Here we are, with another season of hot weather and air conditioning replacement needs. Has that been your experience so far? This year, instead of simply fixing what you can or replacing what you can’t repair, are you consulting with your homeowners more?

You may find homeowners more aware of products for their home than they used to be. As I mentioned in my June article, more of them are using the Internet than ever before. We don’t know how well they’re using it, but they are using it more. Are you in turn using the Internet in your selling approach?  The time is right, and the depth and breadth of information on the Internet, from the product manufacturers, and others can be of great help to you and to your customers.

Does your sales kit include specific websites, and perhaps downloads from those sites that will help you and your homeowner build a better indoor environment for them and their family, not just sell a new system.

As in past American Home Comfort studies, we’ve asked homeowners who have already bought new central equipment the process they went through, and the products they recently bought, and what they might still want to purchase someday.  

We asked those who had just purchased central equipment how much they would be willing to spend to improve better temperature distribution/control, improve energy efficiency by 25% and/or improvement of their indoor air quality by 25%.

The 2,460 homeowners we found who had recently purchased HVAC central equipment for their home had these answers:

1. Homeowners said it was most important — based on the price they were willing to pay — to eliminate hot and cold rooms in their homes. On average, before you discuss the work needed and the cost involved, homeowners will be comfortable spending $727.00 to accomplish that.

2.Energy efficiency savings was their next need. When asked how much more they would be willing to pay to
improve their energy efficiency by 25%, their average response was $534.80. 

The separation between those who bought standard efficiency products versus high efficiency products (again, according to the homeowners who bought the equipment) was several hundred dollars below that. Based on this fact, no one should have been buying standard equipment.

3.Indoor air quality is still a distant third in the money the homeowner is willing to spend to upgrade, as they’re willing to spend an average of $362.80.

Discuss When You’re in the Home

The time to discuss these key enhancements covering your customer’s quality of home and life is when you’re in the home. Knowing your prospects initial thoughts on what they are willing to pay will really help you to help them with their decisions. Having the right information from the Internet — whether from the manufacturers or from other reliable sources —will help you provide your homeowners with this, and every season’s “must buy” products.

As an industry, we’ve gone too long simply “fixing or replacing what’s broken.” The Internet will either replace in-person consultations with the homeowner, or supplement your talks with them in the home or in your office.

The Internet can help, as you seek to extend a sale into one that will fix their home environmental problem and enhance the comfort or cost of living in their home at the same time.    

Decision Analyst’s American Home Comfort Study of homeowners explores what customers look for in HVAC contractors. To learn more about this study, or to purchase it, contact Garry, at gupton@decisionanalyst.com.