Cracking the Quality Code – Part 2

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Yesterday, in Part 1 I talked about my definition of quality. Repeat after me: “Quality is meeting agreed-upon requirements and standards for every part of every job.” Today, I discuss those standards a bit more.

Setting Standards

In order to ensure that work gets completed with the highest level of quality, written standards need to be applied to each task. Although contractors can write their own standards, there’s a plug-and-play solution. I was part of the Advanced Energy team who, ...

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Cracking the Quality Code – Part 1

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While Mike is off fighting other battles for the next couple of months, John Tooley has stepped in to talk about quality from his unique, practical, and effective perspective.

Over the course of my 30-plus years in the home performance industry, I’ve found that most contractors have only the slightest notion of what constitutes quality work. I reached this conclusion while talking to thousands of contractors across the country.

I started handing out 3 × 5 index cards asking contractors to ...

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Focusing on payback to motivate customers?

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My experience has shown that focusing on payback is usually one of the least effective ways to motivate homeowners to invest in projects that save energy. Other motivators like comfort, healthier homes, lower bills (yes, that’s a different message than payback!), and sometimes even environmental messages resonate better and help encourage people to sign on the dotted line and ...
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What #MeToo means to me

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I generally reserve this space for professional content. And it is exactly in that context that I’m going to comment on the #MeToo messages I’ve been seeing, although at some point it’s impossible to separate the professional from the personal and the political.

The messages are very sobering.

I know women who’ve been harassed, abused, even raped. I’ve seen many statistics over the years on the large percentage of women who have said they’ve experience one or more of the above. ...

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You Got the Phone Call. Now What?

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A coffee-stained napkin is not the best CRM system!

Leads are the starting point. Now you’ve got to help them become buyers. That initial phone call plays an important role in the process.

The phone rings! Congratulations, your marketing worked, and you’ve got a lead. But you can’t sell home performance on the phone. You need to turn that call into an appointment, and ...

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Guerrilla Marketing in HVAC and Home Performance

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gorilla marketingNo, not Gorilla Marketing! Guerrilla Marketing, a concept I first discovered in a book by Jay Conrad Levinson, a book that I’ve been recommending for years. I think its emphasis on low-cost and unconventional ways to communicate are more relevant than ever. While big-budget mass media advertising might still work, more targeted engagement can certainly be effective…and cost-effective. I think this ...
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Some Marketing “Don’ts” For Home Performance Contractors

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reasons people callDon’t expect the words “home performance” to make your phone ring. People don’t know what home performance is. If that’s all you talk about, your call-center will be silent. People call for widgets (like furnaces, air-conditions, insulation, windows). They call for comfort issues (rooms that are too hot, too cold, drafts, etc.). They call for others reasons. But most people don’t ...
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Are Existing Customers YOUR Best Source of Business?

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Successful contractors who’ve been around at least a few years will tell you that referrals are a huge driver in their business. And they should be. The best customer should the one you have already. Next best is something they’ve referred to you. And yet, too many contractors ignore current and past customers both as a source of additional business and a source of referrals.

With respect to existing customers, HVAC contractors moving into home performance have an enormous opportunity–the ...

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Your HVAC & Home Performance Marketing Plan

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This is the first in a series of posts during the arbitrarily-proclaimed Focus on Marketing Week. Check back each day this week for another marketing morsel.

Lead SouresI get this question all the time. “What is the most effective marketing?”

Contractors are rarely satisfied with my answers to this, including “Your most effective marketing is what works best for you.” Whew, the tomatoes start flying. I can ...

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