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More Listening, More Selling

More Listening, More Selling
by Mary Dziak

maryI read the following article recently and thought it would be good to share with all of you. Sometimes the simplest things get lost in our busy hectic days. Enjoy!!!

More Listening, More Selling: 6 Ways to Close More Deals

Salespeople love the sound of their own voices. Sometimes that’s a good thing. But to close deals, the best salespeople have to know when to talk and when to listen.

The following tips will help your salespeople put the customer’s interests first and close more sales.

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Protecting Your Investment

Wayne’s Service Tips

Protect Your Investment
by Wayne Tracy

cleaningYou or the owner of your company has invested a substantial amount of money in the equipment and tools you need to provide air duct cleaning services. Below is a brief summary of care and use instructions for different pieces of equipment.

Occasionally equipment is returned to us for repairs or service,and we are truly amazed at times of the poor condition some of this equipment is in. It’s not because of equipment failure; it’s due to poor care of equipment. We find plugged filters, missing wheels, severely damaged cabinets. Sometimes it’s strictly cosmetic issues that could easily be resolved with a little elbow grease and touch-up paint. If the cabinet is looking bad, just call us and you can purchase new decals, we’ll even give you the paint color codes so you can go to a local Home Depot and get paint to repaint the cabinet.

1. Turbojet Negative Air Machines and Ductmaster/Vent Vac Systems
a. Care should be taken when loading and unloading from your vehicle. You don’t want to scratch or dent the cabinet.
b. Be careful that wheels are cleaned prior to entering the customers home, pebbles, rocks and other debris can cause damage to flooring.
c. You are selling a cleaning service and your equipment must always look clean and presentable.
d. Filters should be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis.
e. Clean the outside and inside of the turbojet cabinet.
f. Be sure your 12” hose is cleaned frequently. If it has duct tape patches sealing holes; order a new hose and discard it. A patched up hose is very unprofessional looking and customers will notice. We stock low cost 12” Mylar hose that’s very lightweight and easy to handle.

cobra

2. Cobra Power Brush Systems
a. Be sure cables that require oiling are oiled on a regular basis.
b. Keep the drive box clean and free of dents and scratches. Like our negative air machines, paint codes and decals are available.
c. Follow operating instructions so unnecessary damage is not allowed to happen.
d. Keep cables stored properly so they do not become kinked or damaged.

3. Foggers
a. Keep exterior and hose clean
b. Drain and rinse frequently.
c. Keep hose from kinking.
d. Be sure power switch is not turned on or off unless the valve on the nozzle end is fully closed.

4. Pogo Pole Assembly
a. Inspect the rubber foot frequently and replace when necessary. There’s pressure on this foot when you set it up and you don’t want to damage someone’s floor.
b. Replace the ceiling pad when it becomes tattered or full of dust.
c. Keep the poles from being bent and scratched.

hoses

5. Air Hoses
a. Inspect frequently for leaks and weakened fittings. Bad fittings can break free under pressure and injure someone or damage property.
b. Keep them looking clean.
c. Replace them when severely kinked or damaged.

6. Air Compressors
a. Like all other equipment customers see this in your truck and it needs to be kept clean.
b. Change Motor Oil and Compressor Oil on a regular basis – according to manufacturer specifications.
c. Check fluid levels on a regular basis between changes – leaks can develop anytime.
d. Check for air leaks in fittings – this can create added operating costs by the unit running at full speed more often than necessary.

sidewinders

7. Sidewinder and Forward/Reverse Air Whisk Systems
a. Keep these hoses coiled properly to prevent kinking or other permanent damage.
b. Keep them clean.
c. When in use keep the cable coiled so it does not get stepped on or run over by wheeled equipment.
d. Be careful on flooring since these products have brass fittings and valves that could damage tile, hardwood, or linoleum flooring.

In addition to the above products, all tools, vacuums and other equipment have to be maintained in clean condition. You are selling a cleaning service, customers cannot see the quality of work you do inside ducting. You have to portray an image of clean so they will be comfortable with the work you are doing they can’t see.

