November 24, 2020
If you’re in sales, you know what an astronomical number $7,000,000 in sales per year for a single sales tech is! Brent Buckley is pulling that in, and it’s not due to some gimmicky sales techniques or sneaky tactics. He’s just a sales tech that truly cares about his customers and believes in what he sells, and he’s happy to share what he’s learned succeeding in the trades with you.
Brent was born in California, but after moving to Las Vegas at the age of 14, he considers it home. His father was in the heating and air conditioning business, so Brent grew up in the trades. Like many, Brent went along with his father on the weekends to help, and after graduating high school, he naturally progressed right into the HVAC world. After a short stint in Colorado as an HVAC installation helper, he went to school and became a service technician, and did a million dollars in sales in his first year as a full-time selling tech. Brent then moved back to Vegas to work alongside friend of To The Point Ken Goodrich to grow Yes! Air Conditioning & Plumbing from around 3 million to a current projection of 30 million this year.
It’s been a gradual process to 7 million/year, and it’s the result of long hours, good time management, and really understanding his customers.
The biggest hurdle Brent has faced in his career is fine-tuning his ego and mindset. With success comes confidence, but you can’t let that blind you. Confidence is a good thing, but letting your ego get out of control is going to be to your detriment. Keep your ego in check and remember that you’re here to help your customers. On the flip side, when things are going bad and you’re having a bad sales cycle, you have to see that as just part of the process. You’ll always have good and bad days, and you can’t let that affect your next call. Success is more mental than anything else.
You can teach someone how to install an air conditioner, but you can’t teach humility, gratitude, and really caring about your customers. Consistency of these traits is the real secret to Brent’s success.
If you can sell with empathy and understand and get on a customer’s level, you’ll be successful. For Brent, this means getting to know the customer firsthand. Learn about their lives, kids, jobs, house, and their personality. People want to vent about their frustrations and love to tell their story. All you have to do is ask! Simply by listening and genuinely caring, you’ll put off that vibe that your customer will resonate with. The real key is that you’t fake it. You have to really, truly care, and when you do, they’ll know it.
According to Brent, the technical part of the job is the easy part. Anyone can learn to service and install HVAC equipment, but mastering communication with customers on their level is a game changer. Most of the time when people are in need of heating, air conditioning, plumbing, or other trade service it’s an emergency, and completely unexpected. You have to understand this and have empathy when pitching that 20 or 30 thousand dollar HVAC system, and tap into the emotions of the situation.
Brent mostly sells 16 SEER systems and up, because he really believes in getting his customers the best product. He uses and loves having an inverter air conditioner in his own home, and that translates into him selling quite a lot of them to his customers. If you don’t believe that your higher end systems are worth the price, guess what? You’re probably going to be selling the basic systems.
He also points out that air flow solutions and ducting has played a huge part in getting to 7 million. Ductwork is a highly underutilized and under-checked aspect of the home, and it should be something you’re looking at for the homeowners you’re serving. Installing a new system on that old, failing ductwork means your customer will never see the full efficiency of their new HVAC unit. Have that conversation about ducting, air flow, and dust levels in the home that will make the new system truly great for the homeowner. You need to be asking a lot of questions, educating, and figuring out what your customer’s expectations are for the new system. That’s how you truly meet their needs and convince them there’s no better person to tackle the job.
95% of Brent’s sales are closed on the spot. Especially in Las Vegas, it’s a competitive market with lots of same-day installation contractors. If you are leaving the home without booking the installation, someone else is going to move in and close the deal for you. It’s a mistake to believe that the customer will call you back after you exit that front door.
You need to create urgency, and that is accomplished in a number of ways. In the summer, urgency is already there for an air conditioner because it’s hot. You can always throw in discounts, IAQ, and duct cleanings, but Brent would rather discount the total price 500 bucks rather than come back two days later and have to discount 2000 after they’ve shopped around. The faster you get there, the better, too. The longer out you schedule the install the higher the chance of a cancellation. Combine a sense of urgency with that foundation of caring about your customer and selling what you believe in, and you’ve got the recipe for a great closing rate.
When you’re in a sales slump, it can be a difficult spiral that’s tough to get out of. Brent navigates this by continuously training. He’s always reading and listening to books to better himself as a person, and that naturally motivates and inspires him to do more out in the field. He also reaches out to his mentors all the time, and leans on the community when he needs help. Even Brent, someone who is pulling in about $600,000/month in sales, is still active in trades-oriented Facebook groups asking for help. He’s been in the game a long time, but having the humility to reach out for help is how he stays successful.
It takes a long time to master the sales game. It doesn’t happen overnight! Brent is where he’s at after many years of refining his mindset, keeping his ego in check, and learning how to best serve and care for his customers. If you’re discouraged and not where you want to be, stay consistent, stay the course, and you will get there. As always, we encourage you to reach out for help. Some of the best resources are your peers, and that doesn’t cost you anything at all!