Getting Out of the Sales Doldrums
If you happen to be sailing around the world you would come to the Doldrums, an area around the equator where there is little or no wind. In old-world sailing vessel days, being caught there often meant days and weeks of simply not going anywhere. Today the term also refers to a mental state describing “being stuck” and not knowing what to do to move forward.
Both references to the term are applicable to our business. When the weather stops driving sales, our industry mostly stops. And when homeowners stop buying, our comfort advisors mostly stop too.
We can’t control the weather, but we can control our attitude and actions. Here are some steps you can take to get out of the doldrums:
• Every customer you gave a proposal/bid/estimate/quote to this summer is eventually going to buy from someone. Follow up appropriately until they say yes, that they bought from someone else or that they are waiting until next year. You will get some who are ready to buy now.
• For customers who tell you they want to wait, offer them a 0% 12-24-36-48-60 month financing program. Even if you only have 12 months to offer then your story is that they can get it done and take a year to pay. I like 60 months because that is how consumers are now conditioned to buy cars. People pay a lot more for a car each month than they would for even our best systems. You have to absorb the dealer points but that’s a marketing issue, not a sales issue. Call me if you need clarification on this point.
• Take this time to ride-along with your technicians. These reluctant sales lead generators need to know that you are going to be nice to their customers or they will never give you a lead. Plus you can coach them on how to spot problems, such as undersized return air or duct leakage, and educate the customer on the consequence of that. Once comfortable with you and your coaching, the technician will generate more and better-qualified leads for you.
• Go to a sales training workshop. Have you ever not learned something at a workshop that made you more money? Training immediately before the heating season kicks in will prepare you to increase sales, close rates, be more comfortable with objections and get your attitude back on a positive track. I have one in October. Check out the Accelerate! program referenced at right.
Remember that small efforts like these have big leverage on your results. The difference between a baseball player who hits .250 vs. .300 is only 5 more hits out of 100 at-bats. Each time you step up to the plate is a new opportunity. Make the most out of it.
It’s All About the Ductwork
The HVAC industry has become highly focused on the importance of having a properly designed and installed ductwork system. Without it there is no way to insure our customers are getting the performance that we promise. We have all seen plenty of shoddy ductwork systems, and we’re likely to see more.
With the rapidly growing popularity of variable speed blowers and other modulating equipment, along with increased local code focus on ductwork, correcting ductwork deficiencies as part of a system replacement is something we should simply accept as a standard procedure.
From a sales process viewpoint, incorporating ductwork assessment into the in-home process is challenging. There is a limited amount of time to look at everything, measure what you need to, educate the customer, prepare your choices, complete calculations and so on. Whatever you do, it has to be fast and accurate.
One of the key areas of ductwork assessment is the overall design capacity of the existing system. In many cases the return air is inadequate causing may problems. In cases the same size supply runs were installed in every room in the house, causing comfort complaints. TRUST PRO® online has an innovative tool that can assist you in quickly evaluating the overall design capacity and generate a credible report to share with the customer.
A stand-alone version of this critical sales tool is now available. Just give me a call so I can review its setup and use with you. Give me a call at 612-270-5219 ext. 100 M-F, 7:00-5:00 Central. Leave a message if you don’t reach me on the first try.
This and many more critical features are built into TRUST PRO® online. To learn more click here to go to our website where you can click on any of the “Sign up for a free demo” banners. Or if you like let me know when you call about the Duct Assessment Tool and we can set up a demo time on the same call.
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