Residential HVAC Replacement Sales Call, Part 9: Calculations and Recommendations

Sept. 7, 2018
It's time to measure the home and decide what we're going to recommend. In other words: don't 'ballpark' any details about home size and layout.

Charlie Greer is taking the entire year to cover his award-winning in-home procedure on residential replacement sales. This is his ninth installment.

So far, we've done our pre-call planning, made our confirming phone call, greeted the customer at the door, gone to the thermostat, went over our questionnaire with them, done our equipment inspection, and offered a sincere compliment. Now it's time to measure the home and decide what we're going to recommend.

Measuring and drawing the home is another place where you can give the homeowner a brief break.

Draw every single home.  Some people have told me it takes them too long to draw every home.  That is exactly why it takes them too long to draw every home — they don't draw every home.  If you drew every home, you'd get fast at it. There are plenty of technical reasons for measuring and drawing the home, but the best reason is the fact that homeowners love it when you draw their home. An entire book could be written with nothing in it but stories of customers who've made the buying decision simply because someone was the only guy who drew their home.

Guidelines to follow when drawing the home:

  • Make it an accurate picture of the home, don't “square it off.”
  • Use graph paper
  • Draw it to scale, to the nearest foot
  • Draw the shell or perimeter of the home from the outside if it already has central heat and air and a new duct system is not required, and it's dry and fairly warm outside
  • Make a room-by-room drawing from the inside if a duct system is required or when it's cold or wet outside
  • It is not necessary to keep the homeowner involved by having them hold one end of the tape measure
  • Avoid any and all conversations with the customer regarding the square footage of their home.

Calculate, price, plan:

Go out to your car and get everything you'll need to price up, write up, and present a job.


  • Compute their heat gain/heat loss
  • Decide what equipment and other modifications to their system would best suit their individual needs
  • Their investment (the price)
  • Two or three payment options
  • Write up a “Paper Towel Close” and tuck it away for later
  • Figure the energy savings with new equipment
  • Determine their return on investment
  • Determine their “sense of urgency”
  • Determine why they should buy from you
  • Determine the logical reason to buy
  • Determine the emotional reason to buy
  • The most effective way to present these things.

Equipment selection:

In my seminars, there's always a lot of discussion as to how many different options you should present on equipment and how far you should go in educating them.

Personally, I figure out what I would do if this were my house, I had their income, and I was going to live in the home for the amount of time they've indicated to me that they will; essentially, I decide what I would want to buy if I were them, and I start by making that one recommendation.

After all, I'm the HVAC professional who has probably just spent an hour in a home doing a needs analysis where I:

  • Asked them what complaints they had about their equipment
  • Thoroughly inspected the equipment
  • Checked the air flow in every room
  • Analyzed their operating costs.

I've gotten to know them, so I've got a pretty accurate feeling for:

  • Their income, and what they do for a living
  • Their plans for the home
  • How many people live there
  • Any health problems they may be experiencing
  • The quality of merchandise they usually buy
  • What they want out of a new air conditioning/heating system.

When you ask them, “So, do you want to go with an 14 SEER or an 19 SEER?”  You’re setting yourself up for a, “Let us think it over?” objection.  (And you’d deserve it.)

Why wouldn't you want to go ahead and recommend specific equipment?  Afraid you'd make the wrong decision?

If you're afraid of making the wrong decision, imagine how afraid your customers are of making the wrong decision!

If your customers aren't paying for your expertise and your specific recommendations, what are they paying you for?

You want them to be strong and make a decision, and you're afraid to!  So, be strong, be brave, and recommend one line of equipment; the one that you're convinced will best meet the customer's needs.

Charlie Greer is the creator of the audio book “Slacker’s Guide to HVAC Sales,” and "Charlie Greer's 4-Day Sales Survival Schools," which are held every spring and fall in Fort Myers, Florida. For more information, go to, or call 1-800-963-HVAC (4822). Email your questions on salesmanship or feedback to [email protected].