Selling Beyond the Obvious
Every efficiency-related product or service has a direct benefit for the consumer. However, true sales professionals take the next step, transcending those direct benefits and highlighting the additional positive impacts. Take foam weather stripping, for example. The most obvious benefit of foam weather stripping is a warmer home. Are you going to close a sale every time by telling your prospect that your product will result in a warmer home? Probably not.
I was asked to coach the sales team of a company that provides weather stripping and other energy measures for low-income homeowners on a direct-install basis. To prepare for that engagement I did a little research on the downstream advantages of energy efficiency for low-income housing. Applied to the example of weather stripping, here’s what I found:
When you put the weather stripping in, you prevent a cold living room. When you prevent a cold living room, the kids are no longer embarrassed to bring their friends over. If the kids aren’t embarrassed to bring their friends over, they’re not on the streets getting into trouble. Moreover, what comes in with the cold air? Moisture. What problem does the moisture cause? In many cases, mold. What happens once the mold arrives? It causes asthma. What problem does the asthma cause? Sick kids. What happens when kids get sick? One of the parents has to miss work to take the kids out of school. What happens when the parents miss too many days of work? They lose their jobs. What happens then? It goes all the way down…
So, are you selling foam rubber or are you selling the prevention of any one of those impacts of not having the right weather stripping in the house? You’ll have a much more interesting conversation if you discuss the in-depth impacts rather than just selling on the idea that weather stripping keeps your house warm.
Customers have limited time. You need to connect the dots for them. I can assure you that most of the decision makers, even influencers, that you encounter will not have spent nearly as much time as you have spent understanding how energy efficiency intersects with what they most value. Your job is to know their segment well enough so that you can actually connect the dots for them.
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