Generating Your Commercial Client Base

For many HVAC dealers, the focus of their business is on residential HVAC, with a smaller percentage devoted to commercial. While your residential HVAC customers are undoubtedly the bread and butter of your business, branching out into commercial is also a good idea. For some dealers, taking the step toward offering commercial HVAC services might seem daunting, but here are a few tips that will make it easy to extend your business.

Review Your Current Customer Base: Take a look at your current residential customer list. Are there any folks on your list who are local business owners, municipal leaders, or board executives? If so, let them know your company also handles commercial HVAC the next time you pay them a visit. They will appreciate knowing that someone they trust already can help them with their business needs as well.

Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce: It goes without saying that becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce in your area is a great way to meet local business owners who may be in need of your services. The more active you are, the more you'll earn the trust of your fellow members, too – making it likely that you're the one they call when they need HVAC services.

Join Local Chapters of Trade Organizations: Joining groups like NARI, ACCA and NADCA, to name a few, will get your name out there to other people in your industry. When big commercial projects come up, general contractors will be looking for trusted contractors for each facet of the project – by being a member, they'll know you and trust you, making it more likely that you'll get the job.

Keep Yourself Updated on Commercial Projects: Subscribe to bid reporting services like Dodge, Reed, or online resources like BidClerk. These resources will alert you as to when there is a new commercial job in your specified region. Since many commercial jobs require you to submit a bid, subscribing to one of these services will help you stay ahead of the game.

Send Out a Targeted Mailing: You might want to let potential customers know you offer commercial HVAC services by sending out a targeted mailing explaining the commercial services you provide. There are many companies (such as Hoover and Experian) who offer targeted mailing lists for a fee that will provide you with company names, physical addresses and email addresses. You can choose to send out a letter, brochure, or e-mail, depending on your preferred method of communications.

Getting your name as a commercial contractor out to local businesses does take a little extra work, but it will provide you with a good payoff in the end. So don't be afraid to get your name out there – the more people know you offer both residential and commercial HVAC services, the more your business will grow!