Prioritizing Calls When You’re Swamped

BY: Joe Crisara

 

Time is the great equalizer. No matter how big your company is, time is a commodity that becomes very limiting in terms of the ability to be there when our best clients need us.  Both large and small companies are basically “closed for business” once their schedules become saturated with opportunities.

Drinking From a Fire Hose

In the service industry, you have to be more than quick on your toes. Especially when calls are pouring in because of some extreme weather or other phenomena causing increased customer need. This tends to happen in the summer months when the weather is hot and many residential AC systems start to fail and need repair. The spring brings flooding season, accompanied by an influx of calls for plumbers. Additionally, electricians feel the rush to fix heating units before the holidays at the end of the year.  No matter what industry you’re in, there will be a time when you can’t keep up.

Having enough opportunity can quench the thirst of going through a dry spell.  But when it’s TOO busy, it’s like drinking from a fire hose.  You can literally drown your company in too much opportunity and then pay the price in unpaid overtime expenses, employee burnout and unhappy loyal clients leading to the ultimate destruction of your business.

The System IS the Solution

To begin thinking about a “systematic” priority system, consider what’s needed as a version of emergency room triage.  Just like a hospital, we need to make sure that the more urgent patients get service first, while taking into account whether the patient has the right provider that’s covered in their network. Plus, we’ve got to make sure that all the proper paperwork has been completed to secure the financial obligations that go along with an emergency service like that.

Continue reading “Prioritizing Calls When You’re Swamped”

Avoid Creating Your Own Personal Recession

BY: Joe Crisara

 

Let’s be honest– completely separate from how you run your contracting company, there is a thing out there called the economy. I’m talking specifically about the macro economy. Macro means big and that means the economy on a regional, state wide or national level. There are many factors that go into the condition of the macro economy- the cumulative effects of millions of decisions by consumers, producers and investors- but you yourself are unable to have almost any effect on it.

It is what it is, and like a boat floating on the waves of the ocean, your best bet is to keep an eye on what kind of weather is coming, so you can adjust your sails accordingly. There are things you can do to protect the financial viability of your home contracting business in tough times. Just as, conversely, there are things you can do to accelerate a downward spiral as cooler economic times approach. The idea is to cultivate the former while eliminating the latter.

GO TO THOSE YOU KNOW

Especially in an economic chill, go to your existing (which includes previous) customer base. They will provide a very worthwhile foundation from which to gain jobs and increase revenue. In the home contracting industry we often think that all of our next client interactions and paid work contracts need to be brand new people we’ve never seen before.

But so often, a good former customer can become a return or repeat customer. Sometimes it just takes reaching out with a check-in and an offer of a home inspection, or the suggestion of replacing old wiring and outlets or pipes and washers on the verge of cracking.

Your overhead will stay pretty much the same regardless of how the economy is doing. So you may as well go back to your existing customer base and see what they need- leaving no stone un-turned and really maxing out your interactive customer service.

But what about when you’ve tapped everyone you know?

IT’S A PEOPLE GAME Continue reading “Avoid Creating Your Own Personal Recession”

Wait, There’s An App for That?

BY: Joe Crisara

Apps that translate the field to the customer save time and make the tech’s job a whole lot easier.

Welcome to 2017, where smart technology is wearable and apps are everywhere. While it’s true that contractors have been getting along just fine for years without being completely connected to their phones, there is a lot of software out there that aims to lessen some of the burdens and annoyances that technicians face on and off the field by streamlining some of the processes and making customers more accessible. This month we wanted to showcase some apps that incorporate functions like scheduling, building customer relationships, troubleshooting, GPS mapping — basically anything that eliminates paperwork, saves time and makes a job run smoother.

Jobi App

jobi is a field service software that provides contractors with a platform to manage and grow their business, right from their phone. From scheduling to dispatch, price packaging to invoices, GPS mapping to sales metrics and much more — jobi has compiled the tools contractors need to get the job done right. Jobi also comes with a homeowner app to stay connected with customers on the go. Users can generate more sales on the same number of calls and create a steady revenue stream.

