I never wanted an iPhone.

In fact, during a conversation with my brother-in-law a few years back, I swore I’d never purchase one of the trendy, hip devices.

Less than three years later, I walked out of the local cellphone store with an iPhone.

I’m not sure exactly how it happened. It may have been the saleswoman’s superior sales tactics; the fact that my existing phone was unable to hold a charge; the iPhone’s apps, shortcuts, and gadgets; or the fact that Siri actually laughed at my jokes. Despite the device’s enormous price tag, once shown the bells and whistles, I cracked.


Few people (my wife a glaring exception) like to excessively spend money. This especially holds true when it comes to out-of-sight, out-of-mind appliances, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and, yes, furnaces and air conditioners.

“What’s your entry-level equipment and bottom-line price?” You’ve certainly heard this once or twice.

And, selling HVAC is not an easy task. Customers have no clue what an 80 percenter is, they’re blind to the difference between 13- and 14-SEER equipment, they have no idea what a variable-speed blower motor is, and they’ve likely only ever seen the letters HSPF together in a bowl of alphabet soup. To complicate matters more, they can’t walk into the local Best Buy and compare models side by side, and Amazon.com ratings are nonexistent on 92 percent furnaces.

When it comes to this purchase, you’re the source for information. Thus, if you fail to educate customers on the latest and greatest, they’ll never know those options exist.

They don’t want an iPhone because they feel like they don’t need an iPhone.


In many instances, customers are calling due to an abrupt interruption in their comfort. Their top priority is to fix the issue as quickly as possible. Thus, your presentation must be spot on.

Use analogies, such as comparing variable-speed performance to a car’s gas-pedal. Make technical data easy for a customer to relate to. Stress the environmental benefits of geothermal and solar-powered comfort. Explain how a new unit may be paired with a new, flashy intelligent thermostat.

Clarify the advantages of UV-C to those with allergies. In need of fresh air, explain how an energy recovery ventilator works. Is the environment too humid, offer a whole-house dehumidifier; not humid enough, recommend a humidifier. Identify problems and offer solutions. Never limit a consumer’s decision-making options, regardless how many times they respond with a no. Reiterate you want to make sure they’re making the decision that’s best for them.

Recommend those add-ons now, while you’re in the home, while they have the checkbook out. If you offer financing, encourage them to roll all expenses into a low-interest monthly payment plan. Most consumers will be willing to tack on a few extra bucks per month if the return on investment is evident.


Your primary role as a salesman is to offer options to fix the problem – not sell items simply to sell.

Close the conversation with a brief rundown of why your company is the best of the best. Mention your online ordering option, the mobile app, your energetic Facebook page, that great track record on Yelp, your active chamber of commerce membership, North American Technician Excellence [NATE] certification, etc.

Sealing the deal is a very important aspect of HVAC contracting. If you’re in search of a few additional pointers, turn to some of the experts who appear regularly in this magazine, such as Adams Hudson, Mike Agugliaro, Steve Schmidt, Butch Welsch, and others. Organizations, such as Nexstar, HVAC Sales Academy, The Unified Group, ACCA, and others are always available to steer you in the right direction, as well.

Be the best, otherwise your competitor is going to scoop in and take what’s yours. Are you up to the challenge?

Publication date: 9/28/2015

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