Updated: Aug 5, 2018
How many of you cringe when you are required to attend training for your trade or profession? For that matter, how many of you have a job that requires continued education and training? Continued education, for most trades and professions are required for license renewals and to keep the workers updated on what they do for a living. Unfortunately, most people in the service industry will do anything possible to avoid any training that is not "required". Education and training that will enhance their expertise, knowledge and skill level and in some cases increase their income, yet most will only do the bare minimum just to meet the mandatory requirements.
Law enforcement agencies train continuously, sports teams train every day, doctors, nurses, you name it, they not only constantly train and attend continued education courses they absorb anything in their field that will elevate them to a higher level of knowledge in their field. In the service industries field employees do not have the same passion for education. Education, to many, is seen as a time robber that takes away from production, more of a detriment than an enhancement. These views are shared and enabled by management in the service industry in many cases. In reality, the only thing more expensive than training and education is NOT training and educating.
Despite the fact many trades, for example the pest control industry, deal with potentially toxic products that could create death and / or injury to humans and pets as well as have catastrophic effects on the environment do not see continued training and education as a safety net that will reduce liability and future law suits. The sales inspectors in the service industry should have as much a grasp on the products and methods of application as the service technicians. This knowledge alone will increase sales and production thus growing the base.
Sales training in the service industry in any field from HVAC to plumbing and pest control, if taught at all, is taught by sales instructors from the retail side of sales. Selling service is completely different than selling retail, not even close. Retail sales are based on "wants", you want a TV, new car, electronic device, etc. Service sales are based on "needs", your air conditioner goes out, your plumbing is stopped up, you have termites eating your house, etc.
You would think, selling "needs" is not really selling so why does it have to be taught? If you thought that, then you need training, I agree the person with an immediate "need" will purchase to satisfy the necessary need like a plumber to fix the toilet, HVAC company to repair or replace the unit but it does not mean they will purchase from your company. In many cases our field representatives "unsell" more than they "sell". Sales training in the service industry is unique as described in my book, "The World Hates a Salesman" and it should be taught by service experienced people, not retail.
Employees hiding from training and education are not to blame, management is. Training and education has to be useful, entertaining and show results to the individual. When that happens, and the employees engage, you will have a more effective and powerful face of your company on the service side and the sales side. It will reduce liability and grow the base, embrace it, enforce it and believe in it.