“He strongly recommended we jump into High-Performance HVAC training. And we did. We did a CO and combustion onsite for our service team and now have our eyes on doing another onsite for our installers. We will include our sales team in that class as they work closely with our installation team.”

The company’s training focuses mostly on the technological side of the business. McKoy explains that as a Trane dealer, they always receive training on Trane products.

“We also carry some Carrier products and do a lot of work with ductless mini splits from Mitsubishi. So, we send our technicians to manufacturer-based training. In addition, our service department meets every other week on Wednesday,” McKoy explains.

“Sometimes that meeting focuses on specific product or equipment training. We’ll show specific training videos, or sometimes more generic ones like troubleshooting on low voltage issues.

“We also send techs out for training. In November, we sent two guys to an oil school in Pennsylvania. I can’t stress enough how strongly we believe in training. We spend so much money on it.”

In addition to residential HVAC training, Robert B. Payne, Inc. trains its team in the technology behind geothermal products.
“We sell, install and repair WaterFurnace geothermal systems as well,” McKoy says. “We never hesitate to learn more about technology and products.

Casey Contreras teaches technicians during RObert B. Payne's first NCI onsite course.
Robert B. Payne, Inc. service technicians take part in the company’s
first NCI combustion class with Casey Contreras (center)
as the instructor.

The city of Fredericksburg once was a central hub for commerce and an important port in Virginia during the colonial era. In the early 20th century, it was less important as a port but grew as a bedroom community for Washington, DC, and Richmond, VA. McKoy, who grew up in the Frederick area, says it was mostly a rural area with a solid population.

“But over the years, it has become more of a suburb for Washington, D.C. as well as Richmond. People move here to get military jobs and commute to both cities. Military families usually move out in five years. We’ve had to adapt our marketing for that. Only 25 years ago, 90% of the town knew the Robert B. Payne Company. But that’s not the case anymore.

“With so many people moving in, we must continually establish who we are because the newer residents don’t know us the way the older community did in the past.”

To battle this, the company uses many vehicles like radio, TV, digital, direct mail, and social media – particularly Facebook – to build its brand. They continue to sponsor area sports affiliates, including the Fredericksburg Nationals minor league baseball team.

“Even so,” he adds, “we are heating and air conditioning professionals, not professional marketers. So we try to enlist the help of different vendors. But now, as we get more adept at High-Performance HVAC contracting, we see how that can differentiate us, and we want to make that a part of our marketing message.

“This approach helps us show real value to our customers. In the world of testing and measuring, we can start engaging in that conversation, which impresses customers.”

McKoy says he can’t stress enough how real and intense NCI training is.

“Our technicians sense that and love it because it has everyday application. It makes them better and helps them help the customer more than anything else. As a team, we feel we are much better off than before taking the NCI combustion class.”

It is so interesting how excited and driven the Robert B. Payne, Inc. team is in testing, measuring, and proving what they say is true. They are new to the High-Performance HVAC approach, and in Wes McKoy’s words, they are just getting started.

For these and many other reasons, High-Performance HVAC Today shines its January spotlight on Robert B. Payne, Inc. Congratulations to Wes McKoy and the entire team.