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GOOD SERVICE is a key mantra for a Guild chimney sweep whose dedication to his customers has won him a top prize at the recent Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps trade exhibition.

Jamie Downes , who runs Quality Chimney Sweep from his HQ at Whitchurch in Shropshire, was called to the Guild show stand at the recent trade exhibition where he learnt he’d been crowned winner for highest sales via the Valiant Partner Commission Scheme (Jamie is pictured here being congratulated by Bob Sizeland, Valiant Co-Director and marketing manager Kelly Rist.)

Kelly Rist, on behalf of Valiant, said: “Many of our partners achieve excellent results each quarter, but Jamie has consistently topped the list as our best performer. With a great manner, in-depth knowledge and a gift for sales, Jamie has succeeded at helping us to get Valiant products into the hands of consumers. At this year’s Guild exhibition we awarded him with a box of our ever popular Stove Thermometers as a thank you for his ongoing hard work.”

The Valiant Partner Commission Scheme provides Chimney Sweeps and installers with a chance to earn extra money while they work, simply by offering their expertise to the customer. Recommending products to the customer, partners can help stove and fireplace users to get the best performance from their fire and receive commission in the process. Products like stove fans and moisture meters will help customers save money and reduce pollution too.

Jamie said: “I had no inkling, it was a shock to win. I was given 10 stove thermometers by Valiant, as a thank you. The Guild trade exhibition this year was a really good show, even the stove installer I work with said that, and he’d been reluctant to go. It was good to see people from other trade associations there, as well.”

Jamie has been chimney sweeping for four years and he has been promoting the commission scheme for the past couple of years. As a keen member of the Guild, Jamie will check a stove is compliant with regulations and remind the customer of how to use the appliance correctly. He will point out the importance of having a moisture meter to check wood is dry enough to burn; a stove thermometer to ensure the appliance is hot enough, and a stove fan to help distribute heat through the rest of a house.

“I used to work in sales and when I saw the scheme I thought that’s money for nothing. I have  been proactive from the customer’s side of things and give them three main points on using their stove correctly: burn dry fuel, get the stove hot enough and use the stove fan to reach the right temperature.”

Jamie added: “If a customer hasn’t got the right equipment it’s important to guide them in the right direction, to help them be more efficient in using the stove.” If buying a new moisture meter, or stove thermometer or fan is recommended, Jamie will make suggestions but he doesn’t ‘over-do it’ and leaves the decision with the customer.

Jamie believes that educating the customer helps to provide an excellent service, which protects his chimney sweeping business.

“From my point of view, if I give advice they will always use me. It’s the service side that matters. It’s about providing a good service and then the customer will stick to you.

“Year-on-year I’ve been growing 10 per cent since I started four years ago and promoting the Valiant products is a way of increasing income without having to do extra work.”

And will Jamie be crowned winner of the Valiant sales commission scheme at the popular Guild trade show next year?

“If I am not, it won’t be from a lack of trying! A lot of my customers now have stove fans, etc, already. In any case, if customers are being efficient in using stoves it is better for them, better for me and better for the environment.”

www.findachimneysweep.co.uk