(without a $5,000 master class)
Selling shouldn’t be hard or complicated, in fact it should be the opposite. Selling should come easily. If it’s not coming easily to you and your techs, then they’re doing something wrong. Sales isn’t about manipulating or coercing a homeowner into buying a multistage furnace when they have a small house, it’s about providing the best value for your customers. Getting there can be tricky though, so how do you start? As the title suggests, sit down at the kitchen table.
Listen to their problems.
Ask guided questions (without fear of rejection).
Educate your customers.
Sit down….and listen.
The first part sounds the easiest, but can cause the biggest hesitation from a heating and air conditioning technician. From the time you walk into the home you need to be attentive to the homeowners concerns and issues. The days where you walk in, diagnose the problem, repair it, and walk out, are gone. Selling now requires you to provide more value. You do that by listening. Sit down and listen to the things they talk about, the things they’re struggling with in their home, and the complaints they have about their current system. These things, combined with a bit of observation, will help lead you into the next step of your selling adventure, asking questions.
Ask thoughtful questions
You’ve listened to the homeowner, now is the time to engage them. It’s important to be deliberate here. Open ended questions are great if you’re having trouble getting a homeowner to open up. Open ended questions about their energy overall energy usage, satisfaction, or stuff they’ve started to notice around the home. These types of questions help you if the homeowner isn’t opening up. If they’re already engaging in discussion, then it’s time to get more pointed. Questions about the performance in specific rooms, how the system keeps up in extreme temperatures, how satisfied they are with the current systems performance (specifically the energy usage), and if they have issues with dust, pet hair, or dander.
These pointed questions start the homeowner (and the tech) down a selling path that sets up exactly what the homeowner wants. If they’re happy with everything (unlikely), just leave it. You don’t NEED to be selling a new system or an add-on with every system. But you do need to ask. It’s the only way to figure it out. Some homeowners are germ conscious and are more than happy to spend $1,000 on a high quality UV filter. Other people simply don’t care and that’s fine. But you’re never going to understand the what the customer wants unless you’re engaging the customer and asking questions. Selling is far easier if you understand what the customer wants. Then comes the exciting part: education.
Educate. Then start selling.
The fun, presentation part of your kitchen table journey. If you have a cute binder full of product literature this is the time to break that out. Then, just address the questions and concerns that the homeowners already brought up. If they are a germaphobe, show them the UV light options and explain how they work (and why some are terrible and some are great). Or they have husky and hate dealing with so much pet hair, show them how different air filter mediums can help them out and how they effect the system. If they’re energy conscious show them how a multi-stage air handler can improve their energy footprint. Education is tedious and is the part of the sales process that becomes ‘salesy’ if you don’t handle it carefully. Don’t be pushy and help them lean how you can solve their problems.
Start selling more.
You’re a guest in their home, they’re trusting you to look out for them and be the expert, don’t let them down. Be patient with them, listen, and they’ll tell you exactly what they’re needing. Add a bit of skill to master the questions to ask and the result is customers that trust you and your sales numbers increasing. Not because you’re a sleezey sales guy with slicked hair and a cute sales pitch, but because you’ve brought them value beyond the price tag on the products.