I have been writing about creating and selling value-added services for more than eight years. In the past year, this subject has been seen in many articles but little has been written about how to use them in the selling process.

I have been writing about creating and selling value-added services for more than eight years.

In the past year, this subject has been seen in many articles but little has been written about how to use them in the selling process. The articles are usually aimed at management. The idea is the same: The way to create more profit is to buy better and sell higher. The only part left out is how to convert these ideas so prospects are willing to pay more for your products.

When people start talking about comfort systems' "value," it is "valuable" only in its finished state. The value of a system does not appear when the manufacturing is completed; it happens when it is installed. Most people have heard that HVAC equipment is only as good as the installation, but have you taken this fact into your selling process? What do you do to a system that makes it unique? What sets you apart from others in your market?

In order to sell anything, you must first understand it and believe in its value. It amazes me how many salespeople don't really understand this concept. You cannot consistently sell anything without believing in the product, company, the people and the value for the price offered. Once you believe and truly believe, you are able to transfer your feelings to prospects and convince them of your beliefs.

This means that you must look at every aspect of the equipment and the installation to find the true value of the job. Finding it will allow you to separate yourself from others in the market. Once customers see the difference and its "value," your price is no longer seen as "competitive," but the price you need to succeed and continue to offer quality jobs.

What are these special values that raise profits and separate sellers? They're everyday items you already offer but don't tell the prospect about.

I have a survey I use in workshops for contractors called "Selling in the home" that makes my point. A company asked 163 customers who had just bought a comfort system if the installing contractor had discussed service agreements, electronic air cleaners, programmable thermostats or other products or services. Here are the full results.

Subject No. who discussed No. sold (%)
Service/maintenance agreements 81 54 (67%)
Extended parts/labor agreements 85 46 (54%)
Programmable thermostats 54 44 (81%)
Duct-mounted humidifiers 39 26 (67%)
Electronic air cleaners 37 24 (65%)
Ducted system repairs 20 20 (100%)
Electrostatic air cleaners 26 18 (69%)
Zoning systems 28 13 (46%)


According to the survey, more than half of the contractors didn't discuss any of them. Is it any wonder that half the contractors had little to talk about other than price?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that if contractors present a "total comfort package," including duct-mounted humidifiers and zoning systems, customers often will buy. Remember that you must believe in these items to succeed.