When most HVAC technicians think about how they want to improve their sales, they generally think about how they want to make more money in hvac . More money for your business also means more money goes into your pocket, there are more resources for expanding your business, more marketing opportunities, etc. But when they think about how they can improve their business and make more money, most are stumped. Of course, you can refine your marketing message or try to follow up more leads, but there are much better ways to tangibly boost your business—and all you have to do is ask. Here are seven strategies for asking that will help you make more money:
Ask for Information
When you are trying to turn a prospect into a customer of your HVAC business, you need to know what that prospect’s challenges are. Are they dealing with a residential HVAC system that is no longer working properly? Do they need an entirely new system installed? Have their cooling or heating costs steadily risen over the years, even if their usage has stayed the same or even decreased. Getting a thorough understanding of what exactly their challenge is will be the only way you can then present yourself as the solution to that problem. Ask for more information whenever you are starting to deal with a new client. Ask them who they are, what they need, why they need it, when they need it, and how they would like it done. Only with this information will you be able to then offer yourself as the solution in a way which will make it clear that you are the best option for their specific situation.
Ask for testimonials
Why do you need people to leave reviews for your business? Many businesses mistakenly believe that reviews are only for the restaurant and hospitality industry. The truth is that the internet has given consumers the capability to leave a review for just about any business, on a number of different forums. You need people to leave you reviews. Why? Because reviews are social proof, and social proof is one of the biggest factors people use when deciding whether or not to do business with a certain company. If a business has lots of great reviews, future clients or customers will believe that they are more likely to have a good experience with that company. Having no reviews is almost as bad as having negative reviews. So, when you know that a former client or customer is happy with the work you’ve done for them, ask them to leave you a testimonial.
Ask for their business
When was the last time you actually asked a customer to hire you? You likely spend quite a bit of time priming customers, providing them with the information they need, even putting together quotes for them. And then, they just disappear. Did you ask that prospect if they were ready to get started? If you didn’t you have only yourself to blame. After presenting your services and showing them how you can help them, ask, “Are you ready to get started?” Do not beat around the bush—just ask. This is not pushy. The customer will tell you if they are ready or if they need more time or information.
Ask for referrals
Especially for smaller HVAC companies, you might not have the resources to mount a huge marketing campaign to draw in hundreds of new customers a month. What you do have, however, is the ability to ask your past customers if they know anyone who might be looking for the services that you offer. Word of mouth referrals are just as good, if not better, than cold prospects that find you through your marketing efforts. Why? Because they come with the endorsement of someone that prospect trusts. You can actually set up a system for gathering referrals, such as offering a free checkup service to a past customer who refers five of their friends to you. Of course, you do not necessarily have to provide an incentive. If you are good at your job and are good to your customers, they will automatically refer you to their friends and relatives.
Ask for feedback
How are you going to know how you can improve your service if you do not know how your customers or clients perceive your service right now? Ask your customers how they think you are doing. When you finish servicing someone’s HVAC system, have the technician take some time to ask, “How was our service? What can we do to improve the service? What about our service do you like or dislike?” If you do not feel comfortable doing this, you could, instead, send out an email a day or so after the service date, asking that customer to fill out a survey. Over time, you will start to see patterns emerge. The more feedback you get from your customers about how they like or dislike your service, the more you will be able to build on your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses.
Ask for repeat business
Those with HVAC systems will need regular maintenance and regular repairs. Are you asking your customers to call you again when they need another repair? Setting up a system in which you are their first call when they need something done to their system is one of the best ways to make sure that you get as much business as possible. How do you do this? Set up a maintenance schedule and put the appointments on your calendar even years in advance. A few weeks before these routine appointments, send out an email or a mailed reminder to ensure that they remember the appointment, too.
Ask for a renegotiation
If you originally agreed on one task, but you find that another task would actually be more effective, there is nothing wrong with renegotiating your contract with your customer. For example, if you arrive to just change the filter in their HVAC system, but you discover a leak while you are making the change, ask if they want you to fix the leak. Most people will want it fixed as quickly as possible. You will be providing them a service that they need immediately and which will prevent a larger issue from occurring, and you will be getting paid more for that service. This is a win-win situation, in which very few people will protest a renegotiation of terms.
One of the reasons many people do not ask for these things is because they don’t know how. Asking clearly, with confidence, making it part of your routine when you interact with customers, and being sincere in your inquiries is essential to asking these questions effectively. Don’t just ask because you want to make more money—ask because you know that you can genuinely help that person. And don’t stop asking just because that customer or someone else has said no in the past. The only way to eventually get a yes is to just keep asking!