AC Replacement can be a tricky sell sometimes. People are hesitant to try replacements over repairs and there’s a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to the best way to run a successful replacement campaign. When do we start? How do we target the right leads? Who even are the right leads?
During the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, our replacement campaigns were setting record highs when they generated more than 30,000 high quality leads a month for our clients. Our methods work, and in the height of some of the greatest economic turmoil of our times, our clients still prospered.
Don't Wait For Heat To Advertise AC
One of the best ways to maximize your efforts is to start early. We know it may seem strange to start thinking about AC when the thermometer is regularly hitting subzero temperatures, but hear us out. In February alone there were 1.3 million searches for AC-related terms: repair, replacement, ductless, etc. Obviously, that’s quite a substantial figure, especially for that time of year. Figures increased by 20% in March, another 20% in April, with May as the real breakout month, seeing 70% increase in traffic with 3.2 million searches.
Some contractors make the fatal mistake of only advertising during cooling season. They wait to run ads until the thermometer is hitting 80 or 90 degrees. The fact of the matter is that folks want their systems up and ready to go well in advance of this. They want to have it ready for when they need it in May and June.
The data supports it: AC is on people’s minds as early as February. Your takeaway? Get a head start, start your advertising on Valentines Day, and stay ahead of the competition. It costs you literally nothing extra and it puts you miles ahead of the game. By the time the hot weather rolls around and your competitors are scrambling to start their ads, your biggest problem is going to be dealing with all the appointments you’ll be booking.
mobile & 2nd opinion campaigns
Getting in early and often isn’t the only reason to start your AC efforts in February. People have more money around this time of year. February is the rebate and tax return (and more recently, stimulus check) season. Folks have some extra money to put back into their home. They’re just waiting to put that extra cash toward a good cause and a good company.
Optimize For Mobile
When we mentioned that 3.2 million searches came in for AC units, 2.1 million of those very same searches came in from mobile devices. Almost 75%. The writing is on the wall yet again: mobile is the way to go. Not having your site and landing pages optimized for mobile is a death knell. People love convenience. Most people aren’t going to stick around to pinch and scroll on a site that isn’t built for the phone-sized screen. They’re going to take their business elsewhere.
Second Opinion Campaign
When the weather does start to warm up, you’ll start seeing your competitors gear up their effort in competitor maintenance campaigns. Typically, most firms will use these early months in the season to give their less experienced techs get their feet wet in the field. These rookies represent some prime opportunities for you. These technicians are just starting out; they’re brand new. They’re going to make some mistakes you can capitalize on. They’ll misdiagnose problems, they’ll make transparent attempts at upselling customers, etc.
Homeowners are pretty savvy to this. They usually have a pretty good barometer and start getting doubts about this provider. If they have a technician that is scheduled to perform maintenance, and they come in recommending repairs and replacements, that raises a red flag. By questioning the recommendations of this young, green representative, leads start looking elsewhere. In a way, your competition can be your best salespeople.
Be there to capitalize on your competitors’ fumbles. Offer their customers a free second estimate.
Don’t complicate it. Really. Offer a no-strings-attached second opinion. It’s a chance for a real slam-dunk of a conversion. These people are already making a purchase decision and talking to your competitor. They’re going to be drawn to your competitive pricing and more experienced technicians.
Tips to Sell More AC Replacements
Landing Page Optimization
We recommend having a 120 day-long or even year-long cookie on your landing pages. This is essentially a piece of code that tags visitors to your page and allows your remarketing materials to get in front of them across the web. By leveraging this technology, you can make sure that even leads that bounce off your landing pages are always seeing your brand and being reacquainted with your company.
csr's just book the call
Another really simple way to increase your leads? Have dedicated CSR (call service representatives) who’s only goal is to get one of your techs on-site. We’ve studied our extensive catalogue of calls and we find that a lot of CSRs ask technical questions. They try to diagnose the issue themselves, or even worse, spoke firms have techs answering calls when they could be out servicing customers. CSR’s only priority should be getting your techs to homes where they can do what they do best. This seems like a simple one, but it’s extremely important and you’d be shocked at how many providers don’t do this.
Present Your Lead Finance Offers
Now you’ve got a lead in the door. Now it’s time to sweeten the deal further. Offer enticing financing offers. Not everyone is going to be prepared to pay cash or have a tax return on-hand. Many are nervous about getting a home improvement loan or may not even know what a HELOC is. You can remove another barrier here by having financing ready to go.
Really powerful options can include promotions that offer 0% financing for a certain period of time, like 12 months. This allows homeowners to benefit from financing that is the same as cash as they collect funds.
To do this, you need to look for third-party interest loan providers to help facilitate this deal. Look at different financing options before the AC season gets into full swing so you can have the options on-hand at the consultation.
lead retention solutions
Have A Follow-Up System
What about after the appointment? Maybe it didn’t go the way you wanted and they didn’t make any decisions? That’s where your follow-up system comes into play. Having a structured plan to circle back around to prospective customers can net you leads who were otherwise teetering on the fence. Have a manager call and follow-up on every opportunity. Send out emails thanking the homeowner for the opportunity. Let them know more about you and what your company stands for. Yes, this gets more difficult as the season ramps up and you get busier. But taking the time out and going the extra mile pays off in the long run.
Turn Repairs Into Replacements
When you do secure a call, you want to have a game plan to turn a repair into a replacement. This is tricky, as most homeowners are going to be apprehensive about replacing when, in their mind, a repair is just as good. You need to come out of the gate with a really attractive offer. An incentive with a deadline to spur action that much quicker. Offer fast access to units by stockpiling them on your own. Offer an enhanced warranty with life-time maintenance.
Offer more than just the standard ‘$500 off installation.” Those offers are a dime a dozen and utterly fail to stick out to the crowd. Think outside the box and offer homeowners deals that you yourself would love to take advantage of and that initial apprehension about replacement will fade away like the summer heat in an airconditioned room.
Ultimately, there are a lot of ways to up your AC replacement game in the run up to the cooling season proper. From optimizing mobile, to leveraging your competition, to simply being the early bird, you’re not wanting for options. It’s all about planning ahead and letting your techs do what they do best once they get in front of a homeowner.