The success of companies selling ductless heat pumps varies from region to region, town to town, and company to company. There are many cases, where there are two companies in the same town, with completely different success rates. One company struggles to sell their 20 systems per year, which is a standard that we use for my company. Another company in the same town sells 20 per month with no problem. The best part of the story, is that usually the company that sells 20 per month is selling them at a higher price.
During discussions with these high performance companies, I have discovered that they generally progress through the following 3 step process to grow this business.
Step 1: Decide
As some point, the high performance companies simply made the decision that ductless heat pumps are going to be a focus point of their business. Until you decide that ductless is going to be important to the long term success of your business, you will always consider ductless a niche solution. Once you have changed your mindset and that of your employees, the opportunities for ductless will seem like they are unending. The funny thing is that the opportunities were always there, you just didn’t see them before, because your mind wouldn’t let you see past your normal.
Now that the decision has been made, you can plan. A plan is imperative to grow this segment of your business. As author and sales trainer Weldon Long says in his book Power of Consistency and at a recent training that I attended, if you were trying to use a map of New York City to get around Boston, you would be lost. It just doesn’t work that way. In this case, the plan is your map. Without it, you will not end up where you you want to be.
Step 2: Train
If you really want to succeed, a cultural shift is necessary. In the past, ductless has been your solution of last resort. Now, you will be actively looking and marketing your ductless solutions. The simple act of looking for more opportunities will normally double the amount of ductless business,before you change anything else. To achieve a change in culture, you need to immerse every employee at your company that comes in contact with customers to the idea of ductless as a solution. Each and every employee needs to know why your company has made this change, and why their customers will want to install this product.
Your CSR’s don’t need the same training as your installers and your installers don’t need the same training as your salesmen. You should lean on your manufacturer and distributor to supply this training. I am constantly in front of large groups of contractors doing applications and sales training.
Every employee in the company should be able to answer the following questions:
- What is a heat pump?
- Why does a heat pump work?
- Why should customers install heat pumps?
- Do heat pumps work below freezing.
- How does a heat pump compare to the cost of other fuels (electric, oil, propane, natural gas)
Mechanics need to learn how to install them and service them. Comfort Consultants need to learn the products, applications and how to teach customers of the value of heat pumps. This is not a step to take lightly. If you become the expert in your area, this will quickly become evident and you will dominate your market.
Step 3: Sell
This step seems obvious, but trust me, it is not. As mentioned before, traditionally customers aren’t comfortable with heat pumps in cold weather and your employees haven’t been looking for solutions. High performance companies start to consider ductless the primary solution. If ductless is not a good solution, then they move on to more traditional solutions. A ductless heat pump should be considered as a heating system first and a cooling system second in cold climates. This may seem like a minor nuance, but if you have this mindset, you will consider more options. As a cooling system, these systems will make the home more comfortable than traditional air conditioning. As a heating system though, these systems will not only provide a greater degree of comfort, but will also save customers a tremendous amount of money, if they heat their homes with electricity, oil or propane. They can also save money on heating, if they have a gas steam or a gas boiler over 20 years old.
In my next post, I will discuss 3 Reasons to Decide on Ductless.
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