The jobi app features the functions service contractors need to get the job done, including:

• Schedule service calls and dispatch opportunities.
• Track technicians in the field and find the fastest route via GPS mapping.
• View current sales and set sales goals on real-time dashboard.
• Create premium, mid-range and economy choices in one click.
• Scan credit cards and capture signatures all in the app.
• Record audio during service calls for training purposes and to improve customer satisfaction.
• Import and export to QuickBooks to keep all transactions in sync.
• Create on-the-fly digital invoices for individual products and services.
• Get branded homeowners app to stay connected with customers.
• Customers can track service plans, warranties and service history right from their phones.
• Make remote presentations and share with all decision-makers.
• Easily track purchasing trends on the real-time results dashboard.

Contractors using the app and Service Level Option Maker report an average 378 percent increase in revenue from the same amount of calls. Using jobi’s built-in price level option creator (Platinum, Gold, Silver as well as various warranty plans and more) gives customers a choice of repairs or solutions. One user account is free and plans are affordable for service contracting businesses of all sizes.

Visit jobi.pro for more information.

Continue reading “Wait, There’s An App for That?”

‘Verbal Packaging’— Key to Creating Higher Value

BY: Joe Crisara

In the world of service, the words you use to describe what you do are just as important to your profitability as the actual work you do.

Providing real value and solutions, and operating from a place of what I call “pure motive” service are key to my philosophy of running a smooth business. To do this you must transform your business from transactional-based to relationship-based. One of the best strategies to make this change is by using what I call verbal packaging.

Words Matter
Verbal packaging is about changing your use of words. Are words important? If not, why is there a multi-billion dollar advertising industry? Why are some politicians so much more successful than others? Why do some business executives close difficult deals on a regular basis while others almost never make the sale? A lot of it has to do with using language to portray value proposition and connect with customers on a deeper level.

As service professionals, you’re going into people’s personal space, so the words you use makes the difference between them writing the check or not.

Just about everybody who calls a service technician to their house wants to have the work done. People aren’t calling their plumber or HVAC guy as a practical joke. As service professionals, you’re going into people’s personal space, so the words you use makes the difference between them writing the check or not.

Strong Words VS. Weak Words

Without consciously thinking about it, we make word choices that carry an attitude and an energy all the time. As service providers, we can say that there are strong words and weak words. Let’s look at a few examples and compare their effectiveness.

Continue reading “‘Verbal Packaging’— Key to Creating Higher Value”

ContractorSelling.com Launches New Customer Service Bootcamp for Residential Service Professionals

BY: Joe Crisara

The new 3-day boot camp teaches residential service contractors how to perform the highest level of customer service to grow their business

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, MAY 30, 2017 — Joe Crisara, America’s Service Sales Coach, has created a brand new seminar to teach service professionals how to establish higher value by delivering world-class customer service.

This course titled, “WOW Customer Service 3-Day Boot Camp” is the ultimate training seminar that coaches service professionals on how to change their thinking to grow their business. Attendees are transformed into company leaders that know how to increase value through great service. The seminar will take place on the following dates in Los Angeles and streaming online.

•                  Monday, July 17th – Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

•                  Monday, August 7th – Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

•                  Monday, September 11th – Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

With real world examples, objection handling and personalized recommendations – this course is incomparable to any other training program out there. Attendees will take away the keys to create a culture of empowered employees that fuel client engagement and business development.

“Not only have my sales abilities rocked, my staff has shown consistent improvement in their numbers,” said David Mendenhall, Owner of Tri-M Plumbing. “More importantly, their customer service has improved exponentially!”

ContractorSelling.com teaches service professionals how increase their level of quality, reliability and customer service through enhanced communication strategies. Attendees include service business owners, managers and technicians in the electrical, HVAC, plumbing, restoration, roofing, painting industries among many others.

Continue reading “ContractorSelling.com Launches New Customer Service Bootcamp for Residential Service Professionals”

Consultant to Hold ‘Boot Camps’

BY: Joe Crisara

ContractorSelling.com is holding three-day customer service “boot camps” aimed at HVAC and plumbing contractors in Los Angeles this summer.

