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OA Newsletter - January 2018
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Taking on Online Equipment Sellers
By: Dave Squires, President, January 16, 2018
Online Equipment Sales has become our industry’s version of…
“Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”
Until Now…
I can’t tell you how many times I read contractor posts, or hear contractors complaining about Online HVAC equipment sales. In most cases, the complaints are justified, simply because most homeowners don’t know the risks and the potential sacrifices they will make by not bringing a reputable contractor into their calculations before they buy equipment online. By the time they learn, it is usually too late because the equipment they thought was a good buy at the time is already sitting in their garage and they’re trapped into a bad situation. The good news is, maybe we can’t change the weather—but we can, at least, provide a lot of consumers with an umbrella to protect them from it.

As everyone knows, when it comes to consumers buying their equipment online and having it shipped to them direct, there rarely is any good long-term outcome for the consumer or the contractor. When a consumer shows up at your counter wanting you to install the new equipment he thinks he saved a pile of cash on by buying it directly off the Internet, you have one of two options. 1) You can tell the customer “No”, knowing he will probably be angry and never consider

The Blessings of Bad Reviews

By: Mitch Ortenburg, CSR Manager & SEO Specialist; January 16, 2018
Earlier this month, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who was just at his wits end with a couple of negative reviews. Let’s call him “Tom”. Tom felt defeated because this is his life’s work. Tom has the utmost pride in what he does and this time of the year seems to yield the worst reviews. Tom isn’t alone. I call this season the ‘Holiday Hangover’. There’s something about January that just seems to make people cantankerous and felt led to leave reviews. In fact, while writing this article, I recall another one I did previously which touched on how to respond to negative reviews. Guess what? I wrote it in January, too, hmmm... almost seems
like a pattern. January seems to be the peak month for people to just be stressed, unreasonable, and overly critical.

What if I told you that this online punch-in-the-gut could work to your advantage? That you don’t have to be weighed down by this millstone around your neck? Well, it's true! It was for Tom and it could be for you, too. And if you’re wondering if I’m going to focus on responding specifically, I won’t be
covering that in this article. You may venture over to the aforementioned post for some assistance to that end.
The Bigger, Brighter Picture
See, Tom got some negative reviews on Google and on Facebook. On Google, he has 97 reviews and on Facebook he has 35 reviews. His overall ratings are 4.8 and 4.9 on those platforms, respectively. I told Tom that this is actually a “surprise blessing”. Now, that might seem a bit of a strange thing for me to say. And, intuitively, you’d be right. How can I be happy at all about a bad review? Let me answer your question with another:

Which rating do you find more believable – A 5.0 or a 4.9? How about a 4.9 or a 4.8?

See, these negative reviews actually help Tom long term. Before he was probably at a 5.0 or a 4.9. Studies show that the sweet spot for an overall rating is about a 4.7! People think…


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