Over the years we’ve had the privilege of talking to thousands of HVAC contractors across North America about how they’ve fared in implementing the High-Performance approach in their companies.
I wish I could say the vast majority was able to just flip a switch and presto chango they magically transformed their company into having a High-Performance Contracting business culture. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A consistent thread through many of our conversations is just how difficult it was to get this new culture to stick. While the reasons varied, the most prevalent was the lack of a solid plan and follow-through. In fact, it overwhelms them. They can’t figure out how to easily implement this approach within their organizations.
In other words, they didn’t know which initial steps they should take so they wouldn’t have to try to eat the elephant in one bite. As we look at the companies that successfully made High-Performance Contracting a seamless part of who they are, we recognized some common steps they took, and in what sequence.
So if you’re struggling with implementation, here are six steps that can get you back on track. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out, these six steps will help put you on the right path from the beginning:
STEP 1: Get every service tech, salesperson, and installer on your team to measure static pressures and interpret airflow at the equipment. Doing this should be part of every service call, sales call, and installation. It is a foundational step. To get everyone on board, you must help them understand why the company is doing this. You need to explain in simple terms why airflow and performance are so important, and the impact on your customers.
Your goal should be to test 100% of the systems your team touches. It might take a little time to get there, but it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Testing and documenting require discipline, ongoing training, and a lot of positive reinforcement.
STEP 2: Teach your installers how to perform Air Upgrades and System Renovations. Make sure they understand what’s expected of them and they have the tools, training, and materials to do the repairs and test-out properly.
STEP 3: Train your salespeople to follow-up on testing-generated leads. Make sure they have the right tools to perform testing on all sales calls. Remember, they are your technical translators. They must know how to explain to homeowners in laymen’s terms how they can improve their homes’ comfort, safety, and energy efficiency.
STEP 4: Establish menu pricing for your salespeople to easily add Air Upgrades and system renovations to their proposals. This step can be done concurrently with Step 3.
STEP 5: Build and stock Air Upgrade kits so they are ready to load on your installers’ trucks so they can perform these basic upgrades.
STEP 6: Market your capabilities to both existing and potential customers. Use third-party credibility materials like National Comfort Institute’s (NCI) Home Comfort Reports series. Put this information on your website and social media. You will be surprised how many people are looking for what you have to offer.
There is more to it of course, but these first six steps will take you in the right direction. Once you’ve mastered them, you can move onto new levels of delivered performance.
The key is to reinforce the six steps. You need someone to champion this approach throughout your company. If you are the owner or general manager, preferably it’s you. If you don’t have the time, delegate it to someone in your company. Be sure that person is truly passionate about delivering High Performance.
One more tip: Join a group of contractors who meet on a regular basis. This will help to keep your high-Performance fire burning brightly. One such group is National Comfort Institute’s Trailblazer Coaching program. You can include your key staff on these monthly coaching calls as well.