinkets
  9. Handwritten notes saying thanks

You’ll need to hire these types of systems:

  1. The entrepreneur (visionary)
  2. The specialist (gets it done)
  3. The manager (makes it RECUR)

Outsourcing the recurring part is crucial! You can’t do all this and be the owner. Things will slip through the cracks. Hire a marketing admin and get a marketing calendar going. (Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis)

Daily: check social media and respond

Weekly: write a blog post and email to subs

Monthly: mail printed newsletter or postcard

Quarterly: send reactivation letter

Annually: send a gift basket and thanks

Setup event triggers. When someone sends you something, what happens.

Money is a renewable resource, but time is not. Have someone “manage the factory.”

Hire someone to develop your webinar, email sequence, write copy, and then hire an admin to keep these task recurring. Hire virtually and use global arbitrage.

Sales Conversion

Many customers have been bitten too many times. So not only are you not on even ground, you’re in the negative ground.

By now you’ve already pre-framed, pre-interested, and pre-motivate stour prospects using trust, authority, and credibility.

Position yourself as a professional, and, not a “busker” and you’ve entered a different market. You’ll be taken at your own appraisal.

Educate, educate, educate. With education, you build trust and go from pest to welcome guest. It also shows your willingness to be patient and not pushy.

Manufacturing Trust

“Better (to deal with) the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

  1. Website (ones with no phone#, a PO Box listing, no privacy policy or terms of service, bad design)
  2. Email address (no Hotmail, Gmail)
  3. Phone number (get a national toll free or vanity #)
  4. CRM
  5. Customer support or ticketing system

Outrageous Guarantees

Set a result-oriented guarantee that blows away “satisfaction guaranteed.”

Pricing Strategy

Offering too many choices deters buying, so limit your services or products.

Help customers avoid risk by offering an unlimited pricing strategy. Basically, a fee per month for unlimited service.

Offer “best in class” high price ticket items.

Resist the urge to discount.

Try before you buy “puppy dog close.”

Make it Easy for Customers to Buy From You

Avoid lengthy and useless forms, applications, and not taking credit cards. Take their preferred method, not yours.

Stop sales roadblocks.

Delivering a World-Class Experience

Build a tribe of raving fans. Stop transactional sales and convert customers into your evangelists.

Sell them what they want but give them what they need.

The mark of a winning business is going to be turn-key solutions that help customers through implementation to the desired result.

You may need to cut the process up into manageable, bite-sized pieces so that it doesn’t seem so daunting.

Helping your customers achieve roadblocks all the way through is leadership.

Create theater around your product or service.

Add some sexy-ness to your biz.

Use technology to reduce friction

The purpose of any new technology in your business is to eliminate friction.

Become a Voice of Value to your Tribe

Entrepreneurs are prolific creators of content. Want-trepreneurs are not.

Content creation fulfills the goal of becoming an expert in your niche. You’re also building relationships in a world that’s less high-pressure sales and more trust and education-based.

Tell Them All the Trouble You Go To

“It takes 119.5 seconds to pour a perfect pint of Guinness.” In your copy, tell your clients all the painstaking problems you go to do your service.

*OpenEye is a background investigation on steroids. It takes our experts several hours to complete these.

Products Make You Money, Systems Make You A Fortune

Systems allow mere mortals to run a successful business.

Once it’s replicable, you’ll get noticed by franchisers, other businesses wanting to buy you out, licensing agreements, customers who want consistent results, etc.

Scalable and replicable:

  1. Marketing system (consistent flow of leads)
  2. Sales system (lead nurture, follow up, conversion)
  3. Fulfillment system (the actual thing you do in exchange for money)
  4. Admin (HR, accounting, legal)

Most people get bogged down with fulfillment and administration want to neglect marketing and sales. The problem is customers don’t find out how good your products or services or until they have bought from you.

Smart business is going to great lengths to perfect their marketing and sales systems. This is where you develop an operations manual, in the form of checklists and video or audio training.

In doing the ops manual, you’ve built a:

  1. a valuable asset that can be sold
  2. Leverage and scalability
  3. Consistency
  4. Lower labor costs
  5. You can fire yourself, take 6-month vacations, unshackle yourself

Eliminate the bottleneck – YOU

your job as an entrepreneur is to be an innovator and a builder of systems.

One of the best tools you can use in building business systems is checklists.

