The Sales Technician Model in HVAC: A Caution for Homeowners

By: Brian Schutt  |  September 11, 2023

The HVAC industry, like many others, is constantly evolving to adapt to new technological advancements, market demands, and business models. One such trend that’s gained momentum is when HVAC companies employ sales technicians. While it might sound like an innovative solution — combining the technical expertise of a technician with the sales skills of a consultant — homeowners should approach this model with caution. Here’s why.

Understanding the Sales Technician Model

At first glance, the idea of a sales technician sounds promising. Who wouldn’t want to deal with a single individual who can not only diagnose issues with an HVAC system but also recommend and sell the most suitable solution? But beneath this seemingly streamlined approach lie potential pitfalls for homeowners.

Why Homeowners Should Be Wary

1. Potential for Upselling: Incentives matter. If a technician’s compensation is tied to sales, there’s a possible temptation to push for replacements over repairs. While a homeowner might just need a minor fix, they could be advised to opt for a pricier upgrade, even if it isn’t essential.

2. Trust Issues: An HVAC technician is a homeowner’s go-to expert for an honest diagnosis. When this technician dons the hat of a salesperson, it muddies the waters. Is the recommendation being made in the homeowner’s best interest or is it influenced by sales targets? This dual role can cast doubt over the technician’s objectivity.

3. Pressure & Judgment: Sales quotas can sometimes exert undue pressure on technicians. This might cloud their judgment, causing them to prioritize sales over genuine customer service.

4. Diluted Expertise: Wearing two hats isn’t easy. Balancing sales with technical roles might spread a technician too thin, which could, over time, dilute their expertise in either domain.

Why Companies Opt for Sales Technicians

For HVAC companies, this model might make business sense. It offers efficiency, fewer personnel to train, and potentially higher revenue if technicians can upsell. But, while the company might benefit, it’s essential to ask: at what cost? If homeowners are routinely advised to make unnecessary purchases, the company’s reputation could suffer in the long run.

Making Informed Decisions

For homeowners, the best approach is always to stay informed. Here are some tips:

Research: Before committing to a particular HVAC company, do some research. Look for reviews, ask for recommendations, and be wary of companies known to push sales aggressively.

Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask your technician questions. If they recommend a replacement, ask for reasons. A genuine issue will always have a clear explanation.

Seek Second Opinions: If a recommendation feels off, get a second opinion. It might cost a bit more upfront, but it could save a significant amount in unnecessary expenses later.


Homesense Technician Model

At Homesense we have chosen to create a “separation of church and state” between our technicians and our sales team. We believe that when homeowners call to have their HVAC system repaired, they want someone who’s sole motivation is to fix their system. By recruiting a team of experienced technicians that are committed to the Heart of Homesense, we help ensure homeowners get a trustworthy experience every time they call.

While the sales technician model in the HVAC industry might seem efficient, homeowners should tread carefully. Prioritize trust and expertise over convenience.

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