Reaching out to your database is the easiest way to get proactive. So, during a slow period, both salespeople and CSRs should have a list of numbers ready to dial and customers to reach. To make this as proactive as possible, don’t waste time to look through the customer history: dial and execute the script – I’ll give this to you later.
Organizing the list
Filter the call list by date of the last transaction. Mine your database and generate a list of people who have not done any business in the previous year – but no longer than two years. It’s these customers who are the hottest because they are the most current customers who need your service. Often these customers answer the first time, and will even call you back with the right voice message. I’ll cover the voice message later, too.
With a strategy and aim to sell a tune-up, you use the opportunity as the first step in the sales process. Many times, scheduling a tune-up will lead to an appointment for a salesperson to visit the property. If this is the case, ensure the salesperson who sold the tune-up also runs the appointment. Otherwise, your salespeople will lack the motivation to make these calls.
Let’s look at the script that works; it’s a script that has generated high revenue even during the slow months of February and March. Furthermore, it generates tune-ups that lead to service revenue and sometimes these tune-ups lead to turnovers that sell systems. This process works and will level out your net profit loses. If you focus on generating tune-ups, matched with enough activity, profits will grow in the difficult months.
From my experience, the main reason why customers choose to do maintenance on their heating or air conditioning system is to reduce breakdowns and increase reliability. Another reason could be to maintain efficiency, and to a certain extent, during the heating season, safety is also a concern for customers – less so with the cooling.
Sell the why
Before you read the script, remember never to discuss what’s behind the tune-up. Only talk about the why, because that’s what motivates people to buy. Sell the why even when customers ask about the what. Customers will ask what is included in the tune-up, resist going through the checklist and explaining the details. I’ll cover how to do this in more detail later.
CSR: Mrs. Jones, this is Roger from ABC heating and cooling. Did I catch you at a bad time?
This first sentence is a small pattern interrupt, and an invitation for the customer to allow you to talk. We want to get the customer moving toward us emotionally. If your words are pursuing others, they are not listening. Do not use your words to overpower anyone. When you do, your words lose their power to influence.
Mrs. Jones: No, I am okay – I’ve got time.
CSR: Thanks, I appreciate that. Let me tell you quickly why I called and you can decide if you want to talk further. Is that okay?
Here, notice another small pattern interrupt. However, most importantly, this opens the door for the customer to say no. Furthermore, it demonstrates respect, and hands the control to the customer; I gain control by giving up control.
Gratitude is also crucial here. We don’t hold enough power to force people to listen to us, so, when they do, I am grateful and I express it sincerely.
Mrs. Jones: Okay.
CSR: We noticed that you have not had your AC system tuned up this year. We feel that doing so increases its reliability and efficiency. Would you like to set a time for us to do that for you?
Notice that the script is short and we ask for what we want: an appointment. Ask and let the customer say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ It is that simple.
Did you notice I did not mention the price?
If a customer wants to know the price, they will ask “how much?” Sometimes they only say yes, and you schedule an appointment. Then confirm with a simple sentence. “So that you know, the price of the tune-up is $ ______.”
Other questions and queries
Sometimes customers want to know what happens during a tune-up. Respond with the script below.
CSR: That’s a good question, and I hear that a lot. The technician has a specific set of objectives focused on reliability and efficiency issues. Is there anything specific that you want to ensure that he checks?
Again, notice here that I do not go through the checklist. Instead, I focus the customer’s attention on the why? I also asked another question that evokes the reason he asked. I want to direct the conversation into why he asked about the checklist – usually, that kind of a question is an indication of pain.
What is pain?
As an example of pain, the customer may want to know if the tune-up includes freon. If this happens, we want know more about why the customer has focused on freon. “Tell me more about freon. What is your concern?” – This is a great question to ask. Then the customer may tell you more about comfort problems. Comfort problems are painful. So, his freon question is an indication of some pain in the area of comfort.
When reading this script, I’m sure you noticed it’s short and to the point. Equipped with a healthy list of contacts to dial, 25 to 30 dials per hour is reasonable, and provides healthy results. Again, through my experience, I have found that it is best to allocate one-hour of uninterrupted time increments and then take a break – stay at it for at least two hours. Hang in there to build momentum.
Measure the number of dials, conversations, and appointments. With the consistent execution of the script, people will listen to you, and you will set appointments. However, the technician must be skilled in the implementation of The Service Call Blueprint to set replacement appointments in high numbers – for salespeople and service revenue for themselves.