It’s October. There’s a chill in the air that lets us know what’s just around the corner, but there are plenty of mild days still left. So get outside and enjoy the falling leaves and crisp, sunny days. Go for a walk with your family or spend the day at a local pumpkin farm. Take some time to de-stress, recoup, and reevaluate. It’s been a difficult year for the HVAC/R industry, so it’s important to reflect on your business - how can you improve upon it, and how can you grow as a businessperson?
Totaline Business Development Manager Bob Carré welcomes your feedback on this column. If you’d like to contact Bob, please e-mail him at Bob.Carre@carrier.utc.com.
- Service sales: Every service call is a moment of truth. It’s the time to make a new acquaintance or renew your relationship with a repeat customer. First impressions are made quickly - within seconds. Think about what impresses (or distresses) you when you first meet someone, and use this as your starting point.
Begin with the basics. Your hair should be groomed. Your uniform should be clean and pressed, and clean boots are a must. Consider putting on baggies when you enter any home. The service truck in the driveway behind you should also be clean and clearly identified with your logo. A photo name badge is important for new customers who don’t know you.
The moment of truth comes from the tone of your greeting, the firm (but not crushing) handshake, the smile on your face, and the eye contact you make. Believe in your heart that you want to, and are going to, like this new person you’re meeting, and it will show in your face and body language.
- Business development: This October, it looks like we’re in for a challenge. Our long-range weather prognosticator is forecasting that temperatures this month will be warmer than average across most regions of the United States. It won’t be so warm that furnaces won’t be turned on, but warm enough that they won’t be stressed. We can’t count on Mother Nature to provide us with a little extra boost to our business this fall - it will be up to us to make things happen.
When I think of October, football comes to mind. High school football games played under the lights Friday nights or late Saturday mornings are great venues for meeting up with potential clients. Say hello and spread some good cheer –celebrating or commiserating as the game goes on.
Use sporting events as an opportunity to promote yourself; either formally with an ad in the game program or a company sign on the fence, or informally, like parking your service truck in a prominent spot in the parking lot. You might even consider wearing your uniform shirt or jacket. And, there is nothing like being outside on a beautiful crisp fall day!
- Good habit: Dare to make a difference with your business. Take some additional HVAC/R or business courses. Think about adding new services, like IAQ or preventive maintenance, to your lineup. Don’t be afraid to try new things. “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” - Seneca
When you try your best to make a good impression and use unique opportunities to promote your business – and yourself – you’re on the road to success. The economy, coupled with unseasonable weather, has dealt this industry a tough hand over the past year. This fall, take some time to think about what has worked for your business as well as what needs improving. Use October as a time to not only refresh, but to reevaluate and move forward.