A comfort consultant's worst enemy is boredom. If you're a comfort consultant who would like to increase the number of leads coming in, here are four more tips that can help keep things hopping during those dreaded slow times.

Use a Presentation Book

Put together a presentation book. A presentation book is little more than a visual aid for your selling efforts. Remember, selling HVAC differs from selling similar appliances. Buy a refrigerator and you can walk into the appliance store, look at the different refrigerators, inspect the options, open the doors, and so on. Buy an air conditioner and you’re probably buying off of a piece of sales literature, if that. The presentation book helps people see what they’ll get. It helps them understand the buying and installation process. It helps them understand.

Every marketing research study that’s been done in the HVAC industry has shown that the salesperson who does the best job educating the homeowner usually wins the sale. Not only that, but the more homeowners learn about HVAC, the greater the odds are that they’ll purchase high efficiency equipment. The more they learn about HVAC, the more they’ll spend.

Presentation books take different forms depending upon the preferences of the salesperson. Some are sales tools used to enhance the presentation. Some are credibility books left with the homeowner while the salesperson conducts his or her survey. Some are mixtures.

Today, laptop computers are becoming affordable enough that salespeople can use electronic presentation books created in Microsoft PowerPoint. The advantage of the electronic presentation is the ability to mix in video, sound, and animation with the slides.

Record an Audio Brochure

For a unique style of brochure, consider recording an audio brochure. One approach is to create an interview format in which you answer questions from an interviewer about saving energy, new HVAC technology, improving comfort, air quality, the replacement process, your background, and your business philosophy.

Script it out beforehand and practice. Find someone with a home recording studio who can also serve as the interviewer. Get the person making the recording to add some royalty-free bumper music. Burn CDs and give them out to your referral network. Mail them to your target neighborhoods.

Will anyone listen? They will if they have a CD player in their car and are in the market for a new comfort system.
For an added bang for your buck, convert the file to MP3 format and add it to your website for people to download and listen to online.

Clip and Mail Newspaper Articles

Read the local papers with a pair of scissors. Cut out favorable articles about people winning promotions, significant achievements, and so on. If you can identify a mailing address (use a reverse directory), send a copy of the article to the person featured, along with a note of congratulations and a few business cards.

Like many things successful salespeople do, this is not a miracle cure or magic answer. It’s simply one more technique that will build your name in the community and result in leads over time.

Ask For Reciprocity

Ask for reciprocity from every business you patronize. When you visit a restaurant, for example, and leave a business card with the tip. Come back during the day and introduce yourself to the manager. Tell him you are one of his customers. Comment on how much you enjoy the service and food, and then ask for his consideration in return when he needs air conditioning work for his home.

Matt Michel is president of the Service Roundtable (www.ServiceRoundtable.com), an organization dedicated to helping contractors prosper. Matt is also the publisher of Comanche Marketing, a free marketing e-zine. Subscriptions are available at www.ComancheMarketing.com. You can contact him directly at matt.michel@serviceroundtable.com. Or send your comments to Contracting Business at letters@contractingbusiness.com.