Ah, the summer. Maybe you’re enjoying the thought of more barbecues in your backyard; maybe you’re looking forward to a family vacation; or maybe you get out to the beach on the weekends. Around the office, it’s the same — everyone is working, but also focused on enjoying the summer.
Well, summer is a great time to enjoy the weather and hang out with your family. But, if your HVACR distribution company is only thinking about the summer, then you’re missing out on some significant opportunities to grow your business for the rest of the year.
What if there was a way to generate more business today, and in the future, by making one small change to your thinking? There is a simple strategy that can reap big rewards.
Think ahead: The summer is a busy time for our industry, which means it’s easy to focus on it and lose sight of what’s coming up down the road just beyond the busyness of summer. But, like a master chess player, you need to be thinking two to three moves ahead. That means juggling the busyness of these summer months while also looking at what the fall holds and start building towards that.
By doing that, you create a stronger business for yourself while also better serving the needs of your customers. In fact, by thinking ahead to the fall right now, you can have a surprising impact in a few different ways.
Craft your promotions for the fall: Create promotions for the fall and start seeding those promotions into the conversation. Make sure your customers know that you are thinking ahead to the fall and give them an incentive to do the same. Since you might be getting more purchases and interactions during this busy season, this is a great opportunity to promote other products and services you offer in fall and get that promotion out in front of more people now.
Look for pre-purchase opportunities: Another advantage to thinking ahead is that you might be able to offer pre-purchase incentives to your customers. If they’re as busy as everyone else, then they might have more money to spend and be willing to spend it now if it means they can get it at a better price. Can you pre-sell some products or services now, that they’ll need in the future, to give your customers an incentive to buy now? Your customers will appreciate the financial advantage of a discounted pre-pay option, and you’ll enjoy an added boost in your summer income.
Intentionally build longer relationships: By focusing on the fall instead of just the short term, you intentionally build longer relationships with your customers. For example, you have something to talk about besides which beach they’re going to this summer with their family; instead you can ask them what their business is expecting to do this fall and inquire how your HVACR distribution company can help.
Not only are you helping your own business, but by moving each customer’s focus to the fall, you are also helping them be more successful too by gently reminding them that the busy summer will give way to a fall slowdown and you are helping them prepare for that.
(Bonus idea: collect tools, resources, and ideas to help your customers extend their busy seasons deep into the fall; they’ll need more products and services from you if you proactively give them ways to extend their summertime success.)
Planning: By thinking ahead to the fall, and even helping your customers do the same, you’ll improve your own business’ planning, which means more growth, more profit, and even better inventory management as you step confidently into a season that you’ve been preparing for, for months.
Don’t get me wrong — I love summer and think you should make the most of it, especially if your kids are out of school and you have an opportunity to build memories with them. But in your HVACR distribution business, your focus should be beyond summer, to the fall, so you can position your business for growth by serving your customers for what they need now and in the coming months.
And of course, that’s just the beginning. Make it a habit to continually think one to three seasons ahead to grow your business.
Mike Agugliaro is the “Business Warrior” and founder of CEO Warrior, a business consulting, training and mentoring firm, providing tested and proven methods to defeat the roadblocks that prevent small to mid-sized businesses from achieving their ultimate success. He has played a key role in building Gold Medal Services’ success, as co-owner of the company. For more information about CEO Warrior, visit www.ceowarrior.com.