November 20, 2014

Dispatching: Why your front line needs to be in order

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From summer months with no A/C to winter months with no heat, disgruntled customers to quarterly maintenance, your dispatchers hear and handle it all. But does your front line have what it takes to maintain a steady flow of work and get every job handled efficiently?

I’ve put together a quick checklist to ensure maximum efficiency for your organization.

  1. How do they do under pressure? Nothing sparks tension more than a broken furnace on a cold winter night, which means your dispatchers will talk to people on their very worst days. How do they handle the heat? If they get frazzled easily or are hard to work with once they’ve taken a few tense calls, it might be time to re-evaluate their position. Another great way to tell if this employee is good for dispatch is to ask yourself, – “Would I let this person handle my grandmother’s call for maintenance?” If the answer is no, definitely consider training or a career move.
  2. Can they delegate and prioritize? Dispatchers have a responsibility to prioritize emergencies and delegate workflow to maximize efficiency. To test an individual’s tendencies for prioritizing, ask them to do a handful of simple tasks around the office outside of their daily responsibilities and see how they choose to tackle the list.
  3. Are they proactive natural leaders? Natural leaders make the best dispatchers because they have the ability to make a higher-level decision in a split second without having to transfer the customer through the system of managers. Natural leaders also have a certain level of confidence that make them ideal for this role. 
  4. Are they detail oriented? It’s critical that your dispatchers pay attention to the details because they are the first contact with a customer and can identify issues right off the bat. For example, a dispatcher will notice if a tech is repetitively slow to respond to a job assignment or if customers are having consistent issues with a particular unit or comfort advisor. They should be able to identify the issue and trigger the right plan of action. 

From tips for technicians to advice for dealers, I offer daily insights on Facebook and Twitter — join the conversation today!

November 18, 2014

Tech best practices

Jose De La Portilla, Senior Technical Training Consultant of HVAC Learning Solutions, gives you the run-down on best practices, critical for all technicians: The things you can do on every call to achieve optimal job performance.

Visit our YouTube channel to read more HVAC tips!

November 13, 2014

Is it an airflow problem?

Join Jose De La Portilla, Senior Technical Training Consultant of HVAC Learning Solutions, as he talks understanding air flow, and best practices that you can use in the field.

Visit our YouTube channel for more HVAC videos!

November 11, 2014

You own a business: what’s next?

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Congratulations! You now own an HVAC business! Whether you took over an existing business or are just opening the doors to a new place of your very own, your dreams have finally come true. So as you settle into your new role and take a look around, you might start to ask yourself… now what?

Here are three things you may be forgetting:

  • Succession planning — To build a great business, you have to have a plan. Where are the employee holes and how do you fill them? Is there enough management for the amount of people you have?  Building a succession plan for the next 30, 60, 90, and 365 days will benefit you immensely in the future.
  • Quality checks — Now that you own the business, you have to know how your brand ambassadors are representing your company. To do this, schedule a handful of quality checks throughout the department. In my experience, I’ve found that secret shopping your technicians, comfort advisors, and even the receptionist is a good way to keep a pulse on things.
  • Have funLast, but certainly not least, HAVE FUN! This is your new baby, and while the 15-hour days and the back-to-back meetings are just beginning, you have to remember to have some fun and bond with your people. Frame your first dollar, cut the ribbon on your new sign, take the new crew out for a night on the town and enjoy!

There’s no time more stressful and exciting than taking over a company at the owner level. Remember to check in with each department and listen to their concerns as well as their celebrations, define your role as a business owner and manager, and don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to maximize your efficiency.

Join me on Twitter for #BizTipTuesday to get weekly tips for running your new business.

 

November 6, 2014

The sale you missed and didn’t know about.

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For many of us, the technical side of our business is the “easy” part. It’s where our natural talents are, and where our expertise lies. The art of selling doesn’t always come naturally, and no matter how many techniques you’ve learned, or how seasoned you are, you still won’t close 100% of your sales.

Just think of your last call — you might have walked away thinking you did all that you could, but did you really?

Here are three telltale signs you left that sale blind.

1. You went in prepared to lose.
Maybe you’re having a bad day, or maybe you had a less-than-great experience with this client before. Either way, you went in thinking the sale was already lost, which essentially decided the outcome of the call. Don’t be your own worst enemy. The cue that they are interested in your services happened when they made the appointment. They are ready to hire you. Fix your attitude, get excited, and go in positive.

2. You didn’t have a game plan.
Is this an initial call or a follow-up call? Do you know where your customer is in the purchasing process? Did you prepare for this call? Pre-planning makes a huge difference, and if you don’t have a plan, the chances are good that you won’t recognize when to close the sale and it will slip through your fingers.

3. You didn’t ask for the sale.
Sometimes, it’s really as easy as just asking. If you are waiting for the customer to lead you, you will be waiting a long time. Don’t misread their silence as disinterest; they are likely just waiting for the expert (you) to address their needs, answer their questions, and lay out the guidelines. It’s just that simple — ask for the sale.

I offer daily tips for selling on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Join the discussion and follow me online to get the most up to date information on HVAC sales tips and trends.

 

 

 

  • 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.