Then I usually talk to homeowners about the hot and cold rooms. This is a big button and an easy one to push and get them talking. This adds to the sourness but gains some agreement and gets some emotion going that they then start to go into full agreement with me.
I will say something like "Hey I bet that bedroom over there gets hot in the afternoon and you dont like being there." Like they think: "ohh he must know what he is talking about if he could predict that."
Then I also talk about the house getting hot and cold in temperature swings. A lot but not all homeowners notice this. Then I relate that back to a better Heat and AC system.
Homeowners are interested in comfort.
I will also bring up the 10 year parts and labor warranties offered by the manufacturers, and then I make a metaphor to automobiles.
Durability is a wanted commodity.
Then I tell them a little about the process to handle that, and say "I have to do some tests nerdy calculations, and can even give you an energy savings report." (Ie. dont mention energy audit or Man J calculations or other "nerdy stuff" - I actually try to make them disinterested in the big picture) "...and the result is I know how much air we need to put to each room and this will make the house even temperatures."
In a way by keeping the testing and calculations slightly in a mystery, it makes them even more interested. Especially as I pull out the blower door and they are like "Whats that?" "Just seeing how much air passes through your insulation."
Haha! Surprised them.
My sales process just uses energy as a last added benefit, but not the focus.
The process of the audit then sells the audit. Not the other way around.
Pecking order in summary, in order of importance:
Improved Safety, Comfort, Durability, & finally Energy - That is a twist on the definition of "Efficiency," as in it is not all about energy and maybe never was.
But that is just me.