There are lots of myths in the HVAC industry but some of the most prominent ones are focused around the day-to-day operations of Comfort Advisors. To debunk some of these fables I reached out to Joe Jones, region business manager, brand management at Lennox Industries.
M: Joe, what are some of the responsibilities of a Comfort Advisor?
J: Sales is the bloodline of the business; it's what puts life into it. So Comfort Advisors are responsible for bring life back to the business. Sometimes great companies fail at the sales side of things, and consequently the business fails. If you think about sales being the bloodline and that analogy, as important as the organs are, if you don't have blood flowing through your body, you die. It connects everything together and allows it to function.
M: That's a good analogy, Joe. How does a Comfort Advisor recognize that role?
J: They're going to know the installers. They're going to know their job board and what they have scheduled. And when they don't sell a job, those installers go home, sometimes without pay. When things are busy and a Comfort Advisor is handed a lead, they're responsible for turning that lead into profit for the business, a paycheck for the installer, and it's a burden that the Comfort Advisors carry.
M: Where do you think these perceptions come from?
J: The perception in the industry is that all they do is load studies and they kind of have it made. That is because when they get really good, business owners recognize that before they had this Comfort Advisor they struggled. And now the Comfort Advisor is closing deals and they're keeping their business alive so they do get really good treatment. And they're important in a way that you can see it and you can recognize it more so than maybe other roles. I think that some of the perception is based on a reality, like their lack of attention to detail or troubles with paperwork, but it shouldn't overshadow the positive things they do and the responsibilities they have.
M: What's a good way for a dealer to minimize those perceptions in a dealership?
J: I would suggest requiring Comfort Advisors to have a set amount of in-office hours per week. This gives them the chance to pay attention to details, do their paperwork, follow up with customers and show their team members that they're responsible in handling their work.
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