There is no doubt that a heating and air-conditioning company can live and breathe through their service and maintenance department (the heart and lungs of your company).  I was taught many years ago that you can successfully “recession-proof” your company by building up your service contracts.  Having service and maintenance technicians provide precision tune-ups to contracted customers’ heating and cooling systems will build a customer base and provide steady cash flow for your company. 

There is one piece of this business survival system that often gets overlooked - the dispatch procedure.  Every business has service technicians that are natural lead generators.  These technicians are great because they’ve bought into the philosophy that lead generating benefits everyone (the customer, the company and the technician).  Yet, I often wonder why businesses don’t dispatch their great technicians to customer homes as a sales strategy.

Many companies dispatch based on geography versus opportunity.  Instead of sending the technician to the next maintenance or service call because it’s close to him, why not send him because there’s a 17-year-old piece of equipment that you know he can turn into a lead for your sales department?  The same idea applies for younger pieces of equipment and technicians that are not your natural lead-generators. 

The primary goal for every call should be to make sure the customer gets taken care of properly.  Using strategy during the dispatch process, you can increase your sales revenue and profitability at the same time.  The same approach should apply to emergency service calls where possible.  If your customer service representatives are asking approximate ages of furnace or air-conditioning systems, a decision can be made on which technician goes on which call.  Dispatching for dollars and not geography will make you more money while satisfying the customer.

Read more sales and business strategies on Michael O’Grady’s sales and business resource, and sign up to receive the free sales guide, “7 Strategies to Take Action on Your Greatest Sales and Business Goals”.