June 30, 2015

Taking on two million

Taking On Two Million

Taking on $2 million in sales can seem like a reach, but it’s more attainable than you may think. The key performance indicator, or KPI, for Comfort Advisors is $1.2 million, but aiming for $2 million or more can create new opportunities for your company’s profits and your own income.

So how can you hit the $2 million mark? Here are my six tips for becoming a high-performance salesperson:

  • Don’t sit back and wait for a lead. It’s all about asking the customer the right questions and then showing them the value. Sell on value, and then add items such as indoor air quality, dehumidification, etc., to seal the deal.
  • Have a higher closing rate. This means you need to build a good sales process. Each time the customer is concerned, customize your sales presentation. For example, musicians and actors repeat the same thing over and over again, but they make each audience believe it’s the first time it’s coming out of their mouths.
  • Generate one to two leads every day. Existing customers can recommend you to family and friends, so ask and reward them for leads. You should also network through community and trade organizations and stay active on social media. Once you’re recognizable, opportunities will start coming your way.
  • Be fully involved with your colleagues. Encourage technicians to generate leads for you, but show them appreciation for the work they do. Technicians are with homeowners every day and can choose to recommend you or not.
  • Create a vision board. Every successful salesperson should map out a plan, establish goals, and have checkpoints along the way to stay on track.
  • Become a student. The consumer is changing, and they don’t just accept the status quo. People are prepared to spend their money as long as they receive value, so tailor your sales presentation to the consumer and sell to the generation.

Becoming a high-performance salesperson means going above and beyond, but reaching for $2 million will benefit both yourself and your company. Want to learn how to amp your sales goals this year? Enroll today in our Master $elling and Advanced Master Selling courses on DaveNet.com under My Learning or call us at 800-654-3283, option 2.

Guest blogger Dave Nichols is a regional training manager with HVAC Learning Solutions.

June 25, 2015

Selling IAQ

Selling IAQ

Indoor air quality can be a valuable selling point to any service call, but it can be difficult to start the conversation. I sat down with Joe Jones, regional business manager, brand management at Lennox Industries, to find out his best tips on selling IAQ to any homeowner.

M: Joe, what suggestions would you give HVAC technicians for selling IAQ?

J: First, recognize your role as being more than just someone there to fix the problem at hand and inform homeowners of other solutions your company has to offer. Next, familiarize yourself with IAQ products, including features, pricing, and available options. Third, never assume the price is too high or spend the customer’s money for them. Finally, share testimonials and create your own personal stories.

M: What tools can technicians use to sell IAQ?

J: You need to be the expert and learn all the features and benefits your products offer. The most important tool you can have is a retail price book, though you may have to be the person to ask for one. It sounds simple, but if you don’t have pricing, you won’t sell it. You should also offer “good, better, best” options, because it gives customers something to compare.

M: What would you say is the most common mistake technicians make when selling IAQ?

J: Just because you think a part is expensive doesn’t mean customers will. Don’t judge customers based on what you think would be valuable for them. Once you’ve given them options and talked about what solutions those options can offer, let them decide whether it has value.

M: How can technicians make the selling experience more personal?

J: There’s power in testimonials. Look at product reviews online and see what our customers love. You may not suffer from asthma or allergies, but reading what our products have done for others builds your faith in the products. Selling a few products and turning your experiences into personal testimonials can do wonders.

I offer daily tips on Twitter for dealers, Comfort Advisors, and technicians alike. Follow me at @HVACLearning for insight into today’s trending topics.

June 23, 2015

How to be productive in your downtime

Downtime

Every technician has moments of downtime, whether it’s because of a break between service calls, a slow day in the off-season, or a customer who hasn’t made it home yet. While it can be tempting to enjoy the lack of activity, you should utilize that time to keep your day productive and ultimately improve your bottom line.

Here are five ways you can make the best of your downtime to benefit yourself and your company:

  • Online training — HVAC Learning Solutions offers virtual courses and webinars that focus on a variety of topics, from sharpening your technical skills to learning successful sales and marketing techniques.
  • Pre-call planning — Make sure you’re completely prepared for your next appointment by talking with your peers about the service at hand, confirming the date with the customer, and doing some research on the customer’s address and home layout.
  • Databases — Spend some time checking your inventory and logging customer data to ensure all of your information is updated and accurate.
  • Social media — While you wait, discover HVAC accounts or influential people to follow online and read up on new government standards, HVAC hot topics, and industry tips and tricks.
  • Communication — Start a conversation with your peers in other departments about what they’re seeing in their segment of the industry to know everything you can about the field. Additionally, having a good relationship with your Comfort Advisors can make a huge difference in how well you handle the customer experience.

