If you’re looking to build a resource library for your staff and contractors, you will find some of the many educational materials available today to be invaluable. From theory to practice, and from design to full implementation of an HVAC system, here are just a few resources that offer countless tips and techniques for both managers and technicians:
MARKETING TIPS TO INCREASE SUMMER SALES
It’s mid-May — and that means the summer heat will soon begin to put a strain on your customers’ air conditioning units. With that in mind, it’s also time to make sure your summer advertising campaign is in place, in order to leverage the busy season. Here are some tips to maximize your advertising budget and increase sales during this time:
- Develop a Microsite – To track the results of your summer advertising and marketing campaign, you should develop a campaign microsite with a specific URL that will allow you to track the leads your campaign generates. The microsite will host all the details of your summer specials and will make it easy for your customers to find out more about your company via links to your company website.
- Create a Summer Discount Offer – A great way to promote your business and create customer loyalty is to create a discount offer for customers to use in the hot summer months. Send out the discount offer to your customer database and use it as a digital coupon that they can print out and put on their refrigerator. For print ads, include the coupon in the ad so they can cut it out and keep it handy. In your radio and TV ads, be sure to include a specific URL for them to go online and download the discount coupon. Customers love saving money and they will love you for giving them a discount on repairs during the warm, summer months!
- Multi-media Advertising Platform – To ensure that you reach all the various target audiences in your region, make sure you are using all the advertising channels available to you. The best advertising campaigns use consistent messaging across all platforms, i.e., radio, TV, website, digital, social media, signage, events and special promotions. Develop a creative concept that can be effectively deployed across all the channels you are using and maintain that creative consistency throughout the campaign.
- Customer Referral Program – The easiest and most cost-effective way to boost summer sales is to reward your current customers with cash, gifts or other incentives when they refer their family, friends or social or business network. There are numerous referral platforms on the market that can help you stay in touch with your customers through an online portal designed to reflect your company’s brand. These affordable platforms allow you to create referral campaigns that can be easily shared by your customers to their networks at the touch of a button. The benefit of a consistent, online customer referral platform will help you build your referrals quickly, efficiently and easily, and will deliver a high ROI.
- Promote Specials on Company Vans – Your company vans are traveling billboards. You don’t have to rewrap your vans when you change your advertising, but you can use areas on the van to promote your summer specials. One area that is effective is the rear windows. A simple, vinyl poster cling can be affixed to the rear windows and will give you continuous exposure as your techs travel around the community.
- Community Partnerships – Summer time is a great time to partner with local organizations that are actively engaging residents and businesses in your community. Take an active role in sponsoring Little League baseball teams, community events, street fairs, children’s summer activities, senior outings, Chamber of Commerce events and city-sponsored outdoor events. Many offer tabling opportunities that will allow you to hand out your summer discount coupons and promo items that customers can take home to keep your company top of mind when they need HVAC service.
CE knows how busy the late spring and summer season can be for HVAC/R contractors like yourself. We have spent the last few months preparing to make sure our stores are well stocked to meet all your repair and replacement needs. To make your purchases even more convenient, your techs can order everything they need online at www.carrierenterprise.com, and it will be ready for them to pick up at the store!
The trend toward developing products designed to assist homeowners and commercial building owners/managers in managing their energy use, use smart-enabled devices and improve safety in the process continues to dominate the HVAC industry in 2016. At the January 2016 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) manufacturers and vendors introduced new or upgraded products, systems and technologies that are intended to make it easier for technicians to provide excellent service, increase productivity and allow for building owners to maximize their HVAC system’s energy efficiency.
The solutions presented at the show comprised a wide variety of categories, from indoor air quality to software, and addressed the interests of contractors, engineers, wholesalers/distributors, facility managers and owners/operators. With the wide variety of products and new technologies, these innovations are expected to touch every corner of the HVAC/R industry.
Each year the annual AHR Expo Innovations awards honors the industry’s most innovative products, systems and technologies in the categories of building automation, cooling and heating systems, green building, indoor air quality, refrigeration, software, tools and instruments, plumbing and ventilation. A full list of the 2016 AHR Expo Innovation Awards Winners can be found here: http://www.ahrexpo.com/forvisitors/innovation_winners.php
As a leader in the HVAC/R industry, CE prides itself on its ability to stay abreast of current trends and attended the 2016 AHR Expo in Orlando with the intention of making sure that the procurement team visited the booths offering new products and technologies their contractors could use.
According to Douglas Mackemer, National Director – Parts, Supplies & Specialized, the 2016 show was full of new products and technologies that could benefit their contractors. He and his team spent lots of time meeting with manufacturers to get firsthand knowledge of their products and new technologies on the drawing board. “We were excited to have the AHR Expo 2016 in Orlando, CE’s corporate headquarters. Our team spent several days at the show and made a lot of great connections with companies in our industry to ensure we are on top of all the latest and greatest product innovations,” said Douglas Mackemer.
