Passion. It’s hard to explain, but easy to identify. I’ve seen it quite frequently while traveling to industry association meetings this fall, and let me tell you, it was quite inspiring.

First, it was very evident at the Building Performance Forum put on by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) and sponsored by The NEWS. Those involved in building- and home-performance contracting exude excitement when talking about the product. It is an entirely different way to approach the HVAC industry and people are having great success with it. We have been hearing that this is the next big thing in HVAC for over a year, and, I must admit, in the beginning I was somewhat skeptical. But, when talking with people such as Rob Minnick of Minnick’s Inc. or Adam Gloss of Bel Red Energy Solutions, and hearing about the success they are having, I’m beginning to believe that this is a great way to make money. The passion with which the contractors at this forum talked about home-performance contracting showed how much they believe in this segment. And, the responses they’ve received from consumers after they’ve beeneducated about whole-home performance, has to make it satisfying to go to work every day.

Passion about their area of expertise was also on display at the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association’s (IGSHPA’s) technical conference and expo. Jack Henrich, IGSHPA advisory council chair, proclaimed that the technology “is not green, but rather gold,” and that its “time is now.” This conference welcomed a lot of people who got in on the ground floor of the technology (pun intended) and you could tell by their enthusiasm that they were just as excited as they were when they first were introduced to geothermal. Some people were passionate because they feel they are helping save the planet with this energy-efficient technology while others enjoyed making people’s homes comfortable. Either way, you can be sure this passion comes through during the kitchen-table sales process or board room meeting.

Pick a Passion

So that begs the question, which HVAC technology are you passionate about? I hope the answer is not “none of the above.” And, if the answer is, “all of them,” it might as well be none. It makes good sense to look over the HVAC landscape and make an educated decision on where you think the industry is going. I, obviously, do not have the answer. In fact, nobody knows for sure. I have had smart people identify geothermal, ductless, and a plethora of other technologies as the “future of the industry.” You have to decide what is right for your company and your market. I would suggest you do the proper research to find out what will work best for your company, customers, and region.

Once you have figured that out, congratulations, you now have your HVAC passion. And there is a big upside to passion — it is contagious. How much better is a work environment where the leader truly believes in the product? I am sure we have all worked for companies in the past where this is not the case. Is there anything more demoralizing than a workplace where not even the owner believes in what they are peddling? That is a great way to find your company on “Dateline NBC.” When you do not believe that your technology or service provides a great value to the customer, it is really easy to start cutting corners on behalf of a quick buck.

In fact, bringing top management in on the discussions of what technology/business direction the company should embrace is a good idea. You obviously do not want the inmates running the asylum, but getting key people involved in the decision-making process will go a long way to making the buy-in process easier down the road.

Happy hunting, and I hope to see your passionate belief in the market the next time I hit the road.

Publication date: 11/11/2013 

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