Strategy & Leadership

Why Field Service Customers Say ‘No’ — Q&A With Joe Crisara of

We focus a lot on technology, vehicle choices and several other issues pertaining to field service, but what about the most important issue for any company attempting to make a profit: sales? For some insight on why clients say “no” when a service technician attempts to close a sale, we spoke with Joe Crisara, CEO of

First off, what exactly does do? helps service technicians and people in the mechanical trades – HVAC, plumbing, electrical trades — take a look at the opportunity that they have every single day to serve a customer, and take a look at that opportunity in a different way. Which is to look at from the standpoint of giving people a chance to look at the best way of fixing or replacing a system and also to give them options for the the least expensive way to do it and letting the customer make their choice themselves. And by doing that typically we’ll triple the sales results they’d normally have, keep themselves employed for a lot longer and be able to do more premium work for customers and systems.

When you’re selling a service to a client, what are the reasons they might say “no” right off the bat?

If they say no, that means there’s a lack of trust of the buyer on the confidence or competence of the person that gave them the price. If the buyer has no confidence in the person that they diagnosed the problem correctly or if they don’t feel the person is trustworthy, that is more than likely the reason they’ll probably tell you to “go away and leave my home.” However, you should know that the overwhelming majority of people never tell you “no,” it’s just the service tech or the salesperson themselves that get the impression that it’s time to go. The odd part is that many people leave the home without being told to leave, they just go.

Why do techs do that? Lack of confidence, or do you feel like it’s lack of persistence? What’s the disconnect there?

That’s a good question. I think what it is that there’s no model as to how this conversation with customers should go when it hits a deadlock. So you offer your services, the customer says something like, “This is interesting stuff, I’m going to need to think about it.” Then technicians who don’t know what to say at that point generally offer to leave. They say, “Okay well give me a call back next week,” as opposed to saying, “John, take as much time as you need. My service to you is to help you through this so I’m going to wait here and help you through this, so take your time. I’ll be at your side, helping you. So what should we do?” I think a lot of times service technicians get the impression that when the conversation hits a snag or a dead end they’re not sure what to say after that. Because there’s no model for that, so without that model or hearing that conversation before, you’re not going to have confidence in saying those things.

What’s the best initial reaction a service tech can have if the client says “no”?

Every service tech, before you make a price for something, you should have confidence. The first person that has to be sold is you that what you’re offering for this customer is the best service you can offer, it’s the best solution you can offer. Once you’re sold that this is the thing to do, I think it’s going to be very easy to get through any kind of resistance. If you believe in your solution, you’re going to hang in there and have the courage and the commitment to help the customer through it. So when you hear the word “no,” you’re going to say, “John, I understand, there’s a lot to think about. I know the first reaction may be negative and you may want to tell me ‘no,’ but let me ask you a question. When I first got here, what did we want to accomplish? Why did you call me out here to begin with?”

And the customer says, “Well, I wanted to get the unit fixed.”

So you say, “Well listen, being that the price is higher than you thought it would be, let’s just give ourselves a moment to get adjusted to that price. Let me tell you what we’re going to do for that price because I probably did a bad job of communicating that to you. So let’s try one more time letting you know everything you get for that price. Let’s make sure we leave today with this unit running because that’s what you called me out here for.” So you have to have that kind of confidence that, “You called me out here to move forward, and I got a great solution and I really think this is the best way to move forward.”

Click here for part two of our chat with Joe Crisara, where he describes the five steps of turning a client’s “No” into “Yes.”

Read more about Field Service Sales on The SmartVan

One thought on “Why Field Service Customers Say ‘No’ — Q&A With Joe Crisara of

  1. I follow Joe on the old Twitter there and he’s one of my favorite tweeters. Always provides great insight. Thanks for the interview!

    -Steve Bez
    Mastercraft Heating & Cooling

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