Jamie Gerdsen is the Comfortech Idol Grande Champion. Comfortech Idol was an annual event held every year at HVAC Comfortech in which HVAC salespeople role-played closing a sale in front of a live audience, who then voted on the salesperson that best demonstrated excellence in HVAC sales.

At Comfortech Idol 2008: Tournament of Champions, three of the previous winners each gave a 15-minute presentation consisting of their best advice to HVAC salespeople.

Last month I summarized the first half of winner Jamie Gerdsen’s presentation. It covered the winning attitude required of salespeople and pre-call planning. This month, I’ll give you the rest, which is the nuts-and-bolts of a sales call, including following up.

Running the Call:

  • Call fifteen minutes prior to your estimated time of arrival.
  • Once you have called them, don’t answer your phone or allow yourself to get distracted. Just focus on the call at hand.
  • Once you arrive at the call, don’t spend more than 10 seconds collecting what you need to take with you to the front door. You don’t want to sit in your vehicle in their driveway.
  • Knock on the door; don’t ring the doorbell.
  • Once you knock, stand away from the door.
  • Have two of your business cards in your left hand.
  • Keep your right hand free. When you shake the customer’s hand, give the business cards with your left hand.
  • Reconfirm why you’re there. Ask the customer what they’d like to discuss, even though you already know.
  • Set an agenda of what your visit will entail. Let them know what you’re planning on doing:
    • a laser measurement of the home
    • load calculation
    • airflow test
    • visual inspection on the equipment, ductwork, and overall system in general.

During this time you want the homeowner/owners to be with you so you can ask questions and build your value throughout the conversation. Assessing the Need and Offering Solutions:

  • Discuss opportunities on how they can improve their comfort system. Don’t decide for them whether or not they want to invest in high-end equipment, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), or air distribution solutions. Describe their options. Help the customer discover the solution instead of telling them.
  • Build the value of your company, not the brand of equipment you’re selling. Sell them on the benefits of why you’re the best choice.

Following-up: Following up is the key difference between a 35% closing ratio and a 55-65% closing ratio (at 50-55% gross margin).

If not Sold:

  • find out how and when the customer wants you to follow up
  • mail a “thank you card” immediately after running the call
  • if you’re not getting anywhere with the customer, mix it up – hand the call over to one of your teammates and have them take at shot at the follow-up
  • after multiple attempts and still no reaction, send them a “finalizing letter,” thanking them for their time and reminding them that you have an excellent service department to handle any needs they may have.

If Sold:

  • take it upon yourself to make certain the material and equipment are ordered
  • plant a yard sign (get the customer’s permission first)
  • put door-hangers on the ten closest homes
  • send postcards to everyone in the neighborhood
  • go with your installers when they start the job.

If it is a multiple day job, show up once a day to check in with the customer and let them know you’ve taken a personal interest in the job and are staying on top of things.

Thanks to Comfortech Idols Jared Corpron and Jason Young, Grande Champion Jamie Gerdsen, emcee Matt Michel, judges Vicki LaPlant and Drew Cameron, and the audiences at HVAC Comfortech for contributing to Comfortech Idol.

Charlie Greer is the creator of “Slacker’s Guide to HVAC Sales on Audio CD,” and “Tec Daddy’s Service Technician Survival School on DVD.” For information on Charlie’s products and speaking schedule, or to request his catalog, call 800/963-HVAC (4822) or visit him on the web at www.hvacprofitboosters.com. Email Charlie at charlie@charliegreer.com.