4 HVAC Sales Tips for the Technical Contractor
When skilled technical contractors—installers, technicians, service techs—launch a new business, the sales side of the things can be challenging.
If you are highly skilled on the technical side, but find that your sales pitch doesn’t come naturally, this is the list for you.
Don Snow, owner of Halcyon Consulting, a Calgary-based sales consultancy for HVAC professionals, gives his top four tips to help close a technical sale.
1. If you want to sell more stuff, stop selling stuff
After many years of experience, Snow believes that most sales people are too pushy. “They try to make it all about them,” he explains. “Always talking about features and benefits.”
Traditional sales strategy will tell you to close the deal on the spot. Let them go and they’ll forget all about you, says this school of thought. Snow disagrees.
“Put yourself in their shoes,” he says. “Disconnect yourself from the sale.” Don’t be afraid to leave it with them, let them decide on their own time. But make sure you have a follow-up process. This is where Jobber’s HVAC software makes life easier for Snow. The follow-up process and reminders are all organized within the system, which means he never forgets to reach out.
Snow believes that if you create a sense of trustworthiness with a potential client—answer all of their questions and understand their needs—you won’t lose them by giving them time and space to decide. Often your quote conversation will be with only one member of a couple. In this case, the couple will want to discuss the options and come to a decision together.
2. Never be late
“If you’re not five minutes early, you’re late,” says Snow. “People’s time is more important to them than their money.” People are rarely thrilled at the prospect of spending money on a home service like HVAC, so it’s important that you make the process as painless as possible. If you have a meeting scheduled, showing up on time with all the information and supplies you’ll need goes a long way. Don’t make people wait.
If the situation is unavoidable and you are going to be late, communicate the issue right away in a clear, honest way. Let them know when you will be there and apologize for the inconvenience.
3. Invest in your knowledge
If you are going to offer sales and service in your industry, expertise is one of your greatest assets.
This is particularly true in a technical field. Trends shift and technology changes. It’s important to stay up-to-date in order to be able to accurately answer tough questions.
“People have high expectations, they want information they can’t find online,” says Snow. Nowadays, it’s easy to find articles and watch videos about different services. It’s your job to put that information in perspective, explain how it applies to the customer’s specific situation and clarify any misinformation found online.
With information so readily available, you should expect tougher, more detailed questions from potential clients. Investing in your own professional development will help you maintain your expertise on the technical side and close more sales.
4. Always communicate clearly
Whether it’s communicating clearly with the homeowner or with the install team, your entire process will run smoothly if all the details are clear.
Quotes, for example, should provide all the information. It should not simply list a model number. Instead, state all the details about the product, the install and the work involved. Full transparency and knowing what to expect gives clients peace of mind. Plus, it will also preempt future issues by outlining the full workflow.
People don’t want to take time off work or use their vacation time to solve a problem in their home, so Snow works around their schedule. He books quotes seven days a week, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. By providing a huge window of opportunity, he removes one hassle for the potential customer. From there, he doesn’t insist on a follow-up visit, but asks people to commit to a short phone call to review the quote after they recieve it. If the sale doesn’t close then, an automated reminder ensures he follows up one week later to answer any further questions or close the sale.
Clarity of communication doesn’t stop with the customer. For technical teams, the clearer the job order, the better. Snow gives the install teams photographs and videos, so they’ll know what to expect and can arrive will all the necessary tools. He adds all of this information to the Jobber work order so it is easily accessible to the installer before they head to the job. When the job requirements are clear, you can confidently offer price guarantees on the sale without worrying about additional equipment or running overtime. Making the installer’s life easy also makes the customer’s life easy.
Remember, the sales process doesn’t end with the signed contract.
“Trust your value and then let them decide,” Snow says. This is advice worth following, especially because Snow is closing at more than 80% these days.
Want more expert sales advice? Learn how to close a sale and increase your close ratio in 2019.