Kevin Walsh: We did some of the same things Nancy did. In addition, we used an incentive approach where we paid our salespeople a 15% commission on every duct renovation job they sold. Our salespeople are a little like air ? they choose the path of least resistance. We needed something to divert them to the harder path.

Today we are back to a set, straight commission on that. But they are still looking at the ductwork and selling renovations on it because they find it helps to separate Schaafsma from our competitors. That helps them sell more jobs.

Paul Wieboldt: I learned from years of trial and error and overcoming the mistakes I made. It led to a policy that said we either make money or pay tuition for the work we do.

When we made a big mistake because we weren?t sure what to do, I would stop everything and bring together my team ? several vans and all our tools ? to the house with the problem. We?d spend the day figuring it out. We?d bring in lunch, entertain the customer, show off all the cool tools we had, and solve the problem on the spot that day.

We used the opportunity of a mistake as a teaching moment. To let everybody see what we did wrong and how we fixed it. We then asked those customers to tell the story of how badly we messed up and what we did to make it right.

Two things happened. These folks became our cheerleaders. And new customers were both shocked and impressed that we?d tell them to call previous customers where we made a huge mistake. They?d learn how those mistakes led to the biggest improvements. Plus it showed my staff that I was 100% behind them. That we would always spend whatever it took to make it right. For us, this approach helped overcome a lot of obstacles.

Q: Eddie Lammers, Honey Home Services, Winter Park, FL asked the panel, ?I am interested in hearing about your process for cleaning
condenser coils, indoor evaporators, blower wheels, and your ballpark charge for that.?

A: Ball: We started by asking our guys how they would like their systems done in their own homes. Their answers became our procedure. That was 20 years ago. We modify the procedure and regroup on it routinely.

We do clean the evaporator and condenser coils on every visit. We pull the blower and remove the motor from it and clean it. This takes a lot of time. When finished, we wax the unit down and make it look brand new.

By the way, we test-in before we start and test out when we are finished to make sure statics are all good. Then we go through everything with the customer. We make sure they are satisfied and that we?ve answered their questions.

Regarding charges, I find that I need 70% or so to operate that department. That is seen in my pricing and we are pretty expensive.

This ends Part One. Next month we will continue the Summit Panel Discussion and will cover the sections on Training, Recruitment, How to Keep Score, as well as How to Promote and Market Your Performance-Based business.