I recently read an article in Inc. Magazine by Jeff Haden about a 20+ year-old quote from Jeff Bezos that perfectly describes our philosophy on how to become a better energy consultant. Quoting Haden, in his summary of Bezos’ quote, goes something like this: “Focus on the things that don’t change”.

And the full quote from the Amazon founder himself:

“I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. … [I]n our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection.

It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff, I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher.’ ‘I love Amazon; I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.’ Impossible.

And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers 10 years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.”

In sales, just like in retail, it is important to hold yourself back from chasing the new, exciting, shiny objects of our industry. For us, it is important to remember that customers will never come up to you and say “I love your consulting, but I wish you would educate me less. I wish you would provide me with less attention, be less willing to understand my situation.”

Your strategy as an energy consultant should consist of finding as many ways as you can to add value to your customers. Maybe this comes in the form of self-education? What can you do today to make you more knowledgeable about energy, both in the product and the market? What can you do to make yourself more knowledgeable about your customers and the businesses they run?

To learn more about value-added selling, read our post titled Value-Added Selling: How To Transform Your Sales Process To Achieve Greater Success.

In addition to continually educating yourself, you should always be approaching a “sale” with the strategy of giving value first. This mindset will keep you from focusing on your sales funnel and rather on your prospects – the actual people. The value in our industry will always be closely associated with low energy rates, but don’t underestimate the value of understanding the needs of your customers. You first and foremost add value by listening – and only after you understand a situation can you contribute additional value by providing your industry expertise and those optimal energy prices.

If you’d like to add more value to your sales process, here is a post we wrote on everything you need to know about value-added selling.

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