The Average Ticket Culture

When someone truly believes in the products and services they provide to their clients, and they know how to effectively communicate what they believe with passion and enthusiasm to another, this becomes the positive cause and effect of the sales process. My team and I have a saying that illustrates this communication process in sales, which leads to my average ticket discussion: 

“Sales is the transfer of your belief to someone else, and the reward is money.”

So if you and your team believe in the products and services that you offer and can communicate this to your clients ethically with passion and enthusiasm, average tickets will go up along with company profits, employee income, and rave reviews. 

Many organizations and national trainers (including myself and my IAQ training team) all preach the importance of setting KPIs, knowing the average ticket of your team members, and holding them accountable to reach the standards and goals that you set for them. As important as this is to keep your company profitable so that you can properly serve your clients, many times this can be misconstrued by your team without the proper communication that should go along with it.

Let me elaborate on the three types of “Average Ticket Cultures” that I have seen over the years of training and visiting contractors.

  1. Lead to mislead: This is where the leader of the company trains his team to hit the KPI and average ticket at all costs. Maybe even to the extent of having deceptive practices to entice clients to purchase unneeded products or services only to benefit the technicians, sales consultants’, and the company’s pocketbooks. So they may or may not believe in the company’s product and services, but that doesn’t matter in this case. The emphasis is put on increasing revenue alone and not increasing average tickets by properly communicating to the client what is in their best interest. Fortunately, this is the exception and not the rule.
  2. Lead to impede: Many times company leaders, who recognize the importance of higher average tickets and what it financially means to all involved, don’t train their team on how to effectively communicate the features and benefits of their products and services properly to their clients on every sales, service, and maintenance call. So the leader becomes a hindrance since the team may believe in the company’s products and services, yet they don’t know how to transfer this belief to the client. It’s like telling them where they need to be, but not telling them how to get there.
  3. Lead to succeed: In this culture, not only does the leader give her team members the tools and training to understand the benefits of their products and services, but she also works with them on how to effectively communicate these benefits, honestly and ethically, on every call. Teaching them when and how to offer options at incremental levels allows the client to choose which option best fits their budgets and needs. These options can best be described, in a manner of speaking, as what must be done to get them back up and running, what should be done to prevent it from happening in the future, and what could be done to improve performance with accessory items, (i.e.: IAQ, water treatment, surge protectors, hard start kits, generators, etc.). 

When a leader leads to success, it takes some work, yet it is the only sustainable culture of the three. Higher average tickets become the positive effect that is caused by the ability of your team members to communicate challenges and solutions effectively with confidence. This then becomes a company culture of servicing the client with care and consideration that results in higher average tickets. Yet, it doesn’t start there. Treating others with respect and respecting their point of view, even when you don’t agree, is a way of life. Greeting others with a smile and living a life of gratitude starts with humility in one’s self. In our innermost being, we must respect ourselves first, which guides our morals, and in turn guides our manners in respecting others.

I may be simplifying this, yet as we witness the negativity that’s going on locally and around the world today, there is an obvious disconnect with humility, respect, and understanding of others. How we deal with adversity affects us, our personal life, our careers, and the world around us.

In the early 1800s as our country was developing, the US and the British were still fighting over the control of this new nation and the land. Caught in between this fight were the Native Americans who saw us “settlers” as the enemy in this land grab. 

Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee tribe rose amongst the Indians to become a leader and great warrior that tried to unite all tribes to defend their homeland. Talk about adversity! 

Chief Tecumseh had other great attributes as well. While he was a fierce warrior, he was a humble man who believed in treating others with respect. I will not be able to do justice to his legacy in this short article, but here is a very brief bio:

                      “Tecumseh was a Shawnee warrior chief who organized a Native American confederacy in an effort to create an autonomous Indian state and stop white settlement in the Northwest Territory (modern-day Great Lakes region). He firmly believed that all Indian tribes must settle their differences and unite to retain their lands, culture, and freedom. Tecumseh led his followers against the United States in many battles and supported the British during the War of 1812. But his dream of independence ended when he was killed at the Battle of Thames, which led to the collapse of his Indian confederacy.”

Chief Shawnee was also a great orator whose speeches even mesmerized enemy soldiers. This excerpt from one of his speeches gives us some insight to his humility and beliefs. 

“So, live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes, they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.” ― Chief Tecumseh

What great words of wisdom! Lead to succeed with a culture of humility and respect for others, and the financial rewards will come your way.  

 

Steve Mores is the Vice President of Training and Sales at Dynamic Air Quality Solutions

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!

Optimizing Your Virtual Conference Experience

The trend toward virtual conferences was already growing, but circumstances in 2020 have pushed the transition to a necessity. While in-person conferences are valuable, companies are seeing the benefits of going virtual; ease of accessibility, eco-friendly, and the minimal costs associated with attending.   

Attending a virtual conference does have its challenges. 

With a little insight and preparation, you can still get all the amazing information from the comfort of your office or living room, at a fraction of the cost. Follow these tips to make the most of your time.

