When a technician from Coolmasters makes a service call, they leave a door hanger on the front door of the houses on each side of the home they serviced, and the three across the street.
The door hangers cost a total of $50 and, in just two months, the investment created $15,000 in new business for the Austin heating and air conditioning company. On the first day that they left the hangers, they sold a HALO air purifier: a $1200 sale. Soon after, the hangers brought in a full-system replacement (an $8000 job) and other service calls.
We talked to Barbara Bice, Director of Operations at Coolmasters, about why the hangers have worked so well.
Encourage Neighbors to Ask for References
Barbara came up with the idea for the hangers, designed them herself and printed them online through PrintPlace.
“I thought about what would be the best thing to reach out to somebody who doesn’t know we exist to tell them that we’ve serviced somebody that they trust or know,” Barbara explained.
Since potential customers are more likely to trust a company that has been vouched for by people they know, the hangers encourage the resident to ask their neighbor about their experience with Coolmasters.
“Basically I was trying to build a word-of-mouth process without so much work,” she explained.
The technicians don’t usually knock on the door. They simply leave the hanger and move on. And if a house has a no soliciting sign, they don’t leave a hanger. Following this non-obtrusive process, no-one has complained about the door hangers.
Highlight The Top Services
The hangers include a checkbox list which informs residents why the technician was in the neighborhood.
The list serves a double purpose through showcasing Coolmasters’ top services, as well as explaining what residents can ask their neighbors about. According to Barbara, some of their key points are their IAQs (indoor air quality systems) and their new high-efficiency systems.
Train Techs on Sales
While the main number listed on the front of the hanger goes to their main office, Barbara left the back of the door hanger intentionally blank and encourages technicians to tape their business card or a note with their contact information to the back. In this way, they’re able to serve as technicians and an in-house salesforce. They also build relationships in the neighborhoods that they serve.
Barbara manages in-house sales training with their six techs, including trainings with various vendors. The office will help to close sales.
Offer Multiple Ways to Learn More and Get in Touch
The hangers encourage residents to reach out how they feel most comfortable. They not only offer a phone number (in addition to the technician’s added contact info) and a web address, but through two small images explain that customers can book online (they are using HVAC Software to accomplish this) and follow them on Facebook.
Think Outside the Box
With their unique design and personal touches, the door hangers are far from a generic marketing tool. As we’ve explored throughout the article, some of the reasons the hangers worked so well is that they:
- Encourage personal recommendations
- Are Unobtrusive (advice that works online as well as in person)
- Highlight the company’s strengths and top sellers
- Contain several ways to foster communication
- And include personal contact information with one of the technicians
While the hangers work well for Coolmasters, other creative ideas may work better for your audience. Barbara encourages other companies to “not be afraid of marketing and thinking out of the box and the conversations you have with your customers.”