Your Next Secret Weapon?
For as long as I can remember, HVAC contractors have searched for a silver bullet to catapult them into double-digit profits and help grow their business so they can someday cash in and retire comfortably. While this remains the dream of many entrepreneurs today in our industry, there are no easy silver bullets.
On the positive side, there are things you can do to achieve these goals, including building a large service agreement base and improving your business processes to maximize efficiency and profitability.
But what if I told you there was a secret weapon that, while not quite a silver bullet, could significantly increase your sales and profitability while turning customers into raving fans?
What if you had a product that almost every customer needs and few contractors are aware of or even know how to deliver? What if this product could significantly improve your customers' homes' safety, comfort, health, and energy efficiency?
What if you could sell this product as a standalone solution for your service customers or add it to virtually every new replacement? What if this product had very low material costs but could yield higher double-digit net profits than anything you have to sell? Curious?
Well, not only does this product exist, but the best part is you can manufacture and install it. You also have complete control over its quality and can price it for what it's worth. This incredible product is called an Air Upgrade.
What's an Air Upgrade and How Does it Work?
Put simply, an Air Upgrade involves testing a system's performance and improving the air distribution system so equipment can operate within the manufacturer's specifications for delivered airflow and system capacity.
In other words, it allows a three-ton system to deliver roughly 1200 CFM of airflow and 36,000 BTUs instead of the typical 800 CFM and 24,000 BTUs of the average installed system.
It all starts with testing static pressures and airflows at the equipment. Once your field people take some simple measurements, they can determine if an Air Upgrade is needed – which is roughly 80% of the time.
With today's ultra-sensitive equipment, including an Air Upgrade on your installations significantly increases the chances that it will work as promised and dramatically reduce callbacks.
Many contractors who have learned this process typically sell Air Upgrades on a flat rate basis. While pricing will vary based on labor and material costs, you can sell the typical upgrade for $2,000 to $3,000 -- or more.
To successfully integrate Air Upgrades into your business, you need three key elements:
The First is the right mindset. Your team will need to think differently about the right solutions for customers. You should base your recommendations on knowledge and data from testing and diagnostics. No more guessing!
The Second element is training. While there are better diagnostic tools and software than ever on the market, nothing replaces the knowledge your people obtain through good training, a deep understanding of their measurements, and how to remedy the shortcomings of an HVAC system.
The Third element is having the right tools. I can't tell you how often I see contractors send their techs to training and not equip them with the right tools to do the job. That's like training a firefighter on state-of-the-art equipment and sending them out with a fire extinguisher. To profitably deliver Air Upgrades that will turn your customers into raving fans, you must invest in high-quality test instruments and software.
How to Sell Air Upgrades
There are two great ways to sell Air Upgrades: During a service and/or maintenance call. With the proper training to test and share the results with customers, your techs will generate a ton of Air Upgrades.
The second opportunity is on a replacement call. With some technical training and a slightly different approach that involves your customer in the process, this product can be added to virtually every replacement sale, at net margins easily twice those of the equipment installation.
While this article just scratches the surface, great information is available on testing and delivering Air Upgrades. Remember, Air Upgrades are not a silver bullet. They are a product that requires true commitment and investment of your team's time as well as your company's resources. There is a learning curve, which can be shortened with good training and coaching, but the rewards can be truly spectacular!
Dominick Guarino is President & CEO of National Comfort Institute (NCI) (www.nationalcomfortinstitute.com), the nation's premier High-Performance training, certification, and membership organization. NCI focuses on improving consumer safety, comfort, health, saving energy, and helping contractors grow and become more profitable. His e-mail is [email protected].
Quote: "Nothing replaces the knowledge your people will get through good training and deep understanding of their measurements."