It seems that in today’s tough economic climate (and here in Michigan it istough), a lot of business owners choose to survive rather than thrive. Hey, I think I just coined a phrase - and don’t try to use it unless you get my permission.

But I digress.

The most logical way for our trade to fight off this alleged recession is to hold tight and try not to lose too much money. But the illogical way to stay in the black is probably to be even more aggressive than ever before.

Oh sure, you are probably thinking that I have been listening to one too many national motivational speakers and I am brainwashed into this line of thinking. But I assure you that I am a sane and logical thinker (see disclaimer somewhere on the Web page).

For example, don’t ask your service techs to do what customers expect them to do - ask them to do the unexpected. If you think that your customer can only afford a service call on their 15-year-old equipment and you tell your service tech to “do a good job” and collect that $109 fee, then you are a slave to the economic times. Tell your tech to stop doing the obvious things and start doing the profitable things. Sure, he or she can still do the required service but give them an extra half-hour to explain why a 15-year-old furnace is less efficient than a brand new one and how your company can offer a great, affordable payment plan for something that will lower their energy costs, pay for itself in a short period of time, and add resale value to the home.

Dare I say that extremely tired old cliché that I absolutely hate so much - thinking outside of the box - AAAARGH! I said it and I meant it. Get your techs into the replacement mentality during these obvious service, i.e., survivor times.

Yes Virginia, there is a forest behind all of those trees.