By Jeremy Lang & Tim Wright
When a customer asks you for something, your first instinct is probably to give it to them. Because the customer is always right…Right? It depends. How can people tell you what they want if they’ve never seen it before?
Unfortunately, some homeowners don’t get a geothermal option from an HVAC sales representative simply because they didn’t ask for it. Haven’t you heard this before, “I wish I had known about that, no one even offered me the option of geothermal!” I hope that statement is enough to make all of us snap out of routine and embrace a consulting approach. When you do this, you will steadily be eliminating much of your competition without saying anything negative about them or their work. Why you may ask? Because you have just raised the bar of competency! I know that sales representatives often don’t want to seem pushy by asking for the “big-ticket sale.” But I am here to let you know that I have met many people, both consumers and contractors who have decided to go for that big-ticket sale and they are both very happy they did.
In my experience geothermal systems are worth offering on nearly EVERY SINGLE SALES CALL. The homeowner has invited you into their home to help resolve a problem or a situation. Much like a doctor, it is your job to focus on them and figure out how to best address their concerns. I know…they don’t always make it easy for you, but in order to properly assist the homeowner you must have a candid conversation about their expectations and concerns.
Slip into their heads for a few…most of them invite you out because they just “need” a new furnace or air conditioner and don’t really know much about what we do or how it works. It’s our job to educate them so they realize the value geothermal systems provide and they will soon want one.
My suggestion is to open the conversation or interject by asking one simple question when the time is right: “Is energy efficiency important to you?” If the answer to that question is yes then chances are geothermal is a viable option for them.
Asking about allergy issues, comfort concerns, and efficiency options allows you to tailor your offerings to them, showing homeowners that you care about them and want to match the right products to their particular situation. Imagine if doctors only prescribed the medicine patients requested? That would be a huge mess! Remember your last trip to the doctor? They ask about your symptoms and then they offer a remedy. Be the pro and teach your customer a little about heating efficiency. I realize that you won’t sell them all, but I am sure you will sell more!
Get Technical (but only a little bit!).
Getting technical is a way to build trust. Quickly convert a furnace A.F.U.E. into COP by moving the decimal two to the left (98% AFUE = 0.98 COP). Then compare the two appliances COP’s using the COP chart in our sales literature right there on the spot. The best furnace is about a 0.98 COP while geothermal systems are between 3 and 5 COP. When they look at you with wide eyes, give it to them again in simple terms, “What that means to you is geothermal is always between 300% around 500% efficient, while your furnace is less than 100%.” In other words, with geothermal $1 dollar of electricity will give you $3-5 dollars of energy in return. Nothing else in your home can provide that type of return on your investment.
Always, always be up front and honest as the homeowner has invited you into their home. You might even consider discussing the local fuel options and prices to help them better understand that you are working on their behalf as an energy consultant.
Also, make sure you are familiar with the features and benefits of Enertech's product line. It’s easier to sell something if you know how it can help your customers! Additionally, you should consider offering a referral list of other satisfied homeowners who have chosen to place their trust in you. Most likely they will know someone on your list and now your credibility goes through the roof!
Lastly, make GeoAnalyst and our Proposal Point program your new best friends. Your potential customer deserves and appreciates this type of analysis and follow-up, sharing their pathway back to a quiet, safe, environmentally friendly and energy conserving geothermal system.
Homeowners aren’t stupid; they just don’t know the lingo. It is your job to help them understand what they are buying so they can make an educated decision. Teach them how they can get energy from the earth and you’ll sell more because you’ve taught them something that earns their trust. Educated homeowners usually choose geothermal. So give it a try—We think your sales will improve.
For more tips on how to be a better salesperson, check out our Sales and Marketing training class. Learn more on www.geothermaluniversity.com or talk to your sales manager today.