April 17, 2014
So you want to differentiate yourself from others in the HVAC industry when selling. You don’t want to sound cheesy, and you want to be authentic about it. Here’s the perfect equation for authentic sales differentiation:
- Be nice. No one wants to hear staged sales pitches. While you should be knowledgeable about what you’re selling, ask yourself who you’d rather hear from — a boring sales machine, or a nice guy trying to have a conversation? If you make yourself the type of person you’d like to hang out with, your customers will want to hang out with you too (and hear what you have to say).
- Sell the value. Don’t just sell the product. Sure, this 3-ton unit may be the newest offering, but why should the customer care about it? They want to know what it would mean for them. Lower heating and cooling costs, fewer allergens, quieter air-flow — all important selling points and points of value.
- Give the customer power. When you go to a restaurant, you like to know that you can order something the way you want it. No tomatoes? No problem. The same goes for anything else you’re trying to sell to someone. Customers need to know they have the ability to choose which features they prefer, and if you can offer variety, you’ll hit the sales differentiation target.
1+2+3 = authentic sales. Drop me a tweet about how you authentically set yourself apart from your competition @HVACLearning
April 15, 2014
Getting customers to open up is never an easy feat. However, my years in the HVAC industry have taught me two things: customers don’t always know what they want, and sales techs need to have the skills to help them figure it out.
Forget trying to figure out what they want, because often they don’t even know.
That’s right. Customers may think they know what they want, but they often really have no idea. For example, Malcom Gladwell gave a TED Talk. He said most people say they prefer a dark, rich, bold coffee because that’s what sounds nice. But in reality, only about 27 percent of people really prefer that type of coffee.
In the same way, HVAC customers may assume they know what they want after doing a bit of Internet research. But don’t forget that you’re the HVAC expert. It’s a good idea to ask insightful questions to find out what the homeowner really needs.
Ask the right questions to find their real needs
Sales techs have to help customers figure out what it is they want and need. Ask them questions like how big their family is, whether they are at home or at work most of the day, how old their house is, if anyone has allergies, and whether being environmentally friendly is important to them. A lot of times, a customer will say being “green” is very important, but in reality paying the lowest cost is more important. Or another customer will say paying the lowest price is important, but in reality protecting their children from allergens is more important. You’ll never get this information from a customer without asking genuine questions.
Hop on Twitter and tweet me the ways you get customers to open up @HVACLearning
April 10, 2014
Selling to women has always been a hot topic in the industry. I’ve learned a lot in my years with HVAC Learning Solutions and I’d like to share my three greatest lessons on the subject.
Ensure she is safe
This is obvious, so I’ll get it out of the way. The main takeaway here is to stay respectful in any circumstance. Don’t walk inside until you’re invited. Don’t bring HVAC equipment into a home without permission. Keep the conversation professional. Be courteous to her time frame. Promptness and professionalism gives women confidence that they’re in the right hands.
Empower her decision
Just like any customer—provide all the information needed for your female customer to make the final decision on her own. You are there for your expertise, but in the end, the homeowner will have the final say.
Go the extra mile
What can you do to make her home’s needs a priority? How can you predict potential HVAC problems in her home? Perhaps if the household has a lot of animals, she’ll need more frequent filter changes. If kids are involved, how does the unit affect their rooms? You have to think ahead to get ahead.
Follow these tried-and-true guidelines to keep your business the #1 choice for women.
I’m all ears to your opinions, advice, and insight on selling HVAC to women. Tweet me @HVACLearning.
April 8, 2014
Steal the habits of highly successful HVAC leaders:
1. They’re morning people. The early bird really does get the worm. While others are dragging into work at 9 a.m., successful people already have checked e-mails, caught up on the news, had breakfast, and even done a work out. Learn to set your alarm early and just get up and go.
2. They know their time is valuable and don’t give it away freely. You can’t say yes to everything. Use a calendar to schedule important things you know have to get done — meetings, training, etc. Also schedule certain days and times for free time — football games, family time, and other important personal times.
3. They’re a leader, but still respect authority. Being a leader doesn’t mean biting off everyone’s head. Successful people know when to step in and guide the ship and when to let someone else take over.
4. They never stop learning, and always seek more training. Truly successful people know there’s always something new to learn, especially in an industry with ever-changing technology.
Take command of yourself and you’ll have command over your HVAC business in no time.
Who are professional role models in your workplace? Tweet me @HVACLearning
April 7, 2014
Every now and then, your team is going to need more attention and time from you. These common real-life scenarios explain exactly how to tackle the situation like a pro and give your team the confidence needed to set them up for success in the future.
- When they’re floundering. While your pockets may love when business is booming, your employees can feel overwhelmed. No one likes to feel there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it, and resentment can grow if they see you taking long coffee breaks while they’re drowning in work. Step up, get your hands dirty, and do the job with them.
- When there’s down time. On the flip side, when business is slow your employees can get bored. At times like these, they’ll look to you for instruction on how to best use their time. Take this opportunity to offer them training refreshers and coaching feedback.
- When there is conflict. When people spend eight or more hours a day together, there’s bound to be conflict. Issues never resolve themselves. So make sure to schedule a time to handle a situation before it gets out of hand.
Of course, don’t limit yourself to these situations. A manager who’s always present and helpful makes for happy employees and a thriving business.
Are you an HVAC business manager? I’d love to hear your tips on the subject. Tweet me @HVACLearning