Repeatable Mis-steps that Produce Predictable Bad Results
Guest Blogger: John Heilbrunn, President, FlashQuote Enterprises, LLC
Business experts have forever proclaimed how important “process” is for a truly strong and sustainable business model. A “process” in simple terms is a series of repeatable steps that will produce predictable results. The absence of process is often replaced by chaos. In the contracting trade, chaos almost always turns into massive amounts of RED ink.
Here are 3 common missteps that often derail profitability from even the best-designed sales processes:
- Delayed implementation of price increases into quoted sales prices. The HVAC industry is no stranger to price increases from every corner, all the time. In simple math, selling a furnace that cost you $1,000 yesterday, but after an 8% cost increase today is sold at yesterday’s price tomorrow, takes 8% from your NET profit on that sale. Each sale you make that doesn’t reflect your most recent cost is a repeatable and compounding expensive misstep.
- Lost opportunities when time limits force you into making a return/second visit to complete and present a proposal. Only a fool would suggest that every lead is a 1-call closing opportunity. However, there is no doubt that a certain percentage of the new customers you visit are able and even ready to buy, today. If you walk away from that customer with a plan/promise to return with your best price and options, a certain percent of those customers are going to buy from your competition before you get back to their kitchen table. A 2-call sales process or culture, whether because of necessity or because of preference, will miss sales. The cost of missed sales can be measured in lost revenue, lost time, lost commissions, and lost morale.
- Gambling on the load calc and matched system lottery. I heard someone really smart once say; “if the risk of getting it wrong is worse than the cost of doing it right, your next step should be obvious”. If you ever had to write a check to a customer for a rebate you promised for a system that didn’t actually qualify, you know this problem all too well. If you have ever had to replace an under-sized (or oversized) system for free, you know this problem way too well. Unfortunately, doing it right (load calc and proper selection of a rated/matched system) takes time, lots of it! (refer to misstep #2)
Whether you need a better process for yourself, or for your sales people, or both, don’t underestimate the critical ongoing management and cost of setting up and then maintaining all of the tools that are required to get this job done every day, day after day. Somebody has to take every price increase notice you receive from every supplier and expedite passing newly calculated prices to the field without delay. Your process can allow for the ability to sell the right sized and matched system(s) to your customer at the right price, today. . . if the customer is ready to buy today. But only if you have the right tools. FlashQuote is an exciting and powerful yet simple answer that is helping contractors conquer sales that they never could before. Check out our video at www.flashquote.biz/demo-video and then give us a call at 315-580-3183. Mention EB&L so we can thank Elaina and her team and thank you with a bonus savings opportunity.
John Heilbrunn is President and Chief Architect of the FlashQuote Sales Enterprise System. His 45 year technology career includes the last 32 as a continuous innovator in the HVAC and Home Energy Contracting industries. He is a two-time national software development award winner, and is considered by many to be a pioneer, and yet still a leader in HVAC mobile sales innovation.