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Hiring New Salespeople And The BPC Vision

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Hiring great new sales people is tough. Finding great new sales people with a passion and capacity to merge traditional HVAC sales, while embracing the BPC Whole House Philosophy, is another matter. This article is intended to shed a light on what has worked for our company, and some great strategies for on-boarding new people that have proven reliable our company.

Look outside the industry. We have found that our best high performing BPC salespeople have come from outside of the HVAC industry, and thus have little to no sales experience in this area. The positive thing about the lack of experience is that there are no “bad habits” to erase. As a company this is your golden opportunity to influence how sales people think about comfort, helping customers solve problems, air quality, efficiency, performance, and HVAC in general. From day one you get to teach the new salespeople that the house/building is the system, and it’s not just about changing out the furnace or heat pump.

New salespeople need time. They need time to absorb your company’s core values and culture. New salespeople need to experience how the customer gets taken care of. At our company, we spend a great deal of time teaching the new sales people that we will always “do the right thing” for the customer, and stand behind what we do 100%. This is an important cultural point, because the salesperson needs to learn that always doing the right thing also means covering all the ways our company can help the customer, besides just changing out their furnace. Doing the right thing means load calculations for sizing, and that you can’t get a truly accurate load calculation without knowing the duct leakage number or air infiltration rates. Doing the right thing also means testing the ductwork before the equipment is installed to see if the ducts need to be sealed, so that the equipment performs as promised. I think you get the picture. Teaching new salespeople that the BPC is the right thing to do out of the gates is imperative to helping customers and creating fans of the company.

Education is critical. Getting new salespeople educated the right way is critical. Education takes more time and investment beyond memorizing product data, brochures for equipment, and understanding pricing. Your company needs to have a “go to” source for Building Performance Concepts. There are many ways to get this training. For our company, we utilized the Comfort Institute, PTCS Training in our State, and BPI. It is also important that the training is consistent so that all your people are delivering the same unified message. This makes it easier for new salespeople, because they have heard it all before within the walls of your company.

Having a thermal camera can help salespeople show the customer the heat loss in their home.

Have the right tools and equipment. New salespeople should have everything they need out of the gates to be successful. Not all companies have to do this the same, but we have had continued success with our salespeople having their own blower door set up, smoke puffers, thermal camera, Ipad, smart phones, and a small ladder. Depending on the issues and what the customer is open to, the salesperson can easily use these tools after training to tell the story of how the house or building is functioning as part of the system. When you are new to heating and cooling, it is nice to have these tools and an understanding of how to use them, because the numbers don’t lie on the tests. When you show a thermal image of no insulation in a section of an attic, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Simplify home performance. “Keep it simple stupid,” is all something we have heard over the years, but in this case it really does hold true. I feel that many companies over complicate building performance. For us, it starts with the duct work. We just flat out assume that ductwork is poorly designed and leaky. The fact is most ductwork leaks 20% to 40%, and this low hanging fruit should be on the table for almost every sale with homes that have existing ductwork. Air sealing the home is another great way to help the customer be more comfortable, improve the efficiency of the home, and add margin to projects. As a company we find that if we start with the big stuff it’s exciting and easier for a new salesperson to dive in. Duct sealing and air sealing are very easy to connect to the change out of heating and cooling equipment, and increases profit and happy customers right away!

Hiring outside of the HVAC industry has truly improved our success rate for on-boarding the Building Performance philosophy. New salespeople don’t know how things were done in the past. They just know that the only way to truly make customers comfortable is to do the right thing and share what they know about the house being the system, and that heating and cooling is one very important part of the system. The excitement new salespeople bring to the company is extremely infectious. With focus on training, doing the right thing, having the right equipment, and keeping it simple, this will increase opportunities during slow times, increase sales, and create repeat customers with a check off list of projects to complete. Building Performance is the future of HVAC, and with new potential sales superstars this part of your business can sky rocket and create a true win-win for your customer base and your company’s bottom line.

Chris McKinney
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Posted In: Building Performance, Residential Buildings

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