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    April 13, 2023

    The Residential HVAC Replacement Sales Call, Part 3: First Contact

    March 20, 2018
    As unreliable as people are these days, most homeowners are surprised to learn that you actually intend to arrive at the appointed time. Call when you are 10 to 15 minutes away from the home.

    Charlie is taking this entire year to cover his over-the-top procedure he follows when running residential replacement sales calls. This is his third installment.



    The Confirming Phone Call

    As unreliable as people are these days, most homeowners are surprised to learn that you actually intend to arrive at the appointed time and, unless you call ahead, many of them won’t be ready for you when you get there! Call about 10-15 minutes before you’re expected to be there, even if the appointment was made that day. If they’re an hour away, wait until you’re about 10-15 minutes away before making the call.


    You: “Hello, Mr(s). (homeowner’s name) ? This is (your name) with the air conditioning company. We talked about my taking at look at your air conditioner today.” I intentionally did not state the name of my company, because sometimes they wager a guess, and it isn’t my company. That tells me the name of at least one other company from which they’re planning on getting a quote.
    Them: “Yes, that’s right. We’re here waiting on you.”
    You: “Good. I just thought I’d call to let you know I’ll be out your way in about 10 minutes or so.”
    Them: Well, we’ll be here.”
    You: Let them know you’re familiar with the area by saying, “Let’s see now, you’re near ( name a landmark).”
    Them: “That’s right. You go . . . ( and they’ll start giving you directions to their home ).”

    Arriving on the Scene

    Take off your sunglasses as soon as you get to the street on which your call is located. Never let them see you in sunglasses. They have to be able to see your eyes. Don’t park your sunglasses on top of your head or hang them behind your head, like some people do.

    Whenever possible, park in front of the home, in plain sight of the front windows of the building. Don’t worry about blocking other vehicles from leaving. That way no one can sneak out on you. Don’t take forever to get out of your vehicle and start heading for the door. Be prepared to shut off the engine and step on up to the door as soon as you arrive on the scene.

    Prepare Yourself Mentally

    I always take just a moment to make certain I’m in the right frame of mind. You’d think that as a sales trainer, I’d say something to myself like, “Sell! Sell! Sell!” Actually, I do almost the polar opposite. I quietly and calmly say to myself, “I’m not going to try and sell them anything. I’m just going to take a look at what they’ve got, and if they need anything, I’ll make my recommendations. I’m going to pretend there is a camera crew following me and, whether or I not make a sale on this call, when they show the video, they’re going to say, ‘This is the way a real HVAC professional runs a call.”

    Silence Your Cell Phone

    Do not allow a cell phone to interrupt a conversation with a customer. Even having your cell phone ring or start vibrating during a conversation is disruptive and distracting. The customer says, “Do you need to get that?” You don’t want them to see you ignoring calls and who needs that kind of interruption while you’re trying to conduct business?

    The only cell phone conversation you should make or take while you’re running a call is when you say to the customer, “I’m going to call someone to check on something for you.” Always let them know you’re making a cell phone call to somehow benefit them.

    What to Carry into the Home

    Left hand:
    • Invoice holder, the kind that service techs use, (keeping the right hand free to knock on doors, shake hands, etc.). Inside of it are proposals, credit applications, one or two pieces of pertinent literature, graph paper, and heat gain/heat loss worksheets
    • Questionnaire with at name, address and phone number already filled out on it on top of the invoice holder
    • Two business cards go on top of questionnaire, held down with the thumb
    • Long tape measure, preferably 50-100-ft., on top of invoice holder, held down with the wrist.
    Belt: Multi-tool / Flashlight (possibly hanging from belt or in shirt pocket).

    Shirt pocket:
    • Black ball-point pen
    • Felt-tip pen
    • Mechanical pencil
    • Telescoping inspection mirror
    • Thermometer.

    Pants pocket:
    • 6-in-1 tool.

    Your price book, calculator, briefcase and any other sales related equipment stay in the car for the time being.