Now THAT'S How to Sell Replacement Systems

Posted by Tom Grandy on January 10, 2014
Now THAT'S How to Sell Replacement Systems

A few weeks ago I was performing a two-day Company Overview for Reliable Air Conditioning in Jasper, AL. When I arrived I was introduced to the office staff , including two individuals who focused on nothing but telemarketing. That immediately got my attention. Few trades companies utilize a telemarketing program. Telemarketing can be irritating when total strangers are called; however, when utilized on one's current customer base, it can be very effective.

Before we discuss how this company utilized their telemarketers, and how it might work for your company, there needs to be a foundation in place. Number one, you must have records of each piece of equipment that you’ve installed, by customer (which can be obtained by the technician as part of their checklist). We need to know that Mrs. Jones purchased this piece of equipment on this date. That information will tell us what kind of equipment the customer has and, more importantly, how old it is.

The second thing to have is a highly trained selling tech in place. A selling tech is a service technician that has been fully trained in the area of sales. That combination, although not easy to develop, is dynamite when it comes to sales. When the tech is in the customer’s home working on their equipment, who is the most trusted individual in the eyes of the customer? That service technician. Trust is immediately established with the customer, and trust is the cornerstone of sales. Now you may "find" a selling tech, but in most cases they will have to be developed from within using both internal company training and attendance at outside sales classes.

Okay, now that we are tracking proper information for our database and we have a fully trained selling tech in place, we are ready to move forward with the program. It’s time to hire telemarketers who can be given a script to use.

We are not talking about full-time employees. These people will work a few hours in the morning or a few hours in the afternoon. It is much easier to find and hire part-time individuals than it is full-time people. Part-time help is also a blessing since you don't have to pay benefits, and the individual is normally more focused on what they are doing since they are only working a few hours a day.

Our part-time telemarketers are going to go through your customer database looking for people with older equipment that is potentially up for replacement. The telemarketer calls the customer to tell them about the company's tune-up special. The conversation might go something like this:

"Mrs. Jones, based on our records, it has been ‘X’ years since we have serviced your equipment. I am calling you to make you aware that our company is running a Tune-Up Special. The normal cost of a tune-up is $99.95. However, this week we are offering the same tune-up for only $49.95. Would you be interested in scheduling a time this week to take advantage of our special pricing?"

The initial call concerns the tune-up special. However, the telemarketer could also provide a brief description of the company’s maintenance agreement program. If the telemarketer sells a tune-up, they are paid a commission of perhaps $3. If they sell a maintenance agreement on the phone, they earn perhaps a $5 or $10 commission. If they prep the customer for the maintenance agreement sale, and the tech closes the sale, the commission is split between the telemarketer and the technician.

With the tune-up scheduled, it's time to send out our selling tech. The tech goes to the home and performs a high-quality tune-up. While he is there, he shares with the customer the advantages of upgrading their system. If the customer is interested, the tech makes the presentation and hopefully closes the sale on the spot.

Reliable has been able to use this system to pretty much fill their install schedule, even during traditionally slow periods of the year. The best news is that the sales are being made to existing customers, which normally produces a higher closing percentage and higher sales price.

What has the company just accomplished? We have made an appointment with a customer who, in all likelihood, will need a tune-up, repairs and/or might consider replacement of their equipment.

Also, keep in mind the pricing you offer for the tune-up special can vary depending on the need to fill the installation schedule. If the season is in full swing, normal service may create all the replacement sales needed to fill the schedule. In slower seasons, more telemarketing hours may be needed.

There you have it, another great idea.

Tom Grandy is the founder and president of Grandy & Associates. Tom is an industrial engineer by training, has worked as the general manager of a service company and was previously the Director of Company Development for Dial One franchise.

This blog is reprinted with permission.

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