What makes selling HVAC, difficult?

The economy is passing through the information era faster than digital appliances prices are decreasing. The HVAC industry is also getting benefited of new technology. However, cooling and heating is not as simple of a proposition as selling a confectionary product. If you have been an HVAC salesperson, be courageous to face the challenges in every pitch. Rising competition, newer technology making old one obsolete, and increasing consumers’ consideration for green technology are definitely putting a pressure on HVAC sellers.

Understanding the consumer attitude

The first thing to consider regarding HVAC is that it is not like a packaged item such as toothpaste, where a normal packaged goods sale occur where a consumer views the product and purchase it- or he doesn’t. Selling durable goods and products is something different since these are only bought either once or twice in a person’s lifetime. Purchasing air conditioning or heating appliance is a considered purchase which involves quite a huge sum of money.

Consumers do cost benefit analysis

Above all,  HVAC sales are complex sales. The attitude of consumers makes it even harder. Consumers think of your HVAC products as cost commodities. They hold the perception they invest more than getting back in pleasure and ego stroking. A consumer spending more in an air filtration system for his house cannot be easily brag by their neighbors regarding how different his house feels as compared to the dirty dump across the road. It is just too intangible. However, it does make them feel pleased when, upon being reminded to switch off the headlights of their luxurious car, they can smugly say that “don’t worry, these get turned off by themselves”.

Consumers have little knowledge about HVAC

Though the information era has made people much aware regarding markets and products than ever before, still many of the consumers are still unaware of HVAC brand or product differences. For various studies and surveys, it has been found out that consumers don’t even know the brand name of the existing HVAC systems, especially those who tend to be loyal to just one brand. Some don’t even remember their refrigerator’s manufacturer name, though they see it and use it every day. They might be much aware about why their specific refrigerator is different from others available in market, but HVAC products need a bit of explaining and emphasizing on real differences.

Consumers may think of your HVAC products in a negative way, mainly because they are most aware of air conditioning and heating when they are not getting satisfactory results from it or if the products are malfunctioning. Thank goodness for the service agreement consumers, who are neutral at least, if they are not satisfied when you visit them.

Unluckily, consumers usually hold negative perceptions about contractors. You get lumped in
painters, roofers, plumbers, carpenters- any number of these kinds of people the consumer
might have come in contact with, and can have had negative experiences with. There surely is nothing wrong with these people in their own right, but the consumer opinions are your reality. There is usually infrequent or rare contact between consumers and contractors, hence, consumers usually hold quite low level of confidence and reliability.

Managing the risks

When a consumer purchases your product, he or she is actually purchasing an intangible commitment that your company and product would deliver economy, high quality and stress free comfort. There is normally no way for the consumers to measure or analyze the performance of the product before buying. Hence, consumer usually prefers buying the one with lowest perceived risk of quality and performance.

How does a consumer gauge risk?

A typical consumer measures the risk by the gut feel of what he sees, reads and hears about the product and its contractor- all relative to cost. Here, being an HVAC seller, your challenge is to minimize the risk in the mind of the consumer. Each point of contact, from an installer’s presence, a phone call, a salesperson knock, and a company vehicle, to grocery aisle communications and TV commercials, create an opinion of your company and products. Each one is like an important moment of truth: a moment when the consumers might make his decision to be your customer or someone else’s.

By now, you should have gotten some rough idea of how selling HVAC repairs and replacements can be challenging.  You can learn how to overcome these obstacles and become successful selling HVAC in our e-book.

What are some of the hardest obstacles, objections and challenges you have had selling HVAC repairs and replacement? Let us know in the comment section.