Can you believe it’s almost March? Where does the time go? Spring is just around the corner, and that can mean a slowdown in HVAC sales for many of us. Depending on where you operate, you may start to notice fewer calls as soon as mid-March with the biggest lull coming in April.
Instead of waiting for the lull, start thinking about how you’ll address sales and marketing during the Spring season. We’ve got a few ideas to get you started.
Do a Little Spring Cleaning to Your Website
When’s the last time you gave your website a little TLC? If you see activity slowing down in the spring, that can be the perfect time to make a few upgrades to your site. You’ll be ready when the summer heat rolls in — when people will have less tolerance for sitting around with a broken AC. They’ll be online looking for help. Your improved website can be ready and waiting for them.
What should you address first? Here are a few thoughts on prioritizing any website updates.
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Google favors the mobile version of website content for indexing and ranking. The majority of Google users now access search with a mobile device, so Google places emphasis on the sites that will give their users the best experience on a smartphone or tablet.
- Optimize for local search queries. Be sure you’ve got your contact details and areas served listed on your website. Additionally, ensure your blog has useful information that’s specific to your service area. You can also talk about local events that your company sponsors or regional nonprofits that your team supports.
- Add easy-to-use options for people to reach you.
- Remember how we mentioned that your site should be mobile-friendly? Mobile-friendliness goes beyond just fitting nicely on a smartphone or tablet. Make sure you’ve got click-to-call buttons to make it easy for people to quickly call.
- Add a website chat. Believe it or not, many people would prefer to talk via live website chat, especially younger consumers. Live chat provides an opportunity for people to ask you questions or schedule appointments easily without having to pick up the phone.
- List your social media channels with links to each. Some of your customers are going to want to ping you on social. Make sure your site has links to those profiles. And don’t forget to make sure you have someone monitoring your social inbox.
- Offer easy-to-use forms to collect information. If you offer people a form to get in touch or schedule an appointment, make it as easy as possible to fill out. Only ask for the essential information so that people don’t abandon the form before clicking the submit button. You can always follow up by phone or email to get additional details.
Follow up on Unsold Quotes
During your slower seasons, like spring, when people are enjoying open windows instead of AC, take time to follow up on your unsold quotes. Maybe some of those homeowners bought from a competitor. Some of them, on the other hand, may have just put off getting the repair or replacement. If that’s the case, you may still have an opportunity to close the sale at a reduced price. A reduced sale beats no sale at all, especially during off-peak seasons.
Do Some Networking
These days networking can happen on and offline, so you’ve got very few excuses not to do it during the slower seasons. Here are a few networking ideas to try.
- Attend chamber of commerce meetings.
- Get involved with service clubs in your community.
- Check out meetup.com for business owner and entrepreneur meetups in your area.
- Expand your professional network on LinkedIn to connect with other people in your community.
- Take other business owners and salespeople to lunch — think real estate agents, plumbers, builders, and other businesses who may serve your target audience. Find out how you can help one another when it comes to referring prospects.
Pick up the Phone
The spring season is a great time to work the phone to pick up business. Here are some ideas of whom you should start dialing.
- People who previously bought from you. Check in with them to see if they are still happy with their HVAC equipment. Ask if they need anything. Remind them to refer their friends and family who may need equipment or service before the summer heat sets in.
- Customers who are under warranty. Make reminder calls to your past customers who have soon-to-expire warranties, so they can get any service done under warranty. These types of calls could lead you to discover people who are ready to buy a new AC, furnace, or other equipment/service.
- Customers who would benefit from an extended warranty. With JB Warranties' , you can purchase extended warranties for equipment installed up to 24 months ago.
- Cold prospects. Cold calls can be the hardest ones to make, and call reluctance is real. However, cold calling can uncover the next opportunity.
- Leverage customer and partner referrals, social networks, your website contact form, or a purchased list.
- Create a script — but don’t read it word for word. Think of your script as a list of talking points to help you stay on track.
- Ask open-ended questions and listen for problems you can solve.
Work on Some Easy Local SEO Tasks
While things are slow, take a little time to evaluate your local presence online. If you were to Google the types of keywords your customers would use to look for you, would your business show up on page one? If someone searched for your company name, would you show up? Beyond the website refresh we discussed earlier, here are some additional things to tackle.
- Claim or set up your Google My Business account. A well-maintained Google My Business profile can help you capture a sidebar space in Google’s local search when customers search for your company.
- Add and optimize online directory records and citations. There are a ton of places your business may appear online — some of them that maybe you didn’t set up yourself. You need to ensure that all of your company listings are accurate and consistent. You don’t want abbreviations on one profile or directory and not on others. You don’t want to have an old address on some profiles.
- You want to ensure that no matter what result shows up in search, it will be accurate. Try a solution like Moz Local to get an idea of what your directory and citation profile looks like right now.
- You can check your online presence for free with Moz. If your presence needs work, purchase a plan with a platform like Moz, or hire an SEO expert to help.
- Work on getting some inbound links to your site. This specific task may be one where you’d like to hire a digital marketing professional, but you can tackle many of these by yourself or with your staff.
- Videos of you sharing tips and advice can be shot with a smartphone. Modern smartphones can make great videos.
- Podcasts can happen with just a decent microphone and an Anchor.fm subscription. There are other services out there for podcasting, Anchor just happens to be free and includes a smartphone app to record episodes.
- Write guest blog posts for other local websites.
- Sponsor local events and ensure your company gets a link in any promotion or press.
- Start a podcast or video series. You’ll get inbound links from the podcast or video platform, as well as links from people who may decide to share these pieces of content on their own websites. Neither of these options are as hard to do as many people think.
Don’t Let the Slow Season Slow You Down
Even when the customer calls aren’t rolling in, there are things you can do to generate a little business this spring. Plus, all of the awareness work you do this spring may keep your business top of mind when an AC emergency strikes in the summer.
March 19th is only weeks away — the first official day of spring. Start planning out your spring projects today!