Creating Sales Opportunities In Slow TimesIf Your Phone Isn’t Ringing With Customers, Ring Your Customer's Phone.
The quickest and most effective method of generating work is to start calling your existing customers. If you start calling today, you’ll generate work for tomorrow! Here’s what I suggest:
Go through your customer records and identify those customers that did not have you come out for their seasonal tune-up or have not had a service or maintenance call in the last two years. Call these customers and offer them a precision tune-up at a special reduced price or a safety inspection, system and/or duct inspection, indoor air quality monitoring, energy audit and comfort evaluation at no charge as a customer courtesy.
The rationale behind this is plausible since it offers real benefits to your customer as well the logic in offering your customers incentives first before going to the general populous due the mild weather. The unexpected temperature created a decrease in demand and thus you are offering your customers first chance at helping fill your schedule by offering service specials.
Customize the following scripts based on the season, your company, your products and services and demographics to craft a high impact worthwhile courtesy call to your customers. The words should not be so professional as to sound canned or scripted and allow your call makers the flexibility to use their best judgment and be a little creative.
“Hello Mrs. Smith, this is Sue with COMPANY NAME and our records indicate that we did not perform a tune-up on your heating/cooling system this fall/winter/spring/summer ; is that correct?”
"Well, I have some good news for you...Because of the mild weather we’ve been experiencing, I’m calling to give you a second chance to have this important service performed for half the normal cost. We’ll perform a complete precision tune-up and professional cleaning of your system along with a system safety inspection and heat exchanger integrity test to check for natural gas and carbon monoxide leaks and compressor amp draw to protect against shortages, dimming lights and fire all for just $x.
We have appointment slots for Tuesday and Wednesday or would another day be better?”
If the customer doesn’t take you up on your offer, here are two alternative closing options:
Option #1 - “Okay, I’ll note your customer history record as not having a precision tune-up for this year, but you really should consider having it done next year or having a combination heating/cooling tune-up for the next season. You really shouldn't skip two years in a row and any warranties that may still exist on your system could be in jeopardy if a failure is found due to a lack of maintenance. So please keep that in mind. We will keep you on our list to receive our money-saving newsletter and thank you for being our customer.”
Option #2 – “I appreciate your time today and we will keep you on our list to receive our money-saving newsletter. By the way, if you are aware of any other comfort, indoor air quality, energy management, electrical or plumbing needs you may have, we are running promotions on several different products and services. Is there anything I can brief you on to see if it makes sense to talk further?”
You can also make outbound customer courtesy calls to determine if your customers have any needs, by saying something like:
“Hi Mrs. Smith, this is Sue from COMPANY NAME and I’m contacting all of our customers as a courtesy to see if you have any concerns with your comfort system or outstanding issues or needs that should be taken care of before we get into our next busy season?”
If the customer says no:
“Okay. I am glad to hear things are working as they should. In reviewing your records, I noticed you do not currently own an Energy Savings Agreement and just wanted to make sure you were aware of all the money and time savings benefits that come with it including the discounts, priority service, no overtime charges, and guarantees. Would you like me to get you set up or send out some information?"
If the customer shows interest, share the important benefits of the agreement and invite the customer to join today and offer to schedule their first visit.
Creating future opportunities from current ones
Let's say that on a service call your technician notices that the furnace is nearing its average life expectancy. The tech notifies the customer and asks if they want to replace it at this time.
Your customer responds in the negative and states that they want to keep it awhile longer. This is the perfect opportunity for your technician to set things up for a future call (at a time when you need extra work). His response could be something like this:
"I understand Mrs. Jones. You know, sometimes these furnaces go on sale. Would you like us to notify you of any upcoming promotional specials in the near future?"
The customer will most likely appreciate the gesture and respond affirmatively. You now have permission to market promotional offers and call your customer to remind them at their request. A recurring practice of techs planting seeds can yield an abundant harvest when you need it most.
Conversely, let’s say your technician made a major repair on an old system that was for a few hundred dollars without and did not offer to, or was unable to, set a visit from a Comfort Advisor to discuss replacement/upgrade options, you can place a courtesy call to try to do so.
Call the customer and conduct your typical Happy Call to ensure the customer is satisfied with the result of the service call and the technician that performed the work. If the customer is not satisfied rectify the issue in accordance with customer complaint handling guidelines.
If the customer is satisfied with everything, say:
“As a courtesy, I wanted to see if we can offer you a full refund on the repair. I noticed that your equipment is X years old and that you made a significant repair to it to keep it running.
Did (tech name) share with you that given the age of your system, how much it is costing you to operate, the cost of the recent major repair along with the possibility of future, potentially immediate, repair costs and downtime, along with short-term warranty on the repair that it might be in your best interest to at least consider what a new system could save you in energy and repair costs and how it help improve the comfort level, reliability, peace of mind, indoor air quality, and home value?
In fact, most homeowners don’t realize that due to age, inefficiency, repair costs, and possibly equipment sizing issues that they are already paying for a new system they just don’t have it installed. Many times the savings alone can pay for or offset the investment in a new system. That along with all the other benefits of you get when you upgrade your equipment usually make it worthwhile.
With your permission I can schedule a time for one of our Comfort Advisors to come out at your convenience and perform a no cost no obligation home comfort survey, engineering analysis and energy audit to show how much money a new system would save you and how it can greatly improve the comfort in your home. This service is a $295 value that we offer FREE as a courtesy to service customers. So there would be no charge.
This way you can determine for yourself what makes the most sense for you, your family, your home and your bank account for the next 20 years or however long you plan on staying in your home having ALL the facts in front of you.
And, if you elect to upgrade your system we would issue a full refund on the recent repair towards your investment in a new system.
How would you like to proceed?”
Schedule the lead according to your lead scheduling process and script if the customer wishes to move forward. If the customer rejects the offer, state that if they should change their mind the can call back within 30 days to take advantage of the full refund.
Close by saying that you simply wanted to extend the offer after having reviewed their records since you did not want them to throw good money into an old system without at least making sure they were aware of their options. Then say that you appreciate their time today and that the COMPANY appreciates their business and having them as a customer and to call you (give name again) with any questions or problems. Ask if they have any questions, and then close the call.
Published: August 13, 2007 8:00 AM by Drew Cameron
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