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Holiday Sales Aren't Just for Wal-Mart

November 8, 2010
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Angela D. Harris

Halloween has passed, Thanksgiving is on the horizon, and midterm elections have shaken up the political playing field. What is an HVACR contractor to do? Have a sale.

Retail managers across the nation are gearing up for Black Friday; but the day after Thanksgiving is not as ominous as it sounds. In fact, many consider it the biggest shopping day of the year and companies credit Black Friday with taking their revenues from the red zone into the black.

Admittedly, the HVACR industry does not operate in the retail realm, but this year of economic ups and downs could warrant a change in marketing tactics that could bring in new revenue, new customers, and repeat business.

WARM FOR THE HOLIDAYS

The holidays are a good time to provide discounts or deals on tune ups, duct cleanings, regular maintenance necessities, new equipment, installations, etc. With all the relatives coming over in the next couple of months, remind customers that spending the time and money to have their system inspected and ready for optimal performance will not only save them money, but the convenience of having these checks on their schedule will save them time and could save them from a ruined Thanksgiving.

GIVE THE GIFT OF IAQ

Another sales tactic contractors could consider is selling IAQ upgrades to existing systems. Create a special Christmas Clean Air package. Selling baseline, discounted packages is a common Christmas sales tactic for bigger ticket items.

Drum sets are a good example of this. The hardware, stands, and cymbals are normally all sold separately, but every Christmas, most music stores put together a base beginner package that includes the whole set up. It isn’t the highest quality equipment, but someone who is just learning doesn’t want to invest hundreds and hundreds of dollars just to start playing. Once that beginner gets playing those basic drums, however, they often decide that drumming is for them and dedicate their time and money to practicing and upgrading their set. They continuously return to that music store as they purchase higher end drum sets, accessories, and drumsticks. And when the drummer gets the itch to play a guitar, guess which music store they are going to go to and purchase their first six string?

Get your customers introduced to IAQ with a basic, quality package and see if down the road a bit they don’t start coming to you for a better IAQ setup. And since the customer enjoyed their IAQ upgrade experiences with your establishment, when it is time to purchase a new system or repairs are needed, you are now the go to contractor in their mind.

CHRISTMAS DELIVERY GUARANTEED

The most important thing that contractors should remember as they market their holiday sales is to deliver on what is promised. Base products, bargain packages, and convenient repair times are all attractive in their own right. If contractors try to make them seem more than they are, instead of feeling satisfied and ready to purchase again, customers have a tendency to feel cheated. You can’t afford the word-of-mouth damage that could be done to your business by a botched perception of your company, its practices, or its services. Imagine a houseful of Thanksgiving guests from all over the local area, eating turkey and listening as your customer regales them with the horror story of the undelivered promises made by your company, its services, and its products. Now multiply it by the 20 households you offered the same spiel and holiday deal. The damage moves past 21 households into an exponential nightmare.

This season, consider each holiday an opportunity to offer a new product or service gift to your existing and new customers. Be creative, try new things, and be sure that the contents of the package match the flashy bow stuck on top.

Publication date: 11/08/2010
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