You know when you are driving and there is that blind spot on both sides that you can’t see so you don’t know what is going on there? Blind spots can be dangerous. They can get you in trouble. They can cause havoc and injury. Blind spots can ruin your day.
Do you have blind spots in your business? Techs who might not always be the most courteous, even though you train them on what to say, how to say it and to always smile… do you really know what happens once they drive out of the lot? You know how they act at the shop, and you are pretty sure there is a possibility that they might act like that in the field too. That’s a blind spot.
Do we know what our field teammates really do when with a client? Do they take time to listen to the homeowner? Ask engaging questions and offer solutions that will help the family be comfortable, healthy and save money? Are they patient, understanding and kind?
Nobody Wants to be Sold to
Do your field teammates compel homeowners to buy something… anything? Remember what Jeffrey Gitomer says, “Nobody likes to be sold to, but everyone loves to buy.” Getting a client to buy without selling takes skill. Find out what someone wants and needs, educate them about how they can get that result and they will buy. Nobody wants to be sold to. So, stop doing it. Your customers might buy once, but will they regret that purchase later? Who will they call next time?
When a homeowner needs their cooling restored, they are focused on getting the cooling restored. They are worried about the cost. They need a nice, kind, smiling professional who shows confidence and skill. Someone who will know what they are doing and will not take advantage of them. When a technician turns into a salesman it can make the client mistrust them. However, we are not working in a non-profit industry. So, what to do? How do we earn the trust of the client so we can truly help them with all their comfort needs?
When a technician has earned the trust of a client and the client believes the tech has their best interest in mind, they can relax and listen to the tech. Earning the client’s trust starts with the first impression. The first impression starts as soon as the tech pulls up to the curb. Most people are watching to see the tech before they get to the door. They will watch from inside to get a look at the tech as they walk up to the house. A pro knows this and will walk with purpose, show confidence in their stature and smile. A smile can make all the difference. Remember, when we do not smile, our mouth is naturally in the form of a frown. It takes just a little effort to smile and makes all the difference so the client sees warmth and kindness. This first impression helps the client feel that the tech is there to help, not take advantage of them.
Second, it is important to get the customer talking. When we take over and do all the talking and a client is not involved in the process, they can let the tech and the system work alone. I like to get to know the client by asking questions about what they do and what they like to do. Ask them to come with you to the system because you will have additional questions about their comfort and how the system has been working. Engage them by asking questions about their comfort, health and cost to heat and cool their home. Ask, “If I could help you with that would you want me to?” Educate them on how comfort systems work, like explaining single stage, two-stage and multi-stage systems and ask, “which one do you feel would make you more comfortable?” Or, “Which one do you think would lower your utility bills?” Explain how filtration works or how ultraviolet lamps work and ask, “Which one do you think will help Andrew breath better?”
Homeowners don’t know that they can be comfortable in every room in their home. Most people assume that there will be areas of their home that will always be a different temperature than the rest of the house. Most families have someone who has allergies or some type of respiratory issue. And they are not aware that their home may be exacerbating those symptoms. Many people are concerned with contracting a virus from other family members or even a visitor. Some people want the latest technology controlling their system from their phone. We can help with all these things.
Put the Client in the Driver's Seat
When a technician has earned the customer’s trust by being helpful, kind and offering a smile, the client will listen to them when the tech asks questions about their comfort, health and cost. If we educate clients on how they can achieve what they truly want and need, we put them in the driver’s seat and they will buy what they want. When your technicians earn the trust of your clients, you will see more sales and more repeat clients.
What are your blind spots? Do you know what your technicians are doing out there? Don’t get in trouble with blind spots. Ride with your techs. Train them to give a great first impression and earn trust. Give them questions to ask that will result in opportunities to educate clients about how they can make changes in their comfort, health and start saving money. Know how your company is received by your community. Eliminate the blind spots and watch your company win the race.
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Mike Treas brings experience in the contracting industry as a sales manager and comfort advisor for one of the largest and most well-respected residential heating and air conditioning contractors in the United States. He has personally worked with hundreds of contracting companies across North America conducting training and consulting in the areas of sales, sales management, business management, customer service and technician lead generation training. His background consists of 35 years in sales and sales management bringing expertise, knowledge, techniques and strategies proven in the contracting industry to increase sales. He is an EGIA Contractor University faculty member.