‘Tis the season for furnace breakdowns—and yet you can’t just rely on your existing client base and hope that they’ll need your help. Part of keeping your HVAC business growing includes bringing in new clients for a steady stream of new business. Of course, like most things in business, that is sometimes easier said than done. The good news is that now that your budget is a bit bigger, so is the range of tactics available to help you build your HVAC business.
You can pick and choose from the list below to find the tactics that make the most sense for your HVAC business. Some may take more effort than others, but they’re all time well spent in terms of getting those new clients that you need. And with many of them, you’ll be able to get things moving and then get back to your business while the outreach efforts are doing their work.
Here are five must-know tactics if you’re going to grow your HVAC client base.
Cost: Free, unless you offer incentives
Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most effective ways to generate new business, especially in the home services industry. HVAC businesses and other trades live and die by what people have to say, in many instances. This is something that you should use to your advantage when looking for new business. Ask people for referrals or create some type of referral program that rewards both the existing client and the person they referred.
You can also solicit reviews, both on your website and elsewhere. Google reviews are an essential part of local SEO (which we’ll talk about in a minute) in addition to helping bolster your reputation. Make sure that you monitor and manage all of the reviews of your business online, too. And if you happen to come across a negative one, don’t panic. Simply respond to the review and try to find a way to resolve the issue or improve the situation—that goes a lot further with your audience than you might realize.
Cost: Free, unless you pay for networking events, memberships, etc.
One of the best ways to build your HVAC business is to position your company as an authority within the industry. People today have tons of options and the Internet has only increased that—you can’t just claim to be the best HVAC service in the area. You have to prove it. Take the time to network with other industry businesses. Contractors, property managers, builders, plumbers and electricians, other tradesmen, etc. will all provide you with beneficial partnerships and help you build your client base.
Make sure that you join any professional associations or organizations that you can. Attend trade shows and networking events when you can to help you increase your networking reach, too. You can learn a lot while you’re here and score valuable reputation points to increase your professional image.
Local SEO is a big part of your search ranking score. If you are billing yourself as a local business and yet you’re not ranking highly for local searches, you are missing the mark. You should be utilizing location-based keywords, but it’s more than just that. You also need to build those reviews we just spoke about, make contact information easily accessible, and make sure that your website includes a map and clickable phone numbers for easy mobile access.
Claim and complete your Google Business Profile, which will allow you to set the bar for your professional online listings. Then, you can go join other business directories and forums to promote your local HVAC business, too. Ultimately, it’s best if you hire someone to handle this task. The experts know which moves are going to make the most money and how to use local SEO to attract all the clients you need.
Cost: Free, unless you pay someone to create/build your profiles
The thing about social media is that while you can hire someone to help you get it set up, you can’t (or shouldn’t, rather) pay someone to engage with your audience and provide the professional relationship that they desire. People expect businesses that they work with today to be available on social media. They also expect them to be personable and to engage directly, not to hire someone to do the work.
Learn how to use social media to your advantage. Make it a part of your regular marketing strategy and part of your daily routine—check your pages, respond to comments and posts, answer questions, make your own fresh posts each day (or multiple times a day), etc. The majority of local businesses that have social media don’t do a lot of interaction, and that’s where they lose points with their audience.
Cost: $250-$5,000, depending on what gets outsourced
Outsourcing is a great way to get a lot more done without a lot of dough. It also frees up your time and saves you from doing two or three times the work on your own. You’re in the business of installing and fixing HVAC systems, not answering phones and scheduling appointments. Fortunately, there are companies out there that do specialize in the latter, including the virtual receptionists here at Smith.ai.
Our dedicated receptionists can provide 24/7 phone answering support so that you never miss a potential lead. In addition to that, we can also help you create a strategy to manage your lead screening and intake, appointment scheduling, live website chat, and even help with your outreach campaigns to generate those leads in the first place. Plus, we’ll do it all with a custom strategy to ensure that we cover every single detail.