Led by Joe Crisara, the sessions will explore how to change thinking to grow business. Topics will include loyalty programs, telephone campaigns and social media reviews. The sessions will take place July 17-19, Aug. 7-9 and Sept. 11-13. The sessions will be streamed live on the internet.

Contractors who that already taken the course have good things to say about it, according to program officials.

“This is the best career investment that I have ever done,” said Rocky Cocciolo of Shamrock Heating and Cooling. “This system has truly maximized every aspect of world class service, which has had the maximum impact on my clients and personal effectiveness.”

David Mendenhall, Owner of Tri-M Plumbing, had similar comments.

“Not only have my sales abilities rocked, my staff has shown consistent improvement in their numbers,” Mendenhall said. “More importantly, their customer service has improved exponentially!”

Details are available by calling (877) 764-6304 or visiting www.totalimmersionsales.com/.

Read the full article in SNIPS Magazinehttp://www.snipsmag.com/articles/92754-consultant-to-hold-boot-camps.

ContractorSelling.com Launches New Customer Service Bootcamp for Residential Service Professionals

BY: Julie Crisara

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) MAY 30, 2017 — Joe Crisara, America’s Service Sales Coach, has created a brand new seminar to teach service professionals how to establish higher value by delivering world-class customer service.

This course titled, “WOW Customer Service 3-Day Boot Camp” is the ultimate training seminar that coaches service professionals on how to change their thinking to grow their business. Attendees are transformed into company leaders that know how to increase value through great service. The seminar will take place on the following dates in Los Angeles and streaming online.

With real world examples, objection handling and personalized recommendations – this course is incomparable to any other training program out there. Attendees will take away the keys to create a culture of empowered employees that fuel client engagement and business development.

“Not only have my sales abilities rocked, my staff has shown consistent improvement in their numbers,” said David Mendenhall, Owner of Tri-M Plumbing. “More importantly, their customer service has improved exponentially!”

ContractorSelling.com teaches service professionals how increase their level of quality, reliability and customer service through enhanced communication strategies. Attendees include service business owners, managers and technicians in the electrical, HVAC, plumbing, restoration, roofing, painting industries among many others.

Continue reading “ContractorSelling.com Launches New Customer Service Bootcamp for Residential Service Professionals”

Put Aside ‘Old School’ Service Agreement Ideas

BY: Julie Crisara

It doesn’t take long after you join or start an HVAC service business when you begin to realize that this business has a “bi-polar” disorder.  Opportunities to serve customers come sporadically in sudden bursts of either “way too busy” or “way too slow” periods. The ability to do everything from making weekly payroll to paying your supplier’s invoices depends on a consistent supply of opportunity to perform paid service work on a daily basis.

With that in mind, in the modern era of high performance service, a “Planned Service Agreement” program is simply the lifeblood of every company that is smart enough to have one. So with something so important, how could so many experts have gotten this so wrong for so long?

The importance of maintaining your focus on why the program even exists is paramount to the survival of any company that wishes to sustain the program.

Continue reading “Put Aside ‘Old School’ Service Agreement Ideas”

Customers Crave Options. Are Your Techs Trained to Deliver?

BY: Julie Crisara

Of course we want our team to perform at their peak performance, but it’s easy to get bogged down in all of the other operations that service managers have to deal with. Things like customer service, sales reports, and even HR issues. It can be tempting to focus on putting out fires, and forget to get back to the root of your company’s success: employee onboarding. Your company may be solid and revenue may be respectable, but failing to train employees correctly from Day One could leave your business falling short of its potential.

One of the really common areas for dropping the ball is when a technician arrives at the customer’s house, analyzes the problem, and quotes a simple price to do a simple fix, period. No discussion, no explanation of the intricacies and, most importantly, no options when it comes to service.

“Looks like you need a new fan belt. That’s $186, labor included.”

That line may sound okay to a lot of service managers, but it could be the killer to your business. What’s wrong with it? You’re not giving customers what they really want: options.

Continue reading “Customers Crave Options. Are Your Techs Trained to Deliver?”

Success is Providing More Value Than Expected

BY: Julie Crisara

Today on the BCP Show we talk again with Joe Crisara! Joe believes that unless you are the kind of business that is convinced it has proven and real value to offer your customers, you’re never going to have the kind of sales success you deserve. Want more sales? Focus on VALUE.

