Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 

Jan 18 2016

Selling LED Lighting David Gordon 

The term LEDs is synonymous with energy savings. The typical distributor either promotes LEDs as an energy savings initiative or quotes lighting projects that specify LEDs as the light / lamp source.

There is nothing wrong with either but, as LED adoption continues to accelerate, promoting it as an energy source becomes less of a differentiator. LEDs as a product category become a commodity. Everyone knows the core benefit. The difference, as they say, will be in the details.

Part of those details will be specific features, and associated benefits, of new products. This presumes they are well communicated and that distributor salespeople and/or lighting specialists understand these ever changing differences.

The other part will be the business reasons why companies will consider LEDs or, perhaps more importantly, why they would replace the LEDs that they installed. You know, the ones that they were told were going to last 10-20 years.

As an industry, lighting manufacturers and distributors cannot afford no revenue from that “hole in the ceiling.”

That means there need to be new reasons to upgrade… and the ability by distributors to sell this rationale.

Some of the benefits will be self-evident:

• integration of WiFi and creation of “hotspots”

• integration of video and audio (incoming and outgoing)

• the ability to capture data and control environments

But these are the functional issues.

This recent interview by The Edison Report’s Randy Reid

 
is the next generation. This is where benefit selling and understanding customer core needs becomes critical. Where selling really occurs.

• In this video, the panelists talk about research into circadian rhythms and wellness benefits of LEDs. Reportedly there is comparable research relating to productivity, safety, security, and learning and retention. 

• There can also be revenue generation benefits of LEDs. Increased revenue for restaurants. Increased rents for office buildings. “Selling” digital signage space.

• and…

And we know about maintenance savings.

Selling LEDs differently

The limit of identifying these benefits relate to lamp / lighting manufacturers conducting (or sponsoring) research; government and educational research and other entities investing in the benefits aspect. And then, as an industry, we need to know that this research is available, we need to train our salespeople and then convert the information into targeted marketing initiatives.

The only way it occurs, however, is if companies invest in sales / lighting specialists. The days of salespeople knowing everything… gone. Marketing should be your content and sales information sharer, paving the way for customers to understand their need and soliciting opportunities.

How is your company differentiating “your” lighting offering? And if you are not, get ready to lose some share. We know manufacturers are selling direct. Selling through telcos. Selling through IT VARs. And ESCOs are expanding their business.

The alternative may result in Chris Brown’s “illumigeddon.”* 


David Gordon is President of Channel Marketing Group. Channel Marketing Group develops market share and growth strategies for manufacturers and distributors and develops market research. CMG’s specialty is the electrical industry. He also authors an electrical industry blog, www.electricaltrends.com. He can be reached at 919-488-8635 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

* Some Distributors Are Already Out of Business, They Just Don’t Know It Yet,

More in CEW by David Gordon:

Innovation Takes Culture, Not Only Books: Part 1

Innovation Takes Culture, Not Only Books: Part 2

The Amazon Supply Threat

Selling Lighting or Selling Data?

Are You Uncomfortable? Good.

10 Tips for Taking Share

Is it Time to Hit the Reset Button?

Boosting Performance at Your Webstore

Amazon Upgrades from Supply to Business

Evolving the Role of Marketing Within Your Distributorship

Strategies in Light Observations: Distributor LED Opportunities

16 Distribution Industry Trends for 2016

Lighting the Way to Demand Creation

Sales Making Excuses?

Converting Emails Into Sales Through Thoughtful Communications

Learning from Amazon and Generating Ideas

Turning Your Staff into a Competitive Advantage

Internet is Impersonal

Sales and Marketing - How Can Joint Sales Calls Become More Effective

Creating Demand to Drive Profitable Growth

Is Your Company a Kool-Aid Drinker?

What Manufacturers (and Their Reps) Don't Know About Distributor Joint Sales Calls

What is Marketing's ROI?

Not All Is Meant for Online

Point of Sale… Profits Lost?





 

 

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