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Technician Successes

The World of the Technician: Fact-Finding Posture vs. Selling Posture
By Michael Morrow

When technicians gather for morning meetings, they are presented with various points of view that offer pathways to their success. Of the many viewpoints presented, the idea that technicians must sell more services to be successful seems to be the most prevalent. There is obviously a strong correlation between the commission a technician has the ability to earn, and their customers’ perception of how motived they are to perform quality work.

When customers perceive that technicians are motivated by how much they can sell, rather than the value they can add, the ability to succeed is compromised. By contrast, when customers are assured that technicians are more concerned with finding ways to add value, success is achieved. Sadly, some technicians have a tendency to adopt a selling posture vs. a fact-finding posture. Technicians who operate from a selling posture experience low customer retention, redoes and poor rankings by their customers. How can you change this?

The answer can be found when we take a closer look at each of the two categories: the
Fact-finding posture and the selling posture:

Fact-Finding Posture
When technicians are in a fact-finding posture, everything that is said or done is centered on the customer’s needs.
Fact-finding can help create a circle of trust. The circle of trust is a process by which an incredulous customer begins to relax and feel comfortable with the technician sharing information.

The fact finding posture allows a technician to learn more about their customer and about their customer’s unique cleaning challenges. This technique might include validating a customer’s concerns, or mirroring customer attributes and pacing oneself to slow down or speed up conversations and mannerisms as appropriate. In taking these steps, customers may feel the technicians who provide services are attuned to their specific needs. When technicians seek to gain a better understanding of their customers’ particular needs, rapport and trust are established and customer expectations can be exceeded.  

Technicians who use the fact-finding posture convey a strong message to customers that says, “I’m listening to you,” “I care about you,” “how can I help you?” and “I am not leaving until YOU are happy!” The fact-finding approach helps to guard against negative perceptions that the technician is only interested in selling cleaning services.   

Once a technician builds trust, they can make appropriate recommendations for cleaning. These recommendations may be perceived by the customer as necessary services that any qualified technician would offer if they truly cared. When trust has been established, customers will welcome the technician’s advice. In the final analysis, the customer is left with a positive cleaning experience when the focus is on the customer’s needs.

Selling Posture
When a technician is in a selling posture, they become blind to the customer’s needs. It is all about the “act of selling” services for the sole purpose of making a commission. Unfortunately, some technicians have a tendency to become detail-oriented when customers accept their services, and cut corners when customers decline their recommendations. In most cases, the assumption is that a customer’s “no” would indicate that there is “no commission” forthcoming from the job.

The “act of selling” is the perception that many customers have of technicians who push unwanted cleaning services onto customers. Customers are quick to reject technicians that are perceived to profit at their expense.

The selling posture places a customer in the awkward position of feeling manipulated. The “act of selling” creates a wall of trust issues. The selling posture is almost always perceived as a negative. It is an ineffective and interpersonal mode of communication that should be avoided. A lack of trust results in suspicion, which is difficult, if not impossible, to overcome.

Every technician should be encouraged to assume a fact-finding posture. Sadly, a selling posture will lead to manipulating customers into cleaning services they do not need or want. These technicians will invariably be perceived as “sharks” who seek to take advantage whenever possible.

Technicians will enjoy their work and have better job satisfaction if they learn how the fact-finding posture can actually improve the cleaning experience, customer retention and profitability.

Michael Morrow is an IICRC instructor and has been in the service industry for more than 30 years. He has extensive knowledge of the restoration sales process and cleaning methodologies. He currently works for Relationship Building Academy in Arizona.

*For helpful tips and resources to market your business, visit the Certified Firm only section of the IICRC website at If you don’t have your login information, enter your Certified Firm number as your username and the last four digits of your primary business phone number on record with the IICRC as your password. Please email if you need more information.

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