Company uses marketing tools from manufacturer
January 1, 2007
Perrysburg, Ohio-based Affordable Mechanical Heating & Cooling switched to Coleman-brand HVAC equipment, and is successfully using the company’s business tools.
Rick Montgomery, a 17-year-veteran of the HVAC industry, owns Affordable Mechanical, which sells and services Coleman products throughout northwest Ohio.
Montgomery’s wife, Linda, assumes most of the marketing responsibilities for the business, and has been using marketing support from Coleman. Affordable Mechanical is a Coleman Liberties Plus dealer, which provides a variety of services and programs that are designed to help manage their business and meet the needs of customers.
For example, Linda said that Net.Prophet has been particularly useful. The online tool allows participating contractors to download business models and processes, materials, forms and lead-generation systems.
“We ‘live’ in Net.Prophet,” said Linda. “For starters, we’re using it to develop the first marketing plan we’ve ever had by following the steps and advice that Net.Prophet provides to us. Along with that, we’re working hard on our leads, learning new ways to generate leads and then track them so that the leads eventually become customers - simple things like asking people who call us how they heard about us and then noting that information. Asking that single question helps us see where leads are coming from and knowing what marketing efforts are working for us.”
Linda also said that the company is planning to add a telemarketer to the staff to talk with new and existing customers.
“We have a database of customers and we’d like to be sure they’re happy and content so that they’ll use us again,” she said. “We’re also putting a referral program in place that offers discounts to customers who refer us to new customers.”
Net.Prophet is also supporting the service side of the business. Rick Montgomery redesigned his installation invoices to make it easier for installers to order products.
“In addition, he’s using new service invoices that Net.Prophet recommends,” said Linda. “These invoices capture a lot more information from the customer, including information about their existing HVAC equipment, that helps Rick recommend the system or service that best meets the needs of a customer.”
He is also using a homeowner questionnaire to gather additional information that will assist him as he prepares proposals for his customers and suggest service.
Other tools available to dealers who represent the Coleman brand include the Build-A-Brochure program, an online resource that allows dealers to customize product brochures. The program enables dealers to tailor content to the specific needs of their customers. The Montgomerys also used the direct mail program and participated in co-op advertising and co-marketing programs.
Affordable Mechanical was the first Coleman dealer to reserve the new Coleman mini display trailer. The 8-foot by 12-foot trailer showcases Coleman HVAC equipment and is available to dealers for consumer events, like mall and home shows.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Linda. “We took it to the Toledo (Ohio) Home Show in March and watched as it attracted a lot of attention to our booth. We probably collected in the neighborhood of 50 leads at that show and got an immediate sale, thanks in large part to the trailer. We even had our competitors visiting us because they were totally impressed with the trailer. We were absolutely thrilled and are hoping to use it again next year.”