Field technicians train on equipment, safety and protocol. But ultimately, once on the job, they’re also faced with becoming sales professionals that need to know how to sell HVAC services face-to-face.
Even after building a rapport with existing customers, it’s still difficult to approach potential customers in the area with a cold sales pitch. That’s why we’re giving tips and tricks for field techs wanting to improve their cold-calling skills.
After reading this, you’ll learn:
- The philosophy of approaching neighbors with offers of service.
- When to press, when to praise, and when to just say hello.
- The four-c’s to use as checkpoints in nurturing the relationship of neighboring homeowners.
- A downloadable talk-track to help guide field techs on navigating common scenarios.
Face-to-face outreach is scary. Let’s get that out in the open.
Balance expectations for field techs to successfully cold-call with the reality of limited face-to-face conversions. As an HVAC business owner, or team manager, it helps to decrease the emphasis of securing business and free up technicians to be more human in their interactions.
Let’s not forget, cold-calling has a history of pushy sales and over-the-top presentations.
No one likes solicitors knocking on their door. Approach a potential customer to build a relationship first, which can turn into a sale later.
And while we refer to this technique as cold-calling, there is still some amount of preparation you can perform before sending your techs out into the wild.
Identify In-Demand Services
Identify services most in demand within the service area where you’re looking to expand your customer-base.
If you use FieldEdge, you’ll have a wealth of information at your fingertips. Use this to help devise your approach. Sift through previous work, recent customer notes and additional information found within your FieldEdge database for the area you’re looking to expand your customer footprint.
You’ll be able to reference your existing customer profiles, since you’ll likely be performing what’s called five-arounds as the method of reaching out to these potential customers.
Five arounds are, quite simply, the five neighboring locations around your existing customer. The three residences across the street and the residences on either side of your customer make up the five around that you’ll have your field team focus on during these points of contact.
So, if you’ve identified common pain points, or specific services that become in-demand during certain seasons or points in the year, this info becomes quite valuable.
You can use this to help inform your initial point of contact with a potential customer during a cold-call interaction.
These talking points, which we’ll dive deeper into in the downloadable talk-track template, are your ticket to warming up a neighboring homeowner to your services.
Some examples of topics to mention during introductions:
- Changing seasons and preparation for warmer or colder weather
- Basic servicing of hardware, gauging interest, awareness and need
- Noting the care the homeowner takes in their front yard landscaping, segueing into HVAC maintenance
- Leading with a nod to the neighboring residence that you already serve. Asking if they’ve discussed home maintenance schedules or techniques
When starting to build out a process for your team, it’s always best to start broad. Most field techs aren’t going to be interested in memorizing a script, or becoming natural at delivering canned speeches.
This is where these buckets of conversation-starters are most useful. Allow your team to pick and choose the right topic in the moment. And as the old adage goes, listen, don’t just wait to speak.
Keep the Conversation Going
Homeowners are significantly invested in their property, if not even outwardly prideful.
It’s easy for the interaction to turn sour if your team begins a thoughtless approach with a homeowner about improvements or noticeable issues.
Without knowing the person, comments like this can easily get taken the wrong way. And even knowing how to sell HVAC becomes quite difficult when every syllable could lead to a slammed door.
In turn, if you’ve built a relationship with a neighboring property, that’s a painful lost opportunity.
This is where patience comes in handy, and helping field techs feel comfortable shifting strategies on the fly.
One neighbor may respond favorably to an immediate pitch for assistance. Something could be wonky in their system needing attention right away.
Another neighbor may respond better to a praise filled approach that isn’t immediately pitching a service.
There really is no way in knowing how a stranger will respond to a cold sales pitch. This is why approaching with a human-first mindset is the best rule of thumb in these situations.
Download our talk-track guide to teach your team how to navigate common conversational situations and objections!
How to Sell HVAC with The Four-C Approach
Let’s take the pressure off pitching immediate sales, and warm up the concept of cold-calling by introducing these four checkpoints to securing new business:
Each of these four checkpoints can be used to gauge the progress in turning a neighboring property into a loyal customer.
These don’t all need to be reached in one interaction. In fact, not every visit needs to hit a checkpoint. But these are the order you’ll find most effective.
Let’s break down each checkpoint, and what they look like in real-life interactions:
We don’t mean direct contact here. Since you’ll have a presence in the area, you’re already making contact.
There’s a concept called the mere-exposure effect, where the presence of your service vehicle nearby creates a familiarity in the minds of those that see it repeatedly.
Your line of business benefits from being able to park a mobile billboard in an area (your trucks!). All the more reason to create a unique van wrap for your service vehicles.
So, once you regularly service an area, feel free to check this first point of contact off the list for all surrounding properties. Congratulations, you’re well on your way to securing new business!
The second checkpoint on your process of gaining new business is the focused attempt at connecting with a neighboring property’s homeowner.
But, take note – this is not necessarily where you’ll convince this person to call on you for your services.
Truly understanding and allowing this moment of connection to be driven as a human event, not a business transaction will liberate your field team from the pressure to convert during this instance.
Now, it should be said that these checkpoints could cascade from one to the next naturally. You could find yourself with a neighbor seeking you out on the job for work needing to be done that day.
These checkpoints are meant to create a calmer approach from the sales side. Also, an easy way to help your field team feel effective before securing new business.
You have to plant the seed before you harvest the fruit. And that tree needs to grow in the minds of those you’ve connected with.
Whatever seed you plant now has a chance to convince this potential customer in the benefits of doing business with you.
This checkpoint might happen behind the scenes, away from view, or it may crest this potential customer’s awareness as you converse.
Either way, you’re not going to convert a potential customer into a new customer until they themselves are convinced they need your services.
Welcome to the endgame of the cold-calling four-c’s.
At this point, converting a convinced potential customer into a new customer is the easiest checkpoint of all.
They’re convinced your services are a fit for them, it fulfills their needs and your presence in their area makes choosing you a no-brainer.
Now it’s all about finding the right services for them. Maybe this is a seasonal tune-up, maybe it’s a full fledged service maintenance agreement.
Since the sales pressure has been distributed across these four checkpoints, you’re able to focus on providing a personalized service recommendation in the moment that fits this individual homeowner’s need.
And just like that, you’ve found yourself with fresh business and a potentially dedicated new customer!
The Best Field Service Software Makes This Process Even Easier
Give your field team the mobile field service app that makes onsite sales even easier.
With FieldEdge’s mobile CRM, your entire team gains anywhere access to:
- Price presentations
- Robust customer profiles
- Onsite transaction processing
- Customer outreach automation
See how FieldEdge can revolutionize your five-arounds and onsite sales. Book your FREE personalized demo today!
Now You Know How to Sell HVAC to Anybody, Anywhere
Even within the concept of cold-calling and five-arounds, there’s plenty of nuance involved in selling. A residence is a very personal space. One that homeowners are rightly proud in maintaining.
Make no mistake about it, HVAC is in the business of relationship sales. And your field team are the boots on the ground making that impression to both your customers and your potential customers.
The four-c cold-calling philosophy and the free downloadable talk tracks will help your business and your field team learn how to sell HVAC to anyone, anywhere.