Making the Phone Ring

phoneWhen you own a business, the best sound in the world is a phone ringing. How to make the phone ring is the key though.

Let’s look at some strategies that should keep the phone ringing:

1. Are You Marketing to Your Present Clients in Your Database?
Do you send thank you letters and do you make follow-up calls? Do you have a maintenance program and do you send out newsletters and postcards? Do you send out 12, 18 and 24 month reminder cards? Are you sending out periodic emails to your clients?

2. Is your Website Effective?
laptopWebsites are good referral marketing because clients that call you from your website have taken a good look at your company by scanning your website. They act like a referral client because they want to use your company. It is vitally important that your website in on the very top of the first page of the major search engines or it is basically useless. Google is used by 65% of consumers so make sure you are one of the top three on that site or at a minimum, on the first page. Also, your website must be well done and appealing to the eye. Spend some money on the production of your website because the on-going cost is very minimal but the results can be outstanding.

3. Is your Advertising Effective?
The wonderful thing about advertising is that you get immediate results. The down side is that it can cost a lot of money and you could get inundated with price shoppers. Yellow pages, newspapers, direct mail, coupon magazines, radio and TV can certainly make the phone ring, but you must keep a close look at your costs and numbers and make sure that you are making a good profit. Tracking of all calls is essential in order to know that each advertising dollar is getting a bang for the buck. A good rule to follow is that for each dollar spent on advertising three to four dollars of work is generated.

4. Are You Consistently Marketing to Referral Sources?
arrow peopleRealtors, property managers, HVAC contractors, appliance repair outlets, etc are a great source of lucrative referrals but they must be marketed on a consistent basis. Unless you have a system of visiting these and other sources consistently, don’t wast your time and effort. It takes a while to build this market, but once you do, your phone will ring often with folks who want to use your company’s services.

In today’s economy, one can find plenty of excuses for the phone not ringing. Winners don’t look for excuses, though, they look for answers and then they are willing to go out and do the work to bring in the results.

President’s Corner – December 2009

How fast a year goes by. It seems like we were just getting started and the year is almost over.

We are always very busy here at Air-Care developing new products and services. It just makes every day go by very fast. In fact, there is just not enough time in the day to do all the things we want to do.

But that is a good problem and we enjoy the challenge of growing and doing our very best to make Air Care a model business that supports the needs of all our customers.

This is the time of year that we all should be reflecting on the wonderful country we live in and the fact that if you work hard and help others along the way, you can achieve what ever you set your mind to. Our company is a perfect example of what that kind of thinking and effort can produce.

All of us at Air-Care would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I can assure you that we will do every thing possible to make your 2010 a successful one.

Have a great holiday!

dicksignature

Get an Air-Care Certified ID Card

Air-Care is now offering Air-Care Certified ID Cards to individuals who successfully complete our 3-day in-house training course in air duct cleaning. This new initiative will give you an added level of professionalism when visiting with clients – they will know right away that you are qualified for the job.

  • id cardIncreases Your Level of Professionalism
  • Builds Instant Rapport With Potential Clients
  • Proves You’ve Been Properly Trained
  • Convenient Size Goes Anywhere
  • Air-Care Support Phone Number on Reverse Side

The cost is just $10.00. Call us at 800-322-9919 to order yours today.

Wayne’s Service Tips – The Service Call – Part 2

The Service Call – Part 2
Four Quick & Easy Steps to Properly Clean an HVAC System
Negative Air Cleaning

Once you have completed the pre-inspection report and done a walk through of the home you are now ready to start the duct cleaning process.  Be sure your customer has signed your service order prior to starting the job.

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Mary’s Marketing Message: Repeat & Referral Business

Businesses advertise every day in some kind of fashion.  Probably, the most important advertisement is yourself or your techs.  When the customer sees your work or the way you work, it can cost very little or cost a lot.  It is up to you.

Quality of service and the way the customer perceives your service is so important.  It can lead to good referral business and a retained customer for all the services you provide.

