How to Be Your Customer’s Superhero Part 2: Saving the Day with Energy Insight

Editor’s Note: This is the second piece in a four-part series called “How to Be Your Customer’s Superhero.” Throughout the series – with the help of Every Day Heroes from some of the nation’s leading energy solution providers—we’ll share best practices and tips for identifying and overcoming objections when it comes to presenting energy efficiency solutions.


This summer, with super hero movies all over the news and breaking box office records, we think it’s only appropriate to help you learn how to harness the superpower of utility data analytics. And there’s no better place to start than right here.

Unlikely as it seems, a huge percentage of building owners don’t have an accurate sense of their building’s true energy use, much less its efficiency ratings or real-world costs over time. They suffer from a common problem that builds up slowly, over a period of months or years: lack of knowledge and insight. In fact, many building professionals end up so mired in a quagmire of constant repairs that they don’t even know what they don’t know.

One EnergyPrint client explained it to us this way: customers get to the point where they’re often simply responding to one problem after another. “Something is broken, they need it fixed quickly,” he told us. “They don’t feel like they can stop to think about how the whole system is doing.”

It’s not that they’re disinterested in their building’s energy use and efficiency, it’s just that it’s not top of mind. When they’re constantly scrambling to keep things running smoothly (or even just feel like they are), they don’t have the time or bandwidth to collect, aggregate and analyze energy data to make informed assessments.

Time to be the super hero!

Ask Strategic Business Questions

Use the power of data analytics to probe some basic questions. Start the conversation by asking:

  • How do you currently manage your utility bills?
  • How do you track your costs?
  • Who tracks your costs?
  • Do you know how your building is performing?

If your customer doesn’t know the answer to one or more of these basic questions, chances are pretty good they don’t know what they don’t know. Needless to say, if the customer doesn’t care what they don’t know—and has absolutely zero intention doing anything differently—don’t waste your time. Even a superhero without the power to read minds knows when it’s time to move on.

More often than not, however, your client will show at least some interest in understanding their energy performance. Super! Time to start presenting solutions. And an excellent way to do that is with two great resources: benchmarking and case studies.

Energy benchmarking is a simple way to get both an accurate snapshot of a building’s energy performance—relative to its peers, against industry standards, or even against itself over time—and assess your client’s interest in going further.
Similarly, showing your client a concrete, “apples to apples” case study is an excellent way to forecast their willingness to move ahead.

Jack Lann, Business Development Manager at Building Technology Systems puts it this way: “Every single building has operating issues and inefficiencies. So even when the client thinks they don’t have the budget to make improvements, we help them understand that they actually do—they’re just giving that money to their utility company every month instead.”

To demonstrate real value, you need both data and data insights, whether through a benchmarking service or comprehensive case studies about analogous situations. Both are a great way to build your credibility, position yourself as your customer’s trusted energy advisor and be your client’s superhero.

In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss how to cost-justify energy savings projects to clients who would rather “just pay the high utility bill.”


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