CE is currently reviewing the 2016 AHR Expo Innovation Award winning products for their relevance to their customers and will be looking to add these products as they see a demand. Currently, CE is carrying the following 2016 AHR Expo award-winning products in their stores.
Tools & Instruments – ZoomLock™ – Parker Hannifin – This is a braze-free pipe connection tool that allows a technician to join copper tubing in a variety of HVAC/R applications. The device uses a crimping technology without need for brazing, permitting or training. The ZoomLock™ braze-free fittings are the first crimp technology engineered for high-pressure refrigeration connects and are the first approved for applications up to 700 psi. Currently CE is offering ZoomLock™ in the Florida region. According to Mackemer, “the ZoomLock is really doing well with contractors in Florida – they like the fact that they can avoid using a flame inside a residence or commercial building when making repairs and the tool is helping them to do their jobs more safely and with less time needed to get permits.” See more about this item >>
Tools & Instruments – ABM-200 – AAB Smart Tools – The ABM-200 is designed to assist HVAC technicians in assessing the health of a system, safely and efficiently, by easily allowing the technician to measure and record a variety of data including Airflow Velocity, Airflow Volume
Dry Bulb Temperature, Wet Bulb Temperature, Relative Humidity, Feels Like Temp, Dew Point, Air Density, Wind Speed/Direction/Gusts, Indoor vs. Outdoor Conditions and Barometric Pressure.
The ABM-200 utilizes Bluetooth Smart technology to connect seamlessly and quickly to smartphones and tablets. It features a free app, which is complete with onscreen guidance on how to use the device to ensure accuracy. The app generates a personalized report that can be emailed immediately to the client or home office. The meter features a ruggedized housing with a ¼ inch-20 UNC fitting for mounting to various accessories, which allows for hands free operation. It also comes in an ergonomic carrying case that easily fits into a technician’s pocket or tool bag.
“We have been carrying products from AAB Smart Tools for over a year and they have been a big hit with the technicians. We were pleased to see that the ABM-200 wireless anemometer was recognized with an honorable mention at the expo. It offers the cool, tech factor at an affordable price and it is extremely accurate. It’s a great way to showcase how smart devices can improve a much needed technology in our industry,” said Douglas Mackemer. See more about this item >>
Plumbing – N-Series Waterless Trap – Des Champs Technologies – This device allows liquid condensate to drain from the HVAC equipment and simultaneously prevents air from entering or escaping from the equipment. The device operates in a horizontal position which allows the center line distance between the unit drain connection and the trap to be same or greater distance in inches as the negative pressure in inches of water column within the negative pressure plenum for which the AHU drain is connected.
Finding out more information about these trend-setting products is easy and convenient at CE. Our company is committed to staying abreast of all current HVAC/R product trends and spend a great deal of time researching and interviewing manufacturers to ensure we carry a wide portfolio of products that meet our standards for excellence. We perform testing on all types of products to ensure that they meet our specifications and deliver the results promised. To find out more about the variety of new products showcased at AHR Expo 2016, contact your account representative, visit your local CE distributor or visit our website at www.carrierenterprise.com.
Learn how to be an expert in the IoT landscape at a FREE webinar sponsored by HVAC News. As the desire for managing homes and commercial buildings from a smart-enabled device continues to grow, HVAC contractors will have more demands to integrate HVAC systems into the Internet of Things (IoT). This is a great opportunity for HVAC contractors to take a leading role in this technology, but it is also one that will require knowledge, planning and familiarity with a variety of new technologies, contractors, software, engineers, architects and building systems managers.
The trend in the HVAC/R business is to become your customer’s trusted advisor and the subject matter expert on all things HVAC/R. One of the best ways to do that is to provide your customers with helpful information that will give them more knowledge about how their HVAC systems work, empowering them to become active managers in their home or businesses’ HVAC systems. Since HVAC is the biggest user of energy in the home and business, you can assist your customers in saving energy and money by making sure they are doing everything they can to keep their systems running efficiently. Sharing tips for things your customers can do to get their system ready for the summer heat will go a long way toward making them loyal customers for years to come.
The popularity of smart thermostats continues to grow and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Manufacturers continue to design and manufacture more sophisticated models, and customers are now demanding that their HVAC contractor be knowledgeable about these devices. The AHR Expo 2016 in Orlando was a great place to learn about all the different models on the market so that you can make the best choice for your customers’ systems. Smart thermostats and the interest by customers in the Internet of Things (iOT) are great opportunities for HVAC contractors to be the subject matter experts that their customers turn to for all things “smart home.”
To learn more about the demand for Smart Thermostats, click here.
Tuesday’s Tip: Many installers often find right-sizing an HVAC system to be a difficult task. Here are some great tips to keep in mind when building a high performance system.
