Over the course of 2010, this space will identify opportunities within customers' homes that you may not have observed in the past. The opportunities are based on a recent homeowner survey conducted by Decision Analyst, Inc.

Q
What are some key elements to a sales presentation that consumers value?

A
The process of working with homeowners is different from one house to another. You have to be ready for almost anything.

When your regular customers see you, when they recommend you, and think of you as their HVAC consultant, they expect consistency. If they refer you to a friend, they want you to show up at their friend's home in the way they described you. They want to be proud of recommending a professional.

In the HVAC industry, there are a few things that you can do to stand out from the crowd. Because life was so good through 2006, many HVAC contractors chose to forego marketing and service while in the home.

Here are just a few examples to help you with your plans:

  • Today, only 13 homeowners in 100 who purchased central equipment were given referrals.

  • 11% received a formal presentation

  • 11% knew that you were bonded.

These are the things that help set you apart from your competition when you're in the home. They reflect someone proud of the business they provide their customers, and the organized fashion in which they approach business.

With so few actually serving their customer in these very important ways, they serve as important differentiators between your company's service and that of your competition.

Figure 1 illustrates the need to strengthen credibility with customers through better presentations.

Garry Upton, of Decision Analyst, Inc., based in Arlington, TX shares his interpretations of its American Home Comfort Study of homeowners, and explores what customers look for in HVAC contractors. To learn more about this study, or to purchase it, contact Garry at gupton@decisionanalyst.com.