When manufacturers in the HVAC industry need help with their sales and marketing to make it easier for engineers to promote their products, they turn to Rob Ambrosetti at KGG Consulting.
Rob has worked at all levels of the HVAC industry and grew up in a family that ran their own small refrigeration business. Although he gained a teaching degree, he ultimately came back to the industry and put his skills as an educator to work there.
“I take my knowledge, based on what I’ve learned in the field,” said Rob, “and I create a training curriculum, much of it based around indoor air quality – how to help folks breathe better in our indoor spaces. I still get to enjoy teaching to our trade.”
Despite Rob’s perfect combination of experience in the industry and his expertise in education, he still found a challenge on his hands. The very best training he could offer wasn’t matched by the results they wanted to achieve. And instead of just accepting that, Rob ultimately found a solution that has become a roaring success and a brilliant ‘good news story’ – especially when you consider how the economy has been affected as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
It’s a great example of how just one sales tool can put those sales on steroids, with an exponential return on investment. And in the challenging times of Coronavirus, it’s helped maintain an income for small-business owners, created new jobs at the manufacturing plants, and enabled more people to benefit from breathing clean air in their homes or offices.
How To Sell Clean Air HVAC Solutions
Whether it’s the sales and marketing training that Rob and KGG Consulting provide or their Rep Talk podcast for the HVAC industry, engineers in the field have benefitted greatly from their efforts, as well as the manufacturers. By helping the pros who make service calls to better explain the benefits of the products available, the end-user – the customer – also gets what they want: cleaner and more efficient HVAC systems. “We’ve tested our devices, and they’re effective against airborne bacteria and viruses, including Strep and MRSA,” said Rob. “We don’t have Covid to test the devices with. There’s no guarantee that somebody isn’t going to get sick, but by having air purification technology in your house versus not having it, I think you are better off. We’re testing right now with a different virus as a surrogate for Covid-19.”
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) solutions are now one of their most popular products, especially in the age of Coronavirus, and Rob and his team have been educating the HVAC engineers on how best to talk about and sell them. Although they were having some success, with around one sale in every ten customer visits, there was still a problem preventing sure-fire results.
“It was a pretty traditional process,” Rob explained. “We would educate our distributors and their customers – the contractors – with in-person training. We were heavily reliant on in-person training, but when you rely on that training, a contractor sitting in that class isn’t always going to remember what they learned.
Rob Ambrosetti training HVAC contractors on IAQ products.
Engineers Aren’t Comfortable Salespeople
“For the hour that he’s there with you for the training,” said Rob, “the engineer then has to take that message and go to the customer. We can give them notes. We gave them sheets and pamphlets and brochures. We tried to spell out the different advantages of the technology.
“It was all done verbally, in-person through training and classes. But it left it up to the contractor to be able to explain the technology and processes in these devices. If somebody’s not comfortable talking about those technologies, they’re not going to bring it up in conversation.
“That limits the opportunities they have to sell – and to help people breathe better air.”
Costly In-Person Training, Inconsistent Results
That traditional training process was costly and time-consuming. No matter how much time and effort were invested in the training, they could only work with so many engineers at once, and once the training was over, there was little to no control over how those techs would perform when out in the field.
The success of the manufacturers of the air-purifying products is ultimately down to the performance of the HVAC techs making the service and sales calls. While the manufacturers’ customers are the distributors, it’s the techs buying from those distributors that have to make the sale.
Rob knows that it’s in the best interests of the manufacturers to have an effective and educated sales force out on the road, in the form of the engineers who actually see the end-customers, whether that’s a home-owner or someone responsible for a commercial building or office.
Results Depended on the Contractors
The techs are the ones making the pitch, so the manufacturer is really dependent on them making a convincing argument. That’s what they were struggling with.
“Where the rubber meets the road is that conversation the contractor has to have to help them understand,” said Rob. “Not all contractors are comfortable talking about, first of all, indoor air quality, and secondly, about the technology that’s used to keep the air clean.”
What Rob wanted, was something that made delivering a polished pitch a no-brainer for the engineers and gave them the confidence to be able to do that. If it could enable him to also multiply the number of HVAC professionals delivering that pitch, then that would be a major leap forward.
So when Rob discovered the PrinAVizion video brochure, he realized he had found the solution that would help get the message across, through the contractor, to the end customer, that would educate them about the clean-air solutions.
HVAC Brochures Solution
“We found out about the video brochure when someone in our group saw it being utilized in another industry,” said Rob. “We thought, ‘Hey, wouldn’t this be a great idea for us over here in HVAC!” “It was a big folder we saw, with a big screen, and we thought, ‘That’s brilliant!’ So we got ahold of Devin at PrintAVizion, and he was able to provide us with everything we needed to get this project going.”
Rob worked with PrintaVizion to put the video brochure together in late 2019, before the rise of Coronavirus. While face-to-face meetings were still normal at the time, they didn’t need to meet in person. “Everything we were able to do was online,” said Rob.
What they came up with was a custom-branded and purpose-specific small brochure that, when opened, automatically plays a 90-second animated video that explains the products.
“With the video brochure, we have now have standardization. It’s a clarified and consistent message that we are able to provide all the way through our sales chain. Whatever message we give on the video brochure, it’s going to be carried through, all the way through from the manufacturer and the distributor to the contractor – and from the contractor to the home-owner.
“That message should stay pretty darn consistent!”
“With the 90-second video in the brochure, it covers everything we want to talk about in those 90 seconds. It broadens our base of heating and air conditioning technicians that can bring that message easily into the home, to talk about with home-owners.”
Reduced Training Costs, Increased Reach
The video brochure has enabled Rob to considerably reduce their training costs and reach many more contractors at the same time.