Listen to the podcast here: https://bcpshow.com/072/

Total Immersion Sales Summit Announces Summer/ Fall 2017 Schedule

BY: Julie Crisara

The new 5-day advanced training class for service contractors comes to Los Angeles and online via live stream

After 20 years of consulting to contractors, Joe Crisara, America’s Service Sales Coach, brings his award-winning seminar to Los Angeles.

Total Immersion is a 5-day advanced training class that teaches service professionals how to change their thinking and grow their sales by 278%, according to a study conducted by Jobi Field Service Software. The seminar will take place on the following dates in Los Angeles and streaming online.

Continue reading “Total Immersion Sales Summit Announces Summer/ Fall 2017 Schedule”

Joe Crisara on Pure Motive Service

BY: Julie Crisara

Summary:

Joe Crisara, America’s Service Sales Coach is a world-wide sales educator and entrepreneur. Joe has a style that has you feeling like he is a member of your family or someone you met before. His down-to-earth, direct and impassioned approach combines 40 years of contracting experience with strong expertise in performing what he calls, “Pure Motive Service.” Thus, anticipate hearing the thunderous ring of truth from Joe, who stands apart from traditional contracting training professionals as he helps contractors achieve revenues 3-5 times greater than the average person.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What is the problem that inspired you to create Pure Motive service?
  • What is an example of a premium service?
  • Why do some people feel bad about sales?
  • Have you noticed the tendency for service to be rushed?
  • Is recruiting tied into how your customers are being treated?
  • What is something you would tell people about developing employees?
  • What do you think is going in business and people’s lack of drive?
  • What are thoughts on digital versus paper?
  • What would you want salespeople to think about for the next couple of years?

Continue reading “Joe Crisara on Pure Motive Service”

App will tie homeowner to service contractor

BY: Julie Crisara

By: 

A new software offering and app from Joe Crisara and the folks at ContractorSelling.com comes with what will be an increasingly important feature in the near future — they give the homeowner at least the illusion of being in control of a service call and allow the homeowner to customize his service experience. Moreover, the app, which will be custom-branded to the name of the contractor, will tie the homeowner to the contractor for repeat business.

The package, called jobi (rhymes with Bobby) can run on a smart phone, tablet or desktop and is scalable from a one-man shop up to multi-million dollar contractor.

By using the software contractors can:

  • Schedule service calls and dispatch opportunities.
  • Track technicians in the field and find the fastest route via GPS mapping.
  • Get their own branded homeowner app to stay connected with customers.
  • Create premium, mid-range and economy choices in one click, proven to boost sales.
  • View sales by technician, department or task on the real-time dashboard to set goals for growth.
  • Record audio during service calls for training purposes and to improve customer satisfaction.
  • Scan credit cards using the camera on their phones.
  • Capture signatures all in the app, no paperwork.
  • Import and export to QuickBooks to keep all transactions in sync.
  • Create on-the-fly digital invoices for individual products and services.
  • Customers can track service plans, warranties and service history right from their phones.
  • Make remote presentations and share with all decisions makers.
  • Easily track purchasing trends on the real-time results dashboard.
  • See key performance indicators such as closing ratio, total calls, average invoice and billable hours.

Joe Crisara, the founder of ContractorSelling.com and a former contractor himself, said that ContractorSelling.com has 3,800 users and about 100 of them have beta tested jobi.

Continue reading “App will tie homeowner to service contractor”

Jobi Field Service Software Connects Contractors With Homeowners

BY: Julie Crisara

If you’ve attended HVACR conferences for any length of time  — as well you should — at some point you’ve probably sat in on a presentation by Joe Crisara.

Crisara — founder of ContractorSelling.com and its many sales tools —was himself an HVAC contractor, until he transitioned into consulting and teaching.

Joe Crisara leads a training session.

Crisara learned much through his many trials as a contractor, and it was the lessons he learned as a business owner that helped he and his wife Julie transform their business to a successful enterprise.

