17 Jun 2024

Effective Sales Strategies for HVAC and Plumbing Businesses

JBW Blog - Sales Strategies - Featured Image

Let’s face it: The era of cold calling is dead. At a time when U.S. consumers receive four billion robocalls a month—that’s nearly one to two phone calls every second—no homeowner wants to answer an unknown call in hopes that it just might be a plumbing or HVAC sales tech offering a preventative maintenance plan coupon. In today’s day and (digital) age, you’ll need a bona fide sales strategy.

Now that homeowners can find and schedule sales appointments with just a few clicks, residential sales professionals have to get smart about how they connect with consumers. With the right plumbing and HVAC sales tips, you can transform your local community into a stream of leads who become paying customers. Here’s a look at how to enhance plumbing and HVAC business processes with sales tips. 

1. Understanding Your Market

The best and most important plumbing and HVAC sales tip is to thoroughly understand your target market—which, in most cases, is your local community and surrounding area. Robust market research will reveal your target customers’ demands and interests, enabling your sales team to tailor their offerings to fill local service gaps, drive homeowner interest, and ultimately, increase sales success. 

The easiest place to start with market research is by identifying your core customer group, whether it’s residential, commercial, or industrial clients, or even a mix of the three, depending on your operating location. From here, HVAC and plumbing businesses can begin to hone in on core customer service demands and trends to support your overall sales and marketing approach. 

Because operating location can play a huge role in your sales success, contractors should also dive into local demographic data to better understand your prospective customers. If you’re unsure where to start, data sources like the U.S. Census Bureau offer insight into local demographics, like age and household income, which can be helpful when narrowing down prospective client pools.

2. Building Strong Customer Relationships

HVAC tech talking to homeowner building relationshipAn HVAC or plumbing company’s success is only as strong as the level of trust customers have in it. From positive online reviews to successful referrals, home service-based businesses rely on customer satisfaction to drive sales and fuel long-term success. This is accomplished by not only delivering top-tier HVAC and plumbing services but also by fostering long-lasting customer relationships, which power a repeatable sales process for local home and business owners.

A few plumbing and HVAC sales tips contractors can follow to keep customers in the pipeline include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Encouraging maintenance agreements or routine maintenance visits 
  • Locking in customers with extended warranty services that include labor
  • Developing customer loyalty programs to reward recurring customers
  • Offering incentives, like discounts, for successful customer referrals 
  • Providing service guarantees to ensure reliability and satisfaction

Of course, these plumbing and HVAC sales tips for customer relationships must be coupled with proper customer etiquette. Actions like quick and effective customer communication, honest pricing, and timely problem-solving all demonstrate reliability. With this trust, customers gain the confidence to return to your company for future services—and also refer your businesses to others. 

3. Upselling and Cross-Selling Techniques

In an industry as competitive as HVAC and plumbing, upselling and cross-selling techniques are essential to overall sales success. Upselling involves a field technician or sales rep suggesting an upgraded (or pricier) version of the product a customer plans to buy, whereas cross-selling involves suggesting products or services that complement the item being sold rather than compete with it. 

The market research you complete, along with awareness of industry trends, will allow you to identify profitable upselling and cross-selling opportunities for your business. For instance, customers interested in sustainability and savings on energy bills can be upsold higher ENERGY STAR and efficiency systems. Likewise, customers who have expressed breakdown or repair concerns can be cross-sold a quality extended warranty solution for that added peace of mind 

However, sales representatives be warned: without the right approach, upselling and cross-selling can come off as a bit aggressive to customers. This knee-jerk reaction to a higher-than-average ticket size is why contractors and technicians must take the time to identify natural upselling and cross-selling opportunities when interacting with customers, rather than push them on everyone.

4. Leveraging Technology for Sales

Speaking of higher-than-average ticket size, leveraging technology is one of the most reliable plumbing and HVAC sales tips to boost not only profits, but also sales success. Take Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, for instance. These platforms give a bird’s eye view of customers in your sales pipeline—complete with their contact information—so you can follow up with prospects before they slip through the cracks or, worse, give their money to a competitor. 

Once out in the field, it’s wise to equip plumbing and HVAC sales techs with mobile tools that can really help seal the deal. For example, on-site quoting and invoicing via a mobile device like a company smartphone or tablet application can streamline the project management process. Such apps can accelerate the timeline from conception to completion, quickening your sales pipeline.

Not to mention, the accessibility of on-site quoting and invoicing can drive higher customer satisfaction. To take the accessibility a step further, bolster your business website with helpful features, like online booking, to boost sales. Once a customer books online, go the extra mile with a next-day response that confirms their appointment time, location, and service guarantee. 

5. Effective Pricing Strategies

Effective Pricing Strategies for HVAC and PlumbingWith the crowded nature of the home service industry, effective pricing strategies are a must for business leaders looking to maintain customer satisfaction while still driving a comfortable profit margin. If you’re hesitant about your pricing, most trade businesses follow a competitive-based or value-based pricing model, depending on the given local market and overall business sales goals.

Competitive-based pricing is a plumbing and HVAC sales technique that involves local competitor analysis to understand the general pricing landscape and what customers in your community are already paying for specific services. In comparison, value-based pricing takes a look into what customers are willing to pay for services and uses these numbers to structure service pricing. 

No matter what pricing model you choose to follow, it’s essential that your pricing remains clear and transparent. It can be helpful to create a basic model that breaks down your general service and product prices, as well as any accompanying fees customers will incur. This model ensures your pricing remains consistent from one customer to another, ultimately building a higher level of trust. 

6. Supporting Sales with Strategic Marketing

Sales and marketing efforts go hand-in-hand, so it’s impossible to discuss plumbing and HVAC sales tips without touching on strategic marketing initiatives. To capture local marketing with minimal legwork, there are tons of benefits in networking and forming strategic partnerships within local and professional communities, who can advertise your services through their marketing channels. 

Several integrated marketing strategies can boost plumbing and HVAC and sales success, such as:

  • Direct mail marketing like flyers, monthly newsletters, and promotional offers
  • Targeted social media campaigns that include short-form videosof your services 
  • Local search engine optimization(SEO) like claiming your Google Business Profile
  • Text-based SMS marketing messages that remind customers of upcoming maintenance
  • Email marketing efforts like delivering price drop alerts on specific products 

Not a marketing pro? Not a problem! By forging strategic partnerships, you can access a variety of pre-made marketing and sales materials. Take JB Warranties’ extended warranty plans, for instance. Contractors who offer JB Warranties-backed programs receive a library of pre-built marketing materials that can be customized with your company’s logo and details and then printed for you. 

From strategic marketing support to sales-enhancing cross-selling opportunities, discover the dealer benefits you can access through JB Warranties to improve sales success today. 


Become a jb Warranties Registered Dealer