Are we learning to manipulate prospects in our HVAC sales training?

Are our HVAC sales seminars encouraging us to manipulate prospects? Are heating and air replacement prospects even people in this world or are they mere trophies to line the best HVAC salesman’s walls?  Is traditional HVAC sales training teaching techniques of aggression, manipulation, and coercion?  Do these HVAC sales seminars teach techniques that attempt to dominate and control homeowners?   Or are HVAC sales seminars teaching techniques which encourage mutual respect, the right for prospects to take time to think, or even say no?

Traditional HVAC sales training teaches one to push against resistance when prospects say “no”.  To name one of many techniques, we learn about the Ben Franklin close, which teaches HVAC salespeople to list all the reasons why prospects should buy.  Then what follows is prospects listing all the reason why they should not buy.  Logic says that the reasons to buy will out number the reasons not to buy, and prospects will change their mind.  In other words, bulldoze through all stalls and objections.

Could there a better way?  Is it possible to give HVAC prospects room to say “no” and respect their right to do so?  HVAC replacement sales is relational.  Therefore, aggression has no place in healthy business relationships.  If I ignore your right to say no and then try to manipulate you with insincere tricks, what am I really communicating?  Am I communicating that my commission is more important than your objectives?  Could I be communicating that there is no room for you to be you?  Could I be moving against you emotionally and verbally, communicating that I don’t respect your thoughts or opinions?  Traditional HVAC sales can be very aggressive, answering yes to all these question unequivocally.

Have you ever thought about agreeing with prospects?  Did you know that when you agree with them they will relax?  Put the sales process aside.  Stop selling.  Allow them room to say “no”.  Instead of push back, fall back.  Accept “no” with them but realize it is not over yet.  Then, try very hard to have a conversation about what prevented them from saying yes.  It sounds something like this:  “Mr. prospect, it sounds like it’s over for me, and no matter what I say or do, you’re not going to change your mind. You’re probably making the right decision for yourself.  But before I leave may I ask you a question?  What prevented you from saying yes today?”

Sometimes this approach helps your HVAC replacement prospect verbalize some real fear or concern that you can deal with in an open and honest manner.  Honest direct communication is the goal.  If we can arrive here in the HVAC sales process, we can better serve our prospect.  It also treats HVAC prospects like people, not trophies to be set aside on the counter after a sale has transpired.  We also have maintained rapport and connection and will have other opportunities with them in the future even if we miss this sale.

Happy HVAC replacement selling.

About the author, Roger Daviston

Roger Daviston is a personal growth consultant who gets measurable results. He facilitates and encourages individuals to change behavior and make different choices to achieve better outcomes.

  1. I think February, March and April are the slowest months for HVAC Contractors but of course this depends on the weather and the service staff.

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