Next to the word “authentic” in the dictionary, a picture of Mike Guillen would likely appear. That’s just how much Mike cares about his job and his customers.
In episode 1 of the Change Your Filter podcast, Tall Paul had the opportunity to speak with Mike Guillen, an HVAC comfort specialist with Air Assurance.
Paul met Mike at an HVAC industry event a few months ago after Mike won the award as the “highest performing retail salesman” in the central US region.
Born in Houston, and moving throughout the US as a kid, Mike now finds himself living in Tulsa, OK as one of the top residential HVAC salespeople in the country. Yet like many of us, his journey was neither smooth nor comfortable!
The ride isn’t always fun
Although Mike is absolutely crushing it now, his bumpy ride to the top of the HVAC sales pyramid was not exactly smooth.
From battling drug abuse, his parents’ messy divorce, and an internal struggle of never really feeling like he fit in, Mike was lost and struggling – and eventually dropped out of school. He was unhappy with the reflection he saw in the mirror. But instead of feeling sorry for himself – Mike acted courageously and made a decision to begin a long and arduous journey toward the success he felt was rightly his.
Starting from ground zero
Mike grew up in the heating and cooling industry. For years he worked with his family in the commercial chiller industry, but also worked other jobs (once as a waiter) in an effort to make more money.
Eventually, Mike ended up taking a sales position at an electronics company in an effort to earn money to support his beautiful growing family. While there, he discovered an unrealized skill: building strong and powerful relationships.
Mike was making a killing at Ultimate Electronics, and eventually made a favorable impression on the CEO of Air Assurance, David Rampey. For years, Dave urged Mike to come work for Air Assurance. But, Mike’s parents wanted him to come back home to take over the family’s struggling industrial cooling business. To help his parents, he returned home to the family business and unfortunately took a corresponding cut in pay, in comparison to his lucrative electronic sales position.
Mike made the switch
For 6 more years, Dave continually tried to persuade Mike to come work for Air Assurance. Mike finally made the decision to go speak with Dave. He wasn’t quite sure what the job would be like, so he ended up shadowing Dave’s son for the day. Mike soon realized how much help was really needed within the HVAC industry.
Customers were very vocal about how grateful they were for his help and service. Mike quickly began to notice how almost all houses had HVAC systems that were installed improperly. There was so much opportunity.
He went back to his family, explained the experience he had, and received blessings to leave the family business and venture into the new world of HVAC.
Help people, help you
After accepting the job, Air Assurance sent Mike to an HVAC sales training course. Air Assurance invested in him with the belief that he would soon be a multi-million-dollar performer for the organization! Yet, the training he received covered only the most “basic” sales tactics, like the iceberg we all know and love.
While there, he saw how “cheesy” the training was and did not want to relegate himself to “selling on script.” Mike knew that everyone must have their own personalized sales approach in order to be authentic. He made up his mind to never use high-pressure sales tactics. In fact, he decided he would not even “ask for the sale”, going against conventional sales wisdom.
Instead, in one of the mock training calls, Mike didn’t use any sales tactics in an effort to battle the prospect’s objection. Instead, he educated the customer. He took time to explain the pros and the cons of having the equipment vs. not having it. Mike let them know, upfront, that it was okay not to buy. Instead, he simply helped the customer understand the equipment enough to make an educated and informed decision.
To this day, Mike still works under the belief that if a customer doesn’t understand the benefits of the equipment, they can’t make a wise choice. He knows that simply providing the customer honest insight and knowledge grows sales the quickest!
Using this tactic helped Mike realize his skill for explaining difficult concepts to people. In his very first year of full selling, he exceeded $1.3 million in total revenue. And just recently, Mike received the award for being the performing salesperson within the US central region! Not to mention, that area includes some of the hottest states in the country.
Mike was killing it for years with Air Assurance, selling literally MILLIONS of dollars in HVAC equipment. Life seemed to be going perfectly. Yet on the inside, Mike was still unhappy with himself. Due to his tumultuous childhood, including some trauma, Mike still did not like the reflection he saw in the mirror every day, despite his enormous professional success.
Then in early 2014, Mike’s family issues initiated a downward spiral resulting in a constant stream of negative thinking. Although he seemed to have the success we associate with high performers & big money, he still felt worthless and negatively judged by others & himself.
Thankfully, a friend recommended a class called Pathways: a self-improvement course that Dr. Phil put together to help motivated individuals work through their personal pain and increase happiness & performance in their personal lives!
When Mike started the Pathways course, for the first time in his life, he felt accepted within a group. Soon, Mike would be able to walk into a room full of complete strangers and actually connect with them. He felt the love that life has to offer all of us. Soon, he realized how awesome he truly was, and that changed everything! Once he was able to unconditionally love himself, he was able to love others.
After pathways, Mike quickly sold over $2.5 million in equipment, a one-million-dollar improvement from the previous year. Last year, Mike sold just shy of $4 million in revenue.
The way and the why
Mike doesn’t want to simply sell HVAC, he seeks to help his customers overcome their pain, whatever that may be. That’s what sets Mike Guillen apart from everyone else. It is not that he sells differently, it’s that he’s able to connect with people in a way that actually matters. He is not there to be a salesman, he is there to be a friend, and is genuinely interested in every customer’s unique story
Mike’s unique sales approach is what led him to start one of the most successful mental health awareness campaigns in the country! Dave (CEO of Air Assurance) wanted Mike to get involved in the community, in an effort to increase brand awareness. Mike has obviously far exceeded Dave’s expectations and has now taken his calling to the entire world!
Mike created the Team Suicide Prevention bike race team. On June 27th, 2021, Team Suicide Prevention successfully finished the 3,037 mile Race Across America (RAAM) from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD in a finish time of 7d 19h 34m.
While on this journey, at every stop, tons of complete strangers would come up and share how amazing and powerful this bike ride was, and would sign an affected loved one’s name on the team shirt. Eventually, the shirt was filled up with hundreds of names, and thousands of lives touched.
It was all worth it
Now you can find Mike happy, healthy, and wealthy riding his bike around Tusla, Oklahoma, sharing his story to help others find their way. It is a beautiful feeling for Mike to be able to look at himself in the mirror and be happy while going about his life with intent, integrity, and being completely honest.
Success now looks different to Mike, and so many others get to benefit from his story.
Intrigued? Listen to the full conversation here.