Now comes the most crucial part of this whole process – finding the right company. You may decide that the right company for you is the one that will do it the cheapest. If that’s the case, you may want to get on the phone and just start calling for bids.
I encourage you to shop in a completely different way than you may be used to. As I’ve stated before, if everything about HVAC equipment were equal, you wouldn’t have any problem calling around to find the lowest price. But there are way too many variables to shop that way.
That’s because if you start getting bids on your job, it’s probably going to be almost impossible to compare apples to apples. One company might recommend doing it one way and another company will probably take a completely different approach. How can you know which one is right?
That’s why I feel it’s more important to find a company that you’re comfortable with, and trust them to do the job right. How can you find that company? I’ll tell you, and it won’t take up nearly as much time compared to calling and set up estimates, and then wait around to have 5 or 6 different companies out to your home.
The approach I recommend is to survey several different companies by phone. First, pay close attention to the way you’re treated when you call. Are the phone reps courteous? Friendly? Helpful? Remember, you’re choosing a company that you’ll probably be dealing with for years.
Tell them you’re interested in purchasing a new system or HVAC component and that you’d like to speak to a salesperson. If there’s no one available to talk to, notice how long it takes them to get back to you. Do they seem like they’re anxious to help you? If it takes days before they even return your call, scratch them off your list. After all, if that’s the way they treat you when you want to buy something, how will they treat you when you need them to do something for free, like warranty service?
Once you’ve got the salesperson on the phone, take control of the situation by asking questions. Our survey in the back of this report will help point you in the right direction. Be sure to ask the questions exactly as they’re written. A lot of salespeople will try to tap dance around and never really give you an answer. That’s exactly the type of behavior you want to identify up front. If you like the answers they give you, find out how long it will take before they can come give you an estimate and how long it would be before the equipment could be installed. Again, if they can’t respond quickly to a sale, how will they respond when it’s time for service? Are they setting the appointment at a time that’s convenient for them, or convenient for you? If they really appreciate the opportunity you’re giving them, they’ll bend over backwards to accommodate you. If they act like they’re doing you a favor, don’t expect much from them down the road.
Up until this point, you still haven’t talked about price. What you’re trying to find out is which company you’d like to have give you a bid. Remember, you’re shopping for a company, not a product or a price.
Now its time to buy. Once you open a dialog with a company about an HVAC system, you should pay attention to the order that they wish to discuss subjects and the time spent on each subject. This is when you don’t want to lead the conversation. A quality company doing quality work will have plenty of good news to offer to you – you shouldn’t have to dig for that. Let them tell you what they can and will do for you and then get all statements in writing and signed. If it isn’t written down – it probably won’t happen.
Think about the information that you have been digesting during this on-line seminar. How much of it has been brand? Model? Price? Maybe 20%. The rest of this information centers around everything else. Your buying experience should also be in this proportion. If a salesperson spends 80% of your time on brand, model, and price – what does that say about the quality of their installations, or supplying you with solutions to your comfort issues, or providing you with guarantees of their workmanship?
If you follow this plan, it will take a lot less time than having several different companies out for estimates. Plus, you’ll be able to make a much more educated buying decision.