Be an Active Participant. Block out the time on your calendar. Commit to being truly present for the experience. Use chat and other networking tools to connect with other attendees and participate in the sessions and with the presenters. The contacts you make at a virtual event become stronger when you do meet in-person at another event. Someone once gave me this advice; I use it to motivate myself when attending meetings or webinars. ‘One important way you can distinguish “high performing people” from “lower-performing people” is their ability to extract more meaning from the same exact data set.’

Be Selective. Virtual conferences are an inexpensive way to learn from the best in the industry without having to be away from your family or business. Try to choose topics and sessions that relate to what you want to learn right now. There is no need to feel guilty about not attending every meeting or breakout session. It is easier to commit the time if you feel you are getting valuable benefits from it. 

Prepare Your Attitude. Remove the idea that online learning is “second best” compared to being in a face-to-face environment. Research shows that is not true. As with any other learning situation, the responsibility for success falls to the learner.  

Have a Plan. Review the schedule, write down three to four objectives you want to achieve from the event, and pay attention that you are making progress towards them throughout the event.

Share the Wealth. Enlist your employees to attend sessions. Have staff meetings for everyone to present what they have learned. 

Allowing your team to be involved and learn directly from the experts boosts team morale and improves accountability. 

Take Notes. Write it down. Do not rely on screenshots or getting a copy of the presentation later. Note-taking is one of the most effective learning tools you have.

Curb Your Distractions. It is hard to be focused sitting in front of your computer screen by yourself rather than surrounded by other attendees in a conference hall. Turn off social media, try to limit distractions, and be mindful not to ‘multi-task’. If you can, attend as many sessions as you can live.  

Learn the app. Familiarize yourself with the platform and features for the conference. Get comfortable with how to communicate with other attendees, the Q&A functionality, and any other capabilities it may have.  

Replay and Review. One big benefit of virtual conferences is the ability to play and replay sessions. You can access sessions you weren’t able to attend live and review any previously viewed sessions. Be sure to take notes, as sessions are usually available for a limited time.  

Visit with the Vendors. Exhibitors are one of your best resources. We can be extremely helpful in providing information about changes in regulations, updates in technology, or insight into emerging trends. 

While the circumstances currently driving events online might be temporary, the movement towards digital events probably isn’t. Investing the time to maximize your experience will only benefit your career and your business.

Lynn Wise is the Founder and CEO of Contractor in Charge.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!

I Need You, You Need Me

Jeffrey J. Fox, the author of How to Become CEO, says, “Always be on the lookout for ideas. Be completely indiscriminate as to the source. Get ideas from customers, children, competitors, other industries, or cab drivers. It doesn’t matter who thought of an idea.”

What matters is that you are looking for and finding ideas.

We find ideas from books, social media, television, movies – the list goes on, but of course, it includes people.

Lately, I have been considering my circle of friends, which surprisingly is very small. As an extrovert, I like people, I know a lot of people, and a lot of people know me – but during quarantine this Spring and the halfway quarantine we’re all still in, it seems social circles are shrinking!

Idea sharing and conversations are no longer held in a neighbor’s garage or your buddy’s shop; instead, they’re more like this: “Hey, Bob, good to see you – are you quarantining, or is it okay to shake your hand, give you a side hug, or should I just stay over here and holler across the street when I see you in the neighborhood?”

Awkward! It’s awkward every day at daycare drop off when I see people who ‘were’ my friends, or so I thought – everyone is sidestepping to get out of one another’s way and to avoid any contact, even eye contact!

But it’s this distancing I’ve been feeling lately that has weighed heavily on my mind, the old Jim Rohn idea, ‘You are the average of the top five people in your life.’

Because if that’s true…well, besides my co-workers, my top five people right now are my husband and our three children who scream and whine and laugh and…well…poop a lot. Is that who I am right now, too?!

This thinking led me to reading, where I stumbled upon a blog from David Burkus turning the perspective to a broader view:

“You’re not the average of the FIVE people you surround with. It’s way bigger than that. You’re the average of all the people who surround you. So, take a look around and make sure you’re in the right surroundings.”

And that, my friends, is just one of many fantastic reasons for you to register for Service World Expo. So we can all hang out!

So we can hang out and idea share.

That’s right – as an exhibitor, I’ve been able to sneak peek a bit more into behind the scenes of what this event will really look like – how interactive and fun it’s going to be…from the comfort of your own home or office.

If you’re ready for new ideas, visiting with old friends, making new friends, or perhaps looking for help – if an area of your business is causing you heartache and pain, let’s get together at SWE and work through it together – you, me, and hopefully a few thousand others. Sure, it isn’t in person this time, but with a little patience and some great Wi-Fi, we can all reignite the inspiration and passion that 2020 has taken from a lot of us. 

Plus, I’d like to invite you because I’m speaking on three things to easily gain control over regarding management, organization, and finance in my talk “Entrepreneur or Contractor? Fight it Out!” Mark your calendar for September 21-23 and put a special asterisk on Wednesday, September 23, at 1:00 pm for my talk; see you there!

 

Written by Danielle Putnam, President of The New Flat Rate and Immediate Past President of Women in HVACR

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!