Fujitsu provides contractors with three-tiered, split-system training to meet each individual contractor’s needs.

“How to Sell Like There’s No Tomorrow” is one of the training topics that Tom Grunstra recently led for 180 contractor attendees at a fully-packed, one-day Fujitsu split systems training course in Grantville, Pa.

Grunstra, a high-energy guy whose 20 years in the industry serve him well as Fujitsu General America’s national trainer for HVAC products, explained that long before contractors can close the sale they’ve got to stop, look, and listen.

“Who are you selling to,” he asked, “A man or his wife?”

The next question contractors need to ask themselves is if they are prepared for the sale.

“By this I mean, your own appearance, attitude, eye contact, speech, quality of literature … and even the way you smell,” noted Grunstra. “These have a huge impact on your ability to win customer confidence and trust.”

Grunstra’s list of sales tips and industry insights is almost never ending. In fact, he and guest speaker, Dave Yates, president of York, Pa.-based F. W. Behler Inc., tag-teamed the large training group throughout the day.

Yates explained how he has been so successful at selling Fujitsu mini-splits in his largely blue-collar town. “At up to 26 SEER, the systems nearly sell themselves, but we as installers must know how to explain the technology, installations, and energy savings before we can really tip the scales in our favor,” he said.

Among many compelling points, Yates explained to attendees that a customer’s return on investment in high-efficiency HVAC - especially considering tax incentives now available to do the upgrades - is like getting a substantial amount of money, tax-free. “Could they equal savings like this in the stock market? Not even close.”

Grunstra and others have been to about 100 locations in the past year while conducting Fujitsu Authorized Service Training (FAST) sessions.

He pointed out that the all-day, free-of-charge FAST training seminars are North American Technician Excellence (NATE) recognized, with continuing education units (CEUs) awarded. Each event concludes with tests prior to certificates of completion.

FAST provides detailed information about equipment, operating components, and installation requirements, along with troubleshooting and diagnostics for mini-split air conditioners and heat pumps. “Fujitsu’s training and support are the best available anywhere,” said Dan Ogden, service manager for Lycoming Heating Co. in Williamsport, Pa. He and three of his technicians traveled to Grantville, Pa., for the FAST event. “We all learned a lot that day.”

Guest instructor and contractor Dave Yates, a big advocate of mini-split technology, helped to teach a large gathering of his peers at a recent Fujitsu training event in Pennsylvania.


Fairfield, N.J.-based Fujitsu General America takes training seriously and has developed three different approaches to meet contractors’ various training needs.

“We’re thrilled about the huge success of our outside event and distributor-based training courses led by Fujitsu’s training staff,” said Roy Kuczera, senior vice president, Fujitsu. “But, we learned long ago that we need to offer more in-depth, hands-on training, which we do here at our headquarters, and more online training courses for those unable to travel to New Jersey.”

With these concepts in mind, Kuczera led Fujitsu toward development of three very different approaches to training - FAST training, Halcyon U, and HalTech. Training participants must complete FAST training before being eligible to attend Halcyon U. HalTech, the online courses, reward participating dealers with enhanced consumer ratings the further they engage the program.

Arturo DeMartinis, Fujitsu technical trainer and field manager, speaks with attendees at a “Halcyon U” training event at Fujitsu’s training facility in Fairfield, N.J.

This summer, Kuczera watched as trainers Arturo DeMartinis and Grunstra conducted an all-day Halcyon U session at Fujitsu’s newly constructed training facility in New Jersey. There, independent contractor technicians and installers received advanced hands-on service and troubleshooting insights while working with operating equipment in small teams. These eight-hour, NATE-certified courses also provided participants with CEUs.

The course begins with technical training addressed to all attendees but then quickly shifts to small team instruction where, as peers, participants learn together as they move from station to station, troubleshooting systems and performing diagnostic checks.

The setting invites detailed questions and answers, and attendees conclude the day knowing how to install, diagnose, and troubleshoot Fujitsu split system air conditioners and heat pumps.

HalTech is Fujitsu’s 24/7 online training designed to give dealers, installers, and service techs round-the-clock access to information about new technology and in-depth understanding and reference material on installing and servicing systems.

In addition to all of the training offered by Fujitsu, the manufacturer conducts Webinars and provides online, interactive troubleshooting reference guides designed to give service techs instant access to technical support by tracking through easy “yes” or “no” responses to prompts, leading toward a solution. The company also has a live technical support line available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, year-round.

For more information, visit

Publication date:10/26/2009