Since 2001, Joe and Julie Crisara have  helped thousands of contractors set expectations, behavior benchmarks and profit dashboards to implement and measure the effect of the Pure Motive Process they teach. Using the process has helped scores of contractors build successful businesses using this value system.

Now, as co-founder of a new field service app called Jobi, Crisara is using technology to assist home service providers — including plumbing, HVAC and electrical contractors — by giving them real-time analytics, instant dispatching and scheduling, packaging options, online payments, and their own branded company app.

Continue reading “Jobi Field Service Software Connects Contractors With Homeowners”

Run Your Service Business from Your Phone – Interview with Joe Crisara, CEO of Jobi

BY: Julie Crisara

This is my interview with Joe Crisara, CEO of jobi.  We’re discussing the company’s award-winning service contractor app and platform.

Who are you and what does your company do?

Service Business Phone jobi Joe CrisaraMy name is Joe Crisara and I have over 35 years’ experience in the small service business and consulting industry. I started out as the owner of a contracting business, and have taken my firsthand experience into the consulting realm to train contractors in service-based industries. I spend a majority of my time educating business owners, managers, technicians and sales professionals across the country. It’s my goal to educate individuals in the “blue collar service business” on how to change their thinking and grow their sales.

Our company is dedicated to helping service contractors in industries such as electrical, HVAC and plumbing trades reach their full potential through live training, online coaching and revolutionary software. Whether guiding contractors on a live coaching call, in-person workshop, interactive video or our new custom software –  we will transform your personal economy. Continue reading “Run Your Service Business from Your Phone – Interview with Joe Crisara, CEO of Jobi”

Jobi Launches New Field Service Software Connecting Contractors with Home Owners

BY: Julie Crisara

A pioneering new field service app called jobi launches today to help service professionals such as electricians, plumbers and HVAC contractors connect with home owners to increase sales and grow their business.

A pioneering new field service app called jobi (http://www.jobi.pro) launches today to change the way contractors connect with home owners.

Jobi provides home service providers such as residential plumbing, HVAC and electrical contractors with real-time analytics, instant dispatch and scheduling, packaging options, online payments and their own branded company app. This revolutionary technology enables contractors to run their entire service business from their phone.

“Having the ability to not only manage your sales fleet, but also stay connected with your customers is proving to be a radical step in connecting service providers with consumers,” said Joe Crisara, CEO and co-founder of jobi. “We’ve seen this take flight in other spaces like the taxi industry, and know this is going to change the way service professionals gain new business in the future.”

Continue reading “Jobi Launches New Field Service Software Connecting Contractors with Home Owners”

Extra Mile: 500 Customer Service Tips

BY: Julie Crisara

“The most persuasive thing any [rep] can do is put the information out there,” said Joe Crisara, CEO of ContractorSelling.com in an interview with Field Service Digital. “The only influence you should have is by offering the solutions and maintaining your neutrality so the customers don’t feel like you’re trying to push something. You lose credibility by recommending the top option; and if you recommend the bottom one, you insult people.” Read the full e-book here: https://books.google.com/books?id=u8VtCQAAQBAJ&pg=PT277&lpg=PT277&dq=joe+crisara&source=bl&ots=XVxVj06ucC&sig=q-hGGJPkbQxk63Mr-2k3UQPJt4Y&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEcQ6AEwCDgoahUKEwik_Y2b1ZzIAhWSpIgKHbLJBh8#v=onepage&q=joe%20crisara&f=false

The Surprising Way Companies Like Netflix and Amazon Do Market Research

BY: Julie Crisara

Companies like Netflix, Conscious Box, and Microsoft are leveraging the subscription business model to discover what their customers want next.

So far in this eight part series titled “8 Reasons Subscribers Are Better Than Customers,” we’ve seen how subscribers boost the value of your company, increase the life time value of a customer and smooth out demand. Today, we look at how the subscription business model gets you closer to your customers–for free.

In a traditional business, the customer buys your product or service once and it is up to you to try and convince them to buy again in the future. You often have no idea if they liked what they bought and what would have made them buy more so you’re left having to guess or invest in costly market research.

