If the average HVAC comfort consultant were a real estate agent, he would starve. The reason is most comfort consultants don’t know how to generate business.
The biggest difference between selling in the HVAC industry and most other industries is company supplied leads. HVAC salespeople rely on the company to provide most or all of their leads. In other industries, salespeople are expected to prospect. That’s why a good portion of almost any book on selling is devoted to prospecting.
So what if an air conditioning comfort consultant prospected like a real estate agent? What if he took charge of generating his own business, with company supplied leads as a bonus? He would be the top performer in his company. He would be a superstar. His income might even top what the boss earns.
This is not only doable. It’s been done. Over and over. Here’s how you can become a superstar.
• Change your outlook.
Do not think of yourself as an employee of your company. Think of yourself as a company. Invest in your company (i.e., you). If the company won’t buy you sales training material from the industry’s top consultants, buy it yourself. If the company won’t buy you an infrared non-contact thermometer, buy it yourself. If the company won’t market to generate enough leads for you, market yourself.
• Create a personal brochure.
What makes you stand out? Why should someone buy from you over any other salesperson? List your training, education, certifications, and awards. Talk about your background. State your business philosophy. Include testimonials. List the steps you follow when designing a new comfort system. Make a personal promise or commitment to the customer. Finally, include information about the company. Remember, if people buy you first and the company second, they will accept your solutions third.
• Create a personal website.
Create a website that mirrors your personal brochure, but that also has lots of local community information. Include a page for newcomers with links and phone numbers for utilities, driver’s licenses, animal control, trash collection, cable companies, youth sports associations, churches, and so on. Link to other, non-competitive businesses in the community. List schedules for community events, like high school sports teams, performing arts, community theater, upcoming church events, and so on.
• Start a community blog.
Write something about home improvement, but more about your community. You want local prospects, not people two states away. Write about things happening around town that you learn about from your networking. Link to stories in community newspapers. Link to announcements on local church, association, and club websites. And, of course, have an “about me” section that describes what you do and links to your website.
• Create your own door hanger and magnet.
Print door hangers and magnets at your expense if the company won’t pay for them. Put your personal phone number on them. Cloverleaf homes every time you make an estimate. When you have a few minutes between calls, put out some door hangers. Attach the magnet to the door hanger.
• Advertise in out of the way places.
Homeowners associations, churches, and clubs often send out newsletters and accept advertising at nominal rates. Take out small ads with every newsletter you can find. If the company won’t pay for it, pay for it yourself.
• Target a high potential neighborhood.
Find an upper middle class neighborhood with lots of old condensing units visible and just a few new ones. This is a neighborhood just starting a wave of replacements. Focus on repetitive marketing to this neighborhood.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of this article in the next Hotmail newsletter.
Matt Michel is CEO of the Service Roundtable, which serves thousands of contractors and contractor salespeople by providing them with downloadable sales, marketing, and business management tools, an online support network of leading contractors and consultants, and cash rebates from the company’s Roundtable Rewards buying group. Call 877.262.3341 with your biggest problem and ask one of the success consultants to show you a solution (or two, or three, or more). Or, visit the website at www.ServiceRoundtable.com.