Since claiming the title of Best Trainer runner-up last year, Michael Goater, Success4Others’ self-proclaimed “chief motivator” and once again this year’s Best Trainer runner-up, has upped the ante at his Scottsdale, Arizona-based professional HVAC training and coaching organization. Most recently, the company launched a new online training program that will help bring virtual training to anyone who wants it.

“Our virtual training platform launched Sept. 1,” Goater said. “It allows people to train 24/7/365. It’s virtual, so it requires interactivity, and depending on how you answer questions, that’s where you go with the training. It’s taken two years to put this together.”

Business has been so good for Goater that he was forced to hire another sales trainer this summer. He has also taken a more active role in providing monthly training for Success4Others’ biggest client in Southern California

“It’s go, go, go,” he said, adding that he traveled 42 weeks out of the last year. “I only slept in my own bed 11 days from Jan. 1 to the end of June.”

Goater’s hard work is not only paying off for his company — it’s providing returns for the many people who train with him.

“I’ve attended many sales training and educational courses over the past 20 years, and I can honestly say his class was, by far, the best,” said Stan Jackson, comfort advisor, Associated Heating & Air, Anaheim, California. “He has plenty of energy and knowledge and knows how to get the class engaged.”

The training Goater provides is far-reaching and often crosses over into his students’ personal lives.

“His class has changed my life in many ways,” Jackson continued. “I read more and watch less TV. I choose my words more carefully, and people around me say I’m more optimistic than usual. My first two sales since the class are above average for someone like myself who had no knowledge of the HVAC industry prior to the course.”

Vince Josephson, comfort advisor, Associated Heating & Air in Evgan, Oregon, said Goater’s effectiveness as a trainer stems from his ability to be both serious and funny. “He provides a wealth of knowledge in an extremely comfortable learning environment,” he said. “I was told he was the best, and five minutes into day one, it was obvious to be true. Michael has demonstrated this same amazing behavior after the fact with ongoing communication via email and phone. Because of his leadership, I went into my first year well over $1 million in sales without any prior experience.”

Goater’s goal for the next year is to “provide a lot more support to past students and current students through virtual training,” he said. “We’re aiming to spend more time on these relationships and get into the weeds as to what the real challenges are for these businesses. What is the culture of these businesses and what’s holding them back? A lot of times, it’s the little things that you may not find out about during a two- or three-day class, but you find out later, after you’ve been there a few times. Maybe there’s a trust issue somewhere, and knowing that can help create cohesiveness. And doing that requires working more with management and ownership because any changes require buy-in first. They have to be the biggest cheerleaders.”

Success4Others is also developing its Sales Team 6 program, which Goater deems the Navy Seals of sales. “It’s for the highest performers across North America who are able to hit sales success based on their closing rates and annual sales. The goal is $3 million per year in residential replacement and sales and a 40 percent closing ratio. Those are the two biggest criteria where they can then be invited into the ranks of Sales Team 6. That’s been a lot of my focus. We have a logo done and copyrighted, and we’ve got some other things going on, but I want to take that to the next level and bring that group of champions together to drive results even further.”

Despite all the travel and effort Goater has put into his company in the last year, he still insists he loves his job more than ever.

“I’m having so much fun — I love it,” he said. It doesn’t feel like work. It honestly doesn’t. I’m not going to let up. We really have the ability to elevate the quality of life throughout the HVAC industry if we put our noses down and put in the work. There’s so much opportunity that people don’t recognize or see because they’re on the hamster wheel doing the same things over and over again, hoping things will change. You have to get them off of that and show them a different way. Then, enjoy watching them grow and blossom.”

Publication date: 9/26/2016

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!