Creative Sales Pitches?

Who doesn’t appreciate a really creative sales pitch? After all, who wants to hear the same ole same ole when purchasing a water heater or pair of athletic shoes?

But where do we get our new ideas for selling things that don’t have that much sizzle? Our customers! I’m sure with this introduction you are not surprised to learn I am about to tell you a sales story you probably have not heard yet.  And, that’s saying something!

What’s for sale? The product is a residential HVAC (air conditioning) replacement. For illustration purposes, let’s consider a top manufacturer, two-ton, 16 SEER unit. The price for a complete system installation could be around $6,500, which includes installation, tax and permits.

Where’s the sizzle? As you might imagine, it’s hard to come up with a creative sales pitch for air conditioning. It’s a necessity in Texas, and the only thing that sizzles is your skin during 100-degree days if your system isn’t working. Distinguishing your company, your installation and your customer service is difficult when people frequently get multiple bids. But, that’s part of the business.

Creative sales pitch. As I was getting the skinny on sales calls for the week, one salesperson explained not one but two interesting calls. Both purchasers said they wanted to make sure the system they purchased was “top notch” (paraphrased) because the air conditioning was going to have to work harder because of climate change. Well, if the customer’s always right, I suppose the sales person could have taken the opportunity to upsell.  Raise that SEER unit to 20 and get a variable speed unit. Now we’ve almost doubled our sale price to $12,500.

Unintended consequences.  I couldn’t help but wonder what sales in the 1970s were made when everyone was worried about a hole in the ozone layer. Fluorocarbons were on the hit list, and pumps became the rage. Now we have aerosol from other chemicals. The geek in me just had to take a moment to research. Here’s what Scientific American reports on the state of aerosols:

“…[j]ust because those deodorant sprays and shaving cream cans aren’t depleting the ozone layer doesn’t mean they are actually good for the environment. They still contain hydrocarbons and/or compressed gases notorious for their contribution to global warming. Every time you hit the button, then, you are raising your carbon footprint, albeit ever so slightly.

Modern-day, CFC-free aerosol sprays also emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to ground-level ozone levels, a key component of asthma-inducing smog. The state of California is now regulating consumer products that contain VOCs—and aerosol sprays are not the only targets: Fingernail polish, perfumes, mouthwashes, pump hair sprays, and roll-on and stick deodorants also emit them.”

Please don’t let the Texas Legislature ban hair spray and deodorant as they are already considering over 5,000 bills this session.

What about eggs? How we leap from air conditioning to aerosol to eggs is anyone’s guess. However, my love for agriculture and food got me wondering, how has the egg market changed when studies said eggs were bad for us, then good, then not-so bad? I know I’ve seen several brands of egg substitutes. How does anyone keep up with all these bad things? Do we make a naughty and nice list for products?

Let me know if any of you start using Global Warming or Climate Change in your sales pitches. And, if you start hearing sales pitches including these factors. For now, we’ll be passing on that pitch even if it could double our sales price.

Happy Hunting. Happy Closing. Happy Selling.

LK Greer

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