It’s a three-step process:

  1. Identify all the roles in your business
  2. Define what tasks each role performs
  3. Create checklists for properly completing these tasks

*First-class training (checklists, video training)

Your Ultimate Customer

Think about if you’re wanting to exit and to sell your business for $50 million. Your buyer is the ultimate customer.

If YOU are the business, then you don’t HAVE a business. HAVING a business that gets bought is the biggest payout.

You need to think with the end in mind,

Increasing Customer Lifetime Value

Dig first on your own property when seeking treasure.

How to do this:

  1. Raise prices
  2. Upselling
  3. Ascension (moving to higher-priced, higher margined products or services) Have a “standard” or “premium” option.
  4. Frequency (vouchers, reminders, subscription)
  5. Reactivation (pull a name out of a database, give them a strong offer to come back like a gift card), ask what I’m you did wrong

Numbers tell us the whole story

  1. Leads
  2. Conversion Rate
  3. Average Transaction Value
  4. Break-even point

If you change the numbers a small percentage, you could have a massive impact. Small hinges swing big doors.

Polluted Revenue and the Unequal Dollar

Not all revenue is good and not all growth is good. A dollar from suboptimal or toxic customers isn’t equal to a dollar from a raving fan customer. You cannot have:

  1. The Tribe****
  2. The Churners**
  3. The Vampires*
  4. The Snow Leopard***

Fire bad customers. A business should be fun and you want a group of cheerleaders that is your tribe.

Orchestrating and Stimulating Referrals

Don’t just hope and wait for “word of mouth” referrals to come your way.

The Law of 250 = everyone has about 250 people they would invite to a wedding or would attend their funeral. That means there are 250 potential customers for every person. Meaning, it’s about relationships, not transactions.

One of the best strategies in life is simply to ask for what you want. Ask for the referral.

“Don’t ask, don’t get.” Entrepreneurs make things happen – they don’t wait around for them to happen.

Script: “Mr. Customer, it’s been such a pleasure working with you. If you know anyone who’s in a similar situation to yourself, we’d love to give you one of these gift cards which entitles them to $100 off their first investigation with us. One of the reasons we’re able to keep our costs down is because we get a lot of our business from referrals from customers like you.

Another great strategy is to have your customers expect to give referrals during the onboarding phase:

Script: “Mr. Customer, I’m going to do an awesome job for you, but I need your help also. Most of our new business comes through referrals. This means that rather than paying for advertising to get new clients, we pass the cost savings directly to you. We typically get about three referrals from each new customer. When we’re finished working together and you’re 100% satisfied with the work we’ve done, I’d really appreciate it if you could keep in mind three or more other people who we could also help.”

Avoid the Bystander Effect

Instead of saying “if you know someone who needs a PI” specifically point to a person. Layout the exact demographic and job title of the people you work with and then provide a lead magnet (PDF or video for example).

Figure Out Who Has Your Customers Before You

  1. Sell the leads
  2. Exchange the leads
  3. Resell complementary products or services
  4. Become an affiliate referral partner

Brand Building

The best form of brand building is selling. After all, which came first? The brand Coca Cola or the sale.

Conclusion

Failure happens because

  1. Analysis Paralysis. Remember, 80% of out the door is better than 100% in the drawer. Entrepreneurs favor action:
  2. Inability to delegate. Pay people (especially experts) for their time and learn to “herd cats.”
  3. Thinking “my business is different.”

Entrepreneurs work in the results economy. Employees work in the time and effort for the money economy.

We take the risk. If we lose, we lose. If we win, we win big.

Avoid “playing business” and do business. Focus on marketing. Avoid procrastination.

Don’t be a turkey and run your business as if you’ll never be fed for the slaughter (disrupted).

Avoid random acts of marketing. Go from being a business owner to an expert marketer. The best marketer wins.


We Asked 40 P.I.s “What Camera Is In Your Bag?” Here Are Their Answers

How to Hire a Private Investigator: The 12 Basic Questions You Should Ask

Classic
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Effective Return to Work (RTW) Programs

Companies of all sizes should have return-to-work (RTW) programs in place. When an injured employee makes a seamless transition back to full duty, everybody wins.

Ideally, RTW programs (sometimes called modified duty, light-duty, and transitional duty) are launched with extensive training in how to avoid injury in the first place. The best time to implement a program is before someone strains a back, takes a hard fall, or inhales toxic fumes.

Still, it’s never too late to put safety first.

The Goal OF RTW PROGRAMS

Workers who were hurt or made ill on the job need time to get up to speed. Good programs help employees ease back into full productivity without reinjury.

