How to Crush Christmas Objections

Christmas is right around the corner, and we all know what Christmas brings with it! Objections!  Yes, tis the season for the Christmas Objection. Once a year, your client gets to dust off the old excuses from last Christmas and bring them out one-by-one. 

Here are some of the classics you can expect to hear this year:

  • “Maybe after Christmas” This one is a tried and true classic. It offers no explanation and no real excuse. 
  • “I just don’t have the time right now. Call after the Holidays.” This one is a Holiday favorite of moms everywhere.
  • “Things are tight right now; call after Christmas.” This is my Dad’s favorite objection. 
  • “My little girl wants the Barbie Dreamhouse. I can’t do both.” And, of course, no Christmas season would be complete without a tear-jerker. This little beauty is best delivered while “butterfly kisses” plays in the background.

Tis the Season for Christmas Objections, and Tis the Season to Crush Them.

You are about to encounter some serious objections, and I want to give you some tools to stop them dead in their tracks. 

How to Crush the Christmas Objection

Don’t bring up Christmas. 

It is only natural to talk about Christmas when you enter the home. All of our training has taught us to notice our surroundings and then talk about them. However, I recommend that you don’t bring up Christmas with your client. 

Here’s why you want to avoid the Christmas topic with your clients.

  • Don’t remind them of the money they have already spent. 
  • Avoid connecting yourself with an emotional holiday that is already stressful.
  • Your clients don’t need your help creating new objections they haven’t considered.
Build Value, Need, and Want. 

The subject of objections can’t be covered without first marching through the topics of value building. To keep this section short, I will leave it to the following: no matter the time of year, you should follow a successful communication system. If you don’t have a successful communication system, then use our PRESS PLAY Training System. [CLICK HERE TO DISCOVER MORE]

Master the Christmas Objection Crushers.  

In this portion of today’s post, you will learn how to eliminate and destroy the objections.   

Develop the “No Excuses Mentality.” 

Getting into the habit of accepting excuses is a killer to success. “Where do the excuses end?” See, after Christmas, there is tax season and then summer vacation and then back to school…where does it end!?

One of the best things that I have ever heard is, “if we ACCEPT the EXCUSES, we ACCEPT the FAILURE!”

What are you willing to accept? In the end, it is that choice that will drive and dictate your results. After all, the results you achieve are a direct reflection of the reflection in the mirror.

Plant the Financing Seed Early in the Call. 

This script will set the stage for the unexpected event of an emergency repair or replacement. To create clarity, I have separated the script into paragraphs that represent the major ideas and transitions.

“You know Bob and Betty, I have found that some of my clients have saved or planned for this type of investment, and they simply take care of the payment after the job.

However, many of my clients have not planned for this or saved for this type of situation. 

So, they want or need to take advantage of our Flexible Financing Options. Is this something that you have saved for, or do you think the flexibility of financing would be important to you?”

Seek a Solution to the Affordability Problem.

This script aids in handling the objection of convenience, timing, and financing.

“I certainly understand that the timing of this discussion may not be the best.

Other than the timing, is there any other reason why you wouldn’t feel comfortable moving forward with the solutions that we have discussed?

Great, let me ask a quick question, Bob. When do things tend to go wrong with our Heating and Cooling Systems/Plumbing/Electrical?

That’s right, typically when we can least afford it, right?

But really Bob, when is it convenient to talk about making this type of investment? Right!

You know, it’s never really convenient or easy deciding to invest this kind of money. I would agree with you 100%.

Bob, it’s obviously something that you feel you NEED, or you wouldn’t have invested this time to find out what your options are. Since we both agree there is a need, and since you have told me that you feel we are the right company and that the solutions make sense based on your needs, why don’t we address making this investment more flexible for you?

I would like to show you some amazing offers that we have now with our financing vendors. Fair?”

The Uncle Eddie. 

And now, for the fun of the holiday, I will give you one of my personal favorite Christmas Objection Scripts. I call it “The Uncle Eddie.”

“John, have you ever seen the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? That is one of my favorite movies.  

The movie does such a good job of highlighting the joys and stresses of the holidays.  

And poor Clark, he never seems to be able to catch a break, does he? Things can be looking up for him, but then, they turn around as soon as Uncle Eddie knocks on the door.

Uncle Eddie is a lot like Murphy’s Law. He shows at just the right time to make things worse. Now, that makes for a great movie, but it doesn’t make for a great life.

