Shifting the field service division from being a cost center to a profit center is a move that many companies are trying to undertake and something most service management experts suggest wherever possible.
There are fantastic opportunities for establishing revenue streams from your field service techs but remember you employed them for their unique skills not their outstanding sales ability. Most likely, most of your mobile workforce are not natural salesmen and may find these additional requirements outside of their comfort zone.
To help you encourage your field techs to be more comfortable with the added expectation of becoming revenue generators, here are five tips that you can role out to your field techs to help them bring out their inner salesman.
Remember that the field service tech is the expert
Field service techs are knights in shining armor. Invariably they have been dispatched to fix a problem for your customers’. Whether it be in the working environment or the home environment, your field techs are the experts that will get your customers’ back on track. As such they are given trusted advisor status from the moment they arrive on site.
Gaining the client’s trust is probably the most important and often hardest thing for a salesman to achieve. The field tech, with their status as trusted advisor, has broken down that barrier immediately and is in a great position to sell additional services or products.
Field service techs who might not feel comfortable selling in a direct face to face environment should be reminded of their ‘trusted advisor’ status and be encouraged to draw confidence from this elevated position. In sales, confidence is absolutely everything.
Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy
Okay, so your field service tech is aware of the power of his position as a trusted advisor and is a super confident natural salesman.
Great, this gives him a perfect opportunity for that first-time sale but as any good sales organization will attest, while the first sales are important it is repeated business from your customer base that is absolutely vital to the future of your business.
Therefore it is essential that your field tech doesn’t mar the image of trusted advisor and only uses his position to sell your client products or services that are of genuine value to them.
Your clients are not stupid and if they are sold something that they didn’t need or at a price that is out of whack, they won’t bother calling you to complain, they’ll simply take their business elsewhere.
However, if your field service tech provides your clients with solutions to problems they need on a fair and honest basis, you will see repeat sales remain steady for years and years.
Don’t try to be a Salesman
If we were to ask you to describe a salesman I am sure most of you would say loud tie, cocky attitude, and full of cheesy lines?
Well, for a start remember not all salesmen are furniture or used car dealers
While there are a number of sales techniques whether it be SPIN, AIDCA, DIPIDA or any of other acronym out there, the simple fact remains that the best sales people play to their strengths and are just themselves.
Sales don’t need to be any more complicated than understanding your customers’ problem and offering them a solution. Your field service techs should be better placed than any salesman to achieve this goal and don’t need to try to be something they’re not.
Educate your field techs on all your products
Your company may operate a number of related or even disparate solutions and your field service techs are in a perfect position to cross sell if they have a broader understanding of all your products beyond their own area of expertise.
Field service techs are the greatest conduit that you have to your customers.
They are right there, talking to customers face to face, with a unique opportunity to gain insight into their needs. While their primary role is to remedy a problem, and their secondary role may be a direct sale, a potential third role could be to be to open up cross selling opportunities into other areas of the business.
Give them the tools to succeed.
If you want to your field service techs to become revenue generators, you need to give them the tools they need to succeed. Fortunately the technology is all there waiting for you.
You should focus on form creation and signature capture, access to ordering systems and of course payment collection. All of these can be created as apps that sit on smart devices operating on both Android and Apple’s iOS as well as other devices.
However, perhaps the most important consideration is to establish a transparent means of communication and interaction across all divisions of the company.
Whether this is a sophisticated cloud based end-to-end custom software solution or a simpler processed based solution that makes use of your existing assets, if you are expecting your field service techs to become revenue generators you need to give them the tools to succeed.