You’ve acquired cursory knowledge about brokering energy. Enough to see an opportunity and motivate you to sign up for an R.F.Queue account. But that’s really the depth of your knowledge. The actual process and terminology however, that’s a little more complex. Getting comfortable enough to consult can take some time.

That’s where this post comes in. This beginner’s guide will take you through the process of brokering energy – from what you need to do first, through to closing a contract. We’ll shorten the learning curve and get you comfortable today. Ready to get started?

Let’s go!

Convincing a prospect to let you get them a quote

There’s been a lot of conversation in the news about deregulation, but chances are still good that a business might not be familiar with the opportunity deregulation creates for them.

Your first job is to convince them that working with you can be beneficial to their company’s bottom line.

So why is deregulation so important to them? Taking a quote from one of our previous posts Understanding Energy and Deregulation:

The supply of electricity and natural gas has been separated from the delivery, allowing consumers to pick a supplier while still taking advantage of the local utility’s infrastructure. How does this affect [them]? Like other household and business services, [they] now have the ability to shop for [their] supplier. Competition creates a fair market as it motivates the suppliers to offer better prices, better products and better service.”

For business owners, this means they have the choice to stick with or leave the default utility rate. This rate is set by a utility that is no longer able to make a profit off the sale of energy and so lacks the motivation to keep its customer’s supply business. Customers now face a decision to stick with a provider with little desire to provide competitive rates vs. independent retail energy suppliers that are aggressive – going after a share of the market.  

A business owner therefore can shop (through you – for free) for the best rates available in the marketplace. By doing so, they will benefit from the competitive environment and can even set a fixed rate for their energy.

Another type of customer you will encounter as you prospect is one that has already switched their energy to a new supplier. They are familiar with the benefits of deregulation. Your goal with this type of customer is to convince them to give you an opportunity to provide them with competitive bids. We’ve written a blog post on this if you need some tips: 5 Methods Guaranteed To Differentiate You From The Competition.

Getting required customer information for quoting

Once you have convinced your prospect that your quoting their business for electricity and/or natural gas is in their best interest, you need to gather some information before a quote can be completed. Having this information is necessary for looking up a business’s credit and energy usage history as well as contract preparation.

Make sure you get the following:

  • Legal business name
  • Billing address
  • Contact person’s name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • A recent (complete) copy of their electricity and/or natural gas bill

If the customer is currently using the utility for their energy supply, you can switch them over at their next available meter read date. If they are receiving energy supply from a Retail Energy Supplier, you will need to find out when their current contract ends. This is necessary so their switch to another supplier doesn’t force a breach of contract and possible early termination fee. If the business is unsure when the contract expires, the date will be listed on their existing contract or they can call their current supplier’s customer service for that information.

Submitting a request for quote

With all the necessary information in hand, you can now submit a Request for Quote (RFQ). Using the R.F.Queue dashboard, you will begin by entering the business’s contact information, then account details and finally the contract terms and commission.

Not sure how much commission to request? It’s hard to know for certain and remember, you can always change this after you see what bids you get back, but if you want to get an idea for what $0.001 or $0.01 means for you, check out our post explaining energy commission: How Do You Calculate An Energy Consultant’s Commission?.

Every supplier is different and so operates at different speeds when receiving RFQs and in turn presenting their price offers. Keep in mind that this turnaround time can vary from the same day to a few days after they receive the RFQ. So that you are accurately comparing quotes from multiple suppliers, R.F.Queue will notify you when all quotes have been received and delivered on the same day.

Presenting quotes and submitting contracts

When you are notified of your completed request, you’ll receive supplier bids, price quote presentations and contracts. As energy prices are constantly moving in the market, quotes generally only last for 24 hours. Keep this in mind when you request your quote and plan a time to meet with your customer.

If after presenting your price quotes and answering any questions, your customer is ready to sign a contract, be sure it is completed in its entirety. Contracts will be rejected if not complete and due to the inherent time crunch the market creates, it becomes a challenge to take back to your customer and resubmit in this short window.

Receiving your commission

You completed your first contract! Now what? Show me the money!

Although some suppliers pay up front or quarterly, most pay monthly after the customer uses their energy. This makes sense as the supplier doesn’t know what the customer should be charged until the month ends and the customer’s meter is read. With the meter read, monthly usage can be calculated along with your commission.

Due to the fact that commission can only be calculated after the customer uses their energy, expect a delay in your first commission check. In fact, the delay is caused by the meter reading process for two reasons. The above that we just covered, but also the original switch from either the utility energy supply or another Retail Energy Supplier. Switches from one source of energy to another can only take place on meter reads, so when you submit a signed contract that is set to switch at the first available meter read, notification goes to the utility instructing them of the switch, time must pass until that account’s meter is read, the switch to the new supplier occurs and then the customer must use a month of energy and get their meter read again to close out their first month of energy usage on the new supply. After the meter is read, the bill must go out and be paid and then commission is tallied for you – the broker on record.

This is not meant to discourage you in any way, but to inform you so that you understand that first check takes some time. Once that switch has been made and you collect your first check, you can anticipate subsequent checks to come like clockwork. And that’s the great thing about this form of income.

Conclusion

There is so much that goes into brokering energy and “selling” in general. From understanding and predicting the electric city and natural gas market to gaining proficiency in customer acquisition and sales…the list goes on and on.

This guide should give you the basic understanding of the process you will take to switch customers and set you on the right path. It should be enough to get you going and get you making some cash money.

If you’re ready to dive into more education, check out some of our other blog posts, or review the content in your Sales Tools on the R.F.Queue dashboard.

What you should do now

  1. If you’d like to use R.F.Queue to start energy consulting with 100% commission returns, then sign up here for one of our free 14 day trials. This free trial will give you full access to our quoting dashboard, a dedicated agent representative and our sales/educational material.
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