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Danger Landmines Ahead .....or is it salesmen ahead.

See the road that leads on from this sign? Some of you are on it.

One of the biggest problems in the heating and a/c world is that, unlike the minefield to the left, there are no obvious signs warning consumers that they are about to step into some serious trouble.

Now, if you are a consumerist, you may see some of the warning signs online, but most are filled with a ton of jargon that is hard for you to understand as a homeowner who is just trying to figure out what is what. The problem is, who do you trust? Which brings us to the REAL issue.

TRUST in our industry is much too easy to come by. There are entire 1 week classes that I have been invited to that promise to show me how to make you buy without actually making you feel like you are being manipulated.(here is a link to one you can buy). They actually teach these guys how to evoke trust in the customer, not by merit alone, but through manipulation. This, of course, happens all the time in advertising and marketing, BUT those people are not sitting IN YOUR HOME! lol. I actually shouldn't laugh, it is really bad...some of the things people have told me contractors have said.

They main thing you need to know going in to purchasing a system is is that many of the contractor sales people are commission. Now, I am not saying commission is a bad thing; Waiters are commission, Realtors, Loan Officers, fact, the best example of all is MYSELF. Many interactions you have in the consumer world are commission transactions. Even the people at the clothing store get a little kick back if their name is attached to your order when you ring up. So don't let that give you a bad taste, its just a factor and can be a motivator for two different types of sales behavior. In the world of heating and cooling there are two basic types of sales people.

This made me laugh because I am making the same pose
 in my picture above/right, except I am holding our
Green Business of the Year Award....skadoosh!
The 1st type is the one who has been to all the classes I mentioned above and does their best to sell you as much if not all they offer in the most suggestive way possible. Often not giving you all the options available to you, but employing a "Best, Better, Good" 3 option sales strategy that is designed to encourage you to pick the 2nd from the top option without leaving out the possibility that you will go whole hog. These types are often trained to get the sale or get thrown out OR as soon as you give the signs that you are not buying big, they get out of the house as soon as possible. If you tell this salesperson you need to think about it, they will often say (using your name way too much), "Mr. X, what would it take to have you decide on this today?" RUN. Another sign will be when you talk about competitors, they will bash they other guy or get irritated. The list goes on and on, but mainly, guys, ASK your wife what she thinks of the guy/gal that is in your home. If she has the tingles, show them the door. This is not the place where you haggle and work with the horrible sales guy. This is YOUR HOME, where you, your families needs and your money need to be treated with respect. Not given a sales pitch learned at a seminar on HOW TO SELL TO ALL PERSONALITY TYPES (that's a real one!). Be wary of salesman who call themselves Comfort Advisers or Efficiency Specialist...yuk...those are titles that the industry sales gurus say make you more comfortable. I say, "You are a salesman! OWN IT!" lol.

I might actually buy from this guy!
The 2nd  is consultant based sales. It is still commission sales, but instead of the commission part being only about making money, it creates ACCOUNTABILITY. When this salesman walks into your home they not only want to sell you something great, but they also don't want to create stress in your marriage, family or finances. This salesperson understands that they are being asked for a recommendation from a person who doesn't know them from Adam, but has invited them into their home. Now don't get me wrong, this salesperson still wants you to buy from them (you need to expect those who come to your home to ask for your business), but they are MORE concerned with doing the RIGHT work than just getting the sale and moving on. Also, when you ask them for space to decide, they will respect that and make sure you are comfortable with your final decision. Another sign that you have this type is that they will spend time asking you questions to figure out what type of heating system fits you and your homes needs, then once they are done measuring everything, they will make a recommendation that also has some flexibility (as in, maybe you can do phase 1 now, and complete phase 2 when you can afford it, etc.). That reminds me, this salesperson doesn't ever use phrases like, "so you don't care about air quality?" when you ask them to remove the air purifier from the bid. Again, your wife knows who is who.

Finally, if all else fails, drop me an email. I can get pretty busy, so it might be a quick answer, but I love helping a consumer in need! - Wes

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