Secret 9: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 9:

Repetition is the key to effective marketing:  So often I see companies make the biggest mistake in marketing of failing to repetitively advertise to the same people.  In the HVAC business, it’s similar to what I call a “Flat Tire” Business.  The customer rarely calls you until something is broken or not working properly.  Therefore, awareness of your brand is extremely important.  You can’t always rely on timing and as a result you have to be repetitive.  We all know the GECKO from the GEICO commercial because we’ve seen it a million times.  Could you imagine if they spent all that money and ran the ad only one time and tried to measure results?  When you commit to a marketing campaign, stay with it long enough to measure the results, and the results will not be promising if you do not have repetition as a key component.  This means mailing to the same people often, regardless of your budget.  I’d rather mail to 500 homes 10 times, then 5000 homes once.  You’ll own the 500, while the 5,000 will forget your name within a day.

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    Secret 8: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 8: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 8: 

Set a Goal to increase your average ticket:  As soon as your done reading this, I want you to take some time to set aside and determine what your average ticket is.  Take the total sales for the last 12 months and divide it by the number of customer’s that bought.  This is your average ticket.  Now set a goal at how much you want to increase that ticket this year over last.  This can easily come without a price increase.  It can come in the way of packaging, bundling, and IAQ product sales.  The bottom line is that if you don’t have a quantifiable goal, you’ll never have a target to go after.  And you can’t hit a target that doesn’t exist.  Remember “HOPE” is not a strategy.  You have to set concrete goals and have a concrete plan of how to get there.  Yogi Berra, the legendary coach of the New York Yankess once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up someplace else”.
 

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    Secret 7: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 7: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 7:

Do Something Remarkable:  For many decades, I have preached that if you’re truly going to make a difference and have an impact on your customer, you have to do something remarkable.  So what can you do that is remarkable in the HVAC industry?  Here’s an example – Sometimes our day can get backed up and we run behind.  Always be sure to let the customer know when you may be late, but don’t stop there.  Stop by a Starbucks and get 3 or 4 $10 gift cards to have with you in your truck.  Present one to them when you walk in the home as your way of apologizing for your tardiness. Explain that the last call took longer than expected, and you felt bad for making them wait.  You’ll be surprised how this turns the call around from an upset homeowner, to your best friend in 30 seconds.  It lets them know you care, and have gone out of your way to show them your word means a lot to you.  It builds credibility and establishes trust.  And nobody is buying anything from someone they don’t trust.

Secret 6: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 6:

Increase Frequency at which the customer buys:  Often times, adding just one more visit a year to a customer’s home can have a profound impact on your total sales.  In some cases it can double it.  Say you’re averaging one visit per year, increase it to two and you’ve basically doubled your sales. So how do I recommend that you increase the frequency?  By offering the customer products or services that they don’t have.  Again, just like my tip on building the average ticket, creating a segmented customer database is crucial to build sales.  By databasing information such as whether or not the customer has certain IAQ products, you can segment your direct mail marketing efforts to mirror what they are most likely to buy and most likely to need.  By reaching out to the customer 6-8 times per year with ancillary product offerings, you’ll quickly discover that your sales can have staggering increases if this is done properly.  Imagine sending out a Life-Cycle mailing to every service call you’ve made in the last 12 months!  Your competition doesn’t even know where to start with this!

 

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    Secret 5: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 5: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 5: 

Increasing the average ticket: This is one of the main pillars of growing your business.  Remember, building new trial, increasing frequency and increasing the average ticket are the only three ways to grow sales.  To increase the average ticket, I am a big fan of bundling products.  Have you ever considered having a package deal that includes Indoor Air Quality components, upgraded thermostats, HEPA lights, or upgraded filtration systems?  When making a proposal to the consumer, I am a big advocate of bundling and packaging.  Often the package will include a component that the consumer can’t live without, but may have never thought about before your presentation. It gives you the opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition, while building the total sale.  Another way to increase the average annual ticket is by learning as much as you can about the homeowner and building a strong database.  This strong database should include the age of their units, what IAQ products that they have or don’t have and whether or not they are on a service contract with you.  Increase the average annual ticket by direct mailing them special IAQ product offerings that they are most likely to need or want based on what you have gathered in your database.  Today is not too late to start building one.

