You’re not going to like hearing this, especially if you’re a technician, but if you rely on service calls and equipment replacements to be your only source of income you’re going to have major income swings and you’ll probably go broke!
Anyone can bring back the bare minimum, when something’s broken. Repair calls are lay downs that way too many technicians and owners rely on. That’s why your business is weather dependent!
Take a technician that’s a “closer on a service call,” and have him run a maintenance call, most of the time he’s coming back with a zero ticket. I train the largest companies all across the country, and I see it all the time. Until they spend the week with me!
Here are the top twelve reasons I’ve found technicians struggle on maintenance calls.
- They Aren’t Sold On the Products They’re Selling
You’ll only be successful selling, to the degree you’re sold yourself. If you or your technicians don’t believe in the product you’re selling, if you haven’t owned it yourself or had someone really sell you on why the product is worth more than what it costs the client, and why they win with the product, you won’t not sell it.
I believe that the vast majority of technicians out there are good and caring individuals. They won’t sell something they don’t believe in. It’s the number one reason techs don’t sell indoor air quality and water quality products. They don’t understand the impact these products will have on someone’s life.
If they’re forced to mention a product and aren’t speaking with a genuine passion, the client is going to smell. No sale!
- They Don’t Know How to Properly Establish a Need
One of my favorite exercises with a new group of technicians is to have them establish a need for or sell me a surge protector. More often than not, I get that classic “deer in the headlights” look. When I tell them to just pretend I’m a customer and say exactly what they would say to them, they start hitting me with “word vomit”.
When someone starts talking about something outside of your wheelhouse, what happens? You take a day trip! Your mind goes elsewhere and you stop listening. If you get technical with a client, they won’t understand. They’ll tune you out! Instead of talking “at the customer”, turn you statements into questions and you’ll gain back control of their minds. Questions are used to provoke thoughts that we want clients to have, and allow us to lead them down a path to a solved problem.
- They Don’t Own the Equipment They’re Selling
It amazes me when technicians don’t own ANY of the accessories they’re selling. They don’t have surge protection, easy start kits, UV lights, upgraded filters…etc. If you wouldn’t invest $250 for something you’re selling to your clients for $1000, you’re an idiot and you should quit your job to make room for a real sales professional! If you’re the boss and you haven’t made sure that your techs own all of the above then you’re not much better.
One of the first things I do when I go to a company is make sure their technicians all own the products they sell. I’ve gone into companies and sold over 40 UV lights to the techs who didn’t have them. What do you think happens to indoor air quality sales revenues when the technicians own the products and experiencing the benefits of cleaner air?
You guessed it, their sales sky rocket! And, they have happier clients. It’s so much easier to sell a product when you own the benefits yourself. At that point it’s not really even selling. You are just telling another human a first person story.
If your company’s maintenance tickets are low, check to make sure the techs who are struggling, own the products they’re selling. It’s one of the quickest ways to get an instant boost in your average ticket.
- They’re Talking Too Much
Did you know that you talk your way out of more sales than you talk your way into? Most technicians struggle to close additional sales because they talk too much. Part of this goes back to the importance of establishing a need through the use of questions.
You don’t need a five or ten minute speech on every part you sell. More often than not, you can close a client with a few good questions.
- They Aren’t Doing Daily Training
The biggest difference I’ve noticed between companies that have high average tickets, and companies who don’t, is how frequently they train. Technicians must do some sort of communications training before every workday.
When I built my first air conditioning business we trained every morning. I’d sit with my team and we’d go through their calls one by one, and work through the areas they had trouble with. These were great lessons for the entire team.
The better you communicate, the better you serve your clients. It blows my mind howmany companies train once a week, once a month. Sometimes never! If you don’t spend time working on improving, how do you expect your numbers to get better?
- They Don’t Have a Written Process to Follow
You can’t duplicate success if you don’t have a written process to replicate. This was my first major hurdle in business.
Way too many technicians go into the house with no plan. They don’t have a script, they don’t know how they’re going to present their findings, they don’t know when to talk about the price of products and service, and they don’t understand how to control a call. They’re going in blind hoping the call will go well without an actual plan to make that happen. Can you imagine if a pro football team did that? If they do have success on a house call, good luck getting replication, cause they don’t have a clue why things went well.
You must have a written process you use on every call that starts on the way to the customer’s home and ends with them collecting money and getting a five star review!
When you have a script and a process in place you’re more confident, you’ll be able to control the call, you’ll close more clients, your tickets will be higher, you’ll get more respect, and your clients will be happier. In order to be consistently great, you must purchase or write a process.
