What The Tech? The Case For Making Your Case


Most tradespeople aren’t too good at tooting their own horn when it comes to letting customers know what is involved in installing, adjusting and repairing their stuff. Think about how much more testing you do than your predecessors did. In the last decade contractors have added a lot of testing to the work that they do. Industry standards have gotten more stringent and testing equipment has gotten a lot more common; not to mention less expensive.


As part of regular service do you:

  • Measure voltage
  • Check resistance
  • Test capacitance
  • Check start and run amperage
  • Test for ground or bonding
  • Measure enthalpy
  • Measure Megohms
  • Test venting
  • Check drainage
  • Test combustion efficiency
  • Test for carbon monoxide
  • Test for gas leaks
  • Test pump pressure
  • Test superheat and subcooling
  • Test static pressure drops and airflow
  • Test humidity
  • Do load calculations
  • Test ground fault
  • Test arc fault? 


And as part of regular service do you:

  • Adjust airflow
  • Adjust combustion
  • Clear drains
  • Tighten connections
  • Improve efficiency
  • Improve safety?


You’ve acquired the tools, the learning and the experience to make these practices a part of your routine, so they have become routine. You hardly give them a thought. And that’s fine, but those practices have made a huge difference to efficiency, safety and reliability over the last generation. Chances are most of your customers have no idea. It’s not their fault. They can’t appreciate what they don’t know.

By letting your customers know what is entailed in making their equipment run well you will help yourself by:

  1. Letting them feel safer and less anxious
  2. Leaving them with a feeling that they received quality service for their money
  3. Creating value in their eyes that will make them call you next time they need service or equipment.


It only takes a few extra minutes during a conversation to explain what you do and to answer any questions that they have. If you aren’t comfortable starting that conversation, then think about a small line card (like the distributors hand out) that lists what tests and adjustments you perform every time you touch their equipment. You can hand that to them when you arrive. That gives them the freedom to understand how much you do and to ask any questions that they have. There is more than one way to make the case that you are well worth calling when they need a professional. Find a way that’s comfortable for you.

About the Author

Jim Knapp

My name’s Jim Knapp, in the office they call me Jim. I don’t know where they got that one from, but it suites me. I’m partial to being outside, regardless of the season. As long as I can remember I’ve been a tree freak. Being older I’ve stopped climbing them, but I spend a lot of time trying to identify & learn about them. In that vein my favorite hobbies are hiking & kayaking. A great place to do those things is Acadia National Park in Maine.

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