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It’s a hot, humid Sunday afternoon in late July. Everyone in the family is inside because it is too hot to do anything outdoors. Even the pool water is too warm to enjoy. All of a sudden, you notice it is uncomfortably warm inside your home. Racing to your thermostat, you confirm your worst fears. EIGHTY-ONE DEGREES!!!!! Most homeowners in this situation will call an HVAC company to have it repaired. Many times this can lead to purchasing a new HVAC system.

The Three Most Likely Scenarios in Which Homeowners Purchase a Residential HVAC System

  • Their HVAC system stops working or experiences a noticeable decrease in performance.  After calling an HVAC company, the homeowner is told by an HVAC Technician that your system is shot and they will need to have it replaced.
  • After overpaying on furnace and air conditioning repairs the last couple of years on a fifteen-year-old system, the homeowner knows they need a new HVAC system.  They are enticed by an incentive, rebate, or special and decide to get a free quote.
  • A massive remodel, room addition or any other residential construction project would require the installation of an HVAC system.

You Are More Than Likely Being Qualified From The Moment You Call

It might be hard to believe, but HVAC companies strive to install HVAC systems. A lot like how car dealerships like to sell cars. It is what they do. It is how they remain keeps their doors open. Some do it well; Some, not so well. Most HVAC companies preach great customer service, unfortunately not all. The three most likely scenarios listed above can often help homeowners identify who they are consulting with about their new HVAC system. Let’s meet our contestants:

Introduction to The Sales Tech

Just the word “Sales” makes the average consumer suspicious, and rightfully so. We as consumers are inundated with sales pitches and advertisement specials. We live in a society where we can no longer use a public restroom without having an ad served to us. The last thing we want to deal with when our HVAC system stops working is a hard sell from a guy in a uniform. But this article is not about bashing the sales tech because not all sales techs are bad. In fact, most of them in this industry are good. They are hardworking people who genuinely care about helping others.

Unfortunately, a couple of bad apples can create a negative stereotype throughout a market. Especially in an era where we naturally voice our opinions on review sites and social media. Some HVAC companies lean on their sales techs more than others. A good sales tech today can make a very good living if they are good. Depending on the dynamic, they are brought in to consult with homeowners currently looking to purchase a new system. Their HVAC training can range from “Basic Pricing” all the way up to “Company Owner.” Knowing this as a consumer is important. Here are some descriptions of the different types of sales techs you may encounter:

The Alpha Sales Tech

Here comes the type A personality! This HVAC sales tech can be overwhelming if you are not expecting them. In most cases, they either have experience in the industry, experience in sales, or both. Do not be afraid to hold your ground. If they get too aggressive, you can always ask them to leave. Ask lots of questions. Make them provide information. How they overcome objections will reveal if they are in your best interest or not.

The Sales Tech Consultant

Full of knowledge from years of being in the business, the sales tech-consultant relies less on high-pressure sales tactics and more on their industry IQ. This can often be a senior employee or the owner’s brother that has received an official HVAC certification. But they listen to your needs, they offer their recommendation and do not try and pressure you to make a quick decision. This type of sales tech often values long-term relationships over quick sales.

The Bad Apple

He or She will come in, make themselves at home, and try not to leave until you have agreed to sign on the dotted line. They usually have minimum HVAC training and sound more like an infomercial pitch than an actual consultant. You can often envision them bragging to their counterparts about their sales numbers. Empathy is usually not in their vocabulary. To avoid these scenarios, read online reviews from credible sources.

They will often tell you what you need to know. There are obviously some people out there that only write negative reviews, but look for trends throughout negative objections. If “Bob” from “HVAC Company X” continues getting mentioned in a negative light, Bob is probably someone you don’t want parking himself on your couch. Unfortunately, a lot of these types of sales techs can come from HVAC companies that do a lot of “Bait & Switch” advertising. A deal too good to be true can often end with this type of HVAC sales tech knocking on your front door.

Introduction To The HVAC Service Tech

Now that we have outlined the variety of HVAC Sales Reps, let’s discuss the different types of Service Techs. Your average HVAC Service Tech can range from the company’s most experienced mechanic to the “Up and Comer” right out of HVAC vocational school. They are usually trained to repair first and sell second. Below are some different types of HVAC Technicians you may encounter.

The Senior Service Tech

They are highly trained, highly skilled, and highly respected within their company. The hardest, most difficult repairs are usually delegated to this tech. You will be able to identify this service tech by how fast they diagnose your HVAC system’s problem and how they recommend their solutions. If they are repairing your system during extreme temperatures, they probably do not have time to sell you something. If they tell you that your system is done, it is probably done. These are great techs to deal with. Plain and simple. If you trust them, take their advice.

The Junior Service Tech

With the labor shortage in the residential HVAC industry, many young technicians are being thrown into the fire. Some sink, others learn to swim. Being able to determine which one you are consulting with…is crucial. Asking questions and reading responses is important. Learn about why the technician is recommending a given solution. The good technicians will be able to talk about the products in their sleep. Just because a guy is green on the job does not make them a bad consultant. Many junior HVAC technicians sometimes need to “Phone a Friend” to get the right answer to a homeowner’s question. That is a good thing!

The Hybrid Service Tech

Some of the best HVAC sales techs are HVAC service techs and vice versa. We call them “The Hybrids.” They know the products, they know the pricing, but most importantly they understand the pros and cons of repair vs replacement. These Techs can identify problems and effectively communicate recommendations on what makes the most sense for the home and the wallet. If they recommend a replacement, they will tell you why.

And The Winner Is…

Everyone except the “Bad Apple”. Again, most sales techs are good people. If there is one conclusion to make, it is that almost all HVAC service techs can be trusted in some capacity or another. Once you have done your research, you will be able to understand the dynamics of each type of consultant and make the right decision for you.

Good Questions To Ask When Considering A New HVAC System

  • Are you a certified HVAC Technician?
  • What is the likelihood my HVAC system will experience problems moving forward?
  • Does your company offer to finance?
  • What are the current HVAC rebates and incentives that I qualify for?

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