Wine, Cheese, and LEDs


They say repetition is the mother of learning.  You’ve probably heard me say more than once that one of the most valuable traits of an efficiency sales professional is the ability to reframe efficiency so that it can be measured with yardsticks that the prospect is already using to measure his or her own success. Here’s a great example of someone doing exactly that: 


One of our Efficiency Sales Professional Boot Camp graduates was trying to come up with a way to convince small retailers to invest in LED lighting retrofits. Before presenting the business owners with a compelling case about why the lighting retrofit would be a smart investment, she first asked herself, “What do these owners really care about?” She quickly realized, of course, that small retailers are very interested in increasing foot traffic.  After all, getting more customers to set foot in your store is the first step (pun intended) to boosting sales per square foot.

With this in mind, she came up with a creative campaign that would help her customers get more of their customers in their stores in the wake of the lighting upgrade. She targeted commercial areas that had concentrations of small retailers, walked into each of the stores and announced the following offer: “If you and nine of your neighbors on this street sign up for a full lighting retrofit, my boss and I will sponsor a ‘wine, cheese, and LEDs’ party.  We will even bring sidewalk sandwich boards and little easels with foam core posters on them proclaiming what a wonderful thing you and your neighbors did. We’ll celebrate the fact that you're saving all this energy... and we’ll drive traffic into your stores. This event will not only make more potential customers aware of your establishments, but also let the world know that you are a socially conscious business.” 

The campaign was dramatically successful. Most people in this industry would agree that small businesses represent a hard-to-reach audience, fraught with high transaction cost, language barriers, and the like.  However, the minute you start talking about what they care about (instead of chromaticity, color rendering, simple payback period, and so forth), the easier it will be to capture their attention and retain it long enough to motivate them to take action. 

I encourage you to ask yourself this simple question before you make your next sales call: ”What does my prospect really care the most about?” The answer to that question will help you reframe your offerings so that they resonate with what your prospects are truly seeking. 

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Posted by Mark Jewell

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