If you’re an HVAC business owner, you’re an expert in heating and cooling. But sales may be outside your comfort zone. After all, the skills needed to repair an air conditioner and the skills needed to win over new customers are completely different.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t grow your HVAC business with a little help from our sales tips.
In this article, we’ll give you a high-level summary of the sales process. Then we’ll follow that up with some practical sales tips you can put to use today. The goal here is simple. We want to help you close more business so you can make more money.
Ready to learn how? Let’s get to it.
The Sales Process
The marketing and sales process is a lot like a funnel. So much so that you’ll often hear sales folks talk about their funnel when talking about prospective customers.
Like a literal funnel, a sales funnel is wide at the top, where there are a lot of possible customers. The further down the funnel you go—the further along in your sales process you get—the fewer potential customers there are. The ones who make it all the way down to the bottom are the ones who buy your services.
Prospects can come into your sales funnel several different ways. Some will come through online searches for HVAC services in their area, some through social media posts, and some as recommendations from family or friends.
You can increase your sales by making it easy for someone who starts at the top of the funnel to make it all the way to the bottom. You can do this with a sales process that’s centered on providing the right information at the right time. Throughout the process, we recommend transparent, open dialogue.
Folks tend to buy from people they like and people they trust.
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Closing the Sale Is Essential
You don’t have to be a sales professional to grow your business. You just need to know how to answer your prospect’s questions, stay in touch, and provide the kind of information that builds trust.
But that’s the easy part. The hard part is actually closing the sale.
Here are some tips that can help you turn prospects into customers.
Keep It Simple
Limit information to digestible chunks. As Contracting Business’s “Tec Daddy,” Charlie Greer, points out, people simply don’t have a long attention span these days.
“Long explanations don’t sell anything,” Greer advises. And he’s right. If you’ve ever sat across the desk of a long-winded car salesperson, you know exactly what he’s talking about.
Keep your explanations simple, easy to understand and short. Stay on the topic, stay away from humor that might offend, and limit small talk to a few icebreakers at the beginning of your conversation.
Look for Past Customers with Old Systems
Let’s say you look through your records from the past few years and find some customers who are losing money because of frequent repairs. Give them a call and show them how a new system could save money over time.
Once they see how much they could save with a new system, it’s not hard to ask for the sale.
Consider asking something like, “Are you ready to start saving money? I know you’re tired of getting nickeled and dimed to death on repair and electric bills.”
Show them how your advice is actually in their best interest. When they see that you’re genuinely trying to help, they’ll be more likely to buy.
Stay in Touch with Past Customers
On a similar note, it pays to keep up-to-date records of past customers so you can contact them from time to time. Ask how their system is working and if you can do anything for them.
Be sure to ask them if they have friends or family members looking for HVAC equipment or repair services. If so, get their contact information and give them a call.
When a customer’s warranty is about to expire, get in touch with them to offer a maintenance check or other services before their warranty runs out. They’ll appreciate your attention to detail, and you’ll gain the kind of goodwill that earns recommendations.
Outsource Your Lead Generation to a Professional
You likely don’t have the time to be a full-time marketer. You have a job to do.
But you can pay professionals who specialize in marketing for contractors to do the hard work of lead generation for you.
A solid lead generation partner will be able to provide qualified leads—people who are actively searching for HVAC services in your area. While these kinds of services come with a cost, that cost can easily be offset in new sales. If you’re interested in aggressive growth, this is an option worth considering.
Focus Your Conversation on the Customer’s Needs
When you contact prospects, ask about the problems they’re facing. Then, show them how you can solve those problems.
It’s all about putting the customer’s needs first. When you put the customer’s needs at the center of the conversation, you’re a lot more likely to close the sale. Especially if your competitors aren’t as customer-focused.
Online and off, growing your sales depends on growing your relationships.
If you use social media in your marketing, we recommend that you invite customers and prospects to ask questions there. You could also offer to give HVAC-related tips in person, at local meetings of real estate agents, homeowners’ associations, and local civic organizations, for example.
The more potential customers see you as helpful, the more likely they are to trust you when they need an HVAC professional.
Build Trust with a Blog
A blog can be a great place to share your knowledge with potential customers. But you don’t have to be a writer to showcase your expertise. Videos can also tell powerful stories.
We recommend posting articles and videos that show how to solve small, common HVAC problems. You can focus on the sorts of maintenance tasks that don’t really require a professional. Doing so won’t take from your business. On the contrary, it will help build trust.
Additionally, you might also feature case studies on how your company has helped customers save on energy bills.
When you follow these sales tips, you won’t just grow your sales. You’ll also build a reputation as the go-to HVAC contractor in your area.
That will set you up for both short-term and long-term growth.
But it all starts with what you do the very next time you talk to a potential customer. We encourage you to start putting these sales tips to work for you today.
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