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4 HVAC Sales Tips for Competitive Selling (+ Phone Scripts)

January 10, 2024 13 min. read
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You hear stories of HVAC business owners making several millions in revenue every year. What will it take for you to get there?

Large HVAC companies are growing even bigger using expertly trained sales reps and well-researched sales strategies.

Do what those companies did years ago: create and document a sales strategy, then train your HVAC techs and sales staff to sell millions in HVAC systems.

In this article, you’ll get advice on putting your own sales strategy together, hiring and training sales staff, and improving your customer service so you can sell more systems.

Develop your sales strategy

Many HVAC business owners dive head-first into sales without preparation. Some push their technicians and installers to start selling in the field with little to no training.

Avoid this unprofessional approach to sales. It stretches your techs too thin, and inexperienced selling is often aggressive and frustrating to customers.

The most successful HVAC businesses have a careful, detailed sales strategy.

To manage your HVAC sales more effectively, take a few days to develop a sales strategy that outlines your:

  • Target market (who you’re selling to)
  • Product positioning (how you’ll communicate the value of your HVAC equipment and services)
  • Sales targets (concrete goals you’re working towards)

Target market

Have a solid understanding of your target customers and document it. If your HVAC business plan doesn’t outline this already, write out your ideal customer’s age range, average annual income, and the services they usually need.

This information will help you tailor your sales conversations, materials, and the services you offer.

For example, if you’re selling to young new homeowners, you’ll likely want to highlight the energy efficiency and cost-savings your HVAC systems provide.

Product positioning

Plan how you’ll “position” what you offer—that is, how you’ll describe it to your customers—before you create sales materials and train your sales staff.

To figure out the best ways to talk about what you’re selling, assess the unique needs of your area. Are your target customers more concerned with speed of service, energy efficiency, or cost?

For each of your offerings, write out a statement that describes its unique selling point—this should be the benefit that matters most to your target customers.

Bonus tip: Use this product positioning in your HVAC ads and other marketing materials.

Sales targets

Sales targets are specific goals that your sales staff need to achieve within a given time frame.

Setting clear sales targets gives your sales team something to work towards, and it’s how you or your sales manager will measure success.

  1. Start by looking at the short- and long-term revenue goals you want to achieve for your business overall.
  2. Then, set a target for each individual sales employee, like number of units sold or new contracts signed, that will ensure they meet those goals.

Dave Nichols, a Training Manager at Lennox Industries, suggests you measure an HVAC sales rep’s success by looking at average ticket price, closing rates, and annual sales.

Using those success metrics, here’s what your sales rep targets could look like:

  • Sell 12 HVAC systems monthly
  • Achieve an average ticket of $10,000
  • Sell $64,000 in HVAC systems each month
  • Achieve an average closing rate of 75%
  • Hit $550,000 in annual sales
  • Add $3,000 more revenue by Q3

READ MORE: HVAC business profit margins: 8 ways to improve profitability

Hire comfort advisors

If you have the means to hire, find dedicated sales reps instead of pushing installers and technicians to sell.

While great customer service skills should be in your HVAC technician job description, field techs are usually not experienced in sales.

Put up a job posting for comfort advisors who can sell customers your HVAC solutions while your field team focuses on HVAC work.

How to pay your comfort advisors

Pay your comfort advisors a percentage of every sale they make—anywhere between 5% and 12% or more. Some comfort advisors are also paid a base salary.

Train your team to sell

Create and schedule training sessions that prepare your field techs, installers, and comfort advisors to have effective sales conversations.

In addition to understanding the HVAC services and products you offer, your sales staff should come out of your training program knowing how to:

  1. Talk about your products and communicate their value
  2. Use consultative sales to solve customer problems with your products
  3. Handle common objections from customers
  4. Close a sale (get the customer’s approval)

To train your field team and comfort advisors on all of the above, include these sections in your HVAC sales training:

1. Product training

Your techs and installers are already experts in your HVAC solutions. But if you have comfort advisors, you need to get them up to speed.

In your initial training, give your advisors a detailed rundown of all the products and services you offer, plus the product positioning you prepared in your sales strategy.

Then, schedule a “refresher” training session every few months to keep them updated on new products and general knowledge of the HVAC industry.

2. Consultative sales

Consultative sales is a method where the salesperson acts as an advisor, focused on understanding and addressing the specific needs and challenges of the customer.

Instead of pushing a product, consultative selling is about building a relationship and offering tailored solutions.

