Make more money and get out of debt

By Todd Liles Make more money and get out of debt
Make more money and get out of debt

This is the last part in the Debt to Financial Freedom post.  You were with me in part 1 when I figured out the problem with debt.  Then you were with me in part 2 when I unpacked the 7 keys to controlling your debt. 

In this post, you will get the system that I use to make more money, but before I do, I want to show you a few more money mistakes that I made before debt freedom occurred.  

Why do I want to show you these?  For the following reasons:

  1. I’m human.  I have found that learning from other humans is important.  I am not a financial superman.
  2. To stress the importance of making sufficient money.  Some mistakes are only survivable if you are making enough money to cover the cost of the mistake; or have the money saved.

A few more financial mistakes that I made

These mistakes happened after I took control of my debt, and before I was 100% debt free.  Understanding how to make money and save money allowed me to survive.

Buying a house when I wasn’t ready.  Shannon and I bought a house in St Louis when I worked there as a trainer.  I wasn’t ready to buy it, because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to live in St Louis for the next 5 to 10 years.  Financially, we were able to afford it, but it was a bad move.  Buying a home is usually a great investment.  This turned out to be a big loss for us.  Check this out:

  • 2006 – $187,000 – Purchased home for $187,000 in St Louis
  • 2007 – $19,000 – Invested in new HVAC, Water Treatment, and general upgrades
  • 2008 – Put house on the market.  Market dropped in St Louis.  Attempted being a landlord.  Some money came in, but being a landlord was a big ole pain.  All in all the money in was basically equal to the money going out.
  • 2014 – $3,000 touch up to get it market ready.
  • 2014 – $140,060 sold the home.   Total is after agent commission.
  • Rough losses – $68,940 not counting interest for home mortgage. 

Just so you have the full picture, we also purchased a home in 2008 when we moved to Austin.  For those of you doing the math, that’s 8 years of paying 2 house notes.  Not smart, and not intentional.  I tell you this to point out that surviving would not be possible without a pre-established plan, and the ability to make some money.

Becoming a partner in a business, and not fully understanding the business partner.  All experiences grow us. So, I don’t regret my partnership time.  I actually learned a lot, and it has helped me in other areas of my life.  But, I also lost money in the process.  I didn’t lose investment money.  I lost the money that I could have been earning if I was doing what I love to do, which is training and consulting with HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical companies.

Training and Consulting is my greatest working passion, skill, and therefore my greatest money making opportunity.

You need to align your talents with your passions to have your biggest life impact.

Now, I will show you the system I use to make money.  This is also the same exact system that I teach HVAC Techs, Salespeople, Plumbers, and Electricians.

Make More Money with PRESS PLAY

PRESS PLAY is a Principle Based System.  It is a method based in Thinking as much as it is ACTION.

These principles have always existed.  I have used them for years, and people used them hundreds of years ago.  What I have done is organized these principles into a system, and given it a name and a structure.

PRESS PLAY is an acronym, so let’s unpack each step:


Preparation is about your Mindset and your Plan.

You must be intentional about your goals.  Just as I was intentional about getting out of debt, I was intentional about making money.

When I was in the field, I would assemble “client packets.” 

A client packet was a folder that had different brochures from manufacturers and our paperwork.  Assembling these packets required lots of prep work.  It was something that I did that was not required of me.  But, I wanted to win and this seemed like a natural thing to do.

Today, this “client packet” has been replaced with Options Guides and Sales Tools.

You need these tools to make more money.   


Have you ever heard, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?”  I have.  I think it is close to the truth, but it is incomplete. 

The saying should be, “It’s not what you know, it’s what you know about who you know.”

There are four primary personality types with 7 motivating values.  Recognizing how these personality types and motivating values play together create strong relationships.

When I visit with a client for the first time, I do my best to match up his primary personality type with his primary values motivator.

For example:  The Economically Motivated Driver

When you come across the Economically Motivated Driver, you adjust your presentation to match his personality in the following manners:

  • Keep descriptions brief
  • Ask few questions, and make each one count
  • Focus on how his doing business with you saves him money, or prevents further losses

GET YOUR Advanced DISCover Profile – CLICK HERE


In PRESS PLAY, Evaluations refer to the questions you ask the client about their needs.

You discover your client through your questions.  The highest producers are absolute masters at asking questions that sell without selling.

They ask questions that do the following:

  • Take into consideration the personality type
  • Discover client “hot buttons.”  IE – What’s important to the client
  • Uncover potential sales objections

One of my absolute favorite questions to utilize is the following:

“Mrs Smith, will you please describe, in as much detail as possible, what seems to be the issue with your system?  Nothing is unimportant or trivial.  I want to know it all.”

This type of question is called an Open-Ended Discovery question.

Settle Fears

Fear is a very powerful motivator.  When a person is fearful, they keep information hidden, and they keep their defenses up.

Most of your clients will not let you in on the fact that they are scared of you.  They will keep it a secret. 

