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    Why Go Into HVAC Replacement Sales

    Feb. 1, 2023
    Becoming a residential replacement salesperson could possibly be the best career goal just about everyone in the HVAC business can attain.

    If the original owner of the company I started out as a residential replacement salesman with still owned the company, I would still be there doing the same job, and loving every minute of it.

    Becoming a residential replacement salesperson could possibly be the best career goal just about everyone in the HVAC business can attain. Here's why.

    Everyone buys

    This is not to say that you'll have a 100% closing ratio. What it means is that very few people who invite you to their home for a replacement quote don't eventually buy ... from someone. Usually within hours or days of seeing you.

    Replacement sales is possibly the best HVAC career goal anyone could attain.

    When you're selling things like automobiles, insurance, time shares, investments, solar, and even homes, you spend a lot of time spinning your wheels. A good closing ratio for those products is 10-15%. Of those 85-90% of people that sit through a sales presentation, but don't buy, the vast majority of them just don't buy that product at all. That's not the case in HVAC replacement sales.

    In fact, when you run a sales call and they don't buy, make it as positive an experience as possible for the consumer, because they will buy some day, and when they do, they'll call you.

     Everyone is a prospect

    Salespeople are always looking for "qualified" prospects. Every homeowner you see is a qualified prospect. Every single one of them is going to require a replacement home comfort system eventually.

    Even people who don't currently own a home, more than likely will at some point in the future. So be nice to everyone you meet because there's a good chance you'll eventually show up at their home to sell them new equipment.

    While we're on the subject, whenever you leave a tip somewhere, leave your business card with it. Even if you go there on a regular basis, do it every time. I've sold all kinds of equipment to food servers.

    HVAC is a legitimate product

    Accepting a sales position with a company that you know nothing about, selling a product you know nothing about, can be kind of risky for a salesperson.

    Many products and/or the companies that supply them, are rip-offs, and they're hiring unsuspecting salespeople to do the ripping off for them. When you're new to the field, it can take awhile for a new person to realize that they've been ripping people off without knowing that's what they were hired to do.

    I spent about a decade doing mostly recruiting salespeople, and most of the people I recruited were from outside of the industry. I can't tell you how many of them were overjoyed when they realized they were applying for a job at a legitimate company selling a legitimate product. I know I was.

    You're actually helping people

    Not only do we help people put their service problems behind them, we're helping them to be more comfortable, healthier, sleep better, and save money on utilities and repairs.

    I once sold a system to a woman and cleaned up her air for her. When I went back for my follow-up visit, she told me I saved her marriage. I've had countless numbers of people thank me for what I've done for them. Of course, you don't get that if all you're doing is replacing boxes. You've got to address airflow and indoor air quality for that to happen.

    Less physically demanding

    HVAC installer and service technician are very physically demanding jobs, and anyone who's able to do that right up until retirement age is super human.

    The most physically demanding thing you'll have to do as a residential replacement HVAC salesperson is carry an aluminum ladder.

    Less chance of injury

    My residential replacement sales classes are loaded with aging installers and technicians who, either through age or injury, are no longer physically able to do the job.

    Installers and technicians who have a desire to excel in sales are often very good at. What if they have the personality of a doorknob? Sometimes, that's a good thing. I don't see too many people who come across as a "typical salesman", or even what might be described as having a "salesman personality," actually make it in sales. Salesmanship is not "personality driven."

    They got the bright idea to make me take a personality profile. It determined that a person like me could never make it in sales.

    I can't help but mention that, after I'd already been selling for a few years and getting national recognition, they got the bright idea to make me take a personality profile. It determined that a person like me could never make it in sales.

    When people ask someone to come to their home for a quote, they weren't hoping an entertainer or their new best friend would show up. What they're really hoping shows up is a HVAC professional who is serious about their job and gets right down to work.

    Sincerity sells.

    Make your own hours

    When you first start selling, you pretty much have to go where the company tells you to and when they tell you to do it.

    Start bringing in an average of two self-generated sales per day, and you can pretty much come and go as you please. I know. I did it.

    You can have a life outside of work

    When you know how to self-generate leads and how to close them, you don't have to work much at all.

    I no longer tell people how few hours I worked during the years I was working as a full-time salesman and getting national recognition for my numbers, because when I do, they can't decide whether to admire me for making so many sales in what was essentially a part-time job for me, or think less of me for not working more hours.

    I don't believe we were put on this Earth to work and pay bills. There is much more to life than work. During the years I was hitting my big numbers in sales, I was also in the Chess Club, the Scrabble Club, had a ballet scholarship, acted in 4-5 community theatre plays per year, worked out for hours almost every day, and had a very active social life. You can do all that and hit your financial goals when just about everybody you see buys.

    You set your own income

    Learn how to close and self-generate sales and you'll make all the money you need in a very short period of time with very little effort.

    You'll never be out of a job

    When everyone your market area knows you are the best HVAC replacement salesperson in town, you can get fired, shoot your boss, get arrested on the evening news, and be at work at a new company the day they let you out on bail. I know, because this happened in the Washington, D.C. area once.

    All this applies only if you know how to close and generate your own sales.

    Charlie Greer was voted "Favorite Industry Sales Trainer", "HVAC Consultant of the Year," is in the HVAC Hall of Fame, and is the creator of the audio book, "Slacker's
    Guide to HVAC Sales." To learn more about Charlie's products on HVAC sales, go to www.hvacprofitboosters.com. Email your questions or feedback on this column to [email protected].