Put manufacture aside for a moment and let’s take a look at the product mix the HVAC Sales community presents to each of our potential customers. If you look at industry data that tracks unit shipments to the US you will quickly realize that 13 and 14 SEER equipment is the majority of systems being sold. When I say majority, I’m talking about HVAC Sales over 70% (7 out of 10) new systems being installed are 13 or 14 SEER units.
Our job as HVAC Sales professionals is to uncover our customer’s pains, educate each customer on “what they have now,” “What we are going to do when we install the new system,” and “How this is going to eliminate their pain.” Once we have invested a fair amount of time doing all this, we then present our recommendations for each customer to consider. When we pre-judge or offer only one or two options we are not only hurting ourselves, but more importantly we are doing our customers an injustice.
What really changes for the customer when they purchase a new 14 SEER HVAC system? Nothing really. It might be a little quieter than their old system and it will probably save them a little money on their utility bills, but this is all just by default. What they are really purchasing is a system just like the one they have right now, just built to today’s minimum industry standards.
Many HVAC Sales and service professionals argue that their customers are getting multiple estimates and are looking for the cheapest or most economical system we have in our price book. The reality is that this is just an excuse to justify our own results. Once we believe that people only want the cheapest, we can’t be upset with ourselves for not selling mid to higher-end systems. This also provides us with the classic excuse that our prices are just too high. I’ve responded to these common HVAC Sales and Service beliefs in other videos, so I will stay on point here.
It is every HVAC Sales and Service professional’s job to educate each of their clients on ALL the options available to them and then allow their customer to choose which system is best for them. That being said, sometimes less is more. We don’t want to confuse our customers with so too many options. It is important to just use individual product brochures (electronic or printed) for each category of equipment.
Here what I would suggest for HVAC Sales and Service professionals to present to each of their customers when presenting Air Conditioners or Heat Pumps:
-Modulating Compressor System (3 stages or more) with Variable Speed blower (indoor unit)
-2-Stage Compressor System with Variable Speed blower (indoor unit)
-Single Stage Mid-Efficient System (15 to 19 SEER) with Variable Speed blower (indoor unit)
-Single Stage 14 SEER System with Variable Speed blower (indoor unit)
A couple of things to keep in mind here:
-Always present your product offerings from top of the line down to entry level.
-Always provide 3 to 4 options. 4 offerings have actually proven to be most effective so I would suggest you considering offering 4 systems from top down on every HVAC Sales presentation.
Now, it is super important for each of us to also understand that the benefits of a modulating compressor or a two stage compressor are NOT just efficiency. As a matter of fact I don’t know of a single market that will show an actually ROI (Return on Investment) for any new HVAC system, let alone a multi-stage system. Most HVAC Sales professionals promote each option based on SEER and efficiency, which is exactly why many of their customers either choose a lower tiered system OR get into a “sharpen your pencil” battle.
Everyone can get your brand, everyone can get your SEER, and someone is ALWAYS willing to beat your price. So stop putting so much emphasis on brand and on SEER and you will find yourself in less “apples to apples” comparisons.
HVAC Sales professionals need to do a better job of educating their customers on ALL the benefits related to each product tier and then use “take-aways” to allow the customer to really understand what it is that they lose or give up when they go down each level.
A modulating compressor benefits should always include:
- The Ultimate Comfort System
- Most precise temperatures from room to room
- Best dehumidification possible (coolest, crispest air)
- Efficiency or energy savings
Lead with and tell stories about how the customers comfort is going to increase, how their temperature swings from room to room will be greatly reduced or eliminated, how the air inside their home is going to feel cooler and crisper than ever before, and oh yeah, a system like this is going to have the largest reduction on your utility bills or save you the most money.
It is also critical that you educate each customer on what modulating or multi-stage systems are, how they operate and how they compare to their existing system. This should be done in English and not with any tech talk or industry lingo. We assume way too many times that our customers understand the words coming out of our mouths and the reality is they don’t most of the time.
You will continue to state the feature(s) and tell stories about each of the benefits these features offers. Just remember to focus on comfort, clean air, and noise reduction more and less attention on energy savings or efficiency.
The next system you will present is going to be your two-stage option. If you’ve done a great job of thoroughly educating your customer on the modulating compressor option all you need to do when you get to the two-stage system is illustrate what the customer is going to lose or give up when they move down to this level of product. They will be giving up “X” number of stages because this system is only a 2-stage unit. They will NOT receive as precise temperature control or evenness from room to room as the last system, and they will NOT remove as much moisture as the previous system, but this system is MUCH, MUCH better than what they have right now. Take-aways are powerful and we need to be careful to make sure we aren’t bashing any of the systems we are presenting. The bottom line there really is not “bad” decision as long as they choose you and your company to do the installation, right?
The next option is our single-stage, mid-tier option. This system will operate just like the system you have now, meaning it is either all the way on or all the way off, just understand this system will operate 30 to 40 percent more efficiently than the one you have now. Continue to compare this option to the other two you just educated them on as well as their existing system.
The final option is our single stage air conditioner, but this one is built to today’s industry minimum specifications. Make no mistake about it, this unit is not a builder’s grade or entry level system but it is more in line with what you have right now. It will probably save you a little money and be quieter than the one you have right now, it is more of a direct replacement than the other options we’ve discussed.
Be careful using references to automobile manufactures as you walk each customer through their options. Avoid stating things like, “This is the Cadillac, the Maserati, the Mercedes, etc…” Believe it or not some people cannot envision themselves driving some (or all) of these cars. If you relate you top air conditioner to one of these cars your customer immediately checks out and doesn’t even hear what the benefits are.
When you walk a customer through each of their options like we have shown you here, you will notice that more and more of your customers will choose better systems and invest more money in their upgrade. Many HVAC Sales and Service professionals are the ones holding themselves back, it normally isn’t their customers. If you don’t believe in any of these products, than there is no way your customers ever will. Just be careful you’re not allowing any of your personal objections to become your customers.
Once you understand all the benefits of modulating compressors and gas valves, guess what? The more you will realize that these features make perfect sense in ALL climates and markets. In Canada where air conditioning is not used nearly as much as in Arizona, a modulating compressor ensures the longest run cycles which lead to the most accurate temperature control, even temperatures from room to room, 3 to 4 times dehumidification than standard systems, and will ensure that the customer never over pays the utility company. It also is the quietest, offers all the best features available and comes with the strongest warranty.
I hope you are starting to see how your customers can benefit far beyond efficiency when investing in a new comfort system. Again, our job as HVAC Sales and service professionals is to educate every one of our clients on ALL the options available to them. Their job is to pick which one they want us to install.
I hope you enjoyed the video! Please feel free to reach out to us at any time if we can be of any service to you and your team!