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Technician Tips • Operations • Business Tips • 48 minutes

Service Before Sales: Teaching Techs to Problem Solve

July 12, 2022

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Episode Overview

Leadership at the training company Service Business Evolution has a common-sense, yet somewhat divergent, approach to coaching and sales in the trades.

They believe field technicians can and should be trained to close sales. 

And those technicians ought to be able to, in some cases, double their salaries to more than six figures.

Service Business Evolution is a virtually based company with 22 employees across the country, primarily in Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina. To date, SBE has trained more than 1,000 contractors in the United States and Canada.

SBE President Kelcey Summers and Vice President of Coaching & Training Will Smith believe strongly in the concept of not having techs turn leads over to salespeople. Rather, both believe the tech is in the best position to earn trust and close a sale.

Smith acknowledges that consumers don’t always have a high level of trust in salespeople.

“If the technician goes out and provides 100-percent customer satisfaction—which means they listen, take care of them, and they fix their problem immediately—the trust factor is pretty high,” Smith says.

When it’s time to replace equipment, Smith asks, who’s got the relationship? The tech? Or a salesperson who steps into the picture?

“The tickets are much higher when the technician makes the sale,” Smith says. “The customers are happy because they’re talking to somebody that they trust.”

SBE’s Summers says it all boils down to doing customer service the right way.

“We teach techs how to provide customer service and how to capture customers through maintenance agreements,” she says. “It’s definitely about providing the best customer service so you never lose that customer. When they’re ready to buy, they’re going to buy from you.”

With a trusted tech in pocket, customers are also less likely to shop around.

Importantly, Summers says that techs—who often don’t enjoy doing sales—are down with this approach.

“That’s what it’s about,” she says. “Techs love it because it’s not really selling. It’s really just providing customer service.”

Techs are also pretty happy to be boosting a salary that can cap around $60,000 to take-home pay that might jump to $100,000 or more.

Kelcey Summers and Will Smith recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel as part of Season 6 of the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Summers’ and Smith’s thoughts on:

  • Why the founder of SBE felt a need to aid technicians through coaching.

  • How positive reinforcement management can empower technicians.

  • The culture and ethics behind bridging the customer service gap.

  • The dichotomy of problem-solving versus product sales.

  • Surrounding yourself with the right mentors.

To hear more tales from the trades, subscribe to Toolbox for the Trades on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or anywhere you get podcasts.

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Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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