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I can`t see how a m/c will save

joel_19 Member Posts: 931
I repectfully disagree. My own post proves the solution. We always offer the consumer the choice between boilers.

Consumer #1 ,I would split consumer #1 into two.Part #1 is always a hard sale,but they will probably not be buying from us regardless of the boiler because Bubba can always beat our price,this is esp true if it is an older cash buyer.

However consumer#1 is frequently now a monthly payment buyer. Bubba doesn't offer financing,cause it's too time consuming and he doesn't have an office staff to help with paper work. There are low interest loans available (0-3%) for boilers. these appeal to monthly payment buyers.

" Now Mrs Smith I know your concerned with trying to be geen and your families budget .The good boiler is only 30$ more a month and as you've seen should easilly shave more than that off your monthly energy bill! You can protect your kids future and thier college fund"

In many ways buyer #1/2# needs our services and help much more than buyer #3 who really doesn't care because energy costs have no effect on thier spending habits.

i find buyer 3 can be a hard sale because we are competing for the money with the guys selling 100,000$ home theater systems. Lanscapers selling 250,000$ worth of plantings and walkways,the Mercedes and Porsche dealer etc.

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  • With an \"Old-Lady\" and,

    the astronomical price diff. between M/C and CI, coupled with trying to explain MCBA functions, how do you "close" the sales? I don`t get-it, I always seem to lose, not to other M/Cs pricing, people in my area are talked into CI. atmospheric. Trying to sell M/Cs seems like a losing battle.

  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    the best thing about the sales of the boiler is...

    when you have explained what the advantages of a system that you have designed and then the party says...nah, that sounds like Too Much money...

    once or twice i say ok...lets take a look at your previous energy bills and the Electrical and oil or gas useage....if the numbers look right to me...i say well, how about...I buy the equipment and you pay me for the next three years difference in savings over these numbers... why wont they Bite ? :))

    Arrrh :)
  • Thanks Weezbo,

    > when you have explained what the advantages of a

    > system that you have designed and then the party

    > says...nah, that sounds like Too Much

    > money...


    > once or twice i say ok...lets take a

    > look at your previous energy bills and the

    > Electrical and oil or gas useage....if the

    > numbers look right to me...i say well, how

    > about...I buy the equipment and you pay me for

    > the next three years difference in savings over

    > these numbers... why wont they Bite ? :))

  • Thanks Weezbo,

    sometimes I need to hear that,,frustrating many times though. And I seem to hear it alot!

  • A.J.
    A.J. Member Posts: 257
    old ladies can be tough

    they often believe that they will not be around for long so they think that they won't see any long term return on investment by doing a more efficent boiler.
    Get passionate about our product,get them emotional about buying there are other benifits to MC biolers other than efficency,no chimney,clean modern look,easier on our enviroment.You can do it.
  • Uni R_3
    Uni R_3 Member Posts: 299
    And they can leave a green legacy...

    There isn't enough resources that we should ever be wasting them... older women probably understand that better than us.
  • Perry_3
    Perry_3 Member Posts: 498
    The key difficulty...

    is that while their are situations where the payback will pay for a good mod/con installation.... In many cases it will not.

    If people are only looking at the bottom line... the cost difference between a cast iron boiler and a mod con and the related fuel efficincies ... A properely sized atmospheric cast iron boiler will be the cheapest option now and well into the future for many situations (but not all situations).

    Only if the people are willing to pay extra to reduce fuel consumption (or for "fancier" technology) will you be able to sell a mod/con in many situations.

    This is the advantage of offereing a "Best", and then a "good" option and letting the customer choose.

    Of course I wish it were otherwise; but people care about different things.

  • Tombig_2
    Tombig_2 Member Posts: 231
    Let me elaborate...

    If a modest home which happens to be occupied by a fixed income elderly person is radiated with a minimum of copper fin baseboard radiators barely able to keep up at design conditions.....well, I think we are obligated to tell that person that they will be better served, in the short AND long run, by the installation of a good CI boiler operating at the 84% range than try to sell a condensing boiler which, for all practical purposes, won't be condensing much.

    Contrarily, if there's a boatload of standing iron which already over radiates the space (insert heat loss calc here), the mod con benefits might pay back quite quickly. As long as we're in the business to serve our customers best interests we can't go wrong.

