Eat Fresh. Just Do It. I’m Loving It.

These words elicit an immediate connection to some of America’s most recognizable brands.

As an HVAC contracting company, what one-sentence slogan best represents your business? What are you most known for?

Top Ten Traits

I recently covered the Mechanical Contractors Association of America’s (MCAA’s) annual conference in Maui, Hawaii, on behalf of The NEWS, where I had the pleasure of sitting in on several informative breakout sessions.

One presenter, David Avrin, left a lasting impression. Avrin, who’s championed himself “The Visibility Coach,” told attendees: “It’s not who you know, but who knows you.”

To be known, you must offer something recognizable, memorable, and, perhaps most importantly, something valuable.

Mind share becomes market share. You have to find a way to become known amongst a sea of competitors. So, the $1 million question is, how can your company earn more mind share?

It’s easier than you think, Avrin revealed. “To what question are you the answer?” It’s as easy as that.

To quantify this, Avrin encouraged attendees to brainstorm and list their company’s top 10 characteristics.

And, if I may, I’m going to do the same to you. Grab a piece of paper and list 10 claims you’d use to sell me over coffee. Now, I don’t want a list of qualifications — those are assumed. And, save the slogans, taglines, and catchy jingles — I want specific examples. Avoid words like passion — everyone has passion. Don’t tell me you hire the best guys, because no one’s ever going to say they hire mediocre mechanics.

What gives your crew the greatest competitive advantage? Ready, set, sell.

Quantify Your Results

If I were to make a list on behalf of the ACHR NEWS, I’d include pointers such as: We’re the only weekly news magazine dedicated to HVAC contractors, we’re the only HVAC publication with a paid circulation, and recent audits confirm a circulation of 33,812 paying subscribers.

As a contracting company, you should consider your safety record. Creatively let your customers know you completed 622 service calls last year with only one hospital trip. Quantify that as a percentage (1 out of 622 equals less than 0.1 percent). Explain your money-back guarantee and stress that, even though it exists, you’ve only had to replace one unit in the last 500 installations. Again, compute that to a percentage, and let customers know their next child has a better chance of being born with an extra finger or toe (1 in 500) than having to replace their new HVAC system.

The Final Tally

Now that you’ve created your list, challenge your staff to do the same. Compare and contrast the results. What common denominators did you uncover?

And, now that you’ve identified your true value as a team, it’s time to share these selling points with your customers. Laminate a comprehensive Top 10 list and post it near every phone in the building. Require each staff member to mention at least one of these traits every time he or she picks up the phone. The more times your staff repeats these words, the more confident they become in your mission, which, in turn, is building your reputation and brand.

While you have zero control over what your competitors say or do, you have total control over what you say and do. Make sure your staff is relaying the most convincing message it can.

Publication date: 4/20/2015

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