Ask the Experts | Providing Spiffs for Lead Generation

Question: Do you think it's better to provide service techs with small spiffs when they set a turnover lead or a bigger spiff only when that lead closes?

Drew Cameron; President, HVAC Sellutions & Energy Design Systems, Inc:

I like to do both quite frankly. I like to teach my technicians - obviously through the EGIA methodology for technician communication - how to set those leads. I teach them how to take a service call and flip an opportunity over for a comfort advisor and I want to incentivize my technicians to do that. I want incentivize the right behaviors. I also want to incentivize them to do it properly.

If they start doing it improperly then I'm not going to pay that spiff. I pay a spiff for them to set that lead. I like it to be $50 for an equipment replacement and $25 if it's for indoor air quality. I'll pay them for a lead that gets my comfort advisor in the door. They get that for a lead that runs. Now, if the comfort advisor sells indoor air quality opportunity or the replacement opportunity on the equipment, then I will pay the technician a commission that is based on a flat rate scale.

For example, I’ll pay $50 for an air conditioner or heat pump. I'll pay $50 for a furnace. I'll pay $50 for an air handler. I'll pay you $25 for duct cleaning. I'll pay $25 for an air filter. I'll pay $25 for a humidifier or air purifier. I’ll pay $50 for a water heater, so forth and so on. I have a flat rate schedule that I would pay a spiff for the scope of what the salesperson sells. For example, if the salesperson sold a complete air conditioning system with a gas furnace, with UV light and air cleaner, the technician is going to get $50 for the furnace, $50 for the air conditioning system, $25 for the filtration device, and $25 for the purification device. That's what I would pay the technician when that job sells.

I wouldn't deduct that out of the salesperson's commission. To me, that would come out of the marketing budget because that's where that opportunity with basically created. I took money from my marketing funds to pay the technician and I kept the salesperson whole. it might be a higher probability opportunity for a comfort advisor but it's no less work for a comfort advisor to sell and complete the job paperwork for a tech lead than it is for a marketed lead. So, I'm not going to deduct that from the salesperson.

I would do both, a spiff for the lead and a commission when it sells and I would make it flat rate. People ask if they should pay a percentage commission and I say no. That's my opinion. I say no and the reason is because a technician created an opportunity, the comfort advisor is who took that opportunity to a higher level. For example, if the comfort advisor is only able to sell an entry-level system, the technicians going to get that same flat rate spiff. If the comfort advisor is able to sell the top-of-the-line modulating system, that comfort advisor is the one that created that opportunity at the highest level. The technician just created the opportunity to get in the door.

So again, I'm going to pay that same flat rate spiff to the technician. I'm not going to pay a percentage. That's actually where the company benefits a little bit more and can pay for that spiff by not doing it as a percentage but as a flat rate.

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