September 2, 2014

Airflow myths | Video by Jose De La Portilla

Join Jose De La Portilla, Senior Technical Training Consultant of HVAC Learning Solutions, debunks three airflow myths.

Leave a comment saying what you’d like to see in our next training video!

August 28, 2014

How Product Mix Affects Your Revenue

baseball

By Dave Nichols

 Having a healthy product mix should be as essential to your business as a batting average is to a professional baseball player. Consider this scenario:

Sales guy #1: Sells lots of lower-end and cost-effective products, produces a high close rate but low margins.

Sales guy #2: Sells few high-end and top of the line series, produces a low close rate but high margins.

In keeping with the baseball metaphor, you can equate sales guy #1 to a batter that hits for the bases every time. While he’s not hitting them out of the park with stellar home runs, he’s actively and consistently loading the bases. Sales guy #2 is inconsistent, but an excellent home run hitter. So which player is best to have on the team? Neither.

In order to have a successful team you need a group of individuals with knowledge of both the high and low-end, as well as specialty and common products. In an ideal product mix, your team would be selling about 10 percent low-end, 7 to 9 percent high-end and an 80 percent mix of in-between sales. This protects your margins, their close rates, and the overall stability of your company. Regular sales with a good mix of product will help keep your installers busy every day, morale high, and the company successful.

So dealers, here’s what it boils down to: if you can’t sustain or grow your business because your margins don’t cover your overhead, consider training your sales people to offer a wider variety of product mix in their sales process.

For more tips on achieving a healthy product mix for your HVAC company, check out the HVAC Learning Solutions Master $elling® course for continuing sales education.

August 26, 2014

Tools of the Trade: HVAC sales resources

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By Dave Nichols

For a technician, the services he provides are only as good as the tools he uses. So shouldn’t that rule be the same for your sales team? Get the tools to do the job better than ever with these resources from HVAC Learning Solutions and DaveNet.com.

Load calculation tool — The HVAC Learning Solutions load calculation tool teaches your team the three P’s of load calculation.

  1. Properly size equipment. Learn how to properly size a customer’s unit to make suggestions on new products and accessories, energy savings, and overall unit output.
  2. Be prepared. The more prepared you are, the more confident you are, and confidence transcends your customer communications.
  3. Precise science. In today’s market of the informed consumer, an educated guess doesn’t fly. Use the load calculation tool to present the customer with a precise and scientific answer. 

Utility cost calculators — The utility cost calculators (AFUE and SEER) assist in calculating an estimated cost of using an appliance per year based on a traditional number of hours and an average of 72 degrees. This information gives the customer the opportunity to make a buying decision instead of being bogged down with a hard sell.

Sales lead tracking tool — This innovative product has three major benefits for dealers. First, it tells you where your leads come from. Secondly, it tells you how many sales you’ve executed. And lastly, it tells you how much revenue you’ve generated from all of your leads, where those leads came from and how effective each of your marketing efforts are both across the company as well as the individual statistics per Comfort Advisor (sales, closing rates, product mix, etc.).

Consumer proposal tool — Available on DaveNet.com under Partner Resources > Sales Tools, this custom tool lets you build an exclusive solution for the customer’s home, comprised of home assessments and buying recommendations.

If a workman is only as good as his tools, how good are you? The HVAC Learning Solutions and DaveNet.com tools are easy to use and are excellent resources for closing your next sale. For more tips on closing the sale, visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hvaclearning.

August 21, 2014

Three Ways to Perfect How You SPIN

handshakeAs experts in sales, we’re always trying to come up with new and better ways to push our products and services. The SPIN method is the latest and greatest way to uncover your customer’s explicit needs through a series of in-depth questions. Here are three ways you can perfect your SPIN technique:

  1. Confidence: When you ask in-depth questions, ask them with an air of confidence. Let the customer see that you know what you’re talking about, and that you will not falter. Nobody buys from a poorly prepared salesman.
  2. Concentration: Holding the customer’s focus is vital. Look the customer in the eyes and make sure they feel like they’re the center of your attention. Eye contact and being a little animated is a way to keep them physically attentive, while asking your quality of comfort questions keeps them mentally engaged.
  3. Practice: To achieve success using the SPIN method, practice your presentation and mock questions with a spouse, neighbor, or co-worker to prepare yourself for your moment with the customer. You only have a few minutes to convince them to buy your product, so you want to be polished and prepared.

Take the time to think through and practice these strategies before your next conversation with a potential buyer. With these tips in mind, your sales process should greatly improve.

What are some of the ways you’ve enriched the SPIN method? Tell us about them on our Facebook page.

 

August 19, 2014

Did You Really Make a Profit?

ProfitsBy Dave Nichols

Balancing your books at the end of the quarter or year may seem like a daunting task. You review your numbers and ask yourself – did I really make a profit? What about taxes? Employee benefits? Downtime for your technicians? Even though your initial numbers are in the black, you might be missing the small aspects of owning a business that crucially determine your actual profit or loss.

So where do you start? First, plug your numbers into this basic formula.

Revenue – Expenses = X – Corporate Income Tax and Bank Interest = Loss or Gain.  

Simply put, you have to earn enough money after all your expenses to cover income tax and interest from the bank; if you’re still in the black you’ve still made money. Easy enough, right? Unfortunately, your initial calculation might be missing some of the finer details.

Here’s a list of finances you may have forgotten to include while calculating your profit:

  • Corporate taxes – The U.S. has the highest rate of corporate income tax in the world at 39.1 percent. Make sure your margins include a rough estimate (about 50 percent) to cover your income tax costs.
  • Benefits – Don’t forget the cost of benefits when estimating your overall expenses. Add another 25 percent to your employee’s hourly rate to calculate the real cost of employment.
  • Missed opportunity — If the service department is running a lot of no charge calls such as warranty and callbacks, then you are losing revenue opportunity and all of that potential revenue would fall to the bottom line. Another source of profit leakage can be in travel time if it’s not properly managed to be held to a minimum such as sending a tech from one side of town to the other when there is already a tech in the neighborhood.

It’s crucial to stay on top of your numbers and look at the big picture when it comes to figuring out your total loss or gain. For more small business financial tips, visit the HVAC Learning solutions blog at HVACLS.com/blog.

  • Meet Mike Moore

    Mike Moore isn't just an HVAC expert;
    he also knows a thing or two about
    HVAC employee training. As one of
    HVAC Learning Solutions founders
    and Director of Training, his biggest
    goal is to help HVAC leaders and
    technicians grow their business
    and build lasting skills. This
    University of Kansas grad has
    a contagious personality, a lot
    of knowledge, and a knack for
    providing HVAC training
    and development.