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.