WAIKOLOA, HI — The Internet is the digital frontier full of dot-coms that exploded onto the scene with millions of venture capital dollars backing them. You’ve heard the names before: yahoo.com, amazon.com, iwon.com, mapquest.com, and many others. These companies are all part of the e-commerce revolution that is collectively making billions of dollars over the World Wide Web.

How can today’s hvac contractor be a part of this e-revolution? David Holt, president of Ultimate Service Systems, Inc., gave his opinions at his SMACNA presentation, “Technology 2000 for the Residential Contractor.”

“As the Internet continues to change the way businesses operate, hvac contractors need to consider the importance their customers place on obtaining information online,” he said. “More and more consumers are doing their homework on the web before making a selection of contracting services. It may be difficult to actually close a sale for a 3-ton split gas-electric system over the Internet, but it isn’t too hard to make your company stand out as a professional organization by investing in a good website.

“Think of it as an electronic company brochure.”

In the eyes of Holt, in order to sell equipment, you have to sell the appointment and one of the best ways to sell the appointment is through the Internet.

“Using the web, you can supply much more information about your company, your products, and your services than you could possibly afford to do through newspaper, television, radio, or direct mail,” he said. “You can make your prospective client much more comfortable with your company by incorporating pictures of your people, your jobs, and testimonials from happy customers. You can begin to build a great long-term relationship through an effective website, even before your sales or service representatives get to the front door.

Once your “electronic brochure” is up and running, the entire community must be made aware of your website address — “your www.companycame.com,” said Holt.

“Put it on your trucks, your letterhead, your business cards, your invoices, your statements, your billboards, your TV ads, your radio ads, your commercials on hold, your Yellow Pages ads, your job signs, your brochures, your newsletters, everywhere,” said Holt. “Send out press releases to local newspapers. You can’t simply rely on search engines to help consumers find you. You have to let them know where you are located.”

For more information, contact Holt at 706-561-9817; david@ultimate-service.net.

Publication date: 10/30/2000