By Adams Hudson
Many HVAC contractors make the bulk of their yearly profits during the burst of warm weather months. Why? Because they can sell more expensive air systems, offer maintenance agreements, and benefit from higher traffic of service and demand calls.
But if you sit around and wait on the weather, your competition will be closing the sales you never even had a shot at. Get busy with warm weather marketing to make the phone and cash registers ring. There are exactly three ways for you to make more money:
1. Sell more often;
2. Sell for more money; and/or
3. Sell to more people.
That’s it. Sorry to not have anything more complicated to share with you, but if you take your eyes off simplicity, you’ll probably just bury yourself in lengthy to-do lists that don’t get done — and quite frankly don’t need to be done. Simple is best.
For your fast track to greater warm weather profits, consider these five top warm weather lead generators:
1. Maintenance agreements (MA) toward equipment upsales. The smartest contractors have maintenance agreement customers to serve all spring, and that’s fantastic. On average, one in 24 MA customers (according to our research) will need additional repairs or equipment. Advice: Train your techs exactly what to look for, what to say, and how to present the upsale. If your techs don’t sell equipment, train them on what to look out for before they call your salesperson: older equipment, repairs over $500, problematic leaks, or other red flags for replacement.
2. Maintenance agreements toward IAQ. This is another huge yet untapped opportunity for techs. While performing the tune up, a cursory view inside the return air will lay the most important foundation for an IAQ sale. Have techs introduce the need and either call the IAQ salesperson, try to sell it themselves, or present a “leave behind” that tells the homeowners the ills of impure ductwork. This is a free marketing opportunity, and if you’re missing it, you are walking by wads of money in the street.
3. New customer newspaper ads. Finance ads do well in warm months. If you’ve got a “Six Month No Payment” ad, you can push payments until well after your customer has saved a ton of money on utility bills throughout the summer. This single focus for sales and marketing is among the strongest of the seven basic direct response-type ads that I have for spring. I also like validated rebate ads. (Validated just means you’re not saying “$500 back” without justification. Give a reason and you’ll get more response.)
4. Your Yellow Pages ad. If yours renews this season, have it redesigned for leads. Don’t mess around with pictures of all your vans or your company name dominating the top of the ad (bad idea). Get it to pull leads since that’s presumably why you’re paying through your nostrils for it in the first place. Hey, it’s your most expensive ad, and it lasts a year! Make it pay you back.
5. Customer retention program. If you scoff, “Ha! I don’t have a retention program, and I don’t need one,” then I say your attitude means you don’t care too much about customer relationships. Your customer translates feelings toward the relationship into loyalty, or the lack thereof. No relationship equals no loyalty. Your competition is excited about your hopelessly shallow customer assessment. Why? Because 55 percent of your customer turnover is walking out for someone who doesn’t share your attitude.
Here’s to wishing you a profitable spring!
Check out jacksonsystems.com for more information about products that will save you time and money this busy season.