More Tips For Right-Sizing Your Commercial HVAC Systems are available here: http://ac-engs.com/blog/tips-for-right-sizing-your-commercial-hvac-systems/
Women are earning, spending, and influencing spending at a greater rate than ever before. In fact, women account for $7 trillion in consumer and business spending in the United States, and over the next decade, they will control two thirds of consumer wealth. Women make or influence 85% of all purchasing decisions, and purchase over 50% of traditionally male-dominated products, including automobiles, home improvement products and services and consumer electronics. As an HVAC business owner, you will need to make sure that you are marketing your business, products and services to women to ensure continued success. Here are some tips on how to market your HVAC business to women:
- Establish credibility & trust – Use of “real images” of women and families in your advertising goes a long way with women. Don’t make them look too “perfect.” And make sure you include women of all ages and ethnicities. Also, include brand names of products that you carry in your advertising to gain third party endorsement. Women often connect to brands and attach credibility and trust to brands that they are familiar with. This credibility and trust will be extended to your business so make sure that you can deliver on that with excellence in customer service from beginning to end.
- Show Respect. Women are frequently very aware that purchasing household improvement products/services has traditionally been a male dominated decision. However, that is not true any longer. To be successful with women, you should treat both your customer and their home with respect. Small details like covering your shoes when you enter their home can go a long way to gaining her trust. Also, when discussing details about the service or products, make sure you address her directly with eye contact and clear, concise answers to her questions.
- Enhance the Relationship. Show concern for problems and answer questions assuming that the customer may not know the jargon. This will give them peace of mind — they will feel comfortable with not only the products you are selling, but also having you in their home. Women want to know that the company they are dealing with is reputable and is well respected in the community and in the industry. Provide them with information about the company, the products you sell/install, the reason why you recommend those products over others and your personal experience with the products. Give them references of happy customers they can contact and make sure those customers are aware that they will be contacted. When advertising to women, use a variety of media to meet them where they are most comfortable. Invite them to become “raving fan” ambassadors by providing them ways to share their story with their social networks.
- Encourage Research – Women are often natural researchers. They want to gather information about any products they are looking to buy before making a decision. They will research online, look for product comparisons, third party industry reviews, and reviews/testimonials from customers who have purchased the product you are recommending. Provide your customers with websites, brochures, case studies, comparison charts, etc. so that they feel that you understand their need to have more information before they purchase. And allow them the time to review this information before making a buying decision. Women may take longer to purchase, but they will feel more confident about their decision and will share it with others, becoming a great word of mouth advertiser for your business.
- Engage Remotely – Women are very busy these days and always keep their phones handy in case they are needed. Make sure your marketing tactics include mobile channels, such as social media, email, advertising, text messages, online coupons, etc. so that when they need to make a quick decision about an HVAC service, you are top of mind to them and easy to find. Also make sure that your business is properly placed on Google and review sites such as Yelp or others. Women often look to reviews to help them make a decision about whether or not to do business with you. Don’t lose their business because you are not paying attention to customer reviews.
- Tell the Truth – Don’t Hard Sell – Telling the truth is the most important ingredient. Don’t try to sugarcoat a problem or provide inaccurate information. As stated earlier, women will frequently want to do research before making a big ticket decision and they will discover the truth about a product or your business on their own. Also avoid hard sell tactics, as customers may shut you down and refuse to interact with you. Don’t get caught in that trap. When you see that you have made your customer uncomfortable, pull back and re-establish your position as a trusted advisor and offer your customer time to think about the decision and make a follow up appointment with her.
CE understands the importance of relating to women in your HVAC business. We carry a wide line of products from a variety of top name brands to help you meet all your customers’ needs. Should you need additional research or assistance in ensuring your customers they are selecting the right HVAC product, please reach out to your CE Territory Manager. We can help you put together a marketing package for you to share with your customers so that they feel comfortable with making a purchase decision.
Have you ever felt you were speaking to a toddler as customers drifted off in the middle of your conversation. Do you have trouble conveying an online marketing message because what you’re saying simply does not catch the attention of your prospect? Take heart. The problem may not be what you’re saying, rather your approach. Customers have shorter attention spans than ever before according to Inc. Magazine. Their suggestion: “To capture attention, use a combination of personalization and interactive micro-content. Personalization makes the experience relevant, and interactivity helps keep them on the site.”
Read more about How Marketers are Dealing with Short Attention Spans here: http://www.inc.com/jonathan-lacoste/how-marketers-are-dealing-with-short-attention-spans.html
As a contractor, it is important to know what rebates are available to both residential and commercial customers. This will allow you to act more as a consultant and less like a “sales rep”. Help your customer compare products, understand which rebates are available to them, and walk them through the submission process to insure they actually get their credit. This type of first class service encourages referrals and repeat business.
Find rebates in your state at http://www.dsireusa.org.