Field Of Dreams

Is this the “field of dreams” for you? I’ll give you my insights and you can make up your own mind, as well you should. After all, you are the one that has to live with your decisions.

A career in HVACR can be as rich and rewarding as you want it to be. It’s not easy, but nothing good usually is. The wisdom passed down through the ages that anything worth achieving must be worked for is right on. To be fulfilled and happy in your career, you must have a sense of accomplishment, a reason to get up and go to work, a goal to be achieved. It’s the feeling of that challenge that drives people to be successful, even when they are financially secure. Often, when that person retires, there is a lack of accomplishment that can be depressing unless somehow achieved by other means.

This doesn’t imply you are going to love every minute of what you are doing. In the HVACR field, there will be days you are not exactly thrilled to be working so hard. Late nights, long hours, physical labor, and mental fatigue may take their toll.

No matter how long you work at it and how experienced you become, don’t expect Nike to ask you for an endorsement. I would be greatly surprised to see your likeness on a bobble head doll.

Any success you achieve will be earned, for sure.

But here is why you just might end up loving it.

The work is challenging and constantly changing. You will be an engineer, pipe fitter, electrician, sheet metal fabricator, trouble-shooter, plumber, mechanical doctor, and expert on human behavior before you retire. The tasks will test your ability to improvise and sometimes endure hardships. The only reason you will check your watch is to see how fast the day is going by, often wishing it were longer instead of shorter. You will never be bored.

You will see things and places off limits to the general public.

With a toolbox in your hand, you will be permitted to enter banks, hospitals, schools, malls, high-tech computer firms, manufacturing plants, restaurants, offices, corporate headquarters, and every kind of workplace imaginable.

You will also be permitted to enter into people’s homes with the trust often given to only family members or close friends. Go about your work, absorb the atmosphere, but keep the blinders on.

Your personality will become as important as your technical skills. As you progress in your career, you will see and learn much about the world and what makes it tick. Einstein’s theory of relativity says as you approach the speed of light, time slows down. As you approach the end of your career in HVACR, time will speed up and you’ll just wish you had more of it.

So go forth, young man or woman, with your trusty tools and your good intentions. Keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth closed unless it is to ask or answer a question.

Before you know it, you will be an expert on HVACR, as well as life in general. In time you will understand why many of us feel this way, as I am sure I am not alone.

Ed Dice, Pennwood Heating & Cooling, Pittsburgh, PA

Getting The Sale

You make an appointment to go sell a new heat and air system. It costs about $200 to get the lead.

Do you sit at the customer’s kitchen table and explain why they should buy from you and your company? Do you show them brochures of your products? Do you explain humidifiers and electronic air cleaners and explain why they should buy high-efficiency systems?

Do you tell them how soon your installers will complete the job? Do you show them a copy of your licenses, insurance, and workmen’s compensation? Do you offer them testimonials from happy customers? Do you write a proposal while there and ask them to sign?

Do you dress nice? Do you use initials like CFM and SEER and explain what they mean? Do you carry a nice briefcase with literature; compass; contracts; flashlight; and a small gift like a key chain, pen, or something with your company name and phone number on it?

Do you attend product training schools and go to sales training classes?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you probably lost the sale. If the customer asks you to give them an estimate, it means you should leave with a contract. If you don’t leave with a contract, it means you are doing something wrong.

Jim Cantrell, Cantrell’s Heat & Air, Knoxville, TN

Publication date: 09/23/2002