New talent, new ideas, and renewed energy

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Residential energy-efficiency is hard stuff. One of the things that keeps me pluggin’ away at it is the great people I get to work with. A few weeks ago (right before I disappeared into the Grand Canyon for a couple of weeks), I had the pleasure of working with 35 industry colleagues at a forum in Las Vegas for an intense couple of days exploring some of the things needs to scale ...
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Handling Objections: A One-Scene Role-Play

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In a contractor sales training a couple weeks ago, the section that got the participants the most engaged was on “Handling Objections”. I want to dissect that more, but for today, I’m going to limit this to offering a virtual role-play. Here’s the scene. We’re at a home, at the tail end of an assessment. Advisor (Mike) asks Homeowner (Anne) if she’s ready to move forward.

MIKE (Advisor): Now that we’ve figured out what’s going on and how to make ...

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Review: CREE 9.5W (60W replacement) Bulb

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CREE 9.5W BulbCree has done it again. This evaluation is early but so far the LED standard incandescent, type-A, Edison base bulb looks like a winner.

I’m trying the “60-watt replacement” (I wonder how long we’ll stick with that terminology, labeling lamps in terms of an equivalent output from an incandescent bulb).  I am very impressed.  Flick the ...

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Energy Foundation’s BRIM Report Conclusion: Support Efficiency First

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Efficiency First LogoFrom an Energy Foundation Building Retrofit and Industry Market (BRIM) Initiative report:

We agree that contractors should be a part of all major residential energy efficiency discussions and initiatives, which can be accomplished in large part by more frequently giving Efficiency First a seat at the table.

This should be obvious. And yet ...

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Recommended Reading: 7 Business Books for Home Performance Contractors

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how to win customers coverI’m frequently asked what books I recommend for those in the home performance space. And I’ve got a list. Perhaps counterintuitively, I won’t start with some of the great technical resources. Rather, right now, I’d like to focus on some of the business resources that I think can really help inform someone trying to make a living delivering home performance. Here are several that I’ve found ...
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Growing Your Home Performance Business Right: The Checklist

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B-17 Public DomainRunning a home performance business is rather complex. The “technical” side can be complicated, and time consuming. And the “business” side, even moreso! Think of all the steps in diagnosing a house, and the optimal order of doing them for be more efficient with your time. How about all of the paperwork that you need to complete to submit projects ...
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Your Marketing Worked. You Got the Phone Call. Now What?

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A coffee-stained napkin is not the best CRM system!The phone rings! Congratulations, your marketing worked, and you’ve got a lead. But you can’t sell home performance on the phone. You need to turn that call into an appointment, and the appointment into the sale. Soon, a lot will hinge on that sale, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This phone call ...
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Guerrilla Marketing in Home Performance

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gorilla marketingNo, not Gorilla Marketing! Guerrilla Marketing, a concept I first discovered in a book by Jay Conrad Levinson, a book that I’ve been recommending for years. I think its emphasis on low-cost and unconventional ways to communicate are more relevant than ever. While big-budget mass media advertising might still work, more targeted engagement can certainly be effective…and cost-effective. I think this is ...
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The Gas Pump Pitch

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Most residential HVAC and home performance contractors don’t spend a lot of time in elevators. But they are likely to stop to put gas in the vehicle from time to time. In the way he always captures the vernacular, Chandler von Schrader at EPA suggested that we shouldn’t be talking about an “elevator pitch” in this industry—it should be a “gas pump pitch”.

But the idea is the same. The gas pump pitch is an excellent marketing tool in which ...

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