Your 2011 'To Do' List

Many people find having a "to do" list helps them organize, prioritize, and get things done. Here is a model list designed for anyone who sells HVAC service or equipment. My suggestion is that you keep this list with you in the vehicle and review it every day.

I will keep a daily log of my sales. You don't get good at anything until you start keeping score. Stay on top of your closing ratio, and your daily, weekly, and monthly averages.

I will do a thorough inspection on every call. Don't make recommendations until you first establish customers' individual needs and sense of urgency (the reason to take action now). If you make recommendations without first identifying the need with your own two eyes, you're just someone who is there to sell them something, whether they need it or not.

I will present a prioritized list of every deficiency I see in customers' systems, regardless of whether or not they seem like they've got the money, are interested, or like me. Stop deciding for your customers whether or not they’re going to buy.

I will see how little I can say and still make the sale. We talk ourselves out of more sales than we talk ourselves into. If you can make the sale without saying it, don't.

I will listen better. You don't talk people into buying; you listen them into buying. Don't think about what you're going to say next while they're talking. When you truly listen, most people will tell you how to close them.

I will close early. The longer the sales pitch, the more over-priced that product. Be short and to the point.

I will close often. Give up after one closing attempt and your customers may think they didn't really need what you were recommending.

I will be more assumptive in my closing. Don't make closing a big moment. Establish the need and the reason to take action now. Ask a small question that the customer will answer in the affirmative, and assume the sale.

I will ask a lot of questions. A sale is a series of small commitments. Questions help us maintain control of our calls, keep our customers from daydreaming, get them used to making decisions, and gain small commitments.

I will practice my salesmanship as I drive between calls. Most HVAC techs and salespeople drive about 1,000 hours per year, and most of that time is wasted. If you practice your salesmanship for one hour per day, five days per week, you'll have practiced for 250 hours by the end of the year. That's a lot of practice. Can you imagine how much better at salesmanship you'd be?

I will paint word pictures with emotional triggers. Describe to customers how miserable their current conditions are making them and how every aspect of their lives will improve once they own your product. Developing word pictures with emotional triggers is a good thing to practice between calls.

I will be decisive while running calls. We want our customers to be decisive, so we have to set the example.

I will project authority. You're the resident HVAC expert. You decide what's mandatory and what's optional. They're not supposed to doubt you.

I will project confidence. Customers want you to be confident; confident in your technical abilities, and confident around people. Never act confused or unsure of yourself.

I will project a positive level of expectation. Make it obvious that you're used to people cooperating, listening, and wanting you to solve their problems.

I will make excellent eye contact. Good eye contact conveys confidence and honesty. Poor eye contact does the exact opposite and is probably responsible for more lost sales than any other single factor. When you make good eye contact, people tend to give you less grief. If you're not comfortable with eye contact, practice by staring yourself in the eye in the mirror. Do this for five minutes per day and you'’ll be making good eye contact by the end of the week.

I will speak to everyone as if they have full buying authority. Don't fall for the, "I have to talk to someone else about this," stalling tactic. If you act as though customers can't make a decision, they won't.

I will send a "Thank You" card to everyone, whether they buy from me or not. This will get people to call you back and buy.

I will set goals. Taking one step toward achieving your long-term goals every day is how you stay motivated.

Charlie Greer is the creator of "Quantifying Quality: How to BEAT LOW-BIDDERS," "Over The Top HVAC Sales," and "Slacker's Guide to HVAC Sales on Audio CD." These audio products are designed to be listened to as you drive between calls. For more details, call 800/963-HVAC (4822) or visit E-mail Charlie at [email protected].

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