Talking the talk – The old college try


Carrier University provides dealers and distributors with professional advancement

Carrier Corporation, headquartered in Farmington, Conn., has long been involved with providing training,
education and professional development opportunities to its dealer and distributor partners. Recently, the
corporation’s efforts were formalized under the name Carrier University and a variety of courses were updated and added.

Carrier conducts training sessions nationally throughout the year, and the response has been very positive.

“So far in 2005, we have had a total of 2,568 participants in one or more of our Carrier University classes,” said Brenda Schmidt, manager, market support and channel training. “This represents an increase of 11 percent over participation in the full year 2004 and I am delighted to see so many people interested in learning methods to grow and improve their businesses.”

Carrier distributors, dealers and their employees are eligible to attend Carrier University courses. Costs vary by market. Many distributors offer free Carrier University training as part of the Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer program and the factory provides opportunities as part of the national Dealer Alliance program for dealers to attend training with no out-of-pocket costs to the attendee.

Classes are updated annually and additions to the curriculum are continually being reviewed. Carrier University offerings include curriculum on how to price, sell and administer service agreements; selling and how to improve closing rates; lead generation and marketing; solution selling; pricing for profit; and other classes to support the dealers.

Most recently, the Services Agreement course was updated, drawing rave reviews from Carrier dealer and Carrier University attendee Gary Ward, owner of Gary’s Heating and Air in Amarillo, Texas.

“So many times, you attend a seminar and it’s just the same information, year-in and year-out,” Ward said. “But Carrier works hard to keep their courses fresh and relevant to my business, and I appreciate that and know my attendance has been a good use of my time. As a business owner, I know that people want options, and in the Service Agreements course, a lot of great and new info was presented on offering customers multiple maintenance agreement options. That was something I was able to put into effect just as soon as I got off the plane and made it back to the office.”

Ward’s word were not the only complimentary ones that dealers and distributors had after completing a Carrier University course. Other include:

“The training was a great refresher and I learned a lot from attending,” said John Latore, a sales consultant for Angelo Chiodo Heating. “Anytime you are exposed to technical information it gives you a chance to enhance what you already know, meet new contacts and reinforce your technical skills.”

“The training from Carrier University was absolutely helpful for our business and we saw positive results within a few months of the training,” said Dan Champion, service department manager for Vredevoogd Heating and Cooling in Grandview, Mich. “The industry insights and valuable information on service agreements immediately affected our bottom line. In only one month we filled 115 service agreements, nearly matching our sales in this department for the entire year last year.”

“I have been attending Carrier University training courses for the past nine years and feel the training is very important for the success of our business,” said Michael Bessette of Hawn Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., in Rochester, N.Y. “The bottom line is if Carrier didn’t offer this training we wouldn’t have the ability to offer the quality products that we are able to. And when you learn how to sell premium equipment, everyone wins. Competing manufacturers’ programs don’t even come close the quality training Carrier offers. That means every time I attend a training session with Carrier University my company gains a competitive edge over other companies. I hope my competitors never become Carrier dealers.”

In addition to its array of Carrier University courses, Carrier offers online practice testing for NATE and separate technical training programs through its Bynum, Conn., training center. Carrier distributors also provide extensive product training to Carrier dealers in local markets.

“Carrier’s leadership role in the HVAC industry extends beyond manufacturing. We are committed to offering the best and most relevant training in a format consistent with the needs of our dealers,” Schmidt said. “Carrier University will continue to be a very effective means for our customers to remain on the cutting edge.”

Carrier Corporation is the world’s largest company providing heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions, with operations in 172 countries. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, a provider of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

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