14 Ways to Generate HVAC Leads (Get New Customers)
People always want to be comfortable so with that thought process in mind, it makes perfect sense why HVAC companies are always finding work. However, as an HVAC company your goal is not to find work, but to find the right work. You don’t want to send your crew to constant dead-end jobs, instead you want high-value jobs where you and your HVAC team can truly make a difference in a home or commercial job.
For many HVAC professionals, a lead pipeline is something that there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to create. Furthermore, after creating the pipeline, maintenance is an issue. The goal here is not to just build a pipeline getting you leads but a pipeline that provides you with high-quality leads. You want to get work that is for a good price and from good customers. This is how your business grows.
You will know your lead generation system is working correctly when you have more work than you can take on. The best part about your lead generation systems is when you are able to make potential leads bid against each other for your services. As you start to dictate the prices instead of letting the market dictate, your business can grow.
As your business grows, you will be able to hire more employees or pay existing employees a higher wage. When a solid lead generation system is in place you never worry about where the next job comes from – you just know there will be the next job and it will be a job worth your time and talent.
Defining a lead is really simple – it’s a prospective consumer of a product or service. For HVAC pros, this is as simple as a new air conditioner or installing ductwork in an office park. Whether you are completing system maintenance or moving an air handler from one part of the home to another, your lead generation system will know where the right leads are because they’re coming to you.
The best way to generate leads is to integrate your strategies. Many HVAC companies are finding success using the internet as a primary means, but there are still many reasons to stick with traditional ideas like direct mailers. Whatever your goal, make sure your strategy is integrated and responsive.
Types of Leads
There is a major difference in lead types. Commercial leads are usually more high paying but labor intensive while residential leads are simpler and less frequent. For commercial leads, expect that you’ll have to consistently come back to the same location – especially if you’re on a contract. Residential leads are great because someone always needs a new A/C unit or furnace.
There are some key differences – in a commercial job you may be doing an HVAC system for an entire building while for a residential job it’s as simple as routine maintenance with a filter change. Your lead generation system should be optimized to get your preferred leads.
Here are 14 ways to generate leads for your HVAC business
#1 The Retail Politics Method
Going around a neighborhood is an easy way to generate leads. Especially in warmer climates, you should take walks. The easiest way to tell if an A/C isn’t running is by sound. So, if you hear an A/C unit with tell-tale signs of problems, make sure you knock on that person’s door. Spend time talking to people wherever you are. You never know when the next lead is coming your way!
#2 Use the Direct Mail Method
The reality is direct mail isn’t as great as it once way, but when someone zigs, you should zag, right? The cost per lead on a direct mail campaign is about $60, so these are numbers to think about before going with these campaigns.
That said, people are more likely to see your direct mailer because unlike e-mail, direct mailers are not overlooked as easily. People still need to take them out of the mailbox and that journey from the mailbox to front door could be what puts your company on the mind of someone looking to get a new A/C unit.
#3 The Cool thing is Local SEO
The effectiveness of SEO programs is abundantly clear. Just take a look at the businesses on Google’s Page 1. They’re the businesses using SEO effectively. Fortunately, Google’s My Business tools help you with backlinking and content marketing. Make sure that you take full advantage or hire an expert that will.
SEO is a low-cost way to build your company’s profile. If the price per lead on direct mail is $60, SEO has a much lower price per lead.
#4 Use Pay-Per-Click Marketing
Another Google tool, Adwords, is one of the easiest ways to get your business the profile it needs to be a lead magnet. 85% of people look for businesses on the internet and the pay-per-click lead converts at a higher rate than those who happen to stumble upon your page.
Google Adwords is not the only pay-per-click tool, but it is the best. Make sure that you use other tools as well. Adwords is a good way to get started in the pay-per-click world, you’ll quickly learn what works and what should be thrown away.
#5 Facebook Advertising is a Behemoth
If you want to reach a lot of people in your community quickly, Facebook is the best way. Because Facebook tailors its content to users based on their searches and their localities, you get the right eyes on your business.
Facebook has an awesome toolbox allowing you to customize your ads and see how they perform in real time. When ads perform great, you can keep them up and replicate their style. When ads are not as effective, ditch them and move on. There’s no waiting and hoping, you can deal with your lead generation in real time with Facebook.
