Mike Cappuccio from N.E.T.R., Inc. talks about why you should choose a specialized contractor. In particular, he talks about the value of hiring a Mitsubishi Diamond Elite contractor, and he explains how this program works.
How Do You Choose Between Multiple Contractors?
Most times people will go to the internet to find a contractor and they’ll search. They’ll probably want to get three quotes and they’ll search three different contractors. Probably my first thing that I would look at is, myself personally, is if I call three different people and I would want all three of them to respond to me within at least 24 hours to do what they’re doing.
There are a lot of different contractors who do a lot of different things. I feel that the homeowner should look for someone who specializes in what you want done. There’s a lot of contractors that do a lot of things. There’s contractors that do carpentry, there’s contractors that do electrical, there’s contractors that do plumbing, and there’s contractors that do HVAC.
Then there’s this one contractor who does all of those things I just mentioned. What are you really good at? What do you specialize in? Do you specialize in all four or five of those topics I just discussed? Probably not. Probably one of those topics is really what you specialize in. In the industry that we’re in, the HVAC industry, you want to make sure that again, with HVAC there’s four or five different types of HVAC.
There’s wet heat, there’s dry heat, there’s ductless heating and cooling and that’s what we specialize in. We don’t specialize in boilers. We don’t specialize in putting in oil burners. We specialize in Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling products. That would be the type of contractor I would be looking for, someone who specializes in that.
The Diamond Contractor program, John, is broken down into three types of Diamond Contractors. It’s a group of contractors that basically Mitsubishi has selected to partner with. Basically you’re part of their network, their Diamond Contractor network. But within the Diamond Contractor network, there are three different types of Diamond Contractors. There’s what’s just a Basic Diamond Contractor. Then there’s a Diamond Preferred Contractor and then a Diamond Elite Contractor.
There’s three different levels of contractors and it basically works on a point system. It’s basically designed by how much time and effort you as the contractor actually put into marketing, selling, installing, and providing A + customer service to these customers that you’re dealing with that want to buy these products and have them installed.
There’s multiple different facets of the program. Probably some of the things that really touch on it is the training. There’s training that you have to do and you get X amounts of points for those trainings. There’s technical trainings for your technical teams that are actually installing this equipment. So there’s installation training. Then there’s advanced service training for the people that need to fix the product. You’re getting more points as you’re doing these trainings. By sending more people, you get more points. And obviously the more people you have trained, the higher the level of the dealer that you become.
And then there’s also sales training for our sales teams that go out. And I don’t just mean how to push something down someone’s throat and how to buy it. It’s more of how they design it, what different applications you can use these products in, because these are some of the biggest problems that we see with people that don’t specialize in what we do. Things are either put in improperly because of lack of training. Lack of knowledge is usually what you’re going to see. It could all get fixed with some type of training. There is sales training, there’s applications training, there’s actual business training as well to help some of the business owners as well achieve certain things of how they’re trying to accomplish things.
But the training is a big part of the actual Elite Contractor program. The more training you do, the more points you get. There’s a lot of other things that come into that Diamond Elite program as well that will create points for you. They call it the contractor journey. And for every journey that you continue on, you get more rewards for it and to get to a higher level of a contractor.
There’s rewards and then there’s other things that roll with the marketing side of it too, but the reward side of it is you get certain points for what you do. You’ll also get different types of technical training and things like that. I consider those rewards to myself, that we can actually do what we need to do.
We actually have merchandise. We have clothing. We look professional when we go out there that we can get through rewards points. We actually have gifts that we can get that we can use for our sales contests. We actually have gifts and things that we buy through our rewards program that we actually distribute to the team and our yearly party that we have, we reward everybody for the jobs that they’ve done, everything that we’ve accomplished throughout the year.
There’s MEView that is actually an application that can go onto an iPad that you can take and accelerate a picture of an indoor unit or an outdoor unit. Show it outside the house, show it inside the house, show how it can be used. There’s MyLinkDrive, which is an application of tools. It’s an online tool that we basically see any piece of equipment that has ever been sold by Mitsubishi going back multiple 30 years of wiring diagrams, what type of refrigerant, what size line sets they use, what can match up with what on the actual MyLinkDrive. There’s so many different tools of ways you can find controls and different things on that particular site.
