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Franchise Owner Increases Revenue by $1 Million Through Club Membership Sales

Opie Opheim

Don Opheim, or Opie, as he is more commonly known, was one of the first 20 One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning franchises purchased. Prior to becoming One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning of St. Cloud, he was a member of Airtime 500, One Hour’s predecessor.

While with Airtime 500, Opie sold what he considered a confusing membership program. “There were Bronze, Silver and Gold packages, they were all priced differently and had different membership benefits," said Opie. "When you give people too many choices, it becomes confusing.”

After switching over to the Comfort Club membership model, Opie saw a slight increase in his membership sales, but he wasn’t satisfied. While taking a closer look, he realized that an improvement in membership sales had to start with him. “It came down to accountability. I am the owner, and it was my job to train the techs on how to sell the membership, how to overcome objections, and ultimately, how to believe in what they were selling,” said Opie.

Opie now follows up with his technicians after each call to review what went right and what could be improved. He goes in at 6:30 am every morning to train his technicians (who come in voluntarily) so they can improve their sales skills and increase their income. “You have to show them that you are committed before expecting them to be committed,” shared Opie. “When technicians believe in the product they are selling, when they believe that this will help keep homeowners safe, the membership sells itself.”

One tactic that Opie relies on is teaching his technicians to sit with the homeowner at the kitchen table. “That’s where business gets done,” said Opie. “At the kitchen table. Pull out a yellow legal pad and show the homeowner the cost for today versus the cost as a club member. Also, if there are any worn parts – show them to the homeowner and explain what is happening. Seeing and understanding are powerful motivators for homeowners.”

Opie shared these three pieces of advice for owners looking to increase their club membership sales:

  1. Look in the mirror – chances are, you are the problem. If your sales aren’t where you want them to be, it’s not your technicians who aren’t performing – they only know what you teach them. Hold yourself accountable first and foremost and teach your techs every single day. Take back control and put a focus on selling club memberships.
  2. Consider offering “Courtesy” club memberships with each install. This allows you to get back in the door twice a year to check on the system, reinforce the customer relationship with the tech, and give them a chance to sell a club membership.
  3. Measure your results daily/weekly/monthly. Look at your percentages – how many club memberships are your technicians individually selling each day? When your technicians do the selling, they are often more effective than a Comfort Specialist because they are already there in the home. Teach them and train them daily.

“I will jump a million dollars in revenue this year alone from taking the time to train my technicians every day on how to sell club memberships,” said Opie. He shares that in the previous year, three techs sold $1 million in sales combined, while this year, two techs already have over $500,000 each in sales.

“If your technicians aren’t doing the right things, it’s your fault. When you take the time to show them what you want done and how to do it (and keep reinforcing the lesson) the results will speak for themselves.”

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