Thank you to my friend Mina Agarabi for bringing this article to my attention:

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131010122659-17000124-...

Put short:  there's a skills gap in America.  Thanks to ARRA, though, the Building Performance industry knows how to prepare people for these jobs.  

I know what you're going to say, "But, George, there aren't any jobs."  I know.  That just means we need to shift more of our attention to driving demand for building performance services.

We can do this.  There's a workforce waiting to be trained.  There are jobs waiting to be done.  What's stopping us?  Not enough home owners are hiring enough Building Performance specialists to have their homes made more energy efficient, comfortable, safe and durable.  We can help them.  

But before we can help them, they must know what it is we offer.  As an industry, we haven't done enough of that.  So how do we do it?

  • We need to stop talking technical jargon and become better salespeople.
  • Take sales classes til we know how to sell the "sizzle," not the steak.  
  • Ramp up ad campaigns. 
  • Reallocate funds to offer more individualized education to homeowners.

If you can't tell, I have given this some thought.  I have more thoughts.  Let me know if you're interested in hearing them:

GFKopf@gmail.com

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I would like to read more of your thoughts, especially (not only) those regarding individualized education to homeowners.

Dennis, thanks for the interest!  For now I have a blog going:  http://www.tumblr.com/blog/george-the-energy-efficiency-guy.  I will let you know when I post new stuff.  Thanks!

Hey George! 

Health, more money, better sex, legacy for kids and grandkids, self image.... That's the end results of what we are selling!

You are right about selling the sizzle not the steak.  Most Building Performance companies and programs marketing efforts put their target markets to sleep before they even start.  Nearly all BP sell the facts and not the benefits.  Nearly all the videos, Power Points and advertising makes the viewer's eyes gloss over in the first 10 seconds.  The technical jargon should be put in the mice print at the bottom & saved for the installers. 

Kent,

I would like to thank you for sharing your observations.  I completely agree.  All of this means we are taking a less than optimal approach.  I will keep you abreast of future postings.

If you are interested, I am in the process of developing an idea to overcome this.  Let me know if you are interested and have the time to read a program overview.  If you are interested, just email me directly at gfkopf@gmail.com.

Thank you again!

Target customers with high utility bills. Sometimes big money wasters aren't that expensive to fix and will give a quick payback time. Trying to sell $5,000 worth of services to somebody with a $100/mo utility bill ain't gonna happen. Focus on fixing big issues rather than getting down to nitty gritty stuff that costs a lot to fix but doesn't save much money.

Agreed.  All of this comes down to finding what motivates each client:  money, environment, health, reducing dependence on foreign energy sources, etc.  Some of the biggest energy wasters aren't motivated by money, some are.  I think this comes down to finding what makes each person tick and then using that leverage to motivate them to take action.  Action is the key.  

Thank you for responding!  I have some other posts coming in the next few weeks you may be interested in.  I also have a blog if you want to read more of my ideas:  http://www.tumblr.com/blog/george-the-energy-efficiency-guy

Thank you also for being part of the solution.  There are more and more folks like you and me out there every day.  We are gaining momentum and making a difference!

As one of my favorite recent quotes goes:  "You know that ground you're gaining inch by inch?  That's called 'winning'."  I love that!  Have a great day!

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