The following remarks were made regarding the guest column “A Jack of All Trades is Likely a Master of None” written by Butch Welsch, published May 17, 2017.


Stop Racing to the Bottom

The NEWS does an excellent job of featuring the idea that the more successful HVAC contractors are the ones that narrow their businesses and increase their expertise in select segments of the business. They get really good at doing a few things well, and their business prospers as a result. These contractors also seem to focus on profit over product lines and businesses; they want to stay in business for the long run. But in our market, it seems that as the big get bigger, they are stretching their service offerings in an effort to capture market share of any kind, not just HVAC. When HVAC companies are offering promotions on ceiling fan installations, it’s no wonder the average homeowner is beginning to think of HVAC work as simple handyman or DIY skills level and value. I used to train salespeople to think in terms of offering the customer a “two out of three” when making a purchase: price, quality, or service — you can have two out of the three. What will it be for you?

The industry complains that homeowners don’t appreciate the value a quality HVAC contractor offers to them. Why would they think any different with this “race to the bottom” strategy of low prices and we’ll do any kind of work you would or could do yourself? It doesn’t help when someone like The Home Depot puts up a sign offering a/c tuneups for $29.00. The industry is shooting themselves in the foot if they don’t start raising the bar on value. Before you know it, we’ll be like the airline industry with low fares and nothing but add-on fees to stay in business.

Peter J. Kusterer
IAQ Specialist, President
Air Comfort For Homes, Raleigh, N.C.


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Publication date: 9/24/2018

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