In a subscription business, you have what I call “Automatic Customers” who agree to purchase from you into the future as long as you keep providing your service or product. Through the research for my new book, I’ve discovered there are nine different subscription models that are leveraged by everyone from accounting firms to art teachers to better understand their customers.

Long term, direct relationship

Continue reading “The Surprising Way Companies Like Netflix and Amazon Do Market Research”

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry

BY: Julie Crisara

The lifeblood of your business is repeat customers. But customers can be fickle, markets shift, and competitors are ruthless. So how do you ensure a steady flow of repeat business? The secret—no matter what industry you’re in—is finding and keeping automatic customers.

These days virtually anything you need can be purchased through a subscription, with more convenience than ever before. Far beyond Spotify, Netflix, and New York Times subscriptions, you can sign up for weekly or monthly supplies of everything from groceries (AmazonFresh) to cosmetics (Birchbox) to razor blades (Dollar Shave Club).

Purchase the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Automatic-Customer-Creating-Subscription-Business/dp/159184746X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443542921&sr=8-1&keywords=the+automatic+customer

Turning your field service techs into money makers….

BY: Julie Crisara

We take a look at some of the advice of our good friends at TheSmartVan.com on how to start seeing clear revenue streams from service techs.

To begin, Sean Lydon, begins by outlining three top tips for gathering refferals from your field service engineers.

Service techs, writes Sean can be a company’s biggest referral booster — or loser.

On the front lines, they are best-positioned to garner new business. But while they undergo rigorous technical education, they often aren’t given sufficient training in the softer “people skills” that earn referrals.

So what are Sean’s three top tips for earning more revenue from service?

PREPARE THE CUSTOMER FOR A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE — BEFORE THE CALL

Keith Lowe, co-founder of Conditioned Air Solutions, a 28-person heating and air conditioning company in Huntsville, Alabama has a pre-service call tradition that he says gives customers a feeling of transparency and prepares them for a great experience: He e-mails a picture and bio of the technician to the customer before the call.

It adds a personal touch and lays the ground for a great service call, he says — and that’s the first step to generating repeat and referral business.

TRAIN YOUR FIELD SERVICE TECHS TO COMMUNICATE

When customers feel at ease with a service tech — an experience they don’t usually expect from technicians — they are more inclined to share that positive news about your company with friends. How to create that comfortable environment?

“When you first arrive, introduce yourself in a professional manner, smile, and announce that you’re there to fix the problem,” says Sally Mounts, PhD, president of  Auctus Consulting Group, a management consulting firm near Pittsburgh,

“People are not used to empathic technicians who are adept at communicating. If you are [that technician], you’ll be seen as extraordinary.

“Explain how long service calls usually take, since no one really likes having strangers in their homes.  Ask if they would like you to leave your shoes at the door to avoid tracking on their floors. While you are working, be friendly and open. Ask if they would like you to explain what you’re doing and why.”Adds Mounts: “People are not used to empathic technicians who are adept at communicating. If you are [that technician], you’ll be seen as extraordinary.”

ASK FOR REFERRALS

Even the most enthusiastic customers may not send referrals. Why? Nobody’s asked them.

Lowe, of Conditioned Air Solutions, says he holds technicians accountable for asking for feedback and referrals. His company uses ReviewBuzz, an online reputation management application, which he says makes it easy for his customers to post feedback on multiple review and social media sites, such as Google Places, Yelp, and Facebook, in a single entry.

“Before they leave the house, our technicians are to hand the customer our ReviewBuzz card with the technician’s name on it, and say something like,

‘Would you mind going onto this website to give me a review and let me know how I did? I’d really appreciate it,’ ” Lowe says.

Then explain that referrals are the lifeblood of any successful business, and ask if they know anyone who could also use your services. Ask if you can use their name in your referral call.”

For those who don’t have a system like ReviewBuzz, Mounts offers this advice for techs:“After completing the project, explain what the customer can do to prevent [the issue] from happening again. Give them your business card and tell them to call you personally if they have any problems in the future.

Then explain that referrals are the lifeblood of any successful business, and ask if they know anyone who could also use your services. Ask if you can use their name in your referral call.”

