Selling More by Asking the Correct Questions

I read Bob Janet’s article [“Ways to Double Your Sales”] in the June 4 edition ofThe NEWS. It hit home. A number of years ago, I owned a small HVAC wholesale business in Cleveland. In an effort to increase sales, I trained my inside salespeople to respond differently to the common request “Do you have an XYZ part in stock?” The common response used to be “We have it in stock.” I changed that response to “Yes, they are in stock. How many do you want?”

Often at the counter, or on the phone, there was a short silence. This was the time the salesperson was trained to say “One for the job and one for inventory or your truck?”

By vast majority, we sold more than one piece, especially to the tech at the counter.

In addition, when a request came in for a replacement compressor, I had the salesperson ask the suction and liquid line sizes as a matter of course. Our response to the quote for the compressor would be “The compressor, suction line filter, and drier is $XXX. When do you want to pick them up?” We very seldom missed the entire sale. One stop-shopping prevailed.

I enjoyed your article.

Wayne Holmok, Sales
CGM Services
Tampa, Fla.

Gas Prices Nowhere Near $4 per Gallon

The latest headline in the June 4 edition ofThe NEWSstates that “Gas Prices Predicted to Hit $4 per Gallon”. The article is by Mark Skaer. Well, I am not sure what his experts are predicting, but the national trend on gas prices is actually lower. I just passed a station on Route 66 that was advertising $2.69 a gallon. The point is that these scare tactics are irrational and ill-conceived.

Does Skaer propose that I should get a credit rather than a surcharge the next time I call for service and the gas price is $2.69?

When I paid my service manager nearly $200 to replace a condenser fan motor, I think I would have been insulted if he added $3 for gas.

By the way, it is more likely that milk will hit $4 a gallon before gasoline. Maybe Mark will propose a surcharge on the contractors’ lunches.

William Faris
Oklahoma City, Okla.

Congrats to the Team on a Job Well-Done

I was extremely pleased to read John R. Hall’s article [“Contractor, Home Depot Equals Success,” June 11] on Burgess Heating and Air Inc., and their success with the Home Depot HVAC program, inThe NEWS. As a Trane distributor and someone who has a very personal interest in the program, I appreciate the positive press.

I also commend the folks at Burgess Heating and Air Inc. for their commitment to and resulting success from the Home Depot program and for their understanding of how to drive additional leads, sales, and profitability from this lucrative “alternative” source. In our experience, the Trane dealers who have made the commitment to totally support this program have certainly seen growth and success. It doesn’t work without the commitment or with a part-time effort. Burgess “gets it,” and it shows in the article.

Buddy Wallace,
VP, HVAC Division
HD Supply, Duluth, Ga.

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Publication date:07/16/2007