Surely you’ve had times in your career when you’ve felt like some of your team members just couldn’t care less. You wish somebody would care as much as you do. You want them to take personal ownership for their levels of customer service and sales results, but they just don’t seem to give a darn.
Once we deal with this attitude a few times over and over we begin to get a bit jaded about how people will respond in our industry, and on our team. I can definitely relate to this and I understand the frustration that comes along with it. We’d love to have happy, excited, licensed, experienced people beating down our doors to get in our uniforms and get behind the wheel of one of our trucks.
However, since this isn’t the reality for most of us (my company is looking for techs as well, you’re not alone), we can begin to think and act like EVERYONE of the front line team doesn’t care. If that is true, then why should we train them and invest in them, right? Because the majority of the technicians and salespeople in our industry are NOT this flippant, couldn’t care less type of people.
We’re currently in Chicago executing our Service Sales Success School this week. I was talking to the attendees in the morning of the first day as I always do before we started and I learned that one of the residential salespeople in our class had an interesting trip to get to our school.
He was on vacation this week and our school just happened to land during a trip he already had planned. The owner of the business wanted him to come to our school and he wanted to be here, so he ended his vacation early and flew to us in Chicago from a beach town where we was vacationing. The owner wanted him to stay as long as possible on his vacation, so they booked him the last flight out.
Great idea and great intention! However, he got delayed on a layover until 2:45am and just before they cancelled the flight altogether, they were able to get airborne and fly on to Chicago, which put him here after 5:30am and he had to be in the training room by 7:00am. After a quick 45 minute nap, he showed up our school, ready to rock.
This is a guy with desire! We could tell he was fading a little bit by late afternoon, but he dug deep within himself and put in a full day of heavy mental lifting in our class. You never would have known that he didn’t have a normal night of sleep based on his engagement, interaction, questions, and overall involvement. I’ve been training techs and salespeople for a lot of years and I know when they’re mentally present for the content or not. He was present!
Developing a culture of front line team members with desire is critical to your success. In our Service Sales Success School we cover a lot of the concepts from my book The Six Dimensions of C.H.A.N.G.E. which can be a lot of content to digest for some technicians…but they want it! I wrote a column a few months back about our front line being the salt of the earth, and this is another great example of this fact.
Would YOU leave a family vacation early and operate on 45 minutes of sleep, sit in a classroom all day long and remain completely engaged? You have to answer that for yourself, but what we need to remember is these people DO exist in our industry. We’ve got a phenomenal group of techs/salespeople in our class this week and it’s a great reminder that most of our techs do have desire, we just have to tap into it.
It’s been said to not throw out the baby with the bathwater. This is the same concept I’m asking you to remember and embrace this week.
You might go through some team members to get the right group. You may train people that leave you for another company. You might train people that go out and start a competing business. You might feel like you’ve wasted time, energy, and dollars on some people. Isn’t it worth it though for all the lives you’re able to impact and change for the better in the process?
The good ones do exist. Invest in your team and your people consistently and the best will rise to the top. I’m proud to be associated with the quality people we have representing our clients in this industry. Don’t allow a few bad apples to spoil your mindset and outlook on the great ones that do have desire. Keep working toward your goal, keep your perspective right, and watch your results improve.