To help service technicians with lead generation, I make it a habit of riding along with them on heating service calls in the winter, plumbing service calls all year long, and air-conditioning calls in the summer. My service technicians have become experts in the fine art of replacement lead generation when dealing with heating or air-conditioning issues. Generating leads on plumbing service calls are a little more challenging.

After snaking out a kitchen drain or replacing a bathroom faucet, transitioning into a conversation about a furnace or air-conditioning system can be difficult. It’s a difficult conversation to start, but it is necessary. It’s critical to your business to cross-promote your services whenever possible, and to not just rely on hand-out marketing materials and sticker postings on furnaces and air-conditioners.

To generate more leads, I’ve learned to take things one step further. I will show up at the home while my service technician is there doing a plumbing call.

Here’s a scenario: John the service technician is on a plumbing service call. I show up and say:“I’m Mike, I wanted to stop in while John was here fixing your toilet and say hello. One of the services we offer our customers is a no charge evaluation of your heating and air-conditioning system. We look at age, condition and approximate efficiency rating. We can give you a plan for the future. You’ll know if and when you should upgrade your system with higher efficiency and newer equipment. I can do that while John is finishing up if you’d like?”

At that point, I’ve either planted a seed or generated a lead for replacement.

The best time to have your replacement specialists generate leads is in the slower months, like March and April. I have found that 10 no-charge evaluations per-week, per-person will lead to 1 much needed additional installation per-week. For the 9 that don’t close right away, that’s 9 seeds planted for future replacement work.

Michael O'Grady is the author of the new book, “Selling at the Kitchen Table: A Contractor’s Guide to Closing the Deal”. He offers sales training seminars, private coaching sessions and products for sales professionals, managers, contractors and business owners.