These productive ideas will keep you constantly prepared for any task and save you from wasting valuable time on the job.

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

 

June 18, 2015

A Perfect Storm

Are You Ready ?

A perfect storm is facing the HVAC industry, and if you weren’t at this year’s Lennox Dealer Meeting, you may not know how to prepare your business for this challenge.

So what is the perfect storm? According to statistics from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) …

  • Labor Shortage — There is a major shortage of skilled HVAC technicians, and the number of entry-level graduates from tech schools has steadily declined for the past 10 years.
  • Aging Workforce — The median age for technicians is 56, which means a majority of the HVAC workforce will be retiring in the coming years.
  • Estimated Need — Projected growth for the HVAC industry over the next five years is about 22 percent, but this is only attainable if we address the workforce shortage.

The first step in facing the perfect storm head-on is to find new techniques for hiring skilled HVAC technicians. You can start by using these tips for recruiting valuable new hires.

  • Promote on social media — Simply changing your company LinkedIn profile’s status to “hiring” or sharing company posts on your personal Facebook newsfeed can be a free resource for finding new hires.
  • Hire from high school vocational training programs — Research high schools in your area to see if they have professional training programs you can use as recruiting resources.
  • Recruit veterans — With a strong work ethic and technical expertise, experienced military members create an ideal transition into our industry. With several programs available to find returning veterans looking for employment, it can be easy to find a qualified recruit ready to work.  For more information on recruiting veterans, please visit www.hvacls.com/2015DM.
  • Get help from Lennox — Professional HVAC recruiting agencies, such as BirdDog, Hire Dimensions, and HVAC Agent, are Lennox preferred vendors that offer discounts to Lennox dealers. Find more information about these opportunities on DaveNet® under Partner Resources.

By considering these recruiting techniques, you can brace your business for the perfect storm and find qualified new hires to mold into master technicians. For interviewing tips, pre-hire assessments, and more visit www.hvacls.com/2015DM.

I offer daily tips on Twitter for dealers, Comfort Advisors, and technicians alike. Follow me at @HVACLearning for insight into today’s trending topics.

May 21, 2015

Winning the customer battle, losing the revenue war

Customer Battle, Revenue War

I get asked from time to time what is the best kind of marketing that a dealer can do for his or her company. Is it paper ads? Radio? Social media? The answer might surprise you, but one of the most valuable marketing tools is word-of-mouth referrals.

When you aim to improve your referrals, you have to consider what I like to call the customer battle and the revenue war. Think about it — is a $100 billing discrepancy more important than a lifetime maintenance agreement?

Here are three escalated customer scenarios and details on how to handle them so you come out on top long-term.

  • Problem No. 1: Your customer has a maintenance call for a system that is just days outside of their warranty period.
  • Solution: Let the customer know up-front that the system is out of warranty but that you will dispatch a technician free of charge to come assess the issue.
  • Here’s why: Putting a technician on the case to diagnose the issue costs you very little — maybe a half an hour to an hour of your technicians time tops — but showing the customer outstanding customer service above and beyond their contracted warranty is a set up for a great referral, not to mention an opportunity to sell them personalized maintenance programs.
  • Problem No. 2: Your customer is upset because of a late technician or Comfort Advisor and is considering going to a competitor.
  • Solution: Offer a free or low-cost tune-up for when the customer needs it in the future. 
  • Here’s why: Mistakes happen but when they affect your customers you need a backup plan of action. Offering a tune-up is a win-win for you and your customer. Customers are happy because they received something of considerable monetary value for their trouble, and you gained the chance to return to the home for preventative maintenance. Tune-ups have immeasurable potential for revenue growth so use them to your advantage.
  • Problem No. 3: Although the job was done correctly and with great customer service, your employees left a mess for your customer to clean up.
  • Solution: Send your customer a gift card for a local carpet cleaning business or cleaning service.
  • Here’s why: When you leave a mess behind, you’re breaking a cardinal rule of the field-service industry. Sending the customer a solution to the problem and not just a coupon for repeat service shows them not only that you value their home as much as they do, but also that you’ll go to any length to make it right and you’ll gain his or her trust for repeat business.

A small decision today may affect you long-term; so when you’re faced with an escalated customer-service situation ask yourself: Am I winning the customer battle? Or the revenue war?

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

 

  • 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.