This fear becomes an obstacle to your success.  Psychology has proven that one of the easiest ways to overcome fear is to confront the fear head on.

There are 3 primary fears that every client is going to have:

  1. Can you fix the problem?
  2. Are you trustworthy?
  3. What will this cost me?

In this step, you address each one of these fears with the client.  When you do this, you build trust and value with the client.

The techs and sales people that are making the most money have a precision approach to creating comfort in the client.

System Diagnostic

“A prescription without proper diagnosis is malpractice.”

A true professional never makes a recommendation until he has done a thorough job of determining the problem.

Once the problem is clearly understood, then you are ready to present your prescriptions.


Prescriptions is the term that we use to define your presentation.

Your presentation is going to include 4 core components:

  1. Proof of Findings and Solution
  2. Value Building
  3. Price Presentation
  4. Objection Handling

Here are a few tips for each core component of Prescriptions

Proof of Findings and Solutions

If a doctor told you your leg was broken, you would want to see the X-Ray.  Bring the evidence to the client.  Show the client the broken parts.  Explain to the client why the parts have failed.  Once they have an understanding of the problem, offer your solutions.

Value Building

When building your value you need to cover:

  • Your credibility
  • Your warranty
  • Your guarantees
  • How your solution is better than other solutions   

Price Presentation

Presenting price can be terrifying for many techs and sells people.

First of all – RELAX.  If you have done all the steps up to this point, the client likes you and wants your offer.

Here are a few keys to Price Presentation Success:

  1. Always show the client the flat rate guide and explain the prices
  2. Never offer just 1 price option.  Do your best to offer a minimum of 3 solutions.  4 would of course be better.  5 would be too many.
  3. Ask for the order when you are done reviewing the options.

Objection Handling

Objections are the most obvious indication of an interested buyer.  If they were not interested, they would have said “No.”

With that in consideration, treat objections like an invitation to discuss your solutions and discover the stopping points.

Ask the client specific questions about their need, and then prove you are providing the correct solution.


The labor step is when you do the work that the client has approved.

This is where you prove yourself as a technical expert.  Everything that you have done to this point has been about establishing trust, building value, and proving your expertise.

You will not have long term lasting value if you can not expertly do the work you claim you can do.

In the industry this has been referred to as “All sizzle, and no steak.”

When that client says “yes” and puts her name on the dotted line, you had better wow her with your work!

Additional Value

Have you ever bought a high-end item?  You bought it because you believed in the value.  As long as it lives up to the promise, you will be satisfied.

Now, have you ever bought a high-end product, and then received a bonus to go with it?  If you have, then you know how thrilling that can be!

You can add extra value on every call you go on, and it doesn’t have to cost you too much extra time or money.

Example:  Minor Repair

“Mrs. Smith, your new faucet is completely installed and ready to go.  I also wanted you to know that I added a bonus to today’s call.  I noticed that your aerator on your other faucets wasn’t flowing all that well.  I replaced it for you.  Here is the old one.  Would you like to go inspect your new faucet, and also the older one?”

This is an easy technique to implement on every call. 

Your Future

This system starts with preparation, and it ends with preparation.  Your Future is about preparing the client and the home to call you for their next service.

Back in 2009, when I was still a partner in the HVAC company, I did $42,000 in sales in the first week of Spring, just off of previous clients.  Here’s the best part about that $42,000 – it was easy.  It required very little work on my part.  The vast majority of those calls came from clients that decided they wanted to do the work before the busy season.  Yes, most of those systems were still working!

So how does that happen?

Here are a few tips for you to secure your future:

  • Place stickers everywhere! Do not leave an appropriate surface unstickered.  The client needs to be able to easily find you when the moment hits them.
  • Everyone should be on a service agreement.  Do not give the client up to another company.  Service Agreements lock clients in for the Future.
  • Talk to your clients on a regular basis.  I would reach out to my clients on occasion for no other reason than to say, “Hello.”  Many of my old Austin clients are subscribers to my blog, and will call me on rare occasion!  That was over 5 years ago, and they still call me.  That is a locked in client.
  • Social Media.  Facebook and LinkedIn are such amazingly powerful ways to stay connected to people.  Clients will go there to find you, whether you ask them to or not.  When they get there, they should see someone that is well represented.  I’m amazed at some of the terrible things that I see techs and salespeople put on the social media pages.  It’s like some people want to destroy their future instead of grow it.

Find the dates on our next PRESS PLAY Program – CLICK HERE 

Wow!  You have made it to the end of this series.  If you have gotten to this point, then you are really interested in becoming debt free and making more money.  I have so much more to say, and I hope you will continue go with me on this amazing journey.  If you think this can help others, then please share it on Facebook, LinkedIn, and in Emails.  Let the quest for debt freedom and financial wealth continue!

Question:  What will you start doing immediately to improve your financial position? Please comment and share on  and .

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