Summer is over and leads have dropped with every downtick of the outside temperature. It’s time for sales professionals to generate their own leads. Here are 14 ways to get started.
1. Revisit every unsold quote. Do you know if the homeowner bought from a competitor? If not, find out. If the homeowner put off the replacement, find out what it would take for him to act. A sale at a reduced gross margin for the company and a reduced commission for you beats no margin and no commission when the company has excess installation capacity.
2. Comb through the service records. Look for expensive repairs on older equipment. See if the boss will let you credit the repair price back to the homeowner if he will make a purchase decision. Remind the homeowner that he’s probably going to face more repairs next year, given the age of the equipment. Given your willingness to credit the last repair against a replacement, there will never be a better time to replace than right now.
3. Step up your networking. Few HVAC salespeople network well. Because you have extra time in the off-season, it’s the perfect time to look for ways to expand your circle of influence. Join a leads club (e.g., Netweavers, BNI, Le Tip, etc.). Attend chamber of commerce meetings. Get involved with alumni groups (even if you didn’t attend college you can get involved with the largest alumni group in the area). Join a service club. Find networking opportunities through Meetup.
4. Cold call commercial offices outside of standard business hours. Call early or late to avoid gate keepers. Ask if there are any offices that seem too hot or cold. If there are, ask if they would be interested in getting the problem fixed.
5. Call homeowners associations. Offer to give a talk on how to select a contractor, how to reduce utility expense, how to conduct a home energy audit, how changing (efficiency and refrigerant) regulations will affect area homeowners, and so on.
6. Start a blog. The blog should focus on your profession and your community. You want to post items of interest to homeowners in your community, not one half way across the country. Be irreverent and off-beat to attract a following. Every so often, throw in information about HVAC.
7. Work on your presentation book. If you don’t have a presentation book, create one. If you do have one, update it and improve it.
8. Expand your social media network. Build your network for local Facebook friends, Linked In contacts, Twitter followers, and Pinterest followers. Share every blog post on social media.
9. Take people to lunch. Take sales professionals in other industries to lunch, such as real estate agents, roofing salepeople, siding salespeople, and so on. Learn what they look for in a prospect so you can refer people to them. Share what you look for in a prospect.
10. Call people who bought in the past. Check to see how happy they are with their furnace, heat pump, air conditioner, or hydronics system. Ask if there’s anything you can do for them. Let them know that if any friends or relatives need new equipment, this is a great time of the year to buy.
11. Make warranty reminder calls. Create a list of past customers who have warranties that are about to expire. Call them to give them a heads up so you can get any work done under the warranty. Past air conditioning purchasers might be in the market for a new furnace and vice versa.
12. Cold call. Everyone hates to knock on doors. Yet, it’s a proven method to generate sales opportunities. One out of every 15 homes will probably replace an air conditioner this year. One out of 25 will replace a furnace. If the homeowner is aware of the need, but doesn’t know who to call, and you greet them in a friendly manner to give the homeowner a business card, magnet, and small gift to introduce yourself as the neighborhood contractor, an opportunity could be generated on the spot.
13. Recruit your spouse. Your spouse has her own network of people who will need new air conditioners and furnaces sooner or later. Make sure you spread the word among her friends about your profession.
14. Advertising in church and community newsletters. Even if the boss won’t reimburse you for the ads, take out small ads in newsletters. They are usually inexpensive and people assume you belong to their group and will treat you fairly when you advertise in the group’s newsletter.
For a FREE copy of the Comanche Marketing Guide to Lead Generation for the Bored Comfort Consultant, call the Service Roundtable at 877.262.3341 and ask to speak to a Success Consultant.