Increase your HVAC Clients and Outperform Your Competitors in North Carolina
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Without marketing there can be no prospects, no appointments and no projects. Marketing is what makes the register ring. In order to be truly successful in the HVAC business in North Carolina , you must be a marketing expert. You can be average at everything else, but if you use marketing, you will make a ton of money.
The sad truth is that 90% of heating and air conditioning contractors do not understand basic HVAC marketing concepts. The average HVAC contractor in North Carolina looks at what others in the industry are doing, and copies it. That would work if the items copied were successful. But often times, the HVAC marketing tools copied do not work.
Build Steady Streams of Qualified Leads for HVAC Company
The HVAC business in the United States has seen unprecedented growth in the last few years. Innovative new products, government- backed tax rebates, and a renewed focus on indoor air quality and energy conservation are some of the main factors that have contributed to this growth. In addition to these factors, consumers are using the Internet to educate themselves about HVAC-related purchase decisions. They research different products and use social media to talk to other consumers before they make a purchase decision.
As an HVAC business owner, the increased use of social media by your customers and potential customers has opened up a lot of opportunities for you. You can use social media to do research as well as lead generation.
In terms of research, you can use social media websites to find out the following:
- What your current customers are saying about you.
- How people perceive your competitors.
- The types of offers that your competitors are offering.
- Who your potential customers could be.
- What your potential customers are looking for in a new HVAC system and after-sales service.
- How to reach potential customers.
The information that you gather from your research is very important. While it could take some time to get more educated about your customers and your competition, the knowledge that you gain can be used to create more effective messages for your traditional as well as your online advertising. For example, if you see a lot of people looking for proper after-sales service, you have the opportunity to reach out to them with effective service coupons that not only meet their needs, but also beat out offers from your competitors.
Once you have gathered all the information you need and are ready to start lead generation, you can use a number of resources to reach your target audience. Some of them are as follows:
- Online coupon sites like Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com: These sites have a large following and having your business featured on these can help you generate a large number of leads for a low cost. Since these sites promote themselves very well, you don't need to put in any additional efforts to promote your offers.
- Coupons on local newspaper, radio and television websites: Local media websites have started to promote a lot of local businesses recently because of tough economic times and the tendency of consumers to look for deals online.
- Facebook and Twitter: Use your Facebook and Twitter networks to promote special offers. A good offer can go viral very quickly.
- Your own website: Make special offers prominent on your website home page. Most of the time, visitors to your site already know what they want. Making offers more visible just aids them to make a faster decision to use your services.
- Yahoo and Google Local: Both Yahoo and Google Local are very popular sites to list your business. Most of the people searching for services related to your business will go to one of these sites and do a search. If your business listing shows up, it will drive more traffic to your site, where they can see special offers.
- Email: As you provide services to more people, try to collect their email addresses. Then, send out special offer emails to them about once a month. In that email, you can ask them to forward the offer to their family and friends. However, do not email them more than once a month. You don't want to be blacklisted. Another good way to collect email addresses is to have a signup form on your website. Ask people to sign up to receive monthly special offers.
- Local websites: If you do a search, you will find a number of blogs, forums and websites for your local area. These sites are very popular and people tend to talk about local businesses and special offers. Make a list of these sites and see how you can promote yourself there. Some websites will promote you for free while others may charge a nominal fee.
- Craigslist and Backpage: Both these sites are very popular for local deals. They are free to use. Post your special offers here about two times per week.
- Tracking: It is essential for you to track all your social media offers. Try to promote one offer at a time so that it is easy for your business to track them. If you track all your offers regularly, you will soon have a list of sites that are more effective than others. Then, you can focus your efforts on those sites.
- Offers: Another essential thing for you to remember is how you structure your offers. Make the offers relevant to the season and what people are looking for. You should also have your phone number and expiration date on all your coupons.
By using these methods, you can refresh your online advertising efforts and continue to generate leads for your business more efficiently. The HVAC business is very competitive but if you are organized and willing to use online marketing efficiently, you will see high returns at a low cost.
Importance of Marketing for HVAC Business
All HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) businesses have "profit ability", that is the ability to make a profit. But the ones that make profits have solid profit strategies and practices, coupled with consistent focus on pricing performance.
Step # 1. Maximize Your Current Opportunity by Charging the Correct Price.
• Know all your HVAC costs.
• Have a profit plan.
• Know your break-even (bottom-line price).
• Build value in your offering (sales process).
