There are two parts to every successful HVAC company. There’s the trade itself, and the business aspect. One cannot exist without the other. Most HVAC companies tend to excel at the HVAC trade, but can struggle with some of the necessary skills needed to run a business. Arguably most important to the success of your business is improving HVAC closing rates. Sales is what keeps the lights on. That means every employee, including the in-field contractors and technicians need to have sales skills. Whether it’s traditional HVAC repairs or maintenance or expanding your services to offer profitable IAQ upgrades, your team must effectively sell.
It’s also important to note that closing a deal typically happens on the very first service call. If it didn’t happen then, then chances are, it won’t happen later. Rob Ambrosetti, KGG’s Training Director and REPTalk host, provided these five tips to dramatically improve your HVAC company’s closing rates when you’re across the kitchen counter.
1. Make the Intangible, Tangible
Indoor air quality is intangible for most, because it’s something homeowners can’t see. “Most homeowners don’t really see their mechanical systems or understand how they operate,” Ambrosetti said.
Bad indoor air quality causes illness, triggers allergy and asthma attacks and negatively impacts our bodies and the structure of our homes. Your ability to make IAQ tangible is to help your customers understand how IAQ solutions work and the impact air quality has on their health. Doing so establishes you as their trusted advisor.
2. Use Educational Tools When Possible
“It’s the technician’s job to educate and clearly explain how something works by using videos, video brochures or pictures on your phone or tablet to help communicate solutions,” explained Ambrosetti. As an option, bring distributor or manufacturer videos to assist you in closing a sale. To make it easier, Ambrosetti suggested saving these videos onto your tablet, phone or laptop and to show them often.
The reason it works and helps improve HVAC closing rates is because visuals help homeowners better understand what your verbal explanation can’t. According to Ambrosetti, you must “help the homeowner understand any system deficiencies or problems that exist.”
3. Keep Inventory on Your Truck
First, we live in a world dominated by instant gratification. That means people want things right now. “Have products on the truck at the ready to be able to show to homeowners if possible,” Ambrosetti said. “You’ll see closing rates skyrocket.”
This also ties in making IAQ tangible. If you’re in the middle of selling a central air monitor, MERV-13 air filter, or Dust Free air purifier system–don’t just tell them, show them. Giving customers something to observe and touch increases closing rates. Fortunately, many IAQ solutions aren’t that big or bulky, so you can fit plenty of inventory on your truck easily.
4. Show Value to Improve HVAC Closing Rates
“Educate your customer on the solutions and explain the benefits of the solution, instead of just saying ‘you need this or that,’” Ambrosetti said. “Always explain the why, and how [the product] relates to the homeowner.”
It’s important to take a step back and think about what the customer cares about. Chances are–it’s less about the features of the product, and more about the benefits the solution provides. Therefore, focus on the benefits of healthy indoor air and how the solutions you offer can reduce something like seasonal allergies. Keep it simple. If they want more information on the specs, let them guide the conversation there and respond accordingly.
5. Always Provide Financing Options
Homeowners may not be aware that the HVAC and IAQ solutions you’re recommending can be financed. That’s why it’s important for you to be early and upfront about the financing options you have.
“Show them how affordable your solutions can be early [on] and often in the sales process,” suggested Ambrosetti. Always add the monthly payment option in your quotes to remind clients how affordable upgrades can be. Don’t let money stop you from closing a sale.
This article features IAQ answers from Rob Ambrosetti. KGG consulting staff edited the interview and further elaborated on the topic for clarity.