The Technical Sale

Invest in tools that upsell window performance
By Mark Imbrock
October 17, 2016
COLUMN : Strategy Session | Strategies & Practices
A sales technician’s complete sales kit should contain technology that can be used for demonstrations for both sensory and analytical buyers. (Image courtesy of EDTM Inc.)

I prefer to battle my competition by selling on features and benefits instead of competing on price alone. Competing on price always ends up in a dreaded race to the bottom; a race I would rather not win (or even compete in, for that matter). To sell successfully, it’s important to have a system in place that differentiates you from the competition. In today’s technological world, that system should include technology in sales presentations.

Two companies can have identical products, but the one that is able to sell the features better than the other and communicate on a higher level will win the sale. There are some sales tools that have proven to be effective in this regard that we’ll look at here.

Sales Technicians

First, think about converting your team from sales personnel to sales technicians. In my purchasing decisions, I am always more comfortable dealing with technicians who know their product and understand how it will impact my life. Technicians should understand the performance of their windows.

For example, everybody sells low-emissivity windows. Sales technicians take time to educate the customer about the benefits of low-E and demonstrate how the coatings work. In doing so, they gain the trust and credibility that will ultimately win the buyer’s confidence.

Using a simple low-E Coating Detector to assess a customer’s windows to show they currently have uncoated and inefficient windows is a simple start. Taking it up a level, use a solar heat gain coefficient meter that slides around the sash of the customer’s existing windows to show them the poor energy performance they currently have. You can then test a sample of your window to provide the perfect “before and after” demonstration. Conducting this simple assessment will elevate a sales team to technician status and have them upselling on performance.

Sensory versus Analytical Buyers

Consumers generally fall into one of two categories for making purchase decisions—they are either analytical or sensory buyers. Analytical buyers are just that; their brains are fed by seeing the performance of a window measured. Infrared cameras, and BTU and SHGC meters are great for this type of audience.

Sensory buyers, on the other hand, may not be intrigued by the measured values as much as they are interested in feeling the heat that comes through the window via a heat lamp. They also love to visually “see” the heat that comes through the window or the cold that is blocked.

You can demonstrate this with a low- cost temperature demonstration card or a more sophisticated infrared camera. Being able to see and feel the energy performance will make a bigger impact on the sensory buyer.

If you are selling to a couple, it is very possible that one will be a sensory buyer while the other is an analytical buyer. Your goal is to be prepared for both in the same sales kit. A well-rounded sales presentation will speak both languages.

Technical Tools for Selling

Sales technicians are tasked with the challenge of selling the unseen—energy performance. Tools such as freeze spray, heat lamps, digital BTU and SHGC meters, along with infrared cameras, all show how a low-E coating reflects the cold temperatures back outside, as well as how they control the sun’s energy to keep the heat out in warmer climates.

Now is the time to equip your technicians with the right tools for the job to bring the energy performance of windows to life right in front of the customer. Invest the time to create a balanced sales kit equipped with appropriate technical tools and a pitch that will speak to both sensory and analytical buyers. And, spend the time to train your sales technicians so you maximize the benefits of your investment.

Mark Imbrock is co-owner of EDTM Inc., an instrument manufacturer based in Toledo, Ohio. For 23 years, EDTM has served the window industry by equipping companies to promote the performance of their energy efficient windows through the use of instruments and sales demonstration kits. Reach him at 419/861-1030 or sales@edtm.com.