A good HVAC contractor knows quality is much more important than quantity in the long run.

And hopefully, so do your customers.

That’s why you shouldn’t let the threat of rumors distract you from what you do best — selling and installing great HVACR products.

Recently I was writing a story about HVAC contractors that sponsor sports teams (and there are more than I thought!), whether it be the local NFL team or the little-league baseball team down the road, I uncovered some industry gossip: Some contractors might be using the fact that you have high-profile sponsorships against you.

“I think it can actually work against you. The one drawback we saw with being with the (Buffalo) Bills, was, it is expensive, and people know that,” said Ray Isaac, president, Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, Rochester, N.Y. “So what do they associate that with? High price and overhead. Somebody’s paying for that commercial, and it can work against you.”

Is Isaac on to something? Can such high-profile advertising work against you? Absolutely, yes it can. Should you let that bother you? Absolutely not.

If you are providing a superior product, smart customers will have no problem paying for it. I’ll use myself as an example. Yes, I know I could go get a big, giant Windows laptop for $300 these days. Chances are, it’ll somehow get bogged down and eventually break within two years because it was put together so shoddily. That’s why I have no problem ponying up the extra $1,000 to buy an Apple laptop. And you know what, Apple hasn’t let me down yet. I bought my first Apple laptop in 2004, and it lasted until 2010, when I bought another one, which is running fantastic. It’s the same reason I have an iPad as opposed to some $150 tablet. I will go the extra mile and pay the extra buck for quality.

Tim Cropp, vice president, sales, CroppMetcalfe Inc., Fairfax, Va., said he hasn’t directly heard of others in his area using his high-profile Washington Redskins and Washington Nationals sponsorships against him, though he’s not going to let the rumors of higher prices from competitors stop him from doing what he thinks is best for his company.

“It would not surprise me if some people think that, and I’m sure some do. I think that goes along with any large company — that they’re going to be higher priced because they do so much marketing and advertising,” Cropp said.

“But I don’t know if that’s the right customer for me, the one who’s looking for the least-cost option. We use (sponsorships) to build value, and we have a good reputation. I’m sure it’s there, but I’m not concerned with it. There’s far too many positives that come out of this.”

At the professional level, sponsorships definitely take time and take a good chunk of change, but can certainly elevate a company to a “major league” standing. If you provide top-notch service, boast a top-notch reputation, and maintain top-of-mind awareness, a big-time sports sponsorship can spotlight your business to a wide number of prospective customers.

Like many boxing managers say, “My client doesn’t fight for free.” Neither should you.

At the end of the day, doing what’s most important for your company is the No. 1 priority. If you provide quality, dependable, reliable service, most consumers will be willing to spend a few extra pennies on the dollar.

Publication date: 9/2/2013

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