Fostering Your Customer’s Buying Journey and Helping Them Understand Their HVAC Service Agreement
HVAC technician school trains technicians on the hard skills required to install new HVAC equipment and assess and repair existing HVAC systems. However, there are numerous soft skills that also come in handy. Most notably, the interpersonal skills used with customers during consultation and while closing an HVAC sale should not be overlooked.
Although a heating and cooling system is necessary for a residence to remain comfortable, many homeowners must be convinced that certain HVAC products are right for them or that an HVAC service agreement offers terms that are fair, affordable, and beneficial. Homeowners with an HVAC unit that’s reaching the end of its lifespan may need to be sold on the idea that major repairs or outright replacement must be considered to avoid a system outage.
Consider these useful tips and best practices that technicians should employ when closing an HVAC sale.
#1 – Learn Your Customer’s Needs
Most HVAC customers are either solving a problem or attempting to avoid one. Either way, all customer interactions should begin with attentive listening. During the initial consultation, technicians must be mindful of their customer’s needs and concerns.
Technicians should also ask relevant probing questions about the HVAC system and the customer’s usage patterns and preferences. After gaining a thorough understanding of the customer’s needs, the HVAC technician is better positioned to offer solutions and make recommendations after inspecting the unit.
#2 – Provide Multiple Options That Offer an Affordable Solution
After the customer has conveyed their needs to the technician, the HVAC sales process moves into its next phase – providing options. Those who have attended HVAC technician school know that there are always multiple solutions to address a problem. The challenge is guiding the customer to the solution that fits their budget and is viable in the long term.
Most options break down as follows:
Solution A: The least expensive option that solves the problem but perhaps isn’t the best choice in the long term.
Solution B: The option that is higher in price when compared to Solution A, but offers more in terms of benefits and long-term viability.
Solution C: The option that offers the most in long-term viability, benefits, and efficiency, but is the most expensive of the three options. This option usually features built-in contractual protections surrounding repairs and service that are more comprehensive compared to lower-cost options.
From an HVAC sales perspective, these solutions can be framed as “good, better, and best.” When a customer has multiple options, they are less inclined to continue shopping. By comparison, customers presented with only one option may wonder if they’re getting a fair price or if the HVAC equipment will meet their needs.
#3 – Guiding Customers to a Decision
It can be challenging to guide a customer to a decision during the HVAC sales process. After all, this is a piece of equipment the homeowner will rely on for the next decade-plus of home ownership. It’s a huge decision not to be taken lightly.
So, what do you do when a customer reaches an impasse with their decision making? Use the following tips to help them out:
- Highlight the pros and cons of each option
- Help the customer understand total cost of ownership for their existing equipment versus new equipment
- Provide transparent pricing that itemizes the cost of equipment, installation,
- Emphasize the long-term energy efficiency benefits, such as lower monthly energy bills
- Discuss any relevant incentives or rebates that are available
Sometimes it helps to frame things in terms of return on investment (ROI). For example, one solution may be slightly above the customer’s budget; however, the HVAC solution in question will decrease their energy bills by an estimated 20%. Eventually, those long-term savings will offset today’s HVAC costs.
#4 – Offer an HVAC Service Agreement That Provides Long-Term Peace of Mind
An HVAC service agreement is a maintenance plan that provides a suite of services for either a monthly or annual fee. HVAC services can vary between companies, but generally include the following:
- Two HVAC inspections performed on a bi-annual basis; these are usually scheduled before summer and winter, the two seasons where an HVAC unit must work hardest to maintain ideal temperatures within the home
- Priority scheduling for HVAC appointments
- Discounts on HVAC services and repairs
When closing the sale on an HVAC service agreement, it’s helpful to frame it in terms of providing the homeowner with peace of mind. They likely want to avoid the expense and inconvenience of a malfunctioning HVAC unit, and the best way to prevent that is through regular maintenance. Plus, if anything goes wrong, they will have the assurance of knowing their HVAC repairs will be discounted and they will be made a priority when scheduling their appointment.
Learn More About the HVAC Sales Customer Journey
HVAC technicians who are interested in learning about the soft skills of HVAC sales should research their educational options. Fortunately, locating HVAC training near you is easy with O’Connor University. With several convenient locations throughout the Midwest, we are one of the leading HVAC technician schools for current and aspiring HVAC professionals. O’Connor University features:
- Experienced instructors with extensive HVAC
- A comprehensive offering of courses that range from entry-level HVAC classes to continuing education classes for current HVAC professionals.
- Industry-recognized HVAC credentials for graduates that certify their training and
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