8 More Ways to Advertise Your HVAC Business
You’ve likely utilized some popular ways to get the word out about your HVAC business, such as direct mail and having a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. Even though about half of all display advertising dollars go to the big five (Google, Yahoo, Facebook, AOL and Microsoft), there are many other places to reach customers and gain leads for your business, especially on a local level.
Coupons Still Work
You might be hesitant to offer a coupon, because a discount of your services might set a precedent that lowers your overall rates. However, keep in mind that a coupon does not have to be for a discount of your fees. Instead, it can be for a free inspection, buy a year of service get a month free, or even a free education seminar about saving on heating and cooling costs.
According to Street Fight Mag, out of the consumers who use digital coupons, about 80% prefer advertising that is relevant to their location, such as from a service business. In addition, most of those people use coupons about four times a year, so you may reach a new lead you otherwise wouldn’t have reached.
Direct Mail that’s Personalized
Mike Veny, professional speaker and drummer, has been featured on Business Innovators Radio, Self-Employment in the Arts blog, and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization blog. One unique way he advertises his service business is via direct mail, but instead of just your typical form piece of mail, he says he “creates copy that specifically targets the needs of each group that I am marketing to. This way, prospects can open the mail from me, read it, and feel like I get them. This method continues to bring in more and more sales.”
You can easily advertise your service business with more personalization by thinking about the target demographic in a specific area. For example, if you are marketing to houses that are in the 20-30 year old range, you would mention what an upgraded unit can do for those home owners.
Local Festivals and Fairs
Nearly every area has some type of local festival or fair. For some towns, it also involves a parade and street booths. Whatever is popular in the area that you want to serve, decide right now to have a presence. Set up a booth, give out a freebie and be on hand to answer questions.
It’s also a smart idea to set up some kind of drawing. This allows you to collect names and contact information which you can then use to market to these leads at a later date. A smart giveaway is something that ties into the service you’re marketing, such as an energy audit or furnace tune up.
Local Search Engine Directories
People who are looking for a local business, turn to local directories. Make sure you list your business on:
- Google My Business
- Bing Places for Business
- Yahoo Localworks – there is a small fee for this one, but you’ll be listed in multiple directories, including Yelp!
Learn About Elevators
Learn about elevator pitches, that is. Prepare a short pitch about what your business has to offer and how you are unique from others in the area. Once you have your pitch perfected, spend a few minutes each week visiting local businesses you’d really like to sign on as a client. Go in and ask to speak to the person in charge of making decisions about contractors and if you get a meeting, give him your pitch. Yes, it is basically a cold call, but sometimes those pay off.
Share Your Expertise
One of the best ways to reach local clients is to give a speech and share your expertise. For example, you can offer a talk at a local home show, go and talk to a networking group, or connect with others at your local Chamber of Commerce meetings. By sharing what you know, you prove that you are the best in the area and when they need heating and cooling services other business owners will remember you and that you know everything there is to know about HVAC.
Find a Captive Audience
Jen Conner, an entrepreneur artist and owner of Jen Luvs Art, shares some advice for how she finds creative ways to market locally. “I go into doctor’s, dentist’s, and eye doctor offices in the area. I introduce myself and tell them what services I offer. Then, I ask them if I can leave some booklets I’ve made up for their waiting room.” Almost always, Jen says, the offices tell her it is okay to leave her booklet. Of course, she also includes a few business cards tucked into the back cover.
“I would say that I get about three leads a month from waiting room brochures. That might not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that each of those leads will tell other potential customers, and spread the word about my business.”
Offer a Friends and Family Discount
“I also offer a friends and family discount,” shared Jen. If she knows the person, even in passing, Jen offers them a 10% discount. 10% isn’t a huge discount and likely won’t hurt your bottom line much, but it can gain you a new customer with very little effort.
You may want to also extend that discount to your technicians and anyone who works for your company. Either give them a set number of discounts to pass out each year, or just offer it to anyone who says they’ve been told about it. Either way, it encourages your staff to spread the word about your company, which is beneficial to you in the form of new customers and beneficial to them in job security.
Advertising a service business is tricky. Most new customers tend to come from referrals. However, that doesn’t mean that you should give up on trying different techniques. Even a single lead or two can result in a lucrative commercial contract.
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Posted In: Sales & Marketing
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