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Phone - (408) 909-HVAC

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Denver, CO 80202

(408) 909-HVAC

AnswerHVAC is the only 24/7 answering service that works exclusively with HVAC companies. 

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Blog

What is the value of a lead?

Jonathan Bryant

I had two conversations this week - one with a client, one with an interested party - who weren't quite sure why we do what we do.  

After thinking through the conversations in my head today, it made sense to me.  Our industry is very one-dimensional.  In fact, it always has been.  We've served our client for over a year, and they're thrilled with our professionalism, lead generation and service...but they don't know (or perhaps it rarely crosses their mind) why we charge per lead instead of the standard industry protocol of charging by the minute.  That begs the question...

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A LEAD?

AnswerHVAC charges only for the qualified leads we generate, and a nominal fee monthly.  We serve all non-lead conversations as well, but those minutes accrued by satisfied (and sometimes dissatisfied) commercial business and homeowners can add up.

Let me offer up some simple scenario.

Client A is a commercial HVAC company in Los Angeles.  They are a $2M operation averaging 2000 minutes a month, with the occasional spike due to odd weather patterns (you know what I'm talking about).  Client A is billed for a 2500-per-minute block monthly, and that equals $2200 per month, or $1.13 per minute.  Every month, same bill, unless they go over the allowance.  When that happens, they pay $1.50 per minute, or $2500 for said month.

Now, 9 of 12 months, that 500 minutes is unused but charged, at a value of $565.  That x 9 months is a whopping $5K a year, on top of what Client A pays for three months of overages.  Client A understands that these are the rules, and sends a check.  I ask you...does it sting?  It should.

Client B is an AnswerHVAC client in Dallas.  They're also a $2M annual revenue business averaging the same 2000 minutes per month.  At $10 each, they invest $2000 a month in LEADS.  Those leads are worth an average of $600 each, and they close half of them.  They receive outstanding service from a company whose agents understand their business and the industry, and their customers feel comfortable, educated and appreciated.  

Client B has generated approximately $60,000 in revenue from AnswerHVAC at the end of the month, and hasn't paid a dime for minutes, or UNUSED minutes.  That equates to a 30:1 ROI.  

Now, Client A might have great service as well.  They might even have agents that understand the industry a bit.  But can you track the ROI?  Can you track the lost minutes ROI?  Your call center sure can...it's 100% of what you paid.

We've put this on paper, so if you'd like to see it in graph form, let us know...we're happy to send it along!

 

Jonathan

Service Guy

Holiday Priorities

Jonathan Bryant

As I write about to board a plane at Thanksgiving, I'd like to share five things I did to set up our business for success.

1.  I didn't worry.

Believe in your people.  It's important to delegate - people you put in charge feel important.  They deserve the chance to succeed or fail.  They're likely to make you proud.

2.  I didn't set an Out of Office.

I'll check e-mail twice a day, and my phone is on in case people need me.  Just because you do #1 doesn't mean you check out.  People will respect that fact that it's a holiday...and they'll respect you even more that you're available for them.

3.  I left the checkbook.

Things break.  It's November.  Make sure your people can pay a bill if something goes awry...and it might.  No matter what the cost, fix it.  

4.   I made the necessary calls.

My day was booked solid today, and it was awesome.  A Tuesday is a Tuesday, and there were plenty of people still at their desks getting deals done.  

5.  I thanked my customers.

I recited the things I was thankful for - our troops, the opportunity to serve, my friends and family and most importantly, YOU.  We're all in business to make money, but it's the heart we're remembered for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jonathan

Top 5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Starting Your HVAC Business

Jonathan Bryant

WARNING - This is NOT a Get-Rich-Quick, Everyone-Can-Be-An-Entrepreneur, HVAC-Marketing-Is-Easy post.  It's near impossible to get rich quick...no matter what nutraceutical company says.  Not everyone can be a business owner...it takes GUTS, a willingness to take on extreme risk, and the discipline to stick to your business model.  Marketing your HVAC venture isn't the hardest thing in the world, but it takes research, a real-world-successful mentor (or several) and an everyday routine that you can be PASSIONATE about.  Sound daunting?  It was for us, too.

