Regardless of what we’re selling, we have to make a case for saying yes. With energy efficiency it’s even trickier, since we’re often in situations where we have to guess our way to a solution. How do we do that? The usual. We do our research before our pitch. We talk to our prospects at length. We ask questions, probing for the emotional “why” that will make our prospect say yes.
Some of these questions are fairly simple, like “Why am I here today?” or “What are you hoping to get accomplished today?” I sometimes ask prospects, "Why are you contacting me now?" The timing can be just as important as the why. Perhaps something is pressing and needs a solution.
I'll give you a perfect example. Let's say you’re selling HVAC solutions to a residential customer. They say, "The reason we're talking to you now is because we've been empty nesters for a while, but now my mother is moving back in. My father passed away and now she needs our help. She leaves the gas stove on and we don’t trust to leave her on her own. Fortunately, we don’t have gas appliances. But we do have a problem. The house was good enough for our kids, but it’s really drafty and Mom has rheumatoid arthritis that’s only getting worse. We want to make sure she’s comfortable and warm, so we have to figure this out.”
Now you know there’s an emotional driver for this. So, what would be the best closing technique for this case? When you reach the right point in the conversation, you might say, “So, now that we’ve reviewed the options and selected the most appropriate one, how soon would you like to keep grandma warm?” You’re basically coming full circle to what they told you at the beginning of the conversation, making it the main motivation. You’ve given them the information, and now you’re reminding them about the most important thing. The guesswork is out of the equation and both you and your prospect will have the same goals in mind.