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. ...

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Hiring the Right People Makes the Whole Thing Easier!

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hire the right peopleHave you ever worked with some one who drags you down? Have you seen a bad attitude spread like this year’s flu virus thru the office? Have do you feel when people come in late? Or pilfer from the warehouse?

The point is having the right people around is very important. It’s not just some loosey-goosey notion. It has a big impact on the bottom line. To slightly ...

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3 Common Mistakes Contractors Should Avoid

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Home Performance is a tough business. It can also be very rewarding—on many levels—when done right. Done right. There is a tendency in our industry to focus on the technical side. This is understandable, especially since we’re faced with the fact the most homes operate poorly precisely because of poor focus on the technical while they were being built, maintained, or remodeled.

Let’s take it is a given the we need to provide high quality services, whether we’re talking about ...

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EE Programs Offer a Great Example of How to Confuse Consumers

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Different HEE Scores and RatingSetting aside the question of whether a label for home energy efficiency will drive change in the near future, let’s look at what we should not be doing…which is kinda what we are doing.

If we think labeling a home with a score or rating is a good idea, we should ...

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Ignoring Irrational Buying Behavior Means Fewer Energy Efficiency Purchases

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Predictably Irrational CoverCheck out Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.  Or just read his blog for a while. We humans are wacky when it comes to making decisions.

We’re just not rational. Here’s a good example on how different frames of reference affect decisions we make. In one of Areily’s experiments, he pretended he was giving a poetry reading and presented different ...

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Without Contractors, Home Performance Doesn’t Work!

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If you’re convening a conversation on home energy retrofits, you really need to include contractors who make their living in the market delivering retrofits. Period.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in several discussions about the home performance “industry”. (Yes, it’s small, but I still call it an industry, and I’m talking not just about those who’ve cut their teeth in home performance, but also those like smart HVAC companies adding home performance to ...

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Role-playing. Love it or hate it, you should be doing it.

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Practicing makes you better“You look like a dork.” OK, maybe she has a point. I’m walking around town with a 50lb. backpack on. (And wearing a shocking green fleece jacket, to boot.) But that’s OK. I’m training for an extended backcountry adventure, and I need to spend time hauling a heavy pack around so it becomes easy. So I don’t have to ...
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Home “MPG” Labels Won’t Drive EE Improvements

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I want to get back into some of the behavioral economics and geek-out Kahneman Style (maybe Psy could do a video?). But over the past week, a couple of conversations highlighted for me the focus on energy savings in contrast with my assertion that most people don’t buy energy-efficiency based on economic rationality. The essence of the conversation were that labeling homes would really drive efficiency and touted things like the Home Energy ...
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The small daily things count!

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There is an interesting piece by Jared Diamond in today’s NYTimes, That Daily Shower Can Be a Killer. The essay explores risk, and how we often look at the big scary things and ignore the small risks that confront us every day. If there is something that has a small probability of killing you—but you do it every day—it makes sense to be careful.

Too often in business, we ...

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