Ask the Experts | Summer Promos for Company Launch?

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Question: “I’m about to start my own HVAC company. My plan is to launch right before the summer with some kind of introduction type special. Any suggestions?”

Drew Cameron; President, HVAC Sellutions & Energy Design Systems, Inc.:

I think Weldon hit it earlier with his comments about home shows and other things there. I was asked this at another conference I was attending. What I said to them was: You know, I’m in a mindset now where … it’s like I always used to kind of conform. I guess growing up we all tend to fall on the line, we almost become automatons to some extent, and just kind of go along. We look at “What are the competitors doing?” and “What do the best practices group suggest?” And obviously our listeners are part of a group, right? So they’re looking to us and saying, “What do the experts suggest?”

And so I think what’s really neat about Weldon, myself and Gary and everyone else on the EGIA faculty, is we challenge our paradigms, our own paradigms and industry paradigms. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to challenge the paradigm and say, “Don’t be like everybody else.” Disrupt the market. Be the Uber, if you will, of the market. Be the iPhone that comes along and takes down Blackberry. What can you do that’s completely different, that’s going to knock the market on its ear?

You don’t need to be like everybody else, you don’t need to have a discount special, because you’re going into peak season. So I’ll say: differentiate.

What do you do that is going to stand out from the rest of the crowd that’ll add massive value and benefit and stand out from the crowd that’s offering a $29.99 special? You know, come out with a 44-point, $159 monster maintenance package that’s regularly a $199 value, where you basically do, not only what everybody else is doing on maintenance, but you’re also going to clean the indoor and outdoor coil. You’re going to polish the indoor and outdoor machines with a space age polymer, also known as wax. You’re going to clean the blower wheel, you’re going to go ahead and do pressure checks, and you’re going to maybe even test and clean the ducts up, if you do duct cleaning.

You get 20% off of service agreements. You get $50 off any repair found during the maintenance. You get loyalty credits and you’ll become part of the discounted service agreement membership, where you can get all of the benefits we’re talking about on a service agreement plan. You’ll renew their warranty for the whole summer, or just the hottest month of the summer. Something like that on the service side.

On the equipment side, again I don’t think you have to go into heavy discounting. But why don’t you include an added item – maybe an air cleaner, UV light, 10 years parts and labor with the system? Low APR,: 9.9 for 7, 6.9 for 10 years for mid-tier equipment — the 9.9 on 7 years would be for entry level equipment — and maybe 2.99% interest for 12 years on the better equipment, where you modify, clean, seal, insulate the ducts and test them to verify that what you installed delivers the BTUs. You’re not just going to put in a 3 ton system, you’re going to make sure it delivers a 3 ton system, because you’re going to perform combustion efficiency testing and air flow testing to make sure that you’re delivering the BTUs.

You’re just going to shock the industry and shatter expectations and deliver an extraordinary experience. That’s what I say you do. Why come out and be like everybody else and get lost in a sea of sameness? Just disrupt it and have a blue ocean opportunity.

That’s what Steve Jobs did with the iPhone 11 years ago. No one was looking for an iPhone. They either had a flip phone or a candy bar phone, a digital PDA, an MP3 player and a digital camera. And he said you know what, we’re going to marry them all together. People said “nobody wants this, nobody’s asking for this,” and he basically said if we build it, they will come. And he changed the world forever.

So I would say to the industry: Knock them on their butts, because this industry needs knocking on their butts. And Weldon, I know you feel exactly the same way.

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