Latest from Contracting Business Success

Silver Bullet Price Page Inc.
Photo 20169909 © Vladischern |
Photo 47091378 © Vvoevale
ID 115236686 © Cineberg Ug |
Boonyakiat Chaloemchavalid / iStock / GettyImages

Unsellable HVAC Calls

June 30, 2017
Every person who schedules an appointment has a serious interest in purchasing your services, or they wouldn't go to the trouble. So no matter how they're acting, you've always got a chance for success.

Some calls almost seem pre-ordained as “unsellable.”

It's often difficult not to pre-judge a call when we see:

  • Customers’ names
  • Customers’ addresses
  • Customers’ yards and the exteriors of their homes
  • Customers themselves
  • The interiors of customers’ homes.

You can hardly keep from forming opinions as to whether or not you “like” the call you’re running, the customer you’re dealing with, or how successful you think you might or might not be. You might say that you can hardly control what your opinions will be.

What you can control are your actions.

There is no way of knowing in advance whether or not they’re going to buy.

You can't go by their actions: They may not “seem receptive” to your suggestions. However, they may just have a good “poker face”, and don't want to let on. Don't you do that occasionally when you're the customer?

Every person who schedules an appointment has a serious interest in purchasing your services, or they wouldn't go to the trouble. So no matter how they're acting, you've always got a chance for success.

So many salespeople and service technicians are put off by customers who do not welcome them warmly and hang on their every word.

Just because someone doesn’t warm up to you, it doesn’t mean they won’t buy.  In fact, it’s a fairly good indication that they mean business and intend to buy without delay.

When customers get under your skin:

You can have a tense moment or two and still be successful on a call.  Don’t give up and intentionally blow it just because of one little misstep along the way. They’ve still got the problem and you’ve still got the solution.

 Do my Mental Cleansing Exercise. Find a way to get just fifteen or twenty seconds of alone time and say to yourself, “I am not going to let anything that has already occurred on this call have any effect on the ultimate outcome of this call.”

Don't Buy Into Their “Sob Stories”

It’s common for people to complain about the expense of having repairs done, so don’t let it bother you when that happens.

It’s unusual for people to act as though money is no object. In fact, be very cautious when they do say money is no object, because it often means they don’t plan on paying you anyway!

When they say, “We don’t want to spend a lot of money here!” respond with, "Okay, so you want it done right, but you want to spend the least amount of money possible, correct?"

They'll say, “Yeah, that’s right.”

Just say, "Okay. I’ll keep that in mind. Let’s take a look at it."

What to do:

  • Don’t pay much mind to the customer’s attitude toward money
  • Don’t decide the customer doesn’t want to spend money
  • Don’t decide the customer doesn’t have money or a way to get it
  • Don't decide the customer doesn't have good enough credit to get a loan.

Project a 'Positive Level of Expectation'

A positive level of expectation means that, regardless of how the customer is acting, you act as if:

  • They are cooperating
  • They are listening
  • You’re getting along with each other
  • They want to hear what you have to say
  • They want their problems resolved
  • They are going to buy
  • They have the money
  • They have full buying authority
  • They have essentially already bought.

Speak to everyone with the same level of comfort, confidence, and authority as you would a close personal friend or family member.

When the call appears to be un-sellable: A deep calm comes over me. Why? Because it’s unsellable! There’s no pressure on anyone … me or the customer.

Funny thing is, sometimes that’s when I do my best work. I keep it direct, short, sweet, and to the point. I can’t tell you how many times I had it in my mind that I wasn’t going to close the sale and managed to anyway in spite of myself.

I listened to audio sales training while driving between calls. When I was certain they weren't going to buy, I tried one of the new sales techniques I'd just learned. Don't try new techniques on people who are going to buy anyway. Break in the new material on the people you're certain aren’t going to buy. Then, if you do it wrong, you haven't lost anything.

Whether or not you think you’re going to be successful on any given call, you can and should follow the same procedure you’d follow on calls you’re certain you will be successful on.

So, don’t let it bother you when it seems unsellable. Get calm and relaxed about the situation and try a new, off-the-wall technique, but be careful. Sometimes it "backfires" on you and they buy anyway.

Charlie Greer is an award-winning HVAC salesman and sales trainer. Charlie has re-started his popular 4-Day Sales Survival Schools, with separate classes for HVAC salespeople and service technicians. For more information, call 1-800-963- HVAC (4822) or go to the web at Email your feedback on this column or ask questions of Charlie at [email protected].