Ask your contractors what they want from you and the first thing most will say is they want lower prices. Lower prices, with everything else remaining the same, means more money goes to their bottom line, also known as net profit. So, you could reason, when your contractor asks for lower prices, what he’s really asking for is more net profit. Instead of getting bogged down in a now-win pricing discussion, how about this approach:

Territory Manager: “So, what can I do to get more of your business?”

Contractor: “Lower your prices.”

Territory Manager: “Well, price is always important. If you had lower prices what would that mean to you?”

Contractor: “I’d make more money.”

Let’s pause here for a moment. My question for you is, are their ways you can help your contractors be more profitable other than to lower your price? If there were, then the rest of this dialog might go like this:

Territory Manager: “Well, if I could help you make more money without lowering my prices would you buy all of your products from me?”

Contractor: “Well, I would consider that. What do you have I mind?”

Territory Manager: “Great. I have been noticing that your service department has been doing this… Would you be interested in an alternative that could be better for your customers and for your business?”

This approach has your contractor thinking about something different than price. Sure, price is important, but the price of something is just part of a math equation. There are other parts to this equation that you can improve with the same positive bottom line impact. What if you had several of these ideas all prepared to discuss when you got to this point? Here are a few ideas on you can help your contractors be more profitable.

Sales

  • Suggest that they slightly raise pricing on all jobs. A 1% price increase on an $8,000 job is $80. That will not make the difference between selling the job or not. If the company’s net profit at the end of the year is 10% then you’ve just increased net profits by 10%.
  • Recommend Tom’s Accelerate! and Selling with TRUST® sales training workshops to increase close rate and average job selling price.

Installation

  • Are two installation technicians really needed for all day? Once the helper isn’t needed send him to another job; any additional contribution he makes to a job or the company that day is free. Also, the lead installation technician will tend to be more productive when working alone.

Service

  • Many technicians are reluctant to sell. Make it easier for them and create a handout template for your dealers that will feature appropriate products during the year. For example, feature IAQ products in the spring. Be willing to customize the handout with the dealer’s logo, products and pricing and then conduct a training class for the technicians at the beginning of the season. Send me an email request and I’ll send an example.

Office Staff

  • When one of the staff answers the phone that marks the beginning of the customer’s experience. It is vital to think through how the phone should be answered and what should be said. Help your contractor by creating scripts for receptionists, CSR’s, dispatchers and sales coordinators. A good place to start is with the The Ultimate HVAC Incoming Call Script Book at Service Roundtable. Ask me for a Tom Piscitelli Free Month Offer form and I’ll send it.

You can help your customers make more money with sales ideas and training and business recommendations as easily as coming in with a low-price promotional offer on something they were going to buy anyway.

But remember…first get agreement that you will get a business commitment in exchange for what you provide. I’ll repeat this example so you can keep it fresh in your mind:

Territory Manager: “Well, if I could help you make more money without lowering my prices would you buy all of your products from me?”

Good Selling!

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