I started to write a short series on motivating your techs to sell, but this topic took over. A consistent impediment to sales is that technicians often don't truly believe in the value, benefit, and necessity of many of the products you want them to sell.
I went to a company that was having trouble launching a "go green" theme for their customers. They wanted their customers to start maintaining their equipment and, when they replaced it, do it with high-efficiency equipment. They also wanted everyone to start buying more indoor air quality (IAQ) products, which meant they wanted their techs and salespeople to start selling more of them.
They were having a problem getting their people to buy into this and to do the selling. I could see why.
The company owned the building in which they were located. They were using the cheapest HVAC equipment they could get their hands on, and they weren't maintaining it. Their cheap, disposable filters required changing. This was during the winter, and they were located in a part of the country that gets cold. All the office employees were sick and were wearing their coats inside because they were cold, and they didn't have any humidifiers! They had automatic air fresheners mounted around the building to combat odors. How about instead of adding odors and VOCs, they add PCO UV lights and eliminate them both?
Not a soul in the company owned a single IAQ product.
My first line of business was to sit down with the owner and tell him it's hypocritical not to use the products you're recommending. It was very uncomfortable for both of us, but it needed to be said.
My second line of business was to enlighten the service technicians and salespeople on what their IAQ products do for people. I always know sales are going to go up when, as a result of my training, employees immediately install some IAQ in their own residences, which happened here. When your employees own the products you want them to sell, and they actually do improve their lives, which they will, you won't be able to get them to shut up about them.
A spent a lot of time at a company near where I live, and it was the company in which I was most successful in landing the employees on IAQ. They sold an average of one UV light per call. Every single employee in the company, including office personnel, had at least a photo catalytic oxidation UV light in their personal residence, including renters.
I went to Colorado during the winter. The company had twenty service technicians, and every one of them was sick with a cold. Not a one of them owned a humidifier. I couldn't believe it. In my opinion, humidifiers are mandatory in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and northern California, due to the dry air.
I enlightened them all on the necessity of proper humidification, and told them to either install a humidifier in their own home that night after work, buy a cheap one and start using it, or to at least boil a big soup pot of water while they watched TV.
By the end of the week, ten people had taken my advice, and ten people had not. Do I have to tell you that the ten who took my advice were no longer sick and the ten who did not still were? Additionally, all of the people who'd installed a humidifier in their own home had already sold at least one.
By the way, I have a hard-to-believe record with humidifier sales. When I've worked at companies that had trucks that were large enough for me to be able to carry one with me on calls, every time I brought a humidifier into the home, took it out of the box, and placed it in my customer's hands, I haven't been able to get it back, and installed it for them right on the spot. I've sold so many humidifiers that way, and installed so many, that I was able to install a bypass humidifier in under one hour.
So, if you want your techs to sell more, make sure they honestly believe in the value, benefit, and necessity of your products. That may require additional training.
Next month I'll give you more tips on motivating your techs to sell.
CHARLIE GREER is an award-winning HVAC sales trainer. Charlie can come to your shop and motivate and train your techs and salespeople to sell more Indoor Air Quality products. For more information, call Charlie at 1-800-963-HVAC (4822) or visit him on the web at www.hvacprofitboosters.com. Your comments are always appreciated. Email Charlie at [email protected]