HVAC Tec Daddy: Educating vs. Enlightening

HVAC Tec Daddy: Educating vs. Enlightening

When people are educating, they sometimes side-track themselves mentally and start acting like their goal is to teach their customers all about HVAC. When people are enlightening, their goal is to create a desire and instill enthusiasm for their product or service, and close.

People base their buying decisions more on the way they feel about things than they do logic.

My job as a sales professional is to make people feel good about buying from me, stimulate desire for my products, and inspire enthusiasm for them. The desire and enthusiasm are what keeps the job sold after you leave.

Lots of people say they sell by educating the consumer. Your job is not to educate people. Your job is to generate profits for the company. In a nutshell, your job is to make profitable sales. — Charlie Greer

Lots of people say they sell by educating the consumer. Your job is not to educate people. Your job is to generate profits for the company. In a nutshell, your job is to make profitable sales.

Some HVAC professionals say that they want their customers the make and educated decision. It’s a lofty goal, but in reality, even if you educate them non-stop for an hour or so, you won’t even have scratched the surface of how much they’d need to know to make a truly educated decision. What they really need to know is that you’re competent, trustworthy, and will do what is in the customer’s best interest.

I suppose we all sell by educating the consumer one way or another. The  difference is how and on what we decide to educate them. With some HVAC professionals, when they’re running a call, you can’t tell if they’re doing a sales presentation or conducting a technical seminar. That’s called “technicating,” and that’s not the way to sell. That’s the way to lose them.

The late Tom McCart used to say that liked it when they were getting other bids and had already talked to a few other salespeople before meeting him. He knew that, if they’d already talked to at least one other HVAC professional, the prospective customer already knew all they wanted to know about efficiency ratings, the new refrigerant, brand names, and scroll compressors. That allowed him to devote the majority of his conversation with them to more interesting, life-enhancing products, like indoor air quality.

I was corrected once when I said I don’t sell by educating. A gentleman, who had run calls with me, said, “Charlie, you do educate the client. You just don’t educate them on the same things and in the same manner as everyone else. You don’t say anything; you show them how a real HVAC professional works.”

Enlightening:
I don’t educate; I enlighten.
The dictionary definition of “educate” usually includes the words “instruction,” and “information.”
The dictionary definition of “enlighten” usually includes the words “understanding,” and “insight.”

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Here are the key differences between educating and enlightening:

EDUCATING: Provokes thought.
ENLIGHTENING: Provokes emotional response and action.

EDUCATING: Informs with facts and figures that consumers don't particularly care about or understand.
ENLIGHTENING: Consists primarily of word pictures that get prospects to "feel their pain," then become overjoyed when word pictures describe how much they'll enjoy using the product or service.

EDUCATING: Usually involves a lot of talk and numbers.
ENLIGHTENING: The only things that are said are things that will make them feel good about buying, create desire, and inspire enthusiasm.

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Selling is not providing information. Selling is not answering questions. Selling is closing.

When people are educating, they sometimes side-track themselves mentally and start acting like their goal is to teach their customers all about HVAC.
When people are enlightening, their goal is to create a desire and instill enthusiasm for their product or service, and close.

When you’re educating, they start taking notes. Discourage your customers from taking notes. The purpose of taking notes is to refer to them later while they think it over. People who take notes are more difficult to get a decision from than people who don’t. When they start taking notes, say something like, “I’ve got this all written down for you already,” or “All this will be on my formal paperwork,” and see if they’ll stop writing and start deciding.

My advice:
•Keep it simple. Avoid using numbers as much as possible
• Never ask anyone, “What do you think? Instead, ask, “How do you feel about it?”
• Watch their body language and facial expressions for boredom or confusion. Remember -- a confused mind always says “no”
• Limit what you say to the point where you only say things that will make them feel good about buying in general, and from you in particular
• Don’t say anything that doesn’t need to be said. Say very little, then show them the price and give them a chance to make a decision. You’re probably talking too much anyway
• If they don’t buy on the first try, trickle out a little more info, then give them a chance to make a decision again.

 

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