Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some Yes....Some No

As I have had contact with various HVAC contractors in the last two weeks, I have have two completely different reations to the business climate in the metro Detroit area. Some are very busy selling replacement air conditioning units and furnaces in the middle of August. They are selling high efficiency equipment and are not selling it at cost. They are selling it for a profit! The suppliers are telling them they are the only ones selling high efficiency equipment. They are getting the maximum support the supplier can give them to help them to continue to sell. Others are telling me that there is no business out there and sure enough for them there is no business out there. They are telling me the prices are too low, no one is buying, things are so tough! They owe their suppliers and other vendors because they have zero cash flow. So I asked myself what the difference is between those selling, saying yes, and those not selling, saying no. Looking onto the reasons I find two main points that differentiate these contractors. Those who are selling have said, "There is business out there and we are going to find it." They are marketing and putting the energy into their businesses. They are not waiting for the phones to ring, they are using the Internet to market, they are selling maintenance agreements, they are training their techs to look for add on sales and opportunities for replacements. The others are waiting for the phone to ring, they have cut back on marketing, they are not selling maintenance agreements, they are not using the Internet effectively, they are looking back on how it used to be. Change is hard but tough times require that we evaluate our businesses and make the big step of change.