Train your field team or comfort advisors in these two main components of consultative selling:

  • Needs analysis — Asking the right questions to understand customer needs, preferences, and budget constraints.
  • Solutioning  — Using your customer’s answers to recommend the best HVAC solution for the customer’s problem.

3. Objection handling

Teach your team how to answer customers who say your prices are too high and other objections they might have.

Start by collecting insights from your field technicians. Ask your techs to share the most common objections they’ve heard in the field when talking to customers about investing in better HVAC systems.

Then, type up a list of these objections and work with your technicians and sales staff to come up with the best responses.

Borrow from these examples of objections and suggested responses:

4. Closing skills

Give your employees guidance on how to get the final “yes” from a customer, including how to read buying signals and close the sale without being pushy.

Often, the best way to make the sale is to act like your prospect has already signed off on the work. This way, you remove the opportunity for more objections.

Here are a few statements and questions your team can use to close a sale:

Pro Tip: When your HVAC technicians see a sales opportunity at a service visit, encourage them to pass the customer along to a comfort advisor instead of trying to make the sale directly.

You can reward your technicians with a portion of the comfort advisor’s commission rate for passing along leads.

Use templates for your sales paperwork

Save your sales staff time by preparing templates for your estimates and contracts. As soon as a customer agrees to the sale, it’ll be easy to add their information to a pre-made document and get their signature.

Quote templates

Setting up an HVAC quote template in Jobber takes seconds. Once you’ve added your company contact info, logo, and branding, that will all appear automatically on every quote or proposal.

Branded HVAC quote in Jobber

Then, your techs or sales reps can build a proposal or quote right at the customer’s property from the Jobber mobile app.

They can add line items for the HVAC unit and services that you’ve saved in Jobber, then modify pricing on the spot as they build a custom plan for the customer.

This is what the customer will see online if your rep is selling furnaces using a Jobber quote:

an HVAC estimate with optional estimates and images to help with closing the deal

This quote uses optional line items to offer a customer multiple furnace options. You could also use optional line items to offer add-on services, like a blower wheel replacement or HEPA filter installation.

Or, create a good-better-best HVAC proposal thats let customers upgrade their HVAC system and maintenance agreement with.

Service contract templates

Making a template for your HVAC service contracts saves you from creating one from scratch every time.

Contact information on an HVAC service contract

Build one using a word processor or a template from a legal document service like LawDistrict. You can fill in customer-specific information while your rep is close to making the sale.

Make sure your template includes:

  • Your business contact information
  • Terms and conditions
  • An invoice schedule and payment terms
  • Signature line

Customer service phone scripts to improve your HVAC sales

Phone scripts can be a great guide for HVAC technicians and installers to improve their customer service—which helps you and your comfort advisors sell more HVAC work.

Creating scripts for your field techs’ phone calls with customers helps them use the most effective language to gather key information, earn a customer’s trust, and offer additional services.

Before using our phone call scripts, note that these are not for cold calls. The most effective way to sell is by having helpful customer service conversations with existing customers and HVAC leads who have contacted you.

The most important customer phone calls will happen: 

  1. After you receive a work request
  2. Before a scheduled HVAC repair call
  3. After you complete a visit

1. After you receive a work request

Follow up with a customer immediately after they request information or an estimate through your online request form.

Use this sample phone call script to collect information about the customer’s system, book a site visit, and establish that your team is trustworthy.

2. Before a scheduled HVAC repair call

In a quick, two-minute phone call before a service call, your field techs can earn the customer’s trust by introducing themselves professionally even before they arrive.

This call is also an opportunity to collect information about the customer’s system and HVAC service history that can be used in sales conversations later on.  

3. After you complete a visit

You or your field techs should call every customer the day after their service visit. This check-in phone call is more than just good customer service practice—it gives you the chance to fix any mistakes, collect feedback, and get new customer referrals.

Use this first script to check on a customer after you’ve completed a repair, install, or replacement:

If the customer had a positive experience, continue the phone call with this script to ask for a referral:

READ MORE: How to respond to a negative review

Selling your HVAC services effectively comes down to thoughtful planning, hiring, and training.  Use the tips from this article to develop an effective sales process and guide each sale.

Don’t forget to document what’s working in your sales process. Keep track of all your activities and you’ll have an easier time getting new sales staff up to speed.

Originally published in May 2018. Last updated on January 10, 2024.

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