Of course referrals are one thing but what about putting your field service engineers in a position where they can also directly sell. Whether it be upgrading SLA’s or supplementary items leveraging a field service engineer’s trusted advisor status to secure further sales is a solid strategy but not many service techs have a background in sales; they may not even be big people people to begin with.

So how can you train your repairmen, installers, and supervisors — these product people — on the soft skills of up-selling?

In this second feature Ian Stewart came up with a few simple tips you can start using (or reinforcing) right away to boost both your field engineers confidence, and their sales numbers.

KNOWLEDGE IS YOUR BEST TOOL

Whether they know it or not, field techs have a powerful tool on their side that even some very good salesman don’t: intimate product knowledge. And that gives them credibility — something a salesman very seldom has.

“Once the customer gets that you know what you’re talking about, they’ll think everyone in the company knows what they’re talking about,” says Brendan Cooke, an installer-turned-customer service rep for All-Guard Alarm Systems

“If you can educate the customer, they’re usually going to be satisfied with the product. And being an installer is the greatest education you can get in this industry. Learning all the functions of the product, walking people through it; that’s probably the greatest tool I have.”

SELL THE OPPOSITE

How often do you run into a customer who says they’re already satisfied with the service they’re getting from one of your competitors? Well Earl King, the founder of King Productions International, a HVAC sales consulting firm in Texas, says that shouldn’t nip your sales pitch in the bud.

“First, I’ll ask [a customer] if they’re satisfied,” King says. “And if they say there are, then I ask if we can do a maintenance audit — no charge, no obligation. I want to look at all their service tickets over the past 12 months or so, review how much has been spent on materials.”

Typically, King says, it’s not much. Having that knowledge in your hands creates an opportunity to sell away from what the customer’s already getting in a full-coverage agreement with someone else. If you can show a customer they’re paying more in a yearly service agreement than they’re getting back, you may be able to pick off a new customer by offering a “programmed maintenance,” labor-only agreement, which is always a lot cheaper.

FIRST, LISTEN

Great salespeople are said to have a silver tongue, right? Actually, it’s the ears that count.

By listening closely to what the customer is — and sometimes isn’t — saying, you can pick up on what their problem is,

By listening closely to what the customer is — and sometimes isn’t — saying, you can pick up on what their problem is, and how your product or service can solve that for them. Joe Crisara, a sales educator for ContractorSelling.com, talks about the “turn-around” technique, where you as a seller get the customer talking about why he’s interested in your service.Get them, essentially, to sell you on your own service — that helps them reinforce the fact that they want and need it, and it gives you information about exactly what they’re looking for.

“Many times buyers provide a false reason so they don’t reveal too much about their situation, thinking that you may use it against them to close the deal,” Crisara writes on his blog.

“The turn-around helps your buyers ‘think it over’ before you start making prices and solutions so they are certain that the service or product they are requesting information [about] is something they definitely will purchase.”

DON’T ASSUME

Part of listening is keeping an open mind, says Mike Moore, who runs HVAC Learning Solutions. And that means don’t assume anything. You don’t necessarily know what a customer’s budget is, or what they can and can’t afford.

People may surprise you — but if you don’t offer your best, you’ll never sell your best. So start by offering customers the service or product that best fits their needs — not what you think fits in their price range.

“The customer will pay for what he or she can afford, and it is never your job to decide what one can financially invest in,”

NO EXCUSES

Andy Halpein, the owner of Laser Printer Resource in Walnut Creek, Calif., puts it bluntly: “If they want a job, they’ve gotta sell.”

That’s kind of a sink-or-swim directive, but the point is valid: Sales is simply part of the job now. In some cases, that means pitching customers out in the field.

Or, as Halperin says, it can be as simple as just be performing a great repair, gaining the customer’s trust, and making sure to mention ongoing service agreements and handing them the company business card. Either way, it’s now a must. “Hopefully [the tech] is great — and usually they are,” he says. “I only hire great, awesome ones.”
Read the full article here: http://fieldservicenews.com/turning-field-service-techs-money-makers/

A Supplier’s Most Marketable Skill

BY: Julie Crisara

I recently got a call from friend who is in the HVAC, plumbing and electrical supply business. He asked what my thoughts were on what a supplier’s most marketable skill was to the contractors they serve.  I really thought that was an interesting question.  Contractors today have never had more choices when purchasing materials and goods.  Many have turned to purchasing from very nontraditional sources such online networks, big box stores and home improvement centers as a source of low price (and low quality) goods.

