Archives for December 2019

Stick to Your Price

By Tom Grandy

Trades companies today sell in a variety of ways.  Sometimes it’s the owner themselves in the sales role.  Other times the techs are doing the presentations while larger companies tend to have full time salespeople.  No matter who is in front of the customer there is a high probably that at some point, after the presentation has been completed, that the potential customer is going to request a lower price.  I guess we have the automobile industry to blame for that.  Who pays sticker price?  No one, especially since Americans have been bombarded their entire life with sales.  There are special holiday sales, good customer discounts, employee discount pricing and the famous savings of thousands of dollars at year end for the “Have to make room for new inventory sale!”  So why would anyone pay full price?

There is a phrase I have heard and reflected on for many years.  The phrase is “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”  The calculated price provided the customer should cover all costs while generating a reasonable profit.  If this is true, why negotiate and reduce your profit?  If you negotiate, word will get around, like the automobile industry, that your initial price is not the real price!

I just finished working with a 30-old company that builds custom cabinets for very high-end customers.  Most of their sales are through designers, architects or directly through general contractors.  They have built a reputation of doing top quality work, doing it on time and ALWAYS backing up their work.  That is reflected in the fact that nearly all their work comes from word of mouth recommendations.  Their communication with their customers exceeds all expectations.  Their word is their bond…old fashion perhaps, but refreshing in today’s world.

Their salesman, we will call him Jack, shared a recent experience with me.  He had made his presentation to the general contractor which was $78,000 for all the cabinets in the house.  He had worked with this contractor for many years providing quality work and outstanding communication.  The contractor told him he had another bid for roughly $50,000.  He then asked if he would lower his bid.  He refused, telling him about the quality of work, timeliness of their installations and responsiveness when minor problems popped up.  The general contractor then told him if he would drop his price $5,000 the job was his.  Jack refused.  The contractor told Jack he could not believe he would walk away from a job that big over $5,000 dollars but Jack did.  Guess what?  The general contractor called him the next day and accepted the bid at the full $78,000 price.

Now granted he stood his ground because of the reputation the company had earned for over 30 years.  If your company provides the kind of quality of work this contractor does, don’t lower the price… unless you want to negotiate price with all your customers for the rest of your life.

Knowing that the company MUST charge $XX.XX/hour to generate a profit also provided a bit of extra confidence when speaking to the potential customer.  As the company grows, hourly rates are “forced” to increase.  The problem lies in the fact that most techs and/or employees do not understand why those rates need to increase.  They already think you are ripping off the customer while getting rich yourself.  There is good news.  We have a program entitled Why do we need to charge so much? walks the viewer through the process of setting proper hourly rates.  When tech/employees understand “why” you need to charge what you are charging they tend to stop underbilling the customer.  This program is normally $99.95 but this month it’s featured as the Website Special for only $79.95.  Order today!  As always, our products carry a 100% satisfaction guaranteed or you money back.  If for any reason you don’t like the program, simply return it for a full refund. 

Communication Is The Key

By Tom Grandy

You may or may not fly a lot.  I have been in the air most weeks since Grandy & Associates was founded in 1987.  Flying has undergone major changes over the years, especially since 9/11.  Most have been a bit irritating from metal detectors and fuller flights, to less and less leg room.  With that said, one area has significantly improved. That area is communication.  A few years ago, I began receiving texts when flights were delayed or even canceled.  The next giant step involved my bags. Since I live in a small town in western Kentucky, every flight involves at least one stop and often two or more, to reach my destination.  I began receiving texts telling me my bag had been properly transferred from Flight A to Flight B.  It was really comforting to know that my bag was going to meet me at the end of a three-hour cross-country flight.

The newest communication improvement was when they started texting me before my flight, and in the air to tell me my flight or next flight was leaving from Gate 27 in Terminal B.  These kinds of communications have provided a great deal of peace of mind.  I may not like the fact that my fight is delayed or canceled but it’s better to have lead time to go to Plan B than to show up at the gate, breathless, only to find out my flight took off 10 minutes earlier.

Communication provides peace of mind.  Few of us have perfect days where everything goes as scheduled, especially if you are a technician.  The repair may have taken longer than expected or an accident along the way caused a delay.  Things happen.  Just remember to communicate with Mr. and Mrs. Jones.  It’s a lot better for them to know you will be two hours late than for them to sit around the house waiting for you to show up with no idea of when you might arrive.