    I haven't sold a CI boiler in two years. Not because I push mod-cons, but because my market brings me to situations favorable to such. Mostly involving home additions and remodeling. A recent one involved a fairly new, oversized W-M Cg where I installed 1200sf of low temp radiant and kept the boiler and existing hi temp convectors through the main part of the house. I repiped P/S and set it up for an easy changeover in the future but saw no need to sell them a new boiler at this time.

    Don't sell for the sake of the sale. Establish a need and the sale will come.

    Keep the faith, TG
  • Uni R_3
    Uni R_3 Member Posts: 299

    "If a modest home which happens to be occupied by a fixed income elderly person is radiated with a minimum of copper fin baseboard radiators barely able to keep up at design conditions"

    Okay... stop right here and think about this. The house can keep up at design conditions with the existing fintube. Worst case scenario about 90% efficient. Then let's consider this. I have a mid-efficiency house and copper fin tube. Highest my water got was 144 at most or so this winter. It only got the heat it needed, plus I get about a 4 to 6 degree penalty for having a larger iron diverter tee system.

    Well here needing -4 (0 is design) only lasted a few hours this past heating season and only hapened a few times. Most of the heating season here in the Toronto area is spent in the 30 to 40 degre range. For 36 degrees warmer weather would be 117. Very good... but how bad would it be if this system actually needed 170 water instead of 142 degree waterlike I do. That's a big jump in btus burned to get those temps. Anyway, the 170° system would only need to be 141° at 36°F outside. That's on a 0.78 curve that I use.

    Making this really simple, the boiler would have three heating modes - worst case - no condensing, I'll bet the efficiency is still 90% somehow -- next is some condensate, so it's saving some... --- and finally considerable condensate. If you follow a seasonal heat curve for your region, you'd see that you'd hardly ever be in the 90% range... you'd probably be either in the lower or upper 90% efficiency range. Aren't there any member supported bodies in this industry that could afford to actually do a side by side comparison of a Manual J sized ci gas boiler vs a mod con, with emmitters at different temp requirements.

    Anyway, I don't think you can justify not getting a modcon if the emitters can keep up anywhere close to design. And I don't think you'd find many houses that need 170° water non-stop at design.
  • Tombig_2
    Tombig_2 Member Posts: 231
    UniR...Point Taken

    Perhaps surprisingly, I agree. I guess I was just saying don't try to sell someone something they don't want and may not need. Any system will benefit from outdoor reset and surely from the efficiency of a boiler operating in the condensing mode most of the season. Maybe the elderly just don't think they'll live long enough to realize the payback.:)
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440

    Six years ago, gas prices were 1/2 of what they are today. Six years from now what will they be ? Will the old lady on SS get a raise to compensate ? You can give her that raise by cutting her fuel bill in half.

    She can pay that money out every month to the fuel company, for the rest of her life, or pay a bit more now and be comfortable later. That being said, give 'em what they want or walk away. Your choice.
  • keith
    keith Member Posts: 224

    Maybe you are losing it in the delivery. Offer up examples of situations where this added technology made a difference.
    Some consumers need visual information to support their purchasing decisions.

    Give refrences, hand out material they can read later, point them in the right direction. People don't want to be"sold" they want to buy. Do a side by side comparison. The facts either support the added expense or they don't.

    #1 in my book.. belief in what you are saying. If you don't have 100% conviction in what you are proposing it's going to be a struggle.

    #2 would be...understand where your customer is coming from. What is their personality, how do they make decisions, what makes them tick. If you can look thru their glasses it will make painting the picture less confusing.

    Good Luck,


  • schiller
    schiller Member Posts: 60
    to answer your question

    to answer your question, how do you close the sale? By asking the tough questions before you show them the price.
    for example;
    Q) do you see how this M/C will lower your fuel bill?
    Q) do you like helping the enviroment?
    Q) do you understand why the m/c is more eff than the c/i boiler
    Q) which type of boiler do you think is best for you?

    if they answer m/c show them your price and ask method of payment.

    if they answer c/i show them your price and ask for method of payment

    when you get the project you better deliver an install to be proud. when you believe you are doing the right thing for the cusomer it easy to help them make the right choice.
  • Lyle C
    Lyle C Member Posts: 96
    m/c sales

    I've found it helps to close the sale, contact the local utility and find out what rebates they are offering. Give the HO the paperwork as part of your sale. If needed help them fill out the forms.
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    9 out of 10...

