The Basics of HVAC NetworkingBy My Service Depot on Monday, August 3, 2020
Networking skills can help you position your HVAC business to thrive.
Networking pays dividends, no matter the field. The old adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” always has and always will ring true. Like it or not, this maxim applies to the HVAC industry. If you don’t already make networking a significant part of promoting your company, you need to start.
Networking is all about making connections, and, as logic dictates, connecting with people always starts with introductions. The first thing you’ll want to do? Identify community leaders. This could include your local equipment supply company, your local government and governing institutions, architects, general contractors, property management companies, and industry representation groups. You want these people to know your name and what you can do. That way they can reach out to you when a project matching your skills comes across their desks. Even if your efforts don’t immediately bear fruit, stay committed to introductions.
Introductions could come in the form of an email or a phone call, but you will always find the most success with a memorable introduction. Even in our digital age it helps to use trusted and true methods of introduction. Write a letter, take the time to know who you want to talk to, and reach out to the important decision makers. Putting a face to a name makes us more likely to trust strangers and to connect properly. Go and introduce yourself. Request a meeting and connect in person. You are more likely to be understood and heard when the barriers of communication are lowered.
Although there is power in physical connection, don’t underestimate the power and reach of online social networking. These days you will find online groups dedicated to contractors of all trades. You’ll also find groups of consumers, property owners, and other decision makers that discuss the quality of work of the local businesses within your industry. Remain active in these communities.
Here you’ll gain an opportunity to lift your brand recognition, but you’ll also find value in controlling the conversation regarding your company. You get an opportunity to address issues if they arise, and discuss solutions to other people’s problems. Remaining knowledgeable in your field and getting recognition for that could land you more opportunities than you know what to do with. Don’t fall victim to others talking about your company without your input or point of view. Stay active in the online communities and reap the benefits of a trusted stakeholder in your community.
Engage the Community
People naturally want to associate with (and do business with) people and companies that do good. Engaging the community is essentially about making the community do the networking for you. If an individual needs HVAC systems or service they will start by asking their peers. If their peers have a positive view of your company, they will recommend you to friends.
Sponsor events for causes that you believe in. Engage with your local church or community leaders and ask how you can help them. People and companies that do good generally reap some rewards for their efforts. Do someone a favor today and they may call on you tomorrow to return the favor.
Engaging the community can also come in the form of social events. Connect with local social groups of realtors, industry professionals, home owners, and business owners. Attend their events and use the opportunity to properly introduce yourself.
If you employ any of the strategies suggested above, the act of following up is a simple thing to add to your repertoire to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
Did you reach out to community partners and didn’t hear anything back? Follow up. Make sure they received your information and use the opportunity to clarify your goals and complete your introduction.
Did you offer help to anyone in your community? Follow up. Make sure the help you offered didn’t go unnoticed. If you did work for someone in that same vein, follow up to make sure everything is working right and remind them of your presence. Show that you care and others will care about you.
If you connect properly with those around you, reach out to offer help, and present yourself as a pillar in your community, you will eventually achieve the status of a household name and trusted partner.