A maintenance agreement program is one of the greatest moneymakers out there. Just think - each service customer gets an irresistible offer containing benefits that far outweigh the investment. Customers save money, save time, gain convenience, elevate their service status with you, gain discounts on future replacements, and are assured greater peace of mind. You get predictable cash flow with a steady stream of business during the slow times from people who become your very loyal customers.

Big warning: You can't effectively do one-step marketing for maintenance agreements (many have failed here, including us), but, fortunately, the two-step method is simple, straightforward, and has proven immensely successful.

You start marketing for agreements through an aggressive tuneup campaign.

For instance, make an incredible tuneup offer to your most likely group about 21 days before your lowest call traffic days in the off-season. One in 24 will need an equipment quote, so that's one moneymaker. Plus, the closing ratio is much higher than that for other lead sources (68 percent vs. 30 percent). At the conclusion of each tuneup, offer your irresistible maintenance agreement and close the deal.

You'll add even more maintenance agreements during the busy season. That's because you're running more service calls, and every call gets your maintenance agreement offer.

These customers turn into a renewing profit stream each season. They also refer more business. A maintenance agreement customer is basically a replacement sale waiting to happen. Yes, a maintenance agreement program is a nearly perfect HVAC marketing and sales system.

Media Watch

October is a big month for IAQ offers and a continuation of tuneup, preventive maintenance, and maintenance agreement sales.

Newspapers: Continue direct response service ad or insert. Warmer areas have ended direct response air conditioner replacement offers. Cooler climates are gearing up for preseason furnace offers in newspapers.

Newsletters: Those in warmer climates can send fall issues in October. If you didn't do it in September, you're almost too late.

Direct mail letters: Tuneup letters should still be pulling. Target replacement letters for either deferred payments or monthly payments.

Postcards: Direct response service postcards for preventive maintenance or tuneups should be in full swing.

Radio: Only use radio now to support your mail or newspaper offers.

On-hold messages: Messages should still be pushing preventive maintenance.

Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink ("Creative Marketing that Works"). For more information, call 800-489-9099 or visit www.hudsonink.com.

Publication date: 09/27/2004