Improvement Professional, President & Sales
Got to thinking about this time of year, getting cool out there, we are getting furnaces tuned up, and there may be opportunities for replacement quotes. I am not a fan of quoting systems, I would much rather sell systems. So I will share some ideas on how to sell HVAC systems in today’s market.
First, how do the consumers buy today? The same way they did in years past, emotionally. Then they justify it with logic later on. So my feeling is that we must get the emotional connections established quickly. Couple of ways to do that are: ask questions and listen.
First, ask questions. Not yes or no questions, rather questions that call for how they feel about their home, comfort and things that affect comfort. Here are some to start with.
1. How long are you planning to stay in this home?
Answer: till they carry me out in a pine box. Rather severe response, but I got that exact response to that question this week working with a dealer in California. Woman may have been late 50s, so she may have another couple of decades or more, living under that same roof. So if she was staying there for that length of time, may want to be comfortable. Note: some will say the house is for sale, may be gone next year. Or not. Don’t lose heart if you hear that. Many how found that the real estate market today is “not your father’s market” to paraphrase an Oldsmobile advertisement. Oldsmobile cars were made from 1897-2004, they had a campaign in the late 1980s that said this was “not your father’s Oldsmobile”.
Back to my home for sale. Turns out that many homes for sale today will not sell quickly, some not at all. So here is my response to that customer who says their home is for sale. “that is good! Do you realize that any defects in your home have to be disclosed, or the buyer can come back to you after the sale? If you have a furnace that has a mechanical problem or safety problem, it has to be noted. Or better yet, replaced. And further, a new furnace and AC system can be a positive selling feature. Lower utility costs are an important benefit to a new system, can make the home easier to buy and afford. So if they stay and don’t sell, they will be comfortable. If they do sell, the best idea is to put it on financing, the new homeowner can actually pay for the improvement.
2. Does anyone suffer from allergies or asthma? Just sat thru a great webinar on IAQ. Turns out an average 1500 square foot home generates about 40 pounds of dust per year, comprised of pet dander, human skin flakes, dust mites and dust mite feces, as well as other microscopic particles that get into our homes (according to an recent article in Contracting Business Magazine). Dust mites main food source is human skin flakes and animal dander. 42,000 dust mites can live in 1 ounce of dust. Each dust mite generates 20 fecal pellets per day. Do the math, the numbers get staggering. It is estimated that we breathe in 2 heaping teaspoons of these particles per day. Our indoor air is terrible. Indoor air pollution has three components: particles, germs and gases. We must treat all of these parts to really improve our living spaces.
Still more: the Silent Spring Institute did a Household Exposure Study testing 120 homes for 89 chemicals that are found in furniture and building materials. 100% had toxic levels of VOCs. Over 25 VOCs found in every home tested, at levels that caused symptoms. Back to my question, anyone suffer from indoor air pollution. Find out how bad they suffer, when they suffer, all the details. Then put together a solution for the IAQ problem. Solutions are more expensive than a box in the basement or backyard. And more valuable. We have some excellent tools that can help improve our lives inside the home, products that were not available a decade ago.
The harsh reality, we have given up the IAQ business to the big box stores and the internet. Back in the day, Sharper Image sold a couple million electronic filters, until some realized they didn’t do what they claimed they would do. There are sales made daily on personal filtering products that do a room or an area of the home, even vacuum cleaner manufacturers are getting some of that money.
The real question: what is your health worth? Answer-Priceless.
Final note for this article. Listen. Let them talk and share, take notes if possible. This may not happen tonight, a good set of notes in the computer will impress the client when they call back a year from now. You already know what you are going to say, listen to what they are going to say, internalize it, and let them know you heard them. It will shock them that a sales rep/technician/office staff actually listened.