The holidays are nearly over and the giant question mark of 2015 looms very close by. As this year winds down and everyone begins the surge of predictions and forecasts, it might be fun to take a look at where the HVAC Industry is in general and where those of us who believe in and sell performance-based contracting are in particular.
Fact: As of December 12, 2014, the American family debt burden is at it’s lowest point in more than a decade.
Fact: According to the Wall Street Journal, consumer spending was up 2.3% in 2014 (and is expected to increase 3% year-over-year in 2015)
Fact: Home Values are on the rise, which leads to more borrowing, which juices the economy.
Fact: Gasoline prices are DROPPING. It’s unbelievable. But across the country gas prices are near $2.00 a gallon and in some places, below it.
I could go on. But the fact is, the U.S. consumer has, for the first time in a long time, discretionary dollars a their disposal.
Is this good news? You betcha!
But the news is only as good as you make it. In the world of performance-based service, where HVAC contractors examine how buildings perform and what impacts their performance from a safety, health, efficiency, and comfort standpoint, the costs are higher than traditional box-replacement services that most contractors offer today.
In other words, we all need to do a better job of selling this premium service. In general, the customers have the discretionary dollars. They just need to be convinced building performance is worth their investment. And of course, it is!
Selling performance based services really consists of a five-step process that include:
- Creating great first impressions and developing great rapport with the customer
- Determining your customer’s safety, health, comfort and efficiency concerns
- Discovering exactly what the customer’s technical system requirements are through observation and measurement
- Sharing your observations and recommendations to the consumer in a non-technical way
- Then gaining your customer’s commitment to proceed and initiate the job.
The key is the measurement and diagnosis of mechanical system and building issues are causing pain points for the consumer and how repairs to the equipment, the ventilation system, and other issues you find will “cure” them.
Obviously these services need to be properly priced so that not only are you solving problems, but making the profits you deserve in the process.
The bottom line is that with the U.S. economy showing signs of strengthening and, as a result, consumer have more discretionary dollars at their disposal, now is a great time to either get into the performance-based service business or increase your participation if you already offer such services.
If you aren’t sure how to begin, learn more via the National Comfort Institute (NCI) website. If you are already a member, NCI certainly offers classes — both technical and sales-focused — so that you can be successful in providing this valuable service to your clients. A schedule of classes is also provided on the website.
Happy New Year to everyone and see you in 2015.