DON'T FREAK OUT...we're here to help.

1.  AM I READY?  

Do you have what it takes to be in business?  Do you have the financial flexibility to LOSE MONEY for a few months while you're ramping up?  Even the smartest of business owners lose money out of the gate.  Take a look at this recent infographic - only 4 of 10 small businesses are actually turning a profit.  We recommend having rich parents...if you're more like us, have some cash in the bank or consider some funding options.  Be wary of credit cards or equity lines of credit...those are high stakes with interest rates that'll take you years to pay off.

2.  IS THERE A NEED?

No, we don't mean the fact that people need a warm furnace on a cold winter night in Chicago, or a cool stream of air in August in Scottsdale.  What void to do you fill in your market?  Are you located in an area that needs you?  One of our favorite resources is Entrepreneur.com - if you can say yes to these 10 Questions, you may be prepared to open up shop.

3.  CAN I RECRUIT, HIRE, TRAIN AND RETAIN AN OUTSTANDING TEAM?

Face it, you're good at what you do, but that doesn't mean you're an HR dynamo.  Being good at what you do, you're the first to spot a refrigerant leak and can replace a condenser coil lickety-split.  Finding others that have your talents does not...eh hem...DEFINITELY DOES NOT...mean they're the next positive review on Yelp.  We can create the first emotional connection on the phone or via live chat with your next customer, but you'll want to rely on experts to show you how to get the perfect staff to be on your front lines.

4.  CAN I DO THE RIGHT MATH?

Not in the high school sense, mind you, but understanding, managing and being the driving force behind a successful financial operation.  Does it surprise you that 88% of business owners don't know how they turn a profit?  There are 7 key areas that our friends at American Express think you need to know to be a monetarily majestic...if you feel you have a firm grasp on them, you're more ready than most.  If not, don't fret...but we highly recommend you either hire or outsource someone who does.

5.  HOW BAD DO I WANT IT?

Do you want it bad?  Answer on three, 1-2-3, "YEEEEES".  Of course you do...we all do.  This we know...ten out of ten people when asked this question will answer just like you.  Do you really want to know what it takes?  Let's find out.  Check out this great blog post to see some examples about giving it one's all.  If you want to invest a few minutes, watch the video.  It's powerful stuff.  We're not saying you have to give it quite this much all of the time.  But, if when you see these successful business owners' dedication, you see yourself, you'll certainly have what it takes.  Be it a successful HVAC professional, owner, athlete or just an amazing person that all your friends will want to be around, this kind of discipline and never-say-die attitude will forever show you the way.

So there you go.  We wish you the best in your business venture.  Hopefully we can be a part of your awesome journey. 

Jonathan and Mike

Why We Did it

Jonathan Bryant

Mike and I were hanging out one night talking shop, and we stumbled upon a thought.  Why does everything have to be so ordinary?  So unspecial?  So vanilla??

Did you ask for vanilla when you first looked at a call center?  

Operator - "What are you looking for in a call center today?"

You - "Nothing special...someone to say hello that's not me, someone who can't predict common questions and who knows little about HVAC.  Someone who doesn't really care about the caller or knows my business.  you know, something like that."

We didn't think so.

You are the only thing that matters, aside from those you love and care to serve.  How you distinguish yourself, your values and how you serve your customers should matter, and it does.  To you, to your loyal customers, and to your future ones.

We're building a platform that speaks entirely to these subjects.  But we're not stopping there.  We want to help you GROW your business, which is why we're only going to charge you for your new customers.

This may not be rocket science, but it is specialized and strategic, so we'll need your help.  Reply to us with the answers to these questions, and we'll be better at what we do for you.

What do you like most about the idea of a professional company fielding your phone calls and inquiries?

What fears do you have?

What's the single most important thing we can know about you and your business, and how you serve your customers?

What do you expect from us?

That's all we're asking now.  We're excited to serve you in 2015.  Please stay tuned!

Jonathan