Contracting Business/Kelly Faloon
Contracting Business/Kelly Faloon
Endeavor Business Media
Contracting Business/Kelly FAloon
Kelly L. Falloon
Kelly L Faloon/Contracting Business
Ahr Day 1 Marketing Landmines 5e3a333c22cb8

Dodging Those Marketing Land Mines

Feb. 5, 2020
Unless HVAC contractors really know their customers, they may get mired in marketing programs that only work against them.

Caption: Erik Wytrwal, senior consultant at Stochastic Marketing, tells HVAC contractors at the 2020 AHR Expo in Orlando, Fla., that they are focusing their marketing efforts in the wrong area.

HVAC contractors can get mired in a marketing program that will only sink their businesses, noted Erik Wytrwal, senior consultant at Stochastic Marketing. He told AHR Expo attendees Feb. 3 that it is imperative that contractors really know who their customers are — and what they are worth.

“Grey hair is the right indicator that you're marketing to the right people,” he said. “Millennials are a bad bet!”

That’s because by the time millennials buy a home, they don’t have any money to spend on upgrades. He added that people typically live in their homes an average of eight years. They don’t begin to think about comfort upgrades until they’ve been in a house about 11 years.

When they do call, 85 percent of all the money customers will spend with you will be in the first year, Wytrwal said, and 3 percent of households will be on your books for five years. This is why HVAC contractors should focus their marketing efforts on new customers.

“We assume existing customers are worth a lot more money to us than they really are,” he noted. “Half the houses you go to are worth $500 in sales.”

Another marketing challenge for contractors is seasonality. Most contractors turn off their marketing programs during the busy season. Wrong answer, Wytrwal said: “Embrace seasonality! Never turn off your marketing; turn off your customers. The biggest marketing landmine is sales. Remember: You are a sales organization, not a service company. Installs drive your company growth.”

Providing weekly sales training for your techs is the best thing you can do for business, he added.

About the Author

Kelly L. Faloon | Freelance Writer/Editor

Kelly L. Faloon is a contributing editor and writer to Contracting Business magazine, Contractor and HPAC Engineering. The former editor of Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, Faloon has more than 20 years experience in the plumbing and heating industry. She started a freelance writing and editing business in 2017, where she has a varied clientele.

Faloon spent 3 1/2 years at Supply House Times before joining the Plumbing & Mechanical staff in 2001. Previously, she spent nearly 10 years at CCH/Wolters Kluwer, a publishing firm specializing in business and tax law, where she wore many hats — proofreader, writer/editor for a daily tax publication, and Internal Revenue Code editor.

A native of Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, Faloon is a journalism graduate of Michigan State University. You can reach her at [email protected].