In my latest role over the last six years, I have made an effort to always ask if the Comfort Advisors/Consultants/Salesman has ever had formal sales training. To my surprise, even some of the most successful companies in our industry have failed to offer or implement any training for their most important assets. Training is not reserved to the Installers and Technicians, although to these roles the requirement to attend product and service sessions is just obvious. I understand the need to keep running these leads, but unless the Comfort Advisor invests in themselves, they very often hit a wall and cannot grow in their role or business. Imagine if your technicians were too busy year round to attend the required factory training, would this lack of investment eventually hurt the bottom line?
So, this leads to the question: Where do I find HVAC Sales Training? Fortunately, most sales techniques and processes are easily transferrable across industries. Some of the best ideas come from outside the traditional HVAC structure, and if modified, work as well or better in our field.
Here are a few things to get you started in investing in yourself:
1. Read or listen to books on tape with topics like Business, Self-Improvement, Professional Success, and Sales. The Comfort Consultant spends many hours on the road, and getting digital audio books from your local library is not only free but has no risk if you do not like the format or lesson! I typically listen to one or two a week, using free apps like Libby or Overdrive. Still, my favorite to date is: "Unlimited Sales Success" by Brian Tracy.
2. Ask your distributor about In-Home Sales Training. Most are willing to host small events at convenient times of year, as they view this as investing in their future as well. Although not the standard here, some Manufacturers will even host trainings like these.
3. Look to local trade associations for Sales or Business Seminars. By bringing many people into a single location, even the most expensive and successful consultants can be more than affordable. If you work in MA, you can find me at almost every ACA New England event as I am a proud member of their Board of Directors.
Please, make the investment in yourself to succeed in sales. The secret should not be the lack of investment or commitment, instead ask those you trust or even envy because of their success. You may find they had to learn a lot on their own too, and more than willing to make sure you don't make the same mistakes!