Deciphering the Value of Qualified Salesmen

BY: Julie Crisara

While people attend technical or community colleges to learn how to install or service HVACR equipment, there’s no formal field of study or degree for HVACR sales. Despite an established educational tract, the majority of HVAC businesses have one or more salespeople on staff, whether or not the word sales is integrated in their titles.

Who Sells?

While a well-rounded salesperson boasts several quality traits, many HVAC companies prefer industry experience when considering new sales personnel.

Robert Helbing, president, Air-Tro Inc., Monrovia, California, said, there isn’t much turnover in salespeople at his company. When he has hired a salesperson, he’s hired someone with experience in the trade, whether or not they have prior sales experience.

But the sales staff isn’t the only crew selling at Air-Tro — technicians sell, too. Helbing said consultants are brought in to work with technicians to improve lead generation and accessory sales.

At Eric Kjelshus Energy HVAC, Greenwood, Missouri, everyone sells. “It starts with the person who answers the phone by asking what can be done to help,” said Eric Kjelshus, owner. “The person who makes the sale gets the glory.”

Other contracting companies differ in their sales philosophies. Some only allow salespeople — who may be referred to as sales representatives, comfort consultants, or similar monikers — to sell.

Continue reading “Deciphering the Value of Qualified Salesmen”

The Trade Technician’s Soft Skills Manual

BY: Julie Crisara

Learning to express yourself in a positive and professional way can be an art-form. THE TRADE TECHNICIAN’S SOFT SKILLS MANUAL, teaches these important soft skills with line drawings, photographs, and anecdotes from real case studies. This approach makes the subject area approachable while engaging the reader. The anecdotes are followed by explanations of proven service behaviors, along with proven standards, practice tips, forms, documents and checklists complete the text to teach technicians the fine art of customer service. Based on more than 30 years of studies and field research, this text teaches the skills needed for a trade technician to advance in their careers and differentiate themselves from others in their field. THE TRADE TECHNICIAN’S SOFT SKILLS MANUAL is written by Steve Coscia, a motivational speaker who managed a technical support team for more than 20 years and has used these techniques and practices to advance his own career as an industry expert.

Joe Crisara is a founding member of The Contractor Consultants of America: https://www.amazon.com/Trade-Technicians-Soft-Skills-Manual/dp/1111313814

The Pros and Cons of Using Jargon – CopyPressed

BY: Julie Crisara

When I entered the content marketing industry, I was confused by the word ideation. I was told it was like brainstorming, except there’s more structure and you leave with better ideas. Since first hearing that word I have attended many ideation meetings and found that they can get derailed just as quickly as brainstorming meetings. It’s easy to scoff and dismiss the word ideation as business jargon, yet I find myself using it several times a day.

Marketing Interview with Joe Crisara of Contractor Selling

BY: Julie Crisara

Read the full Marketing Interview with Joe Crisara of Contractor Selling: http://plumbingmarketing.net/joe-crisara-of-contractor-selling

Service Super Summit 2014Joe offered to share a number of resources through out the interview. Please take advantage of these:

  • The  Service Super Summit is coming up on March 5-7.  It’s gong to be a great event with lot’s valuable information on running a more profitable plumbing or HVAC Business. Joe mentioned that you could call the office or visit their Facebook page for a $100 scholarship on attending the event.
    • Here is a direct link to the Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/ContractorSelling
  • Book on the Oldest Water Heater Contest / Oldest Furnace Contest – Joe said to email him at joe@contractorselleting.com or to call his office at 877-764-6304 and he would get this ebook to you right away.
  • 3 Weeks Free on their triple your sales challenge. Joe is offering to let you attend his program for a full 3 weeks completely free of charge. It’s sounds like a complete no brainer to me. To take him up on that offer just email him at joe@contractorselleting.com or to call his office at 877-764-6304.

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