Most HVAC companies leave money on the table by not having proper control or management of their pricing. Invest some time in the management of your pricing and your bottom-line will soar. Having set prices in place allows you to maximize revenue productivity and your "profit ability", and even helps in deflecting pricing objections.
Step # 2. Maximize Revenue Productivity by Setting Benchmarks for Key Performance Indicators.
• Determine Key Benchmarks that drive business revenues (top & bottom-line).
• What gets measured gets accomplished.
• Expect 50% more from everyone (stretch plan).
• Provide necessary training and tools for profit success.
• Display benchmarks and performances.
• Reward for excellence.
Managing by benchmarks is a key component to your "profit ability". Knowing your numbers, especially your profit targets, gives you a clear roadmap to follow and helps you to stay on course when your profit vision gets blurry.
Step # 3. Maximize Your Current Customer Relations.
• Follow-up after Sale.
• Send monthly offerings.
• Send a personal note to top 20% of customers.
• Provide referrals to your customers for other non-competing services (builds value in you as a resource).
• Send Thank-you notes.
• Remember special dates/events (B/day, Holiday, promotion, etc...).
The initial cost to attract and capture a customer takes a big chunk out of your profits, so keeping your customers is a huge step in your "profit ability" factor. Having a plan in place to keep your customers fresh and attracted to you allows you to re-coup your initial investment in that customer. Studies have shown that it costs up to six times more to capture a new customer than it is to keep a customer- make an investment into keeping your customers, your bottom-line will love it.
Step #4. Leverage Your Customer Base
• Harvest all of the possible opportunities from your existing customers.
• Build an opportunity database with that information and market from it.
• Extend your HVAC product / service line to up-sell and cross-sell.
• Customize your offerings so that you differentiate yourself from the competition.
• Get and use testimonials.
• Get customer feedback on everything.
Your "profit ability" skyrockets when you can create repeat sales to your existing customers. Several different studies have shown that the longer you extend the selling lifecycle of your customer base the greater the increase of your overall profits. Have a plan in place that creates irresistible offers to your customers so that you can sell to them over and over again.
Step #5. Make Your Whole HVAC Business a Salesforce.
• Provide incentives to everyone in your business to sell.
• Make your customers become part of your salesforce by providing Outrageous value and service that they "BUZZ" to everyone about you.
• Reward everyone for referrals.
• Make your suppliers a sales resource for you by referring their products and services to others.
• Make it fun to sell for you.
Imagine what would happen to your "profit ability" if you got everyone involved harvesting opportunities and then converting them into leads and sales. The burden of having a huge sales force can be lessened by turning non-revenue producers into revenue producers simply by creating a selling environment throughout your business. Making this happen will have a huge impact on your profits.
Step #6. Have a Plan to Attract the Correct and Best
• Employees (Rank Best to Worst).
• Customers (Best fit).
• Vendors (products).
• Partners (banker, lawyer, accountant, etc...).
• Opportunities (networking).
Don't settle for second best, it costs you profits. Always look to improve the people and ideas you surround yourself with until you find the best possible fit for you and your "profit ability". The people around you are the conduit to your success; they provide the power and energy that connects your success to profits.
Step #7. Make Your HVAC Business Agile
• Automate as much as possible
• Outsource what you can
• Keep overhead as low as possible without sacrificing quality and customer experience
• Don't get it unless it is "YES" to this question; "Will it help me generate revenue and profits?"
• Cross-train employees
It is much easier to acquire costs than it is to shed costs. Make sure that you position your business to run lean and mean. Don't overburden the "profit ability" of your business with unnecessary overhead. Picture a wagon-train; you want more horses in your business than wagons.
Step #8. Keep Changing and Growing
• Stay in touch with current HVAC market conditions and adapt to changing needs.
• Challenge assumptions from within your industry (Be a Leader).
• Experiment with new ideas, processes and products.
• Never stop asking questions.
• Never stop learning.
• Grow from mistakes.
Never assume when it comes to making a profit. Profit slippage easily occurs when you take your "profit ability" for granted, or you become lazy in learning, stubborn with change and happy with status quo. Profits are fleeting moments that will slip away if you loose focus and stop growing.
Step #9. Share Your Success
• Have a profit sharing plan.
• Say "Thank-you" and mean it.
• Give to your community.
• Have a balance in your life.
Don't be greedy; give the people around you personal "profit ability" and watch your "profit ability" skyrocket.
Step #10. Always Deliver More Than You Promised
Keep all your promises.
• Always follow-up.
• Take care of problems.
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