We at Air-Care think this is one of the most important facets of our business.  We could just go in and do half the work, “the customer can’t see what is in the duct system” so who cares.  Well, believe me the customer can tell by the way your tech works, how he treats the belongings in the house, how he is dressed, etc.

If you give the impression that you are just out for the fast buck, you probably won’t get the repeat or referral business.  But, if you give the impression that you are trying to give them a quality service for a fair price, you’ll retain them forever.  Remember a good deal is a “frame of mind”.  It is really how the customer perceives it.  Bad word of mouth goes farther and longer than good word of mouth.

When you are in business for a while in an area, you start building your reputation.  That reputation will either give you a good amount of business or lose business.  Don’t we all want to be on the right side of that equation.

It is not difficult to do the little things that show the customers you care about them.  It doesn’t cost anything either.  To give you an example, here is a list of things that go a long way with the customer

  • Give the quality of service you would expect
  • Monogrammed hats, shirts, etc.
  • Clean uniforms
  • Name badges
  • Clean service vehicles (inside & outside)
  • Clean equipment
  • Good phone etiquette
  • Be on time or if you are not, call the customer

There are several things you can do for your customer that shows the type of company you are.  Make sure it is the right one.

How to start an air duct cleaning business

Getting into the air duct cleaning business can seem like a daunting task at first. But, in reality, when you use the products and services of a company like Air-Care, we make it very simple and easy. We are with you every step of the way. Air-Care even offers FREE lifetime support for any aspect of your air duct cleaning company, when you purchase our equipment.

Here’s a simple step by step plan on how to get started in air duct cleaning.

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Communicating With Your Customers & Prospects

In our customer service center at Air-Care it takes a full time concentrated effort of several people to maintain communications and process orders for our customers.  We communicate with our customers in many ways including e-mail, web site, landlines, fax, and believe it or not some customers still communicate by mail.

Whatever the means of communication, the contact from a customer is handled in a courteous, quick and efficient manner.  No matter what size your company is, from a one-man shop to multiple employees communicating effectively with your customers is the only way you’ll survive in today’s business climate.

bob headsetEven though the way we all do business has changed with online ordering, e-mail, text messaging, etc. we still must communicate with a customer on the telephone on a regular basis.  Many customers will resist more modern means of communicating, but are slowly being steered to the Internet and e-mail to do commerce.

In today’s world where everything has to happen in a hurry, the telephone is still an important link to all of our customers.  Especially in a service related business; people want to talk to a person when scheduling work to be done in their home or business, many will not place an order for service on a web site.

For that reason you need to be sure that a customer calling your business is responded to in a timely manner.  You don’t want a potential customer leaving a message on an answering machine and have to wait until the end of the day or the next day for a return call.  They will probably have already reached another contractor to provide the service for them by then.

Most phone systems, land or mobile, have call forwarding options or the ability to retrieve voice messages remotely.  With call forwarding, if no one answers the primary phone the call will be redirected to another number, usually your cell phone number automatically.  Check with your phone service provider for details on these services.

Another option would be to contract with an answering service that will answer your calls and relay messages directly to you.  These may be large call centers or smaller private companies.  Either way, with this option your customer will get a live voice and you’ll promptly receive messages or be able to call in for messages.

No matter which method of messaging you choose, you have to retrieve your messages on a regular basis throughout the day.  Calls must be returned promptly before the customer has a chance to contact another contractor.

emailAs important as the phone is for communication you still have to give the customer that wants to use electronic communication the ability to communicate with you.  Even if you’re from the “Old School” and have resisted having a web site, e-mail communications, text messaging, etc. you should bring you business up to date with modern communication alternatives as well as the standard telephone land line.

Like the customer who will only communicate by telephone, there are many people today who prefer to communicate by electronic means.  They’ll look for your presence on the Internet and may move on to another contractor if they don’t find you there.

Whatever option you choose, be sure you communicate promptly with your existing and potential customers.  If you don’t someone else surely will.