In my last column ("Make More Money With What You Have," Feb. 14), I showed you how enhancing your services by offering the MicroPower Guard from Nature's Home would allow you to make more money every day. However, there is one problem, and you may have already encountered it.

You may have read my breakdown of how offering air filters will add to your profits and said, "Wow! I have to call Nature's Home. This will be huge for my company!"

So, you bought the filters, told your technicians about them, put them on the truck, and hoped for the best. Except a week later when it was time to look at the results, you saw no sales and your frustration shot sky-high. What went wrong?

I hate to say it, but you probably presented it to your technicians the wrong way. To enhance the service you provide your clients, you first have to enhance your technicians' perspective.

The Biggest Fear

The ultimate fear of a good technician is being perceived as a salesperson. You have to take that into account when presenting anything new to your team, because there is often a big difference between what you say and what your technicians hear.

Here's an example:

Let's say you started out with something like this - "This is a great new product that we're going to be stocking on our trucks so you can offer it to our clients." What the technician thought was, "Oh great, the company wants me to push another new product off on the client."

Then you probably said, "If you can increase your average ticket, I can pay you more money, so this is going to be great for everyone." What the technician thought about that was, "The company wants me to be a salesperson."

Finally, you may have said, "I'll give you a spiff for selling this product." What the technician thought was, "Oh great, the company is trying to bribe me to be a salesperson."

You can see how things get misconstrued when the technician is desperately trying to avoid being a salesperson. At this point, the honest technician becomes irritated because they feel you're pressuring them into the role of a pushy, obnoxious salesperson that's being bribed to force the product down clients' throats.

Meanwhile, the dishonest technician thinks, "Great, the company just told me I could take advantage of the client and sell anything and everything I can!" This irritates the honest technicians even more and frustrates you as a business owner. So, how can you do what is best for the client and reward your technicians?

Just like you must give a great presentation to a homeowner if you want them to buy into a new HVAC system, you must give a great presentation to your team if you want them to buy into your idea.

What Are The Steps?

Technicians must believe in the product. Rather than telling them you have this great product, get your team to tell you how great it is. Bring one of the filters in and let them know you're thinking of offering them and you'd like to know what they think. Someone will mention that systems usually break down because of the filth from neglect. In that way, they'll tell you the filters are a good idea.

Technicians want to do what is best for the client, so present it as a way to reduce breakdowns and headaches for homeowners.

Also, mention that you'll be reducing the number of after-hours and weekend calls that will occur by reducing breakdowns. Then, get your team's buy-in by asking, "Do you all think it would be a great idea to offer these filters to our clients?"

Next, I would give each technician a filter to put in their home. I know it will be an investment, but the rewards are great. Your technicians will have a tremendous presentation. When the homeowner asks for their recommendation, your technician can honestly say, "Mrs. Jones, I recommend the MicroPower Guard because it's the one I have in my home." Your technician is an authority on the matter, and your client will often follow their recommendation.

Determine how you're going to financially reward your technicians. Profits are the reward for outstanding service. For providing outstanding service by helping customers own a filter that will enhance their comfort and reduce breakdowns, you're going to make more money.

So, you could say, "For enhancing our level of service, we're going to share that profit with you. For offering outstanding service, I'll offer you _______ for each filter you install." That puts the emphasis on enhancing your service rather than selling filters.

The final step is having fun. Develop an outstanding service contest board where you can post the daily, weekly, and monthly results so your technicians can see who's really taking the time to provide outstanding service to the homeowner.

And that's how you can get your team excited about helping homeowners so you can make more money every day in this business!

Nicholson is president of AirTime 500. For more information on AirTime 500, call 800-505-8885 or visit www.airtime500.com. Nicholson can be reached by e-mail at tnicholson@venvestinc.com.

Publication date: 03/21/2005