How can a Renewable Energy Consultant impact the key challenges of business?

22-10-2017 / Category : Finance Finance Tips Sales Solar

By Gregory Ferret,
CEO ASM Money

At the beginning of the year Australian Anthill magazine asked the question “What is keeping business owners up at night?” and highlighted the top 10 issues facing businesses.

What is keeping our business owners awake?

With the political challenges facing the industry I thought it might be appropriate to revisit how a renewable energy consultant might directly impact the top five business challenges identified and make selling so much easier.

Here are the top 5 challenges

Cash-flow

A healthy cash flow is a vital part of running a business. It is, literally, the make or break for many business owners who need to stay on top of their finances, especially cash flow, to ensure they can operate successfully.

How can you impact this?

It staggers me how many renewable energy consultants still ask for ‘cash’ not knowing how difficult it is for a business to part with cash. It is so much simpler to show your client how solar will cost nothing at all. In fact, with the right finance product, I find the most common outcome is a significant positive outcome on cash-flow for no investment at all.

Recommending the wrong finance package, or suggesting a cash sale, can result in the operating costs, after tax, increasing. I talk to businesses regularly who are disappointed in the result and it is usually because of poor cash-flow outcomes.

If you can show your client how to improve their cash-flow without spending anything you will be their friend for life.

Profitability

Beyond just a stable operating budget, the real reason business owners create and progress their ventures is because they want to create lasting wealth, driven by profit.

But getting to profitability and maintaining profitability can be very hard. With the cost of energy, not just electricity, increasing very quickly businesses are finding energy is becoming a large proportion of their operating expense.

How can you impact this?

Being creative with your client can provide enormous benefit. Ask questions about business processes that use energy. Can an LED light solution reduce consumption? Can heating be converted to electricity and run on solar power? Are there other tenants in the facility who could purchase the power?

Productivity

If profitability is about squeezing every cent out of a dollar, then productivity is getting the most from every minute.

How can you impact this?

Ask questions to determine if there are ways to increase revenue without impacting the operations of the business. Do they have effective street frontage to install an illuminated advertising sign which could run for free with a few additional panels and drive significant revenue. Could they attract more customers by having car charging points? Would a green image help attract more and better customers?

Business Connections

In the business world it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. As social creatures, we like doing business with people we know and trust.

How can you impact this?

Which of your existing customers could you introduce your prospect to? Which of your prospects customers might become a better customer if they thought their supplier was being a better citizen of the planet? I have one supplier who went out of their way to help a cabinet maker by finding better suppliers and more customers. The cabinet maker has grown significantly and every business in the network is now their client.

Simple networking can create enormous goodwill.

Finding and Retaining Customers

Even before the digital economy, Ghandi nailed the importance of attracting and retaining customers, “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.”

How can you impact this?

Customers like to do business with quality people and quality companies and are prepared to pay a premium to do so. Gather positive stories from your commercial clients.  How were able to use a renewable energy story to win and maintain their clients. How did a project you were involved in impact a local community?

Today’s question and actions

Are you selling for your own reasons or are you selling to impact your clients? Start asking the following questions when talking with your commercial clients

If this project requires no cash contribution and reduces your operational expenses will you consider it?’

What areas of the operational side of your business might I impact?’

Would an introduction to supplier A and customer B be of interest?’

What opportunities are there to extract more revenue if this project proceeds?’

You will be staggered by the doors this opens and remove the question of price.

Have a great week!

Reprint permission

Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; greg.ferrett@asmmoney.com.au

 

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