 

Secret 4: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 4: 

Your Service People and Your Truck are your Front Line:  I often refer to the 4-walls of your business as the physical 4-walls surrounding your place of business.  However,  in HVAC, it’s your truck and front line service people that represent your 4 walls.  I’ve seen a picture of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, with a garden hose in his hand washing down the pavement of a parking lot in front of one of his stores in the 1970’s.  Ray preached that the customer experience means everything.  When you pull up to a home in a clean truck, colorful signage, and looking professional, it’s worth a lot more than you can ever imagine.  You’re presenting your customer with a perception that they are being cared for by a true professional that takes pride in their business and their appearance.  Before you or your employees make their first service call, have a checklist of things that are a must, YOU must have a clean vehicle, be well groomed, smell good, have clean clothes, and ALWAYS wear shoe covers when walking in a customer’s home.  These little tricks can go a long way in helping you leave the homeowner with the right perception.

 

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    Secret 3: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 3: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 3:

Never offer a percentage discount!  I have never been a fan of percentage discounts because there is no perceived value in the offer.  In your business, it’s difficult to give a dollar off discount as well because there is no established value of a new unit. As you know, units can vary in price by thousands of dollars, so it’s impossible for the consumer to quantify your discount when there’s this void of an established value.  SO what do I recommend you advertise?  Service specials or payment specials!  Service specials (my favorite being a free diagnostic house call) ignites trust in the mind of the consumer.  They realize you’re willing to invest some amount of effort and time in making the trip to their home.  Keep in mind when you get a call, it’s typically because they’re heating or air doesn’t work.  Here’s a guarantee – the more time you spend in front of homeowners that are having heating and air issues, the more new units you will sell.  It’s that simple.  So before you advertise a discount on a new unit or a percentage off, consider the fact that the customer really has no idea what that means to them.  A free service call however, is very easy to understand, and has a high perceived value.

 

Secret2: The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

Secret 2

Your Internal Customer: I refer to your employees as your internal customer.  They are equally important.  You’ll hear me say hire eagles, not turkey’s because turkey’s cost you more money in missed opportunities than you’ll ever be able to quantify.  I know it’s hard to find eagles out there in the huge flock of turkey’s, so we hire them, thinking they’re eagles.  They are trained to dress and act like eagles.  So we hire them and when we realize that they’re really a turkey, we think it’s a motivational problem.  So we institute a motivational program.  When we realize it wasn’t a motivational problem, we think it’s training, so we give them more training.  But if the eagle really is a turkey, all we end up with is a trained, motivated turkey.

I want you to identify your biggest turkey today and get rid of them.  Their lack of morale and poor work habits can be cancerous to your entire organization.  Even if you have to pay a significantly greater compensation, an eagle will pay you back dividends that will far exceed those of a turkey, and more than substantiate the increased wage.

Your fist assignment is to get some business cards printed that say “You were really terrific.  If you’re ever looking for another job, please give me a call,” and give your phone number and your business name.  The next time you encounter great customer service and think, I wish my employees were like that, hand that person one of these cards.  You should always be recruiting, even when you don’t need anyone, because sooner or later, you will.

If you set high standards for your employees, you will attract more that have high [...]

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    The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

The 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA!

For the next 20 days we will be posting the 20 Secrets of Creating the Most Powerful HVAC Business in the USA! Check back Daily for more!

Secret 1:

Build New Trial – Building new trial is the cornerstone of starting your business.  Building new trial means engaging the customer for the first time.  I am so bullish on Direct Mail these days.  Why?  Because everyone else is ignoring it.  The mail box has never been emptier, and has never worked better than it is today.

 

Get smarter about who you mail to, and get smarter about the offers you use in your direct mail piece.  Have you ever wondered why a heart doctor doesn’t advertise for heart replacement, or open heart surgery?  Because they understand that the key to more operations is simple; get in front of more people that have chest pains, and the core of their business will automatically follow.  Your business is no different.  Why do we always advertise a replacement unit, when all the customer is looking for is a service call.  When the heat and air stops working or functioning properly, they assume it’s a small inexpensive repair, just like a person with chest pains is just hoping it’s gas.  Without getting in front of those that are having issues, we greatly limit the number of people that ultimately need a new unit.

 

My tip to you today, is focus your message on getting more service calls and you’ll automatically sell more units.

 

 

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