- They Haven’t Memorized the Scripts
If you have a written process in place, and the right scripts, but your technicians aren’t closing deals, the scripts haven’t been memorized. When I say memorized, I mean word for word. Zero changes!
If Bill Gates were to come to you and say, “You and I are going to build Microsoft 2.0 and here’s how we are going to do it,” would you go, “Well that sounds great Bill, but I think we should do it this way!”? Of course not! If you have a proven script DO NOT change any of it.
Take advantage of the time and work others have already put in. They’ve most likely tried what you want to change, and found that it didn’t work as well. Stop re-inventing the wheel. If you’re a contractor and one of your technicians is having trouble closing calls, ask them questions. Ask them to recite the script from memory.
Even technicians with a history of success, get off their game if they’re not training. Sometimes we all get a little too smart or lazy for our own good, and have to get back to the basics!
- They’ve Accepted a Pattern of Losing (Not Closing)
Did you know that once you get one zero ticket, the next one becomes easier to accept? The one after that is even easier, and each time after becomes easier and easier? You begin to accept failure or better yet, blame the client. They were too cheap, or they didn’t have the money, or they were just trying to get something for nothing! We start to get used to losing, and after a while it loses it’s sting. We become numb or desensitized.
For a technician and a company this can be one of the most cancerous things you can allow to happen. Failure and success are habits that are cultivated and reinforced.
There are hidden needs in every house you call on. Learning to uncover those needs, showing the client their pain points and providing their solution is the key to eliminating zero tickets. I know it can be done because I’ve done it. I’ve went well over 75 calls in a row without a zero ticket. I stopped counting at number 75.
- They’re Not Being Coached After Unsuccessful Calls
Most businesses do a half assed job of coaching their technicians. It’s obvious when you review their average tickets and closing ratios. Some are so bad the owners don’t even know what they are because the thought of actually knowing the number is too painful. They don’t want to face it. Trust me, I’ve been there!
At my company, my guys were required to call me whenever they felt they were about to leave with a zero ticket. I’d have them walk me through the entire call to determine where they’d lost control so that we could avoid that pitfall in the future, help I’d help them reset by giving them a few questions they could take back to establish a need for something that was on their list.
Were you aware that the average tech who makes $250,000 a year or more, asks for the order 6 times before he relents?
Usually my suggestions would work and even if they didn’t, my team got stronger every day because of this exercise. It was one of two accountability pieces I was obsessive about! If you’re a manager or a contractor this is something you’ll want to start doing with your team yesterday.
- They Aren’t Tracking Their Numbers
How do you hit a target you can’t see? To succeed you have to become obsessed with your numbers. The most successful technicians can tell you their year to date, month to date, week to date, their average ticket, and closing percentage off the top of their head!
Set goals! Write them down, and keep track of every call that you run. If you’re a manager or an owner, make sure every person on your team tracks their numbers themselves. Ask for them in front of their peers in your daily training sessions. They’ll start to keep track of them!
- They’re Not Spending 75-90 Minutes Doing the Tune Up
It’s especially common during the busy times. Sometimes almost unavoidable, but if you’re running a call, whether it’s a maintenance or a service call you’ve gotta take your time. If you’re in and out of a customer’s house in 30, 40, even 60 minutes you’re missing out on opportunities to help your client. Opportunities to ensure their system remains reliable, healthy and efficient. You’re leaving money on the table!
Take your time, look for anything that could solve a problem your customer has and your tickets will reflect your care and effort.
- They Haven’t Bought Into the Company’s System
If they’re burning calls, not tracking their numbers, not training daily, and not using the scripts there’s a serious problem. I hate the phrase “buy in” because your company policies should be non-negotiable. Every person in your company must adhere to a set of standards.
At my company I required that all new technicians memorized four scripts I gave before I’d give them a call.
I had a zero tolerance policy for lying to my customers, lying to me, and stealing from me. If I caught anyone breaking any of those rules, they were gone, no matter how good they were.
If a technician was going to leave a call with a zero ticket, they were required to call me before they left so I could coach them. If not, they didn’t get paid for that call.
You want to establish a foundation of success and discipline for you and your business. This foundation doesn’t bend or break, no matter how big your company gets or how good someone on your team is.
These are the 12 reasons I’ve found technicians and companies struggle with while running maintenance calls.
Want to work with me personally?
I’m hosting a private training class for techs where we will focus on selling high grossing accessories like UV Lights, Surge Protectors, Air Filters and Water Filters.
Find out how to be a part of the class CLICK HERE! Seats are limited, so reserve yours today.