Are You Saying I Need Training Too?!December 21, 2023
One of the questions I often get from service technicians is this: “Why do I have to go through training? I know how to fix a furnace, I know how to fix an air conditioning system. All I got to do is to go in there, fix the system, get paid, and move on.” It’s as if they’re there just to punch the clock, feeling safe that they have a job. I know that mindset exists because there’s a large section of our population who are content to be content.
The first reason that you should engage in training is because that’s what it takes to be awesome. That’s what it takes to be kick-ass. I’ve heard it called “professional pride.” Simply put, you can become the very best at something because of a desire to be, plus the actions steps needed. It’s not rocket science. But the desire has to be there. Me personally, I’m going to be the very best because I owe it to my wife and to my kids.
If I go out on every call and I’m mediocre as a service technician, and I just do the base repairs and then leave, then I’m missing out on the opportunity to be extraordinary. And you know what, my family deserves extraordinary. I don’t ever want to come home and have my kid say, “Hey Dad, we need this or we need that.” And I say, “Well, we can’t afford it because I’m just mediocre.” I guarantee you my job is to be awesome. And your job is to be awesome.
Just 12 years ago, I was living in a homeless shelter. My first goal was to learn how to accept responsibilities. After that, I learned how to create value. And I craved becoming awesome and kicking ass. So I had the desire and then I took the necessary action steps to become the very best I could be. And I did these steps consistently. Consistent actions equal consistent results.
Random results and mediocre results come from random and mediocre activities. And you don’t want to be random. But to become the best, you have to have a system. If you’re going to do a repair on an HVAC system, a repair on an air conditioner or a furnace, you don’t just randomly start repairing it. Instead, you diagnose the process. The operative word here is process.
You’ll need to have a system for how you’re going to work through the repair. You’ll diagnose this first and diagnose that second. You’ll go through a process of elimination. And you won’t skip steps of your process if you want consistent results. The same is true in the bigger picture of the overall process. Running the service call with a sales perspective is just as important as the repair is in terms of process. And training is the key to it all.
Here’s another reason in case you need one. In most cases, you should have some incentive to increase your income through increasing your average ticket.
In my HVAC company, I used to have a hard time getting people to work weekends and take emergency calls for water heaters. So how did I solve that? I put a $150 flat rate on a water heater replacement and sale.
So when customers would call in on the weekends, I had service techs going out and doing 3-5 water heaters, making themselves an extra $500-800. All of a sudden, they wanted to work on the weekends. So we must have that incentive because there’s a relationship between the income you earn and the amount of value in the form of solutions that you offer to your homeowners. If you want to earn more income, you have to add more value.
You’re not going to magically just start making more money. But if you’ve added the habit of recommending additional accessories or repairs on every call, because that’s what you’ve found in your process, then you’ve at least offered the homeowner to have their unit in tip-top shape. And if you do that each time, you’re bound to have some say yes without over-pressuring.
For repairs that need to be made, always use the Grandmother Rule. If you wouldn’t recommend it to your grandmother, don’t recommend it to your customer. But if you would recommend it to your grandmother, don’t be afraid to recommend it to your homeowner.
So look for different opportunities. That’s how you’re going to grow your income. At the end of the day, there’s a balance. You get paid for the number of problems you solve in this business.
If you go on 10 calls, and on each one of those calls, you solve the one problem they called about in the first place, then you’ve left money on the table. In other words, when you perform the one repair, you’ll make X amount of dollars. But imagine if you went on 10 calls and you did 3 or 4 repairs on every one of those calls. Now you’re doing 30 or 40 repairs instead of 10. Well, where do you think you’re going to make more money, on 40 solutions, or on 10?
So it’s merely a matter of earning the income that you’re capable of making and the income you and your family deserve.
And as a final reason you should take training, you have a professional duty and obligation to do more than just the basic repair. You are the physician of the home when you walk in the house. Your job is to look around to take notice of the home, which is the patient.
And if you find additional problems with the home, you have to let your homeowner know about that. You have a responsibility and duty to do that. Imagine if you went to the doctor about your problem, and the doctor fixed that problem and then ignored the early signs of other problems. How would you feel about your doctor?
You wouldn’t feel very good. You have an expectation that your doctor is going to let you know not only about the problem you called him about. But if he finds another problem, you expect him to tell you about it and let you know what the potential options are for treatment. Especially something as big as heart disease or cancer. His oath requires him to inform you of both the big and the small problems.
So bring up the issues to our homeowner and offer solutions to those problems. Hey, it’s the homeowner’s job whether or not they want to buy the solutions. Your job is to diagnose the problem and recommend the solution.
The reality is that’s your responsibility. So if you’re wondering why you should bother training, the answer is that training helps implement a process, like the one I’ve taught for a long time.
My training system involves how to build credibility and also covers your introduction. How to set yourself up for success. How to increase the number of problems you identify. And increase the number of solutions that you recommend to your homeowner. And how to bring those calls to a successful conclusion. How to earn your homeowner’s trust and earn the business.
That’s why you have to engage in training. Training is just as important as the technical side of your business. Sales and communications are just as important as your ability to diagnose and repair an air conditioner or a furnace.
Have a wonderful Christmas, and we’ll chat again next week.