When you approach an organization with a proposed energy project, you have to be prepared to knock out the competition. You’re competing against not only other product/service providers, but also non-energy-related projects that are competing for the organization’s management bandwidth and capital. Here’s a three-step process that will help you succeed:
Read: I’m always shocked at how few people subscribe to the trade magazines and journals of their target customers’ industries. If you’re selling to supermarkets, you need to know everything that’s going on in the grocery industry. What are the latest trends? What challenges are they facing? What types of investments are they making? What new technologies are grocery retailers using? Keep yourself in the loop by reading the industry news so you can better predict what your prospects are likely to care about.
Research: In order to know how your products and services will benefit your prospect’s organization, you need to find out everything you can about how that particular organization is structured and what they value. Maybe you’ll discover that they frequently donate to particular charities – perhaps to publicize their commitment to the environment or to their local community. If so, you could emphasize the positive environmental impact of your energy project and suggest that you showcase that in a post-project press release.
Reframe: Industry- and prospect-specific insights allow you to reframe your offering to resonate with the values and needs you’ve identified. So, what are the most important things to talk about? What should you avoid discussing altogether? Write down any relevant information that you gather in the first two stages and come up with an informed sales strategy using that information.