Be sure the office is aware of how the customer prefers to be communicated with.  Some still have land lines, others prefer you call their cell or perhaps, a text is a better form of communication.  The point is clear, communicate.  Most people understand when things change and they can, and will, deal with it.  However, simply not showing up when expected and not letting them know will irritate the individual, and in some cases, cause the company to lose a customer.

If you are a tech thinking about starting your own business, you will need to learn the “business side” of the business.    The Profit University Audio Series does just that.   Each month it features a different business topic, by a different national speaker.  In addition to a new program being posted each month, there are over 275 past presentations on every conceivable topic.  The series is normally $24.95/month but if you take advantage of the Website Special it’s only $19.95/month -for life.  Cancel at any time.  Order today!  

If You Don’t Get Them on the Phone You Don’t Want Them

By Tom Grandy

If you have read my articles over the past 30+ years, you know I like to use real life situations whenever possible.  Theory is one thing but actual experience often presents a totally different perspective.

Several months back, my father-in-law died while living in an assisted living facility in North Carolina at the age of 94.  He left his small home to one of his daughters who lives in Washington state.  After the memorial service, several of the children began cleaning out, his small two-bedroom home.  Bear in mind, the home had not been lived in for over two years, with the water and gas turned off.  When the mold was taken care of, electrical repairs completed, new toilets were installed and the hot water heater was replaced, it was about time for the Washington state daughter to return home.  However, during the repair process it was noted the original roof (the house was built in 1991) had a couple leaks. 

To add to the sense of urgency, there was a major hurricane predicted to move up the coast from Florida, a week or so later.  It may or may not have hit North Carolina.  No one knew for sure at the time nor did anyone know the amount of rain that might or might not come with it.  It was time for the Washington daughter to return home but the house needed a new roof as soon as possible.

The next phase involved her sister that lived very close to her dad’s home.  She was asked by the Washington sister to secure a minimum of two bids for the roof replacement as soon as possible.

It was a holiday weekend but the North Carolina sister called several contractors anyway.  She really did not expect a response on the holiday weekend but decided to leave messages in order to be near the top of the callback list the first day back in the office.  To her great surprise, one of the contractors answered the phone.  He explained that he was out of town for the holiday but would call back at 8:00 AM the first day back in the office.

The holiday ended and sure enough he called right at 8:00 AM as promised.  An appointment was set and he came out that day.  At this point, none of the other contractors had responded to her messages.  The responding contractor accessed the situation and promised to call the Washington sister at 9:00 AM, West Coast time, the next day with details and costs.  The Washington daughter checked out the references of the contractor prior to his scheduled call.  He had an outstanding reputation and had done work for a couple of the North Carolina sister’s friends, all of whom were really pleased with his work.

Guess what?  At 9:00 AM West Coast time he called!  He provided all the details, sent pictures of different color roofs and gave her a very reasonable price.  However, being a wise customer, she still wanted a second bid.  However, none of the other contractors had yet responded and the hurricane was getting closer.  Another day went by with no additional calls being received.

After talking with friends and family she decided to go forward, without a second bid, with the responding contractor by sending overnight a check for 50% of the job.

Now for the “Dah” question.  Why did she select the contractor that responded?  In addition to responding in a timely manner, he explained what he would do and when.  It’s called honesty and integrity, which is often lacking within the trades industry.  Even if another contractor had eventually called (no one EVER did, days and weeks later) the responding contractor would have gotten the job.  Could she trust another contractor to do the work when it took days or weeks to respond?  As the title of the article says, “If you can’t get them on the phone, you don’t want them”!

For the past 33 years I have consistently told contractors it only takes three things to be very successful.

1.    Do quality work

2.    Do what you said you would do

3.    Do it WHEN you said you would do it (show up on time)

The above is still true but there is one more thing, that should not have to be mentioned.  Answer your phone and respond to messages!

In today’s world there is no reason not to answer your phone.  You can transfer the office phone to your cell phone, utilize a live answering service or at least have an answering machine in your office.  When the call is received, in whatever format, respond.  It would “seem” to be common sense.  However, as one of the staff members told me at the assisted living facility where my father-in-law was “Common sense isn’t so common anymore.”

Communication is a key element when it comes to building a successful business.  It is a direct reflection to the customer, of the quality of work they might expect.  Good communication is also a sign of respect and it should be just good old common sense.

