Be Proactive – Sell IAQ Products
Originally published: 1/1/10 by Ruth King
IAQ products differentiate your company from your competitors, but they require educating your customer.
Successful contractors have proactive sales people and execute proactive marketing plans. In slower times of the year when the telephone is not ringing much, salespeople in successful companies make telephone calls rather than waiting to receive them. They educate their customers about indoor air quality products. Why? IAQ products can be sold yearround and are not dependent on the weather. A very successful contractor in South Florida uses IAQ products to even out the seasonality year round. In January and February, IAQ product sales keep the company afloat. These revenues are enough to pay the overhead and salaries.
IAQ sales are enhancements to a customer's home comfort. They require education. They require selling. However, good products will be appreciated by your customers.
IAQ products differentiate your company from your competitors. Any contractor can have the lowest price (and most contractors who have the lowest price aren't around for long). However, it takes being different, educating, and explaining to create and install the best possible, not least expensive, products for a customer.
Education takes time. It takes creating messages that get noticed and people "wanting more." Your good headlines make
Notice that I said "headlines" and "messages that get noticed". You can put this information on a website and direct people to the website. Or, you can just use direct mail marketing. You don't have to come up with all of the headlines yourself. After all, most contractors are great at contracting but may not be as good in marketing. There are many great marketing consultants and marketing companies with proven track records in the HVAC industry. Let them create the headlines and messages for you. Your job is to convert the leads they generate into sales.
The best way to educate is through direct mail pieces that you send to your customers. They should focus on benefits and include a way to save money. Postcards work well. No one has to open an envelope. If you print them on the same colored bright paper people will notice them and read your message. Make the message short. Focus it on the cost-cutting benefits that the customer will get by sealing his ducts, cleaning his system, and other IAQ products.
If you send newsletters, include ideas on things they can do to save money on their utility bills in their home or office. Write an article about how high-efficiency systems can save them money. Write an article about how IAQ products increase comfort in homes and offices.
The best benefit that you can give the customer is that he will save money on his utility bills. With the size of the checks that many of us have written in the past few months, this headline will definitely get your customer's attention!
Now is the perfect time to start. If you want to start a new direct mail advertising campaign, start it ... don't wait until it is absolutely perfect. If you wait, you may never get it started and by that time your competition may have done it. I don't suggest that you don't think about what you are doing. However, planning paralysis produces no results at all.
Once you start, continue. Send a direct mail piece each month. Education takes time. You'll have to educate your customers and your employees. You won't be noticed by many the first month. By the end of the first year, if you convert the telephone calls and questions into sales, you should have a strong customer base that is less dependent on the weather.
The absolute worst thing you can do is sit back and wait for the telephone to ring. Be proactive. When that telephone does ring and the customer makes an appointment, make sure that salesperson or technician is writing down everything they see when they visit a customer's home or office. Make sure they are educated on indoor air quality products and ask customers about them. Give a salesperson and a technician the products he is recommending to install in his home. Then, if a customer asks, he can say that he has them in his home. The expert refers products he is using and is happy with. Finally, make sure that there are commissions and SPIFFs for selling IAQ products.
Execute your sales and marketing activities for 2006. Make sure that there is attention paid to IAQ products ... from a sales and technical perspective. Educate your customers each month with a direct mail sales piece that focuses on saving money and being more comfortable. You have to give your customers and potential customers a reason to call you ... they will cut costs and saving money by using your products and services.
Articles by Ruth King
Know When You’re Growing Too Fast or Too Slow
Business profitability doesn’t mean business survival. By running out of cash and not having the ability to borrow or get it in an equity investment, you can be profitable and go out of business by growing too fast.
Understand Your P&L: Overhead
Understand Your P&L Statement: Gross Margin, pt. 2
Gross margin should not vary more than a few points each month. If it does, then you must find out why the margin is varying.
Understand Your P&L Statement: Gross Margin
Understand Your P&L Statement: Cost of Goods Sold
However you decide to categorize expenses in your P&L, it's important to be consistent.