The Off Season Hustle
With any HVAC business there are always certain conditions that allow your organization to thrive. The phone rings with less marketing efforts and consumers are in search of your products and services with little effort from you. For HVAC Residential Contractors, the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter plays a large role in your sales numbers.
On the flip side there are also distractors that each HVAC business has to navigate through and combat each year. The economy might be experiencing some sort of retraction due to many factors; it’s an election year, the real estate market might be weak, unemployment rates may spike, international tensions or incidents may result in an economic contraction. The list goes on and on.
The real question is NOT whether or not you are going to “choose” to participate in these economical down-turns…..you don’t have a choice! You’re participating whether you want to or not. The only thing that will determine whether you “THRIVE” or simply just “Survive” during periods like this is your ability to: Create your opportunities! Ensure you are maximizing each of those opportunities!
And attract your competitions customers away from the dark side.
The average HVAC business; from the top down, accepts the “off-season” in their HVAC business as just being a part of business. They do nothing to really combat the struggles that lack of weather creates so they resort to excuses and finger pointing to justify why their company didn’t hit the annual budget or experience the amount of growth they desired.
When excuses are accepted and blame deflection is common, growth, profitability and cash-flow are predictable. This is a very dangerous place to be as a company and is the beginning of the end for many. If you look in the mirror and honestly assess your HVAC Business and can relate to any of this, you need to look at what the dominant HVAC businesses are doing in their business to minimize the off-season impacts.
They understand that the only way to continue to enjoy the required result, they MUST increase their actions. Even in the heydays of summer/winter they understand that the control board that they just replaced for $750.00 was “low hanging fruit” and that “they” didn’t really sell that control board our even create that sale. The weather created the urgency and the customer had no choice but to spend that seven hindered and fifty bucks on the new control board. So what did “they” really create? If only a $750.00 ticket (plus diagnostic/trip charge) was collected the answer is NOTHING!
Every time a Professional HVAC Business employee or representative enters into the home they are looking for all the ways that they can positively improve the quality of their customers lives, REGARDLESS OF SEASON. They might be adding a UV Sanitation system to the indoor coil to ensure their clients are not over paying the utility company, as well as making sure that their clients are breathing the cleanest, healthiest, safest air possible. They might educate their homeowner on a minor duct modifications and the importance of duct sealing to increase the comfort levels in the home, reduce failure rates, increase life expectancy, and increase system efficiencies.
The best HVAC businesses are always creating their opportunities, on every call! They don’t wait until the company is in a cash crunch or when they have a very limited number of calls on the dispatch board to slow down and create opportunities.
I hear a lot of HVAC representatives say things like “I don’t sell things to my customers that they don’t need” or “I’m not a sales person, my job is to fix their system and then get to my next call.” These are statements that normally are coming from the same people who are making close to the same income year after year, complain about how they should make more money and probably ask for a raise at least once per year.
This mentality actually devalues the entire HVAC industry and is the number one reason for the struggles HVAC businesses face during the off-season.
If you’re not tending to your fields (your customers) while conditions are intense, why should you expect those fields to bare crops at the end of the season? Does an NFL all-star just go through the motions during their season (just show up) and then allow outside forces to dictate their intensity during the off-season? NOT A CHANCE!
The un-drafted, non-paid, armatures do that. Not the professionals; Not the champions!
Here are 5 things that every HVAC professional focuses on year-round.
Understand that these are just a handful of things and that these are just the start.
- Send a hand written thank you card to each and every customer you provide a replacement estimate for and mail it THE SAME DAY as the appointment. This ensures that each customer considering investing a significant amount of money in your company knows and feels that they are appreciated.
- Keep a log or record of each of your calls that tracks what recommendations you made during your last visit, versus what the customer accepted and declined. This will allow you to follow up on recommendations at the change of the season or at another time in the future, that you can control.
- Create and execute a follow up plan and procedures, YEAR ROUND! When will you reach out? How often? By what means will you use (email, text, snail mail, phone, etc.)? The short answer here is ALL OF THEM!
- Create a few different follow up messages that intrigues people and warrants a return phone call, rather than a message that was never thought about and sucks. A crappy message or opening statement when following up would be: “Hello John, this is so and so with ABC heating & cooling. I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any questions about anything we discussed or if I could be of any further assistance?” Yeah….THAT SUCKS!
- Record, measure and track each and every customer interaction and opportunity. Most people think they have a good memory and won’t forget stuff, but that’s just not true. Do what you said you were going to do, when you said you were going to do it, how your stated it would be done, and at the investment you quoted.
There is nothing on that list that you haven’t heard before. The question is; are you executing each of these items with perfection and consistently? If you’re still reading this, then its fair for me to assume that your HVAC Business could be performing better; that you want more.
Success4others assists HVAC businesses and professionals just like yourself who desire more. More earnings, more customers, more sales, more testimonials, more referrals, and an overall desire to improve their quality of life in an ethical manner.
You know at this stage of your career that there are no short-cuts, no get rich quick formulas, and that success is not just going to show up on your door step one day.
Your success will always be in proportion to your ability to execute sound practices and skillsets, consistently.
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