Reframing a Lighting Retrofit as an Oil Well


Sales professionals are adept at reframing value propositions to make them more accessible to their prospects.  Doing so paves the way for a more intelligent decision.

Reframing a Lighting Retrofit as an Oil Well

For example, imagine the possibilities when you use the metaphor of an oil well when illustrating the wisdom of purchasing a more expensive, longer-lived replacement lighting fixture. 

You might say, “Imagine that each of your existing light fixtures represents an oil well, and now imagine that you have two choices of pumps to harvest that oil – an inexpensive one that will pump oil for five years, and an expensive one that will continue pumping for at least ten years.  Now, let’s assume the longer-lasting oil pump costs 30% more to install.  Remember, it’s going to last twice as long.  Which pump would you choose?”

Most prospects will say, “If the oil pump is going to last ten years instead of five, and it only costs me 30% more to get twice as much oil, I’d rather get that extra oil.”

Returning to the lighting retrofit decision, if you base decisions on simple payback, you’d choose the less expensive oil pump.  If you’re smart and use a more sophisticated approach – like life-cycle cost, net present value or savings-to-investment ratio – you’d choose the more expensive pump.

Viewed through this lens, why would you ever select a retrofit that would leave five more years of savings unharvested?

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Posted by Mark Jewell