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Training Your Technicians to Generate More Leads

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Your HVAC technicians are your very best bet for generating leads. However, they have to be trained in how to do so if you want to not only offer more valuable service to the customers you already have, but also locate new leads.

Sell to Your Technicians
Intensive training is absolutely vital if you want to generate more leads and more sales. First and foremost, you always want to train your technicians to be honest and upfront with customers. If a minor repair is all that is needed, then that is what should be communicated and performed.

Where things get a little trickier is when a more costly repair is in order on an older unit. This is where the technician must discern whether or not it is worth it to repair the old unit or if a new unit would be more cost effective in the long run.
The only way your technicians can communicate this information to the customer and sell new units is if they fully understand the many benefits of the new system and how the new system will save the family money over time.

Take the time to not only train your technicians in the benefits of various HVAC units, but also explain the cost savings of replacing versus repairing. For example, if the customer spends $3000 repairing a unit that is 20 years old, that unit might go out the next year. In this case, it is probably wiser for the technician to recommend a replacement.

Todd Liles, a business consultant, recommends letting technicians choose a “line in the sand” for the age at which the customer should consider replacing a unit. So, if the technicians decide that 12 years is the age at which money should not be spent on repairs but on replacement, the techs will be a lot more likely to generate leads for new units at this line.

Additional considerations should be looked at as well. Technicians should ask questions such as:

  • How often is your unit breaking down?
  • How much have you spent on repairs in the last two years?
  • Is your electric bill particularly high? (can be a sign of a unit that is not running efficiently)

The answers to these questions combined with knowledge of the age of the unit can help the technician make a decision about whether a new unit would be more beneficial to the customer.

However, the technician should be prepared to explain “why” he thinks a replacement is a smarter investment. The only way he can explain that is if he has been fully educated himself.

Train Techs to Ask for Referrals
You can spend untold amounts of money on ads, direct mail, and even social media outreach, but the absolute best form of advertising for a service business is word of mouth. According to Nielson, 84% of people say they at least somewhat trust recommendations made by family and friends.

Of course, you shouldn’t suspend your marketing efforts. Word of mouth actually enhances the effectiveness of other marketing by about 54%. So, a potential new customer might ask family and friends for a referral to a great HVAC company. More than likely, that potential lead will get a number of recommendations. However, when he hears your jingle on the radio or sees an ad, his memory is jogged and he is more likely to phone you for a consultation.

Training your technicians to simply ask for referrals is a great tactic to increase business via word-of-mouth advertising.

  • First, train them to offer the absolute best customer service imaginable. No one is going to recommend a company they don’t believe in themselves. If the customer is happy with the way he was treated and feels he got a good value, then he is much more likely to tell others.
  • Next, train them to ask for referrals. Simple closing statements, such as, “I enjoyed serving you today. If you know of anyone else who needs heating and cooling work done, please give them my card.” Another good idea is to provide your techs with refrigerator magnets. These are useful and will keep your contact info at hand for when the customer wants to share it.

Corporate Follow-Up
Your technicians are definitely the face of the company and can do a lot to get you both leads from service calls and referrals to new customers. However, as a company, you should also follow up after the service call.
Contact the customer and ask that they follow you on social media. If someone contacts you with a compliment, thank them and ask them to tell others. Be honest that you are trying to grow your business and need their help. You’ll be surprised at how many people will be happy to help you by sending you new leads.

Lori Soard

Posted In: Customer Service

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