The Service Technician is Your Ultimate Secret Sales Weapon
- August 2, 2016
- By: Vonigo
Struggling to increase sales? You may already have great sales people in place, closing clients over the phone effectively, meeting clients on-site for larger jobs and achieving decent close rates, but where can you squeeze out even more sales from your clients?
Equipped with the right technology and a bit of training, your frontline team that is serving clients on-site are in a great position to build the trust of your clients — and boost sales.
A Sales Pro by Any Other Name
If you’re sending an expert on-site to a customer’s home or workplace, they can be your go-to sales pro. That’s the case, whatever the service: from maid cleaning to gutter maintenance, painting, home appliance repairs and more. These professionals already know your value offering, inside-and-out. If they’ve been on the job a while, they probably know your pricing down to the penny.
These skills are useful, but their real advantage just comes from being around the customer, right when they’re feeling most vulnerable and in need of help. Customers are far more likely to start a conversation with the technician who’s helping them, than to respond to a cold sales call.
For instance, a simple water tank repair job scales up instantly when the customer mentions they’re going to need installations on two more investment properties. A one-time roofing patch turns into a big renovation project when the customer spontaneously volunteers that they’re redoing their dream home. A two-hour maid service call booked on a last-minute referral? That turns into a regular, monthly appointment that’s booked on a value-added annual service plan. Or have them distribute a few brochures or door hangers to the neighbors of your best customers. With minimal effort, you’re maximizing leads and growing recurring revenue.
Here’s how to make this happen for your company.
1. Change the Job Description
This is about focusing on some soft skills. Help your field service people understand that a winning smile, a bit of patience and a willingness to listen to customers really is part of their job.
The biggest challenge here is that some field technicians “just want to do their job” (ie. clean up, fix an appliance, patch a roof, etc.) and leave. That tunnel-vision mindset isn’t helped if the job description when you hired them let them think that way. To these kinds of field service technicians, that means following their route plan, showing up at the location, performing some technical task and then getting out, so they can take on the next task.
These people may see themselves as problem-solvers. They think of sales as something entirely separate. They see salespeople as fast-talking people in suits who just want to make a quick buck.
Get your field techs to understand that selling is just as important (and virtuous) as the traditional service delivery side. As HVAC technical trainer and author Carol Fey puts it, “good selling and good service are the same: helpful, honest, informative and authentic. Both make people happy. Both listen, make recommendations, and solve the customer’s problems. They are good people.”
Help these front-line employees understand their role. They’re not just technicians. They’re ambassadors; the eyes and ears of your company. If a customer says they want something, it’s their job to jot that down into the note-taking app or CRM (customer relationship management software) on their tablet, so sales people back at the office can convert that hot lead into a job booking.
2. Give Your Techs the Tools to Help with the Sales Process
Some service techs will be eager to take on this new responsibility. Help them do that with proper mentoring. For instance, get your service person to look beyond ‘the job’ to see the opportunity. The landscaper who comes to pull out the tree stumps in the front yard notices that the back of the house is overgrown and choked with weeds – but that space would make a nice garden, wouldn’t it? The home cleaner overhears the owner worrying aloud about seeing some nasty looking bugs in the basement – and the company just happens to offer a pest control package.
When these moments happen, it’s not about selling your customer something they don’t need. It’s just good customer service. Successfully done, it can increase the trust and lifetime value of the customer and boost referrals.
3. Take an Integrated Approach to Sales
Getting service delivery experts into the sales process may require buy-in from salespeople. Let’s say you’ve got a CRM process already in place; you’ll want to make sure the that new jobs coming in from your newly-empowered field techs don’t get lost in the shuffle. After all, if your people take the time to listen to a customer about their needs and there’s no follow-up, it might just make your company look like it dropped the ball. Free-flowing communication is the way this works. Of course, Vonigo’s users can close up the loop even faster: For technicians that have no sales team back at the office to pass anything to, technicians can still up-sell customers on things like additional services, recurring appointments, materials or replacement parts.
For those companies looking to integrate sales and technicians roles entirely, it’s hard to pull off, but it can be done. As Bill Bradley of Airtronic Heating explains: “I started as a tech selling products and did so well my boss at the time got rid of our salesman. I send my techs to classes (to learn sales) and have done a lot of coaching to get them started.”
Learn more about how Vonigo can help you optimize the sales process for your service business. Try a free demo today.
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