Your brand is the most important asset you have, so whenever you are promoting your company, make sure you use consistency in graphic style, color, message and look/feel. Your customers make decisions about the credibility of your company when they see your trucks, invoices, website, advertising and technicians in the field. Don’t let your brand communications tell the wrong story.
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!
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.
TUESDAY’S TIP: Marketing is an important aspect of growing any business. Regardless of what industry you’re in, a message needs to be communicated multiple times before it begins to resonate. HVAC companies who are actively marketing through email or direct mail campaigns must remember to REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT! Once is simply not enough. Research shows that consumers must hear or see a message seven times before it sticks. So if you’ve mailed only one post card and wonder why the phone is not ringing it may be time to send a follow-up letter. Decision makers are only human. They may have missed the first mailer or simply need a reminder. Help customers do business with you by putting your marketing on repeat.