The big electrical equipment manufacturing companies today – like the one I work for – are increasingly producing integrated solutions. They are the “extra something” confident electricians propose when they seek to exceed customer expectations. No individual devices any more. The solutions you’re interested in fall basically into the categories of protection and energy efficiency.
So you say to your customers, “would you like full protection from all electricity-related hazards?” You don’t say, “would you like a residual current or a surge protection device?”
Think ahead about the solutions you can offer
Like I said in the previous blog, you top contractors today understand the technology behind our solutions because you’re always learning. You’re up-to-date with new developments, know what configurations suit what building. After all, our solutions are what bring you added value. They’re where you make your profit and keep that competitive edge because – like other areas of business, competition is fierce in the electrician’s trade.
Our solutions plus your expertise enable you to satisfy and impress customers, build your customer base through word of mouth, beat competition, and grow your business.
So all the time you’re thinking ahead about what protection and energy efficiency solutions you can sell when you’re on a job. And you should be doing that even as you draw up the bill of materials (BOM) for the job in hand.
What goes into a good bill of materials (BOM)?
The short answer: everything. The good electrician takes nothing for granted when he/she draws up a BOM, leaves nothing to chance.
Your electrical flat plan must accurately render the layout of the premises where he’s working, the location of the circuits, likely places for furniture and appliances. Everything, like I said.
From that you calculate wattage, currents and the lengths of cables required. And determine how to protect the installation, how many circuit breakers you’ll need, the size of the switchboard housing. You gather that information in table form and insert it into the electrical drawing.
The BOM reflects your confidence and expertise. It lays the foundations for a good job. And points to the solution that will help you exceed those customer expectations.
How do electricians sell solutions to customers?
Safety first. So, best to start by proposing a comprehensive protection solution. Don’t forget, you don’t just propose. You also decide what best meets your customers’ needs.
First, though, you’ve got to get customer to accept the idea. Be a salesperson. To sell protection and energy efficiency, there are two main sales pitches – safety and savings. To do that, be a great explainer. Use your expert knowledge, but don’t blind the end-users with science.
Take protection systems. Customers – particularly domestic ones – may well not know much about them. They’ll have heard about circuit breakers, of course, but not much more. Go over what they do – i.e. that they prevent fires from short circuits and overcurrent, and that they’re mandatory. But, you say, what about other hazards – electric shocks, lightning? “You’re not protected if you’re not protected against them,” you tell your customers.
You can then go on to explain to them what residual circuit breakers (RCDs) and surge protection devices (SPDs) are. Explain that although they’re not always a mandatory, they’re indispensable.
Energy efficiency I like to describe as the cherry on the cake of a job well done. The telling argument here is savings and the customer should see the initial outlay as investment. Can you afford not to, you could ask your customer. For example, Wiser in electrical enclosure lets end-users monitor multi-energy consumption and informs them in case of exceeding their consumption targets or in case of abnormal consumption.
To get across those messages an effective technique is storytelling.