Fuel Oil News

Fuel Oil News - Jul 18

The home heating oil industry has a long and proud history, and Fuel Oil News has been there supporting it since 1935. It is an industry that has faced many challenges during that time. In its 77th year, Fuel Oil News is doing more than just holding

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BIO: Charlie Bursey began his long career in the oil heating industry in 1963. He has deliv- ered coal, kerosene and oil and serviced heating and cooling equipment. He has also managed service departments, worked for a manufacturer and currently works with F.W. Webb, Warwick, R.I. He is a recipient of the Association of Oil & Energy Service Professionals' pres- tigious Hugh McKee Award for making an outstanding contri- bution to the fuel oil industry; having had an understanding and cooperation with his fellow man; and having unselfishly aided the industry in education and related activities. CONTACT: ChasBursey@aol.com Charles Bursey, Sr. SERVICE 50 JULY 2018 | FUEL OIL NEWS | www.fueloilnews.com Think back on jobs you've won and jobs you've lost. Why did you get some and not others? Jobs are lost for many reasons, such as price, product name, or the quality of the pre- sentation. A well-prepared, realistic presenta- tion, or pitch, can go a long way toward win- ning a job. I recently had a chat with a friend who was remodeling his kitchen and he said that he had three companies give him product and price presentations. He told me that he ended up with the company that put the highest price tag on the project. Why? Because Sales- man #1 gave him and his wife no more than a half-hour of his time, explaining that he had four more appoint- ments that day. Sales- man #2 kept saying that he could beat any competitor's price and he could have the job completed in two days. Salesman #3, who got the job, brought with him the cabinet in- staller, the granite top installer and the floor installer. Each gave a description of the materials offered and what the complete kitchen would require. My friend also learned from Salesman #3 that, between ordering the appliances and all the material and staging the different segments, installa- tion of the new kitchen would take four to five weeks. Then came the price: $40,000. He signed the contract. I asked what was most important to him and his wife in selecting this contractor and he said it was the presentation. The contrac- tor first asked my friend and his wife about their needs, such as the type of cooking they did, so that the right stove could be selected. During a discussion of the flooring, samples were passed around. And a variety of lighting, sink and fixture choices were discussed. This contractor also met my friend and his wife at a showroom where they could see the available choices. Time invested in this pitch came to four hours. I often wonder: Do we follow up on jobs that we lose? Try to pinpoint why our pitch didn't succeed? I think we should, at least in some cas- es, because the answer may help us make a better pitch next time, giving us a better shot at winning the next job. In the oil business, rea- sons an account may be lost can include runouts, and poor service in the field and the office (or both). This past winter I heard that several compa- nies picked up new cus- tomers and increased their gallonage simply because competitors let accounts run out of oil or failed to provide timely service. On the LP gas side, I heard similar stories, but one that stuck with me concerned an elderly couple on auto-delivery whose account was set up with a credit card on file. The custom- er even monitored his own tanks due to the extreme cold. When the tanks were just un- der 10% of volume, he was told that he had to wait a few more days because the dealer was backed up and drivers could only work so many hours. The saving grace was that the customer and his wife were able to ride out the discomfort by putting on heavier clothes, lowering the thermostats and staying by their electric oven for warmth. That's not a winning story. l F O N The Art of Pitching for the Job Do we follow up on jobs that we lose? Try to pinpoint why our pitch didn't succeed? I think we should, at least in some cases, because the answer may help us make a better pitch next time, giving us a better shot at winning the next job.

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