“We’ve done a lot more online training,” Rob explained. “We can show the video that we use in the video brochure through our online streams and our training webinars. Now we can get our message into the home very efficiently.
“First, we teach them what they need to know about the device, and then we teach them how to sell it, with that message being in the video brochure.”
“If I Had A Dollar For Every Time…”
“If I had a dollar for every time I saw the reaction of an HVAC engineer when they saw this video brochure,” said Rob. “As soon as they see it, their faces light up. They’re like, ‘Wow! How do I get this?”
“They want that brochure to help them carry that message into the customer’s house. They know they can sell more devices, knowing that the message is going to be more impactful by the visual that the video gives.
“What we’ve found is that if the technician has the product on his truck, and he shows them the brochure and the home-owner receives the message about what they can do to treat their entire house and clean and purify the air in their entire house – we see a close-rate of about 50%.
“The engineer is already there. He doesn’t have to leave to go pick up materials. He can install it while he’s there if it was a service call or an installation of a piece of equipment. We see that close rate of about 50% by utilizing the video brochure.
“Before that, the close rate was around one in every ten calls. 10%. From that to 50% is a big jump. It’s phenomenal. It’s a very effective selling system.”
Exponential Growth of Sales
Now that Rob has simplified the sales training by moving it online and coupled it with the video brochure for the engineers, the growth of sales presentations has been exponential.
“Before the brochure, you always have a handful of contractors who “get it” and bring up the conversation about indoor air quality. That’s probably one in ten contractors who were making an attempt to sell the IAQ product.
“With the brochure, we now have a much larger army of guys – more boots on the ground – who are going to bring the conversation about indoor air quality in the house. The brochure has got many more guys engaged in selling that simple message.”
So, for Rob and the manufacturers, it’s a win-win situation. They’ve gone from a 10% close rate to a 50% close rate for each presentation, and they also now have many more HVAC engineers making those presentations.
“It’s a game-changer!” he said. “The first batch of brochures were distributed within a month. I’ve re-ordered twice already and need to order again.”
Differentiation With The Video Brochure
Rob is really enthusiastic about how the video brochure enables the contractors to be unique in their market, educating their customers to build trust. It enables the contractors to develop a long-standing relationship with customers in a way that their competitors aren’t doing.
The branding of the video brochure plays a big part in that, being custom-designed, and printed for the purpose.
“The brochure is a better fit than a tablet or phone because it immediately sets the contractor apart. It’s specifically branded for us and for what the contractors are doing with it. They don’t have to rely on an internet connection because the video is pre-loaded and plays the moment it’s opened.
“It specifically talks about how ‘I’m going to improve your life and your breathing-air in your house.’ It shows that we’re serious.
“We can highlight some of the key bullet points and facts with what’s printed inside. We’ve included a pocket so that the contractor can include their own business card or brochure.
“It’s also suitable for their commercial vehicles because it doesn’t take up a lot of space.”
Since it’s not an expensive tablet or smartphone, it’s also much less expensive to replace if it were to get damaged.
Good For The Customer, Good For The Economy
The success of the video brochure as a center-piece of Rob’s sales system for HVAC engineers has several upsides.
“I feel blessed to be in this trade and be able to help folks right now,” said Rob. “While it’s unfortunate that the Coronavirus lockdown has put many people out of work, our manufacturers making these Indoor Air Quality units have been hiring new employees. They’re keeping their production lines running. And this video brochure has contributed hugely to that demand.
“And of course, the plants have been following all best practices from the CDC and health officials, to ensure employees remain safe while at work.
“By using the video brochure to talk about indoor air quality, it has revolutionized what we’re doing. It’s enabled us to have the health-related indoor air quality solution go mainstream. We have more people engaged in this conversation. That, in turn, has gotten us so busy.”
“Our distributors have been able to keep the doors open and fulfill orders, to get the air purifiers moving and put them into contractors’ hands.
“And our HVAC engineers are happy that they have embraced indoor air quality, enabling them to stay operating. They’re in a really good position to help a lot of people right now to get clean air in their houses or commercial buildings.
“These solutions play an important role in people’s health, and they’re also playing a role in rebuilding the economy.”
In Summary, Everybody Wins!
The video brochure has had an amazing effect on everybody involved in Rob’s line of business, and he can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s a solution that works at so many levels and can work in other businesses and industries too, as he closes out the story.
“The factories employing more people and selling more units,” said Rob. “The distributors are doing good business. HVAC companies are making sales. Customers are getting peace of mind. If anything, the Coronavirus epidemic has made it easier to sell more Indoor Air Quality Units.
“And what really enabled us to do this is the video brochure from PrintAVizion.
“From our perspective, the video brochure is absolutely playing a role in rebuilding the economy.
“The video brochure has been a real game-changer. It’s enabled us to multiply the number of people out there selling Indoor Air Quality. It’s massively reduced our training costs. It’s enabled our HVAC mechanics to go from a 10% close rate to a 50% close rate.
“Before, they would make a sale in one out of every ten visits. Now it’s one in two.
“So, the video brochure has made our presentation more effective, successful, and consistent.”
“It’s made it easy for people who are more used to getting their hands dirty, to make a great sales pitch and close a sale or upsell,” said Rob. “So it works great for our HVAC contractors. It really has revolutionized what we’re doing.
“The return on investment has been exponential!
“The PrintAVizion video brochure has streamlined our message. For those new guys coming in, just trying to get used to Indoor Air Quality, this brochure has made it easier for them to talk about it.
“I’ve actually had to re-order the brochures twice now, since February – and I actually have to order a third time.”
Rob’s Recommendation To Other Businesses
“If you have a product that people want and need right now, the video brochure could help you streamline and improve your sales presentation, just like it did for us.
“Going from a 10% to a 50% close rate is absolutely phenomenal!”