“Run it until it breaks.” For decades, this has been the way many business owners manage their HVAC equipment. They’ll happily let their heating and air conditioning units, or commercial fridges and freezers, deteriorate over the course of years even to the point of requiring replacement.
If you’re an HVAC company, this presents a few big problems that can make or break your success as a business.
For starters, locking clients into ongoing maintenance contracts can be a boon for your bottom line. And, because it’s recurring income, it’s also the most effective way to even out the ups and downs of your annual budget. If you’re not taking the time to secure maintenance contracts, your business is leaving money on the table.
Secondly, well maintained HVAC equipment helps your brand build trust with new clients. Ultimately, that new client may choose to skip regular maintenance on the equipment your company just installed or repaired, but as that equipment degrades over the years they won’t blame themselves. They’ll blame the company that installed the equipment, and they’ll be dialing up a competitor to start the cycle all over again.
With all of this in mind, we’ve put together some tips on how to pitch clients on HVAC maintenance. Here’s some things to keep in mind ahead of your next site visit.
Empathize with your client’s largest pain point
Annual budgets can be tight and the pressure to return profits can be high, so the savings a business can secure by proactively maintaining their HVAC equipment isn’t always top of mind for those in charge. In some cases, recurring HVAC maintenance bills might be viewed as a luxury the business can’t afford.
This is where on-site installers can educate clients on the dollars and cents of HVAC maintenance. The most effective way to do this is to tailor that conversation specifically to the client and their equipment. In other words, don’t use a cookie-cutter sales pitch. Educate them on the kinds of energy savings they can expect from proper maintenance on their specific equipment in their specific space.
Understand how your client views maintenance
For some business owners, HVAC servicing and maintenance is viewed as unnecessary or something to consider later on down the road. They’re simply not aware of how critical regular servicing is to the lifespan of the equipment. Instead, they see HVAC equipment as either working or not working, with no in-between.
In other words, your client may think they’ve budgeted well enough to skip maintenance and simply replace the HVAC units after a specific number of years. But their plan might go sideways and cost their business dearly long before the planned replacement date.
Here, your on-site technicians need to reframe how the client sees the issue. Just like a car requires regular maintenance, so does HVAC equipment. And just like how an expensive, brand new car can suffer serious damage if maintenance is skipped, so can HVAC equipment. Bottom line: Regular HVAC maintenance stabilizes costs and minimizes the risk of unexpected emergency expenditures.
Follow up with more follow-ups
Inevitably, some of your clients will remain resistant to ongoing maintenance and regular servicing contracts. With these clients, it’s vitally important to follow up regularly and check in, even if it’s just over the phone. Keep educating them on the potential savings, and the risk of serious damage to their equipment.
Remember, your brand’s trust is at stake. It’s not enough that your company did a stellar job of installing or repairing the equipment — how well that equipment performs over time will reflect on your company, even if your client has opted out of maintenance and servicing.