Doing business with tight-fisted HVAC customers is never easy. But sometimes, they just require a little extra attention before you can close the deal. Charlie Greer from offers a few helpful hints to overcome what he calls “the full-blown price objection.”

Every HVAC tech has been there. The problem has been assessed. The cost of the repair has been calculated. Now it’s time for the dreaded presentation of the estimate to the customer. You name a price. The customer balks. You knew this would happen. Shelling out cash for a broken air conditioner isn’t anyone’s ideal way of spending a few hundred bucks. But by employing a few persuasive strategies, you might make it a little easier for your customers to open their wallets.

Start by explaining to them why they are getting a good value with your company, Greer suggests. Anyone who seeks you out for your services will probably at least want to know a bit more about you. Be sure to come prepared with a list of features and benefits of your service. Try to give them some sort of guarantee, whether it’s for their satisfaction, their comfort or for a firm price. Also, try to suss out whether price is their only concern, Greer suggests.

Say something like, “My company has been in business for (number of) years. We run (number of) service calls per year and have done (number of) replacement jobs like yours. Most of those people got prices from other contractors. When they do, they always want to tell me why they chose me over my competition. Would you like to know what they told me were some of the reasons why they chose me to do the same type of work for them that I’m proposing I do for you?”

If you’ve done a convincing job, they should exhibit signs of surrendering their Scrooge-like ways. Close the deal with a handshake and assure them that they’ve made the right decision.

As with most service-related jobs, there is no panacea for the stingy customer. But the right mix of preparation, confidence and charisma almost always does the trick.

ABOUT Sara Suddes

San Francisco-based contributor Sara Suddes writes frequently about small business, the economy and technology.