2020 was a difficult year for many contractors. Other contractors had their best year ever. If you just let the wind take you wherever it may, you're leaving your success up to chance and luck. Successful people make things happen. Successful people adapt to changes. Others are doing it. So can you.
Here are my suggestions on what you can do to make 2021 your best year ever.
Get more involved in sales of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)You've got to do more than just tell your people you want them to sell more IAQ and run a sales contest or offer higher commissions.
It starts with training. Most contractors say that their employees already know all about IAQ, but if your employees actually believed in the necessity of IAQ, and that IAQ was truly beneficial, they'd all own it themselves. Most don't. My observation has been that, once service techs and salespeople own UV lights, bipolar ionizers, and humidifiers, they start bringing them up to customers.
Recommend IAQ on every call and you'll sell more of it.
Get more involved in duct modifications and improvementsIn many markets, replacement equipment is easier to sell than it is to obtain from distributors. That doesn't mean you can't make money.
You can make more money on replacing ductwork than on replacing equipment. Almost every home is low on return and just about every duct system leaks. Many were improperly designed in the first place. Contrary to popular belief, variable speed indoor blowers do not compensate for improperly designed ductwork.
Indoor Air Quality and home automation are staring you in the face. Don't turn away!
My personal favorite thing to do is to pull the door off the blower compartment while the blower is running. With rare exception, there will be a sudden blast of air that they've never felt before, and they're going to want you to make that a permanent thing.
Any system old enough to require replacing, has dirty, smelly ductwork. Put a glove on and run your hand around the inside of a return. Let your customers see the dirt and smell it, then stand back, because they're going to want you to either clean them or replace them.
Get yourself a fibre optic camera so you can show customers the inside of their ducts. The first time someone stuck a camera inside my ductwork, I actually yelled, "Get those ducts outta here!" He did replace the ductwork and, as it works out, my lifetime of sinus trouble mysteriously vanished.
To really to do it right, get the equipment and the training to prove how leaky their ducts are. The same people who will sell you the equipment will train you on how to market it and use it. They'll teach you how to find every leak in existing ducts and how to fix them.
Have your techs take a static pressure reading on every system, then matter-of-factly tell the customer that they've got an issue with their air distribution system that is:
- Damaging their equipment
- Reducing their airflow
- Drawing contaminants into the home
- Costing them money in high utility bills.
Then just tell them that you're sending someone out with testing equipment to determine the cause and what it will take to fix it. This isn't supposed to be a hard sell. You can only test so many homes per day.
Get more into home automationSmart thermostats are hot items that more and more people are getting. Start carrying them and put them on the bottom of your list and you'll start selling them.
I know a guy who includes a smart thermostat on every replacement job "at no additional cost." His salespeople show the t-stat to customers, then pull out their smart phones and show them how it works. Right on the smart phone interface, it shows everything in the house that it can interact with.
The most popular items are:
- Remote door locks
- Garage door openers
- Doorbell cameras
- Interior and exterior light controls.
When this contractor decided to jump into home automation with both feet, he teamed up with his supplier to provide every single employee in his company with a smart thermostat at no charge. Now the entire company is into home automation, and he sells more of it than any all the other contractors his distributor has combined.
CHARLIE GREER was recently voted the 'Favorite Industry Trainer," and is the creator of the audio book, "Slacker's Guide to HVAC Sales." For information on Charlie's products, or to get him out to your shop, call 1-800-963-HVAC (4822) or go to www.hvacprofitboosters.com. Email your sales questions to [email protected].