Service technicians are under increasing pressure to become sales superstars. It’s understandable. All businesses must create sales growth and the service technician is often a contractor’s best asset in terms of customer trust and contact frequency.
There can be a downside to this strategy. Many examples exist where service companies adopted an aggressive service technician sales model and exploded with sales growth, only to eventually implode by destroying the very thing that created the initial success…the customer’s trust.
If your technicians are telling you that their customers are starting to greet them at the door with, “I don’t want you to sell me anything.”, then it may be time to reconsider how you coach your technicians to engage customers, and improve their sales results at the same time.
Set Expectations Early
When your office sets the appointment, have your CSR’s include a brief comment describing the technician’s intention to first address the reason for the call and then continue with a brief inspection of their system to make sure it’s operating safely and efficiently. Add the comment that the technician will let them know if he sees any concerns. If you have a short system inspection checklist, like this one from Energy Star, include it as an attachment or an active link with your appointment confirming email.
Have a Customer Engagement Process
In most cases, homeowners want the trusted technician to advise them, in a consultative way, and a proven method for doing this is to follow these steps:
- Find a Problem
Do this by asking question, looking for clues, and taking certain measurements
- Explain the Cause
Why did the motor fail? Why did the heat exchanger crack? Why is the SEER far below its design level?
- Explain the Consequence
What will continue to happen, even if they were to replace the equipment, when that problem is not fixed?
- Offer a Solution
A solution includes all the possible remedies to their problems, but don’t start throwing them out until you get agreement that she/he is interested.
Provide Technicians with Professional Sales Materials
Many selling technician are successful with handwriting some choices on an invoice or worksheet and asking the customer which one they want. If that works for some of your techs then stick with it. For the others who may not be inclined to take that approach, make it easy for them by providing a simple color handout with your company logo, maybe some pictures of the products, a benefits description and the investment amount. On higher ticket items make sure you show a monthly financing amount first…in bigger font.
The important point here is that the technician is behaving like the trusted advisor that the customer expects, is offering education about what might be improved, and is professionally offering choices without risking being perceived as pushy.
If some your technicians are not too keen on selling, this may be a way to get them more engaged and create more sales, and happier customers.