    9 out of 10 boilers we sell are wall hung Vitodens. I would have been most skeptical 10 years ago, that a condensing boiler would take the place of a cast iron pressure vessel.

    I wouldn't say the price difference is "astronomical". It's certainlly more than conventional boilers, but start adding controls or mixing stations, and you're close. You have to focus on features and benefits. If the customer perceives that you think "it costs too much", they'll lose confidence.

    And yes, some prospects would only consider the least expensive replacement, not the most efficient.

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  • Actually, I routinely run the numbers on existing baseboard installations, and most houses I do that too turn out to be heavily over-radiated. Which is very good for this mod/con replacement ;)
  • Well I agree,

    with the environmental issues and all that, but the fact remains at least in my area,,the bottom line. To be honest here, even in my own house I would have a hard-time accepting a M/C price. All this MCBA adjustment stuff turns me off. Kinda like the "low flush toilet" fiasco,,, I`ll wait until the "bugs" are out of it. For all you guys that push Mod/Cons, all I can say is Good Luck and I hope you never have to go back after 6-9 years and try to explain why they need another new boiler.

  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Dave, if you don't believe

    it yourself you'll not have an easy time selling your customers.

    Install a mod con in your own home and live with it a year to see the real differences.

    Sealed combustion alone may be a "lifesaver' some day.

    hot rod

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  • Xc8p2dC
    Xc8p2dC Member Posts: 41
    Its the technology too

    Depending on which ModCon you go with, there are some that are not extremely higher in price, my Ultra was less that
    $1000 more than a C/I

    I think the important thing here is, it is the installers responsibility to set up the boiler properly and too much emphasis on the homeowner doing it [although some of us have the capability] and there may be an associated price to do that

    But you can also look at it this way, say for whatever reason there is no heat you can callback and see if there is a code [with some m/c's] and no what your issues are before you get there [parts] or maybe even have them [if a soft lockout] just push reset

    O'yeah, less fuel, less emmisions, greener world
  • Supply House Rick
    Supply House Rick Member Posts: 1,404
    Think Cruise Control

    Do you get better gas mileage on cruise or by speeding up and slowing down? If your call for heat only requires 50,000 btu, with mod/con that's what you get...

  • Don`t get me wrong,

    I do "believe" in the technology,,its just (in my area) M/Cs are about 4 times the net price over a CI unit, unless chimney problems are an issue with the HO, this makes them a "tough sell" around here for a replacement unit.

  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    4 times ?

    You'd better shop around. 2 to 2-1/2 is more like it.
  • Andrew Hagen
    Andrew Hagen Member Posts: 15

    Depending on the boilers you compare, it could be anywhere from the mod/con being 4x more to the CI being more than the mod/con.

    If these are very simple high temperature systems, the CI boiler will always be less. However, once you add an injection control and the associated labor, piping and equipment, the prices even out.
  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931

    Dave , Please don't take this to be harsh but the problem is staring you in the face every time you shave. If you do not believe 100% in the propduct you can not sell it. 9 of 10 of our gas boilers sales are the Vitodens. 100% of our oil sales are Viessmann. Other than steam i can't remember the last atmospheric boiler I sold.

    Does everyone you sell to drive a Yugo?? watch a 13" B+W TV? listen to A.M. radio? Only shop at Walmart? Ever been in a Starbucks and watch people pay 3.50$ for a cup of colored hotwater? Why is Dasani bottled water more than a Coke when IT IS Coke , just minus all the other ingrediants.
    Only succsesfull resteraunt in your town a Mcdonalds??

    My suggestion is that if you are not confident presenting this or any other technology that you hire a profesional salesperson if you don't have one already. A pro working on commision will sell that product all day long and a good pro will bring in a million + in gross sales. Of course be prepared to pay her (yes Her) a 100k$ in pay and bennies. Quit thinking like an installer and start thinking like a retailer. You Can do it!!!!! Go Team!!!!!!

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  • Perry_3
    Perry_3 Member Posts: 498
    You're own post proves the problem.

    Not everyone buys coffee at Starbucks, etc, etc, etc.

    The fact is that their are three basic markets.

    1) Those who only want to pay the minimum for an item or service - regardless of long term cost.

    2) Those who will scrutinize both the intitial cost and long term oprating cost to determine the best value.

    3) Those who will pay more for other reasons (being green, helping reduce energy usage, cool technology, etc).

    A mod/con rarely falls into market 1, and sometimes (but not always) falls into market 2; but often falls into market 3.

