Designing a product line on a common framework, then building multiple models off of that framework is a way to take cost out of manufacturing and run a lean enterprise. You can turn a product into a simple commodity and can produce many thousands more cheaply.

So a commodity approach for manufacturing is good. On the other hand, a commodity approach for marketing is bad. If the consumer views your product as a commodity, then all you are doing is selling boxes. Your product is just the same as anybody else’s product, and the consumer buys on price alone.

Even if the other guy’s price is just $5 less than your price, why shouldn’t the consumer keep that $5 in his pocket rather than give it to you?

The key is to differentiate yourself. How are you different than your competitors? How are you better?

Customers want products and services tailored for their exact needs. They don’t want a product or service that’s just as good as XYZ Company. They want a product or service that’s better than XYZ Company. They want value.

SELL VALUE, SELL SATISFACTION

If you sell value, you can sell a box that actually is just like the other guy’s. But the service and support that accompanies that box makes it a better deal.

The customer has a problem. You need to convince them that you provide a precise solution to that problem through a product, service, and support aimed to fulfill all of their needs.

Regarding your service capabilities, sell the decades of combined experience that your staff offers. Sell the certifications that you and your technicians hold — North American Technician Excellence (NATE) or HVAC Excellence or RSES or Building Performance Institute (BPI) — to demonstrate your expertise. Emphasize the care you take on every job, always wearing booties, always cleaning up after yourself.

Regarding your support, sell your courteous and diligent customer service representatives who will listen and dispatch a quality technician during the time frame wanted. Note that your techs will be on time and that they’ll call when they’re on their way. Highlight that you’ll call after the service or installation to make sure everything has been done to their satisfaction.

Always differentiate your company in every way possible to show that you go beyond any Average Joe HVAC competition — way beyond Average Joe HVAC — to provide the exact product needed with the best available service and support.

Publication date: 12/5/2016

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