Would you like to pick up a few more “business tips” each month?  If so, check out our Profit University Audio Series.  Each month it features a different business topic, by a different national speaker.  In addition to a new program being posted each month, there are 275+ past presentations on every conceivable topic.  The series is normally $24.95/month but if you take advantage of the Website Special it’s only $19.95/month…for life.  Cancel at any time.  Order today!  

Managing Your Business – start your employees off right STANDARD

By Bill Kinnard

Because of the challenge of getting new employees up to speed in your company, we are pleased to announce we are offering HVAC Onboarding through our Grandy Live Online instructor lead classroom. The program is eight hours and specifically designed to help you prepare your new personnel for the job. And better yet, there is no travel. They will attend right from your office. This isn’t a webinar. It’s a real class led by one of the Grandy instructors. Students will be engaged, can ask questions, and will need to pass a quiz to be sure they learned the concepts we are teaching.

We will focus on:

•Understanding major and minor system components: What are the parts and pieces that work together to make a comfort system function.

•The importance of proper system design and installation.

•Efficiency requirements and their role in our industry.

•Why IAQ is such a big part of HVAC

•Comfort controls: Let’s face it, they do a lot more than just read temperature.

•We will also explore why there are so many system options, and the benefits of offering higher efficient choices to your clients.

Sessions will be conducted over a consecutive two-day period. Session 1 will be on afternoons from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Central time, and Session 2 will be the next morning from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM Central time. Whether your new team member will be working the service counter, answering the phones, or is an aspiring installer or comfort consultant; this class will be a spring board to a successful career in HVAC.

February 10-11  |  REGISTER HERE

March 5-6  |  REGISTER HERE

Hear what past attendees have said:

“Very to the point. I am new to this field, so this is a really solid foundation of the basics of what is going on in the HVAC industry. It gives me the basic understanding to build my future career upon. I really enjoyed it.”

“I thought the entire seminar was worth every minute I spent. I was in the HVAC industry 25 years ago and have only been working as a Home Comfort Advisor for 3 months so this was very intuitive. Thank you.”

Managing Your Business – Start your employees off right – CAC/BRY

By Bill Kinnard

Because of the challenge of getting new employees up to speed in your company, we are continuing to offer HVAC Onboarding through our Grandy Live online instructor lead classroom. The program is 8 hours and specifically designed to help you prepare your new personnel for the job. And better yet, there is no travel. They will attend right from your office. This isn’t a webinar. It’s a real class led by one of the Grandy instructors. Students will be engaged, can ask questions, and will need to pass a quiz to be sure they learned the concepts we are teaching.

We will focus on:

•Understanding major and minor system components: What are the parts and pieces that work together to make a comfort system function.

•The importance of proper system design and installation.

•Efficiency requirements and their role in our industry.

•Why IAQ is such a big part of HVAC

•Comfort controls: Let’s face it, they do a lot more than just read temperature.

•We will also explore why there are so many system options, and the benefits of offering higher efficient choices to your clients.

Sessions will be conducted over a consecutive two-day period. Session 1 will be on afternoons from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Central, and Session 2 will be the next morning from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM Central Time.

Whether your new team member will be working the service counter, answering the phones, or is an aspiring installer or comfort consultant; this class will be a spring board to a successful career in HVAC.

 Qualifies for FAD Credit

Even your newest team members can help you meet your FAD training hours requirements. The program qualifies for 8 FAD credit hours.  Register for one of the HVAC Onboarding upcoming programs through My Learning Center:

January 23-24, 2020 |  REGISTER HERE

February 27-28  |  REGISTER HERE

March 26-27  |  REGISTER HERE

 Read what past attendees have said:

“Very to the point. I am new to this field, so this is a really solid foundation of the basics of what is going on in the HVAC industry. It gives me the basic understanding to build my future career upon. I really enjoyed it.”

“I thought the entire seminar was worth every minute I spent. I was in the HVAC industry 25 years ago and have only been working as a Home Comfort Advisor for 3 months so this was very intuitive. Thank you.”

Carlyle Compressor Teardown Full Course - Self Paced Online Training

Planning for Profit Workshop

Cashflow and Cashflow Budgeting

Service Managers - Learning Path

Carlyle Compressor Teardown Full Course - Self Paced Online Training

Planning for Profit Workshop

Cashflow and Cashflow Budgeting

Service Managers - Learning Path

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