Everybody in the world knows about 12-month guarantees because everybody in the world offers them. They are nice, but boring.

Nice is one of those four-letter words that conjure up other words like “okay” and “satisfactory.” In a time when you have to be creative as hell to get someone to pay attention to you, it is time to stop being satisfied with nice.

Be different from your competition by offering a 13-month warranty on products and services, or a 25-month, or a 37-month. You get the picture.

Do something different, like the contactor I met once that advertised “23-Hour” service on his vans. It was very eye-catching. I asked him what he did in the 24th hour and he replied, “Travel time.” Or was it “sleep?” Anyway, I doubt that adding an extra month to a warranty would add a lot of expense, unless a lot of customers’ equipment breaks down in the 13th month. I think the interest generated in the quirky guarantee would result in more sales and far outweigh any additional costs. Maybe you could tack on a catchy phrase like, “Yes, 13 IS a lucky number.”

And don’t just limit it to attracting new customers. Go through your renewal files for service agreement customers or people whose normal warranty is about to expire and send them a card for an “automatic 13-month renewal.” Use that theme in everything you do and get rid of the “nice” 12-month promises.

What’s that you said? The men in white jackets are at my front door? Tell them to wait. I am working on other ways to help HVACR businesses become more profitable. Besides, I don’t like white jackets.