What Makes a White Shirt Tech #LIVE
In this honest—maybe overly honest—live podcast, we talk about the dark side of white shirt techs. We also discuss ways the industry can make money while doing the fundamentals well.
The term “white shirt” refers to a sales technician who prioritizes selling equipment over fieldwork; these technicians don't necessarily sell expensive products, but they lack technical expertise. The surefire way to tell if someone is a “white shirt” is to see if they can solve problems with their hands or if they just pull solutions from a menu of new products.
However, “white shirts” do have some skills we can learn from. They are usually great communicators, which is an excellent characteristic in our trade. Honesty is also important, though, and great communication can only be a good thing if it's backed up by honesty. “White shirts” lie, and they make excuses for their lies.
Unfortunately, many of us want to do good work and make less than “white shirts.” The problem may not be with the white shirt technicians; we contribute to the problem by undervaluing our expertise and quality work.
Strangely enough, we rarely ever see white shirt technicians in commercial HVAC. That's because commercial HVAC is a far more expensive, less sales-oriented part of the industry. There is less of a need to push products onto the customer to make money.
We also cover:
- The fine art of setting prices
- Sales tactics
- Made-up simplified product names (“heat rejector”)
- Honest, straightforward, non-emotional communication
- Vetting technicians
- Deceptive training by salespeople
- What drives people to sell extra accessories
- “White shirt” profit margins
- Labor rates, diagnostic fees, and maintenance prices
- Hard start kits and potential misunderstandings
- Bad intentions vs. ignorance
- Billable time in residential vs. commercial HVAC
- Buyer's remorse
- Consulting vs. sales
- Surge protection
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