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Sell By Creating ‘Verbal Infomercials’

Aug. 5, 2013
Take a cue from telelvision advertsiing and stop trying to sell HVAC "boxes." Instead, enlightening consumer about the happiness and prestige they'll gain by purchasing a new comfort system.

As a salesperson, your challenge is to make people feel good about buying from you.

Some people say they sell by educating the consumer. However, you have to be very careful when you start educating people during a selling situation. Too much information often causes more questions than it answers. You can lose prospects to boredom. You can confuse them, and a confused mind always says no. Some HVAC salespeople and service techs provide so much information you can't tell if they're doing a sales presentation or a technical seminar.

I sell by enlightening the consumer.

Educating the consumer is facts, figures, and logic. Enlightenment sparks an emotional response. An enlightened consumer experiences an “A-ha!” moment.

A high-quality replacement HVAC system, complete with duct and indoor air quality improvements, can cost anywhere from $10,000 to more than $30,000. In order for people to spend that kind of dough, two things have to happen:

1. They have to hate the way things are for them now

2. They have to really look forward to the way things are going to be for them when you're done improving their system.

You make these two things happen by using word pictures with emotional triggers.

Painting Word Pictures

Word pictures with emotional triggers are like infomercials.

Infomercials all follow the same format. First, they show you how miserable life is without their product, then they show how great life is with their product. First, they make you hate what you have, then they make you love what they have to offer.

Infomercials — and really all advertising, whether it's TV or radio commercials or print ads — are designed to trigger your emotions.

It's not about logic. It's not about facts and figures. It's about emotions. They're trying to get the endorphins flowing, and endorphins are highly addictive. Remember that. When we say our challenge as a salesperson is to make people feel good, what we’re really saying is that our task is to get their endorphins flowing.

Watch TV commercials tonight. What percentage of commercials actually tell you anything about the product?

Aren’t television commercials mostly about what other people will say or think about you if your buy their product; how happy you'll feel and how good you'll feel about yourself, how smart and proud you'll be when you buy their product?

As a side note, have you noticed how many commercials there are for products that will help people get a good night's sleep? There are beds, mattresses, pillows, pills; and what about all the insurance policies and alarm systems and the like that will also help people sleep better, just knowing they're there? I'd say that getting a good night's sleep is important, and obviously people  are willing to spend money to get it.

Look at the percentage of commercials about products that promise to solve allergy problems, get rid of headaches, and help with depression. I'd say not getting those things is important to people, and people are willing to spend money to avoid them.

Look at the tremendous percentage of commercials for cleaning products and cleaning machines. Obviously, people want a clean indoor environment and are willing to spend money to get it. Are you noticing a pattern here?

What People Want

People want:

  • A good night's sleep
  • To get rid of their headaches
  • To get rid of their allergy problems
  • To get rid of their depression
  • To have a clean indoor environment
  • The admiration of others
  • To feel good about themselves.

We do all that! Where most people selling HVAC go wrong is that they're selling HVAC — they're selling machines. Consumers don't want the machines we sell; they want the benefits these machines provide.

No one wants a zoning system. What they want is a cooler master bedroom, so they sleep better and aren't tired at work all day; so they can perform better at work and get ahead on the job, get promoted, make more money and be able to afford more of life's luxuries so they can win the admiration of their family, friends, and neighbors.

No one wants a new duct system, a high-efficiency, high-capacity air cleaner, and a UV light. What they want is excellent cooling, better health, and compliments from everyone who walks through their door about how fresh and clean their home smells and how comfortable it is. They want to feel good about what they've bought. They want bragging rights.

We explain these benefits by enlightening them, getting them emotionally involved, and inspiring enthusiasm with word pictures with emotional triggers.

We make them hate their current situation and love the new life that the improvements we make to their home comfort system will provide.

How To Do It

Do it just like an infomercial. First, paint all the negatives and try to get them to hate their existing situation, then paint all the positives and try to get them enthusiastic about the new life that awaits them.

You’re going to establish a contrast. Yes, people will feel bad when you enlighten them about the problems with their existing system, but all that does is help them feel that much better when you start going through all the positives they'll enjoy once you’re done improving their system.

Paint a word picture of prospects enjoying a product or service. Describe how good they’ll feel about themselves when they come home from work to a cool, crisp, comfortable, clean, and quiet environment. Tell them how much the family will appreciate it, and the compliments they’ll receive when people come to their home.

When you do it right, while you're painting your word picture, the prospect will come up alongside you and take the brush out of your hand and finish the painting for you. Often, the picture they paint in their own minds is better than the one you were going to paint.

Charlie Greer is the Tom McCart HVAC Consultant of the Year, an award-winning salesman, a service technician, and a sales instructor. Word pictures with emotional triggers are covered on his audio CD, “Over The Top HVAC Sales.” This single CD will help everyone in the company talk HVAC and IAQ in such a manner that enlightens consumers and inspires enthusiasm for your products. Order it online at or call 800-963-HVAC (4822). Email Charlie at [email protected].