consumers please help me answer these questionss

handy-manApril 4, 2012

Hi everyone,

Hopefully by answering some of the posts, I've helped some consumers. I am starting an hvac business with my partner soon and would like to learn more about the consumer side as far as how they decide and choose an hvac contractor. Please give me an honest answer. The more details, the better.

1. How do you look for hvac contractor? Yellow page, internet, friends, families?

2. What do you think first when choosing a new hvac system. The brand name or the contractor? what brand do you like the most?

3. When getting bid, do you prefer talking to a saleman or a contractor? And can you tell if he's a saleman or contractor?

4. What made you decide to choose that contractor? is it because he give you alot of information, about how new system will be install, the warranties, the prices.

5. What do you expect out of an hvac contractor when they are giving you the bid? Another words,what made you decide to not choose the contractor?

I know some of these questions are dumb, but I am totally new to business world. I just want to make sure I will do my totally best for my costumers and hope to keep their business.

Thank you very much

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tigerdunes

Handyman

I see this issue in most HVAC companies which are usually small independent shops.

Lack of professional salesmanship. Most dealers turn a good tech into a bad salesman. Don't offer any training in this area. A good salesman has to know his product but also use sales techniques tailored to each potential customer. Most don't listen.and mostbdon't know how to talk or present themselves and the company they represent in a professional manner.

More later on your questions.

IMO

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 8:56AM
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big_al_41

I have to agree with Tiger, I was a outside sales person for well over 30+ years... and he hit the nail on the head, if the salesperson does not know his product or service they can NEVER talk to a customer and hope to get that bid or job. Selling (skills)to a customer must be already withing that sales rep. Product knowledge comes from his or hers company. Your clients don't know if your operating from a phone booth or 10 story building, so beware they represent YOU.

Good luck and please don't hire a pushy sales person .... I consisted my job just as much as a profession as a lawyer etc.

Good luck

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 11:01AM
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weedmeister

for my last upgrade:

1. both the internet and yellow pages. I went to sites like this for brand opinions, then to the corporate sites for model information and recommendations for local dealers. Then the yellow pages. Nowadays I suppose something like Angie's List.

2. Brand. Then contractor. I favored Trane at the time, but I'm not 'married' to any particular brand.

3. Probably sales. But he has to know his product. And he has to answer my questions honestly.

4. Price, experience (the company had been around for a long time), warranty and after-sales service (free 6-month tuneup).

5. Well, I expect them to show up for appointments on time. I expect the bid to be specific as to equipment being purchased and any ancillary costs like new wiring, duct work, linesets, etc. And nowadays I would expect to see a load analysis for cooling and heating sizing.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 2:44PM
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veesubotee

In my case, I decided on the brand and type of equipment after plodding the HVAC forums for about a year.

In 2 or 3 instances, I caught the 'salesperson' making false/misleading statements. So first off, don't BS the potential customer--you never know who you're up against.

One contractor (who I later chose) was so impressed with my knowledge, he offered me a job.

One tip I can offer is to have a neat/presentable shop. I visited a couple--says a lot.

V

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 4:07PM
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mike_home

Here are my thoughts based on my experience:

1. How do you look for hvac contractor? Yellow page, internet, friends, families?

>A combination of asking friends and searching for factory authorized dealers listed on specific brand web sites.

2. What do you think first when choosing a new hvac system. The brand name or the contractor? what brand do you like the most?

>The focus is usually brand name first since most people don't know who is a good contractor. Carrier and Trane get the most name brand recoginiton.

3. When getting bid, do you prefer talking to a saleman or a contractor? And can you tell if he's a saleman or contractor?

>I want to talk to someone who know more about the equipment and installation than I do. I am turned off if the salesman does not know his product. A salesman wants to talk about price quickly, a contractor is interested in putting together a system which best suits the customer's needs.

4. What made you decide to choose that contractor? is it because he give you alot of information, about how new system will be install, the warranties, the prices.

>The contractor I chose did all the measurements for thorough Manual J calculation during his first visit. On the second visit he showed me the calculation and spreadsheets of several combinations of furnaces and condensers which were sized for my home. The spreadsheets had model numbers, prices, and the available local and federal rebates. The contractor is a small family run business and a Carrier factory authorized dealer.

5. What do you expect out of an hvac contractor when they are giving you the bid? Another words,what made you decide to not choose the contractor?

>I did not choose two contractors who did not want to do a Manual J calculation. A third contractor claimed he would do the calculation after the contract was signed. None of these contractors explained picking one system versus another.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 9:42AM
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heatseeker

The first thing I make sure when hiring an HVAC company is to insure the man/tech is not a self proclaimed handy man>>>>>...;/

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 11:57AM
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handy-man

Thanks everyone,

Any more? I would love to hear more.

LOL heaterseeker,

I am not a handy-man. my screen name is handy-man, but I am actually a licensed hvac contrator.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 2:40AM
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heatseeker

Okay you are reinstated. I had a good point though.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:46AM
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ionized_gw

These points really apply to any kind of home repair, or improvement not just HVAC. I have only done one HVAC project on my home.

1) What I hear from other knowledgeable homeowners and tradespeople and that alone.
2) See above
3) Contractor or project manager. If it is going to be a larger operation, I like those that have a project manager that runs the jobs from the first meet with potential customer to the end of the job.
4) Communication is big. I like to know what is happening and why. I need to be involved in the decisions. This attitude even goes to my automobile work and when I go to a physician. It is tough to find professionals that are confident enough to enjoy give and take with their clients. Most get defensive.
5) A fair price. Everyone needs to make a living so I am not looking for cheap. Don't expect me to fund your entire retirement.

Don't base your model on me because I am an outlier. Just be aware that guys like me exist. I don't have much experience yet with home improvement projects, but I have a lot ahead of me. I intend to have an exit evaluation with every contractor about what went well and what did not. I don't expect perfection, but as the process goes on I would like to hear from them if I could be a better customer and I am sure they would like to hear my point of view on how they could better serve me if we could start over with that job.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:17AM
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heatseeker

I just had a customer who had a three ton condenser matched with a two ton air handler in a condo. I told her that because the ductwork was more or less permanent that I would not install a three ton air handler and as she insisted I passed on the job because she was too knowledgeable about hvac and I could never tell her otherwise. Even though i am sure i could have found a unit that would have worked the headache probably would last for years to come. Food For thought.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 3:22PM
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