When Benjamin Franklin flew his kite, humans became aware of the wonders of electricity. And people such as Edison and Tesla built on that awareness to take us out of the darkness.
The enlightenment of knowledge always outshines the darkness of ignorance since knowledge is the light that shows you the path to success. Having the wisdom to realize some discoveries need to be recognized and explored to improve our lives can give you the courage to explore what you have yet to discover and seek the help you need so you can see the light that comes from knowledge.
Recently, I had the privilege of speaking before a plumbing association’s class of future leaders and employees of the industry I had previously addressed.
The current leaders of this association are wise people who realize that the future success of the contracting industry, or any industry for that matter, is in the hands and minds of the people who will replace them.
These leaders created an atmosphere and mechanism to propagate the correct theories and methods needed to deliver excellence to consumers in a fashion allowing contracting businesses to recover their true operational business costs and earn a profit. This allows contracting businesses to be financially strong and be there for the public while tending to the needs of the business teams providing services to the public.
Primary Traits of Star Techs
The topic for this class was Star Techs — technicians determined to be the best they can be. Technicians need to possess certain traits in order to be considered Star Techs, integrity and loyalty being the primary traits.
Integrity is honesty. Since no one wants to deal with people whose honesty is suspect, being truthful builds trust in the minds of consumers. And trust in techs closes more deals for contracting businesses. In turn, closing deals creates the opportunity for businesses to recover the true operational business costs those enterprises incur.
Loyalty to the business that techs are employed by builds trust between owners and employees.
Both traits make techs more valuable to business owners.
And, in the minds of wise contractors, tech compensation should always be commensurate with the contribution techs make to their businesses.
As I spoke to this group, I enumerated many other traits that techs need to become Star Techs.
Obviously, techs must have an aptitude for the position for which they are employed. If they didn’t, they would have an extremely difficult time performing tasks in a timely and excellent cost-effective manner. Regarding mechanical aptitude, humans can be taught.
Having a great mental attitude is necessary to tackle each day. We all have a great attitude on sunny days. However, you also need a great mental attitude on rainy days. After all, we do need potable water to exist.
When it comes to the selling prices that must be charged by businesses to recover their costs while having an opportunity to earn a profit above said operational costs, techs’ great mental attitude also gives employers the wherewithal needed to compensate those techs in a fashion that will keep them content.
Thus, a great mental attitude is good for techs, employers and consumers.
Self-motivation increases the value techs have in the eyes of their employers. And it shows employers that they have employees who can be entrusted with the responsibility that comes with delegation, that, in turn, frees the bosses to address other issues to enhance the business for all involved.
All consumers want excellence from contracting businesses. Therefore, the intent, ability and deliverance of excellence to consumers is good for the techs regarding their value to the business, for the business regarding quality of work, and for the consumer who pays the bill.
RHIP is an acronym for rank has its privileges. However, you must also realize the acronym RHIR — rank has its responsibilities. Therefore, it is imperative that techs follow legal and ethical orders given by supervisors. Those supervisors are responsible for ensuring that tasks are performed within the parameters of estimated costs during the delivery of excellence to consumers.
Other traits are also needed and are trainable.
Responsibility and dependability help excellence be delivered in a timely manner. By performing excellently, techs increase their value to the businesses that employ them and to the consumer for whom they are performing services.
When I entered the plumbing industry as a lowly first-year apprentice, I was shocked to learn that the first thing we were taught was good housekeeping instead of something to do with plumbing.
Good housekeeping is a trait that is necessary to be a Star Tech. And, good housekeeping works well in combination with two other traits necessary to becoming a Star Tech: organization and thoroughness. Being organized and thorough in performing tasks produces happy consumers who become loyal clientele for contracting businesses.
Contracting businesses are in the business of performing tasks within the parameters of the contract for an agreed amount of money. For contracts to be a meeting of the minds between the parties involved, there are traits such as proper paperwork completion, coherent writing ability and spelling that techs need to hone.
Obviously, closing the deal requires techs to sharpen their salesmanship. In addition to a neat and clean appearance and workstyle as well as a professional, pleasant and courteous demeanor, techs should consider and give all options that consumers have so they can arrive at their own wise, cost-effective decisions.
Blending your professionalism and pleasant and courteous demeanor traits can give you and your techs the ability to sharpen salesmanship.
Another great trait Star Techs have is low callback status. Callbacks originate from human deficiency, either from the manufacturer of the items that techs install, the tech doing the installation or the consumer calling for the callback when none really exists.
Regardless of which of those causes, callbacks cost contracting businesses money. Keeping the number of callbacks down makes techs more valuable to the businesses for which they work. Star Techs have the lowest number of callbacks.
If techs possess all these traits, they have the foundation needed to become Star Techs.
To top off these traits, I suggest that techs remember my personal motto: Fair is a two-way street.
Star Techs can be fair to their employers, consumers and themselves by doing the following:
Contracting business owners and association leaders should heed the need for teaching future generations and looking for Star Techs, as the future of the industry depends on it. And techs should reach for the stars so they can be the best they can be; the future of their lives and their ability to be content depends on it.