Ask the Experts | Trends Among Residential Customers

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Question: What trends have you seen in relation to what residential customers care most about?

Mike Treas; The HVAC Sales Coach:

Interesting question, and I can answer it any way, because it doesn’t really have a lot of specifics, in my opinion. But one of the things I see customers care about always, is their family. Customers care about their family. Especially our main customer, who is female.

When you’re in front of a couple and they’re purchasing a furnace and air conditioning system, she’s our main customer. She’s the one, mostly, who influences the decision on whether or not to work with you. He’s going to say, “OK, we have to have a furnace and air conditioner,” but she’s the one that’s going to say who they work with and why. And it’s emotional, and because of all the things we talked about earlier, we’re going to get her to say, “You know what, nobody else is asking about those kinds of things.” So we’ve got to figure out a way to help her with that because, frankly, that is what she cares most about, is family.

Now the other thing that we see, in trends, that customers care about, is the internet. It’s amazing how many millennials — which are early-20s to mid-30s out there currently — it’s amazing how many of those folks are buying homes and we are now in front of them. They have grown up with a computer in front of them, and we had better deal with that.

So when we’re in front of them – and I’m like James, I do everything on paper. I love paper. I can put it in my customer’s hands, they can touch it, they can feel it, they can swivel around in their chair and talk about it. Whereas if it’s on my computer and I try to put it in front of them, they don’t even feel comfortable many times positioning it in front of themselves so that they can read it. That’s still a little funny about the computer.

However, it’s a trend, and something we have to start being aware of. And we have to put what we do on a computer – again, I’m still a paper guy, I’m going to keep being a paper guy – but I need to have my company presentation and information about the products that we have, information about a maintenance agreement, that also needs to be on the computer/tablet as a backup. So when I’m in front of those people who I know, that’s what they’re used to, I present it on computer as well.

So there are a couple of trends, but the one I can’t stress enough is family. Remember, she cares about her family, she’s our biggest decision maker, focus on it.

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