Reaching out to your database is the easiest way
to be proactive. During a slow period, both salespeople and customer service representatives (CSRs) should have a list of numbers ready to dial and customers to reach. To make this as proactive as possible, don’t waste time looking through a customer’s history: dial and execute the script.
Organizing the list
Filter the call list by the date of the last transaction. Mine your database and generate a list of people you have not transacted with for six months to three years. These customers are the hottest because they are the most current customers who need your service. Often these customers answer the first time or will call you back if you leave the right voice message.
When you strategize to sell a tune-up, you use the opportunity as the first step in the sales process. Many times, scheduling a tune-up will lead to an appointment for a salesperson to visit the property. If this is the case, ensure that the salesperson who sold the tune-up also runs the appointment. Otherwise, your salespeople will lack the motivation to make these calls.
A script that works is one that has generated high revenue even during the slow months of February and March. Furthermore, it can generate tune-ups that lead to service revenue and sometimes these tune-ups lead to turnovers that sell systems. This process works and will level out your net profit losses. If you focus on generating tune-ups and getting enough activity, profits will grow in the difficult months.
From my experience, the main reason why customers choose to have maintenance on their heating or air conditioning system is to reduce breakdowns and increase reliability. Another reason could be to maintain efficiency. To a certain extent, safety is also a concern for customers during the heating season—less so during the cooling season.
Sell the why
Before you read the script, remember never to discuss what’s behind the tune-up. Only talk about the why, because that’s what motivates people to buy. Sell the why even when customers ask about the what. Even though customers will ask what is included in the tune-up, resist going through the checklist and details. I’ll cover how to do this in more detail later.
CSR: Mrs. Jones, this is Roger from ABC Heating & Cooling. Did I catch you at a bad time?
This first sentence is a small pattern interrupt, and an invitation for the customer to allow you to talk. We want to get the customer moving toward us emotionally. Do not use your words to overpower anyone. When you do, your words lose their power to influence.
Mrs. Jones: No, I am okay—I’ve got time.
CSR: Thanks, I appreciate that. Let me tell you quickly why I called and you can decide if you want to talk further. Is that okay?
Here, notice another small pattern interrupt. However, most importantly, this opens the door for the customer to say, “No.” Furthermore, it demonstrates respect and hands the control to the customer. I gain control by giving up control. Gratitude is also crucial here. We don’t hold enough power to force people to listen to us, so, when they do, I am grateful and I express it sincerely.
Mrs. Jones: Okay.
CSR: We’ve noticed that you have not had your AC system tuned up this year. We feel that doing so increases its reliability and efficiency. Would you like to set a time for us to do that for you?
Notice that the script is short and we ask for what we want: an appointment. Ask and let the customer say “Yes” or “No.” It’s that simple. Did you notice I did not mention the price? If a customer wants to know the price, they will ask, “How much?” Sometimes they only say “Yes,” and you schedule an appointment. Then confirm with a simple sentence. “So that you know, the price of the tune-up is $ ______.”
Other questions and queries
Sometimes customers want to know what happens during a tune-up. Respond with the script below.
CSR: That’s a good question and I hear that a lot. The technician has a specific set of objectives focused on reliability and efficiency issues. Is there anything specific that you want to ensure that he checks?
Again, notice here that I do not go through the checklist. Instead, I focus the customer’s attention on the why. I also asked another question that evokes the reason he asked. I want to direct the conversation into why he asked about the checklist—usually, that kind of a question is an indication of pain.
What is pain?
As an example of pain, the customer may want to know if the tune-up includes Freon. If this happens, we want know more about why the customer has focused on Freon. “Tell me more about Freon. What is your concern?”
This is a great question to ask. Then the customer may tell you more about comfort problems. Comfort problems are painful. So, his Freon question is an indication of some pain in the area of comfort.
When reading this script, I’m sure you noticed it’s short and to the point. Equipped with a healthy list of contacts to dial, 25 to 30 dials per hour are reasonable, and provide healthy results. Again, through my experience, I have found that it is best to allocate one hour of uninterrupted time increments and then take a break—stay at it for at least two hours. Hang in there to build momentum.
Measure the number of dials, conversations and appointments. With the consistent execution of the script, people will listen to you, and you will set appointments. However, the technician must be skilled in the implementation of The Service Call Blueprint to set replacement appointments in high numbers for both salespeople and to garner service revenue. ICM