#6 Suppliers and Partnerships
Home Depot and Lowe’s are great because they offer all the materials you need at good prices. They also offer partnerships, allowing you to generate leads. Familiarize yourself with the contractor services at each store and as the folks there get to know you, they will make referrals on your behalf along with other leads.
Another great idea for partnerships is the smaller stores. You can leverage exceptional rates of referrals both ways and at the same time feel good about supporting a small business.
#7 Be Present During the Right Seasons
The summer in Florida is a great time to be an HVAC company. So is the winter in Massachusetts. People need your help all the time to regulate the climate in their homes and businesses. Spend your time where it is most beneficial to your business.
If you have enough leads to stay in one area, that’s a perfect way to keep your business established. Know when your busy time is and be sure your schedule is wide open. There should be at least one season each year where you barely sleep if your lead generation pipelines are working right.
#8 Content Marketing is King
Your website is a really valuable tool and using content marketing along with local SEO is one of the best ways to generate leads. As you add content to your site what ends up happening is your ranking on Google searches increase.
Perhaps the best way to add content is with a blog. Update your blog regularly. Use the space to provide tips to clients so they can solve some of their own problems. Most of the time, leads end up realizing what you are talking about is too big of a job to do on their own and in turn, they give you a call because of how helpful your blog was.
#9 Develop an E-Mail Marketing Campaign
E-Mail marketing campaigns are pretty easy because they are mostly automated. Once someone clicks on your site and submits their e-mail address to your system, your e-mail marketing machine should be humming. Send out series of e-mails as promotions or as newsletters. With every dollar you spend on e-mail marketing there is a $40 return, so this is one clearly profitable way to get yourself some new leads.
Combining email marketing with content marketing is one of the best ways you can build your lead machine. Be sure to integrate these strategies for maximum effect.
#10 Use Trade Shows to Network
Businesses spend a lot of money on trade shows. They are expecting you to be there and want you to come away with a greater appreciation of their product. They will spend time with you at their booth and try to sell you on their wares.
You need to do the same. Cultivate these relationships and you’ll find the leads you derive from trade shows are of incredible value because they will be ready to pay top dollar for your services.
#11 Participate in the Local Chamber of Commerce
The best way to build leads is to be a leader in your community, and there’s no place allowing that to happen easier than a Chamber of Commerce. This is the place to meet the people working on the same projects as you! When you talk with these people and offer solutions while being affable, the person HVAC business on their mind is yours. These Chamber of Commerce networks are used by locals and by people who are from out of town, so when the Chamber knows who you are and how great a job you do, they’re ready to refer you.
#12 Reputation Management
Few things can sink a business faster than a bad review, and HVAC businesses are no different. Be present on sites like Yelp, Home Advisor, Angie’s List, Facebook Local, and Google Maps. Check out your reviews and make sure your customers who are happy provide reviews. When you get a bad review, this is the time for you to show potential clients exactly how conscientious you are about your work. Reply to these folks with humility and try to resolve the situation. If a person leaves a bad review and is unwilling to solve the problem, explain what happened.
Your reputation is your first impression, so make sure you are constantly curating it.
#13 Home Advisor and Angie’s List Participation
HVAC professionals know that Angie’s List and Home Advisor are the first places people turn to when they need a project completed. These services offer lead generation as part of a yearly subscription, and truthfully if you only get a couple leads from these sources then it has paid for itself.
The way these sites work is someone arrives onto the site and asks for a specific type of service. Once they input all the requirements including where they are and how quickly they want a service, it’s sent through a funnel and outcomes your business.
The way you close the sale? The way you always do! Follow up immediately with the lead and use your expertise to sell the customer on your ability to do the job at a fair price. Your customers trust Angie’s List and Home Advisor to deliver professionals. You trust them to deliver leads.
#14 Give Thumbtack Your Time
Thumbtack is a great service because it is low cost and it is filled with people who are looking for projects. When you spend the time and sign up as a pro, it is incredibly important to fill up your profile. There should be a lot of pictures and good descriptions of your work. Your profile will build naturally.
The best way to utilize Thumbtack effectively is a quick response time. People on Thumbtack aren’t playing – they want answers and want them right away. Usually, on Thumbtack, the HVAC company replying first is the one getting the job.
Make sure your business has work by building and maintain a great lead generation pipeline. The key is always seeing how quickly leads are pouring in and the quality of the leads. When you have a great system, you get great results – just like the HVAC work you perform!