This month, KGG’s training director Rob Ambrosetti is teaching us about the significance of weather extremes. Specifically, the role they play on health, the impact this has all had on the way we think about HVAC and IAQ, and how you can be the IAQ superhero we all need right now.
Also, have you heard about the big shift in HVAC sales strategy: How to sell potential customers on the benefits of healthy indoor air quality, rather than selling them on your product features. We’ll take a scuba level 1 dive on how to adjust to your approach.
Over the next 5 weeks, we’ll be adding several must-read articles to our HVAC business section. We’ll be covering our top tips on how you can:
- Improve closing rates (out now)
- Crush customer satisfaction (coming soon)
- Increase average sales tickets (just a few more finishing touches)
Elsewhere this month:
- The future of hospital ventilation might be membrane tech
- Why it’s a GREAT idea to keep inventory on your truck
- And more…
P.S. If we haven’t met yet, hi! I’m Chris. Let’s connect on Linkedin!
1.) Fires and Weather and Heat, Oh My
A. Significant impacts and shifts: “We have seen significant impacts on IAQ from floods to wildfire, and a significant shift in attention to germs and illness.”
Pre-pandemic, homeowners who are also parents were maaaaaybe focused on VOCs and off-gassing new building materials and odors. Generally, homeowners were mostly concerned with:
Today, homeowners are doing their research on IAQ solutions. They are concerned about the air quality in their home, especially those who are immunocompromised, old, or have children. The pandemic has simply changed the way homeowners think, businesses work, and students learn.
Here are some stats from our own site:
Just this past month, these are the top ten article topics on IAQ.Works, a website dedicated to educating homeowners on IAQ. As you can see, ventilation and humidity control are trending for homeowners:
The site continues to perform better month-over-month. In July alone, we saw a significant jump in the number of times our site was found via online searches. Just to reiterate, these are homeowners interested in learning more about IAQ and the solutions.
B. Weather’s impact on health: “The weather extremes are playing a role too. Severe storms resulting in flooding and extreme freezing causes water pipes to burst, leaving many with a messy aftermath causing health concerns if not remediated quickly.”
Severe storm floods are a direct result of climate change. As the atmosphere gets warmer it holds more moisture, causing the torrential flooding we’ve seen the last 3 weeks across the globe. Two weeks ago, 2 months’ worth of rainfall fell in 2 days, causing already saturated soil to affect areas in Germany, Belgium Netherlands and Luxembourg.
So you might be wondering how floods and freezing pipes bursting impact IAQ. Here’s how:
- When things remain wet for more than 2 days, bad things grow
- Flood water and wet material in homes are a breeding ground for viruses, bacteria, and mold
- These viruses, bacteria, and mold eventually colonize and circulate into the indoor air, where they enter our bodies and affect our health
- A heat dome is building across the lower 48 states, climbing average temperatures 10-15%, and aggravating droughts and fires
- 65%+ of Western U.S is in extreme to extreme drought conditions
- Oregon’s wildfire smoke has floated over to NY, spiking AQI to unhealthy levels
So how do droughts, heat, and wildfires affect IAQ? Here’s how:
- Germs thrive in dry air, and thus, love a good drought
- Heat produces dangerous amounts of ground-level ozone that we breathe in
- Wildfires produce lots of ozone, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide that seep into our home’s indoor air supply
D. How you can help: “The solutions to keep homes healthy have existed for years, it’s our job to help homeowners better understand them. Get involved in IAQ and help customers breathe cleaner air.”
How you can help all ties back to:
1.) Contractors learning what the IAQ solutions are:
- Humidity control
- Source control
2.) Contractors educating your homeowners and business owners on them via:
- Social media
- Over the phone
You can find Rob on LinkedIn. He’s always looking for new friends to geek out with on IAQ and HVAC-related things.
2.) Changing the Narrative
This is important. We need to change the narrative when selling HVAC systems and IAQ upgrades; the conversation needs to go from what everyone else has traditionally led with (I.E. system efficiency and features), to instead be leading the conversation with HEALTH.
So, you might be asking “How can I do this and where should I do it?” To which my response is, “Everywhere, everytime.” Let’s break it down by the different ways you connect with your customers:
Over the phone
Consider training the entire staff including the people that answer the phones so they can set the stage for IAQ conversations when the advisor or technician is at their home. “While Joe is there taking care of X, would you like to take advantage of our free air sample service?”
Listen more and talk less – Ask questions about allergies, asthma, and respiratory issues.
If they agreed to an air sample service, conduct the test to help make the invisible pollutants visible.
Quote IAQ solutions on every job and consider making a menu of the options.
Use video and video brochures to help communicate solutions.
Content (think social media, blogs, and email marketing)
Bring your audience value by sharing content that addresses HVAC and IAQ health. The content should be focused around:
- Seasonal allergies
- Indoor air pollutants and symptoms
- 97% of the content you’ll find on HVACContent.com
Finally, share this clean air checklist with everyone you meet. Aside from the obvious IAQ solutions you can provide, this is a handy list of actionable tasks they can implement right now for the healthiest home habits. Here’s a sneak peek of it:
3.) The Future of HVAC Hospital Ventilation Might be Membrane Technology
At this point, it’s nothing but a group of smart Purdue engineers, a patent application, and awesome computer models, but it sure does look promising. Soon, vapor-selective membrane technology could become the energy-efficient, 100% fresh outdoor air ventilation hero hospitals (and any other large indoor environments like it) have been looking for.
In theory, the more hot and humid the outdoor air is, the better this system works. Should it work, it will:
- Require no addition of chemicals
- Save hospitals up to 66% in energy costs
- Change the way large indoor environments exchange their air supply
So you’re probably wondering, what is membrane technology?
In simple terms, membrane technology is used to separate things. For example, ground, surface, and wastewater flow through semi-permeable membranes to filter out everything but the actual water.
Instead of failing miserably at explaining how this would work, here’s a nifty image of the active membrane energy exchange process is:
For more information, we wrote an article with a few extra details, which you can find here. If you want to stay up to date on the project, go here.
4.) Keep Inventory on Your Truck
Think about the last time you were out in the field. You’re talking to the homeowner and find an opportunity to upsell them on a MERV 13 air filter.
You talk about how it’s going to change the quality of their indoor air supply. How it’s going to:
- last longer
- filter better
- capture more because it’s 3 inches thick and pleated
- be the ultimate first line of defense against indoor air pollutants
They’re interested but aren’t completely sold. Do you know why??? It’s because right now, as you’re talking about it, this filter you speak of is merely a concept.
They can’t compare this amazing 3-inch thick sparkling clean filter to their dingy, filthy, scrawny 1-inch filter you pull out of their system… unless, of course, you have one on your truck.
And that’s what this is all about: Avoid being “Soooo close” and just get the sale already.
Keeping inventory on your truck, especially small items that don’t take up much room, could be the difference between an upsell or missed opportunity.
We recommend keeping the following items on your truck at all times:
Always remember: people love instant gratification, so give it to them when you can, and you’ll notice a significant uptick in closing rates!
Other Helpful Links to Resources, Content, Videos, and More
- Want more qualified HVAC indoor air quality leads? This should do the trick.
- Share this article with homeowners to show them why the 40-60% indoor relative humidity levels are important
- Boost your HVAC SEO with these 20 tips
- Learn exactly how you can help homeowners combat summer allergies with IAQ
- Let this Morpheus meme help you sell better filtration systems
Until next month friends!