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Qualifying Customers for Heat Pump Water Heaters and Earning Their Trust

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Selling a heat pump water heater (HPWH) upgrade is a process of uncovering a customer’s needs and preferences, addressing limitations, and offering solutions.

Regardless of your depth of knowledge, customers want to feel like you care and are looking out for their best interests. The way to show them that you care is to ask insightful questions about their household and needs.

Asking the Right Qualifying Questions

Imagine that a customer invites you into their home to investigate their water heater concern. You may even be in the home for some other repair, but the topic of their water heater comes up. What do you need to know to quote the best product? What does the customer want to know from you? The following qualifying questions can help you identify whether a HPWH is the right replacement solution for them.

Questions Learning HPWH Qualifiers
Tell me about what’s happening with your water heater. Current status of the water heater Leaking; No hot water; Getting old
Where is your water heater located? Installation considerations Best: Garage or basement
Good: Interior room of >720 cubic feet
OK: interior room <720 cubic feet
Do you know when the water heater was installed? (If they don’t know, you can help them by looking up the date it was manufactured) Replacement urgency

0–5 yrs: Low replacement priority

6–9 years: Moderate priority (existing heater’s warranty expires after 6 years)

10+ years: High priority

How many people live in your home? Sizing, savings potential

More people and more usage = More savings. Savings are approximately $90 per person per year.

In order to drive savings, you want to size a HPWH so the heat pump does the bulk of the water heating. Hot Water Solutions recommends sizing HPWHs as follows:

1–2 Consecutive showers = 50 Gallon

3 Consecutive showers = 65 Gallon

4+ Consecutive showers = 80 Gallon

How old are your children?
How many showers, loads of laundry and loads of dishes are there daily?
Has your water heater been able to keep up with your family’s demand? Does your family complain about cold showers? Sizing
Have you looked into your replacement options? Familiarity with heat pump technology

Best: They already know about HPWHs and would like a quote

Better: They are open to your recommendations

What type of home heating do you have? Heat pump preference

Best: Heat pump or ductless heat pump. 40% of HPWH purchasers already use heat pumps for space heating and appreciate the savings, reliability and comfort.

Better: Electric forced air, ceiling cable or baseboard. Big opportunity for energy savings in the home.

The answers to these questions will help you in determining whether your customer is a good candidate for a HPWH. They will also help with sizing a replacement water heater, estimating the savings that the homeowner can expect, installation conditions, and understanding their level of comfort with heat pump technology.

Demonstrate Your Knowledge and Earn Their Trust

Finally, knowing the benefits that a HPWH offers is critical to explaining why a HPWH might be their best option. The customer wants your advice and recommendation. Become familiar with how the technology works, the product warranty, the utility incentives and tax credits that they’ll receive, the payback on the investment, and the other features that make HPWHs a consumer’s best choice. Research shows that “when installers recommend a HPWH, customers will end up going with that choice 30-50% of the time.” If you’re equipped with HPWH knowledge and show your customer that you care about their best interests, you’ll earn your 5-star, trusted advisor badge.