Updated: Oct 26, 2020
As soon as you have a prospect, you need to spend some time researching your prospect, the prospect’s site, and the prospect’s industry if you’re not already familiar with it. This is probably the most commonly skipped step in the process, but we highly recommend spending the time to complete this step.
The goals for this step are: Collect as much project information as you can before the site visit, understand your prospects goals, determine common issues your prospect likely faces in their industry, and determine their likely “no’s” that you need to overcome.
First, you want to collect as much project information as you can before you’re on site. This will help you to be efficient on site, will show you take time to prepare, and will ensure you know the right questions to ask on site so you don’t have to go back. Common information you should try to collect before hand include: project location, project square footage, common existing lighting types, company contact, utility provider, utility bills, floor plans, (lighting plans are even better!), and hours of operation. Many of these items you can find on your own with the project address and using google.
Second, you’ll want to understand the prospects goals. Goals can include saving money, saving the planet, getting tax benefits, want better light, want to replace lights less, operational concerns, glare control, better controls, etc. Finding out what drives your client will help you pick better solutions, ask better questions on site, and frame your conversation to focus your efforts on solving their problems and helping them achieve their goals.
Third, do some research to find out common problems your prospect’s industry is facing. If its a dairy, are the milk prices low or high. If it’s a commercial real estate property manager, do they use triple net leases or turn key. If it’s a processing facility, how important is light levels to their factory line, is their industry profitable, what is common margins for their widget, etc. This will ensure you know their industry, instill trust in your prospect, and also ensure you don’t suggest a path forward that is a non-starter.
Fourth, ask questions to find out what potential “no’s” you’ll need to overcome. This is a blog post all in itself, but we like to think of sales as eliminating the “no’s”. Clients are hardwired to find reasons to say no to something that sounds too good to be true. And lighting retrofits fit that bill. Common “no’s” include lack of time, lack of capital, happy with their current lighting, think LEDs are just a fad and not ready, etc etc. Try to find out what their constraints are so you can show up ready to overcome them.
In summary, the more prepared you are before you walk into your prospects building the more successful you will be in closing the deal. By showing up prepared, you instill trust in your prospect, show them you do your homework, and won’t waste their time. You’ve set yourself up for success!
Leif Elgethun, CEO, Retrolux