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HVAC Marketing Ethics and COVID-19

HVAC Marketing Ethics and COVID-19

Don’t Sell.  Educate.

“Should I advertise my company during the pandemic?”

“This is a health crisis, not a marketing opportunity.”

“Is it ethical to promote IAQ equipment to homeowners during the coronavirus crisis?”

“Using homeowner’s fears to sell them isn’t right!”

These are just some of the questions and comments we are seeing HVAC contractors posting on social media.  All are valid points and concerns.

On the one hand we see some contractors taking the stance that promoting IAQ right now is unethical.  Some are even blasting their competition for taking advantage of customers by “preying on their fears” or “selling them false hope” in the form of IAQ equipment that hasn’t been tested against COVID-19 yet.

(To be fair, there are some bad actors out there claiming to “have the cure” for coronavirus.  It only takes a few of these snake oil salesmen to damage the credibility of their HVAC brothers and sisters.)

On the other hand, we have contractors who say that IAQ sales are the only thing keeping their business afloat right now, and customers are asking for these products, so what is the harm in promoting them?

Your Peeps Are At Home

It’s early April 2020, and most parts of the country now have shelter-in-place mandates.  People are either furloughed, out of work, or working from home.  But the common denominator is that they’re all AT HOME.  And do you know what they’re doing?  (I mean when they’re not trying to home school their kids, doing spring cleaning or making TikTok videos.)  They’re on their laptops, tablets, and smartphones.  They’ve got time on their hands, they’re stuck at home and they’re worried about their health and their family.  Of course they’re more interested in IAQ products now.

It’s Still Early

Since it’s relatively early in the pandemic, IAQ manufacturers have not tested their products on this insidious strain of virus yet.  But things do look promising.  Ron Saunders, Director and Co-Owner of FreshAire UV reports that “While our systems have not been specifically tested against coronavirus, they have been tested and proven effective against similar pathogens– some that require an even greater UV dosage for inactivation than coronavirus.”

COVID-19 Sucks

As an ethical contractor, you should always sell the best solution for the homeowner’s needs, wants, health and safety.  Pandemic or not.  Coronavirus sucks.  Really sucks.  It’s daunting on so many levels.  People want information.  They want to feel safe.  They want to feel like they are doing everything in their power to keep their loved ones as healthy as possible.

You have information and products that may provide them some peace of mind.

Educate.  Educate.  Educate.

Right now, the most ethical thing you can do is to educate.  Instead of a hard sales push, you should be educating homeowners on the benefits of UV lights and air purifiers.  Your approach here is important:  you should be completely transparent with the information available to date.  You should not make false claims.  You should not promise unproven benefits.  Just educate with the facts and provide quality equipment that you personally believe in and stand behind.

This is an opportunity to position yourself as a trusted resource for information in your community.  The benefits to being viewed as such will long outlast this damn virus.

So how about those questions and concerns.

“Should I advertise my company during a pandemic?”

It’s wise to do so. Many contractors have halted their marketing, so the field isn’t as crowded, and your message will be less diluted.  Keep your name top of mind, so that customers remember you when this is over.  Keep communicating.  Stay on top of your social media – this is a low-cost way to stay visible and deliver important safety information to customers.

“This is a health crisis, not a marketing opportunity.”

Sure, that’s true.  And that’s easy to say for large, profitable dealerships with cash on hand.  But smaller contractors may not survive this crisis unless they stay open and keep selling.  Just remember that your approach matters more now than ever.  Instead of a hard sell, use this time as an opportunity to create awareness of how IAQ products can improve health.

“Is it ethical to promote IAQ equipment to homeowners during the coronavirus crisis?”

As long as you are educating customers, not making false claims or selling unproven solutions, in my opinion, it’s perfectly ethical to market IAQ products now.  Standby generators become very popular around hurricane season, and you feel good about selling them because they help keep homeowners safe and comfortable.  This is no different.

Using homeowner’s fears to sell them isn’t right!”

Absolutely. So instead of using scare tactics, educate them.  Installing a system that will supply cleaner air overall, and gives the homeowner some peace of mind is something you can feel good about.  Ask yourself this: would I feel safer with this equipment installed in my own home?  Of course you would.

 

Have questions or need help with your IAQ marketing?  Give us a call at 315-685-9500.  Or email:  info@ebandlmarketing.com

 

 

 

 

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