Nothing says winter has arrived like a failed heat exchanger…
In the next few weeks a lot of you will be knee deep in failed gas heat exchangers; it’s our industry’s way of letting you know winter is here.
From residential furnaces to commercial rooftop units and hanging unit heaters; non are immune to the infamous failed heat exchanger.
Some will rust through, others will crack, and some will be packed with soot.
Some of you will replace the victim (yes, I said victim) and move on to the next job, never giving the components early demise a second thought.
You’ll blame the failures on ‘thin metal’, ‘ foreign materials’ or ‘bad design’.
Unfortunately heat exchangers are like everything else in our industry; few die of natural cause, most are murdered.
At the top of our Heat Exchanger Serial-Killer list is Mr. “Bigger is Better”
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- 2% of new business sales are made on the 1st contact
- 3% of new business sales are made on the 2nd contact
- 5% of new business sales are made on the 3rd contact
- 10% of new business sales are made on the 4th contact
- 80% of new business sales are made on or after the 5th contact
You didn’t fail to book the meeting because you pitch wasn’t slick enough or the color of your business card.
A slick sales presentation of an incredible PowerPoint has never lost (or won) a sale. Your solution can perfectly solve a problem or increase sales and profits, but this is never enough to close the sale. Solutions are great and profits are even better, but neither means anything without a feeling of trust. The main reason the B-to-B sales cycle takes so long is that trust takes time.
We begin building trust with familiarity. The first voicemail, or the first time you meet with a decision maker, is just that, the first time. Contact builds familiarity and familiarity build trust. Each voicemail, thoughtful email or short pop-in visit is a chance to build familiarity and trust.
Prospecting is part of closing a sale
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As a sales rep, manager and a business owner, I’ve often had to tell a customer something that they didn’t want to here. Sometimes, it simply is was it is.
- The part is out of stock.
- We double booked.
- What you’re are asking for simply isn’t possible.
- We screwed up and it’s going to take 4 days for us to fix it.
- The supplier screwed up.
Whatever it might be.
Sure, it is always better to give the customer what they want but, what do you do when you can’t?
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A non-contact fork style meter that measures voltage and amperage at the same time. WHAAAT?
Check it out and tell ’em the folks at ZenHVAC sent you. (Note: this and two-fifty may get you a coffee…not a latte, grande, crappy, frappe coffee…just a plain old medium coffee coffee…maybe…ok, never mind about the whole coffee thing…,just check the meter out.)
Zen’s thought of the day:
“I only work on boilers”
“I only work on chillers”
“I only work on……”
Here’s what we have to say about the “I only work on” mindset-
“Your an expert on one? You’re valuable to one”
“You’re an expert with two? You’re valuable to a few”
“You know them all? You’re the one they’re gonna call”
Your specialty may be boilers, chillers, rooftops, whatever. But always remember; chillers and boilers won’t accomplish squat without pumps.
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Think about it; the machines we work on are no different than any other machine.
Do pickup trucks break down? Yes. Do they normally break down for no reason? No.
Show me a truck with a blown transmission and I’ll show you a truck that’s being driven hard (operation) is hauling more weight than it’s designed to carry (application) or never had its oil and filter changed (maintenance). HVAC equipment is no different than a pickup truck.
Mechanics are the folks who change belts and filters, clean coils, punch tubes, grease bearings, replace / rebuild compressors, repair refrigerant leaks, replace failed fan motors, and perform general repair work. While mechanics fill a much needed spot in the HVAC ranks, their not as specialized as a technician. Most people who are mechanically inclined can be a good mechanic with some general industry training. Add a few years of field experience and they are the next generation of Technicians.
If Cooter from the Dukes of Hazard and Mater from Cars had a love child it would grow up to be an HVAC mechanic.
Technicians are the elite of an elite industry. If HVAC technicians were movie characters they would be Winston Wolfe from Pulp Fiction. They resolve problems that leave the rest of the heard scratching their heads. They jump in, get it done, and get out.
If Sherlock Holmes and Albert Einstein had a love child it would be an HVAC Technician…a butt-ugly love child, but a love child destined to be a HVAC Technician none the less.
Common HVAC Technician career options
Once an HVAC technician, always a HVAC technician?
Don’t bet on it.
The average age of an HVAC technician is around forty-seven years old. And while forty-seven isn’t anywhere close to being too old to swing wrenches, you may want a change of career scenery after doing the same thing for thirty+ years. This series of posts will address typical ‘Next-Step’ career paths for HVAC technicians who possibly want climb a few rungs of the career ladder. We’ll cover what is needed to progress to the various jobs and what the benefits and draw backs are for each. The chart above represents typical advancements in our field and the difficulty associated in the jump to each. Peruse the chart, send us any questions you may have, and we will address the first steps needed for each progression.