And then one of the other good tools that we use in a home is our Sales Builder Pro tool, which is a sales program that actually works in conjunction with their Diamond System Builder tool which allows, again, from an application standpoint, allows the salesperson who’s doing the design, you really can’t choose the wrong equipment that can go with the wrong equipment. What do I mean by that? With this tool, if you have an outdoor unit that you can only put three indoor units on, in a multi zone, it won’t allow you to pick four units. It won’t allow you to oversize the system and pick too many or too big of indoor units with that system. And that’s a benefit we get as a tool through Mitsubishi Electric to help offset some of those costs with that too.
I’m going to roll back to what I said at the beginning of the interview, John. When you think about a contractor, I don’t know if you’ve ever done it yourself, but I’ve called two and three contractors. Sometimes you don’t even get phone calls back. The way it works is, a homeowner goes to the Mitsubishi website which they’re spending, again, marketing dollars on that we are involved in as the dealer, and the homeowner actually goes on to the Mitsubishi website.
They fill out an application saying, “Hey, we want a contractor to come out to our home and look at this.” Our code of ethics is we need to respond to that lead within 24 hours. We need to go on, accept it. Say, “Yes, we’re going to take this lead. Yes, we’re going to call this homeowner. And yes, we’re going to go out to the home and provide a quote for them to do this actual job for them.”
And then there’s a certain code of ethics we need to stand by when we go out there, how we need to dress, how we need to treat the customer. Has the salesperson that’s going out to the home done sales training, have they done applications training, and then vice versa when it is sold, the code of ethics is you’re to put trained technicians that have been through training that know how to install the product properly into their home.
It’s the benefit of the homeowner to really pick a Diamond Elite Contractor, and not only picking a Diamond Elite Contractor, but how many points does that Diamond Elite Contractor have? How much training have they done? How many leads have they received? The biggest problems we see are installations that are not put in properly most of the time. Bad wiring, line sets that have run too long from the indoor to the outdoor unit, they have extended links. And again, like I’m saying, a lot of that can be fixed through training.
There’s a couple different warranties. Obviously you get the 12 year parts on there and 12 year compressor warranty. That’s all covered for the 12 years for the homeowner that lives in the home. That’s no charge for them if a part goes bad, we replace the parts at no cost. The labor is an additional cost. The other thing is with a Diamond Elite Contractor, we have what’s called the Make it Right Program. And as an Elite, you’re the only one who has that. That’s the Make It Right program. So something is not right at that home, we as a Diamond Elite Contractor need to fix that problem in conjunction with Mitsubishi Electric.
So let’s just say the indoor or the outdoor unit is not functioning properly. We’ve been out there two or three times and the customer just feels like, “Okay, this outdoor unit is just not functioning properly. I want a new unit.” That’s usually what’s going to come up. We have a code of ethics and as a Diamond Elite Contractor, we just take that unit out, send it back to distribution. No questions asked, get a brand new outdoor unit, go back, install it, get paid by Mitsubishi Electric to install it. So it’s a very good warranty program for the homeowner. These are probably the best benefits to the homeowner when they’re picking their contractor is knowing what can this contractor not do for me upfront, but what can they do for me afterwards.
When picking a contractor at the end of the day, really understand who you’re picking, what you’re choosing, looking at this Diamond Elite Contractor and kind of, “Okay, they’ve gotten to that level, but actually how many points might they have above and beyond where they need it to be? How many systems have they installed?” What can you do for me a year later or after the fact, because look, everything is all good in the beginning. When people come out to their home, they like the salesperson and then I’ve seen so many things go bad after they like the salesperson and then they go to the installation process.
Just really understanding, maybe even looking at jobs that this contractor might have done, contacting some of the actual homeowners that they did the work for. Go on. One of the biggest things is reputation management. Go on, look at the reviews, look at what the customer’s done. No one’s perfect. There’s always going to be a couple of two star reviews there. Look at the two star review and reviewer, but look at the two star or three star review and say, “What did the contractor do to rectify the two to three star type review? What happened with that?” It’s really, really looking at that contractor in depth at what they’re doing.