“If it’s a great experience, no one feels like we’re selling.”
“Our CSRs sell 90% of our maintenance plans.”
😱 I was shocked when I heard that statement from Tiffany Airwycke, Operations Manager of Shanklin Heating & Air Conditioning.
“We’re selling, but the customer doesn’t feel like we are. It’s happening, but they don’t know it. All they know is they had a great experience and now they’re a paying member of our maintenance plan.”
After that statement, she dropped this golden nugget of wisdom that every Home Service Contractor would be wise to learn from:
“That’s what sets us apart from everyone else.”
Imagine if your company not only sold a maintenance plan to nearly every customer you work with, but imagine if those sales were happening before you even got to the customer’s home. I think that would probably change your business forever.
Imagine if your team was so good at selling that the customer didn’t even feel like they were being sold to.
That’s what it’s like for Shanklin Heating & Air.
But how? How do you get your team to a place where that’s reality? A place where it’s not just one CSR who’s selling maintenance plans, it’s all of them.
For Shanklin Heating & Air, these results stem from three things:
- Great Leadership
- Having a System for Getting all Their CSRs on the Same Page
- Giving Their CSRs Confidence to Control Every Customer Conversation
Let’s break them down so you can do the same:
Because it’s generally “the boss” who signs up for our CSR Coaching Program, some CSRs feel reluctant to engage with training. They put on their “mean face” and act stubborn when we coach them. So I asked Tiffany how she is able to overcome this roadblock with her team that’s been coaching with us for six years. She said:
“From the top-down, this is just how we do things. It’s just our reputation. We want to have a good reputation and set the standard… Our team always just has to try it.”
Tiffany and her team practice what I called “doing business like a scientist.” Rather than approaching decisions like training as though they are final life-and-death choices, they invite their people to “try” them. To “test” them like a scientist tests their hypothesis. Then, once they see the actual results that come, they become invested.
A few months back, a Business Owner asked me how he should handle an employee who wouldn’t respond to training. I told him to say this the next time she pushed back:
“You know what, you might be right. I may be completely wrong with the stuff I’m training you on. You might be right and it might not work. But neither you nor I can know for sure unless we try it. Unless we put this to the test. Can I get a commitment from you to try this approach on all of your phone calls for one month? Then, if we listen to your calls and it’s obvious that it doesn’t work, I’ll take it all back.”
How can an employee say no to that?
This “scientific” approach to leadership helps Shanklin get all their CSRs to open up and try new tactics.
The next part of Shanklin’s approach is…
Having a System for Getting all Their CSRs on the Same Page
Admittedly, we are the system.
Our team coaches the CSRs at Shanklin one-on-one, twice a month, over the phone, using their own recorded phone calls to hold them accountable to results. Each CSR gets personalized coaching sessions. In Tiffany’s own words:
“It’s the heartbeat of our CSR department.”
Shanklin’s CSRs get assigned a coach and a quality assurance specialist who:
- Listen to their recorded calls
- Show up to regularly scheduled coaching sessions with feedback and a plan to practice and improve during the next two weeks
“The coaches always have an answer,” Tiffany says. When her team feels stuck or needs feedback on a certain type of phone calls, they ask their coach. Their coach will then give them feedback, offer a way to deal with the situation next time, and follow up to see the results.
Tiffany compares having a coach for her CSRs to the tools her Technicians have:
“All our girls talk about what Power Selling Pros teaches. It’s their toolbox. It’s just like a Technician has his tools, Power Selling Pros is our CSRs’ tool.”
There’s one other thing Coaching does for Tiffany’s team:
“Everybody is on the same page, everybody answers the call the same way. Yes, they have their own touch they put on it, but they follow the same call flow to help the customer in the same way. It’s a systematic way to approach the phone.”
Nothing is worse than having a CSR team where John is terrific when he picks up the call but Sally is terrible. It’s just bad for business to have a misaligned and inconsistent experience depending on who answers the phone.
Giving Their CSRs Confidence to Control Every Customer Conversation
I like to say that if your CSRs aren’t confident, the script doesn’t matter. The leadership doesn’t matter. None of the systems you’ve created matter at all if there is no confidence and belief in your CSRs.
A CSR who lacks confidence will sound like a lifeless robot if you give them a script. Tiffany says:
“We have the confidence that they have the confidence to control the customer conversation.”
The CSRs at Shanklin will hear their colleagues sell a maintenance plan over the phone then ask “how do I do that? I wanna do that?” And so they teach and make each other more confident.
“And when our CSRs are that confident, how can our customers say no?”
Something to Aspire To
Selling 90% of your maintenance plans over the phone. Building a culture where the people are open to something new. Having a proven system for getting better. Building your people’s confidence.
That’s something to aspire to.
To see if the program that Shanklin Heating & Air uses to get these results is right for you, schedule a free consultation with our team.