These repairs that I’m showing you here are just like Uncle Eddie’s Christmas card. He’s writing to say, “Clark, I’m coming for Christmas! I’m going to show up at the worst possible time!” 

However, I’m here, right now. And I can stop Uncle Eddie from showing up at all. Wouldn’t you rather go ahead and take care of this now and avoid the headache that’s coming?”


I hope this will help you avoid The Christmas Objections and lead to a very Happy Holidays!


Todd Liles is the founder of Service Excellence Training and the creator of the PRESS PLAY Training System.

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 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 to see if there are Success Days in your area!

Time to Push the Reset Button

If we ever wanted a ‘do-over’ for our industry, this is it. Being classified as an essential business during COVID is giving us the chance to change the narrative of our industry. How we rise to the challenge is on us.

Being able to set or reset the expectations for your profession isn’t something everyone is gifted. We need to take this opportunity and create the standards that will become our new normal.

One area we need to address is the need for qualified employees.

There is an enormous void that needs to be filled. Now more than ever, the need for qualified, trained, and experienced men and women to fill positions in the job market is vitally important to our nation’s economic growth.

The workforce used to be divided into two categories.

This isn’t the case anymore. It isn’t just White Collar and Blue Collar. ‘No Collar’, ‘New Collar’, or ‘Grey Collar’; these are the jobs that require skilled workers with specialized training, but not necessarily a four-year degree. In these uncertain times, being able to promote a stable job in high demand, good pay with benefits, and growth opportunities is a huge advantage. Previous views of low pay and limited opportunities are being replaced by no debt and career advancement. Careers in the trades are just that, careers.

They need to be promoted as such and not as a short-term alternative until the employee ‘finds their passion’.

We need to educate people that a career path does exist and show them the values and benefits of our industry.

But aside from hiring, there are other issues to address. This article isn’t meant to point out all the changes we need to make and how to do it.

It is so much bigger than that.

Everything you read about change, whether it changes in your career or your marriage, the first step is always to look within. You must start with yourself. I think that holds true in this case as well.

To make changes within our industry, we need to look at ourselves and how we portray our positions. I listened to a webinar last week by Chris Elmore and Chris Loudermilk with Service Excellence Training. The topic was professionalism. Todd Liles and his team want to raise the image of our industry. Chris Elmore mentioned that we haven’t always done a great job in our helping ourselves in that respect; we tend to dumb down the tech. As hard as it was to hear that, he is correct.

Reinvention allows us to reduce the perceived stigma long associated with our professions. This is a commitment that we all need to make. We all have a role to play; creating the vision, implementing the changes, and spreading awareness of the new expectations.

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 to see if there are Success Days in your area!

Am I Priced Right for COVID-19?

Ever find yourself wondering, “Am I priced right?”

As my attorneys like to say about everything that I ask them, “Well, that depends,” as I roll my eyes and say, “Will somebody give me a straight answer please?”

The CEO of Ferrari was once asked how many of a certain type of model he was going to produce. His response? “Exactly one less than the market will want.” Now, isn’t that interesting? We all know Ferrari is a high-end luxury racing beauty, and yet they price based on what their market will bear. And they know exactly what their market will bear.

What will your market bear, and is COVID-19 changing how you are priced?

Are your customers questioning their bill?

Our team has been running service calls in the field all across the United States over the past few months, and when presented with a menu of options, homeowners are still buying the level of service they want…and let me tell you, to no one’s surprise, COVID-19 is not turning these homeowners into cheaper buyers.

We are finding that now is the perfect time to continue on providing great service to your customers, presenting your prices with options, and when applicable, even offering new services such as air sanitization and fogging throughout homes and businesses.

On a resume I reviewed earlier this week, I was amused by the candidate’s creative liberty, as they stated, “Here are my accomplishments pre and post COVID-19.” I hit a hard stop; there was a lot of truth in that. How many of us, if not all of us, have been forced to change and change for the better? Have your processes in the home changed? How about how you greet your customer? That has certainly changed.

Have you adjusted your prices to meet the demands of your customer’s current health and safety needs?

Your company is most likely now using more products in the field for cleaning, sanitizing, and safety and many materials and parts have been much harder to get your hands on. So, have your costs gone up? Maybe to question with more emphasis, HAVEN’T your costs gone up?

