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Making Home Performance Work WITHOUT Rebates

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What would happen to your Home Performance business if rebates disappeared?  Are you prepared to generate business and revenue without being able to dangle the rebate carrot in front of a customer?  Perhaps you are already in a market without rebates and are having problems performing enough tests and/or generating repair revenue.  Either way, it’s always a good time to Supercharge your Home Performance business.

To Supercharge your Home Performance business, don’t rely on selling ROI (Return on Investment), instead, focus on “PAIN”.  People will more readily spend money to eliminate their pain than to potentially save a few dollars on utility bills.  This doesn’t mean customers won’t experience energy savings by performing Home Performance work, only that you won’t have to “sell” people on “investing” in Home Performance work based on potential energy savings.  Instead, you can show how Home Performance can make their home more comfortable, healthy and safe, for their family and they can even save a few $’s on their utility bills.

How does this work?

It all starts by changing your focus to becoming a problem solver.  Switch your focus to finding and reducing your customer’s PAIN.   Uncovering pain is actually very easy, simply ask your customer what they don’t like about their homes comfort level.  Is their home too hot or cold?  Too humid or dry?  Does their home have unpleasant odors, mustiness, stuffiness, or drafts?  Does anyone in the home have allergies (if so…how bad are they)?  Are there areas of the home which are hard to heat or cool?  Many people will have at least one, and most likely two or more of these issues.  You can become their hero by being the person who can FINALLY solve their pain.

When a customer calls in asking about products or services, don’t just jump to quote a price.  Ask questions to determine their real pain.  Don’t just give them a big bandaid, be the person who diagnoses and solves their problem, once and for all.

Action steps:

If your customer calls about a price on a duct cleaning:  Ask how often they clean their ducts and how do they think the ducts got dirty in the first place.  You can also ask if they have ducts in the attic, crawlspace, garage, or basement and if so, are they concerned about duct leakage…i.e. pulling air in from those spaces or losing air through leaky ducts.  YES, that the primary way ducts get dirty and how contaminants get into the air people breath.

If your customer calls about an air cleaner:  Ask what sort of problems they are trying to fix.  Allergies?  Dusty home? Odors?  Did you know that a tight duct system and a tight, well insulated, and properly ventilated home can reduce contaminants in the air, making your home more comfortable, healthy and safe?  “We perform special testing which can determine the leakiness of your home and duct system.  Would you be interested in learning more about your home and duct system and what is causing your problems?”

If your customer calls about replacement equipment:  Ask why?  Is the system still working but they are not comfortable or are their utility bills too high?  Perhaps it has nothing to do with their equipment.  Perhaps it’s because their home and/or duct system is leaky.  Before investing thousands in a new system, would they be interested in learning about potential leakage issues in their home and/or duct system which may be causing their comfort issues?

TIP:  Some people may not want to share their pain as they think your purpose may be to sell them something.  Most likely, this is because another contractor treated them unfairly.  Your job is to be different, to really show you care about solving their problems, even to the point you explain how to do the work themselves.  Most people won’t, but they will really appreciate the fact you are clearly not trying to sell them something and instead are putting their needs first.

TIP:  Questioning technique #1:  If you ask a customer about their pain and they continually say everything is great (it’s probably not), ask one last question, “If you could wave a magic wand and make one thing better in your home…what would it be?”  This will often get a reply and become an ice breaker to uncover even more pain.

TIP:  Questioning technique #2:   Whenever someone shares a pain, follow up with a question or two seeking clarification.  For example; When you say your top floor is hard to cool in the summer, do you mean the entire top floor or just certain areas?  Is this only on the hottest days?  How long has this been going on?  Have you done anything to try and make it better?  Take the time to really get to know your customer’s pain, before you offer a solution.

TIP:  Don’t waste money advertising Home Performance, market Home Performance through your technicians and internal staff.  Teach your staff about Home Performance, empower them to become problem solvers and reward them ($$$$) for scheduling tests.

TIP:  Test, test, test…every employees home.  Once your employees see the testing process for themselves and you solve their problems, they can speak honestly and with excitement about the benefits of Home Performance.

Andrew Oser

Posted In: ACCA Now, Building Performance, Residential Buildings

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