During recovery, light-duty jobs are modified to accommodate physical limitations.

It’s true that RTW programs require planning, collaboration, and training. They take time to develop. But, their success is a product of trial and error.

However, companies that design effective programs are never sorry that they did. Boosting productivity, morale and the bottom line always pays off.

Benefits for Employers

The biggest perk for employers is a reduction in Workers’ Compensation costs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, payments to injured or sickened workers approached a whopping $40 billion in 2015.

Injured employees who return to work even part-time collect fewer benefits.

Also, Workers’ Compensation premiums are often the largest expense after payroll. Keeping accidents and injuries to a minimum keeps premiums in line.

Effective RTW programs also limit fraudulent and abusive claims. If your boss were genuinely interested in your recovery and accommodated you with light-duty, wouldn’t you be less inclined to scam him?

Along the same lines, private investigation is rarely called for when employees get back to work quickly.

Even a little productivity is better than none, and retaining good workers saves a fortune in hiring and training costs.

For all these reasons, RTW programs make good business sense.

Benefits for Employees

Continuing to earn income — even if wages are temporarily reduced for light-duty — keeps food on the table. There are also physical and psychological benefits.

Private investigation usually exposes injured workers who attempt to cheat the system, but it sometimes reveals just how isolating and depressing a serious injury can be.

Experts agree that returning to work, even on a limited basis, speeds recovery. Purpose, socialization, and a sense of one’s own value have a positive impact on health.

Making RTW Programs Effective

The hardest part is getting started, but employers who drag their feet could soon find themselves out of business.

It’s a collective effort. If you’re in safety, risk management, Workers’ Compensation or law, business owners and executives could use your help.

Here are some factors that distinguish truly effective programs:

Safety is ingrained in the workplace culture

What does that look like?

The best programs are a valued part of the company culture just like teamwork or work-life balance.

Time and financial resources are invested in safety. Training is thorough and unrushed. Safety is the first item on the agenda of every meeting.

Safety is a condition of employment, and there are consequences for violating rules. Workers are comfortable pointing out unsafe conditions or behavior.

Licenses and certifications are current. There are high standards for documenting injuries.

Not surprisingly, injury rates are low or nonexistent.

Everyone is on board

Management is 100% committed, and workers at all levels know that their superiors embrace safety as a core value.

It takes a natural leader with an engaging personality to make that happen.

Hazards are identified and addressed

New companies identify jobs, equipment, or workspaces with high potential for injury. Older companies review their history to pinpoint the most common injuries and find out how they occurred.

The RTW team brainstorms about ways to protect workers in those positions. Certain jobs may be modified. Safer equipment might be installed. Training may be reevaluated.

This is a great time to ask at-risk employees for suggestions.

Thorough job descriptions are published

Existing job descriptions include duties, physical requirements, and functional requirements such as standing or heavy lifting.

Planners have even thought of ways to convert existing jobs to transitional duty.

For instance, a kitchen steward with a back injury shouldn’t lift 50-pound bags of rice, but there are plenty of onions to chop and potatoes to peel. There may even be bigger fish to fry.

Jobs have also been cobbled together for alternate duty. Ideas include oiling machinery, taking inventory, labeling shelves, answering phones, ordering supplies, making copies, and monitoring security video.

These transitional jobs may be rough sketches, so to speak, but they’re down on paper as possibilities anyway. That shows employees that management will do its best to accommodate them.

RTW-minded managers also consider injured workers for vacant positions.

There’s a designated liaison

A compassionate, organized person who likes working with people acts as a liaison between injured workers, managers, and doctors. Someone who hopes to partner with a doctor is ideal. Third-party administrators (TPAs) can be that solution – there to keep in close contact with all parties and keep the program moving forward.

RTW policies are published and distributed

Company policy clearly defines expectations for both managers and workers. Everyone has a copy.

Workers know how and when to notify the company of injury. Contact numbers are provided.

Employees are familiar with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Where workers’ compensation is concerned, they understand both their rights and their accountability.

Effective RTW programs are fair to everyone.

Evaluation metrics are in place

RTW coordinators track results – bigwigs in corner offices dig that stuff.

Executives or small-business owners comply with municipal, state and federal laws

Compliance is a lot more complicated than most suits or entrepreneurs know. The importance of working with an attorney can’t be overstated.

The High Cost of Complacency

The cost of keeping workers safe and active is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of settlements, high turnover rates and lost productivity.

Employers simply can’t afford to be complacent.

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