Change – Accepting or Rejecting the Forces Of Change

We in the trades tend to resist change. We see it but don’t necessarily rush to embrace it unless there is some motivation to embrace it. Some motivations to look toward new technologies or vendors is an unresolved dispute with a vendor. Most of us continue to deal with our regular vendors unless they let us down, but when the let down occurs we tend to “go shopping” for others who will satisfy our needs. These changes are straight forward and the reason for the change is very specific.

Hand flip wooden cube with word “change” to “chance”, Personal development and career growth or change yourself concept

But what other forces cause us to look at change? Personnel dynamics sometimes come into play. An employee who isn’t performing the work you assign or who doesn’t mesh with the other people may cause you to change people. Vehicle manufacturers change models and you may need to replace your old reliable models to a new model with different functions and features that you had grown used to.  Equipment or materials may change for reasons beyond your control that makes you adapt to the new normal. Some of these cause minor inconveniences while others cause major shifts in operations. Another force is economic and this one gets tricky.

Building construction may abruptly stop when economic forces stop people from buying new homes, and if you are geared for this type of work you are suddenly scrambling for replacement of this work to keep your people going so that when things change back you will be ready. If you are a service technician and your call numbers drop because people are trying to repair things themselves to save money, you are responding to a smaller number of people who finally decide the repair is over their head or they failed at fixing it themselves.

How you handle change will define you and your success or your failure. Many people, when confronted with change forces, give up and stop doing business. Others lay off people to give the remaining people enough work to stay open. The others, those who prosper in times of forced change, take a different path. They arm themselves and their people with the tools necessary to glean work from the customers they have. How do they arm themselves to glean the additional work?

Training your people is the right answer. The training can be pretty simple. All they need to know is they need to ask each customer they perform a service for whether it’s opening a drain or changing a water heater. For the guys opening a drain, they can take 5 minutes telling the customer about why they had the clog. The techs already know the answer so sharing it is pretty easy. The next step is to talk about going further than just opening the drain. Completely removing roots if that’s the problem, or descaling the cast iron line it that’s the problem. The information that they may need to close the loop between sharing the information and providing a cure is the price of the cure. If they don’t know, you will need to get them educated.

They now have a potential, and a good potential to get an upsell for a more thorough cleaning than just opening up the drain. The final piece of this talk with the customer is to share the knowledge that it will take lining or coating or both to permanently resolve the problem so the roots don’t grow back or the scale doesn’t reform. There’s no selling here. Just sharing information. The customer will either sell themselves and have your tech perform the work they discussed. At the least, they can agree to ongoing service by staying ahead of the clogs by having you come back periodically to stay ahead of the clogs that will eventually plug it again. If it’s a water heater change-out they can talk about any dripping faucets or other issues, such as how long it takes to get hot water to a particular sink that could be solved with a point-of-use supplemental heater that provides some hot water until the water from the heater reaches that sink.

The point is YOU need to arm your crew to produce the results. We saw increases in lateral lining materials during the previous slow down as many of the techs followed the above formula to generate sales from a customer you are already in front of who’s already hired you. A pretty easy upsell formula that won’t cost you anything but your training time. An investment that’s well worth it. 

For more information, contact Pipe Lining Supply at +1-888-354-6464 or email us at

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