We change our prices for what the market will bear; we do not price gouge, but our costs as an industry are currently much higher. Running a business is expensive, and we are in business to serve our customers while turning a profit. So, it’s important to recognize the costs that are happening; don’t ignore them.

I’m ready to extend my neck on the guillotine, so might as well jump all in with this one:

Pre-COVID-19 vs. Post-COVID-19

Our circumstances have changed, and our field presentations have changed. But if we aren’t raising our prices to match the costs and needs of the business, are we at least watching our closing rates?
A low closing rate cancels out all the good you could possibly do. Service should close over 95% of every opportunity you run. If your closing rates are low, especially when customers are stuck at home and noticing all the problems in their homes and they have time to fix them, something about your presentation is communicating that your expertise isn’t worth it; something about your presentation is presenting your company as a commodity instead of as a solution.

We have been hearing lately that some technicians are nervous about giving options to the customers because they know times are hard and don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.

It’s important to listen to your techs and listen to your team and course-correct accordingly. But don’t believe for one second that people aren’t spending money—Amazon would beg to differ; it’s their super bowl right now with everyone sitting at home. Online shopping is no longer the new rage. It has even bypassed the new norm and has become a new family member. People are buying, and they’re even buying more because they WANT health and safety – if you don’t offer it, they can’t buy it!

If they’ll spend money on new paintbrushes and paint at The Home Depot for a DIY home project, they’ll invest in having their systems working properly. And if they’ll spend $8 for a bottle of hand sanitizer right now, they’ll look at pricing options and swing what they can do. No, we don’t want to overcharge; that’s never been the idea. We just want your customers to be given the option to buy. Really, on every call, you give your customer an option whether you mean to or not: Buy from you or buy from your competitor. So, you might as well give them some options to choose the service they want, so they are more likely to remain your customer.

Don’t prejudge your customers and decide for them how this pandemic has affected them. For you, it might be your wallet affected, but for them, it might be a family member. Let them decide what’s important to them and spend accordingly. In a time where we have lost so much of our power, let your customer have the power to purchase.

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 to see if there are Success Days in your area!

How to Adapt to the New Normal

There is going to be a new normal. The economic disruption caused by COVID-19 has caused businesses to either re-examine how they do business or cease to exist. Companies that try to return to business, as usual, will face a harsh reality.  

Companies are working to find ways to protect their employees and their businesses. Even businesses that were in the unique position to do well are realizing the gaps in their structure due to outdated and inefficient processes. While some businesses are focused solely on survival, others are taking advantage of this opportunity to update and change their procedures.

  • Look for ways to reduce your technician’s time in the field. Are there tasks they can perform before arrival to minimize their time in the home?
  • Investigate and fix problems in processes. Look at ways to automate workflows or manual processes in your company. Minimizing the time spent on manual processes can add significantly to profit margins. This will also allow employees to accept work that may be more challenging and of higher value to your company.
  • Update your policies and procedures to reflect the changes to your company’s processes that you have implemented. This will save you time and money when training new or existing employees.  

Do you need a person in your office from 8 to 5? If you have someone there strictly for deliveries, is there a way to change this? Most companies are sending invoices, bills, and notifications via email. While you are at it, do you need the office space you have? The concept of an open office workspace is no longer an option. 

  • Is it financially and logistically an option to modify this?
  • Look outside of our industry. Home health care, pest control, food delivery services, to name a few. What changes have they made that you can implement in your own business?

Consider outsourcing. Imagine being able to hire the best in the country, not just the best in your area. 

  • When implemented correctly, outsourcing certain positions and tasks within your company is seamless, providing your customers with the same level, if not better, of service they were receiving before. Again, this will allow your employees to take on tasks that will generate more revenue for your company.  
  • Realize that change is hard. To keep your employees engaged, be sure to communicate with them regarding changes that may affect them. Get their input. What worked, what they struggled with. How can the changes that your company is implementing alleviate these challenges?

There is a quote by Jim Rohn that I think is very fitting in today’s world:

 “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”

We all hope we don’t have to go through another situation like this. I urge you to take the time to study your company and make the changes needed to guarantee your success in the future. We will face crisis again, whether it be a regional weather emergency or a worldwide pandemic. The difference between the companies that survive and those that don’t is their ability to accept that change will happen and their response to it. Do not leave your success to chance.


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 to see if there are Success Days in your area!