    As a contractor you have a choice of which markets you serve. Those who are only selling mod/cons are not serving market 1 and some of the people in market 2. That is fine; but lets be honest about what whom you are and are not serving.

    I believe that if you reread the original question it relates to an attempt to serve at least more people in market 2. The real answer is: Sometimes a mod/con does not meet what the customer is buying. If you wish to serve those customers offer a quality Cast Iron boiler install. If you don't wish to serve those customers; that is fine as well.

    I have no problem with the concept of offering both technologies with the mod/con being presented as the best due to those other issues that many people are willing to pay for in cases where you cannot make a very sold case for 5 year or less cost payback. If the customer chooses the second option - at least you have an order and work for your efforts instead of letting it go to your competitor who never even quoted a mod/con. Of course, if you are so busy installing mod/cons that you can afford to not serve the cast iron market: Good for you.


  • I would Think

    That 175° with a ΔΤ of 30

  • ¼ ½ ° ΔΤ

  • john_83
    john_83 Member Posts: 76

    Every boiler has its place. Problem is the more modcons we put in the more we love them. I would love to put them in all day long but lets be honest the ci still has it place on certain installs but you would much rather put the modcon in . We have to do whats right for the customer not what we want.
  • Uni R_3
    Uni R_3 Member Posts: 299
    I hope CI is done

    I could never see putting in a CI gas boiler instead of a m-c-b -- to me the savings are too great not to. It's a shame this isn't better studied.

    As for oil, unfortunately I think it will take a while before we see the equiv of an m-c-b fired with oil - I'll bet Viessmann is poised. Oil efficiency will start going up and the form factor will shrinking. I wonder what Burnham is doing?

    Even steam would use the smaller form factor. Heavy flywheels on high performance equipment? Not needed with better controls and heat exchangers.
  • john_83
    john_83 Member Posts: 76

    my point exacatly we are just in love with these modcons
  • Ok,,Ok,,

    great points guys, I was actually already convinced long ago, I just thought this "scenario" would be a good topic of discussion that needed to be said,,,,I was right!

  • Glenn Sossin_2
    Glenn Sossin_2 Member Posts: 592
    Sell and believe

    Knowing your customer is key. If being green and trying to maximize fuel uesage is important to them, then you offer the MC option. If they tell you upfront they want to take the least expensive option, give that to them.

    A few points I would consider making for a potential client who could afford or should use one.

    1.) Fuel costs are substantially reduced in a properly designed system. Everyone is interested in lowering fuel costs.
    2.) It increases the value of your home in the future. As fuel costs increase, so will the demand for energy efficient heating systems. When fuel costs approach 6,7,8 dollars a gallon, what type of homes do you think will be selling ?? The ones that are energy efficient with modcons, radiant heat, indoor/outdoor reset, and instantaneous wall hung water heaters.
    3. This is the new state of the art product technology. Would you still go out and buy a CRT (tube) type color TV just because it's less expensive?
    4.) Less space. With construction costs approaching $175 + per sqft, it makes sense to minimize the boiler room area to provide more living space. You can fit a wall hung boiler and wall hung instantaneous water heater under a set of stairs, and still have storage area.
    5.) This type of product is usually quieter - less noise. No screeching sound from the damper opening on a gas boiler. No low rumbling from the oiler boiler.
    6. If you vent through the side of the house, you don't have the expense of a chimmney.

    I tell the end user, I feel a responsibility to provide them options. I want them to be informed and understand the advantages / disadvantages of the various systems. The more informed they are, the better the decision they will make.

    First and foremost, you have to be knowledgeable and believe in it yourself. Sounds like you have doubts so I would suggest you attend some product seminars from various manufacturers. If you follow industry trends, it's clear this type of product is growing very quickly. There must be a reason for it.
  • Mad Dog!!!!!!!!
    Mad Dog!!!!!!!! Member Posts: 157
    Nail on the head HR.......

    Dave....you don't believe it YOURSELF....you expect people to go for the extra bucks when they can see right thru to your half-hearted belief in the Mod/cons? No, you are probably NOT going to sell them on even every third or fourth quote, but if you believe in them and get excited about it, you will interest certain folks, and they will buy. We work in Upper-middle class-Upper Class areas....most of these folks have combined salaries in the low-mid 100s - they can afford it, but it is STILL are hard sell. That doesn't stop us from pushing them though. Mad Dog
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