It’s the end of August an in many parts of the country, people are turning their furnaces on for the first time in some months. The evenings are cooler and there’s sometimes a chill in the house when you crawl out of bed in the morning. Your AC sales are dying down and it’s time to start thinking about what you can do to increase your furnace installs throughout the fall and coming winter.

Don’t Be Like Most HVAC companies and pray for a cold winter!

Most HVAC companies are awful at marketing furnace replacements. In fact, a lot of companies start praying for a super cold winter that begins shortly after the first hard frost in the autumn. Everyone knows that old furnaces conk out during periods of heavy use and that’s where you get some of your installs – no heat calls.

But what if it’s a mild winter? You can’t grow your business by praying to the weather gods for the Siberian Express to roll into town and stick around for four or five months. You need to think outside of the box.

Most HVAC companies simply advertise a cheap price and hope for the best!

This is where the race to the bottom begins because HVAC companies always make it about the price. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes – if everyone is offering a cheap price then the only thing that matters is getting the cheapest price possible. What most business owners don’t realize is that TIME matters more to people than price. How soon can you get to their house? Do you offer 60 minute service? If not, why not? People will pay a premium to go to the front of the line. That’s why airlines have business class – you get a higher level of service, you get on the plane first and you’re first off when it lands at the airport. You see, if you advertise that you offer express service, those folks with no heat are going to pay more money to have you get their within an hour and that means more calls for you and more opportunity for replacement.

Market a FREE safety inspection for furnace that are 12 years or older!

Market this as an offer and make it time sensitive, as in, “offer ends on September 3oth – make sure your furnace won’t fail you this winter!” Train your call takers to ensure they are asking for the age of the equipment up front when they are booking calls. This is what is known as a loss leader, but it will get you into the house and you know that you’re going to find lots of repair and replacement opportunities on older equipment because the vast majority of homeowners don’t maintain their furnaces.

Dispatch for Dollars – Your Technicians are your BEST lead generators!

Train your call takers to use a dispatch priority list and provide the fastest service to homes with furnaces that are 12 years or older. Train your technicians to do a repair versus replace comparison at the customer’s home. Don’t know how? We’ll train your team on how to do it either in person or via webinar. This must happen every call because that is how you create leads the cheapest way possible and the most effective way possible. Make sure you reward your techs with a $50 spiff for the lead and a $100 spiff if it sells.

You need to be tracking your lead sources:

Most HVAC companies don’t track their lead sources so they don’t know where their advertising dollar is being spent to garner the strongest results. And it’s not hard to start tracking leads – just train your call taker to ask a simple question with each call for service and have them track it. Tracking doesn’t even have to be a difficult process – a sheet of paper will do.  They just need to ask, “how did you hear about us today?” You can start doing this IMMEDIATELY and within a week you’re going to start to notice trends.

Take a look in the mirror:

It’s hard to change. Human beings hate change. It’s just so much easier to do what you’re doing and have marginal growth because there’s no thinking involved when you base your furnace sales strategy on the possibility of an insanely cold winter. Do you want to grow your business or not? What are you prepared to do differently? Are you even prepared to accept that change is possible?

Quick Math:

If adopting any one of the strategies in this post helped you generate just three more installs a week, well that’s twelve more a month. And if you’re priced right (think around $6000 for an install) then you’re going to make more money, it’s as simple as that. You’ll still make more money if you’re the cheapest guy in town but you won’t come anywhere close to what you can generate if you are priced right!

12 installs X $6000 = $72,000 

$72,000 X 6 months (Oct – March) = $432,000

So there you have it – some strategies to help you keep from hoping the weather gods bless you arctic temperatures. You can’t rely on the weather – just as a farmer. You can’t rely on the cheapest price. You have to be different and better. You need to train your techs to set those leads and you need to train your call takers to track the lead sources and ensure they are booking the oldest equipment as the highest priority.

It’s not hard to grow your business, you just have to be willing to work smarter, not harder.