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Selling Maintenance Agreements

May 30, 2024
Selling Maintenance Agreements

We don’t want to ignore or overlook any lines of business that bring in income, right? What is your policy on selling maintenance agreements? Is it a large chunk of your business and what’s its priority? What’s your strategy

Traditionally, the whole strategy on selling maintenance agreements is that you offer discounts on repairs that make it almost a no-brainer for the homeowner. For example, let’s say your maintenance agreement costs $250 per year for two visits, one in the Fall, and one in the Spring, with A/C and furnace included. And if your homeowner has the agreement, it gives them a 20% discount on all repairs.

It might sound like this, “Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner, the repair cost today is $700, but if we get you signed up as a maintenance customer, you’ll save 20%. So the maintenance program is only $250 a year. It can save you 20% on this repair, which would be $140, and basically pay for the majority of the maintenance agreement by itself. Your repair discount pays for most of the maintenance agreement. And yes, it applies today; you don’t have to wait until the next repair for the savings to kick in.”

It’s a no-brainer, right?

I mean, if I’m going to get a savings of $140 on this repair and the maintenance agreement is only $250 a year, I’d be an idiot not to go ahead and get the maintenance agreement, right? Because I’m going to save enough on the first repair to almost pay for the damn thing. And they get the 20% discount each time they have a problem.

So that works for us when the techs are in the house, but the same principle can work for CSRs on the phone.

“Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner, just so you know, when our guy comes out, we do have a maintenance program that qualifies you for a 20% discount on repairs. It’s very common that we see repairs in the neighborhood of $500 to $1,000. If you save 20% on that, in most cases, that will go ahead and pay for the maintenance agreement, just the first discount alone. And you’ll save 20% every single time. So should I go ahead and get you signed up for a maintenance agreement now?”

Right? Just ask. I mean, the answer is always no until we ask.

So that’s one way to do it, just to explain the math behind it. In my experience, I’ve seen most people pull the trigger on purchasing a maintenance agreement (or even an extended warranty on a car) if they feel it will pay for itself over the long haul, or even the short haul.

Now I personally prefer the technicians to sell these maintenance agreements because they’re going to be in the home, and they’re going to have the face-to-face relationship with the homeowner. I have my CSRs start the relationship during the initial call, and then just before the call is over, they’ll say something like, “Don’t forget to ask your technician about your 20% discount.” So now the homeowner is replying, “What 20% discount? What is that?”

“Well, they’ll explain it to you when they come out there.”

Now, when the tech walks into the house, the homeowner will ask him about the 20% discount.

“Oh, that’s the discount if you get our maintenance club membership. And in fact, once we see what the repair is today, in most cases, the 20% discount pays for the entire maintenance agreement. Let me go ahead and get started and see what’s wrong with your system and then we’ll discuss it when I’m done.”

And now you’ve got the homeowner looking for that discount, right? Because the CSR piqued their curiosity. They’re asking the technicians about it, which puts you in a much easier situation when they say, “Hey, what about my 20% discount?”

It’s a bait that works because the homeowner wants to save money, and you want the maintenance agreement. Selling them the maintenance agreement has another benefit—it helps retain business when they need a full system replacement because you’ve built the relationship over the years and earned their trust with your quality work.