READ THIS: The Cost of Waiting Close — Part 1: The Layout.

Charlie Greer begins a three-part series that describes how to close an HVAC sale based on "the cost of waiting."

The way to close sales when the existing system is still running is with the "Cost of Waiting Close." You may have seen a similar version to this close called the "Return on Investment Close", but what you haven't seen my take on it.
 
This technique requires the use of a plain pad of paper, a writing utensil, and a calculator. (SEE BELOW TO DOWNLOAD CALCULATIONS)
 
In this 3-part series, I'll:
1.  Describe the basic layout of the chart
2.  The ongoing dialogue
3.  The three closes you'll use.
 
Preparation:
You'll need to have done an equipment inspection, made a list of what you believe the equipment will require to operate for a given period of time in a safe and healthy manner, and priced out those solutions.
 
Determined what the annual energy savings will be with the new equipment.
 
Become very educated on any utility company rebates, especially when it comes to expiration dates. All rebates have an expiration date. Even if your utility company has been handing out the same rebate for the last decade, there has always been expiration dates, and it's just been renewed a number of times. These expiration dates rarely stretch beyond year or two. Note: The utility rebates these days are usually lower than they've been in years past, and I find HVAC replacement salespeople downplaying them because of that. Don't ever decide for yourself that a customer won't welcome the rebate. Your customers will be grateful to get whatever rebate is offered.
 
Become very aware of the details on any manufacturer rebates, especially with regard to expiration dates.
 
A new concept:
This may be a new concept for you, and it sold a lot of jobs for me; especially to "payment buyers." I've often said to have the standard price for your jobs the amount of money you would require to install a furnace or an air conditioner on your busiest days of the year. The entire rest of the year, you can point to those prices, then show a discount, a company rebate, or ... get this ... a trade-in. The equipment would still have to be working because we would donate it to charity.
 
Here's another twist on this rebate  ̶ didn't take it off the price of the job. We sent them a check. We also arranged for their utility rebate and their manufacturer rebates to be delivered to them in the form of a check. In fact, we delivered them in person. That meant that the rebate checks could amount over well over $1,000. That would equate to several month's worth of payments. Adding the utility savings to the amount they would receive in rebates meant that they'd often have no out-of-pocket expenses for up to year, and be more comfortable and live in a healthier environment.
  
The basic layout:
Line 1: When prospects want to put off replacing their equipment now, get a commitment as to when they think they'll do it or how long they think they have before they're out of options and have to replace it, whether they want to or not. Two years is a very common response, which is why I used it for my example. Experiment using different time frames. This chart will never let you down. This chart will always show that it will cost them thousands of dollars to put off replacing their equipment now, even if they say they only want to wait one year. It works if they say they want to wait five years. It always works.
 
Line 2 - Columns A & B:The point of this close is to show the financial penalties of waiting versus the financial gains in taking action now. In a situation where the equipment is still operational, you might want to use the headings "Now" in Column B, and "Wait" or "Later" in Column A. In the case of non-working equipment, you can use the label "Repair" in Column A, and "Replace" in Column B.

Charlie Greer HVAC Profit Boosters

 

Line 3: Write the price to replace their equipment today in Column B, and put a "0" in Column A. Note: In a "Repair vs. Replace" scenario, you can write the price of the repairs required to get the equipment running in Column A.

Line 4: Whether you're in a "Repair vs. Replace" scenario on non-working equipment, or you're quoting a replacement on working equipment, you'll write down the price it takes to keep the equipment running for the amount of time listed on Line 1.
 
For instance, just about all the equipment that is in such bad shape that the homeowner is considering replacing it will have a dirty blower, a dirty indoor coil, and a leaky plenum. Your job will be to make them understand that these are health hazards that must be addressed if they're going to use the equipment for the next two years. Just take a visual look at their contactor. Is it pitted? Is their capacitor leaking? Those two items won't last long. Price out these tasks. They add up.
 
This is real HVAC professionalism at its best. Sharing this information with your prospects will permit them to make an educated and informed decision as to whether or not to waste money on their existing system (that they don't even like) or bite the bullet and get the new system.
 
Since they're buying new equipment that will still be under warranty in two years, but a "0" in Column B.
 
Line 5: Write down the utility savings in Column B. Put a "minus" sign (-) in front of it and brackets around it. Put a "0" in Column A.
 
Line 6: Write down the amount of the utility rebate in Column B. Put a "minus" sign (-) in front of it and brackets around it. Put a "0" in Column A. Don't worry about it if there is no utility rebate in your area. This will still work out for you.
 
Line 7: Write down the amount of the manufacturer rebate in Column B. Put a "minus" sign (-) in front of it and brackets around it. Put a "0" in Column A. Don't worry about it if there is no manufacturer rebate. This will still work out for you.
 
Line 8: Write down the amount of the company rebate in Column B. Put a "minus" sign (-) in front of it and brackets around it. Put a "0" in Column A. Don't worry about it if there is no company rebate. This will still work out for you.
 
Line 9: Write the amount the same system will cost in the given amount of time, taking inflation into consideration, in Column A. Put a "0" in Column B.
 
Line 10: Add everything in Column A, subtract everything in Lines 4-9 from Line 3 in Column B, and put the answers underneath them.
 
Line 11: Subtract Column B from Column A.
 
Line 12: Write how much it will take to keep their equipment running in proper order for the given amount of time in Column A, and put a "0" in Column B.

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